"ARISE" is a journal to be published on a quarterly basis. It's aim is to serve as a vehicle for the expression of the Body Of Christ as it relates to present truth. The articles provided are usually from those of us fellowshipping in the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater FL area. "ARISE" also publishes pertinent articles of similar concern from those abroad consistent with our general purpose and calling. So now receive the word with all readiness of mind and examine the scriptures every day to see if it is really as we say.
This third issue of "ARISE" features:
I. "God's Love Towards All" continues our Christianity 101 teachings with a basic principle regard- ing the love of God and how it accounts for man's eternal security. Contrary to most doctrine taught today, we find that God's love is greater than man's tradition.
II. "Towers of Man / Tower of God" provides us with a wonderful insight on how man builds his many towers to reach the heavens, while God builds the true tower. My close friend, Romeo, his wife Christine and three little girls, live in the Tampa (Brandon), FL area.
III. "Astonishing Doctrine" is from a well-respected bible teacher, Ray Prinzing. His article provides valuable truths concerning a doctrine that is "as old as the book". Brother Ray and his wife Doris live in Boise, Idaho and have provided wonderful teachings to many over the years.
IV. "Self Preservation or Reconciliation" gives us flexible and simple ideas on reconciliation, reminding us that it is not just a doctrine but rather a principle of life. Brother Chuck Weller and his wife Joyce live in St. Joseph, Missouri and provides materials and teachings on present bible truths.
V. "The Words That We Speak", Sister Margit Roach reminds us of how
important it is to watch what we say for death and life are in the tongue. Brother
Elwin Roach and his wife Margit live
in Alamogordo, NM and ministers to many in person and by pen. The next issue of this journal will
publish "He Cometh With Clouds" by Brother Elwin.
VI. "Noah - An Ark!", the art work on the back side of the journal.
My good friend, Chuck Yex provides us with some humor as Noah built an ARC.
Chuck, his wife Morida and beautiful
little baby girl Moriah lives in the Orlando (St. Cloud), FL area.
Allow me to take a brief moment to thank those who have helped in their support of ARISE, whether it be in writing, drawing, editing, distributing or financial. ARISE has been sent out to many over the past six months and to places far across the globe. Regardless, of where or how many, I know the Father will use it as He sees fit. I am especially thankful for fellow Christians as there is nothing richer than sharing our faith with one another. I pray we do not exalt nor preach ourselves but rather the Lord Jesus Christ.
Special thanks to Mark Bodley and Romeo Corsini for taking the time to edit the journal and make it more presentable to you. The series "True Church of Christ" will continue in the next issue of ARISE.
In His Service
Timothy D. Carroll
"ARISE" is free to all as God's way is "Freely you have received, freely give". The mailing address is listed on the front cover for those interested in receiving this journal on a regular basis. Additional copies are available upon request. Notification of change of address is appreciated.
These lessons are intended to be basic, elementary, entry level, teachings to better understand the instruction of our Lord. It is with patience and comfort of the scriptures that we rightly discern between our soulish thoughts and our spiritual, confirming by holy script what the Lord has already spoken into our very hearts.
God's Love Towards All - con't
How great is God's love? Is it limited to only you and perhaps a few others? Is His love capable of reaching the worst of sinners, swallowing up the darkest of holes or filling the deepest of pits? What is your conception of God and His love? Have you ever considered that your image of Him is in error? Our notion of God and how we see His love towards ourselves and His entire creation determines the place we have of Him in our hearts. Consequently, we measure others with this same amount of love.
I prefer not to get into endless discussions and engage in arguments regarding doctrine. For some, I'd rather simply provide them with scriptural facts, answer their questions to the best of my ability, and suggest that they ask the Spirit of Truth to show them whether the teaching is true or false. I have the utmost confidence that if they are seeking truth, the Spirit will gladly unfold holy script and it will be as a mirror to that light already shining deep within their prepared hearts.
Before we begin our study, I cannot emphasize enough that the revelation of God's love towards all, when understood correctly, ought to cause a person to fall more in love with Jesus Christ and to surrender their entire heart to Him, thus causing a walk of obedience and righteousness. Indeed, we learn to "KEEP thy heart will ALL DILIGENCE; for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23). It is not a question of keeping our external affairs in right standing before God, for we often change the outward conduct time and time again, only to find that the inward is still corrupt, unchanged, even rotten! "...for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, THAT THE OUTSIDE OF THEM MAY BE CLEAN ALSO." (Matt. 23: 25-26).
A simple, yet vital lesson which Christians constantly forget is; if the core of the heart is right, the outside will automatically take care of itself for it can do no other but follow its center. So, it is rather the condition of the heart in which we are most concerned. "Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts, and see if a grievous way be in me, and lead me in a way age-during." (Ps. 139: 23-24 YLT). The heavy burden of do's and don'ts imposed on Christians are of no value to the realm of eternity. But if the heart has been changed, then the outside will also be clean. Your outward expression reveals or is a reflection of your inward condition and is usually most obvious when under pressure. "For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, SO IS HE" (Prov. 23:7).
Yet, as we learn to have an inner experience and knowledge of our Lord, we see every kind of sin put away from our lives. And to this I say, take your eyes off your sin, off your circumstances and look to Jesus. If you fall, condemn not yourself, but rather turn (repent) to Jesus, keep your eye single to Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes you free from the law of sin and death. Did you catch the idea in what makes you free? It is not dealing with the flesh head-on, it is not fighting and duking it out blow for blow with the carnal nature. Rather, we are to reckon it dead! The Spirit of Life will automatically conquer, and win every time. He is the true champion of the universe. Such a simple principle, yet how often do we miss it or forget it. I think it would be quite beneficial for us all to give ample thought to this principle. By minding this law of liberty and remembering to put it into practice, we would all do well.
