The Missing Cross to Purity




Volume 6, The Works of George Fox, Doctrinal Books III, Continued

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The state of the temporal and spiritual births, and the duty and state of a child, youth, young men, aged men, and fathers in the truth.

Also, showing that children are the heritage of the Lord, and that he has a glory in them.

By George Fox

The state and duty of a child, youth, and young men, and the state of aged men and fathers, it is the Lord that brings to the birth.

David said, ‘My substance was not hidden from you when I was made in secret...Your eyes saw my substance, yet being imperfect, and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them; for you possessed my reins when you covered me in my mother's womb.’ Here you may see God's infinite and all-seeing eye, work, and providence. The darkness nor secrets hide not from God, but the night shines to him as the day, and the darkness and the light are alike to his all-seeing eye, who made both; and therefore all are to consider how God has made them, and fashioned them. Psalm 139:12-16.

And the Lord said in Isa 66:9, ‘Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth, said the Lord? Shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb, said my God?’ So here you may see, it is the Lord that fashions in the womb,* and brings it forth, both the natural birth and the spiritual birth, and opens the womb and shuts the womb, both the womb of the morning, and of eternity, and of the natural.

[*Further on the Bible's record of life in the womb:

And the Lord said to Jeremiah 1:5, ‘Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you, and before you came out of the womb, I sanctified you.’ And so here all may see, and consider, and know themselves to be the great work of God; that when God that forms and fashions you in the womb, and brings to birth, and has brought you forth, that you may choose the good and forsake the evil; that you may remember and consider, that you are the work of the Lord, and remember your Creator, and who has fashioned you and formed you in the womb, and has brought you to a birth, and has brought you forth to fear, and serve, and worship, and honor him that has made you, and brought you forth. For as Solomon said in Eccl 12:1, ‘Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, or before the evil days do come.’ Now this is the duty of all youth, let them be males or females, to remember their Creator, and let him not go out of their memory, so that they may be fitted to stand in the evil days when they come; for when they grow up to be young men, then the evil days will appear, in which they may be tempted to ‘adultery, fornication, drunkenness, theft, murder, lying, cozening, cheating, unrighteousness, ungodliness, lightness, wantonness, pleasures,’ and other evils, by which they may forget their Creator by going into such evils, when they are tempted to such things. The evil days come to try youth, for those who yield to such evils before mentioned, forget their Creator, and forsake him; for Solomon said, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ Pro 22:6. Here is the duty of parents, and the duty of children, which is to be practiced and followed. Now here is the duty of youth, ‘to remember his Creator in the days of his youth, before the evil days come.’ But what must we do when we come to be young men? What is their means and duty? David declared in Psalm 119:9, ‘Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his ways? By taking heed thereto according to your word, .. Your word I have hid in my heart, and do meditate on your word, that I might not sin against you.’ So now, for all young men to take heed to the word of God in their hearts, and hide it in their hearts, and to meditate upon it; for the word is called a hammer, and a sword, and a fire, to hammer down, and cut down, and burn up that which would defile them in their ways, words, and hearts.

And the apostle said, ‘that the word of faith which he preached, was in their hearts and mouths, to obey it, and to do it.’ Rom 10:8,17. And ‘the engrafted word was able to save their souls,’ James said. And Peter said, ‘that they were to feed upon the sincere milk of the word;' but they which are hearers of the word, and not doers of the word, deceive their own souls.’ And Christ said to his disciples, ‘Now you are clean through the word [which I have spoken unto you.’ So this word will keep the ways and the hearts of young men clean, the word of God, which is a sanctifying word, a reconciling word; and Christ told the Jews, his word had no place in them.

And again, he told the unclean Jews, ‘You have not his word (namely, the word of God) abiding in you. John 5:38.’ So these Jews made a great profession of the scriptures, but did not have the word of God abiding in them; so they were not likely to be made clean by it.

And Christ said, ‘Sanctify them through your word, your word is truth.’ (Namely, his disciples and believers.) And again Christ said, ‘I have given them your word, and they have kept your word,’ (namely, his disciples), namely, the word of God. John 17:17, 14,8.

Now here you may see the disciples kept the word of God, which was the means to keep their hearts, ways, and words clean; but the Jews, priests, Scribes and Pharisees, that made a great outward profession of the scriptures, whose ways were unclean, and mouths full of foul unclean words against Christ, Christ told them, ‘that the word of God did not abide in them.’ And therefore, though they had the scriptures, and made an outward profession of them, like the professors of our age, and others who go from the means, the word of God in their hearts, to keep their ways and lips clean, and to sanctify them; therefore they plead for a body of death to the grave, and a purgatory when they are dead, who live in a profession of the letter without the word.

And John said, ‘I have written unto you young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you; and you have overcome the wicked one,’ namely, the devil, by the word of God, which was before the devil was. So here you may see, what is the means by which the young men's ways are cleansed and sanctified, and what makes them strong, and to overcome the wicked one—the word of God abiding in them. And therefore, every young man, and all young people are to love, and obey, and do the word of God, by which their ways, words, and hearts, and all may be kept clean; for the word of God is a hammer and a sword, to hammer down, and cut down the devil and his works, and a fire to burn them up. So it is the word of power, the word of wisdom, the word of reconciliation, and the word of patience, by which they overcome.

Now concerning aged men or fathers in the truth, John said, ‘I have written unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning,’ namely, Christ Jesus. And John writes as a father himself, who said, ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; for the life was manifested and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.’ 1 John 1:1-2.

So here you may see, not only John in his epistle, but also John in his evangelists [Book of John], declares Christ in the beginning, and said, ‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the word; the same was in the beginning with God, and all things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made; and the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’ John 1:1-3,14.

Now, here you may see how John writes as a father, that knew Christ as he was in the beginning; and he writes to the fathers that knew Christ as in the beginning. So the fathers knew him in the glory that he had with the Father before the world began; and that all things were made by Jesus Christ. So they knew him as he was God, the word. They knew Christ, as he was man: ‘The word was made flesh, ...’ They knew Christ in the promises and in the prophecies; they knew him in the figures, types, and shadows made under the law.

They knew him, and of whom he was to be conceived, namely, the virgin; they knew him in his birth, life, doctrine, preaching, miracles, sufferings, death, grave, resurrection, and ascension, into the glory with the Father, and at his right hand; yes, the glory which he had with the Father before the world began. So the fathers have known, [mark, have known,] Christ from the beginning. 1 John 2 :14.

So, here you may see the state of the birth temporal and spiritual, and the duty and state of youth, the duty and state of young men and young people, and the state of fathers in the truth.

George Fox

Kingston, the 10th month, 1684

Postscript

David said, ‘Lo children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hands of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemy in the gate.’ Psalm 127:3-5.

‘Blessed is everyone that fears the Lord; that walks in his ways: for you shall eat the labor of your hands. Happy shall you be, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of your house; your children like olive plants round about your table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that fears the Lord; yes, you shall see your children's children, and the Lord shall bless you out of Zion.’ Psalm 128.

Now all you that murmur against people who have many children, and complain and say, ‘that they fill your towns, cities, and countries with children;’ and many times you, who do so complain, have few or no children; and you are afraid that they should come to lack, and that then you must be willing to relieve their necessities. And what then? What you do give to the poor, you lend to the Lord, and he will repay it to you again, if they cannot. And this wanting mind, is for want of faith in God, who gives the increase of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him. And the Lord would have you to take notice that children are the heritage of the Lord. And so, what you do give to the breeding, and nursing, and relieving of children, you do it to the heritage of the Lord; and the Lord has many adopted sons, that he has taken to be his, ‘that have received the adoption of sons Gal 4:5.’ And what if you who have no children should do so? It was but a cross to the grumbling or murmuring self, which many times have no children, and are discontent with the poor who have many; and do think much either to adopt them to yourselves, and are afraid that they will be chargeable to you, namely, the children that are the heritage of the Lord. But the Lord, who increases the children who are his heritage, will take care for his heritage. Whether there is a murmuring of a complaining mind against poor people having so many children, and whether you relieve them or not, he will take care for his heritage. Blessed be his name forever. Amen.

Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rides upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A Father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.’ Psalm 68:4-5.The sayings of old, which we have heard, and known, and our fathers have told us, we will not hide them from their children; showing to the generations to come the praise of the Lord.’ ‘Psalm 78:2-4. And David said, ‘Let your work appear unto your servants, and your glory unto their children, and let the beauty of the Lord be upon us,’ ... Psalm 90:16-17.

