March - 2000
To Jim, Ray, Weyman, Nathan, Bill, Jim (My Son), This is Letter #6
My Dear Brother Jim;
Well itís me again, trying to be a brother in Christ to you, opening up myself to you with all my faults. I guess you found out by now that I canít spell, and that it is not easy for me to say what I want to say. I get things backwards; things just donít come out right when I say them. Christians laugh at me sometimes, because what I have said sounds funny to them and this is OK, I donít mind, they all are my friends.
I am very thankful to our Lord when someone tells me, when I have made mistakes in any of my letters. This is a very faithful friend to me and one that I can trust and put my trust in, this is indeed a real friend. One who wants me to be right before God and my fellow Christian. One who not only gives me corrections when I need them, but also gives me inputs to the scriptures to help me more fully understand them. You might say that this is the job of the Holy Spirit, and you would be right. This is also the job of a Christian friend that feels close to me, that wants to help me in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a blessing this is, what a joy, what a comfort, to be free to express myself to them, without them being offended with me, or for them not to loose interest in what I am trying to say in my writings.
Here are corrections that my Christian friend found in letter #5, which should be made, and I would now like to point out to you.
- Page 2, Para. 1, in the sentence "Also where two or three Saints gather in the name of the Lord (to disguise (change the word disguise to discuss) any problem), that our Lord is present."
Page 7, Para. 7, the word Drunker is misspelled four times in this paragraph, should be Drunkard.I am very grateful for any help given to me. If any of the above has cause you to miss out on what I am trying to tell you, I do apologize for this because I want you to read and understand every word that our Lord is trying to give you through me. I do wish to be a help and a blessing to you Brother Jim and to all Christians.
As you have said in one of the letters you sent to me. "We Christians have to make decisions everyday of our lives". Who are we going to serve, Christ or our selves?
As a Christian we are to live our lives with the help of our Lord. It is not a life that has no faults in it. The world around us has to see that we are like they are; we have our ups and downs. But with those ups and downs, they must see that we have victories in all of our troubles. I donít know of any Christian that does not have failures somewhere in their lives. That they have to or should confess daily to our Lord. We are not to try to be an outstanding Christian. But to live our Christians lives before the world of mankind.
To tell them about the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. To try to open up their understanding of Heaven and Hell. That this life in which we now live is not all there is to it. God created man and women to have fellowship with Him, to walk and talk with Him, to let them know without a doubt that we all belong to Him (saved and unsaved). One way or another we all (saved an unsaved) will stand before Him and give an account of ourselves.
Our life does go on after the grave, death is not a separation of being, our body will return to the earth, but our soul and spirit will go on. We are promised that we will have a new Body, like, as our Lord and those that are saved will be with Him after our departure from this earth.
We Christians have a lot to do for our Heavenly Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ, for those that are saved, and most of all for those that have not received our Lord as their Savior. We Christians have a great responsibility to them, for their own life, one way or another. Our Lord did say we Christians are to love them as our brothers. Am I saying the Bum on the street, the Wayward man or women, the Drunkard, the Fornicator, those that are Covetous, those that are Extortioners, those that are Idolaters? Yes that is what I am saying; our Lord came to save that which was sick or lost. And above all, be sure to let them know it is Christ in us, that makes our life so different.
The following are given to all Christians, even to those that are in spiritual leadership, as instructions to help all of us to live our lives before the world and our Christians friends:
(1) Seven Things we (all Christians) must not engage in (Romans 13: 13 & 14)
- Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting (1), and drunkenness (2), not in chambering (3) and wantonness (4), not in strife (5) and envying (6). But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision (7) for the flesh, to fulfill the lust thereof.
(2) Six Things we (all Christians) must not associate with (1 Corinthians 5: 9-11)
- I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of this world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, IF A BROTHER BE A fornicator (1), or covetous (2), or an idolater (3), or a railer (4), or a drunkard (5), or an extortioner (6), with such a one no not to eat.
