Change Of Mind

September 10, 2001

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3.

Repentance is essentially a changing of the mind but more than that, it is a change of the heart and will, which demands action. First you were going one way, now you are going another. Cheap grace is that which comes to the Lord for salvation but without the penitant heart. Jesus welcomes all who come to him but the message is clear throughout the New Testament - repent.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:19-21.

Our salvation resides in the effects of the cross. Remission of sins is a result of the shed blood but could only be prompted by the obedience of Christ. We are to follow Him in that obedience, Jesus who knew no sin went to the cross to die once only but we must continually follow Him there because sin is still an ever present force. Christ is made manifest in us, we are now the word made flesh as Jesus lives within us, we are the only Jesus that many people see. What do they see? A changed life? Or one that relies on salvation as an excuse to live a life of the devil. We need to have that resolve that dies to ourselves and that is a continuous process of repentance, not a one time deal. And we need to encourage others to have that same resolve.

The pastor in church yesterday morning told us why he needed to be constantly filled with the spirit. Because "we leak" was his reply.

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13

With true repentance, the past no longer matters, it's the future that counts. A future without repentance is a future without holiness and without holiness, no one will see the Lord. You have already been told that thieves and greedy persons or drunks or the effeminate or fornicators shall not inherit the kingdom of God but this describes many Christians, shall we say that their salvation is secure? Or shall we tell them to repent?

The only One that truly knows for sure if we are saved or not is God. We can hope but we also know that many who have called upon the Lord will be dissapointed, Jesus tells us so. Rather than trying to placate the differences between opposing views of eternal security, we should stick with the gospel record, especially the parables of Jesus and understand that we need to take heed. Notice the operative words in this verse:

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. I Timothy 4:16

The key words here are in the continuance and in saving ourselves and others. Paul also mentions in I Corinthians 10 that those that think they stand should take heed lest they fall. There is a real danger in thinking that we have it all if in fact we do not; this is the luke-warm church and they are told to repent.

We should however, have the assurance of our salvation, I know that I do and I must teach you to have that hope also. But we must not let up and we must have the attitude of mind and heart that fears God. You know that He is a loving God but He is also terrible and mighty. We are taught that if God repents, it is of the evil that we deserve executed against us. Know that God has that power, He is not only God of all and the giver of life but He is also the judge of the entire human race. Know that the promises of God are and always have been conditional in every dispensation. To think otherwise is to refute His word.

Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. I John 2:24.

Make sure to check out the responses below. Many scriptures about what is being discussed here and much more on repentance. Read on and you will see a real closeness felt on the Yahoo forum by several of us lately and I praise the Lord for it. I would again like to give you the opportunity to join the discussions there at

To close the dialogue on eternal security, let's see what responses we have this time and pray that God will reveal to us His voice and not take heed to extreme positions on this issue. The Bible gives us clear and concise guidelines to follow concerning salvation and it is not so hard once we bring balance to them. Martin Luther gave us a good example of bringing forth the doctrine of grace but Luther also thought that the book of James should be thrown out because it says that faith without works is dead. There is a righteous balance there if we look for it, we just need to accept it as gospel. Holiness is in our grasp.


Today the gospel is compromised. We like to hear a feel-good message. All of us would like to be comforted and loved. It is then easy for the pastor to tell his sheep, God loves you unconditionally, and your place in eternity is sure with Him. That is a true statement, but it is only part "a" to the sermon. There is a small part "b" that they must feel is not pleasing to speak about or deliberately neglect to tell the whole truth.

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

It is very evident that people (branches) that are attached to Jesus (the vine) who do not bear fruit are taken away. Now, I just finished reading a book about the Vine and Jesus by a "famous" Christian author, who goes on to say how, when he spoke to a farmer, he explained how the farmer lovingly takes up the branches that have fallen on the ground (but are still attached to the vine, and he picks them up and ties them to a more productive, sunny spot to help them get a better chance to flourish in the sun. That is a great act on the farmer's part. If there is any chance that the branch will bear fruit, I am sure our loving Lord would do the same.

But the scripture does not specifically mention being taken up, it says that branches will be taken away and burned when there is no evidence of fruit. He cursed the fig tree, and he will curse the branches. The fig tree, by the way, was a type-Israel, the same way the branches, are a type-Christian.