See what heavenly love he had to children, God's heritage. So they are not of David's mind, who think that they shall be undone by maintaining of poor people's children, which children are God's heritage. And David said, ‘You are blessed of the Lord, which made heaven and earth; the heavens, even the heavens are the Lords, but the earth he has given to the children of men.’ Psalm 115:15-16. And the Lord said to David, ‘If your children will keep my covenant and my testimony, that I shall teach them, their children also shall sit upon your throne for evermore.’ Psalm 132:12. ‘Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem, praise your God, O Zion; for he has strengthened the bars of your gates, he has blessed your children with you,' Psalm 147:12-13. These are those who keep in the covenant, and the testimony that God does give them, that have his blessings.

And you may see the tenderness of Joseph to his father, and to his children, and to his children's children, in the days of the famine, when they were in Egypt. Gen 45. Here he was tender of children, which are the heritage of the Lord. And the Lord said, ‘Three times in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God of Israel.’ Exod 34:23. Here you may see the care the Lord takes, that children, which are his heritage, should be acquainted with him, which ought to be the duty of all parents. And the Lord said, ‘Take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life: but teach them your sons, and your sons' sons; especially the day that you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, (namely Moses), gather me the people, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.’ Deut 4:9-10.

Here you may see the care of the Lord, to his people, and how they are commanded to teach their children; yes, their sons' sons; that the children that are God's heritage might be instructed by their parents in the things of God.

And in the Old Testament the Lord God said, ‘You shall do no manner of work on the Sabbath day, you nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your man servant, nor the stranger which is within your gate.’ They were all to rest on the Sabbath day, in the old covenant; so are all the believers, whether they are masters, or mistresses, sons, daughters, or strangers, to rest in Christ in the new covenant; for he that believes is entered into Christ the rest, and ceases from his own works, as God did from his. ‘Know therefore this day, and consider in your heart,’ mark, in your heart, ‘that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is none else. ’So with the spirit of God you may know him in heaven, and know him in earth. And 'you shall keep therefore his statutes and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and your children after you, that you may prolong your days upon the earth.’ Here again you may see what care the Lord takes for his people and his children. Deu 39:40.

And you may see in Nehemiah 5:5, how they complained of them and their children; their sons and daughters were brought into slavery ‘because of going astray from the Lord's commandments.’ And in Nehemiah 9, ‘how they had rebelled against the good spirit of the Lord, that he gave them to instruct them.’ And is not this the cause now that christians are in confusion; for rebelling against God's good spirit, though they may make an outward profession of the new testament, as the Jews did of the old?

Thus said the Lord in Isa 49:22, ‘Behold! I lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people;’ and is not this standard Christ? ‘And they shall bring their sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.’ And where do they carry their children, and their sons and daughters? Is it not to Christ, who teaches them and blesses them? The Lord said, ‘I will make all my mountains a highway, and my highway shall be exalted.’ And is not God and Christ's highway his light? That is the path [a shining light] of the just, and highway to the perfect day. ‘And kings shall be nursing fathers, and queens nursing mothers,’ ... And that will be a happy day when they come to nurse Christ's chickens, doves, lambs, babes, and little children; then persecution will cease for not taking oaths and swearing, and for not paying tithes, and for not going to the worship at ‘temples made with hands;’* and then Christ's doctrine will be obeyed; who said, ‘Swear not at all, but let your yes be yes, and your no, no,’ ... And then everyone that has received freely from Christ, will ‘give it freely,’ as he commands; then everyone will know their ‘Bodies are the temples of the living God;’ and then everyone will ‘walk in the light,’ God's highway, which shall be exalted; and in it they ‘have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Christ, the son of God cleanses you from all sin.

[*Tens of thousands of the early Quakers were arrested, tried, and imprisoned for worship that differed from the Episcopalian common prayer, failure to pay tithes, refusing to swear or take oaths, and traveling on the first-day Sabbath (which doesn't exist in scripture).]

And Isaiah 54:13-14, ‘All your children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of your children' that are taught of the Lord. In righteousness shall they are established,’ that are taught of the Lord. ‘You shall be far from oppression, you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you’ that are taught of the Lord. ‘Behold, they shall gather, but not by me;’ so then it is by the wicked spirit; ‘whosoever shall gather together against you, shall fall for your sake,’ who are taught of the Lord.' No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise up against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, said the Lord.’ And in 1 Kings 2:4. David said, ‘That the Lord may confirm his word, which he spoke concerning me, saying, if your children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth, with all their hearts, and with all their souls, there shall not fail you, said he, a man to sit on the throne of Israel. See that your children take heed to their way, and walk before me, as you have walked before me:’ namely, David.

Now here, you may see, that not walking in the truth before the Lord with all their souls and their hearts, made such confusion among the Jews, and likewise makes, or has made such confusion among the christians: for not walking before God in the truth, kept them off the throne of Israel. And therefore children are to succeed their fathers' path in the truth, if they will be accepted and exalted by the Lord, and if they do enjoy the comfort of the Lord, as their fathers did, with the promise, as in 1 Kings 2:4,8:25.

In Micah 2:9, he declares against their oppression, and reproves the Jews for their injustice and idolatry, and said, ‘The women of my people have you cast out from their houses, from the children have you taken away my glory;’ namely, the Lord's; for children are the Lord's heritage, and he has a glory in them.

Joel declares sundry judgments of God, and exhorts the Jews to observe them, and tells the old men ‘tell their children of it, and let your children tell their children, and let their children tell another generation.’ See what care was here, and watches set up, that children's children might escape the judgments of God, by their walking in the truth, and keeping to the Lord with all their hearts. And children which were the Lord's heritage, were to warn and tell one another to walk in the fear and way of the Lord, with their whole hearts, that he might have his glory in them, and their children which are his heritage.

And you may see in Luke 19:43-44, the judgments that Christ pronounces upon the Jews and their children, that disobeyed God, and did not believe in him. And Christ said, ‘While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of the light.’ Here Christ encourages his believers with a new name, that believe in the light, namely, ‘Children of the light.’ John 12:36. And Paul said to the believers in the light, ‘You were sometimes darkness, (that was, when they did not believe in the light), but now are you light in the Lord; walk as children of the light.’ Eph 5:8.You are all the children of the light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness.’ 1 Thes 5:5. These are the believers in the light, as Christ commands.

And John said, ‘My little children (1 John 2:2) these things I write unto you that you sin not, .. and if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous, ... [But they must take heed of sinning willfully.] I write to you little children, because your sins are forgiven you, for his name sake.’ Here is a comfort to Christ's little children. Again, John said to little children, ‘It is the last time, and as you have heard that antichrist should come, even now are many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time; they went out from us, (namely, the antichrist), but they were not of us, (namely, the elect members of the church of Christ), for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out from us, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. And these things I have written unto you concerning those who seduce you: but the anointing, which you have received of him, abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, (namely, Christ.) Whosoever abides in him, sins not; whosoever sins, has not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you, he that does righteousness, is righteous, even as he is righteous; he that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil. Whosoever is born of God, does not commit sin, for his seed remains in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest from the children of the devil,’ 1 John 3:6-10, which is a clear manifestation and distinction.

Again, John said, ‘My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. Hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.' 1 John 3:18-19. This is a good trial, little children. ‘You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, (namely, antichrist, and the world and its god), because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world; (a good reason to little children, the greater to overcome the lesser;) and everyone that loves him, (namely, God that begot him), loves him also that is begotten of him; by this we know we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.’ 1 John 5:1-2. This is a good trial, and a manifestation.

And Paul said to the Galatians 4:19, ‘My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ is formed in you.’ This is a good travail, which should be every true Christian’s, and not to travail to persecute Christ, where he is formed within his people; for that is a bad travail. And John writes to the elect lady and her children, whom he loved in the truth, and said, ‘I rejoiced greatly that I found your children walking in the truth.’ This is cause of great joy to see God's children walk in the truth. Again, he writes; ‘Gaius whom I love in the truth, (said he), I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth. 3 John 1:1,4. Now this is a concern for all true christians, that they and their children walk in the truth, that they may have joy and comfort of them in the Lord and his truth, in this world and in the world to come. ‘And everyone that names the name of Jesus, let them depart from iniquity,’ and not in iniquity, and to see that their children do depart from iniquity; for David said, ‘The Lord hates all workers of iniquity,’ and said, ‘Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity.’ And therefore train up all your children in the nurture and fear of the Lord, that both you and they may all serve God in his spirit, in your creation and generation; for children are the heritage of the Lord, and ought to be trained up in his fear, and serve and worship him in his spirit and truth; for it is the Lord that gives the increase of them all. It is he that brings to the birth, and gives power to bring forth, whether it be natural or spiritual, and the life, and breath, and the souls of all are in his hand and power.

‘I was by him, as one brought up with him. I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth; and my delights are with the sons of men. Now therefore hearken unto me, O you children! for blessed are they which keep my ways. Hear instruction, be wise, and refuse it not.’ Pro 8:30-32. Here you may see the eternity of wisdom, which is to be desired, for the blessing it brings.

