May - JUNE 2000
To Jim, Ray, Weyman, Nathan, Bill. Jim (My Son). This is letter #8
My Dear Brother in the Lord:
I am sorry that this letter has taken so long in the writing. But I can assure you; I have not been sitting around ideal. I do have a lot to bring out from the bible to you, for your edification. My computer went down and I had to call in the expert, my son Jim. My hard drive went out, he tried to bring it up, and at times it would work, but then freeze up again. Brit had an old computer that the hard drive was missing, so he gave that to my son. After exchanging new hard drives, he finally found one that would work. So thanks to Brit, Jim and Harvey my (Brits) computer is working now.
When I was a single young man in the Lord, before I came in contact with any Christianís meeting in the Name of the Lord. I was working in a hanger at Palmdaleís Airport. An older man came up to me and handed me a note, that he said was from his wife. I took the note from him and opened it. The note read, Psalms 119:11. All she had given me was the reference to the verse. I asked him if he knew what the verse said or did he know what it meant? He did not know. I asked him if he was a Christian? He said he was not, but that his wife was, and it was she that wanted me to have this verse. I had not read this verse in the Bible before and I thanked him for her note. At that time in my Christian life I was going through a time period when I was not sure I could accept the Bible as it was written. I had a great fear of the book as to what it would do to me, in my life, and in my thinking I did not want to be controlled by this book. Psalms 119:11 read, Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. If my Lord wanted me to hid His Word in my heart, then that is what I wanted to do. And I certainly did not want to sin against Him. I asked the older man: How did he know I was a Christian? He had talked to his wife about me and she said that I must be a Christian. I told him that I was and gave him my testimony for the Lord. I never got to know or ever see this sister in the Lord, but I know I will one day be with her in heaven. And I will be able to tell her for myself, just how much this one verse has meant to my Christian life.
That evening after work, I went to my rented room and read for the first time Psalms 119, the whole chapter. I asked the Lord why he wanted me to have this verse? What was so important about this verse? Sure, I would like to hide HIS WORD in my heart. And sure, I did not want to SIN against Him by not hiding His Word in my heart, but what did this all mean? For the first time, in my Christian life, HIS WORD took on a new meaning for me. THIS BOOK that I had been reading is "HIS WRITTEN WORD" for all mankind to read, and that there is "NO" other like it! Now as I read and understand why this book was precious to Him and to be for me. I was to keep it clean in my heart, to accept IT, as IT is and to let IT become a part of my NEW LIFE! Keep all that I was to learn in a safe place in my heart and in my mind. Never to use IT for my own advantage, against mankind, but for mankind. That IT is HIS WORD and not mine! My life took on a totally new meaning with HIS WORD. This is what I read that night from Psalms 119.
- Where with all shall a young man CLEANSE his way? By TAKING HEED thereto according to THY WORD. Psalms 119:9
- THY WORD, have I HID in mine heart that I might NOT SIN against THEE.
- I will DELIHT myself in THY statutes: I will NOT FORGET THY WORD.
- Deal BOUNTIFULLY with THY servant, that I may LIVE, and KEEP THY WORD. Psalms 119:17
- Mysoul CLEAVETH unto the dust, QUICKEN thou Me ACCORDING to THY WORD. Psalms 119:25
- Mysoul MELTETH for heaviness: STRENGTHEN thou Me ACCORDING to THY WORD. Psalms 119:28
- STABLISH THY WORD unto THY servant, who is DEVOTED to THY FEAR. Psalms 119:38
- Let THY MERCIES come also unto Me, O LORD, even THY SALVATION, ACCORDING to THY WORD. Psalms 119:41
- So shall I wherewith to ANSWER him that REPROACHETH Me: For I TRUST in THY WORD. Psalms 119:42
- This is My COMFORT in My affliction: For THY WORD hath QUICKENED (made me alive!) Me. Psalms 119:50
- THOUart My PORTION, O LORD: I have SAID that I would KEEP THY WORD. Psalms 119:57
- Ientreated THY FAVOUR with My WHOLE heart: Be MERCIFUL unto Me ACCORDING to THY WORD. Psalms 119:58
- THOU hast DEALT well with THY servant, O LORD, ACCORDING unto THY WORD. Psalms 119:65
- Before I was AFFLICTED I went ASTRAY: But now have I KEPT THY WORD. Psalms 119:67
- Let I pray THEE, THY MERCIFUL KINDNESS be My COMFORT, ACCORDING to THY WORD unto THY servant. Psalms 119:76
- Mysoul FAINTETH for THY SALVATION: But I HOPE in THY WORD. Psalms 119:81
- Mineeyes FAIL for THY WORD, saying, when will THOU COMFORT Me?