(3) Eleven Things in which we (all Christians) must turn away from
(2 Corinthians 12: 20 & 21)
- For I fear, lest, when I come again, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates (1), envying (2), wraths (3), strifeís (4), backbitings (5), whisperings (6), swellings (7), tumults (8): And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness (9) and fornication (10) and lasciviousness (11), which you have committed.
(4) Nine Things we (each Christian) must put away from within our own self
(Ephesians 4: 25, 28-32)
- Wherefore putting away lying (1) speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Let him that stole (2) steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication (3) proceed out of your mouth, but that, which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness (4), and wrath (5), and anger (6), and clamor (7), and evil speaking (8), be put away from you, with all malice (9): And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christís (His only begotten Son) sake hath forgiven you.
(5) Nine Things we (all Christians) must know about those that we live among, for we (all Christians) must not walk as they do (Ephesians 4: 17 - 20)
- This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk (1) not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity (2) of their mind. Having their understanding (3) darkened, being alienated (4) from the life of God through ignorance (5) that is in them, because of the blindness (6) of their heart: Who being past feeling (7) have given themselves, to work all uncleanness (8) with greediness (9). But ye have not so learn Christ.
(6) Six Things that should not be named among us (all Christians) (Ephesians 5: 3 & 4)
- But fornication (1), and all uncleanness (2), or covetousness (3), let it not be once named among you, as becometh (fitting) saints; neither filthiness (4), nor foolish talking (5), nor jesting (6) which are not convenient: But rather giving of thanks.
(7) Five Things that we (all Christians) must mortify (put to death) in our members (bodies) (Colossians 3: 5 & 6)
- Mortify therefore your members (in your own body) which are upon the earth; fornication (1), uncleanness (2), inordinate affection (3), evil concupiscence (4), and covetousness (5), which is idolatry: For which thingsí sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.
(8) Six Things that we (all Christians) must also mortify (put to death) from our hearts and minds (Colossians 3: 8 & 9)
- But now ye also put off all these; anger (1), wrath (2), malice (3), blasphemy (4), filthy communication (5) out of your mouth. Lie (6) not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.
(9) Nineteen Reasons why we (all Christians) must turn away from following this kind of person (2 Timothy 3: 1 - 5)
- This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers (1) of their own selves, covetous (2), boasters (3), proud (4), blasphemers (5), disobedient to parents (6), unthankful (7), unholy (8), without natural affection (9), truce-breakers (10), false accusers (11), incontinent (12), fierce (13), despisers (14) of those that are good, traitors (15), heady (16), high-minded (17), lovers of pleasures (18) more than lovers of God; Having a form of Godliness, but denying (19) the power thereof: from such turn away.
(10) Nine Things we (all Christians) are saved from (Titus 3: 3 -7)
- For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish (1), disobedient (2), deceived (3), serving divers lusts (4), and pleasures (5), living in malice (6), and envy (7), hateful (8), and hating one another (9). But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit," which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
(11) Five Things we (all Christians) must lay (from within ourselves) aside (1 Peter 2: 1 - 3)
As I go over this list of eleven categories, (1) to walk honestly, (2) not to company, (3) to be repented of, (4) use for edifying, (5) henceforth walk, (6) not convenient, (7) wrath of God comes, (8) old man with his deeds, (9) a form of Godliness, (10) sometimes were foolish, (11) tasted that the Lord is gracious. I have reevaluated each item of every category with my own personal Christian life and the areas I found myself lacking, those are the areas I will work on to improve my Christian life for my Savior Jesus Christ. "SO HELP ME GOD." Brother Jim, donít you want to believe, when a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ reads these scriptures, that they will want to make changes in their own Christian lives? Brother Jim, with such a list of "must doís" for our Christian lives, can you not wonder and see for yourself, if a believer in Christ should say, "I have no sin", that one is only deceiving himself or herself?
- Wherefore laying aside all malice (1), and all guile (2), and hypocrisies (3), and envies (4), and all evil speaking (5); as newborn babies, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
- 1 John 1:8. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
- 1 John 1:10. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and HIS word is not in us.
