To Be Born Again,
You Must First Die to Self
You must loose your life to save it.
You must become an entirely new creature, with a new heart and new mind.
This does not happen with reading scripture, saying a prayer, getting wet, or saying Jesus is Lord.
If you are born again, your lust and desires have been crucified to death of self.
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him;
and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
from George Fox's Journal:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings;
if you will reign with him, you must suffer with him;
if you will live with him, you must die with him;
and if you die with him, you must be buried with him;
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him.
There must be "a coming into his death, a suffering with Christ;"
and this is of necessity to salvation;
and not temporarily, but continually: there must be a "dying daily."
(John Richardson, 18th Century Minister): "Except a man is born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God." No, the natural and unregenerate
man cannot so much as see the heavenly and
spiritual kingdom of Christ, which stands not only
in power, but also in righteousness, joy and peace in
the Holy Spirit; and to be born again is not to be
done imperceptibly, no more than the natural birth
can be brought forth without trouble; and to pretend
to be in Christ and not to be new creatures, is preposterous; and to pretend to be new creatures and
yet not able to render any account how it was performed,
is unreasonable; for it could not be without our knowledge; for to be born
again signifies to be quickened and raised into a spiritual
and new life, by which the body of the sins of
the flesh is mortified and we come to live a self-denying
life. Those who are crucified with Christ are
crucified to their sins, that as he died for sin, we
ought to die to sin. In that state we live not after
the flesh, although we live, as the apostle Paul said, in the
flesh; but the life which these live is through faith
in the Son of God. And to supposedly have all this, and much
more wrought in us, and we know nothing of it, is
Presumption of being born again, instead of experiential reality, is make-believe Christianity.
Such Christianity is of Babylon and the beast with horns like a lamb that the whole world follows.
If you are born again, Christ has been revealed [seen, heard, felt, experienced] in you.
Jesus is resurrected in us to be our true Lord. 2 Cor 4:14, Col 2:11-12,3:1, Eph 2:6.
Paul said: it has pleased the Father to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him. Gal 1:15-16
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me Gal 5:20.
If you are born again, your selfish nature no longer lives, it has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial.
The single scripture verse, taken out of context, which people use to fool themselves to believe they are born again, is:
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God .. 1 John 5:1.
"See," they say - "scripture proves I am born again because I believe Jesus is the Christ."
In 1 John 5, John carefully defines what are the qualifying experiences of a believer who is born of God:
- a believer born of God keeps the commands of God, and they are not a burden; verses 2,3
- the believer born of God has overcome the world by crucifying his sinful nature, (the forbidden cravings, the passionate desires, and the lusts of it), verses 4,5
- the believer born of God has seen in his heart by the light that manifests all things the three witnesses in the earth: verse 8
- first, the spirit that bears witness in the earth, which mortifies them, which circumcises them, which leads them into all truth;
- second, they come to know the water that is a witness in the earth; by which they are washed, their minds, their souls, their spirits, and in their bodies, with this pure water; and
- the third witness is his blood, which blood of Jesus is sprinkled in their hearts and consciences; by which blood they are sanctified, and they are cleansed from all their dead works, to serve the living God.
- the believer born of God has eternal life in him, which is to be restored to the spiritual image of God in true righteousness and holiness. verse 12
- the believer born of God does not sin and cannot sin being protected by his Father from falling to any temptation. verse 18
- Jesus lives in and controls the believer. The believer is in Christ. The believer lives in union with Christ and the Father. verse 20
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life, . Because of Adam's fall, we all are dead to the life of God, , having been cut off from eating from the tree of life. The life this references is the life of God, which is received when you are freed from all sin, translated into the Kingdom of Heaven, and enter union with God and Christ. To have life is to have Christ, who is the life, and is to be restored to the spiritual image of God in true righteousness and holiness. To have the life is to be in the kingdom eating from the tree of life again. From the Word of the Lord within: "the new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars.
Those who say they are born-again Christians still living in the fleshly lusts and pleasures of the world, and so still slaves to sin, are maligning the truth and create confusion. From the Word of the Lord within: "By their evident display of sin, Christians cause my name to be blasphemed among the people. To know you are born again is to see your salvation appear in your heart. You are a son when Jesus appears in your heart to guide you."
Another huge error is to assume a spiritual experience is to be born again - when it is only your wake up call - only God's visitation to you, giving you a hunger for more of him, and motivating you to seek him with your whole heart - to seek to see his face and be in his presence continually.
The following is testimonial made by William Dewsbury, regarding the new birth:
'Except you are regenerated and
born again, you cannot inherit the kingdom of God.'