Now I ask, how big is the love of God? How far does it surpass our understanding? Has your heart been hardened to condemn creation to endless suffering and torment, doomed to the horrors of hell for eternity, an everlasting damnation with no deliverance, no salvation, no saviour! But you ask, doesn't the bible teach us these things? Nay, for His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are man's doctrines His doctrine. There is abundant scriptural backing, that God would never cast away His creation to an everlasting fire of torture and condemnation. NOWHERE does holy script teach such pagan thoughts!
More and more people are beginning to embrace the good news of God's love towards all mankind. Contrary to popular doctrines, the love of our heavenly Father is far greater than we have ever imagined. Without any doubt, and holy script bears this true, Jesus Christ is the answer for ALL of humanity. As such, we have fixed our hope, we have "locked-in" our sight and expectation on the living God. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, suggested to us this same thought and continued on with the undisputed statement, "who is the Saviour of all men - especially of those believing. Charge these things, and teach" (I Tim 4:10-11 YLT). And so, we happily command and teach these truths.
Religion has led people into thinking that God will send most of His creation to a place of torment without end. Many reading these lines may still be of that persuasion. Yet I can confidently say that such a hideous doctrine contradicts both the very character of God and the salvation brought to us by Christ. Those who teach the idea of "eternal damnation" differ little from those of old about whom Peter wrote, "the ignorant and unsteady twist to their ruin, as they do the rest of the scriptures" (II Pet 3:16 Williams).
If per chance you are of the "popular opinion" due to tradition and mis-translation of scripture, yet deep within your heart you want to believe that Christ was victorious for all, then rest assure God has chosen this day to begin the opening of the eyes of your understanding to see His great love towards all of creation. Yea, all of us who have been enlightened to see these glorious truths must now practice and exhibit His love else we are worst than those who still walk in darkness!
Jesus "is the Saviour of all men - especially of those believing". Now, don't you find it somewhat interesting that Paul would add the words "especially of those believing". The word "especially" comes from a greek word, malista, which means - most of all, especially, particularly, in a greater degree or chiefly. Is it so difficult to believe what Paul said? We are to know that for those who believe, the Lord Jesus is most of all or in particular, saviour. And to this we say, amen, for both you and I have been influenced by the Divine Himself, graced or enabled to experience salvation. And so He is chiefly our saviour, because we have received of His saving grace. Now what did the first part of our text say? "who is the saviour of ALL men...". Paul could have stopped there with those words, but he did not and thus continued to let us know that for those believing, Jesus is to a greater degree, saviour. Now from a positional or judicial viewpoint, all have the security that Jesus is their saviour, yet from an experiential standpoint, Jesus is only saviour to those who have been saved. Yet, the wonderful fact remains that He is saviour of ALL, ransom for all, yet in due time, each in his own order. Therefore, ALL must ultimately come to be delivered and set free!!
Paul connects the idea of all men and salvation by stating "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; WHO WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.........Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time". (I Tim 2:1-6 KJV). Crystal clear - the Lord WILLS that all mankind be saved and come into the realization of the truth. This is not simply a flimsy "wish" as some would imagine for God needs not to wish as a child would "wish upon a star" or "make a birthday wish".
The original shows the word "will" - thelo, to mean - as being inclined, determined, choosing, preferring, desire, to be about to, to delight in or to be willing. To even think that if man wills, God Himself cannot withstand him, is a childish notion and should be discarded from our very thoughts. Such have a very small God and their thinking is aligned with humanism. Wouldn't you say that if God Almighty is inclined or determined, it would come to pass? I pray so. Wouldn't you agree that if God Omnipotent chooses or prefers, it will come into existence? I pray so. Wouldn't you think that if the God of absolute and unrestricted power has a desire towards anything, it would be fulfilled? I pray so. Tell me, if the God of unlimited authority, subject to none other, is to be about, or delights in, or is to be willing to perform a task, wouldn't you pray He is capable of fulfilling it? I think so! So if God is inclined to save all of humanity, if God delights in saving all of humanity, if God desires to save all of humanity, if God be willing to save all of humanity, will all of humanity be delivered? Will humanity be delivered from the bondage of corruption? Wouldn't you think the Will of God is greater then the puny, little, stubborn will of man?
Again, Paul provides us with the statement that "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order:" (I Cor 15:22-23 KJV). In endeavoring to make the translation of the bible as nearly perfect in point of accuracy as possible, one translation proceeds with this same statement, "For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. Yet each in his own class". Moffatt gives us "as all die in Adam, so shall all be made alive in Christ. But each in his own division". Dr. Robert Young writes "for even as in Adam all die, so also in the Christ all shall be made alive, and each in his proper order". Again, "for as by Adam all die, so by the anointed also, will all be restored to life. But each one in his own rank;" (Diaglott). And yet others, "Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: (Jerusalem bible), and "As members of a sinful race all men die; as members of Christ all men shall be raised to life, each in his proper order" (Phillips translation).
