|Hebrews 10 |
1 For the law was a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things; therefore by those sacrifices, continually offering year by year, it can never make the observers of it lastingly perfect.
2 If it were possible, would they not have stopped their offerings? Because if the worshippers were once made perfect, they would have had no more consciousness of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take away [from your heart] sins [and even the desire to sin].
5 Therefore when he [Christ] came into the world, he said, "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire," but a body have you prepared for me.
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure.
8 In the previous sentences when he said, "Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin you have not desired, neither did you have pleasure in them;" all of which are offered by the law;
9 He then said, "Lo, I come to do your will, O God." Thus he takes away the first order, so that he may establish the second.
10 By that will, we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Every priest stands daily ministering and frequently offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away or purge sins [from your heart].
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God;
14 For by one offering he has forever totally cleansed and perfected those who are made holy.1 [From the Word of the Lord within: "Either make the tree good, or make the tree bad. A tree that is holy is a good one. We seek a lasting perfection of holiness. Grace destroys sin. The changes that the Spirit makes are long lasting. We seek a permanent relationship. In the Old Testament it was not a permanent relationship; they often lost it. Temporary perfection is replaced by permanent perfection. Perfection and holiness is not permanent, but once you advance to be in union, it is permanent."]
15 Of which the Holy Spirit is also a witness to us. For he had said before,
16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days," says the Lord, "I will put my laws into their hearts, and I will write them in their minds [inward understanding];"2 [Christ is the mediator of the new covenant; he mediates between God and man, directing the condemnation and destruction of sin in men who seek the Kingdom of God and God's righteousness as their life's highest priority, doing the only one thing needed, to sit at his feet and listen to his spoken words. Luke 10:39,42. When you hear a command from the Spirit, speaking from within your heart, that imparts the life of God to you; and that command is established as a new law in your heart, added to the existing inner law of God on the heart of every man. From the Word of the Lord within: "When you have heard the dead words in the Bible and recall them, heed what is said; always obedient to His commands. You must obey every law the Spirit establishes."]
18 Now where there is remission of sins, there is no additional offering for sin [required].
19 Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh,
21 And having a great high priest over the house of God,
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.3 [This water is not the water of the baptism of John. This water is water from heaven, the water of the Word, one of the three witnesses in the earth; by which water, born-again believers are washed — their minds, their souls, their spirits, and in their bodies, with this pure, heavenly water. The third witness in the earth, the 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 and to serve their dead works no longer. These are the events that you must see, feel, and experience for you to be a true believer in the Son of God.]
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful who promised.
24 And let us consider how to encourage one another to love and good works,
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.4 [Flee youthful lusts; but aim at and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in the company of those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Tim 2:22]
26 For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But only a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which will devour the adversaries of God.
28 Whoever despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.5
29 How much more severe a punishment, do you suppose, will be thought worthy for one who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has acted with spite [contempt] to the Spirit of grace?6 [The false church has made the blood of Jesus an excuse for evil; therefore they have made his blood an unholy thing; and so they trample on the son of God and show contempt for grace. From the Word of the Lord within: "Remember, every person who sins denies Him as Lord and Master. For half of Christianity the blood will be disastrous. They would have no laws. The new law became unrighteousness. The covenant of the Lord is a breakage of the people." Those of you who think the blood of Jesus excuses your past, present, and future sins; you have broken the covenant of the Lord, you have made his blood evil and unholy, and you have shown contempt for the Spirit of grace.]
30 For we know him who has said, "Vengeance belongs to me, I will recompense [repay]." And again, "The Lord will judge his people."
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But remember the former days, in which, after you were enlightened7 you endured a great fight of afflictions; [From the Word of the Lord within: "First the light arises, then the kingdom. Light comes from faith in the voice." The light had risen in the hearts of the people to whom Paul is writing; they were very advanced believers who were near the first stage of perfection and entering paradise.]
33 Partly while you were made a gazing stock both by reproaches and afflictions, and partly while you were companions of those who were treated this way.
34 For you had compassion for me in my bonds, and joyfully endured the spoiling of your goods [seizure of your property],8 knowing in yourselves that you have in heaven a better and lasting reward.
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has a great recompense of reward.
36 For you need endurance in order to do God’s will, so that after you may receive the promise . [In order to receive the promised salvation you must endure in waiting, tribulations, suffering, and obedience to crucify your sinful nature. Then you are righteous, permanently freed from sin, translated into His kingdom, and in union with Christ and God.]