This is the word of the Lord God to all people
this lies not in lofty words, and in vain imagination, and whatever else it is that
you deck yourselves with;
you must every particular
man and woman be born again,
cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
was the doctrine of Christ, in that prepared body
in which he appeared in the world,
to Nicodemus that standing doctrine to this moment
and will be so while any man
breathes upon the earth;
there is no other way,
no other gate to enter into life,
but by this great
work of regeneration.
Now, to enforce people to
come to this great work,
and to set forward from
earth to heaven,
all having been driven out of paradise
by the cherubim set with a flaming sword,
is no returning to that blessed life,
but by the loss
of that life that grieved the Spirit of God, and
what caused man to be driven out;
no other way of return again, but by this new
Just as you are all driven and forced out of
and the flaming sword and the cherubims
are set to guard the way of the tree of life,
must return into the favor of God again, by the
light of Christ;
and you have line upon line, precept
upon precept, here a little, and there a little,
to direct your minds to the light of Christ Jesus.
As the first Adam was made a living soul, so the
second Adam is a quickening spirit.
Know this for certain, no man or woman can be quickened,
and raised up into the life of the second Adam,
until the life of the first Adam is taken away from
So now, let every one of you deal plainly
with your own hearts,
how you came to be a slain
people to the life of the first Adam,
in which life
there was a working of the mystery of iniquity in
every part of man.
One cries "Lo, here is Christ;"
another, "Lo, there is Christ;"
and every one is following his own imagination about the letter of
this is still but the vain spirit of
man, running and striving to recover himself;
this is the cause there is so much profession of
and so little of his nature appearing among
the sons and daughters of men. (profession without possession)
Now, all of you
that come to be regenerated,
you must come to
the light of Christ; there is no other way to it.
He will search your hearts, and try your reins,
and set your sins in order before you,
out the iniquities that compass you about.
Therefore you must see yourselves a lost people, a sinful
and so come to feel the weight of your sins
upon your consciences;
there is no other way to
come to life.
You will never complain of sin until
you are burdened with it,
until you have a trumpet
sounding in your ears, to awaken you,
may arise from the dead, that Christ may give you
There is no other way, dear people.
must bring your deeds to the light of Christ, and
abide in the sentence of condemnation;
save your lives, you lose them;
if you will lose
your lives for Christ's sake, there is no danger of
your eternal life.
John the Baptist, Christ's forerunner
declared, 'I indeed baptize you with water
but he that comes after me is
mightier than I,
the latchet of whose shoes I am
not worthy to unloose,
he shall baptize you with
the Holy Spirit and with fire;
whose fan is in his
hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor,
will gather his wheat into his garner, but the chaff
he will burn with unquenchable fire.'
What is the good of you reading Scriptures, if you don’t know this fiery baptism,
which all must know
that are regenerated.
Do not deceive not yourselves.
Christ will appear in flaming fire,
and take vengeance
on all those that do not know God,
and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I stand here as a witness of the Lord of life
There is no way for people to come to
but they must know Christ revealed in
all their hearts.
What is he doing, but rendering
vengeance upon the carnal mind,
all inordinate affections;—
he comes with vengeance
to take away your life;
he will baptize you
with the Holy Spirit, and with fire.
have not experienced this, you are not a true Christian,
you will never look death in the face with joy,
nor go down to the grave with triumph.
live at home in the body, and flee for your life,
and are not willing to lose your life for Christ, if
you are called to it;
and if you will not have
Christ to wash you,
(some for shyness, and some for
self-love will refuse this),
if Christ does not wash
you, you have no part in him.
You must come to
Christ, to purify you in the fiery furnace.
day of the Lord shall burn as an oven, as the prophet
this is a dreadful day, a day of vengeance,
the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, who
redeems his people from their sins.
Zion is redeemed
with judgment, and established with righteousness.
Do not make the way to heaven easier
in your minds and imaginations than indeed it is;
and think it sufficient to live in
an outward observance of the ways of God.
If your own
wills are alive, and your corruptions remain un-mortified,
the judgment of God will be your portion.
Therefore, in the Lord's name, come along with
I have come to declare what I have heard and
seen of the Father.
Come and examine your conscience.
Have you brought your deeds to the
Then you have received condemnation
upon yourself, and your haughtiness is bowed down,
and laid low, and you see yourself a poor miserable
wretch, before the eternal God.
you know of the mind of God, have you reformed
Come along with me, and tell
me what is the ground of your faith, and your confidence.
