Considering God's Workings With His People In The

1970s And Where We Find Ourselves In The Latter 1980s

Article yA

Part 1 & 2

Likely written in 1989

Considering God's Workings With His People In The

1970s And Where We Find Ourselves In The Latter 1980s

Article yA

Part 1

Likely written in 1989

While reading this writing may the reader firstly remember the earnest and powerful workings of God among His people in the 70's, secondly consider Christ's vital requirements that one must forsake all to follow Him and lose what would otherwise be his natural life in this present world to find that life which is Spirit inspired and eternal, thirdly remember the resulting difficulties that then surfaced as these deeper requirements and different areas were focused upon, and forthly consider our direction of travel and journey since then. May also God's promise, that He will be found of those who honestly seek for Him with all their heart and soul, be vividly inscribed on every readers mind as the following is read. yA-1

During the interview times many members confessed deception, materialism, and intellectualism. For many faith in Christ took on a new dimension. Many acquired a new zeal and concern for eternal values. Powerful messages were preached. The writer remembers sermons during this time saying, judgment must begin at the house of God, in times past we picked off the fruit of the tree now we must lay the axe to the root of the tree, and if our Christian life is not more than a way of life we have missed it. Also in one message one said it was revealed to him just for a moment how fine God's screen is where through all must pass that will be saved. yA-2

May each reader consider the importance of the doctrine of faith in that the Bible so often teaches it to be both the element that justifies man before God and the element whereby man is saved. Our forfathers in awareness that faith is the element that justifies called it saving faith. They earnestly taught that it's principle of justifying is that it deeply and effectually assures and changes the affections of the heart; they wrote as follows, saving faith "is a sure knowledge of the heart in a sure confidence which we receive from God, not through our own power, will or ability, but through the hearing of the word of God; and which, through the illumination of the Holy Spirit; is imprinted on, and written in the heart, and works so effectually in us that we are drawn away by it from all visible and perishable things to the invisible and living God; acquiring thereby a new spiritual taste for that which is heavenly, and not for that which is earthly";. They in the following words reveal faith's effectual sanctifying power saying, through saving faith, "...all true believers gladly and obediently submit themselves to all the commandments of God contained in the holy Scriptures, ...they esteem all the sufferings of this time brief and light, .. gladly suffering for the name of the Lord". Our forfathers telling how to identify God's true church on earth wrote the motivations of saving faith are the number one sign thereof, They in such article teach that this faith forcibly changes the desires and pursuits of those that are to constitute and shine forth as the church of God. They wrote, saving faith .... works so effectually that by it we are drawn and impelled from all visible things and sinful lusts of the world to the invisible God and His heavenly riches" (please note They refer to all visible things as well as sinful lusts). yA-3

Before Christ so vastly sanctioned apostle Peter's vital confession of faith in Christ (as in Matt 16:16-18), He had told Peter that flesh and blood was not the anchor of Peter's faith but rather his faith was anchored in a revelation from God Himself. It is of utmost importance that one's faith is not anchored in flesh and blood (human inspiration or teachings) but rather is anchored in a revelation from God as was Peter's faith. Christ sanctioned Peter's faith in Him, saying that "upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". Peter's faith in Christ then moved him and those about him that also possessed it, with a zealous Godly fear and a heavenly hope in so much as they could not but speak the things which they had seen and heard. Considering all the above attributes of faith, are we drifting into or succumbing to a shallow and intellectual faith in Christ, a faith that denies the power thereof, which is a faith which is only anchored in what one has been taught by others or by the church thus anchored in human decrees or flesh and blood? yA-4

Would not the indwelling of the spirit and saving faith yet do what it did for the church at Pentecost and martyr times if we with an honest all allegiant effort availed ourselves to receive it in it's fullness? yA-5

Are not these teachings of Christ for our day, "verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12), "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17-18)? yA-6

Should not God's spiritual standard for His people as is taught in the New Testament scriptures and the spiritual standard as is revealed by our forfathers writings and example, be the foundation upon which we examine ourselves and be the absolute focus of our efforts? yA-7

Was God's workings among us in the 70s and leading us back to the faith and power as had our forfathers such a vast step that it could not quite be accepted or understood and we drew back? yA-8

M Should we not consider that although the Bible often and so beautifully spoke about Jerusalem, Zion, and the congregation of the righteous that yet Jerusalem in general often became lukewarm and turned away from God while only a few kept it's heavenly faith and spiritual beauty? yA-9

M Although God has established the New Testament church, have we partially misunderstood the doctrine of the church and in a wrong way emphasized this doctrine to thereby obtain an enjoyable unity when the unity and power of the Spirit was lacking, and held to the doctrine of the church as such to unduly comfort ourselves when in a lukewarm condition failing of the standard of God's people of the past, and held to this doctrine as such to shield ourselves from our personal responsibility before God toward His church and sheep, thus not being willing to stand out as was Paul who said, "And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved" (2 Cor 12:15)? yA-10

It dare not be thought that things cannot but be right since sanctioned by the church. It is sad that such has often happened and when God called His people back to His true standard many in deception continued on in their old standard although then being made accountable in a new way that such standard was in error. yA-11