So these were "branches" that were once on the vine, saved, attached, under protection, secure, etc….but, they are not bearing fruit. If you are one of His, you will bear fruit, some 30, some 60, some 100 fold.

I would not call this parable an example of eternal security. Yes, as far as Jesus is concerned, he is always the vine. Abide in it, and you will have all the promises of this life, and the next…..if you abide in it…..and bear fruit. Doing your own thing, and not doing God's will, can bring severe consequences. People that bear fruit produce evidence of maturing toward love, long-suffering, faith, temperance, etc. Yes, we all fall short every day, but God knows our hearts are looking toward the "mark" of the high calling, and our eyes are on the vine. Knowing our hearts, he will trim us up, the Holy Spirit will correct, discipline and refine and believe it or not, chastise and admonish. That is the truth. So keep your eyes on the vine, and your heart toward righteousness in Christ, and you future is absolutely, unequivocally sure!!!

This is only one scripture on eternal security. It does not take long to find more, if you are sincerely seeking truth. I cannot believe the number of "well-thought-of" Christians that are telling a different story.

Let us look at a few more pieces of truth….

Mt 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Sounds like a Christian that has been denied access to the Kingdom to me. He was a servant, but is no longer accepted.

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bride- groom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

This parable is about virgins….those that were waiting for the Lord, but some were ready, and some were not. Some were left out. So when Jesus comes for his bride, which is what he says this parable is like unto the Kingdom of Heaven ….are some not going that expect to go? This is not about the world vs the saved…this is about virgins (the bride).

About his servants he said:

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

These two servants were able to enter in to the joy of the Lord., but…..

Mt 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30: And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now these are all servants of one master…so Jesus is not speaking of the world and the church. He is speaking only of those who serve (or at least think they do). Some of the church are talking the talk, thinking they are "in" but they are not walking the walk, and he says He does not know them. No intimacy, perhaps a lot of works and programs, maybe a lot of lip service but no relationship and no fruit.

Just a little question that is brought to mind when we think of "always" saved. Why did Jesus, and Paul, and Jude, and Peter, all speak of warnings of going astray by false Christs, and wolves in sheep's clothing and false teaching if it did not matter in the long run? We could all just do our thing and listen to all the false shepherds, and wind up in Heaven anyway? I believe these warnings were for the warring of our soul….and we were warned to follow Jesus, and the good news. Christ and him crucified. Love God, love your neighbor, remember the poor, and the widow, etc. That would be all that would be necessary. All other doctrine that causes strife and/or division was to be seriously discerned. Study the Word to find these wolves out. Satan is like a roaring lion, roaming around to see whom he can devour. He is warring for your soul. Are we so high-minded that we think there is no danger of losing what you have attained? Just ask why all the warnings if once saved, always saved?

There are so many scriptures to tell us about keeping on the narrow path because the wide path leads to destruction. They will be sited here for your reading. Sometimes when we are just given scripture reference, we never look it up. So here it is printed out for us to study. Hope it helps some to see the truth in these scriptures and to be aware of a doctrine of "itchy" ears with ½ truths.

The first scriptures are from the Old Testament and how God dealt with the back-slidden Israelites, and remember God is no respecter of persons. What He did with the disobedient of Israel physically, He will do to us Spiritually.

Deut. 29:9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. 10 Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, 11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: 12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: 13 That he may establish thee today for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; 15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day: 16 (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; 17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:) 18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; 19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: 20 The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven.

Jesus warns again in Rev. 3: 3-5 that he would blot out those names that do not change their ways in the warning to the churches. It is obvious that some names that have been written in Heaven will be blotted out….not accepted. They were written in at one time, and now they stand to be crossed out.

Deut.30:14-18 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

Here is more food for thought:

Ezekiel 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

These are just a small token of scripture in the OT that speaks of eternal security. The Bible is really "loaded" with warning scriptures, if you care to have ears to hear. Let us see a few of the ways God addresses our behavior in the New Testament. Remember, God does not change. His promises are irrevocable. It is all on our own part that we choose to be obedient, or to stray from His truth. God has always given us free will.

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

In other words, how many times can we expect to crucify our Lord?

Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called to day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

The following scripture is very frightening, but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…Have you loved the Lord in name only, or do you heed his commandments?