The apostle Paul tells the Corinthians, ‘I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.’ 2 Cor 11:2.

[Jesus said: to enter the Kingdom we must become like little children, innocent of sin. This refers to the 144,000 in Revelation, who are virgins, not defiled by women; Christ changes a person, making them virgins again, the lust removed, the defilement by women removed. ]

George Fox

False Teachers and Preachers in Christianity

Trying of Spirits in our age now, as in the Apostles' days, by the Spirit of Christ the Anointing within.

Showing also, that the Church of Christ has authority and power from Christ, their head, to admonish, judge, reprove, and rebuke, such as make a profession of the truth, but do not walk and live in the truth.

By George Fox

Dear friends, and brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is your heavenly rock and foundation, and your holy sanctuary, your place of safety, who destroys the destroyer, and is our savior, the chief bishop of your souls, to oversee you; and your great prophet that God has ‘raised up for you to hear in all things,’ and the chief shepherd who has ‘laid down his life for his sheep;’ who feeds his sheep with his heavenly food, and clothes them with his heavenly clothing, ‘whom he has bought with a price,’ his blood; and that they might know his voice and follow him, ‘who is from above,’ and not of this world; whose voice is distinct from all the voices of this world, that are below; ‘who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time;’ who is the mediator between God and you; in whose name you have all salvation; in whose name, power, and authority, we meet that are his followers; and he is before all things, and by him all things subsist; who has delivered us from the power of darkness. And God has translated us into the kingdom of his dear son, and therefore ‘whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’

For, friends, you know the light God has commanded to shine out of darkness, and has shined in your hearts to give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus, which light is the life in him. Now, you have this 'heavenly treasure in your earthen vessels, which is of God,' and have received ‘the grace of God which brought your salvation,’ and by which you are saved, and your hearts established in the election and covenant of grace.

Now those who hate the light of Christ, and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace, such are of the birth of the flesh, which persecutes them which are born of the spirit. But as the apostle said, ‘All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution;’ but the Lord's portion is his people, and Jacob, the second birth, the election, who is the supplanter of profane Esau, he is the Lot of God's inheritance, namely, Jacob. The Lord led him about and instructed him, and kept him as the apple of his eye; so tender is the Lord of his elect people. And again, the Lord said, ‘He that touches you, (namely), his elect or chosen people, touches the apple of God's eye.’ So you know the apple of the eye is a tender place. So the Lord has a sense of all his suffering people, and is near unto them, and feels all their sufferings.

And now, friends, the apostle John writes a General Epistle to the church of Christ, as I do to you the church of Christ. Now, ‘you have an annointing from the Holy One, and by it you know all things;’ and now, this unction or anointing within, which you have received from the Holy One, which ‘abides in you, you need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, and does teach you, you shall abide or continue in the son and in the Father, in whom you have eternal life, according to his promises.’ Now since the apostles' days, all those who have gone from this anointing, and unction, and teaching within, that comes from the Holy One, have gone and wandered from the Father and the son, and have been seduced from the anointing and teaching within, by which they should have continued in the son and the Father. But, my friends and brethren in Christ Jesus, who have the anointing and unction within you, which you have received from the Holy One, and by it you continue in the son and Father; by this unction and anointing within you, the church of Christ knows all things, as the church of Christ did by the same unction in the apostles' days; and therefore, the apostles told the church of Christ, by this unction, ‘Try the spirits,’ and told them ‘believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God;’ and they know the spirit of God from the spirit of error. So there you may see, with this unction they could try spirits, and knew the spirit of truth from the spirit of error. He did not tell the church to try their words only, but ‘try their spirits, whether they were of God,’ yes or no; for many had good words and fair speeches, and deceived the hearts of the simple. And were not these a kind of Christians that served not the Lord Jesus Christ? Such the apostles warned the Romans of, in Rom 16:17-18, and such that had gotten the ‘the form of godliness, and denied the power thereof, that were heady, high minded, without natural affections, truce breakers ,.. false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those who were good, that were compared to Jannes and Jambres, that withstood Moses. ‘So do these also resist the truth, men of corrupt minds, reprobates concerning the faith,’ ... And did not these go under the name of Christians and leaders, ‘which had the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof,’ which the church were to turn away from, and not to follow? And is there not of this sort now, that trouble the church of Christ, as they did in the apostles' days?

And therefore, as the apostle said, ‘Try their spirits whether they are of God or not.’ The apostle did not say to the church of Christ, Try them, whether they had the good words, and fair speeches, and the form of godliness, but ‘try their spirits,’ whether they are of God, yes or no; and so, if they have not the power of godliness, they are to be turned away from. And therefore, with the anointing within, by which you may know all things, with it ‘Try their spirits,’ whether they are of God or not, and try whether they have the power of godliness; yes, such as have the fair speeches and good words, and the form of godliness, try their spirits whether they are of God, and whether they have the power of godliness; and if not, they are to be turned away from.

And the apostle exhorts Timothy ‘to avoid profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science, falsely so called, which some professing, have erred concerning the faith;’ therefore the church is to avoid such things now, as then, lest they err concerning the true faith of Christ. 1 Tim 6:20-21, Phygellus, and Harmogenes, and Hymeneus, and Philetus, do not you think that these had gone under the name of christians in the apostles' days, though ‘their words will eat as does a canker, those who do receive them;’ and such troubled the church of Christ then, and the same spirit now, which is to be tried and turned away from, and not only so, but to ‘shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness,’ therefore that is to be kept out of the church.

And the apostle exhorts Timothy to charge them, (namely, the church), before the Lord, that ‘they strive not about words to no profit:’ and therefore that strife which is to no profit, and to the subverting of the hearers, the charge now is for the church of Christ to shun such things, and if any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, and the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, or a fool, and knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strife of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railing, evil imaginings, perverse disputes of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that ‘gain is godliness, from such withdraw thyself.’ So must all the members of Christ's church now in our age withdraw themselves from such that are destitute concerning the truth, though such may go in the name of christians, as such might do in the apostles' days, and troubled the church of Christ then, as they do now. But ‘believe not every spirit, but try their spirits,’ whether they have the power of godliness, yes or no.

Now the spirit speaks expressly, ‘that some should depart from the faith,’ (then they had it once), and that they would give heed to seducing spirits, and ‘doctrine of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared as with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving, for every creature of God is good, (mark, good), and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.’

For all things were made and created by the word, and all things upheld by the word. And by the word of God, man and woman is sanctified, and it sanctifies things to them.

And do you not think that those who had departed from the faith, and given heed to the doctrines of devils, forbidding marriages, and to abstain from meats, ... were not called  by the name of christians, as many people do the same now? And therefore the apostle said, ‘Try their spirits, whether they are of God or not, and whether they are in the power of godliness, and in the faith of God's elect.’

And the church of Christ now, as in the apostles' days, is to ‘shun profane and old wives' fables, and to exercise themselves in godliness; for bodily exercise profits little,’ or for a little time; ‘but godliness is profitable to all men, having the promise of this life that now is, and of that life which is to come.’ So all that have a care of the church of Christ, will mind those things which are for the comfort and edifying of it.

And the apostle, his charge was to some, ‘not to give heed to endless genealogies, which ministered questions, rather than to godly edifying, which is in faith,’ from which some have turned aside unto vain janglings. ‘And therefore foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender unto strife. These things the church of Christ were to shun then, and now, and follow godly edifying in the faith; for did not they go under the name of christians that turned aside unto vain arguments, and such that desired to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say, nor the origin of what they affirm? And, therefore, as the apostle said, ‘Try their spirits whether they are of God, and whether they are in the power of godliness;’ for that spirit that does not understand what it is said of the law, cannot understand what it is said of the gospel, and so is not fit to be a teacher of either.

And the apostle exhorted Timothy 4:2-4, ‘to preach the word in season and out of season, reprove, and rebuke, and exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine; for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts [desires] shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Now were not these itching ears, and their teachers, that should turn from the truth to fables, a kind of christians, who could not endure sound doctrine; therefore their spirits are to be tried whether they are in the truth and sound doctrine. For the itching ears [longing to hear that they are righteous] that have gathered teachers to approve of their lusts, has been tried by the spirit, which said, they are turned from the truth to fables.

And Simon Magus, and Demas, that forsook Paul, and ‘loved this present world,’ and Alexander, had not they gone under the name of christians? But the spirit that tried them, saw Demas turned a worldly person, and Simon Magus turned to his old wickedness again; and the apostle exhorts Timothy to beware of Alexander the coppersmith, ‘which had done him much evil,’ for he had greatly withstood the apostle's words.