1 John 2:1 & 2. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (That brother Jim, is our Lord Jesus Christ, the righteous One of our Father)As a Christian I have always, to the best of my ability, tried, to have my walk and my speech (talk) be to Colossians 4: 5 & 6: Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. " And I have found this to be true in everyone that has called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins," that want to be used of our Lord in other peoples lives.
Brother Jim, you will probable not read this letter, but back in January 30, 1977 the Christians in Virginia wrote a letter, which was sent to all assemblies, this letter, was signed by twenty-four Christian men. On December 12, 1976 Brother James Cox wrote this letter to the Virginia Christian Men:
December 12, 1976, from James Cox
Dear brethren in Christ,
The occasion for this brief statement is twofold:
First, I had indicated to a few brethren that I would take some time to consider the full import of the position to which I committed myself on November 28. (1976).
Then, I have received some communication from a few brethren, which reveals a lack of clear understanding of just what I intend to do. I have occasioned this in that I was not able to make a definite commitment at the time of our Nov. 28 meeting.
I do not want to be separated from my brethren. I love you all very much and I know you love me. It does grieve me very deeply that we have come to such an impasse. I know that it is a sadness to the heart of our Lord. I do not believe that my "submission" to the decision of the brethren regarding markings will solve anything. I do not seek to defend this position here but merely to define it and I only do this because I believe I owe it to you to do so.
The stand that has occasioned my coming under the judgment of brethren here is essentially this: I can no longer support and maintain the wholesale marking of the Oliver family and the marking of those who could not commit themselves to support that judgment.
First, I do not accept the position that marking means we are done with a brother until he changes, that we count him as dead and that we have absolutely no communication with him unless we "accidentally" meet him in a market place or in some business relationship. As the position was stated in our hearing here it is this: Marking is the last, the final, effort of the church with either a "disorderly" brother or with anyone who will not stay away from such a brother. This is the position that I understand you brethren here take. I cannot do this and I must tell you rather than to pretend that I accept it and then go on having contact with marked people in a way that I know is not in keeping with the expectations of my brethren. To this hour I have maintained separation from all marked people but since Nov. 28 it has been only until I felt that I had fulfilled my obligation to you to make my stand clearly known.
I cannot then, continue to treat as marked and "dead" those who have contact with "marked" people. I will have to evaluate their lives on an individual basis just as I do anyone else with whom I associate.
Finally, it is a fact that in spite of known carnality in the lives of many who were separated from us in 1969 and 1970 we had not marked them to be avoided at that time. I have confessed to my personal immense guilt in pressing the situation which resulted in the indiscriminate and wholesale marking of at least five related families and of all others who would not accept that marking.
It is fitting that I taste of the medicine I gave to others. I am finding out the "bare boned" reality of what I expected others to do.
I am not attempting to "make up" to anyone. I will continue to confess my sin to you and to others as it is necessary. I will seek also to comfort all who are oppressed and down-trodden as they will allow me. "Blessed are the mercifulÖ"
I have not withdrawn myself from brethren with whom I have been meeting for years. Neither have I "disfellowshiped" them. I cannot be disfellowshiped by anyone but the Lord and I believe honestly that I have a closer fellowship with all of you than I have had for some years. I can say this because I am no longer trying to carry out something I do not believe.
My absence from meetings has two considerations:
- I have no desire to improve myself on my brethren and to thus subject others to public confrontations over these matters.
- I believe that all of us must live with our own conscience before God.
Since you brethren believe that you have no choice but to avoid me and treat me as you would any of those described in 1 Corinthians 5. I, will not "crusade" to change you nor will I attempt to cause you to be inconsistent in the implementation of your marking me.
What do I intend to do? With the help of God and by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ I am committed to "do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God" and to walk "worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. . ."
(Micah 6:6-8 and Ephesians 6:1-6)
We do not claim to see all as clearly as we would like. Burnadette stands with me in the principles stated here. We ask your prayers for us and our love ones. We will pray for you.