37 Yet for a little while, and he who is coming will come and will not delay.9
38 Now the righteous shall live by faith; but if any man draws back, my soul will have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of those who draw back [don't endure] to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. [A believer can draw back into perdition before his soul has been saved in ceasing to wait, listen, and obey; or by failing to stay on the inward cross of self-denial until the death of his selfish nature, which requires patience and great endurance. The parable of the sower explains why people draw back failing to produce the fruit of the Spirit.]
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1 He has forever totally cleansed and perfected those who are made holy. There are two steps in perfection through the grace of Christ: 1st) to be raised up to the perfection of Adam and Eve in paradise, but still capable of falling to temptation, and 2nd) to be raised up to union with Christ Jesus, an everlasting perfection, which is incapable of falling to sin or temptation. Stephen Crisp, another eminent early Quaker, writes further of this two-step perfection:
For you know while the vessel is filled with wrath, envy, or with unrighteousness of any kind, such are not yet fit for the glory of God to shine forth in. When that is removed out by judgment; and Zion is set free from oppression, then the creature returns to God a pure vessel in the righteousness that was before the fall. So a man or woman may come to Adam's state that he was in before he fell, which was without sin. Against such the judgment of God does not go forth, but they have peace with God, and fellowship in what is pure, before sin and transgression were. Those who come to this state, may be entangled again; as was Eve, and if they do not watch, they may be entangled again; but if such are faithful to the power that redeemed them from the sin, and in the power resist the temptation, then such receive the seal of eternal life in Christ Jesus, who never fell, though he was tempted, and so come to an establishment in Him who never changes.
Christ's perfection of an obedient, faithful believer is permanent, forever. Even more important, whereas the Law brought small numbers of the faithful to temporary perfection, because to receive God's favor one had to walk very closely to the whole law; Christ made it possible for tens of thousands to become perfect. By grace we can be purified and perfected by God's power. We read the many references to perfection in the early Church of the Apostles, and we can read about the thousands of early Quakers who also received perfection through repentance on the inward cross of self-denial. Use your common sense and realize that when Christ told us to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect, he would provide a way — which he did — the cross.
If you are asking yourself, why must I be perfect? Because to enter heaven, to be in the company of Christ, the Father, the holy angels, and with the saints who have been made perfect, you must be perfect too. For what fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness? And what communion does light have with darkness ? 2 Cor 6:14. If a sinner did not first have the sins slowly purged out of his heart, while learning to hate all evil, even if that sinner were translated into heaven, he would not be happy because he could not pursue all his old addictions. If you die still sinning, you would be absolutely miserable in heaven; all your pleasures and desires, having not been crucified while on earth, are not available in heaven, and you would be miserable without them. You would be yearning for the old wine, which you think is better than the new wine because you have not been prepared, crucified, purified, (the new wineskin), and freed from lusts, anger, sexual desires, resentment, envy, greed, lying, jealousy, foolishness, revelry, drunkenness, pleasures, etc. Even your thoughts would be heard by everyone around you; you would be terrified and wanting to run to darkness (Hell) where you hope your thoughts would not be heard by everyone. A man must crucify his lusts and affections on the inward cross of self-denial before he can enjoy fellowship in the heavens. Jesus told us the same in the parable: No one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires the new wine, for he will say, 'The old wine is better.' Luke 5:39. A man must crucify his lusts and affections on the inward cross of self-denial before he can enjoy fellowship in the heavens.
And remember what excludes us from heaven:
The acts of the sinful nature include sexual immorality (including adultery and fornication), impurity, lust, idolatry (including covetousness), sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousy, anger, ambition, divisiveness, factions, envy, drunkenness, revelry (partying),and the like, etc.
...those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21. They are banned from heaven.
No sexually immoral, or impure, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with vain words. For because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Eph 5:5-6. They are banned from heaven.
Jesus said, For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man. Mark 7:21-23.
So if you want to be pleasing to God, if you want to be rid of you anger and lust, if you want to have fellowship with Christ and the Father beginning while still on earth, if you want to bring glory to the Father, if you want to secure the single purpose of this life; having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, 2 Cor 7:1.