So here you may see the apostle, which was a watchman, and tried their spirits, such as he had tried not to be of God, nor in the truth, nor in the faith, nor in the power of godliness, he exhorted the church of Christ, and the ministers, to beware, and to shun, and to turn away from such.

The apostle exhorts Titus, ‘to hold fast the faithful word as he had been taught, that he might be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convince the gainsayers [opposers];’ for, said he, ‘There are many unruly and vain talkers, and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision [Jewish Christians], whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre's sake; they professing that they know God, but in works deny him; being abominable and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate: wherefore,’ said the apostle to Titus, ‘reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.’

Now did not these vain unruly talkers, whose mouths were to be stopped, which denied God in their works [although big talkers of God], and to every good work reprobates [without Christ in control], did these people not go under the name of Christians? And are there not too many such in our days; unruly vain talkers, that deny God in their works, and are reprobates to every good work? For there are too many such unruly talkers and professors of God and Christ in words, but in their works deny him, and are reprobate to every good work. Such are against the practice of truth and religion, both in themselves and others; and therefore all such spirits are tried with the anointing within, not to be of God, neither now, nor in the apostles' days, nor in the power of godliness. Therefore they are to be turned away from, alon with all of those who give heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, having turned from the truth. This the apostle exhorted Titus not to give heed to, but to ‘avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law, for they are unprofitable and vain.’

And therefore whatsever is unprofitable and vain, the church of Christ is to be turned away from now as in the apostles' day, for it is out of the power of godliness; and therefore try their spirits whether they are of God or not.

And the apostle said, ‘Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren, and the elder women as mothers; the younger women as sisters, with all purity. Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses; but a man that is an heretic [divisive], after the first and second admonition, reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted and sins, being condemned of himself.’ Therefore, I say, try such spirits with the anointing within, whether they are of God or not; for a man errs from the spirit of God before he is a divisive person. You may read that the Jews had the scriptures, and many that were called christians have gotten the scriptures, the form of godliness; but the prophets told the Jews, ‘that they rebelled against the spirit of God, and resisted the holy ghost;’ and so they tried their spirits, and found them not to be of God. So must those who go under the name of christians, (who have the form of godliness, but deny the power thereof), be tried now with the holy ghost that gives forth the scriptures, whether they are in the Spirit of God or not.

And Christ speaks of the false prophets and antichrists to his disciples, Mat 7:15-16, how that they should ‘come in the sheep's clothing, but inwardly they should be ravening wolves, and by their fruits they should know them.’ Did these false prophets not appear like sheep, and christians, when they had gotten the sheep's clothing on, the form of godliness, but were inwardly ravened from the spirit and power of God? So their fruits were thorns and thistles. So try their spirit, and what fruit they bear, whether they are of God, yes or no. For such inwardly ravening wolves are destroyers of the sheep of Christ, and cannot bring forth good fruit, nor abide the practice of truth and pure religion; and therefore Christ told them beware of them, and not follow them; and John tells the church believe not every spirit, but try their spirits, whether they are of God or not.

And as Christ said, Mat 7:22. ‘Many should call him Lord, Lord, or Master, and shall say, we have prophesied in your name, and cast out devils in your name,’ ...

Now, did not these go under the name of Christians, and were great preachers, that could preach in the name of Jesus, and do such miracles? But Christ said, he will profess he never knew them, and said, ‘Depart from me, you who work iniquity [sin lawlessness].’ And Christ said, ‘It is not everyone that said, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of his father which is in heaven.’

And so you may see here, it is not everyone that said, Lord, Lord, nor those who preach in the name of Jesus, and have the form of godliness, and not in the power of God, that Christ receives, and that entered into his kingdom; but such as depart from iniquity, and do the will of God, that are received by Christ, and that enter the kingdom of God. For the apostle himself said, ‘I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.’ Here the apostle had not only a care of others, but of himself, that he might be preserved in Christ Jesus.

And there were certain vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over those who had evil spirits in the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, ‘We exorcise you by Jesus, whom Paul preaches.’ And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so, and the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?’ And so the evil spirits came over them, and prevailed over them, and against them, that they fled away naked. So you may see here, it is not those who take upon themselves to use the name of Jesus, and the name of Paul, that gives dominion over the evil spirits, but those who are in the spirit and power of Jesus, that Paul was in; this is it that arms them and clothes them.

And all such as preached up outward circumcision, or else they could not be saved; and also such as observe days, months, times and years, and thought to be justified by the law, and not by the faith of Christ; did not these go under the name of christians, whom the apostle said, ‘he was afraid lest he had bestowed upon them labor in vain;’ and of whom he said, ‘I labor in birth again, until Christ is formed in you, and if Christ is not in you, you are reprobates [tested, failed, rejected]?’ And those who sought to be outwardly circumcised, Christ profited them nothing. ‘For in Christ neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creature,’ and therefore the churches were not to trouble themselves with that which did not avail anything, but mind the new creature in Christ.

And those false brethren that came secretly to spy out the liberty which the apostles and the true christians had in Christ Jesus, that they might bring them into slavery, 'To whom (said the apostle) we give place by subjection, no not for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you,’ namely, the church. Gal 2:6. And the apostle said, but some of these seemed to be somewhat in conference [worldly importance], but, ‘they added nothing to me, and whatever they were, it makes no matter to me, for God accepts no man's person.’

Now, here you may see the apostle makes use of his authority in the power and spirit of Christ Jesus, over such false brethren that came to spy out their liberty in Christ, and bring them into slavery, and though ‘they seemed to be of some weighty position [worldly importance],’ it did not matter to the apostle, ‘for he knew God respected no man's person [was impartial to all men],’ to whom he would not bestow an hour's time withal, that the truth of the gospel might continue with the church. But did not these go under the name of christians? Did not the apostle here try their spirits, whether they were of God or not? And though they did seem of some weighty position [of worldly importance], it added nothing, and such the church is to reject now, who brings into slavery.

And the apostle said to the church of the Colossians, Col 2:18-23, ‘Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. Not holding the head, from which all the body, by joints and bands, having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God. therefore if you are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances? Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using, after the commandments and doctrines of men. Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body, not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh.’ Here the apostle, who could try their spirits, would have others to try their spirits, and had a care of the church, and would not have them beguiled by intruders in the things they had not seen, who were vainly puffed up with a fleshly mind, which held not Christ the head. These were gone from the light and spirit of God, by which they might have seen the things of God; so they were not likely to worship God in spirit and truth; and therefore the church is to beware of such fooled now, as in the apostles' days, and to try their spirits, whether they are of God or no. And those who are dead, and risen with Christ, who are the church of Christ, they are not to be subject to the rudiments, or elements, or ordinances of this world; for they are not to touch, taste, nor handle the doctrines or commandments of men, which are all to perish with the using, that are not after Christ, nor from him, though they may have a show in will-worship and humility, if they do neglect the body of Christ the church, and not hold him the head; and all that spirit works, is but to satisfy the flesh, which brings no honor to God.

And therefore the church of Christ is to try the spirits of such now, as in the apostles' days, lest they should be fooled into not receiving their reward.

And again the apostle said, ‘Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, and after the rudiments, or elements of this world, and not after Christ.’ Here again you may see the apostle had a care of the church, that they should try their spirits, not to follow that which is not after Christ; and therefore the church is to beware of such things and spirits, lest they are spoiled.

And again the apostle warns the church, ‘lest any man shall beguile them with enticing words.' And again he said, ‘Beware of dogs,* beware of evil workers, beware of concision [mutilation];’ that is, false apostles which gloried in circumcision, and the apostle calls them concision, which is a cutting off and tearing asunder of the truth. Phil 3:2.

*[Dogs were those who taught foods, days, drink, circumcission, tithes, etc. were necessary - all of which are outward observations and have nothing to do with the inward love and mercy in the heart, which results after cleansing, the heart being purified by faith.]

So the apostle would have the church to try such spirits then, which the church ought to do now by the spirit of God, and anointing within; and that they may not be beguiled with men's enticing words, and they may beware of dogs, and evil doers, and evil workers, ... though they may come in sheep's clothing, fair speeches, and good words, and a ‘form of godliness, but denying the power of it;’ from such the church is to turn away; for the prophet said, ‘As to the wicked, what have they to do to take God's words in their mouth, and hate to be reformed?’ And Christ said to such preachers, that are workers of iniquity, ‘Depart from me, I know you not;’ and the apostle said, 2 Tim 2:19. ‘everyone that names the name of Jesus, let them depart from iniquity;’ and so said the church of Christ, and all his faithful ministers now.