Is it your obedience and qualifications?
your obedience is right, and your qualifications
right, what use do you make of them?
book of conscience; have you no ground for your
You have put on the reformed faith, and
live an unreformed life.
Search and try yourself, man or woman.
Do you watch over yourself,
and keep in a sense of your separation from God,
all your qualifications and partial reformation?
Do you strive to enter in at the strait
gate, and the narrow way?
Here is the lost sheep
you seek, the life of your will, the life of the
The justice of God will not allow you
to make a savior of your duties and qualifications;
and to take God's jewels, and to deck yourself with
You cannot be saved without the righteousness
of God in Christ Jesus.
What did your conscience say, have you been brought to this change of
your mind, and of your conversation?
Are you all
willing to part with your sins, with your pride
Are you willing to part with your vile affections?
This is the work of God's
grace upon you.
Do you place your confidence
in your duties and qualifications,
and take God's
jewels and ornaments, and deck yourself with
You took my jewels, said the Lord, and
did play the harlot;
if you return to the Lord,
and humble yourself, and get through this difficulty,
you will be happy forever.
This judgment of
God, this flaming sword that turns every way,
keep you from returning to sin, and bring you to
and cut you off from all hope of salvation
but by him,
and make you to see the absolute
need of a Savior,
and that your life is hidden with
Christ in God.
It is God's infinite goodness to men, that he
will take their pride from them, and humble them under
his mighty hand.
This is the condition of poor
persons that are slain by the hands of the Most
How can I know, when I have been slain and
and possess this death and baptism with sincerity?
have this baptism, enter into the heavenly life;
you love the light of Christ Jesus, it will be the same
God will make short work in the earth.
He will set your sins in order before you, and make
you watchful unto prayer,
and lead you to holiness
of life and conversation, and make you abhor
and despise all the pomp and pleasures
and vanities of this world.
When he has adorned
you with his graces, then watch for the light,
and in the light of Christ you shall see light,
that all you have done to please God, and can do to please God, is only your
All this you ought to do; you are
and all this will not justify you
in order to your eternal salvation, for these services
you owe unto God.
If you diligently wait,
you shall see more light;
then the sword that
proceeds out of the mouth of Christ, who is called "the Word of God,"
will cut you off from all your
hopes of salvation from anything you have done,
from any of your qualifications, from anything
that you can do;
so that you will be a hopeless
soul, nothing in your own sense and apprehension;
the power of the first Adam must die before him,
and you will cry out, "I am a dead, lost, and undone
but there is a life hidden with Christ
in God for me,
but I can never have it, until I am
slain into the will of God,
and have become as a little
child, and be stripped of all my own excellence
that I have attained;
and I must come to a sense of
my own misery, and fall down at the foot of God;
when I have become as a little child, humbled and
slain as to my own will, and confidence in my own
I will not then question but I shall
live a holy life,
but I will give all that life I had,
for that life which is hidden with Christ in God:
Oh!—there is none that come so far, that ever miss of
All shuffling people, that would have
salvation by Christ,
and will not let him exercise
his heavenly power, his princely, glorious power
to baptize them into his death,
it is they that come
short of salvation;
but all those that yield themselves
up to Christ to be redeemed through judgment,
and are become as little children, these are
in a happy state.
You know that our Lord Jesus
Christ took a little child in his arms,
and said, "Whoever does not come as a little child, cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven:"
you must all
of you become as little children, and depend upon
the mercy and free grace of God;
you must all
come to a holy resignation of your wills to God's
if you come to Christ as little children,
and depend upon him, you cannot miss of salvation;
it is bestowed upon such souls that hear the
voice of Christ,
"they that hear the voice of the
Son of God shall live."
I stand here as a witness for the God of heaven,
I never heard the voice of Christ*
until I was slain and baptized, and lay as a
little child under his heavenly chastisements;
soon as ever my soul was brought to this, in my
Oh! then, the dreadful judgment was
taken away, and the book of life was opened unto
and the Lord spoke comfortably to me, 'I
have loved you with an everlasting love;"
and I was
made a Christian through a day of vengeance, and
of burning as an oven;
and the haughtiness and
pride of man in me was brought low.
[* up to this time, he had been hearing the soft, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of Jesus. See footnote to Gal 3:24.]
this conformity to Christ's death, people may die
and blessed are the dead that die in the
Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their
works do follow them.
Away with all your own
wills, and your pride, and haughtiness;
hypocrisy and deceit, and all dependence upon
any qualifications of your own;
you must come
to have your life separated from you, else you will
Those that will die with Christ, and
be willing to die for him, he is revealed as a Savior
He was before us in the days of
his flesh, and complied with his Father's will; he
was nailed to the cross.