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The above is a very serious warning. Can you think of the many that sin on Saturday night, and praise God on Sunday morning? He warns: "Be ye holy, as I am holy"…… "Woe, to the hypocrites !! "Narrow is the way" Are you listening to the Holy Spirit? The foolish virgins are going to pound on that door to Heaven, and it will be shut!

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

And, if Jude has not given you prophetic warning enough, and you think there are not false prophets looking for your soul, it is suggested that you read the entire chapter of II Peter, chapter 2.

This next scripture is Jesus speaking to the church at Sardis, and it fits some today.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

1Cor.10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Sometimes I wonder if all of our names are written in the book, and it is God's will that none should perish....and it is by our decisions and poor choice, that we are blotted out? Food for thought......

Patti Sheehan

Dear Jay !

I wonder whether another thought may help your group's discussion? (Do I have the correct understanding of your ministry?) Do you allow me you to offer unsolicited ideas? (Its the teacher God made me).

I agree about a person who seemingly falls away from the Lord willfully etc., that that person was never saved to begin with. However, the reason why someone wants to discuss the subject could very well be their own doubt. (Its the counselor God made me).

So for your group:

The foremost experiential indicators of a person's salvation are LIFE and DEATH.

LIFE: Is there evidence of a new focus, (like Christ), hunger for God's Word, new priorities, a peace never felt before, a new set of values, growing into a new attitude and outlook on life resulting in a new direction of life altogether?

DEATH: Is there self-denial, joyful suffering for Christ, is there self- crucifixion (Mt16:24) is there dying in the flesh and freedom from that habitual sin, 1 Pe 4;1, NASB margin says: "suffered death". Changes made in life-style to avoid the old ways, incl. unsuitable friends, etc.?

The reason for our discussion or private contemplation should not be academic etc., but rather our obdience to God's exhortation in 2 Co13:3-6.

Only God and the believer can know for certain that that person is saved and we SHOULD have assurance of salvation, otherwise we have no spiritual hope for living, joy to encourage others nor strength to serve and no boldness to evangelize or witness! You wonder how many would became hot if they had assurance of salvation.

Have a wonderful weekend Jay!!!

Are we hand in glove or glove in hand?


Perfect Love casts our all fear. :)

Our foundation -- the foundation of Koinonia -- is Christ Jesus Himself. He is the union -- He is the Love -- He is the bonding -- and we have the Promise, that NOTHING can separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus. Nothing can separate the union that we have in Christ. Nothing. What we have been made sensitive to -- and are speaking of, is a "reality" in the Kingdom of Heaven. When we live here.. as we are already living 'there' (already raised up and already seated in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus -- even now. Eph 2:6) so then through our acting in faith in the Promise (Living and Loving as we already do in the Kingdom), we partake ( in Koinonia) in His Divine Nature -- and become, each of us -- one small means of the fulfillment of: "Thy Kingdom Come, on earth as it is in heaven".

And YES... everything that stands in opposition to God and His Ruling and Reign - His Kingdom -- including our own flesh - which cannot submit to the Will of God; [it must be crucified] WILL come against this Love.

The kingdom of darkness recognizes what this is -- perhaps much better than we do ourselves, for these dark spirits once knew this life of Love too. They recognize the Kingdom of Heaven being talked about -- struggled for -- and lived - by many of the saints of God in this generation. We must, in our gentleness as doves -- be wise about the wiley schemes of the serpent spirits, for they WILL desperately try to tear down this Life of Love in the Church. We can be ready though.. and through the Grace of God, not fall victim to the works of evil.

This Love - Agape is an ever-flowing-outward Love. It is always 'giving' -- and is not dependent or affected by the actions of those upon whom it is poured out. This Love IS 1 Cor. 13 Love. Our part is just to LOVE and let God do what He will in the hearts of those who receive it. This Love is just as 'prophetic' as any 'prophetic words' given -- and as we have learned to obey God, when we give Him the use of our minds/voices to speak forth His Prophetic Words, so too, we must obey Him when we give Him the use of our hearts for His Prophetic Love purposes too. Even as we do not 'enforce' His prophetic words -- we do not 'enforce' His prophetic Love. Our purpose is just to Love and in that Love, the Body is united -- perfected in Love. This is a corporate perfecting -- and will be accomplished together with all those who are receiving this Call to Love, even now.