The apostle said to the church, Acts 20:29-30. ‘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 for the space of three years, I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears, and said, ‘Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to the flock over which the holy ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God which he has purchased with his blood.’ Here you may see the apostles care of the church of Christ, and with what they were to watch and oversee the flock of Christ, and to feed his church withal, namely, the holy ghost. By the holy ghost is the church of Christ's communion, by which they should try their spirits that were among them. Were not these men a kind of Christian, who would arise among themselves, speak perverse things, and draw away disciples after them? Would they not draw into a kind of separation from the church? Did not the apostle say, that ‘They should have grievous wolves that would not spare the flock, which should enter among them?" Did they not have the sheep's clothing? Is not the church of Christ to beware of all such now, as were in the apostles' days, and to watch against them with the same holy ghost, and not to believe every spirit, but try them whether they are of God?

And the apostle said to the church, what said the scripture, Gal 4:30, ‘Cast out the bond woman and her son, the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman, for the son of the bond woman was born after the flesh, and will persecute the free woman's children born after the spirit; for the free woman's children which are the church of Christ, Jerusalem, which is above, is their mother.’

And again, the apostle exhorts the church of Christ, and told them Heb 12:16-17, ‘take heed lest there be any fornicators or profane person, as Esau, who for a morsel of bread sold his birth right; for you know that afterwards when he would have inherited the blessing he was rejected. He found no place of repentance, though he sought it with tears; and the apostle said to the church of Christ, 1 John 3:11-12, ‘This is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother, and wherefore slew he him, because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

The church now must take heed of this nature of Ishmael, Esau and Cain, though Cain did offer sacrifice, so he was a kind of a priest, but a persecutor and a slayer of the righteous; and Ishmael was circumcised outwardly, and was in an outward fellowship, yet he was wild, and a mocker, and a persecutor of the heir of the promise.

Esau was also circumcised, who despised his birth right for a mess of pottage and a morsel of bread, who said in his heart he would kill Jacob, the second birth whom God loved; but Esau and Ishmael were not circumcised with the spirit; and therefore the church of Christ now is not to believe every spirit, but try their spirits whether they are of God, or of Cain, Esau and Ishmael, and if so, to beware of them.

John, in his epistle to the church, said, ‘2 John 1:7, Many deceivers were entered into the world, .. look to yourselves, ... whosoever transgresses and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God; and he that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the father and the son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, [mark, not this doctrine of the apostles,] receive him not into your houses, neither told him God speed; for he that bids him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds.’

Now here the apostle, with the spirit of Christ, warned the church of Christ in his day, of such before mentioned; and the church of Christ now are to look to themselves, and beware of such now that walk not in the commandments of Christ, and abide not in the doctrine of Christ; such are transgressors, and abide not in the Father and the son, though they may profess them both in words. And the church of Christ had and has authority in the power and spirit of Christ not to receive such into their houses, nor told them God speed, &c. therefore try their spirits whether they are of God, and lay hands on no man suddenly. And the apostle said, 3 John 1:9. ‘I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the pre-eminence among them, receives us not; wherefore if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content therewith, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and forbids those who would, and casts them out of the church.’ Now here you may see the apostle's care of the church in his day then, which ought to be so now, against such prating Diotrepheses with their malicious words, which love to have the pre-eminence. And did not this Diotrephes go under the name of a christian? But John had the power and spirit of Christ to deal with him, and to remember his deeds, and to judge them. And so has the church of Christ now, with the power and spirit of Christ, to judge and try such spirits, whether they are of God or no.

Likewise in James 1:26, James taught the church to try the pure religion from the false, from such as seemed ‘to be religious, and bridled not their own tongues, that deceived their own hearts' in their vain religion.

Likewise, the apostle brought the church to see ‘who were the doers of the word, not only hearers;’ for those who were ‘only hearers and not doers, deceived their own selves.’

And also the apostle exhorted the church to try their faith and belief, for many would say they had faith, and believed. Then you would say these were called christians; but the apostle said, ‘If a brother or sister be naked, and be destitute of daily food, and if you say to them, depart in peace, be you warmed and filled, and you give them not those things which are needful to the body, what does it profit? Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead, being alone, James 2:15-20.’ And therefore the true and living faith is to be showed forth (evidenced) by its good works, which will feed the hungry, and clothe naked, and relieve the widow and fatherless; and so to practice religion and faith, which is the victory, and gives the victory over the devil and his bad works, in which faith they do please God.

So here you may see the practices of the church of Christ in the apostles' days, and now; and who are the hearers of the word, and not the doers of the word, and who are in the pure undefiled religion, which is to visit the fatherless and the widow, ... and who seem to be religious in a vain religion, and who are in the true living faith, and who are in the dead faith; and who are in the pure peaceable wisdom that is from above, and its fruits, and who are in the wisdom that is earthly and devilish below; and whose dead faith brings them to respect a person, because of his gold ring and gay apparel, and despise the poor. All such are to have their spirits tried with the spirit of God, and anointing within, in the church of Christ now, as in the apostles' days.

Peter, in his General Epistle to the church, tells them, ‘that there shall be false teachers among them, who secretly should bring in damnable heresy, even denying the Lord that bought them, and should bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious and lascivious ways, by reason of whom, the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. And there shall be false teachers among them; whose judgment, &c. lingered not, and their damnation slumbered not.’ 2 Peter 2:1-3.

Peter shows the church the state and example of the fallen angels, and old world, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, of their destruction, and how God saved Noah the preacher of righteousness, and delivered just Lot, who was oppressed with the filthy conduct of the Sodomites. But these, namely, the false teachers that should come among the christians, which the apostle speaks of, which are ‘as natural brute beasts, that speak evil of the things they understand not; sporting themselves with their own deceits, as they feast with you, (namely, the christians), beguiling unstable souls, ... which have forsaken the right way, (namely, Christ), and following the way of Balaam, (that is, in the error from the spirit of God), these are the wells without water, carried about with a tempest, (mark, with a tempest), and speak great swelling words of vanity, to allure those who escaped from them, while they promise them liberty; yet, themselves are servants of corruptions, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same he is brought into slavery. For if after they have escaped the common pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning; for it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened, &c. the dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed, to the wallowing in the mire.’ 2 Peter 2:4-22

Now here you may see what care Peter had, in his General Epistle, of the church of Christ; the same care in the same power and spirit ought to be now. And do you think that these false teachers had not, or did not go under the name of christians, which were among the christians then, and should make merchandise of them, and feasted with them, which had forsaken the right way; but they could speak great swelling words of vanity, to allure, and promise them liberty, to bring into slavery, and it had been better for them ‘not to have known the way of righteousness, (which it seems they had), than after they had known it, to turn from it and the holy commandment;’ who had been washed, and to turn again into the mire; and therefore the apostle very well might say, ‘Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, with the spirit of God, and the anointing within.’

So the church of Christ is now to try such spirits, and to blow the trumpet in heavenly Zion against such spirits, when they do rise. So you may see what kind of spirits these were, that promised liberty, or what liberty it was which brings into slavery, and into the mire, and to forsake the right way of Christ, in whom true liberty is; and in him they are free, and yet, as not using their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, as too many do, and have done, but using their liberty as the servants of God, in righteousness and holiness; and this is the true church's liberty in Christ Jesus.

Jude in his General Epistle to the church, see what care he has of the church of Christ, and exhorts them to contend for the faith; for he said, ‘there were certain men crept in unawares,’ ... yes, ‘ungodly men, that turned the grace of God into lasciviousness [license for immorality],’ ... and therefore they put the church in remembrance, though they knew it, how that the ‘Lord having saved the people out of Egypt, and after destroyed those who believed not, but murmured, and rebelled against him; and how that the angels, which kept not their first state, but left their habitation, God has reserved to everlasting chains of darkness, ... and how God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, for their wickedness; and are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.’ Now these examples, and the unbelief of those who perished in Egypt, and the destruction of the old world, and Sodom, and the angels not keeping their first state or habitation, the apostles put the church in remembrance of, that they should be steadfast in the holy faith, and contend for it, and build one another up in it.

The apostle said, likewise these filthy dreamers, that had crept in at unawares, ungodly men, which turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, which defile the flesh, and despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Now the dominion and dignities were of the power and spirit of Christ; but these also, said the apostle, speak evil of those things which they know not, but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves; and too many such there are at this day. But woe unto them, for they are gone in the way of Cain, that is in envy, who was a destroyer, a killer, and a sacrificer too, who went from Christ, the way, who came to save men's lives and to destroy the destroyer, and they ran greedily after the error of Balaam for profit , that is, from the spirit of God; and are gone in the rebellion of Korah , which was against the law, and Moses the servant of God. So these ‘turn the grace of God,’ which should bring salvation ‘into lasciviousness [a license for immorality,’ and have forsaken the right way.