The Son of God, when
he had come to the depth of his sufferings, what
was his cry, 'My God, my God, why have you
This was for your sake, and my
sake, and every man's and woman's sake that
believe in him;
he drank the cup which his Father gave him to drink.
If it was done thus to the
green tree, what shall be done unto the dry?
went before us, and when he comes again, he
will take us to himself,
and take us from the filth
of sin, that we may be made new creatures."
Now except we are born again, we cannot
enter into the kingdom of God,
and there is no
becoming new creatures, until we are slain to the old
You must be slain to your pride, and
haughtiness, and the corruption of your own will,
and all selfishness, you must have God to burn
it up in you.
The Holy Spirit will destroy, and
burn up nothing in you,
but that which will bring
an eternal fire upon your soul.
Show me, you
whom my soul loves,
where is the path of life,
the footsteps of the flock of your companions?
Why should I be as one that goes aside?'
every one that lives at home in the bosom of self,
take this with you,
though you profess the Truth,
and live in an outward conformity to it,
if you secretly indulge your corrupt wills, and
live a flesh-pleasing life,
and consult with flesh
and blood, and are not torn away from your lusts,
cannot enjoy the Lord of Life;
'while I am at
home in the body, I am absent from the Lord.'
The body of sin is a loadstone to draw you
from the life of God, and from glorying in the
cross of Christ:
this is flesh and blood, and flesh
and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
For the Lord's sake, for your soul's sake, and for
the sake of your eternal happiness,
do not put off
this work, but pursue it, and it will be perfected.
See how Christ is revealed in you by the Holy
Ghost, and with fire.
God will redeem you by
the Spirit of judgment and burning: it is not
ranging abroad in your minds,
but you must "know
Christ is in you except you be reprobates:"
has set your eyes and hearts upon himself, and
made you to water your couch with your tears;
he has broken your sleep, so as you have cried
"I shall be damned, and never come to salvation;" (this will be your cry, it was once my cry;)
O let not your eyes slumber, nor your eyelids take
any rest, until you are sure the Lord is your God.
if you find these qualifications, your are on your
otherwise you will be like a deceitful bow,
and never abide in judgment;
if you reject the
counsel of God against yourselves, and refuse to
be crucified with Christ,
and to be baptized with his baptism, you will never have life;
but only by his
baptism, and through the heavenly operation of
if you have faith in Christ's name, you
shall be married to him in everlasting righteousness;
salvation shall be brought to us, and eternal
life be bestowed upon us;
even that life which is
hidden with Christ in God,
he will give to every poor
mournful soul that submits to his blessed will,
and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is not
a faith of our own making, nor a garment of our
own embroidery, but that which the Lord has
given to us.
Oh happy man or woman, that obtains this gift of God!
Oh, who will not lose
their lives for this everlasting life?
Who will not
die for this eternal life?
Now, the matter lies in
the death of your own wills;
when you have done
the will of God, then - watch that your own wills
and that your cursed self takes not the
jewels of God, and his bracelets and ornaments,
and bestows them upon self, to paint and deck the cursed self;
and take not the members of Christ,
and make them the members of an harlot.
are dead to your own wills, you are risen with
Christ, and shall receive a resurrection to eternal
Crucify self, and set the world at nothing, and
trample upon it,
and all the things of it, and count
them as dross and dung in comparison of Christ,
whom the Father has revealed to be our life, in
the days of our sorrow and mourning,
in the day
of our calamity, in the day when we cried, 'Our
hope is lost!'
Thus it has been with the holiest people on
it is not by works of righteousness of your
own that you can be saved;
Christ comes to
cut all these down, that you may be engrafted
into him, and justified by his grace.
Do not make
this a matter of talk, and say, I have heard this and
but look into your own hearts, and see what
heavenly workings are there.
What is there that is of the
power of the Lord Jesus,
that has made you to
loathe this world, and the inordinate love of the
that you may enjoy all these things as
if you enjoyed them not.
We cannot, when we
are slain and crucified to this world, but say,
life is in Christ,’ when we come to ascribe nothing
to ourselves, and all to Christ.
Here is a blessed
harmony, broken hearts, melted spirits, and yet
poor creatures, that were mourning,
and sighing, and crying before the Lord in retired
and yet rejoicing in Christ Jesus, 'I am
risen with Christ;'
I said, 'My hope is cut off, I
will lie down in your will, O God;
do what you
will with me,
it is in your sovereign pleasure and
free gift, whether you give me life or deny it to
There must be a resignation of ourselves to
the will of God.