George Fox writes of when you are redeemed, sanctified, and justified, in his writing The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded:
"a believer that is justified is a new creature, is past from the death which came by sin, and comes to enter into His rest, where there is no sin. He who is the sanctification, is the justification, and so by their sanctification are they justified; it is one and the same, what sanctifies, justifies....Men are justified by the believing, and in the faith and by the faith, and in believing they overcome, and have victory; and there are mortification, and sanctification, and redemption, and justification, all possessed together in the one, which is Christ, and this to the particular satisfaction."
Mortification, sanctification, holiness, redemption, and justification are a state still without protection from ever sinning again, which occurs after union with Christ and God.
2 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days," says the Lord, "I will put my laws into their hearts, and I will write them in their minds [inward understanding]. The old covenant was laws written in stone, outward; the priests were to read the words of the Law, to be heard by outward ears. The new covenant is inward: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts. The new commands (laws) are from the word and light of the Lord, heard and seen from within a man, in his heart: The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Rom 10:8,Deu 30:14. This word of God, within a man's heart is heard by your soul's ears: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:17. This word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12.
We hear and see God's commands (laws), tailored to our life's circumstances, by waiting on God, which is to persistently and patiently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him. This is the key to spiritual growth: to wait on God, listen, and watch; this is part of the cross. This is how to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words, which Jesus told us was the "good part" and "only one thing needed:"
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word.
"There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:39,42
We hear his word from within our hearts. Rom 10:8,17. The words he speaks to us are spirit and life-giving. John 6:63
As you wait on God, the commands requiring your repentance that you hear from the Spirit are new laws of the new covenant, written in your heart:
"For this is the [new] covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they will be to me a people."Heb 8:10
The words he speaks to us are spirit and life, imparting the life of God to us as his spoken words are engrafted into our heart, John 6:63, James 1:21. These words are teachings and commands; those commands requiring your repentance become laws that he puts into our mind and writes them into our heart. Each law you receive is added to the inner law in your heart. From the Word of the Lord within: "When you have heard the dead words in the Bible and recall them, heed what is said; always obedient to His commands. You must obey every law the Spirit establishes.
For you to be free from this inner law, by which all men shall be judged, you must submit to God condemning the sins in your flesh, with commands tailored to your life's circumstances and that you hear when waiting on Him; those commands are established as additional laws in your heart, in which are all the laws you must obey and continue to obey until you are completely crucified, to then walk in love and liberty under no law because you are continuously guided by the Lord who supplies your every word to be spoken and everything to do.
If we believe what the light shows us, if we believe what we hear spoken, then we believe in Jesus and are believers; and with persistence in waiting, by grace through faith, we are delivered from all sins. The new covenant differs much from the old, but its principal difference is that the grace of being freed from the bondage of sin, is received by belief and obedience to what we see or hear revealed and spoken by the light and word in our hearts, which is faith as defined in the Bible.
3 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. We must witness, (see, experience) our consciences being sprinkled with Christ's blood. We must witness ourselves being washed inside and outside with heavenly, pure holy water. These are supernatural events to be seen in our hearts, shown to us by God, evidencing our salvation. There are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood: ( From George Fox's Letter 265 )
4 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together. Paul tells with whom we are to assemble: Flee youthful lusts; but aim at and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in the company of those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Tim 2:22. Meet together only if there are others who share this hope, this gospel, this faith; but only meet together if the Lord so instructs you. Until a mature leadership has formed, the Lord will not order assemblies to be formed because it is dangerous for the young to meet together, as detailed below in this note.
The false shepherds will plead for you to stay as a paying customer by saying: "But you must meet with fellow believers; you cannot forsake the assembling of yourselves together," as Hebrews 10:25 plainly states, but the people in Hebrews were hoping and "exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching ," the day of the Lord's return with his Kingdom, which is a personal experience of purified believers. The people in Hebrews had the true hope of the true gospel and their faith was based on obeying the word in their heart. The people in Hebrews have nothing in common with people looking forward to heaven after death and content to continue to live in sin until death. The people in Hebrews were exhorting each other, which is to rebuke sin, to be obedient, to do works of love, fight for the faith. If they don't share your hope of purity and the Kingdom through repentance, with faith in God to fulfill your hope, then they are unbelievers; and as Paul says: "Turn away from such people," and:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness ?
What harmony does Christ have with Belial [the devil]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever ?
And what agreement can the temple of God have with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
Therefore, "'come out from among them [unbelievers], and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch no unclean thing; and I will receive you. 2 Cor 6:14-17.