Our natural love is not of this "ever-giving" character ... self-love seeks its own. Agape does not.. and for that reason, Love can never fail. The source of Agape is the Heart of the Glorious Trinity. By the Holy Spirit, He sheds this Love abroad in our hearts, but because the source is HIM, we need never fear Loving extravagantly and unconditionally -- that is our purpose; We are not the origin of this Love, we are but the 'vessels' God uses - filling us to overflowing for those He has placed us among. Love is the adhesive in the body -- and as He joins each part together, He envelopes us all in His Love -- a flexible, giving, stetchable adhesive -- based upon a simple premise: Love God .. and Love our neighbor.

We must never fear His Will, for He is a Good God and what He does is good (even when we can't yet see it in that light) -- for if it is His Will that what He has given, He takes away.. this too, is for our own deliverance and transformation; In the Divine Work He is doing in our hearts, He first must deal with the self-love that will contaminate His Pure Agape. We all have self-love, but by His Spirit, He brings it out into the open, that we might -- even through hurts/wounds/betrayals -- acknowledge it, and ask Him to remove it from our hearts. [If you have never read Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, I would recommend it. There is a portion in her transformation in Love that the High Priest must reach into her heart and remove the self-love that is growing there -- I found this experience to be very real - very painful -- and yet, very necessary in my own life. I am sure it must be true of us all. Perhaps her book will help many of us understand this calling in Love).

Mary, what I keep in my thoughts is that 'if it hurts' -- then that is my 'flesh' responding to something that 'it' doesn't like. I ask the Holy Spirit to crucifiy it, and to set me free - and more able to Love our Lord with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength -- for this is THE PROMISE that I hold most sacred! I so WANT to Love God like that!!... and with every one of these 'transforming' opportunities (ie: fleshly hurts/wounds/betrayals) I am made more able to do that. SEE why the enemy doesn't want us to learn the Power of Love? This is the Kingdom of God -- and it is here right in the midst of us.. if we will just let ourselves LOVE with a Love that is not human at all! I pray the Father will pour His Love out upon all His Church -- that we might be those very disciples that Jesus saw in His Mind when He said we would be known by our Love -- one for another.

Yours in His Gracious and Glorious Love

Jay, Mary, Linda, Timothy, and all:

What a lively discussion, and in two different places! Don't let me interrupt, but I would like to do more than listen. My I get in?

There is too much here to respond to, but believer security seems to be very much on our minds. There seem to be scriptures to support every position, so let me respond to that with testimony. I will believe the scriptures and the reading of them according to my experiential knowledge of God. After all, salvation comes in knowing Him. For instance, I have been through a couple of periods where I feared for my very life; but I was turned when he spoke to me! And this is what Mary said - not that she turned away but - that when God spoke to her, she believed!. When He speaks, that's it, no argument: when you know truth it is simply not possible to resist. After all, His words created the universe. To get away from Him we, like Lucifer in heaven, must hide in iniquity. Then we can do whatever we want until He decides different. Usually He leaves me in my turning aways until I learn from them; or, as in one period of my pilgrimage I had to do some earnest asking, seeking, and knocking to find Him! But if I belong to Him, my foolishness is His problem. If this sounds like I am inviting promiscuity, nothing could be farther from the truth, because I know Him. I can do something stupid if I want to, but I do not want to face the resultant truth, or chastening, that is sure to follow. This is some kind of security, knowing that - like a dumb sheep - no matter how many times I get lost He will find me, or draw me back. I've learned that by experiencing Him, and that experience is according to scripture and the teachings of the Holy Ghost. I think Jay said something like, if we fall away permanently we never knew Him in the first place; and I agree but with the qualification that salvation is God's choice in that Paul said, something like, He has mercy on whom He wills, and on whom He wills He hardens. And I leave it at that.

And again I love Mary's testimony of faith. To me faith is hearing His voice, and heeding what He said. And it is a gift in that His word spoken into us is like His creation of the universe, it is the life (or grace) to accomplish what He commands. And this, if I need a reason to be a Christian, is the reason I am a Christian - I can do things that I cannot do. Mary also observed that unity is already here, in this group maybe, but not in my woods where we recently had a men's retreat consisting of various denominations. We experienced unity, and glory, as I rarely see it; but afterwards one of the participants was seen drinking a beer and no further such fellowships were scheduled. Unity is where the glory of God is, but that glory is never where some erring members need to be corrected or rooted out. And that brings me to Timothy.