It was so with the Lord Jesus
and it is so with every true saint of God.
must be humbled as little children, before the
judgment is taken away,
and the loving kindness
of God sealed upon your souls.
If you seek this
work of God, you will find it;
if you seek it upon
your beds, in all your labors and concernments,
in all your stations and relations;
if you press
after the new birth, you must use this world as if
you used it not,
and live a married life as if you
for the fashion of this world
passes away.This is not high notions, (lofty imaginings).
But, let me tell you, a new world comes by
A man is not lifted up in his own
mind, but laid low in his own eyes,
he waits for
the wisdom of God to govern him,
and he is as a
steward of the grace of God, to give to them that
stand in need.
When a man is regenerated and
he is as contented with bread and
water, as with all the enjoyments of this world:—
what is the difference?
His own will is gone, and
put down under his feet,
and whatever it is that
gives life to all his vain desires and affections;
there is a harmony of all within, a man praising
of God, and blessing his holy name.
There are no
entanglements to draw away the heart from
serving of God, and seeking his glory;
God shall call the husband from the wife, or the
wife from the husband, for the glory of his name,
there is no whining and complaining, and crying
out, but giving them up,
and a praising and
blessing God, when they are called to such an exercise;
and if they are not called to that, then
they set their hearts to glorify God in their several
places and stations;
then they have a full content
in a blessed resignation.
Here their wills are
slain, but they praise God they have no desire,
but, 'Lord, your will be done!' always praising
God, always having the fear and the glory of God
before their eyes.
All the mischief is hatched in
pleasing men's own wills;
that is, the counsel of
every heart that Christ does not govern.
live as the Quakers? Then you must live contemptibly,
the mistress and the maid are 'hail fellows
Every one must walk in humility,
and live in acquaintance with the God of
she that is wrought upon by the same
Spirit, must with all diligence behave herself as
becomes a servant of the Lord.
Here is now a
new world, and the fashions of the old world are
pride, haughtiness, crossness, and trampling
upon one another are all gone,
through the operation of Christ.
What remains now,—Christ is in me, and we
are all one in him;
Christ laid down his life for
you and me; now he reigns in me,
and he has
prepared my body to die for the Truth,
as his prepared
body was laid down for my sin.
It is a
kind of foolish profession, to make profession of
and live in covetousness, profaneness,
sensuality, and the like;
they that have come to this
heavenly birth, seek the things that are above, you can do nothing else.
Make the tree good, and
the fruit will be good.
You must be engrafted
into the vine of God's righteousness:
Oh slight not
the day of your visitation.
What was it to me to
read of any being born again, until I was slain,
knew the heavenly baptism of Christ Jesus?
I saw the flaming sword ready to slay me in every
way, in every turning.
The light of Christ convinced
me of sin, and his righteousness justified me,
and those works were abominable to me, that
hindered my soul's passage to Christ;
in marrying my soul to himself seized upon me,
and did work effectually in me.
There is the testimony
of Christ in me, he has sealed up my soul
to the day of my redemption.
Here is a certain
passage, and a certain way which never any miss
of, that lose their lives for Christ.
If you are not
ready and willing to lose your lives for Christ, you
shall never come here;
the gate is strait, and the
way is narrow, none come here but those that die
into a heavenly oneness with Christ.
let us empty ourselves, that Christ may fill us;
let us be nothing in our own eyes, that we may be
all in him, and receive of his fullness.
Now I commend you to God's witness, that
you may remember what has been spoken among
But consider, if you do not listen to it, it
will follow you, and be a plague to you to all eternity.
If you will not yield up yourselves to Christ,
this day that burns like an oven,
this fire you must
dwell with when out of the body, there will be no
quenching of this fire forever;
but if you are so
wise for your souls, as to resign yourselves up to
and come to him as little children, this will
not hinder your earthly concerns;
world may account you a fool, yet you have that
part of heavenly wisdom to do what you do as
You conduct yourself to your wife, as in
the sight of God, that she may be sanctified to you,
and you to her;
and you conduct yourself becomingly
to your children and servants,
will abound in grace, and in every good work,
which will be for your eternal welfare.
O, I beseech you, people, for the Lord's sake,
wait for the light of Christ to guide you;
him to be meek and lowly, then you are happy;
for he dwells with the humble, but he beholds
the proud from far away.
This new birth, which is a
true work, a sincere and heavenly work,
make you [happy] forever.
Oh make room for
Christ in your hearts, or else he is never likely to
dwell with you;
he loves to dwell with the poor
and humble and contrite spirit,
he abhors the
proud; he will empty your souls, that he may fill
And so I commend you to God.