But now I write to you not to keep company with any man who calls himself a Christian and is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater [whose soul is devoted to anything that usurps the place of God, and how they spend their free time defines what they are devoted to], or a railer, or a drunkard, or an oppressive cheater; do not even eat with such a person. 1 Cor 5:11 So any, who call themselves Christians, but are guilty of immorality,covetousness, or devotion to anything except God (how they spend their free time defines what they are devoted to), or greed, or railing, or drunkenness, or dishonesty, or theft; we should not associate with them or even eat a meal with them. Now if you are not supposed to eat with them, how much less should you fellowship with them in some sect meeting? From George Fox's Letter on Covetousness:
So the apostle here does not speak of the fornicators, and covetous idolaters, and extortionists of the world, which were outside; for God judges such. But the saints, the apostles, and the true church were to judge those who practiced such things within the church, showing the true christian's church had a power; and not to keep company nor to eat with such, professing Christ, who were of such practices, knowing that the unrighteous should not inherit the kingdom of God, nor drunkards, nor fornicators, thieves, railers [verbally abusive], extortionists, nor covetous idolaters; those who lived in these evils, were not like to inherit the kingdom of God; for they were defiled, unwashed, and not sanctified nor justified, etc. So that if the saints did keep company, or did eat with such unwashed, unsanctified, unjustified persons, or have fellowship with them, they took the members of Christ and joined them to a harlot; for he that is joined to an harlot, is one body; ‘for two,’ said he, ‘shall be one flesh.’ And therefore, the saints' bodies are members of Christ; God forbid they should be joined to harlots, or that they should make them members of an harlot. ‘And he that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit:’ And the saints' bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from God and Christ, and being bought with a price, the blood of Christ, and washed, and sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus Christ by the spirit of God, they are to glorify God in their bodies, souls, and spirits, which are God's, which he has given to them to glorify him with; glory to his name forever. Both George Fox and Margaret Fox wrote in several of their writings of not having the freedom to eat with those who called themselves Christians, but having not been renewed in heart and mind, remained worldly in covetousness, greed, language, etc.
Not that we are pure already, and these others are not; no, it is the difference in obligation, commitment, hope, and faith that separates us until we are purified. By your leaving to become pure, you may eventually be able to help them; greater love has no man than he who lays down his life for his friends. The people in the deficit sects, however well-intentioned they are, believe they are justified in continuing in sin —and that Jesus does not want them to become pure, and furthermore that Jesus can not purify them —they are unbelievers: what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? See George Fox's letter 391 for more.
Christianity is made up of sects that believe God accepts sinners into heaven; such groups have no idea who God is, have no idea what God expects, have no idea what God will not tolerate, have no idea how to worship God, and have no idea how to conduct their lives — they ignore sin, they excuse wickedness. From the Word of the Lord within: "Christianity has no idea what I am or for what I stand." Such a group is a deficit sect. For what fellowship does righteousness have with unrighteousness? And what communion does light have with darkness ? 2 Cor 6:14. Meetings of such people are an abomination to the Lord: The thoughts of the unrighteous are detestable (foul, disgusting), to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasant words. Pro 15:26. The sacrifice [or prayer] of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loves him who follows after righteousness. Prov 15:8-9. From the Word of the Lord within:
- "It is hard for those wrapped up in a form to see repentance to the truth ."
(A form appears to be religious but has no power to rid a man of sin and make him acceptable to God. A form is constructed by man's carnal mind, rather than directed by the Spirit of God. A form consists of rituals and dead works, which people who are still slaves to sin believe make them acceptable to God: singing, reading scripture, water baptism, bread/wine, prayers, sermons, collections, creeds, silent time, robes, tithing, studying the Bible, prayer circles...)
- "They fight over the husks without ever discovering the corn ."
(The husks are the words in the Bible, they fight over what they mean —but they fail to hear, see, and learn from Christ. )
- "The reason people go to deficit sects' services is because of a charming preacher . "
Woe to you, when all men speak well of you! For so did their forefathers to the false prophets.
- "Those reluctant to look at their slavery say, 'Church me.'"
For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in that way.
- " The deficit sects have no husband ."
(They pretend Christ is their husband, but have failed to become holy, pure, and sinless as He is and as His bride must be.)
- "The deficit sects eat mortal food ."