The apostle said, Jude 12. ‘These are spots in your feasts of love, and when they feast with you, (namely), the true christians, they feed themselves without fear.’ And they were in danger to bring the christians to be without the fear of the Lord. And the apostle said, ‘They are clouds without water, carried about with winds;’ then they were chaff, and not wheat. And the apostle said, ‘they were trees, whose fruit withers, and without fruit, twice dead, and plucked up by the roots.’ Then they were not like to grow; first dead in sin and trespasses, and then quickened by Christ, and then dead again. These are the raging waves of the sea, (they may be known by their rage), foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, not fixed in the firmament of God's power, &c. These are grumblers and complainers, walking after their own lusts, and not after Christ; and these with their mouths ‘speak great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantagbe.’ And these are they, who separate themselves; sensual, having not the spirit of God; and how can they, when they are erred from it, and twice dead? So here you may see a self-separation from the spirit of God in Cain, and Korah, and Balaam's way, which turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. The fallen angels, the old world, Cain, Korah, Balaam, and Sodom, their example that they follow, that are the wells without water, trees without fruit, clouds without rain, raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame, wandering stars, lost their first state and habitation, murmurers and complainers, their mouths can speak great swelling words, yet mockers; these are those who separate themselves, sensual, having not the spirit, (as before), filthy dreamers, defile the flesh, despise dominion, speak evil of dignities; and what dignities and dominions were in the church, in Jude's days, but the power and spirit of Christ in his church? And therefore the apostle well might say, Believe not every spirit, but try them, whether they are of God.

The church of Christ is to try in our day, with the anointing within, and with the spirit of Christ. He said, try such spirits and fruits, and of some ‘have compassion, making a difference; and others save with fear, plucking them out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh.’ And now to him that is able to keep you from those false teachers, and falling into their ungodly ways, and is also able to present you faultless before the presence of his glory, to him I commend you.

John in Rev 1:4,  writes to the seven churches, and Christ said to the church of Ephesus, ‘You have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars,’ showing that they had power, and ‘You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.’ Now here you may see, the church of Ephesus, in the power of Christ, had authority to judge, and to try liars and false apostles, and the deeds of the Nicolaitans; and in the same spirit and power of Christ now, the church of Christ has power to try, and to judge such things with the anointing within, as they had in the apostles' days. And therefore, Christ said, ‘To him that overcomes, I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.’

John writes to the church in Smyrna, and Christ said, ‘I know your work, and tribulation, and poverty, but your are rich; I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but the synagogue of Satan.’

So here you may see the power and spirit of Christ, which did judge those that were not in the truth; and Christ said to the church of Smyrna, which was to be tried, ‘Be faithful unto death,* and I will give you a crown of life; and he that overcomes, shall not be hurt of the second death.’ Here is Christ's comfortable promise to the faithful.

[*The death he is referring to is the "death of the sinful nature." That is the first death; those experiencing the first death, are not hurt in the second death, which is the death of the body.]

John writes to the church of Pergamos; and Christ said, ‘I know your works where you dwell, where Satan's seat is; and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith;’ namely, the faith of Christ, ... ‘but I have a few things against you, because you have there some that hold the doctrine of Balaam [covetousness], ... and hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come unto you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth,’ ...

'But to him that overcomes, I will give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the white stone, a new name written, which no man knows, saving he that receives it.’ Here you may see the care and encouragement of Christ concerning the church.

Now were not these, that said they were apostles, but the church found them liars, and those who said they were Jews, but found synagogues of Satan, and these which held the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans, a kind of christians, that were mixed among the churches then, who, with the power and spirit of Christ, had authority to judge such spirits then, and now, in the church of Christ, and to try their spirits whether they were and are of God?

John writes to the church of Thyatira, &c. ‘I have a few things against you, because you allow the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants,’ ...

Now was not this Jezebel a kind of a christian, which the church of Thyatira did not make use of the authority in the spirit and power of Christ to judge and stop, which they ought to have done, and to do now in the church of Christ, with the power and spirit of Christ; but Christ said unto the rest of Thyatira that have not known this doctrine, namely, of Jezebel’s, but that which you have, namely, the truth, ‘hold fast until I come; and he that overcomes and keeps my words unto the end, to him I will give power over nations,’ said Christ, ‘and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they are broken to shivers, even as I received it of my Father, and I will give him the morning star.’ Here Christ encourages his church with large promises, to be faithful in his power and spirit, and to keep the authority of it, then, and he is the same now to his church that are faithful in the authority of his power and spirit.

John writes to the church of Sardis, and encourages ‘to be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die; for I know your works, you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead; for I have not found your works perfect before God.’ And if they did not repent, and watch, and hold fast that which they had received, Christ would come upon them as a thief; ‘but you have a few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they should walk with Christ in white, for they were worthy.’ Therefore it is good for the church to keep holy, clean, and pure, for Christ said such shall walk with him, the Holy One. And Christ said to the church of Sardis, ‘He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.’ Here is encouragement to the church of Christ to be valiant for his name, and to be faithful in his power and spirit.

And John writes to the church in Philadelphia, and Christ said, ‘I know your works, behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it; you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.’ ‘Behold,’ said Christ, ‘I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you,’ ... Were not these a kind of christians, which were the sayers they were Jews, and were not, but did lie, that Christ with his power would make them come and worship before the church in Philadelphia; but Christ tells the church in Philadelphia, ‘Hold fast that which you have, that no man take your crown. Him that overcomes, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my new name.’ Now here you may see how Christ encourages his church to be faithful, and to overcome in his power, and Christ will write God's name, and his own new name, and New Jerusalem's name upon those who do overcome, and he will make them pillars in the temple of God. Here the church may see what promises Christ has promised to them. He that has an ear, let him hear what the spirit said to the churches, then and now.

And John writes to the church of the Laodiceans, and Christ said, 'I know your works, that your are neither cold nor hot: I would you wert either cold or hot; because your are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth, because you say, I am wealthy, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—’ And was not this church rich in outward profession [talk of Christ], but lacked the possession [of Christ's spirit], and the fire of God's spirit, and its riches, by which they should have been made rich, and to see and be clothed with Christ's clothing.

And therefore the church of Laodicea, and all those that are rich in outward profession, without possession, are to take counsel of Christ, who is head of his church, and to buy of Christ, ‘gold tried in the fire, that they may be rich, and white raiment, that they may be clothed, and that the shame of their nakedness do not appear; and anoint their eyes with eye salve,’ that they may see these things Christ's church must have from him. And Christ said, ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock;’ I, namely, Christ; ‘if any man hear my voice, and open the door,’ namely, of his heart, by the grace and the light of Christ, ‘I will come in unto him, and will sup with him, and he with me,’ namely, the heavenly marriage supper. ‘To him that overcomes, I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.’ Here you may see the blessed promises of Christ, that he has promised to his church; which may encourage all to be faithful, and to walk and live by the faith of Christ, which is the victory by which they have access to God.

The apostle told the Philippians, ‘Let no man deceive you with vain words; for many walk, of whom I have told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end will be destruction.’

You may see what care in the spirit of God the apostle had of the church of Christ; and were not these a kind of christians that the apostle warns the church of, that they should not be deceived with their vain words; and therefore the church of Christ is to beware of such now, and try their spirits whether they are of God, for the true fellowship is in the spirit of God. And had not the apostle a great deal of trouble with the false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves [pretending to be] into the apostles of Christ? Paul said, [this is no marvel], for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light; and therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also are transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works. And are there not too many such, who pretend to be apostles and ministers in this day, and such as boast themselves above their measure, and without the measure of the spirit of God? Are not these the false brethren whom the apostles of Christ had to deal with in their day? And now the servants of Christ have to do with the same, (and have their perils), who in the power of Christ, that daily comes upon them, have the care of the churches now, as in the apostles' days.

And did not these false apostles, deceitful workers, that transformed themselves as the apostles of Christ, and the ministers of Satan transform themselves as the ministers of righteousness? I say, did not these go under the name of christians, and such as were puffed up? But the apostle said, ‘I will come, and I will not know the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power, for ‘the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.’ For Satan's ministers and false apostles might have the good words and the fair speeches, and speak great swelling words of vanity, having the sheep's clothing and form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; and therefore the church of Christ is not to believe every spirit, but to try their spirits whether they are of God; and not to know their speech, but the power, and to know whether they are in the power of godliness, for the kingdom of God stands not in word but in power. And therefore, it is the safe knowledge to know people not in speeches, but in the power of God, and with the anointing, and the spirit of Christ within, to try spirits whether they are of God or no, for the unity of the church of Christ is in the spirit, which is the bond of peace, and their fellowship, and comfort, and communion, is in the holy ghost, which leads the church of Christ into all truth, which proceeds from the Father and the son.