I have been
long held in imprisonment under great weakness;
was restless, until I could come up to this great city
to preach the everlasting gospel among
you, and you see I am among you here:
every one of you, turn inward;
let not these words,
passing through a dishonorable vessel, be as a bare empty
discourse of Truth to you,
which you only hear, and
take no further care of your salvation.
heed of despising the light that shines in the
midst of you,
and be pressing forward to the
heavenly work that is laid in the power of Christ
even through judgment into death, and
then he will give eternal life;
the Lord confirm
this, that it may rest upon your hearts, that you
may be dead to the things of the world.
have not to come to Mount Sinai, that genders to
but we have come to Mount Zion, the city
of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
an innumerable company of angels, to the general
assembly and church of the first born which are
written in heaven,
and to God the judge of all, and
to the spirits of just men made perfect,
and to Jesus
the Mediator of the new covenant,
and to the blood
of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that
This is the inheritance of the redeemed
of the Most High, blessed be the name of the
Let us rest in hope, until he bring us to humility
and lowliness of mind,
that he may clothe us
with heavenly glory, according to his promise,
will beautify my house with glory,' said the Lord.
This is the portion of a poor people, that cast down
themselves before the Lord,
that he may lift them
up, and be all in all to them,
in whose blessed
presence they shall have joy, and rivers of pleasures
at his right hand forevermore!
A general Epistle given forth from the Spirit of the
Lord to the Early Quakers
CALLED in the light of the Lord to stand living
witnesses for him upon the earth among the children
of men: oh! the bowels of the love of the
Lord which is in my heart to you, that when I was
near to death, to the sight of all that saw me, as
to the outward man, and scarce able to speak, I was
constrained to give forth the substance of what is
now sent among you, for a perfect discovery of
your conditions. Seeing that many are called and
few chosen, and many convinced that are not converted;
therefore are these lines written, that you
may truly know whether you be born again, and
redeemed from the earth, yes or no.
And unto that, let every man and
woman search their hearts with the light of the
Lord, and it will truly manifest whether you are
born again, and so feed upon the tree of life, or
whether you rest in outward formal conformity to
the Truth, having the heart in the earth, for that
spirit will turn against Truth, as it has done.
Some others are drawn to delight their hearts in the
gifts, parts, and knowledge, which the Lord has
given them, more than in the Lord, the fountain
from where they come; and so abuse the gift, and
feed upon the fruit of the tree of knowledge which
puffs up, and makes man wise in his own eyes,
and to say in his heart,—'I am wise and rich, and
see, and want nothing,' when they are blind, miserable,
naked, and need all things. Whatever any profess,
as to the service of God, that are in this condition,
they have an end to themselves in what they
do, which grieves the Spirit of the Lord, when
men and women in a talkative spirit take upon
them to declare the Truth, when the Lord neither
calls them, nor speaks by them; so the children
born of the royal seed are burdened, (for such have
turned against the Truth, and the children born of
it), whom the Lord has and will ease in the day
determined, when all mouths shall be closed in
silence, but those which are opened by him, and
not any voice be heard, but his own Spirit speaking in and through his own children, born of him,
who alone seek his glory, and not anything for
themselves, which must be denied. Therefore, seeing the enemy's wiles are great and many, let all
dread the Lord; and those who have been led
astray, wait in the heart-searching light, to see
where the mystery of iniquity led them forth, and
return to the light, to judge down proud exalted self
which has turned against the Truth, and to bring
into true poverty and abhorring of self; waiting at
the throne of grace, for the Lord to raise you up in
the resurrection which raised up Jesus from the dead;
and in this life, contentious self is buried in death,
and the true unity is known, where the Lord alone is
exalted in purity, joy, love, and peace in all his, from the least to the highest growth, and all flesh
is abased before him, who is worthy of all obedience,
praise, and glory forever, Amen.
And all dear Friends and Brethren that love
the light, and rejoice in the judgments of the Lord,
to have subtle self buried in the true death, that
whatsoever gifts of the Spirit the Lord gives unto
you, and the enemy tempts you ever so strongly
to puff you up in a self-priding spirit, in what you
have received of the Lord; yet his fear is so
minded by you, which keeps you in a true sense of
your nothingness and emptiness in yourselves,
which causes you to wait in true self-denial, for the
daily assistance, and renewal of your strength in
the resurrection of life in the Lord Jesus; and the
more he manifests his power with you, the more
empty and nothing you appear in your own eyes.