- FOR EVER,O LORD, THY WORD is SETTLED in heaven. Psalms 119:89
- Ihave REFRAINED My feet from EVERY EVIL way, that I might KEEP THY WORD. Psalms 119:101
- THY WORDis a LAMP unto My feet, and a LIGHT unto My path. Psalms 119:105
- THOUart My HIDING PLACE and My SHIELD: I HOPE in THY WORD.
Brother Jim. Is it wrong for a Christian to let all of these verses come into their heart, mind, and their very soul, and let them become a vital part of their Christian life? And to let them become the very core of their devotion to the Lord? Can you see by these verses how pure HIS WORDS are? What a comfort, what strength, what guidance, what a joy to the soul for all mankind? What blessings they bring, that only HIS WORD can give to every SAINT in the Lord.
- UPHOLD Me ACCORDING unto THY WORD, that I may LIVE: And let Me not be ASHAMED of My HOPE. Psalms 119:116
- Mine eyes FAIL for THY SALVATION, and for THE WORD of THY RIGHTEOUSNESS. Psalms 119:123
- The ENTRANCE of THY WORDS giveth LIGHT, IT giveth UNDERSTANDING unto the simple. Psalms 119:130
- ORDER My STEPS in (I wish, I could help you with this verse) THY WORD: and let not any INIQUITY have DOMINION over Me. Psalms 119:133
- THY WORDis VERY PURE: therefore THY servant LOVETH IT. Psalms 119:140
- IPREVENTED the dawning of morning, and CRIED: I HOPED in THY WORD. Psalms 119:147
- MineEYES prevent the night watches that I might MEDITATE in THY WORD. Psalms 119:148
- Plead My CAUSE, and DELIVER Me: QUICKEN Me ACCORDING to THY WORD. Psalms 119:154
- Ibeheld the TRANSGRESSORS, and was GRIEVED; because THEY KEPT NOT THY WORD. 119:158
- THY WORDis TRUE from the BEGINNING, and EVERY ONE of THY righteous judgments ENDURETH forever (just think of this Brother Jim.) Psalms 119:160
- Princes have persecuted Me without a cause: but My HEART STANDETH in AWE of THY WORD. Psalms 119:161
- IREJOICE at THY WORD, as one that FINDETH great spoil. Psalms 119:162
- Let My SUPPLICATION come before THEE: DELIVER Me ACCORDING to THY WORD. Psalms 119: 170
- My TONGUE SHALL SPEAK of THY WORD: for ALL THY commandments are righteousness. Psalms 119:172
Brother Jim, donít you also see, that you too can accept ALL of our Lords WORDS as they have/are WRITTEN, without adding to them or taking from them to create a new doctrine for Church Discipline? Yes, I strongly believe what you have got a hold of, is man made! You have fallen for one of the oldest tricks of satin (deception to deceive).
The same total acceptances of our Lords WORDS, as they were written, do apply to all of the verses on MARKING, pointing out to any Saint their shortcomings. It was once pointed out to me: "Where the Bible is silent on a subject, I should be silent too". "Donít make something out of something that is not there". I will make this clearer as we go along.