It is self evident that as a result of being in Adam, all have experienced that state of death, from cradle to grave, "For since, in fact, through a man came death, through a man, also, comes the resurrection of the dead" (I Cor 15:21). I think I would be correct to suggest that not only has all mankind tasted this realm of death because of this one man, but also all of creation fell victim to the sting of death. Not man only, but ALL of the universe. And as ALL have tasted of this death, so shall this SAME ALL be made alive because of a man. Praise the Lord! And likewise, it will not stop with mankind, but the love of God will embrace ALL, including His whole creation. We reject the idea of those who would try to twist these scriptures to mean 'only those in Christ' to simply fit their doctrine. The evidence of scripture is clear and the facts are before us, let not your ignorance blind you from one of the most wonderful truths of God.
To quote a wonderful teacher - J. Preston Eby, "Just what does it mean for ALL to be "made alive"? First we must understand what it means for ALL to "die". I will speak very plainly about that condition or state of being that we call death. Who are the dead? Of course some one will say that is a foolish question because it is so obvious that the dead are those who have departed this life, their bodies lie buried in the earth. But far more than our decease was brought in by Adam, and something which affects our souls much more than the sleep which ends our earth consciousness. God did not say to Adam, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen 1:27). If He had, Adam would have fallen over dead in the very day he sinned. He would then have had no progeny of sinners. In the precise language of the Hebrew He said, "And dying, you shall die." That is, there would be a process of dying as well as a condition of death. As we now know, there is a long process of disintegration, with which we are all acquainted, even though we are accustomed to calling it life! Ever since Adam sinned, he and his descendants have been dying. It isn't that death "catches up with us." Death is apart of us, from the very moment of conception until the day it triumphs over us. Like ripe fruit plucked from the tree, our bloom soon passes away. In Adam, all are dying, even while they walk about on two feet. That is the "life" that we inherited from our disobedient parent.
But death is much more than this! No more precise definition of death can be given than the one provided by God Himself: "For to be carnally minded IS DEATH; but to be spiritually minded IS LIFE and peace" (Rom. 8:6). This is the process of death, descending from the purity of the realm of the spiritual, thus to awaken to the realm of the flesh, to mind the things of the flesh. And as long as we remain carnally minded, we remain in the state of death. It is not speaking of dead bodies, but of a dead-consciousness of God. Those who are not in any sense conscious of God, or His life, or what God is doing about them. They know not God or His will or His work, it is foreign to them as though they were far away in some other part of God's universe. The sad part of it is that many of the dead are professing Christians. The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians and said, "Awake thou that sleepest, and ARISE FROM THE DEAD, and Christ shall give thee light." Were these words directed to bodies in the cemetery? How foolish! It was written to professed Christians in the Church at Ephesus. Can we not see that in God's sight, death is not so much concerned with the fleshly body as with the consciousness of God's life............. Anybody apart from God in Christ is dead, whether in this life, or in any other. "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (I Jhn. 5:12). Physical death is only one of the results of a previous spiritual death. When Adam sinned, fellowship was broken between himself and the realm of God. It was not merely his physical demise after 930 years that constituted his death, but his separation from God on the very day he sinned was the inner reality of his death. That is the real death! And all the sorrows, frustrations, heartaches, pains, sicknesses, sufferings, disappointments, tragedies, and torments of this poor mortal existence are all part and parcel of the realm of death -- truly the condition and state of being of all men "in Adam".
Let us now see how it is that "in Christ" all shall be MADE ALIVE. The verse under consideration is found in I Cor. 15:22, and this whole chapter deals with resurrection.............. The contrast is not between corpses and walking bodies, but between the dying process and the life process of God. The Greek text actually reads, "As in Adam all are dying, so in the Christ shall all be made alive." The terms "are dying" and "shall be made alive" are in the incomplete tense in the original, which denotes an action in progress. The long drawn out activity of death in dragging men down to sin, death, and the grave is put in contrast with the endless activity of life imparting holiness, power, incorruption, and glory. All who endured the first shall enjoy the second............. To be "made alive" is more than some instantaneous event to take place sometime in the distant future. "Made alive" is not a blasting open of graves and the coming forth of the bodies that have been buried in them. "Made alive" does not point to some event when people will go soaring off into the heavens. When Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus, He rebuked Martha for looking for some manner of event in the far distant future and told her that the resurrection and the life was standing there before them." "I am the resurrection and the life." Oh, saints of God, do you not see that the eternal Father within the Christ was and is the resurrection? "I live by the Father", Jesus declared. The resurrection was not some thing that happened to Jesus, not some event of which He was a partaker, not some day marked by the calendar. The resurrection was and is A MAN! "I AM" - there it is! "I AM the resurrection and the life." To possess the Man, to put on the Man, to come into union with the Man is to have resurrection, for the Man IS the resurrection. "In Christ shall all be made alive.".............. Our alienation and separation from God, with all the dreadful attending sorrows, are already beginning to end in this life as through Christ we ARE MADE ALIVE! And, blessed be his name, in Christ shall ALL be made alive!" - endquote.
We rejoice in the fact "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father" (Phil 2:10-11). I can tell you that it would not be to the glory
of God if one of His
creatures were damned to a hell for all of eternity, but rather it would be to His disappointment.
Granted, given the short time and amount of space to write, only a few scriptures have been brought to light and there may be many questions regarding several other bible verses and their lending to a doctrine of eternal damnation. Suffice it to say, that in articles to come, many will be properly aligned. In the meantime, feel free to send in questions and I'll do my best to answer them. There are also several very good books clearly presenting both viewpoints, rightly dividing the word. Words like everlasting, eternal, hell and damnation and stories like that of Lazarus have been poorly represented by religion.