Does not John say, concerning the antichrists and false prophets, ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us,’ namely, the church of Christ; ‘but they went out from us, that they might be made manifest, that they were not all of us.’ And so now many such have gone out from the church of Christ, that they might be made manifest that they were not of us; but the church of Christ, in the apostles' days and now, have an unction and anointing from the Holy One in them, which proceeds from the Father and the son; and the church of Christ does not need any man to teach them, but as the same anointing teaches them; and as it does teach them, they shall continue in the son, and in the Father, from where this anointing comes, by which the church of Christ knows all things. Yes, [they would know] those that would seduce them from this anointing. Yes, [they would know] the antichrists, and deceivers, and false prophets that go out from the church, which are not of the church, though they may have the form of godliness, fair speeches, and good words, but deny the power thereof. From such the church of Christ is to turn away, which know the power of words with the unction, and the spirit of Christ can try their spirits, that have the spirit of discerning whether they are of God, and so they are not to believe nor follow every spirit, but try them first what they believe in, and what they follow. This was the practice of the church of Christ in the apostles' days, which ought to be the same now in the church of Christ; by which anointing they continue in the Father and the son, as before said, and in ‘it they have fellowship with the Father and his son Jesus Christ.’ Amen.

And in the old testament Christ was preached and held forth by promises, and by figures, types, and shadows, and by the prophets, and by the prophecies. And when Christ was come, the apostles proved, out of the law, and the prophets, and the Old Testament, that ‘Jesus was the Christ’ to the Jews that had the law and the promises, Moses and the prophets; so, out of the scriptures, Moses, and the prophets, they proved that Jesus was the true Christ.

And they were noble who searched the scriptures to see if these things were so as the apostles preached concerning Christ. And Christ did manifest himself to be the true Christ, by his preaching and doctrine, miracles, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension, and in sending the holy ghost, and appearing in his people, to be the true Christ, and the son of God. After Christ was risen, and preached both to the Jews and Gentiles, and many believed in him, the apostle tells them examine themselves, and prove their own selves, how that Jesus Christ was in them, except they were reprobates. So you may see, here are two proofs. First to prove that Jesus was the Christ by Moses, and the law, and the prophets.

The second proof was, after the Jews and Gentiles believed in Christ, they were to prove and examine themselves, whether or not Jesus Christ was within them; if not, they were reprobates. Again he said, ‘Christ in you the hope of glory.’ Again he said: That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; and let Christ rule in your hearts by faith; and he that has the son of God has life; and he that has not the son of God, has not life; and Christ was manifest in the flesh to condemn sin in the flesh, that we through him might become the righteousness of God in Christ; and such sat together in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.

So the church, the saints now, with the unction within them, and the spirit of Christ, are to try who are in the power of godliness, and who not, and to try the power of words, and who make a profession of Christ without life; and if Christ the life is not in them they are reprobates. Therefore we are not to believe every spirit, though they have a form of godliness and good words, and fair speeches, with the sheep's clothing, but we are to try their spirits whether they are of God, yes or no. That was and is to be the practice of the church of Christ with the anointing within, which they have from the Father and the son, which is sufficient for the church of Christ to try withal. For the apostle said, ‘By it they know all things;’ then all things were created by Jesus Christ. Eph 3:9. And ‘all things were made by Christ the word.’ John 1:3. So he was before all things, and by him all things do consist. Col 1:17. And Christ is ‘heir of all things; by whom God made the worlds, and so he upholds all things by the word of his power.’ Heb 1:2-3. Who has all power in heaven and in the earth given to him.

And ‘if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, and all things are passed away and all things are become new; and all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ; and God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself,’ 2 Cor 5:17-18.‘Christ by whom the world was made; I say, reconciling all things to himself, whether they are things in heaven, or in the earth,’ by Jesus Christ, by whom God made all things both in heaven and in the earth, that he might reconcile all things to God, who has reconciled us to God; Col 1:20-21, who bruises the serpent's head, and slays the enemy, and destroys the devil and his works; that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, God might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in the earth, even in him by whom they were made. Eph  1:10.

So Jew, Gentile, male, female, bond or free, are all one in Christ Jesus. And the apostle Paul said, he was to make all men to see what is the ‘fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.’ Eph 3:9. So this fellowship has been a mystery hidden from the beginning of the world, and their fellowship in the world, but now ‘is made manifest in Christ,’ by whom the worlds were made, namely, to his church. And God who is faithful has called us to the fellowship of his son Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Cor 1:9, as he did the church in the apostles' days. And John in his General Epistle to the church of Christ, said, ‘That you also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ. And if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.’ So here is the true church's fellowship with God and Christ, and one with another, that walk in the light, which is the life in Christ, and not the vain talkers of the light, and walkers in darkness.

And David said, ‘Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with you,’ namely, the Lord, ‘which devises evil,’ Psalm 94:20. For the apostle said, 2 Cor 6:14, ‘what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness, or what communion has light with darkness?’ And the apostle said to the church, ‘I would not have you to have fellowship with devils.’ And the apostle told the church of Christ, that their fellowship was in the gospel, the power of God which was before the devil was, and his fellowships. And such come to know the power of the resurrection of Christ, and the fellowship of his sufferings. And such had a fellowship with the Father and with the son, after Christ was risen; and such had no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reproved them. And the apostle said, ‘The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? and the bread that we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? for we being many, are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread.’ Is not this the bread Christ which comes down from heaven, as in John 6:51? Is this not his blood, which Christ said, ‘they must eat and drink if they have life in them?’ In which bread and blood is the saints' communion; and the saints and the church of Christ's communion now, and in the apostles' days, is in the holy ghost, 2 Cor 13:14, which proceeds from the Father and the son, which leads them into all truth. And the church of Christ's communion is not in that which proceeds from men below; but in that which proceeds from God and his son; unto whom be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

There are many opposers of the order of the truth, and of the glorious gospel of Christ the power of God, who never grew up in the truth, though they have had some opening and some sights, and it may be, have come so far as Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and as far as Cain and Balaam; and as far as these that John speaks of in his General Epistle, that went ‘from us, and had they been of us, no doubt but they would have continued with us;’ and such as come so far as the apostle speaks of, these ‘heady, high-minded, and self-willed, fierce, despisers of them that are good, that had the form of godliness, but denied the power thereof; and these that with good words and fair speeches deceived the hearts of the simple;’ and these false brethren and false apostles, and false teachers that promised liberty, to beguile and bring into slavery: all these might get the form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, and so the order thereof, and were ‘men of corrupt minds,’ who did resist the truth, which now rules in the hearts of God's people; and so then, resisted the order of the truth and the gospel of the holy government of Christ; and such as James speaks of in a ‘seeming vain religion,’ which did not warm, clothe, and feed their brother or sister, nor visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation, &c. Such might be hearers and talkers of the word, but not doers of the word; and boasters of faith, and belief, and religion, but were out of the works and practice of the living faith, belief, and pure religion. And there are too many such now, as was then in the apostles' days, ‘who profess they know God, but in works deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.’

And also Peter and Jude declare against filthy dreamers, ‘that despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities, and are presumptuous, self-willed, and wells without water, and trees without fruit, twice dead, and plucked up by the root; and carried about of the winds, or with a tempest, and clouds without rain, and raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. These are the murmurers and complainers, ... and with their mouths they speak great swelling words, and these are they who separate themselves, ‘sensual, having not the spirit,’ but are erred from it like Balaam; and then speak evil of dominion and dignities, as Korah and his company did against the law of God and Moses; and so do these against the dignities and dominions of the truth, and spirit and power of God, the gospel, and his apostles and ministers of the spirit and the gospel of Christ, and the holy order of the truth, and spirit and gospel of Christ, whose government and increase of it has no end, who now rules in the hearts of his people, in males and females, his church, who is the glorious head of it.

And the apostle said, ‘Let the elders, that rule well, be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

Now, those who labor in the word, labor in that word by which all things were made and created, and in that word that upholds all things by his power. And John said, ‘In the beginning was the word of life, which they had heard, and seen, and looked upon, and handled with their hands the word of life.’ And so the elders do labor in the word of life, which was in the beginning, and all things were made by it; and this is the word of reconciliation, which is committed to Christ's ministers of the spirit. And so they do labor in this word, by which they are made clean and sanctified, and by this word all things are sanctified to them, by which word they were made good that do labor in the word by which all things were made. And this is the word that does reconcile God's people to God, and all things in heaven and in earth; and this is the word by which all God's children are born again of the immortal seed by the word of God, and do feed on the milk of the word by which all things were made; which word lives and abides for ever. And this is the word, which by the gospel is preached unto you, namely, the church. And John said, the old commandments is ‘the word, which you have heard from the beginning, and is called the word of faith, and the word of wisdom, and the word of patience, and the word of power, and the word of life;’ in this word the ministers of the spirit did labor, and the church of Christ was washed with the water of the word; and this was the word that was performed to Jacob, and which so often did appear to the prophets, by which they saw Christ to come many years before he came and was made manifest in the flesh; and was the word whom the apostles preached, which the letter [Bible] professors [believers] knew not, nor know now, but by the revelation of the light and spirit of God.