Brother Jim, I now want to take you into the book of Genesis where most people are not willing to accept what happened here, they believe this is far out. For you, I want you to see one of Satanís oldest tricks. It will take me a while to get to his trick, but you will see it when it comes up, if you donít I will help you.
Genesis 1:26 Ė 30. And God said; Let (so free in giving) US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness: (We need to look at Adam before the fall to know what Godís image and likeness is. And to see if any of this change after the fall of Adam and Eve) and let (freely given) THEM (more than one) have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the foul of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in HIS OWN image, in the image of God created HE him; both male and female created HE them. (So man, male and female are the only ones of all Godís creation that are created in Godís IMAGE.)
And God blessed them, and said unto them (both of them, not just one). Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish (take care of) the earth, and subdue (work with) it: And have DOMININION over the fish of the sea, and the foul of the air, and over every living thing (HE did not give them dominion over man, that is still in Godís hands) that moveth (creepeth) upon the earth.
And God said: Behold, I have given you (both male and female) every herb bearing seed (please notice, seed), which is upon the face of all the earth (this has been greatly overlooked by mankind), and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; (please notice, seed) to you (male and female) it shall be for meat (food). (So the question of food for mankind is taken care of.)
And to every beast of the earth, and to every foul of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green (please notice, color given) herb for meat (food): and it was so. (So the question of food for every beast, every foul, every thing that creepeth, is taken care of.) "That my Christian friend is some God!" (In theses verses, we see God simply as one to which we can identify to or with)
In the first chapter of Genesis the word "GOD" is mentioned over and over. In the second and third chapters of Genesis the words "Lord God" are mentioned over and over, I believe there is a real reason for this. In the forth chapter of Genesis only the word "Lord" is used over and over. As we get into the study of Adam, Eve, and Satin, we will see why this is so.
In Genesis chapter 2:7 we continue on Man. And the Lord God formed man (man did not form himself as we were taught in school) of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (We can see here that man was formed from this earth, and if our Lord God does not give man the breath of life, man can never become a living soul. This is the first man, when there was no other. The first man had everything his body needed (nothing to be added later, we have here a fully developed man) to become a live human being, but the breath of life, without the breath of life from our Lord God, the first man could never become a living soul. Our Lord God said HE formed the first man into existence, and I believe HIM.
Genesis 2:8, (We find the Lord God doing something with this first man. He not only made man a living soul, but He had plans for this man,) And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed.
Genesis 2:15. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden, (What for?) to dress it and to keep it.
Genesis 2:16 & 17. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying; of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: BUT of the tree of the KMOWLEDGE of good and evil, THOU SHALT NOT EAT: for in the day that THOU EATEST thereof THOU SHALT surely die.
Brother Jim, whatís going on here? We see that the man is not only alive, but the man has understanding, he can see with his eyes, talk with his tongue, hear and listen with his ears, reason with his mind, and receive knowledge with his understanding, walk with his two feet, and pick fruit off of the trees with his two hands, that are attached to his two arms.
Brother Jim, the man also knows the different trees of the garden and able to see, that the trees are good for food, pleasant to the sight. The man is able to receive a command and response to it. The man is able to see the tree that the Lord God is talking about, so we can tell that the man knows each tree of the garden. Why didnít the Lord God want man to have the knowledge of good and evil? All around the man is good, with no evil up to this time. If the man eats of the tree that the Lord God is talking about he will die.
Brother Jim, letís notice something else here; the Lord God is talking to man, but the Lord God is Spirit and man is flesh. Back in the seven verse of this chapter, the Lord God breathed into the nostrils of man, the breath of life. I do believe that at this time, the Lord God gave man his spirit, not the Lord Godís Spirit but manís spirit, so that man as he walks in the garden, could, with his inner spirit receive, understand and communicate with the Lord God (they that worship God must worship God in spirit (manís inner spirit) and in truth). Please donít misunderstand me, I do believe the Lord God talked to the man just as you and I talk to each other. The man heard the voice of the Lord God with his ears. We are told in the scriptures: that "No man has seen the Lord God at anytime". With the manís inner spirit, man has, fellowship with the Lord God.