So, we rest in the fact that the fate of those unsaved, loved ones who have passed on are not subject to a state of death for all of eternity. Every man will be made alive in his own time, his own rank or order in God's wonderful plan. Yet, we wisely remember to point out that we do ourselves much harm when we only look to those scriptures which state the reconciliation of all things and avoid the judgment of the wicked. We would not want to spend one day, one hour, one minute, one second anywhere without Christ and therefore preach to all men everywhere to repent.
He is not subject to the creature's final say
Hasn't the potter power over the clay?
And for all of mankind, a saviour He has become
That we be cleansed of our sins and live as one
So be ye reconciled to the One that sits on the throne
For he has bought you with his blood, to make you his own
To be continued.......T.D.C.
Towers of Man / Tower of God
The tower of Babel rose to the heighth of man's own purpose and man's unity: man knew what he wanted to achieve and knew how to proceed, forgetting where he received all his abilities and knowledge to accomplish the tasks. God knew that man would be and is very capable of doing what he sets his mind to; after all, God made man in His image. Yet, because He loves His creation, He knows that it is not good for man to exclude the will of his God from man's activities because, then, man would be his own reward. God wants to be man's reward. Today, the evidence of the tower is evident throughout the spectrum of man's existence: from religious fundamentalism to homosexuality to the glorification of wealth. It even extends to children growing up to insist on living their own lives based on what they want for themselves and ignoring the training and instruction they received from their parents. The complexities of today's familial make-up decry any attempt to establish set standards of behavior because the depth of such complexities can only be searched by God and his wisdom -- obviously not by man. In man's hands, they've become even deeper.
From the beginning man has been trying to build his tower to himself. With Adam, God said, "Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken". At the tower of Babel, God confounded the vanity of the builders and forced them to get down from the tower back to the ground. It is evident that the Lord intends that man, as long as he exists in this bodily form, is not to forget that he is part of the earth. For dust thou art and dust thou shalt return. Any attempts to attain higher aspirations through his flesh will always result in his discovering that he and the earth are one. God can only be attained through the leadership of God's Spirit, and only spirit can follow spirit. Thus, what remains to be known is that man must become spirit to be allowed to eat of the tree of life or to be allowed to experience a tower to heaven.
There is nothing wrong with building the tower. Indeed, it is representative of seeking God and joining him in his dwelling place. It's the builder who is in question. Who will build the tower? What is wrong is the thinking that man can live in the realm of heights through and in the same flesh that is bound to the gravity of his earth. Earth must first be abandoned before one can sustain any length of stay above it. Today we know that in order to be free from the gravitational pull of the earth, one must first leave its realm of gravity completely to float in the expanse of space. One foot cannot remain in gravity while the other extends out into space, as if to try to have it both ways. So it is in the realms of flesh and spirit. When you permit your spirit to follow God's Spirit you are giving up the ghost: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit, and having said thus, he (Jesus) gave up the ghost. He gave up that part that was the power to his flesh. Obviously it was not an easy thing to do; yet, ultimately it is THE thing to do, it must be done and, thank God for Jesus Christ, who, on our behalf, was faithful to fulfill the perfect atonement. We, through him, can say we have been and are being pried loose from this flesh that we might be worthy to eat of the tree of life and build the tower to heaven.
The Nimrod tower continues to be attempted by so many, a tower made by hands of flesh with the false notion that the higher it is built, the mightier and stronger the name. Believers everywhere are following 'mighty men of God' who declare, Let us build a tower to heaven that we might build a name for ourselves that the world might know us as Christians! (Gen. 11:4). It doesn't matter the mockery that is cast upon God because of them. They have their conceptions of the way it ought to be, therefore, by golly, it will be done! They are willing to die trying to build a tower underneath themselves so that they have no need to climb; but they also have no true gauge to test the foundation of their structures. It is disheartening to see the vain towers that are being built in vast numbers, monuments to man's ideas of God and how to worship Him. God would have us follow Him in a much simpler way -- in reverse. He shows us that He is to build the tower in our midst that we might climb HIS tower. His tower is not a physical tower but a spiritual one. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. (Ezek. 37:27). The structures that have for centuries been being built are nothing more than hiding places for Adam. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God AMONGST THE TREES OF THE GARDEN. Truly they thought they could be secure amongst the rest of the trees, and still, the tree of life was there in the middle of the garden; but they did not eat of it. As long as those towers, or trees, are the favorite preoccupations of the people, God will not allow the true tower nor the true tree to be experienced. Only those in whose midst God builds his sanctuary, those who have given up the ghost, who have fled the realm of 'gravity', and those who would have ears to hear, will be able to taste and see that the Lord is good. I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Gen. 3:10). Who told thee that thou wast naked? You fill the earth, oh God, and I was in the midst of this earth and all your creation, even amongst all those others who are naked and who do not know you, and I realized I was naked and I was afraid so I ran into the towers that we made, the ones I prefer to be among, and I hid myself there because to remain out there was to have to deal with the responsibility of hearing the truth. Out there I am like one of them, in need of you, and in here, among the trees and towers, I feel that I am still in your garden.
