Saturday, September 12, 2015

CONFUSION

Confusion is the work of Satan.  You need to identify and recognize the conditions of confusion.  God is not the author of confusion.  Everything the devil does is an act of deception and crafty confusion. 

Confusion is a commixture of things both good and evil.  It is an intermingling of true and false doctrine, instruction and teachings.  False religion is full of confusion.  Confusion comes within an environment of spiritual disorder. 

James 3:13-18
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Envy and strife is the fruit of the carnal nature.  When a person is carnal they are more easily confused.  When a person is confused they are more likely to cause harm because they do not understand what they are doing or the consequences of their actions.  The word confusion means that the person is unstable and disorderly.  When a person is unstable and disorderly they will cause harm to others in the congregation who are also unstable and disorderly.  For this reason children are not qualified to correct other children.  Carnal people are not yet spiritually mature and may fall into a confused state.  Un-sanctified people need a mature, spiritual person to advise and correct them.   If there are no spiritually mature people in the congregation, there will be envying and strife and every evil work.  This is the unfortunate state of many religious congregations.  The leaders of these congregations are not full of faith and the Holy Spirit.  They have not the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit to provide correction to those who are carnal, who are walking in the flesh. 

1 Corinthians 14:29-33
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

In the churches/congregations of the saints, there are sanctified servants of God who are able to give godly counsel.  There will be those who have Holy Ghost discernment to give correction to those who are unstable and disorderly.  A sanctified pastor is full of faith and the Holy Spirit.  He is qualified and equipped to counsel and correct the confused person.

Acts 19:23-32
23 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.
26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
31 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
Remember what the scriptures say, “God is not the author of confusion.”  When a carnal person begins to strive with others and the spirit of striving is at work, the people will be confused.  They will become unstable and disorderly. 

Have you ever heard the expression that some people “don’t know their left hand from their right hand”?  God said that about the people who lived in the city of Nineveh. 

Jonah 4:10-11
10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

There was 120.000 people living in Nineveh of whom the Lord has said that they could not “discern between their right hand and their left hand.”  They were so spiritually confused by generations of wickedness that they has no concept of holiness and righteous laws of God.  There are people in our world today who have been raised in such dysfunctional homes that they also do not know their right hand from their left hand.  Can you have mercy and compassion on those who are ignorant of righteousness and have almost no knowledge of what the word of God teaches. 

Consider these important sequence of events which should instruct us in the way we must operate today.
1.   The people were wicked
2.   God sent Jonah to preach to them
3.   The people repented
4.   God saw their repentance and accepted it
5.   God had mercy and compassion and forgave them
6.   We must desire repentance and reconciliation more than judgment and condemnation.

To avoid or overcome confusion, a person must be humble and willing to take counsel from the spiritual leader of the congregation.

2 Tim 2:23-26
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.




THE CARNAL MAN

I earnestly pray that we may be able to teach others the dangerous condition of carnality.  The carnal nature was a continual spiritual malady throughout the Old Testament; but Jesus Christ has sent the Holy Spirit to fill the heart and purge the carnal nature so that we can live the remainder of our life in holy obedience to God.  Words cannot aptly describe the peace, joy, grace, faith and victory which comes with entire sanctification.  Study with me and listen to what the Word and the Spirit will say to you.

1 Corinthians 3:1-7
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Paul refers to “babes in Christ” as being carnal.  Carnal people are in danger of falling into contention, envy, strife and division.  Sanctified children of God do not cause strife and division.  Babes in Christ have an inward heart problem which will pull them into strife.  They are easily offended.  They are prone to being self-willed and need to be corrected.  Paul told the Corinthian congregation that the source of their problems was “ye are yet carnal.”  They were more “fleshly minded” than they were “spiritually minded.” 

Romans 8:1-9
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

What was it that the Law of Moses could not do?  It could not purge the conscience of dead works.  It could not purge the heart of its carnal nature.  This carnal condition is enmity against God.  It is a foe to humble and sacrificial obedience. 

When a “babe in Christ” gives in to this carnal, self-willed nature and causes strife and division, they make themselves guilty of sin and are in need of repentance.  The “babe in Christ” will return to sin if they do not avail themselves of the remedy for this carnal condition.  The remedy is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Satan does not want the babes in Christ to be filled with the Holy Spirit.   The actions and attitudes of carnal people give strong proof of their need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The sanctified child of God has greater power and faith to live a holy life which will testify of his relationship with Jesus Christ.   

2 Corinthians 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

How do we perfect holiness?  By presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice unto the Lord.  Let the Holy Spirit burn up the fleshly desires and the carnal nature which pulls the child of God away from God.   

Romans 12:1-2
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In order to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have the carnal nature purged, we must first recognize our need for sanctification.  We must also know that it is the will of God to purge the heart from this root of sin. 