Sincerely, in the love of our Lord Jesus
Signed: James Cox
This next is our Brethren in Virginiaís reply to the letter sent to them by our Brother James Cox:
James Cox stated in the Nov. 28th meeting that he had changed his position with regard to the marking of Mildred Robertson and those who were avoided because they stood with her or others that were being avoided. He said that he was not there at the meeting to defend his position but only to declare where he was. He said he is no longer able to stand with the rest of the church and his previously held convictions to avoid these Christians. He compared the decision that he has now made with his decision years ago
When he left the Baptist denomination. Breaking his denominational ties was a decision which cost him all of his friends and all of his family, and James intimated that he was aware that his current decision would do the same. We were shocked at his decision but found that he was resolute and unwilling to be helped. The attached letter from James should help you see his sad condition.
As result of this rebellion we have had no other alternative but to avoid these five brethren Randy Robbins, Bill LeFever, Arvil Hunt, Bill Hull, James Cox. It is our understanding that their wives are standing with them in this. There was some question as to whether Burnadette is standing with James, but as he stated in his letter she is, so we must include her in this judgment.
In years gone by our sister Burnadette has been a great blessing in the way she has communicated her love to many of us by cards and letters. We believe that it would be out of order to answer or reciprocate with any such communication at this time.
- - - - - - - - - -
Brother Jim, here is your Mordecai that spoke up in the years 1969, 1970, & 1976 to let those in leadership know, that there was something going on that was not right in the Christian assemblies.
Letís see if brother James Cox qualified as a Mordecai:
- He was a spiritual leader in the Virginia assembly
- Our Lord has called him to minister to His Saints, this has not changed
- Not only to minister to them, but to also put his life on the line for them
- He not only put his life on the line for the Saints, but also his family
- Twice in his life that we know of, he did this
- Once when he came out of the Baptist denomination
- Second when he wrote his letter to those in leadership to state his position on markings
- His letter showed that he was not asleep, as others were (myself included)
- He did properly evaluate the situation, and so stated it very clearly
- When he saw what was happening to the assembly, his heart and mind were moved
- Unlike Mordecai, he was deceived by the improper use of scriptures in marking. (He does not qualify for the marking call out in I Corinthians Chapter 5, read this for yourself on page 5 of this letter, the second set of instructions given to us.)
- His quoting of Micah 6:6-8 and Ephesians 6:1-6, showed us his meekness
- It also showed us other things about him at this time, his change in spiritual attitude
- His spiritual attitude took on meekness, lowliness, long-suffering, forbearing, endeavoring (as it were, he changed into his spiritual clothes)
- He did stand up to be accounted (to be judged by his Lord Jesus Christ)
- He also knew he could not be disfellowshiped by anyone (man) but His Lord (When he made this statement, it called out to me, no man can stop me from having fellowship with any Christian on the face of this planet called earth.)
That Brother Jim IS the true sign of a Mordecai, but he was not received by any of those in spiritual leadership, in any of the Christian assemblies at that time. This is to all of our sorrows, this brave Mordecai not being heard or accepted for what he has given to us. Herein lies all your problems, not receiving one that has the leadership given to him by our Lord, to lead us in the things of our Lord, whose own Christian life showed us that he was in fellowship with his Lord.
Brother Jim, no man can stop Christians from having fellowship with other Christians the world over, even if they are in man made churches, the only one that can do that is the Holy Spirit, He is the only one that convicts men of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.
Brother Jim, can any man use the Holy Spirit to spiritual (with manís Spirit) separate one Christian from another Christian? You know that the answer is a big fat NO! That is the oneness that our Lord has given to all of his children, we canít be separated Spiritual (those using the Holy Spirit) from our Lord or from each other, that is our oneness that we (all believers) have in Christ (The Church which is in Christ). Man can separate us in our Christian walk, in our Christian talk, BUT only if WE will let them! There is only One Man that can LORD over Christians and that is Our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians belong to no man, every Christian belong solely to Christ our Savior.
Brother Jim, from the letter from Virginia, we Christians are being told that PRIDE was the cause that drew those in leadership to this problem. That this pride was displayed in different degrees, that the pride was very obvious. They showed absolute rebellion against church authority and proven leadership. The ISSUE was never MENTIONED as to what brought out this pride in our Christian brethren. The sequence as I see it was: (1) Satan drove in a wedge, (2) that wedge was pride, (3) because of this pride we are no longer to dwell together with them, (4) from that pride came rebellion against church authority, (5) and also against proven leadership. My question to you Brother Jim, "What was the ISSUE that started all this? ? ? ? ?" There was no statement that any of these brethren rebelled against their Lord Jesus Christ!