But, my child, you cannot stay in the garden if you're deceived.......But Who told you you were naked? Who told you you had anything to fear? You no longer have a nakedness to hide. My son the anointed one has covered you and you no longer have to hide but allow me to build my sanctuary in your midst. There is no nakedness to hide because all things have been exposed. It is time to let my presence be your tree of preference, the tower of your preoccupation. Jesus is the minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. (Heb. 8:2).
So, to those who struggle with what place "church" has in their lives, to those who discern that the traditional traditions of men worshipping God are not the leading of the Lord for them, but are reluctant to test their liberty in the Lord, let me declare, "But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24). Is there anyone who will bravely tell us how to worship in spirit and in truth? How does one worship in spirit? How does one worship in truth? It does not tell us that you must be born a church goer. It tells us that you must be born from above. I have met no one who has ever had anything to do with being born. It is a choiceless situation in every case. As man was placed deliberately into the vanity of this flesh, so is he placed deliberately into the glory of this spirit --- choiceless. Man is born into the spirit just as 'not' willingly as he is born into the flesh not willingly. The struggle is therefore not learning to 'deal with' or 'cope with' the one or the other. We think of worshipping in the sense of singing and praying and praising. Yet, true worship, spiritual worship always begins with determinations and decisions to let go of the flesh in toto, completely. The realm higher (above) than flesh is spirit. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit...The wind bloweth where it listeth (chooses), and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3: 6,8). If then we be spirit, it must follow that those who 'hear' us are not able to tell what 'churches' we belong to or which ones we are going to, but we worship and are heard (known) by the effect of our living, the example we leave behind us. Therefore, let us be encouraged to develop the gifts graciously bestowed on us freely, (1 Cor. 12), the gifts of discernment in particular, that we might better know ourselves as the spiritual creatures that we are and be able to hear the voice of our God who will lead us and guide us into all that is truth. Put away your guilt and condemnation and know that the Lord our God is one Lord and your ears and eyes are his instruments. The earth is his and he will have his way with your towers of Babel or your hidings amongst the trees. It is all vanity and the end of it is the ground. Rather, let your spirits soar in the heights of God's own tabernacle, let your spirits feast on the tree of life which cannot be ruled by traditions but by the listing (choosing) of the Spirit. Are you available to Him or do you have a schedule to meet to build your own construction or choose your own trees? Be set free to hear for yourselves the voice of your God and you will be more one with your brother than a traditional man! THEY gather together for signs and wonders. (John 4:48). WE have seen the sign and wonder!
.......Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42: 3-6). The end of your own perceptions will always be in dust and ashes. The beginning of understanding is knowing what is holy - your spirit - and learning the glory of submitting to its heights.
To be continued.............Romeo Corsini
"And they were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one that has authority, and not as the scribes. - And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this?" (Mark 1:22,27). Often people still ask, "What new doctrine is this?" And we could well answer, "The doctrine is as old as the Book, and it is as new and fresh as the Spirit is revealing it to us in these days."
Perhaps we do well to examine the word "doctrine," for often as soon as this word is spoken, people are turned off, being sick of hearing man's doctrine. The hebrew word is "leqach" meaning: THE RECEIVING, what is to be received. The greek word is "didaskalia" meaning: THE TEACHING, the substance of what is being taught. How we need to receive THE TEACHING, THE SUBSTANCE of what the holy Spirit would impart these days. This is contrast to the "cunningly devised fables" of man, for, "when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13). The truth which He imparts, which we are to RECEIVE, becomes the undergirding SUBSTANCE for these times in which we live, bringing us through victoriously.
"Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation." (Isa 33:6). This is not an illusive, emotional upsurge that leaves you without anything concrete to stand upon, but there is a weightiness therein which gives strength, so that we need not be blown about by every wind of man's theorizing.
Circumstances are such, with shakings and pressures on every hand, that the traditions of men are crumbling. To sing, "I'll fly away, O glory," means nothing when you are hemmed in by conditions that afford no room for escape. Dreamy visions of a "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere," hold little consolation when you are faced with the nitty-gritty circumstances that make for a veritable hell on earth. But when the holy Spirit quickens a truth within, it imparts life, and you realize that you can "do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Phil 4:13), and walk out each day by the grace of God.
Matt 16:11, "Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Beware of their doctrine -- why? Because their teaching would work like leaven, to influence your entire being, warp your thinking, corrupt your spirit. They are "Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt 15:9). Reasonings of the carnal mind, accusing or excusing according to the nature of the one doing the teaching. We have had enough of this! God deliver us from man's creed, tradition, dogma, doctrine, and give us Spirit-anointed truth.
Praise God for His quickenings, with His various ministries and gifts freely given unto us, until we shall "Come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the fulness of the stature of Christ: that we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with the every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Eph 4:13-14). We need not rehearse all the teachings of man, with their cunning craftiness, ego projection, and forceful charismatic influence. People are being brainwashed into deceptions that beggar description and stagger the imagination. We wonder how they can fall for such, until we remember that "Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, for this cause God shall send them strong (Greek, inworking) delusion, that they should believe a lie." (2 Thes 2:10-11). But it is in contra-distinction to all this that we see how God is imparting to His called ones DIVINE ILLUMINATIONS which have substance, and when received, will work in us unto full salvation.