Is not the church in great danger when the element begins to rule that the majority is always on course, and their convictions are not to be questioned? yA-12

Should we not consider the dreadful condition of God's New Testament church in the 1850s and the small yet God sanctioned reformation which then took place upon which we are founded? yA-13

Have we not erred in that we have too largely confined God's true church to permanently consist of a particular named organization, in that our ministers and deacons must vow to minister according to the teachings and dictates of a named organization rather than simply according to the dictates of God's true church on earth? yA-14

Could we be found guilty of having a false trust in a particular element as did the Israelites in Jeremiah's time to which the Lord at that time said, "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these" (Jeremiah 7:4). yA-15

Part 2

Considering; God's Working With His People in

the 70s and Where We Find Ourselves in the Latter 80s

Part 2 Article yA

Likely also written in 1989

Concerning the church of God and it's foundation, Christ said, "...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". It is sad that many are aware of Christ's above phrase but are in darkness concerning the element (that rock) upon which Christ pronounces such a blessing. There are two vital elements included in this rock. The rock upon which Christ pronounces such a blessing includes both faith in Christ and includes that source by which this faith in Christ is caused. It was after apostle Peter had firstly stated his confession of faith in Christ, and secondly after that Jesus had also said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed in unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven", that Jesus then said, "...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". The whole Bible clearly reveals the powerful effect of a faith caused by a revelation from the Father and where the effects of this faith are not seen there is either no faith or a faith caused by a inferior source, and thus where these effects are not seen there in no true faith and no salvation. The foundation of God's Church on earth is a faith in Christ anchored in a Spiritual revelation from the Father such as had apostle Peter. yA-16

Within "The 33 articles of faith", involving both their article entitled "Saving Faith" and their article concerning signs whereby the true church of God may be identified, is greatly stressed that the effect of saving faith is that it draws and impells those who possess this faith from all visible things to the living God and His heavenly riches, taking away one's taste for earthly things and replacing it with a taste for heavenly things. These writings and other writings of the past also stress how the faith that saves effectually sanctifies, motivating it's possessors to keen and glad obedience to God, to be zealous, and have effectual fruits. In William Tyndale's Bible, among the numerous notes he has included therein, is written, "Faith is a lively thing, mighty in working, valiant and strong, ever doing, ever fruitful, so that it is impossible that he which is endued therewith, should not work always good works without ceasing, He asketh not whether good works are to be done or not, but hath done them already... so that it is impossible to separate good works from faith, even as it is impossible to separate heat and burning from fire... Therefore take heed to thyself, and beware of thine own fantasies and imaginations, which to judge of faith and good works will seem wise, when indeed they are stark blind and of all things most foolish..." Menno Simons said many in his day understood faith like a blind man does colors. yA-17

M In the speech on justification by faith which was accepted in the 1983 conference, (according to the follow up article on that speech) there was nothing in it which stresses how the true faith effectually draws and impells it's possessors from all earthly things, taking away one's taste for earthly things and creating a heavenly taste for the living God and His heavenly riches. This has concerned me because of the four following reasons, firstly the Bible speaks much of the Christian not being of this present earth and rather speaks of them being pilgrims and strangers therein, secondly the Bible speaks of the Christian's affections and conversation being in heaven, thirdly the "33 Articles of Faith" stress those aspects of faith which were not included in the 1983 conference speech, and forthly my own experience so greatly drew me apart from earthly interests and aims to eternal pursuits. It also concerned me that the follow up article on faith, following that conference, seemed to not place sufficient emphases on the powerful and sanctifying affects of the faith which saves and justifies. yA-18

M I am very thankful that I can remember the work that God began among His people in the 1970s. I remember the sermons of power that were preached and the spirits and attitudes that were revealed including the wrong spirits in the ministry. I believe God was endeavoring to draw us back to the old foundation involving the faith and power of the early church and martyr brethren. I also remember of struggles and factions that were experienced at that time although I know very little about them. At the time of the interview work (as it sometimes is called), I believe the church was experiencing stress complications involved in unitedly returning to the faith that is anchored in a sure revelation from the Father as had the early church. At the last eastern district meeting in 1989, Earvy Ensz reminded us how that Rueben Koehn in the 1983 conference, because of the different factions that the church was struggling with at that time, had said "that up till this time we have enjoyed a united conference and do we want to continue enjoying it". Naturally all would want to continue to enjoy a united conference. Yet are we hating our life in this present world to keep in unto eternal life or are we enjoying a social Christianity? We as a church desired to remain united and thus needed and desired a common foundation to avoid drifting apart for any building not established on a common foundation tends to drift apart. We needed a greater unity in having the foundation of faith as had apostle Peter and the early church. The 1983 conference, (according to the conference minutes page 1), began with placing a lot of emphases on the doctrine of the church. Then for the purpose of obtaining unity the thrust was placed upon submitting and working in the light of the body (the majority or mainstream?). Conference was opened by reading Psa 48 and Peter's great confession in Matt 16. Then was brought to focus that the church is God's greatest authority on earth and then the following stated, "working in the light of the Body brings unity and strength to the church". My fear in plain words is that we as a church are losing the foundation of a faith caused by a revelation from the Father and then are endeavoring to eliminate the difficulties encountered because of this lack of foundation by anchoring ourselves in the doctrine of the church and using the church as our foundation. Is the doctrine of the church and the light of the greater or mainstream of the church becoming our foundation? The next paragraph contains three exact quotations from an article entitled "The Doctrine Of The Church" which article was the editorial article of the "Messenger of Truth" March 29 1989 issue. yA-19