And so is the true birth known, which makes self
of no reputation, that the Lord may be exalted in
his unlimited power, in manifesting himself in the
poverty, emptiness, and nothingness of his people
who are born of him, that no flesh may glory before
him; but that all in truth say,—'The Lord does all in
me, and through me, and the Lord shall have the glory;
and I will sit in the dust at his feet with all my brethren
and sisters, to serve him (through whom we are
raised up to sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus),
and his people, in what I may, while I have a being
among the sons of men, to the glory of his name forever.'
And this is the state of the true disciples of Christ
that cannot feed on the fruit of the tree of knowledge,
although in your journey and travels, dear
vessels of the Lord, you see the tree of knowledge
to be good, where it stands in its place, but the
fruit is not good to eat and feed upon, because
knowledge puffs up, but grace makes humble.
Therefore, dear Brethren and Sisters, born of
God, who cannot live in any enjoyment, but as you
enjoy the life and presence of God, from where
every good and perfect gift comes; and, dear
lambs, although some of you be, in your own eyes,
the poorest among the people of the Lord; yes,
sometimes your trials are so great, that you are
ready to account yourselves unworthy to be numbered
among the people of the Lord, and yet you
dare not disobey him, neither can you live without
his presence:—Oh, you dear children of God! lift up
your heads over all temptations and accusations of
the enemy; for your groans and cries are entered
into the ears of the Lord God, who in the bowels
of his love and mercies does constrain me to proclaim
the day of the tender compassion of the
Lord, to all you who are truly poor in your spirits.
Oh! blessed are you among the children of men, for
yours is the kingdom of God:—therefore be not
weary of waiting upon the Lord, for in his own
time he will turn your sorrows into joy, and give
to you the spirit of praises for the spirit of heaviness, as he has done to many who have endured
the like temptations, trials, and sufferings, under
which you wait this day for deliverance; and the
Lord will be the same to you. Therefore be of
good comfort; for as the serpent was lifted up in
the wilderness, so is the Son of Man lifted up in
the light and covenant of life, to heal your wounds,
and save you from sin, and to give you victory
over the enemy in all his appearances; so that you,
through faith in the name of Christ, making war in
righteousness, and fighting the good fight in keeping
the faith, will be made more than conquerors
through his love that he will shed abroad in your
hearts, which will cause you to speak of his goodness,
and praise his name for all his mercies.
And all dear children of the Lord, who witness
in measure that you are truly baptized into
his death, and so are made partakers of his resurrection,
as is before written, which is the life that
worships him according to his own will, and so is
truly accepted of him,—watch and pray, that you
may be guided in the power of his Spirit in all your
ways; and be careful that not any be hasty to utter
words before the Lord, neither suffer any sighs or
groans, or anything to be heard to pass through
you, but as you have the seal of the Spirit of the
Lord, that he requires it of you; this I am commanded
to lay as a charge upon you, so that all
flesh may be truly silent before the Lord, and not
any voice be heard, but the living Spirit of the
Lord speaking in his people, which, you that wait
in the fear of the Lord, and mind his leadings, may
truly know; as it is written, so do his children witness,—'He that has my word, said the Lord, let
him speak my word faithfully; is not my word like
a fire and a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?' Therefore, all mind to feel the word of the Lord
speaking in you, that the pure burning life of the
Spirit may be tasted and felt in whatsoever you be
exercised in, so that you may be fully assured it is not
your own work, as man speaking of God, but the Lord
alone uttering his own voice in the forcible power of his
own Spirit, in what you are exercised in, whether it be
to pray in sighs, or groans, or in words, or to speak in
exhortation or praises. You are not to quench the Spirit
of the Lord in this his day, that he is come and does
appear, in giving many gifts unto his people, in
his appearance, as he did among his disciples who
waited at Jerusalem for the pouring forth of his
Spirit from on high; but they that were strangers
to the work of the Spirit, could not taste the life
that spoke in them, but said, they were mad, and full
of new wine; but the Lord justified them, it
being the work of his own Spirit, and although he
gave unto them various gifts, yet all in the unity
of himself, in which they sacrificed, in returning to
the Lord his own with advantage, to the glory of
his great name, as his children do this day.