I Tim 4:1 speaks of "the doctrines of devils." Usually this is thought to refer to the insidious teachings prompted by seducing spirits and authored by devils, and this may be true in a sense. But one older translation (in the notes of the Cottage Bible), renders the passage: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall apostatize from the faith, giving heed to erroneous spirits, and doctrines concerning devils..." Perhaps one of the ASTONISHING DOCTRINES which the holy Spirit is speaking into many today, is that far too much of this "teaching concerning devils" is not truth, and is not edifying the body of Christ, and ought to be set aside. Negative teachings of what man conjectures about devils, only causes people to become fear-conscious, devil conscious, and not God-conscious. We are being turned to behold Christ, to worship Him with all our heart, and will "give no place to the devil," not even in our thoughts.
Jesus set the criterion for His teaching in His own experience of temptation,
as the devil tried to persuade Him to fall down and worship him. But Jesus forcefully
answered -- an astonishing answer, "Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is
written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve."
(Luke 4:8). True, as a man, Jesus directed all His worship to His Father, and
refused to worship any other creature. But there is more to this than just that
simple fact. Jesus foresaw the time coming when EVERY CREATURE in heaven and
earth, under the earth, in the sea -- all principalities and powers whatever
they be, ALL SHALL WORSHIP GOD, and give glory to Him. So this also becomes
a prophetic statement, to face the devil with the fact that the time would come
when "thou shalt worship the Lord thy God." Astonishing? Perhaps,
if one has not been rooted and grounded in THE FAITH which exalts God, and His
sovereignty and total victory.
Thank God for the knowledge that all powers and dominions are subservient unto Him. All conditions are under His control. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain." (Ps. 76:10). What God purposes to use and work into good, He allows, and what He does not purpose to ultimately use, He restrains. Forever and always He remains in total control. With deep heart-searching and utmost integrity, we ask, "believeth thou this?" Jesus asked, "When the son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). Yet it seems to be an astonishing doctrine to some, to receive teaching that only glorifies our God, and gives no place to the devil.
II Peter 2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." Some translators point out that the phrase is more correctly given as: "shall bring in heresies of damnation, or destruction."
Certainly a part of the "doctrines of devils" are all the "heresies of damnation." Man's teaching on "damnation," i.e., the eternal destruction of mankind, is not in harmony with the good news that the Son "must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." When the last enemy is destroyed, it is self-evident that none remains, for all will have been reconciled to God, that He may be "all in all." Or, as the Amplified translation so beautifully gives: "that is, be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life." (I Cor. 15:28). Now that is truly astonishing doctrine, and is to be received! It gives a joyous hope for the future!
"Peace on earth, good will toward men," was the message proclaimed long ago, and now is so distorted by the traditions of men, that it becomes an astonishing doctrine to hear it proclaimed once again. True, "Weeping may endure for a night," and the night may be very long and dark, "BUT JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING." (Ps. 30:5). Thus, when the long dark night of earth's travail is over, "Creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Rom 8:21).
There is a lot of carnal man's doctrine and tradition that needs to be purged out -- all the old leaven that has corrupted the gospel of truth and peace, but, praise God, He also has promised, "I give you good doctrine." (Prov. 4:2). There is a LIVING SUBSTANCE to be received, teachings that will build us up into the fulness of His stature, until, in spiritual maturity, we can overcome whatever obstacle is placed in our pathway, and be found to His praise. "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew... because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God." (Deut. 32:2-3).
How refreshing, how strengthening, how life-giving! Let His doctrine gently fly upon the weary soul. What is the content of that doctrine? To "publish the name of the Lord, and ascribe greatness unto our God." Every facet of His name thus far revealed bespeaks of SALVATION, victory, deliverance, healing, His presence with us, His care, His grace, His faithfulness, His age-abiding interest in our welfare. "Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." (Matt. 1:21). "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." (Luke 4:18). What a love-ministry of involvement with His creation until total victory and redemption are a reality!
"Ascribe ye greatness unto our God." It need not be blasted out in thunder tones which bombard the senses, and overwhelm the soul. It is not a doctrine to be heaped upon men as a burden to be endured. Just exalt our Redeemer, magnify the Lord, and let it "distil as the dew" to revive groaning creation. The more it penetrates our consciousness that "He has the whole world in His hand," and that knowledge begins to fill our being, it will bring rest and peace. If one has been pounded with teachings of doom and despair, doctrines concerning devils, heresies of damnation and destruction, they leave the meeting with a sense of heaviness and weariness. But when Christ has been magnified, and we have ascribed greatness unto our God, "Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, how great Thou art." It imparts strength to the inner man, and we go on our way rejoicing.
I Tim. 6:3 speaks 6:3 speaks of "the doctrine which is according to holiness." With all the permissiveness and moral decay in our society these days, it comes as an astonishing doctrine to have the Spirit impart a word that is "according to holiness." Some might think that holiness and love are not compatible -- that you sacrifice holiness to talk of kindness and love. What a mis-conception! He whose very nature is LOVE, with all His action motivated by love, also said, "Be ye holy, for I am holy." (I Pet. 1:16). Good doctrine is in harmony with holiness! If your doctrine doesn't lead into more holiness, there is something questionable about your doctrine. Beware of what you receive, if it does not gender more holiness -- a walk of purity.
A note from personal experience: At the time we were just beginning an outward ministry of sharing the Word, the Spirit spoke a two-fold rule into our heart concerning any doctrine we would embrace, or teach.
1). Does it exalt the Lord Jesus Christ more and more?
2). Does it demand a more personal walk of holiness as we progress with Him?
We have found that any thought which meets these two specifications becomes good doctrine, worthy to be received, and is profitable for spiritual growth.