Genesis 2:18 the Lord God is going to add something else to the manís life. And the Lord God said, it is not good that man should be alone, I will make him a help-meet for him.
Genesis 2:21 & 22 and the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam (The Lord God gave man a name), and he slept: And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof (Totally separated the rib from the man); and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He woman, and brought her unto man. (We are not told much of the woman, but we do know from the scriptures to follow, that she is to be very important in the Lord Godís plan. And she is very important to Adam, she is to be his helper, so she must be mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially, and physically be adaptable to Adam. And I do believe she was in every way, his equal. I do believe in general, todayís man has looked at the woman as being inferior to him, below him, not up to his standards. This is not so! Woman has met these five main qualities throughout the ages. I do believe with out the woman, man could not become his full potential, we call him half a man, we call his woman his better half, the two together make the whole man.)
Brother Jim there is one thing more, that must be noted here, that throughout the ages of time, we still call man, man, and woman, woman.
Genesis 2:23 & 24 and Adam said, this (woman) is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (Adam did see in the woman his equal when he said: bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. He even named her Woman, his reason? She was taken out of man.) Therefore shall a man leave (separate himself from) his father and his mother (the responsibility of marriage is on the manís shoulders), and cleave (hold onto, donít let her go) unto his wife (the responsibility of keeping the marriage going is on the manís shoulders): and they shall be one flesh (a unity that is binding, as the flesh is to the body, dedicated to each other. From this union of Man (husband) and Woman (wife) a new generation is to be born.)
Genesis 2:25 and they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed. What a beautiful statement of innocents.
Genesis 3:1 Ė 7 now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said (1), ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Satin is bringing into questioning The Lord Godís authority in what HE said, adding doubt, and confusion along with it Please notice also that the word Lord is left out of his question, he could not call Lord, Lord.)
And the woman said unto the serpent; we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree, which is in the midst of the garden, God (the Lord is left out again) hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (She added to the Lord Godís words). She also left out the name that the Lord God had given to the tree. We can see that she is deceived.)
And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not (doubt) surely die (2): For God doth know (Does Satin know the mind of the Lord?) that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes (you wonít die) shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (3) (equal with God), knowing good and evil (yes she will, but the Lord wanted them to trust, and believe in HIM, look all around to see what the Lord had done for them).
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eye), and a tree to be desired (lust of the flesh) to make one wise (Pride of life), she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Adam never question Eve about the fruit she had given him, but went ahead and eat the fruit just the same.)
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked (no longer innocent and now ashamed); and they sewed fig leaves together (cover up), and they made themselves aprons. (They now know the difference between good and evil, they now have two natures.)
Brother Jim when I first became a Christian I thought that all Christians really loved each other and that they would never at any time ever cheat, lie, cover up, use deceit, with one another. But as I grew older in the Lord, I became very aware that even though one accepted the Lord as their Savior this could still happen. This disturbed me greatly because I never wanted any part of this; I wanted to see only the good come out of every Christian. I very quickly found out that all Christians have two natures one good and the other bad. The scriptures refer to these two natures as "the new man" and "the old man".
Most Christian I have met in my lifetime are not this way, they are honest and above board with one another. They do their best to keep their bodies under and allow the Lord Jesus Christ to take over their new life. Men in leadership must always rise above cheating, lying, covering up, and using deceit, when ministering to other Christians. As we have seen with Eve, Satin can very easily deceive any one of us and we always have to be on our guard against this. I have found my safe guard is to stick 100 % to the scriptures, hold fast to them, believe them, donít try to change them to make them what I want them to be. To change them, is dishonest and evil. This is why I have written out the scriptures as they are written, to show you brother Jim, you can trust and believe in all of our Lord Godís Word!