(They feed on words without Spirit. Their services are not Spirit-led. They read the letter [the Bible]. Their ministers speak from the carnal mind, and the carnal mind is enmity against God . Rom 8:7. Until their minds have been renewed, their words are without life, and speak from the nature of death. The words have no power —they are mortal, without life. )
- "God is not found in going to sect services or reading about him."
- "Just like Judaism was taken over by the enemy, so has Christianity, which is corrupt through and through."
- "There is no church in the world that Christ set up specifically; none of the churches reflect true Christianity."
- "Christianity has no idea what I am or for what I stand."
- "When they pray, they don't pray to God; they pray to their collective conscience ."
You say, how could that be? Does their gospel include Christ being able to lead them out of darkness to a sinless state? Does their Jesus offer the destruction of sin and the works of Satan within them, now, while on earth? Does their Jesus show them what is in their heart so that they can repent of it and please Him by obedience? Does their Jesus promise them the Kingdom of Heaven while still alive on the earth, providing they make it their life's first priority? Paul said, people preached a different gospel and a different Jesus from those he preached. He further said, cursed is anyone who brings you a different gospel; —- a different gospel and different Jesus from those he preached. Can you see Christ arguing for sin, imperfection, impurity, and unholiness? Jesus said , I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin . John 8:34. Doesn't 41,000 sects mean there are 41,000 different concepts of Jesus? So, each is praying to a different Jesus —their collective conscience —their group's collective opinion of how Jesus wants them to live, how he wants them to seek him, how he wants to be worshiped, what he expects them to do —as taught to them by their Bible scholars, with 41,000 different possible interpretations —and counting.
And if someone comes preaching another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit from that which you have received, or another gospel from the one you accepted, you might well tolerate him, 2 Cor 11:4... But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so I say again now, if any man preaches any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed, Gal 1:8-9. So, Come out of her my people so that you will not share in her sins and plagues. Rev 18:4.
As evidence of your desire for the Lord to lead you to a sinless state and the Kingdom, you will have to leave your deficit sect. To continue to meet with your deficit sect, is contradictory to the truth and to the true gospel requiring repentance. To continue to meet with any of the deficit sects is to fellowship with people who deny the hope of purity through repentance, union, holiness, and the Kingdom. Instead of repentance with forgiveness, their God only forgives with no help or power for further repentance to help them change. To stay, you will either lose your peace or lose your integrity. If you stay, you are associating with people who think sin is OK with God as long as they are believers and support their sect; to associate with people who continually demonstrate that evil is overlooked by God cannot help but weaken your resolve to rid yourself of your sinful nature. These people will constantly tell you: "We're OK, and you're OK because God loves us just like we are," still full of sin; but that is a tragic, colossal mistake. By your attendance, you are supporting those same people in their delusions, supporting the false teachings and lies of that sect, and thereby condemning yourself. Come out of her [the false church], my people, so that you do not share in her sins, and so you will not receive her plagues. Rev 18:4.
The Word of the Lord within said, "They must withdraw from their sect to be taught ;" and "withdraw from your sect, not out of pride and prejudice, but separate yourself long enough to see its false rulings ." To be able to hear Christ's teachings, you must quietly withdraw from your deficit sect because he will not build you up on top of a false foundation . See 'Sect's Services' for more detail. Also see Isaac Penington's writing as to why coming out of Babylon is necessary.
Now don't make the mistake of looking for others of similar views with which to fellowship. Realize that until you or anyone else has been crucified, their and your spoken words come from the carnal mind, which is enmity to God and cannot submit itself to God. Rom 8:6-7. As the Lord said, anything beyond a yes or no spoken comes from the evil one, Mat 5:37, the spirit of Satan in you and them. If you and others can speak words heard from the Spirit of God, (immediately before speaking), then you are sharing the words of God; but immature people are sharing the words of Satan. From the Word of the Lord within: " It is dangerous for the young to fellowship together." There will soon be a time when meetings will once again be set up by mature, kingdom-dwelling individuals throughout the world, but until a mature leadership has been perfected and formed, the Lord Himself is shepherding His sheep, alone. Eze 34.
George Fox spoke further of the true fellowship in the below excerpt from Letter 149, (a fellowship in the Spirit that John also referenced: But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another , and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7.)
All Friends everywhere,
Meet together, and in the measure of God's spirit wait,
that with it all your minds may be guided up to God, to receive wisdom from God.
That you may all come to know how you may walk up to him in his wisdom.
That it may be justified of you, and you in it preserved up to God, and be glorified.