Are you saying that rebelling against church authority and proven leadership, that this is rebelling against the Lord, even when it is very clear that you have left the WORD of God and miss handled the verses on markings, and made these verses into a man made doctrine, to control Christians?
- Brother Jim, I rebelled against the Roman Catholic Church, not against the people that are in it, but against their doctrine and those that are in leadership.
- I rebelled against the Methodist Church, not against the people that are in it, but against their doctrine, and those that are in leadership.
- I rebelled against the so-called Christian Church, not against the people, but against their doctrine, and those that are in leadership.
- I rebelled against the Presbyterian Church, not against the people that are in it, but against their doctrine and those that are in leadership.
- I rebelled against the Seven Day Adventist, not against the people that are in it, but against their doctrine and those that are in leadership.
- I rebelled against the Baptist Church, not against the people that are in it, but against their doctrine, and those that are in leadership.
- I rebelled against the so-called Church of Christ, not against the people that are in it, but against their doctrine, and those that are in leadership.
- I rebelled against the Church of the Open Door, not the people that are in it, but against their doctrine, and those that are in leadership.
- I rebelled against the Mormon Church, not the people that are in it, but against their doctrine, and those that are in leadership.
Brother Jim, by the help of our Lord Jesus Christ, this has been my fight against false religions, false doctrine, and false leadership for most all of my Adult Christian life. Each one of these churches I have studied their doctrine (teachings), I have sat down with some of them and studied, I have asked them questions about their doctrines with an open Bible, and they have asked me to leave their presents, closing their ears to me, they wanted nothing to do with me, but to shake off the dust on their clothes that I had caused. They did not want me to as a member of any of their churches. Where does this leave me in the eyes of all these teachers and preachers, "nothing but a trouble maker".
Brother Jim, please read again and compare the verses in Romans 16: 17 - 20, with
Phil. 3: 16 -21, with 2 Tim.3:1-5. My Christian wife once said to me, when God wants you to know something, He will tell you in three different sets of scriptures. I will write them out for you, so you can see that they fit with each other. I will not give you all the verses, but I have told you where to read and please read all that I will give you.
- Phil. 3:16-21. Now I tell you weeping, that they are the enemies of Christ: Whose end is Destruction, whoís God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
- Romans 16:17-20. Mark them that cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine, which ye have learned and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
- 2 Tim. 3:1-5. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having the form of Godliness, but denying the power there of, from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Paul covers more on the same subject with Timothy, then he did in Philippians and Romans, and he does go into more detail, because Paul is teaching him at this Time in his life what he needed to know about these people. Let me show you what I mean, I will take out of each verses the things that are the same.
- Whose God is their belly (What is their belly? THEMSELVES) (Philippians)
- Serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly (THEMSELVES) (Romans)
- Men shall be lovers of their own selves (THEMSELVES) (Timothy)
- Whose glory is in their shame (Philippians)
- By good words and fair speeches (They glory in their words and speeches) (Romans)
- Having the from of Godliness, but denying the power there of (They show good form but deny the Lord working in them, this is their glory and shame) (Timothy)
- Who main earthly things (Philippians)
- In Romans Paul does not cover this subject, but he does cover it fully with Timothy
- Paul gives Timothy sixteen things that these men, all earthly, love to take pleasure in:
They are covetous, they are boasters, they are proud, they are blasphemers, they are disobedient to parents, they are unthankful, they are unholy, they are without natural affections, they are truce breakers, they are false accusers, they are incontinent, they are fierce, they are despisers of those that are good, they are traitors, they are heady, they are high minded, they are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, They have the form of Godliness, but they deny the power there of. (Timothy)
(Wolves in sheepís clothing everyone of them)
- From such turn away (Timothy)
- For of this sort are they which creep into houses (Timothy)
- They lead captive silly women laden with sins (Timothy)
- Which are led away with divers lusts (Timothy)
- They are ever learning (Timothy)
- They are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (Timothy)
Brother Jim, I would like to add at this time in this letter: " That in the Church which is Christ Body, there are NO unbelievers, everyone of them are members of His Body This is the only Church on earth that can make this claim, and it is not our Church, we all belong to our Lord Jesus Christ, every one of us! It has been said: "That I belong to a head-less Church (body of believers) and this is true, if you are only looking earth wise, but we do have the only head that is seated at the right hand of God, making intercessions for all His Children. And to this "I say praise God from whom all blessings flow".