Holiness is more than just separation from -- from the world, from sin, from self-will, etc. it is also SEPARATION UNTO -- unto Christ, unto His will, unto His purity and righteousness. And one thing is certain, you cannot live on a borrowed revelation, nor try to measure up to another's path. The holy Spirit must personally quicken the truth to you, and Jesus Christ is the only Criterion -- we measure up to Him, not to each other. We are separated unto Him, to be joined to Him. Even Paul wrote, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." (I Cor. 11:1). Only in the measure that others are following Christ dare we follow in the same walk, for our holiness is a separation unto Him -- indeed, "unto Him shall the gathering of the people be."
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (II Tim. 3:16-17). The emphasis is upon the Word -- it is profitable for doctrine -- worthy to be received as the Spirit illumes it to our heart. It will nourish and nurture us until we are brought to full stature in Him, a perfect man. Men may be afraid of receiving some of the astonishing doctrine which the Spirit quickens -- but the time will come "when he seeth... the work of Mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify My name... They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine." (Isa. 29:23-24). amen!
....................... Ray Prinzing
Self-Preservation or Reconciliation
The ministry of reconciliation is not a doctrine, but a philosophical premise out of which a person acts. Every person is motivated by a foundational principle in life. Scientists state that the concept of "self-preservation" is the foremost, root cause of all life decisions. A current phrase that would follow along the scientific line is: "What is in it for me?" There is no struggle for the worldly person to identify with the concept of "What is in it for me?" It is evident in the selfish, narcissistic concern in their lives as they do not care for their children. Many families let the children "grow" without taking the time, the sacrificial expense to self, to assist the children in their development by instilling principles, etc.
We also find this evident in the lifestyle of the governments. Wars are caused by economic needs (selfish wants) of one nation over another. Some wars are projected to the public as "holy" or "righteous" but the misinformation doesn't always work. Socially, then, we find the concept of "self-preservation" is active in the family structure as well as the government structure of society. But it does not stop there because it is found in the religious area as well. By religious we do mean the denominational systems of Christianity, Moslems, Hindu's, etc. For in these religious organizations, each tries to prove the other wrong and each claims that they are "correct". Each sets itself up as a "god" who determines the "rightness" of doctrine and truth. Each fights for its own self-preservation. Their particular doctrine, truth, etc. is the purpose for their existence.
There is nothing wrong with having a principle to live by. Everyone has one whether they realize it or not. As a child my father taught me to be "as good as my handshake". This philosophy has guided me for almost forty-five years. But the fallacy of that principle, although good and perhaps even scripturally based, is that it is based in "me" and not "in Christ". Thereby do we tell the difference between reality and deception.
The concept of "self-preservation" is rooted in Adam, that carnal nature. The deception is the antithesis of the truth. Christ laid down His life for us willingly, loving and in hope. Giving of one's life is contrary to the adamic mentality. This corrupt mentality even infiltrates the people who desire to be religious (in a good sense). For the nature of the carnal mind is such that it will deceive the person whose intent is pure. Let me explain. Adam, when he was created, was in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). Some take that literally or even physically. I do not wish to discuss the point, but the thought is important. Adam was created in God's image, but Adam did not know who he was! Think about it. If you knew that you were made in the image of God, would you leave fellowship with God? Would you seek to be like God, if you knew you were in His image? Would you separate yourself from being in the image of God so that you could find the correct image of God? Of course not!
Adam left the estate of who he was, in order to find out who he was. But the carnal mind did not want to let Adam find out who he was because if Adam found out who he was, it could not be dominate and "god" in the house of the Lord (the body). So, the carnal mind created a religious philosophy that was firm in its beliefs. This vain religious philosophy would allow Adam to feel good about himself, but not so good that he could identify with God. This is found in all religions, but let us just concentrate on the Christian faith. After the death of Christ, there was a struggle in the early church. The discussion which still encumbers the church today, is the difference between Paul and James.
James espoused the belief, having come out of Hebrew faith, but it not yet out of him. He followed the ten commandments. He believed that the faith was demonstrated by the keeping of statutes and commandments. Which although true, is not the basis of the faith. Failure to keep one commandment or statute of the Lord would plunge the individual into a serious tailspin. If the faith was based upon deeds and laws it was contrary to the gospel of grace that Paul was preaching. Paul preached that the grace of Christ would liberate, set free. With the death of Paul there has been only a remnant who held onto the concept of grace.
The catholic (meaning universal) church which later split and became the Roman Catholic church, followed the principles of James. The priesthood was over the people and people were kept in subjection. Uneducated, they could not read. The interpretation of the scriptures were then left to the priests who were educated. The leadership espoused ideas of indulgences. Such and such sin would require so many "Hail Mary" prayers and monetary gifts to the church to clear the person. In fact, they created levels of "hell" which would require numerous prayers and monies to bring loved ones up a "rung on the ladder". How low were your relatives, only the church leadership knew. This concept of indulgences over time even effected the Protestant churches that evolved from the Catholic church. The Protestant churches founded by men who believed in being saved by faith, still had some of the Catholic concepts in their theology. Even Martin Luther did not want to leave the catholic church, he wanted to reform it.