Genesis 3:8 Ė12 And they (Adam and Eve) heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid (none of us can ever hid from the Lord, no matter how hard we try) themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him: Where art thou? (I do believe that the Lord God calls out to every man, woman and child, sometime in their lifetime, to take into account: "You are living without the Lord God") And he (Adam) said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself (man is under conviction). And He (the Lord God) said: Who told thee that thou waist naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat (man should have said yes)? And the man said: The woman whom thou (puts the blame on the Lord God) gavest to be with me (puts the blame on the woman) she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Genesis 3:17 Ė 19 And unto Adam He said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life (1). Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field (2); In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground (3); for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (4) (this is physical death as we know it).
Genesis 3:13 And the Lord God said unto the woman: What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said: The serpent begiled me, and I did eat.
Genesis 3:16 unto the woman He said: I will multiply thy sorrow and thy conception (a hard time for her) (1); in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children (itís going to hurt)(2); and thy desire (look to him for support) shall be to thy husband (3), and he shall rule (he is to be everything to you), over thee (4).
Genesis 3:14 & 15 And the Lord God said unto the serpent: Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon the belly shalt thou go. And dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life (1); And I will put enmity (at war with each other) between thy seed and her seed (2); it (the seed of the woman, to be Jesus Christ) shall bruise thy head (the final victory to be our Lordís)(3), and thou shalt bruise his heel (at the time of our Lord death)(4).
Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wifeís name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. (What a statement, this is the first man saying, not some one cell slimy thing.)
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them. (This is the first time an animal is slain, the shedding of blood, and it is for mankind, to cover up their nakedness) (Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin)
Genesis 3:22 Ė 24 and the Lord God said: Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden, Cherubimís, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Not only does man know good and evil, but also now he is capable of doing good and evil, this is man in his fallen sinful condition. He cannot have fellowship with the Lord God; he is spiritually dead, cut off from the Lord God. If Adam took fruit from the tree of life he would live forever in his sinful condition, there would be no redemption; and man would physically die in his sins.)
(I believe why the Lord God is mentioned in all these verses, is simply. He is the Lord God over all!)
Genesis 4:1 and Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and she said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. (From here on in for Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth and the rest of us, we are all to know Him, " as Lord of our lives. ")
Genesis 4:25 and Adam knew his wife again; and she bare him a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she: hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. (We see the war going on between God and Satan, trying to destroy the promise seed from which the Lord Jesus Christ would come.)
Brother Jim it saddens me deeply to see how someone has distorted and misused the scriptures to bring out their false doctrine on the marking of Christians. You may say that this is not true, but it is true, and I have proven to you and will continue to prove over and over again "with scriptures".
Brother Jim where do you think the distorted doctrines that are taught in religious denominations come from? These distorted scriptures did not come from the Bible; men have misused the Bible to get what they want.
- Doctrine, on water baptism for believers?
- Doctrine, you have to be water baptize to be saved?
- Doctrine, if you are not baptized by one of their ministers, you canít be saved?
- Doctrine, on Mary, the mother of God?
- Doctrine, on the birth of the Lord Jesus? (Christmas)
- Doctrine, on the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord? (Easter)
- Doctrine, on the Lordís Supper?
- Doctrine, on the Lordís Prayer?
- Doctrine, on the Kingdom of God (Jews) and the church (All Nations) being one, and the same?
- Doctrine, that believers are spiritual Israelites?
- Doctrine, on a building being the House of God?
- Doctrine, on the Bride of Christ being only the Body of Christ?
- Doctrine, on predestination?
- Doctrine, on death (nothing after the grave)?
- Doctrine, of the Ten Comments for believers?
- Doctrine, on keeping the Sabbath Holy (Saturday)?
- Doctrine, on the laying on of hands for healing?
- Doctrine, of speaking in an unknown tongue?
Brother Jim these are just a few of the false doctrines that are ministered to many fellow Christians. And again I do believe the Doctrine on Marking that is ministered to my brothers and sisters in the Lord fall in the same category as those above.