Blessed be his name forever, that out of the
mouths of babes his praise is declared, in their
measures, as it is with those of higher growth in the
Lord; and so do the faithful laborers reap the
fruit for which they travail, that all the people of
the Lord may be filled with his Spirit, and in the
exercise and leadings thereof, become a body of
living ministers, and a family of prophets; the
strong leading the weak by the hand and in tender
love, building up one another in their most holy
faith, which gives the victory over the world, to
reign in the heavenly dominion, which causes the
children of the Most High, in the authority of the
Lord, to say to the greatest persecutors,—'0h man!
do what you have power, the God whom we serve is
able to deliver us out of your hand; but if he will not,
we are resolved in his strength to suffer what he permits man to do;' and this is the holy resolution
of all that are born again, and cannot hide your
heads in the time of persecution, because you are
born of the royal seed, and have overcome the beggarly,
cowardly, earthly spirit, through the blood
of the Lamb, and the word of your testimony, and
no more love your lives unto death.
And all dear chosen vessels of the Lord, seeing
he has manifested his grace so largely to you,
with all diligence be obedient in walking suitably to his love and mercy received; that as living
witnesses for God, you may shine forth in the
beauty of holiness in all your ways. And be careful
in keeping your meetings at the time appointed,
every one endeavoring to be the first at the meeting,
so that not any give way to a careless spirit,
as some have done, and come to meetings when
others have been a considerable time together, and
so become a burden to the diligent and obedient
servants of the Lord; thus, the meetings are not so
profitable to your comfort, as when you meet diligently
at the time, waiting in the fear of the Lord
to feel his sweet presence, which will keep you
awake in the life of his own Spirit, to the glory of
his name, and the comfort of one another, which
will cause you to prize the opportunities God gives
to you, not knowing how soon you may be deprived of them. And be tender one over another,
and watch over one another with a pure single eye,
and every one see the beam cast out of your own
eye, before you go to spy a speck in others; and
if any brother or sister offend, you that know, speak
to them privately, in all tenderness, to restore
them; and this know, ' whoever turns a sinner
from the error of his ways, saves a soul from death,
and hides a multitude of sins.' But if they will not
hear, take two or three more, and speak to them
again in the spirit of meekness, waiting, and seeking
the Lord for their recovery; but if they will
not hear, but persist in wickedness, then acquaint
the church, whom the Lord in his wisdom will order
to deal with them for his own glory.
And in all things you do, I dearly beseech you, do unto others, as you would be done unto yourselves,
so that you may all in your measures, stand as saviors
upon mount Zion, to the glory of the Lord,
in the power of his own Spirit, which will cause
the whisperer, backbiter, false accuser, and tale-bearer to be cleansed away, and cast out of the
house of the Lord; so that, in the good order of
the Holy Spirit of our God, we may all live; that
he alone in his dominion may reign in us, and
among us, whose government is upon his shoulder, and all the crowns of the glory of man cast down
at his feet, that he may be exalted in ordering
every member of the body in their place and service,
to his everlasting praise and glory.—Even so,
dear Father! carry on your work in all the churches
of the saints, scattered over the face of the earth,
that in the eternal unity they may be established
in the Lord, (being one, and his name one), and
all the contrary swept away with the breath of your
mouth, and brightness of your coming:—so come,
Lord Jesus! take to you your great power, and
reign in your authority in and among your dear
children, to the astonishment of the nations, and
all people that are not born again, and to the exaltation
of your own name and kingdom over all, who are worthy to reign, blessed forever, and of
whose dominion there is no end!
And all you faithful laborers in the gospel of
Christ, who in true innocence travail in his strength,
and seek not anything for yourselves in what you
do, but to glorify the Lord in establishing his people
in the living unity in his own Spirit:—Oh!
blessed are you among the people; my soul
praises the Lord for you, and blesses his name,
that ever he raised up such a spirit in you; that in
all the greatest riches of the Spirit God gives to
you, yet you remain truly poor in yourselves, and in deep humility become servants to his people for
the Lord's sake; and being poor, you make many
rich in that which will abide fresh and green in the
winter storms, and will not fade away in the terrible
blasts which will come for the trial of his people,
and cause all hearts to fail, but what are born of
his own nature. Oh! dearly beloved Brethren, feel
my bowels of enlarged love, which flows to you
in the love and life received and enjoyed through
death, where there is no variableness nor shadow
I remain your brother, in the word of his patience,
to endure the suffering, according to his determination,
with all that love the Lord better than
Warwick [common jail,]
14th of 10th month, 1668
William Dewsbury lived in the 17th Century and was a remarkable new creature of Christ, speaking and writing with great authority, wisdom, love, hope, and truth. He spent twenty years in prisons, suffering for his testimony of Truth. This sermon and letter are only a small sample of his wonderful writings, many more of which are available on this site. Click to read.
This web site's purpose is to show how to become
free from sin
by benefiting from the changing power of God through the cross,
which leads to union with God in his Kingdom.