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

God has given to us His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit so that we can have a better covenant relationship with Him than they had in the Old Testament.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is the essential advantage which the Christian has over the people of God under the Law of Moses.  It is the principal reason Jesus came so that we can be sanctified.  The importance of this gift of the Holy Spirit is the reason Satan resists it so strongly.  Satan knows that the sanctified child of God will have greater grace and power to resist all his temptations. 

Romans 11:16-22
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Jesus Christ is our root of holiness.  We have nothing holy to offer God until we have repented of our sins and been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.  The sinner has no holy firstfruits.  The born again, converted, child of God has a holy body to offer as a sacrifice to God and to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  

James 3:13-18
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Why is there so much religious confusion in the world?  It is because people have not been instructed properly to present themselves as a living sacrifice and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The two-fold nature of sin has not been effectively dealt with.  They are yet carnal. 


If you have not presented your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, then you are not ready to do the work of God and be a Christian witness.  

THE CHRISTIAN MISSION

What is the role and responsibility of a Christian in our world? 
What should we be doing and how should we be living and acting?
What is our mission, our work assignment and duty right now? 
Let us consider some of the words which the Bible uses to describe us, as Christians, in our world today. 

LABORERS, WORKERS, SERVANTS
WITNESSES, HELPERS
PROPHETS, BISHOPS, EVANGELIST, PASTORS, TEACHERS
OVERSEEER, RULERS, MINISTERS

These terms and titles give us an idea of what God has called us to do.  If you are a Christian, you will be busy doing the duty of one or more of these titles.  To do the perfect will of God we must be equipped by the Holy Spirit to do the work which God has called us to do.  Not every person has the same gift or calling.  However, we are all called to work in the field of ministering the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people around us. 

We sow the good seed.  The good seed is the words and doctrines of truth.  Satan will sow plenty of bad seed, which are the words, false doctrine and deeds of evil.  Jesus told His disciples to let the tares and the wheat grow together until God gives discernment and direction.  We have been called to sow the seed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are to plant the seed.  We must water the plantings of God. 

1 Corinthians3:6-15
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The Holy Spirit, which Is the holy fire from heaven, will test and try every man’s work.  This is not at the final judgment.  This is in this life.  The Holy Spirit will reveal whether your work is right or wrong.  If it is wrong, you should let it burn.  Much rather your works be burnt and your soul be saved than for you to refuse to let the Holy Spirit burn up your dead works and your soul be lost. 

If you will be a labourer together with God, then God will teach you how to do the work of God.  This is the “work of God” that you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and have faith in all His promises and commandments.  If Jesus were to come back today and you were called to give an account of your work for Him, what would you be able to report. 

John 6:29
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 

To truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you must keep His commandments and do the work He has called and sent you to do.  If we do not do the will of God, how then can we say that we believe?  To believe is to obey.

1 John 5:1-5
1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Are you overcoming the world by the grace and power of God?
Are you bearing witness that Jesus Christ is Lord and Master of your life?
Are you working for your own self or for Jesus?
There are many people who are claiming to be Christian and claiming to be working for the Lord Jesus Christ; however, they are not overcoming the world.  Instead of overcoming, they are yielding to temptation and committing sin in their daily activities.  If they would be honest with themselves, their conscience would condemn them for the things they allow in their life. 

Matthew 16:24-27
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

What work do you expect to be rewarded for doing for Jesus?   
I cannot imagine living 50, 60, 70 years in this world and not being able to say “I led that person to Jesus Christ and now they are a child of God.”  Who are you witnessing to?  Who are you caring a burden for? 

Luke 10:2-3
2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

As Christians, we are called, chosen and sent into the world to do the work which will testify of God and the salvation life which He has provided for all those who will work in His field. 

If you love Jesus, you will not only be willing, you will be a worker to make yourself a sacrifice to do the work of God.  You will be willing to work, to suffer and even die for the cause and glory of Jesus Christ. 



Saturday, September 5, 2015

THE CHURCH OF GOD

Once again, I have a heavy burden to speak to you about the church of God which is the Bride of Christ.  She is the most precious organization upon this earth and in all this world.   The church of God is the household of God, the family of God, the church of the living God, the Kingdom of God, the justified and sanctified saints of God, and beautiful for every situation. 

The church of God is not the same as a congregation.

The church of God is not a sect or a denomination.

The church of God is not limited to a particular group or fellowship.

The church of God is not ruled by a man or a group of men.

 A congregation may have hypocrites in it, but the church of God does not.

A congregation may be ruled by a man, but the church of God is not.

A congregation may be religious, but not be Christian.

The membership of a congregation may be controlled by men, but the members of the church of God are controlled by the Holy Spirit.  They are holy and live without sin in this present world. 

The only scriptural difference between the church of God and the Kingdom of God is that the church of God in particular refers to the children of God who are alive in this time world.  Whereas, the Kingdom of God includes both those who are yet alive in this world and all those who have died in the faith. 

According to the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Dictionary, the word “church” is translated from the Greek word “ekklesia” and means:

 “a calling out, i.e. a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation, a Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both.”