I heard John Morey give a study on Marking and when he was finished, he asked if there were any questions? No one in the assembly had any questions, what John should have asked; does everyone understand what I have just given? At the time I asked myself, how can I passed this on to another Christian, what scriptures if any mark fellow Christians? Brother Jim, I found what John had given I did not understand, this was all foreign to me, I had never heard any of this before, or read it in my studying of Godís Word. I could not pass it on, because I could not prove any of it for myself, and if I cannot prove (prove all things and hold fast to that which is good) any of it for myself, how can I walk in it, how can I believe in this doctrine.
Brother Jim what you gave to me sounded like Sound Words, until I tried to prove them with the Word of God. Then they failed the investigation into the scriptures. Let me remind you what you gave me. Words like: avoid, purge out, have no company with, donít eat with, cut off, have no fellowship with, withdraw from, donít partake with, be aware of, reject, and be at peace about it. They are box cars (words) disconnected from the train (other scriptures). Oh, they all came from the Bible all right, but what I found out when they are used with other scriptures, they were not rightly divided, they were not Sound Words, they were not Sound Wisdom, and they were Words that could be Condemn.
Brother Jim, I have another Letter for you to review, from a brother in Christ that knew that he was marked before he received the marking letter. I truly believe that this is the couple that our Lord has used to bring this whole situation of marking to a head. I want you to very carefully read this letter and tell me why these two Christian, were to be marked to be avoided? And donít use the excuse that they were marked because they went to some other meeting seeking fellowship! I left one denomination after another seeking Christian fellowship! Should I have been marked to be avoided, by any one of these man made churches, because I did not stay and obey them that had the rule over me? You ask if I knew of anyone that was marked that should not have been marked, I was to let you know. "Well here are two!" "Letís see if you will lift their marking." This is the most sincere, innocent written letter, I have ever read.
August 25, 1985
Dear Christian Friend,
After much prayer and supplication, we felt the Lord would have us write a letter to send to our brothers and sisters in Christ whom we have known for so many years. We felt it only fair to give you our testimony so you can know first hand where we stand with our wonderful Lord! This letter is in no way a rebuttal to the marking letter we understand has been written, because we have not received it yet. We are not writing this letter to knock the meetings or undermine leadership, because that is not our desire. This is simply our testimony.
We were both raised in the meetings; so consequently, we believed that was where the Lord wanted us. And we are sure that is where the Lord wanted us for the time period we were there. We are so thankful for many of the things we learned! We were really "into the meetings" and we thought that was the only place where we could truly be right with the Lord.
Well, situations started arising, and we were really shocked with the way things were handled by the leadership. Here these were the men we had placed our confidence in and yet they were not handling things biblically. There was definitely partiality and unfairness in their dealings. This started opening our eyes. We started to see, that to this group of Christians, sin, such as gossip, deceitfulness, and hypocrisy etc., was swept under the carpet. But much was made over outward appearance, our traditions, and maintaining our unity as a group of separated Christians in a physical way.
There was much emphasis put on getting people to come to our meetings, but not a sincere reaching out to a lost world. It was more important to get people who were already saved to meet with us, than to reach out to lost souls, on theyíre way to a Christ less eternity.
We also saw how if people didnít dress, act, talk, think in a certain way, they were really looked down on. We were guilty as anyone in this area, and for this we are sorry. We could see that a religion had been built, and Christ was pretty much left out.
We didnít realize how much Christ and the Holy Spirit was left out, until we started meeting other Christians. They had something we didnít have. The Lord was so real to them! We wanted that for our lives and we discovered the reason we didnít have it was because we were so caught up in problems, criticizing, and judging others.
We were a group of Christians with our central focus turned inward toward "our" gatherings, "our" problems and "our" testimony as a group, rather than reaching out in love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
We didnít think we could have fellowship with other Christians, because we didnít agree on everything, and how could we have fellowship if there wasnít unity? The Lord started showing us, that what we had majored on for so many years was unity of the flesh, not the unity of the Spirit.