He spoke, or wrote, of the power of Love that sees no fault, and the evil of removing evil. Or what appears to some to be evil. And this is my favorite subject, Timothy. You also observed, if I caught your thrust, that response to outworn creeds might be interfering with responsiveness to God. And you tied that critical issue, responsiveness to God, to the cross. I hesitate to say any more because you might be getting close to something without my input.

Linda also wrote of love and fellowship. Of these things, how can there be disagreement. The 17th Chapter of John clearly states that oneness is essential for the world to believe. And that unity comes by the glory of God's presence in the Holy Spirit to assembled of members.

Somebody made the comment about the devil removing seeds. Discussion about those seeds might lead to recognition of a critical factor I have not read about so far. Repentance. It is not something you do when you are three years old, and forget about. Repentance is closely related to transformation that has been mentioned here. Why do revivals fizzle? If we do not know the answer to this question, the latter rain could be wasted. Let me hasten to say that I do not know all the reasons, or even for sure that we need to understand. Assuming we have a new spirit, and a new heart, through unifying fellowship, the glory will wear off on Monday when we go back to work: if we are not well on our way to having a new mind according to Spirit. Repentance is, changing thoughts or knowledge; and changing behavior. Those seeds are sewn in our minds, where the battle is, where the word is beginning to change our thoughts and renew our understanding, hopefully to the point where we can discern the difference between the counterfeit god, and God. Now if we are yet susceptible to the same temptation that Eve and Adam fell to, I suggest we identify it and get on it, before it does rain! Essentially repentance is learning, and learning is hard and extremely time consuming.

Jesus said, He has many things to teach us; and He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us into ALL the truth. Repentance is not verification of what we already think we know we know, but learning new things and ways. "Many things" and "all the truth" is some calling! And I would like to see the group chew on the renewing of our minds, if and when you get around to it, if you have not already dealt with that issue. And if you'd rather not respond to this now, just ignore me, and I'll let it go for awhile, however He leads.


Have you had a discussion on the word,"salvation"? Also, when does a person receive the Holy Spirit?

I see the word,"salvation" as one that includes all the things that are ours, when we accept Jesus' redemptive work. The dictionary says that it is freedom from sin and sickness, freedom from the curse of sin. If freedom of sickness is part of God's plan for us, then we cannot have "full salvation" until I have overcame sickness. What do you think?



Hi Phillip

I agree, we cannot have full salvation until we are free from sin and death and that includes sickness. But then, "full salvation" is not complete until we are home with the Father up in heaven. Or at the least in the kingdom of God in the millennial reign on earth, whatever that is. Anyway, we cannot be truly completed and triumphant until we have arrived to the end in glory. If salvation on this earth during our temporal existence consisted of being free from sickness, then Timothy, who Paul mentioned with "thine often infirmities" would not have been saved, nor would the elders need to be called on by the saints to pray for the sick among us.



I conceive three stages of Christian development coinciding with three places in the tabernacle in the wilderness. Four, counting folks outside the gate.

The sacrifical altar in the courtyard, under the sun, is salvation but the mind is still carnal. The Holy Place forshadows the light of the Holy Spirit. The Holiest has only the light of God's heart and mind. Hebrews 10 makes it clear that our goal is the Holiest and turning back short of that is the sin for which "there remains no more sacrifce." (Or, failure to enter in would waste the blood of Jesus)

It was a long, hard, desparate time for me to connect with the Holy Spirit. Yet I am sure that I was being drawn by Him. It was four or five years from the time I began to search in earnest until I knew I was in. I think there were two significant factors that helped me find an elusive "baptism of the Holy Spirit." By the grace of God I did not turn back; and, in His mercy at the right time he sent me to a full gospel fellowship of fearless intercessors. It was a lot like the old time mourners bench where we tarried and prayed for hours, until I was somewhere else where I saw my name written in the Book of Life.

And we continued a second night until I was in the presence of Jesus, listening to His words! So maybe the harder it is to find Him, the greater the reconciliation - just speculating. But, just as there is cheap grace for carnal minded Baptists, maybe there is a cheap baptism for impatient Pentecostals.