Quotation one; The Church is divine in origin. She has come "down from God out of heaven". Quotation two; Again speaking of the Church, John saw in his vision that "there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Rev 21:27). Quotation three; Because her counsel is based on the word, and she is guided by the Holy Ghost, one can rest assured that the Church will not lead him astray if he is obedient to her proving. According to Paul, the Church is "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15). To her, God has vested all the truth that is necessary for salvation and Christian experience (2 Pet 1:3). If any member of the Church of God lack a deeper understanding, a greater sanctification, etc., he need not look to some other place, "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him" (Col 2:9-10). It is this repository of divine truth that Christ is coming again to claim as His chosen bride. yA-20

Does the above quotation one give the proper thought concerning the church? Concerning the New Jerusalem which apostle John saw coming down from God out of heaven, one must firstly consider that John saw this in His vision after that he first witnessed the passing away of the first earth and heaven, and secondly consider that within this New Jerusalem no tears or death or sorrow or pain existed for all such things had passed away. How then can this New Jerusalem which John saw coming down from God out of heaven be considered to be Christ's church on earth today? The Scriptures concerning this New Jerusalem read, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth... for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither snail there be any more pain for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new,..." (Rev 21:1-5). It seems very possible that apostle John in seeing the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven was seeing an event that will take place just prior to the marriage of the lamb. Rev 19:7-9 reads, "...for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready... Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the lamb...". Chapters 19 and 20 of Revelations largely involve events that will take place at the time of the passing away of the first heaven and earth and that just precede the marriage of the Lamb while the next two chapters 21 and 22 largely involve things after that the first heaven and earth have passed away. yA-21

Concerning above quotation two, it is clear that it is possible for individuals to enter into the church unawares (without genuine experience) while the thought in this quotation teaches that it is impossible for one to enter into the church except those whose names are written in the lambs book of life. Jude 4 reads, "For their were certain men crept in unawares...". yA-22

Concerning above quotation three, part of such quotation reads, "According to Paul, the Church is "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15). To her, God has vested all the truth that is necessary for salvation and Christian experience (2 Pet 1:3). If any member of the Church of God lack a deeper understanding, a greater sanctification, etc., he need not look to some other place..." The above quotation gives the thought that God has vested (entrusted) the church with all that truth which is necessary for her members salvation and Christian experience so that her members in seeking deeper understanding or greater sanctification need not look else where but to the church. This above thought was given after the divinity of the church was stressed and was given together with a Scripture reference which together with it's preceding verse reads, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" (2 Pet 1:2-3). Although the church has an important place yet this verse is speaking of how Christ's divine power has "given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness". This Scripture is not telling us that the church has "given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness". Also after quotation three, which teaches that God has entrusted the church with all truth necessary to her members salvation and all truth so that her member in seeking deeper understanding and greater Christian experience need not look elsewhere but to the church, the wording of the following verse immediately is given, "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him" (Col 2:9,10). The verse immediately preceding the above verse is clearly speaking of Christ as is also the above verse. Although the church has an important place yet the above verse clearly is speaking of all the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelling in Christ and the Christian being complete in Christ, and is not speaking of the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelling in the church and the Christian being complete in the church. How can one anchor himself in the church as is here taught when in both old and new Testaments the greater or mainstream of the church has often drifted into an area where the church at large consisted of nothing else but the blind leading the blind, and sadly only a remnant escaped the ditch into which the blind leaders and followers fell? yA-23

One should read the whole article from which -these quotations are taken. Does the general thrust of this article align with what Tobias Unruh would teach, who had preached together with John Holdeman and who shortly before his death said that he never believed he would live to see the drift in the church as he had witnessed back in 1940 and then said he would hold to the Word of God if the whole church fell away? Oh may we as a church be careful. Tobias Unruh before his death prophesied of a dreadful cloud which was coming upon the church which he said was more dreadful then he could utter in words! Dear reader the writer needs help, The church needs help, and the world needs help! Who will help? The church of Laodicea in Rev 3:14-22 didn't think they needed help yet they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Hosea speaking of a tribe of Israel said, "Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth it not" (Hosea 7:9). Jesus could only help them that knew they needed help, thus He could save only those who knew they were sinners and those who knew they needed sight (Mark 2:17 John 9:39-41). Following is a verse involving the response of many in Israel, after they were informed of a great error among them; "And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds" (Judges 19:30). (Note, the purpose of giving this last verse is to reveal their is a time to speak up and to not keep silence, the purpose of giving this last verse is not to give an opinion concerning the graveness of the error spoken of in this writing). yA-24