Personally, I do not recall reading any scripture which specifically refers to saints in heaven as being identified by the term “church”. However, this is a very small and unimportant distinction because the saints in heaven are part of the same “body” as the saints upon this earth.  As the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:10, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”

The song poet said, “The church of God one body is”

The apostle Paul wrote often of the church of God as “one body.”

Romans 12:1-10
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
The church of God is not divided into groups.  It is one body.  It is like the human body in that it has many members but only one head.  Jesus Christ is the Head of the church and all who are born into the Kingdom of God are part of His body.  Repentance and humble obedience will make a person part of the church of God.  Sin will separate a person from the church of God.    

Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The church of God is “one body.”  It cannot be divided.  If it could be divided, it would fall.  A person can be separated from the church, then he is no longer part of the church.  Listen to what he prophet Isaiah told the people of Israel.

Isaiah 59:1-4
1 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

This judgment still stands today.  If you have sin and iniquity in your life, then you have been separated from God.  The children of God do not disobey their heavenly Father.  Disobedience is sin; and sin will separate you from God.  God is holy and He gave us this command, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”

Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Jesus Christ is the Door into the Kingdom of God.  The congregations of the church of God are the “gates of Heaven.”  The “gates of hell” are the false prophets and congregations which teach that you can continue to commit sin, willfully disobey God, and still be part of the kingdom of God. 

Matthew 12:25
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
Jesus knows the very thoughts and intents of the heart.  He knows His children and His children keep His commandments. 
 Mark 3:24-25 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
If you could divide the church of God, then you could destroy it.  You cannot divide the church of God.  When a person allows sin to come into his heart, he has separated himself from the body of Christ.  He is no longer part of the church.  The church of God is more than an individual or an assembly.  It is the unified body of all those who keep the commandments of Jesus Christ. 

1 Corinthians 1:10-13
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
We must keep in mind that there will be different levels of knowledge and understanding.  The reality of this spiritual learning and teaching process which occurs among the children of God affirms that there will be disagreements.  These disagreements should be temporary and submitted to the Holy Spirit for correction.  These disagreements should not cause division.  If division occurs, then sin has been committed and that person who commits the transgression is no longer part of the church which is the body of Christ. 

THE SPIRITUAL FAILURE OF A CONGREGATION

What is apostasy?

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
I want to draw your attention to the verse three and the term “falling away”.  This word comes from the Greek NT:646  apostasia (ap-os-tas-ee'-ah); feminine of the same as NT:647; defection from truth (properly, the state) ["apostasy"]:

Is there such a condition in certain congregations where “apostasy” has taken place?  Have people ever defected from the truth?  What do people do when they defect from the truth?  They once preached the truth and obeyed the truth and now they have quit preaching the truth and they have quit obeying the truth.  This is apostasy. 

This is what the prophet Isaiah was talking about when he wrote what the Lord told him to write in:

Isaiah 1:18-27,
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
24 Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:
25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
There are certain men and women who have once know the way of truth, and who have defected from the truth.  They were part of the virgin bride of Christ, now they have become a harlot, because they have left their true husband, Jesus Christ, and entered into a relationship with Satan, who has deceived their soul.

What is the proper attitude of the church toward these who have apostatized? 

We treat them like the Bible tells us to treat them.

2 Timothy 2:24-26
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Not all of the ministers who call themselves “church of God pastors” have operated according to the counsel of this divinely inspired scripture.  There have been too many men and women in church of God congregations who have been hasty and unwise in their “cutting off” those who do not have the same understanding on some doctrinal position. 

It is possible to lose your own salvation if you treat another child of God unjustly and without the love of God.  It is the Love of God which makes the children of God peacemakers.  If you have rules without love, then you have a form of godliness without power. 

Satan has snared many pastors and ministers by causing them to take the “letter” of the laws of God and using the law to “kill” instead of endeavoring in the “Spirit” of unity to effect a restoration and reconciliation.  Some have neglected their duty to fulfill their responsibility in the ministry of reconciliation. 

2 Corinthians 5:17-19
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
The ministry of reconciliation will gather God’s people together.  The work of Satan is to divide and scatter.

Psalms 50:1-6
1 The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
Is God the judge in your congregation?  Is some man or woman sitting in the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ?  Some have not the proper understanding of how the church of God operates.  They do not discern the difference between “upholding the judgments of God” and judging the souls of men.  Yes, judgment must go forth out of Zion.  But, woe to that man who offends one of these little ones who belong to God.  Don’t be hasty to judge.  Make sure you know the facts, the truth and the perfect will of God. 
Matthew 12:30
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Do you (minister, pastor, teacher, child of God) have the grace to participate in the gathering of God’s people?  Can you fellowship someone who has repented of their sins and is justified by the blood of Jesus Christ, without condemning them because they do not have the same doctrinal understanding as you?  

Pray for one another.  Let brotherly love continue.  May the glory and power of God come down from heaven upon His people once again in these last days.  Remember, the unity of the Spirit must be enjoyed before the unity of the faith can be achieved.