It is priceless and ought to require all we have. But as my brother in the flesh and Spirit, BR, says, "He is not a cookie-cutter God."

We may not do it like that any more, but there is a good reason to do it that way. When Jesus was asked why a little girl had died, He replied, "That God would be glorified." And so that little band of brothers who stayed with me glorified God. It brought men together.

We should thank God, He is drawing Bill to Himself, and members around him. Confusion is a step ahead of most Christians I know. Bill should be encouraged to hang on so that he may meet the Teacher in God's timing. He should not be asked to leave one woman or another. He should not be asked to give up by law, one thing or another. He will search for and find Him when He searches with His whole heart. Turning back from seeking God's face is the one sin he cannot commit.

Thank you for asking, although I trust you implicitly to write the words that Jesus gives you.


Luke 7:37.---' And, behold, a woman in the city which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment.'

She stood behind Him weeping. Unrestrained and passionate indeed must have been her weeping! No lightly-passing shower of April skies, but the full downpouring of the lowering swollen clouds of autumn. And surely we have here a silent reproof to those who look coldly [as some do] upon anything passionate---exaggerated, they would say---in the expression of religious emotion. Had they been there, would they not have said [with some truth, too] that her display of affection was very ' earthly '; that she had but turned upon another and higher Object the unrestrained feelings of her former life? Might they not have bid her enter into her closet and weep there, rather than make that show before the eyes of men? To these possible objections our Lord silently but emphatically replies by receiving and commending every circumstance of her passionate service to Himself. Let her weep her heart out; let her kiss her heart out upon His sacred feet. The safeguard of love towards our dear Lord is not to be found in cold restraints, or in warnings to be ' spiritual ': it is to be found in Him. he only, who is God most holy, can receive with perfect safety, without the possibility of harm, the utmost warmth of the most passionate affection.

It is sometimes cast as a reproach upon the more devout Christianity of the day that it is "anthropomorphic" in faith and worship. It is not answered so distinctly and directly as it ought to be---that our faith and worship must be essentially "anthropomorphic," because it centers about Him who ' was found in fashion as a man.' Be it that God in Himself is 'unknowable' [as they say]; we know the Father in the Son, and the Son we know as Christ Jesus; and no man was ever so thoroughly 'knowable' as Jesus, because no man was ever so absolutely consistent with himself. It is in strict dependence upon this principle that we maintain that in our religious worship all pure human emotions, however passionate, are rightly and laudably directed upon the God-man whom we know, and knowingly, love and adore.

Wonderful and gracious were the words now falling from the lips of Jesus. The Speaker was He who said, 'Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. . . .Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.' ' I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,' ' to seek and save that which was lost.' 'They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick.' It was He who taught that ' there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.' It was He who spake the parable of the Prodigal Son. It was He who wept over Jerusalem. He showed a way of escape, near at hand, for every sinner; He testified of the pitifulness and tender mercy of the Father to all who turn to Him; in words of all but irresistible pathos and love, He proclaimed Himself as sent from the Father to bring sinners back to God. Such was the preaching which the case of the sinful woman required.

But yet the Savior had not spoken to her personally. Till this was done her heart could not rest. Her mourning could not end, though the bitterness and agony of her grief were removed. Her heart could not be fully reassured, nor could she confidently take her place among the pardoned and renewed, until the Master's voice should have proclaimed her accepted.

We can think of no higher blessing than that which the Lord pronounced on her---Go, and enter into peace; thy faith hath saved thee---and that is the blessing He gives to every sinner who truly turns to Him.

In Christ, Timothy.

Cheap Grace

This is a real good place to start Timothy and that is from the Word of God. There are so many theological justifications for cheap grace nowadays that deliverance ministries and repentance are unheard of in many churches. We see here from the woman that she was penitent, and if we can deduce from her remorse and devotion for the Lord, that she had already been forgiven and her weeping was from tears of thankfulness and godly sorrow. Her sins though many, made the forgiveness and love abound all the more. Jesus did not turn her away because she came to Him with tears of repentance.

We can learn a lot from this story about repentance and also of the self-righteous attitude of those of the cheap grace, rather we are not to condone the sin. If we were to think of the kingdom "on earth as it is in heaven" then we should know that just as John the Baptist preached repentance for the kingdom of God is near, then this should also be our message today. The pharisee that Jesus dined with reminds us of the ones that John the Baptist called "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." Matthew 3: 7-8. It was not enough that they were children of Abraham which is the same as in the luke-warm church who "have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."