Brother Jim, even Titus spoke of these people in Titus 1:10 & 11. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucreís sake.
Continue in Titus 1:12-16,One of themselves, even a prophet of their own said, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound of the faith: Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: But unto them that defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient and unto every good works, reprobate.
Brother Jim, here are your REPROBATES, and will you still tell me that all of the Christians that you have marked fall under Our Lordís abominable LIST? Take a look again at the sixteen things that Paul gave to Timothy, to let him see the areaís that these men took pleasure in and try to apply it honestly to any of the Marked Christians. Than tell me which one you chose.
Brother Jim, even Peter spoke of these people in 2 Peter 2:10,12 - 14, 17 -19. We read: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. But these are natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption: And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast on you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that can not cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
Brother Jim this is what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: 2:13-16, For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us (from Paul, Silvanus, Timotheus), ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: For ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: For the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost: But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
Brother Jim, even Luke in Acts 20:28 - 32 tells us: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the WORD of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them, which are sanctified. (I do believe that Luke was inspired of the Holy Spirit of God to add this to his writings, and I might add that he showed to all of us, his fatherís heart that he had for all the Saints of the Body of Christ.)
I had a dream last night where three of us Christian men were talking together and one of the men said: "You know so and so has not been to meeting with us for some time, I hope he is not out of the will of the Lord!" I said to him, just a minute, think on what you are saying. Just because a Christian is not meeting with us, does not mean he is out of the will of the Lord. When I was not meeting with Christians and I was in Florida for my company, I was not out of the will of the Lord. A "shut-in" that cannot get out to meeting is not out of the will of the Lord. A Christian that lives in another country that is not meeting with us, is not out of the will of the Lord. A Christian that is in a denomination is not out of the will of the Lord. When I first came among Christians out of a denomination, I was not out of the will of the Lord. A Christian can meet with other Christian other then us and still be in the will of the Lord. Not to think this is very sectarian. I knew I had shocked my fellow Christian, but I was so set back by what he said, that I could not let that statement go UN answered.
Brother Jim, is this not just what you think? In James 4: 17 we read this: Therefore to him that knoveth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Our Brethren in any denomination are not out of the will of the Lord; they are not guilty before God for not walking in fellowship with us. Have those in denominational leadership ever told them that they have the God given freedom and liberty to have fellowship with any Born Again Christian on the FACE of this earth?
I tried to tell the young folks in Oregon this and I was told to leave The Christian Church, I was a troublemaker and I was dividing up all the young people of the Churches in that town. I knew way back then that I could have fellowship with any Christian. "Where two or three are gathering in my name, the Lord said; He would be with them".
I have found this to be true over and over again, this fellowship with only two or three, aboard a Naval Ship at sea, alone at my work station with others coming to me with question of trouble in their lives, alone on a street corner passing out tracts trying to tell others about Jesus Christ, alone going from door to door trying to find a true believer, alone with only my wife, child, and our Bibles in another State. Is our Lord with a family when they read their Bibles? You bet HE is!
Our Father in Heaven looks after the little as well as the big. He makes the tides in the sea and shapes the wing of the sparrow. Nothing is big enough to defy him and nothing is so little as to escape Him. The ray of light from the farthest solar system and the blush on the primrose alike reveal His radiance. Back of it all is His infinite, everlasting personal love. Why should we ever forget Him, or think that anything is too difficult for Him, or fear that He has forgotten us? By: Joseph Anderson Vance.
Your Brother in Christ
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