We are now so happy and excited to realize we are truly one with all Christians, because we all have the same Holy Spirit.
The Lord has shown us over the last couple years, how sectarian we were! We held ourselves aloof from any Christians who didnít meet with us, and we realize how wrong we were! We donít want to allow anything to separate us from any of Godís children.
After meeting and getting to know other Christians, we realized we didnít begin to know the meaning of love. Yes, we would say we loved someone, but we really only loved them as long as they were behaving the way we thought they should.
We realized that Godís love is unconditional, and that was the love we desired to have for others! We concluded there was no way we could have that love with our own strength. We asked the Lord to fill us with His Love, and He did!
Now it is so wonderful to be able to love, truly love, people even when they donít agree with us on everything, or have mistreated us, or whatever. As long as we ask the Lord to fill us with His love, no root of bitterness can spring up, praise God!
We are just beginning to know our Lord in a real way. We are closer to Him now than we ever have been, and it is really wonderful. The peace He has given us is unspeakable. We want you all to know that our desire is to serve and please our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want out children to know, love, and serve Him in a very personal way! !
We have prayed and prayed, asking the Lord for direction, and we still are. For many months, we were very confused and undecided whether we should continue going to meetings! It really was hard and took a lot of faith to step away from the security of the group. It was so comfortable there, and we felt secure.
We realize now, how much we were depending on people and not on the Lord. It has really been scary and very traumatic, but the Lord has shown us He is so dependable and He is the only one we should depend on! He has increased our faith in so many ways big and small. He has confirmed to us in many ways both in the meetings and out of the meetings that we are in His will.
Please pray for us that we will be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. We love you all very much, and we are not separating ourselves from you, our brothers and sisters, but just from the system.
You are welcome in our home anytime! We are still one in Christ, and no man can take that away.
We are so thankful the Lord is in control of His Church! He does everything perfectly in His time! It is really been neat to see the way the Lord is working in His Church. We will continue to pray for all of you! Letís all remember to encourage one another.
Your Brother and Sister in Christ,
Signed: Ron & Donna Blain
P. S. We are not going to force ourselves on anyone, because we know the consequences in the meetings if you are with us. We just want you to know we are not cutting ourselves off from you, but we will not take any initiative to contact you, unless you let us know you want us to. Please donít think we will love you any less or think any less of you if you feel you must stand with the "marking". You have to do what you believe the Lord wants you to and we wouldnít want anything else.
Brother Jim I have not changed any of Ronís wording. This letter is as he wrote it. I have corrected spelling as the computer has shown me and made more paragraphs to let his statements stand out more clearly.
Brother Jim this brother needed help, he seen things going on that bothered him deeply and how they were handled disturbed him. In his heart he knew all this was wrong. Situations were not handled in a biblical way. To him all of this turned into issues of the flesh. The Bible was left out, the Lord Jesus Christ was left out, and the leading of the Holy Spirit was left out. I do not want to interpret Ronís words; I want them to speak for themselves, in which I feel he has so clearly done so. The brother open up his heart to the leaders and he was not received, instead he was marked to be avoid.
Here I am, a pretty cracked pot.
A Grecian vase . . . that I am not.
You may not think I am so hot.
But what you see is what you got.
A Grecian vase you see IĎm not.
You may not like my kind of pot.
But if I please and work a lot
Youíll never know thatís all I got.
To mend myself that I can not . . .
And I should know, Iíve tried a lot,
But wait! A fact Iíd plumb forgot,
That He can change whom He begot.
A Grecian vase though I am not
I now can rest; it matters not.
A wondrous life, it fills the pot
Christ lives within, thatís what Iíve got.
The Lord bless you Brother Ron and Sister Donna Blain. The Lord is with you two all the way. He said: He will never leave you nor for forsake you. My heart and love go out to you two. My prayers go up for you two.
I remain your Brother in Christ
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