And Friends meet together, and know one another in that which is eternal,
which was before the world was.
For knowing one another only in the letter and flesh,
differs you little from the beasts of the field;
for what they know they know naturally.
But all knowing one another in the light which was before the world was,
this differs you from the beasts of the field,
and from the world's knowledge,
and brings you to know one another in the elect seed which was before the world was.
Some people want human companionship. Few seek God only, treasuring His words, teachings, love, convictions, and encouragements, however scant the bread from heaven may be when compared with Babylon's boundless TV, books, radio, music, and meetings.
The Lord will be your pastor, your shepherd, your leader, your commander, your teacher, your comforter, your salvation. Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither will the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, so that they may not be meat for them. ..As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day...And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he will feed them, even my servant David; he will feed them, and he will be their shepherd. Eze 34:10,12,23.
Exhorting one another as you see the day approaching. What day? The day the Lord appears in the hearts of his obedient faithful followers, who have daily denied themselves and picked up their cross to follow him.
5 For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins...John said, "If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death . There is a sin that leads to death . I am not saying that he should pray about that." 1 John 5:16.
Let's analyze scripture to understand the sin that leads to death .
There are two stages in perfection [and purity] through the grace of Christ: 1st) to be raised up to the perfection of Adam and Eve in paradise, but still capable of falling to temptation, and 2nd) to be born again and raised up to union with Christ Jesus, an everlasting perfection, which is incapable of falling to sin or temptation.
The first stage of perfection occurs after you have crucified your sinful nature and received the fruit of the Spirit. Here with Jesus you learn to watch continuously against sin. After reaching this first stage of perfection, should we fall to temptation, unless we wilfully disobey, we can still choose to repent as we walk in the light and the blood of Jesus cleanses us of all sin, 1 John 1:7. However, once we have arrived at this first stage of perfection and purity, if we wilfully disobey the Lord, then we are lost; this is the sin that leads to death. In this first stage of perfection you enter paradise and have fellowship with Christ and the Father; therefore you certainly have knowledge of the truth that has no more sacrifice for wilful sins.
But this only applies after purity, after looking into the face of Jesus, and after knowledge of the truth.
In the past, after having been 'saved,' I stupidly committed some grievous sins; I asked if there was still hope for me.
His exact words to me were: "Until you look me in the face, and then return to sin, you can come back to me."
(And I add : seeing His face in a dream is not even close to seeing his face appear in you heart, in ever increasing glory, which only occurs after you have been crucified, freed from all sin, have died to the law through the law, and you are pure — the first stage of perfection.)
To look Jesus in the face, you have to be pure: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Mat 5:8
This purity occurs in the first stage of perfection.
Until you are purified, (and receive knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus, who is the truth), and then wilfully disobey the commands of the Lord guiding you, your sins can be cleansed and forgiven.
So you still have the hope of purity. You still have changing grace available to you. You still have the chance to attain salvation.
From the Word of the Lord within:
Even worse is to believe it and give up; no matter how many times you fail, no matter how sick of yourself you have become, the Lord has not given up on you. Just express your sorrow, regret you weakness, resolve to better, and go right back to waiting on Him with hope for change, confident of His wonderful mercy.
I can testify to wonderful and marvelous changes that he has made in me through his grace, since my sins; and the sins were committed after I had supposedly been saved; but I had not even started the journey to purity.
I frequently hear from very depressed people who left their sect years ago, sinned, and now feel unworthy to seek again — not true !
These people had never been freed from sin. They had only been 'saved' and studied the Bible. You can't lose what you never had.
To be truly saved, is by the power of grace, to have you heart changed, cleansed, purified — so He controls your words and deeds.
They had never received the changing, purifying grace of God. Their only defense against sin was willpower, which fails .
(If they go back to their deficit sect's ways, they will only fail again; for without divine help, they cannot walk without failure.)
As you are being purified, you are of course not pure, so you still sin, even if you think you have been 'saved.' Saved from what?
To be truly saved, is to be delivered from sin.
On this site, there are many examples of early Quakers, who had first been a part of one or more deficit sects without the formula for power over sin. After reading the Bible, being baptized, and supposedly being saved; they then returned to sin , with awareness of sinning. Then after hearing the true hope with the way of the cross, they conquered sin by the power of God , to become pure, holy, righteous, justified, and to enter the Kingdom of God. Three of the many examples on this web site are: James Parnell, and Stephen Crisp, and Mary Penington, all available for your reading, (click on their names).