And the apostle said to the church of the Romans, ‘Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ.’ So the true ministers of the spirit were the helpers in Christ, the second Adam. And again the apostle said, ‘Greet those who be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord;’ so these were in religious families, that were in the Lord. And salute ‘Tryphena, and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. And salute Persis, which labored in the Lord;’ so you do see how Christ's ministers did labor in the Lord then, and now.

And the apostle said to the Corinthians, we are laborers together with God, ‘You are God's husbandry, you are God's building;’ and the apostle said, that ‘you submit yourselves to such, and to everyone that helps with us, and labors in the Lord.’ And the apostle said to the Philippians, ‘I entreat you, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with others, my fellow-laborers, whose names are in the book of life.’

Here you may see the women, as well as the men, labored in the gospel, the power of God, whose names were written in the book of life; so the apostles and ministers could then, and the saints now, with the anointing within, try the spirits; and could, and can tell who labors in the Lord, and in the word and gospel, from the ministers of the letter. Now to ‘Him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel,’ namely, of Christ, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, ‘according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, (so not of the commandment of men), made known unto all nations for the obedience of faith;’ Rom 16:25-26. And so now again the same gospel is preached to those who have apostatized from it since the apostles' days. So ‘the grace of God be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ, and peace be with you all which are in Christ Jesus.’ Amen.

And ‘God the Father, who has loved us, and has given everlasting consolation, and good hope through his grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.’

Now, all my dear friends and brethren in Christ Jesus, in the bowels of Christ Jesus, consider all these things for your good and comfort in him. Amen.

You may see in Psalm 112, how godliness has the promise, of this life and that which is to come. And David said, ‘Blessed is the man that fears the Lord, surely he shall not be moved for ever; and the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance,’ mark, everlasting remembrance.

Again in Psalm 24:7, the citizens of God's spiritual kingdom, ‘Lift up your heads,’ said Christ, ‘O you gates, and be you lifted up, O you everlasting doors, and the king of glory shall come in. Who is the king of glory?.. The Lord of Hosts, he is the king of glory.' And where does he come in, but in the hearts of his people?

In Pro 10:25,32, ‘As the whirlwind passes, so is the wicked no more, but the righteous is an everlasting foundation, the righteous shall never be moved; the lips of the righteous know what will be acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked speaks forwardly.

Isa 56:5, the Lord said, to ‘those who were faithful, even unto them will I give, in mine house and within my walls, a place and a name, better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.’

You may see the church's glory and increase, in Isa 60, The Lord said, ‘Whereas you have been forsaken, and hated. I will make you an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations; you shall call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.’

And Jeremiah said, ‘The Lord is with me, ..therefore his persecutors shall stumble, they shall not prevail, they shall be greatly ashamed, for they shall not prosper; their everlasting confusion shall not be forgotten.’ Jer 20:11, ‘And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame which shall never be forgotten.’ Jer 23:40.

Here you may see the judgments of the Lord upon the wicked Jews. And again, the Lord's promise is to the faithful, who said, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you: I will build you, you shall be built, O virgin of Israel,’ Jer 31:3-4.

And Christ said, ‘He that believes on the son of God, has everlasting life;’ mark, has everlasting life; ‘but he that believes not on the son of God, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.’ John 3:36. ‘But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, (namely, Christ), shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.’ John 4:14.

And the apostle exhorts the Galatians, to ‘stand fast,’ who were ‘beloved of the Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who has given us everlasting consolation, who shall punish the wicked with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.’ 2 Thes 1:9.

Now here you may see the everlasting misery of the wicked, and the everlasting happiness of God's faithful people. And Christ said, ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand; my Father which gave them me, is greater than all, and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.’ John 10:27-29. Therefore, it is good for all the sheep of Christ, to follow Christ, the shepherd, who gives you eternal life, and keeps his sheep from those who would destroy them; but they cannot pluck them out of Christ the shepherd's hand, nor out of Christ the sanctuary, in whom they have peace and safety. And in Christ's pastures of life he feeds his sheep with eternal life, which hear Christ, the second Adam, his heavenly voice, which is distinct from the voice of the devil and his angels, and all the voices of natural Adam's sons and daughters below.

George Fox

Site Editor's Postscript: Consider the following mens' writings for how false apostles and ministers of Satan completely took over Christendom:

A principal pillar and saint(?) of the Roman sect, Augustine, wrote Why ... should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost sons compelled others to their destruction?" - A classic example of the end justifies the means, which looses sight of the principal command of Christ to "love enemies," not destroy them. Another supposed saint(?),

Another pillar and supposed saint(?) of the Roman sect, Thomas Aquinas wrote: On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. Another supposed saint(?),

John Calvin, was a principal founder of Protestantism, having great influence on the Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and even Lutherans. Calvin had Servetus arrested, wrote charges of heresy against him, and testified against him at his trial; Servetus' crime was to have denied the scriptural support of the trinity and infant baptism. Calvin's charges and arrest of him resulted in Servetus being burned at the stake. Jacques Gruet, a known opponent of Calvin, was arrested, tortured for a month and beheaded on July 26, 1547, for placing a letter in Calvin's pulpit calling him a hypocrite. Calvin also had thirty four women burned at the stake as witches accused of being responsible for a plague, while another account credits his theocracy in Geneva with 58 sentences of death. Calvin justified execution of heretics, writing: Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory. The apologists of Calvin spilling blood and forgetting all humanity point out that many other Protestants killed heretics too - (the everybody-did-it defense; better said is: all the great men of God? then were murderers.)

Jesus said: .. whoever kills you will think and claim that he has offered service to God. John 16:2

Another venerated Protestant founder was Martin Luther, full of hate for the Jews. From the Wikipedia article on Martin Luther and from the Wikipedia Article on Kristallnacht, (the Night of Broken Glass):

Luther initially advocated kindness toward the Jews, but only with the aim of converting them to Christianity: what was called Judenmission. When his efforts at conversion failed, he became increasingly bitter toward them. His main works on the Jews were his 60,000-word treatise Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies), and Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ) — reprinted five times within his lifetime — both written in 1543, three years before his death. He argued that the Jews were no longer the chosen people, but were "the devil's people." They were "base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth." The synagogue was a "defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut ..." and Jews were full of the "devil's feces ... which they wallow in like swine." He advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayer books, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, smashing up their homes, and ensuring that these "poisonous envenomed worms" be forced into labor or expelled "for all time." He also seemed to sanction their murder, writing "We are at fault in not slaying them."

The Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany began in massive scale on Kristallnacht, (the Night of Broken Glass), in which 200 synagogues were burned; Jewish books, scrolls, and antiquities were burned; 7500 Jewish businesses storefronts were smashed, (hence the broken glass name); tombstones and graves were uprooted; 30,000 Jews were arrested and taken to concentration camps; at least 100 were immediately murdered; and many homes were looted. A similar pogrom of similar magnitude took place in Vienna, Austria on the same night. These events occurred on November 9-10, 1938: Luther's birthday was November 10. Luther's advice was fulfilled on Kristallnacht to the letter. This was beginning of the Final Solution and The Holocaust.

According to Michael, Luther's work acquired the status of Scripture within Germany, and he became the most widely read author of his generation, in part because of the coarse and passionate nature of the writing. The prevailing view among historians is that his anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of anti semitism in Germany, and in the 1930s and 1940s provided an ideal foundation for the National Socialist's (NAZI) attacks on Jews. Reinhold Lewin writes that "whoever wrote against the Jews for whatever reason believed he had the right to justify himself by triumphantly referring to Luther." According to Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Luther. Heinrich Himmler wrote admiringly of his writings and sermons on the Jews in 1940. The city of Nuremberg presented a first edition of On the Jews and their Lies to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, on his birthday in 1937; the newspaper described it as the most radically anti-Semitic tract ever published. On 17 December, 1941, seven Protestant regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the yellow badge, "since after his bitter experience, Luther had already suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory."

Perhaps you are beginning to see that Christendom has been transformed into synagogues of Satan with ministers of Satan transformed to appear as ministers of righteousness. Augustine and Thomas are two of the four pillars of Roman Catholicism. Calvin and Luther are the principal founders of Protestantism. If the venerated founders of the sects are evil, how could the sects of their founding not be evil?

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