The church from the time of James even up to today in the evangelical church teaches that man is not good, that man is putrid. They use such scriptures as Paul's where he states that he is a "wretch" (Rms. 7:24). This Greek work in its root means to be out of balance because a test was failed (Greek talaiporos, tala- a weight or balance, poros - Strongs 3984 - a test, an attempt an experience). The scriptures declare that man is good. God made man. God does not make garbage. But the old Adamic nature seeks to remain in power, as a god unto himself. As long as it can keep the individual from seeing that he is in the image of God, the carnal mind remains in control. The carnal mind is at enmity with God (Rom. 8:7) and enmity means to be an adversary, hostile. The religious system then seeks to control through the carnal mind that man must be bad, true, man has sinned, which in the Greek means "missed the mark". But it does not mean that man is bad. The church teaches the saint, and reinforces it daily, that he is a sinner, a wretch. The saved person is no longer a sinner, he has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
So, there are two and only two philosophies in the world. The one premise is that of "self-preservation" which can be found in the pagan and the carnal Christian. The true Christian espouses the belief of "life-giving". Reconciliation is such a premise. Jesus came to reconcile the world to Himself. Paul and others since have been given the ministry of reconciliation, willing to be cast off from salvation for the sake of all. Many Christians recoil at the concept of reconciliation. There are a number of reasons. First, they do not believe that the Son of God can save everybody - the devil has most people. Secondly, many Christians have the belief, unwittingly, that they are better than the sinner and subtly deceived by the carnal mind emit a "holier than thou" attitude to the unsaved. Reconciliation destroys these two beliefs of the religious systems of Christianity.
What love is there that is true? It is a love that constrains us to lay down our life, even as He laid down His life for us. This is the reconciliation that the world needs to see. "Self-preservation" denies that fundamental truth of Christianity. Christianity is based upon the premise of "agape" love - love that holds no conditions. Such love destroys the yoke of rituals, dogmas, traditions and every other vanity that man has developed whether religious or pagan.
Reconciliation seeks to deliver from death, Standard Christianity holds people in death and hell. Reconciliation seeks an end to torment. Standard Christianity professes an unending torment. Reconciliation creates the opportunity for salvation. Standard Christianity envisions the person as a sinner. The subjects of death, hell, forever and ever have been developed upon the foundation of an erroneous translation of the 1600's - the King James Version, along with the assistance of the Roman church's Jesuits who developed the theory/dogma of indulgences, purgatory, levels of torment, etc.
The depths of God's love visible through reconciliation are enlarged when the saint realizes that the concept of "self-preservation" is not found in the scriptures.
The Words That We Speak
The words that we speak are they life or death. Do they give us hope or discouragement? I think we had better listen very carefully to what we say, because we are held responsible for what we say, not just to our brethren, but to ourselves also. Notice what Jesus said: "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matt. 12:36-37). If it is the Word of God -- it is Life. If it is ourselves speaking -- it is death. And it will destroy, kill everyone that hears us; and not only they who hear us, but ourselves also. Because the scripture says in Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."
So what do we love -- Life or death? What are we eating? Is it Life or death? Because in Proverbs 18:20, it says that "A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled." Do we want to be filled with death, which is an enemy, and die? (I Cor. 15:26). I myself want to live, what about you? I know the answer to that. We all are wanting to live, but not just live but live more abundantly. So now that we all know we are wanting to live, let us look at some more of the scriptures that speak of life:
Prov. 10:20 says, "The tongue of the just is as choice silver" (redemption and righteousness, Prov. 25:4-5, Psa. 12:6).
"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life" (Prov. 15:4); and we know the Tree of Life is Christ -- ever living (Rev. 2:7).
"The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: (Prov. 10:11), and John 4:14 tells us that He is the water for the thirsty. Jesus also said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink" (John 7:37).
"In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found (Prov. 10:13). and with wisdom the house is built (Prov. 24:3-4).
"The lips of the righteous feed many" (Prov. 10:21) -- Jesus said, "Feed My sheep" (John 21: 15-17).
To have all the words of life we must be communicating, having an intimate relationship with Him, with Christ the living Spirit which dwells in us: "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach" (Rom. 10:8). Jesus tells us in John 5:19 "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." In John 14:24, "...the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." Can you see what Jesus is saying to us? We have to hear the Father and speak what we hear. Let me make this very plain. We can know the Bible from one end to the other, have it all memorized in these heads of ours, and we can tell the world all about it, till we are blue in the face -- but without the Spirit, and if God did not tell us to speak, it is death!
Jesus, in John 6:63, said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Do you see it? The flesh profits nothing -- the carnal mind, the written word. II Cor. 3:6 says, "...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." So let us not speak the scriptures for the sake of being heard. But let it be the Spirit that quickens -- makes alive. So when the Spirit moves through us, let us speak like it says I I Cor. 2:4-7, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." Then the words that we speak are Spirit and Life. They glorify God, not ourselves! Amen.
..............Margit H. Roach
ANNOUNCING A CHRISTIAN MEETING
IN TAMPA/CLEARWATER, FL AREA
ON JULY 22nd & 23rd, 1993
Come join us in a time of fellowship as we gather together under the headship of Jesus Christ. Brother Stacy Wood from Omaha, NE will be joining us to share the word of the Lord.
The meeting location is in Clearwater, FL, just west of Tampa Bay. The meeting room will be at the Holiday Inn on Route 19N just off of 60. The meeting time will be 7:30P.M both Thursday and Friday evenings.
For further information contact either Tim Carroll at (813) 786-5984 or Carol & Nelson Stride at (813) 784-7589.
Let's all come expecting to meet the Lord.
In addition, regular home meetings will be held by brethren in the Palm Harbor and Brandon areas.