6 How much more severe a punishment, do you suppose, will be thought worthy for one who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has acted with spite [contempt] to the Spirit of grace? One who thinks Christ's blood allows him to continue in his sins, without the fury of God coming down on him, has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has acted with spite [contempt] to the Spirit of grace? Heb 10:29. Christendom today teaches that grace excuses all believers' sins, with no consequence of God's fury. This makes his blood count as an excuse for evil, making his blood an unholy thing, and so they trample on Jesus and show contempt for grace. This is a change to the covenant, which God in Isaiah predicted, and said it would result in him releasing a curse that will devour the earth, leaving few men alive. Isa 24:5-6.
Tell a so-called leader of Christianity that "grace is God teaching you how to forsake evil and God removing the sins from you heart until you are pure and sinless;" and he will mock, scoff, even ridicule that being possible — and so he shows contempt and spite for grace.
7 After you were enlightened. This is after: The morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Pet 1:19. This is after: For you were sometimes in darkness, but now are you are light in the Lord: walk as children of light. Eph 5:8. And after: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; so that you may show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. And after the light appears in you, then you see your troubles and temptations more clearly.
From the Word of the Lord within: "First the light arises, then the kingdom. Light comes from faith in the voice."
In his Journal, George Fox wrote of the light appearing in 1647, before he entered the kingdom in 1648:
When I saw that all was done by Christ the life, my living faith was increased, and my belief was in him. When at any time my I lost sight of my true condition in Christ, my secret belief held firm, and hope underneath held me, as an anchor in the bottom of the sea; and anchored my immortal soul to its bishop, causing my soul to swim above the sea, the world, where all the raging waves, foul weather, tempests, and temptations are. But Oh! Then did I see my troubles, trials, and temptations more clearly than ever I had done. As the light appeared, all appeared that is out of the light; darkness, death, temptations, the unrighteous, the ungodly; all was exposed and seen in the light. After this, a pure fire appeared in me; then I saw how Christ performed as a refiner's fire, and as the fuller's soap. Then the spiritual discerning came into me; by which I discerned my own thoughts, groans, and sighs; and what it was that veiled me, and what it was that opened me. That which could not abide in the patience, nor endure the fire, in the light I found to be the groans of the flesh, that could not give up to the will of God; which had so veiled me, that I could not be patient in all trials, troubles, anguishes, and perplexities; could not give up self to die by the cross, the power of God, that the living and quickened might follow him, and what would cloud and veil from the presence of Christ, what the sword of the spirit cuts down, and which must die, might not be kept alive. I discerned the groans of the spirit, which opened me, and made intercession to God; in which spirit is the true waiting upon God, for the redemption of the body, and of the whole creation. By this true spirit, in which the true sighing is, I saw over the false sighs and groans. By this invisible spirit I discerned all the false hearing, the false seeing, and the false smelling, which was above the spirit, quenching and grieving it; and that all that were there were in confusion and deceit, where the false asking and praying is, in deceit and atop, in that nature and tongue that takes God's holy name in vain, wallows in the Egyptian sea, and asks but has not; for they hate his light, resist the holy spirit, turn grace into an excuse to continue in sin, rebel against the spirit, and are erred from the faith they should ask in, and from the spirit they should pray by. He that knows these things in the true spirit can witness them.
8 you joyfully endured the spoiling of your goods [seizure of your property]. The Lord permits persecution of his saints, persecution by the "established religions." The Jews and the Romans persecuted and confiscated property of the early Christians; the Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists persecuted the early Quakers, including confiscation of their property for failure to remove their hats in court, failure to swear in court, failure to pay tithes to the Protestant parishes, traveling on the "sabbath," having an unlawful service, etc. It was called spoiling of goods, based on the tradition of spoils of war, where soldiers seized the property of conquered peoples and kept it themselves as booty. Tens of thousands of Quakers had their crops, animals, furniture, tools, and seed confiscated by the courts in sympathy of the priests and ministers who were losing paying hearers. The Lord used the persecutions to perfect many early Quakers as ordeals of tribulation, necessary for the perfection of any saint — and thousands were brought to perfection.
9 Yet for a little while, and he who is coming will come, and will not delay. Paul was not a liar; Paul was not insane, as neither was Jesus or Peter or John or James — they all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door. Because the Lord's return occurred to those who had purified themselves in their hope and faith of his appearance in them.
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