Repentance is hidden from death and destruction but to the redeemed it is exposed as the life blood of coming to the cross. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins but the same thing is said for repentance. Out message must be the same as John's, we preach the "baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."

What is it that prompts preachers to teach cheap grace? Repentance is so important, and to present ourselves as living sacrifices is not cheap, we are worth it, we are the living jewels in Jesus' crown. Holiness demands repentance from sin and if we were to tie this in with the eternal security question, then it is in coming to the cross as, like Paul, we die daily and is an intregal part of running the race.

Repentance is more than godly sorrow however, it is in turning from your sins and "sin no more." Because we continue to sin, simply from our human nature, we need to be in a constant state of regeneration. Sin is not just in the obvious, as in lying and immorality but includes the more subtle acts of walking in pride and arrogance, judging our brothers and sisters, back-biting, and even bitterness in our thoughts for each other that do not spring from love. The more that we are aware of these things, the more that we can turn from them and receive forgiveness but if we do not, they fester and sin piles upon sin until we are used to having it that way and we become unfit for the kingdom.


Hi, if I may, my wife and I have often been under attack with doubts about our salvation. I know the Bible says: "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." 2 Tim. 1:12

I do not have to be busy trying to keep my salvation for it is in His hands.

I like the old hymn that goes:

From whence this fear and unbelief,
If God, my Father, put to grief
His spotless Son for me?
Can He, the righteous Judge of men,
Comdemn me for that debt of sin
Which, Lord, was charged to Thee?

Complete atonement Thou hast made,
And to the utmost farthing paid
Whate'er Thy people owed;
How, then can wrath on me take place,
If sheltered in God's righteousness
And sprinkled by Thy blood ?

If Thou hast my discharge procured,
And freely in my place endured
The whole of wrath divine;
Payment God will not twice demand, <---- PRAISE
First at my bleeding Surety's hand, <---- HIS
And then again at mine. <---- HOLY NAME

Turn, then, my soul, unto thy rest;
The merits of thy great High Priest
Speak peace and libery;
Trust in His efficacious blood,
Nor fear thy banishment from God,
Since Jesus died for thee.

Kept in Christ's love, Gary

Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is such a wonderful discussion. I am thankful for all the sincere hearts sharing the Light as He IS in each -- reflecting His Shining Face upon us all. This struggle for right understanding between "Will-power Christianity" and "Transformation by the LIFE of Christ within us" is at the root of much of what divides the Church into all the various denominations (or as I see it, into the many wondrous branches growing forth from the Tree of Life Himself, the True Vine; All connected to the Trunk of the Tree, but branching in different directions as branches are created to... growing, ever reaching out for the Light which causes them to grow some more. :)

This conflict over the relationship of our free will and our created energies and the Divine Workings of God through His Uncreated Energy (Grace) has caused much of the branching in the Body; First the Roman Church and the rest of the Apostolic Churches (Churches founded by the Apostles themselves) separated over issues of right-standing with God -Rome claiming primacy over the other brethren .. then the Protestants dividing from the Roman Branch, over convictions concerning faith and works... Then the Protestants branching into the Armineans, the Calvinists, the Anabaptists - still struggling to express their heart convictions concerning free will and the Sovereignty of God; dividing between a Christianity expressing a continuation of the Jewish Temple pattern and the Common Apostolic Life of Christ; The old lights and the new lights, the cessessanists and the pentecostals -- The Roman branch separating into the scholars and the mystics, the Dominicans and the Fransciscans; the Carmelites and the Jesuits.. The Orthodox branching into the Old Order Catholics and all the cultural expressions.. the Greek Orthodox and the Russian Orthodox and the Armenian and the Syrians.. on and on .. growing and branching until this Glorious Tree, which is the Body, which is the Church... has filled all the earth, each branch seemingly able to nurture and nourish those seekers of the Heart, those sincere in their convictions; those sincerely consecrated unto God, faithfully living in accordance with their own conscience and understanding of relationship with God, through Christ Jesus- those who have matured and grown and are even now bearing the Fruit of the Spirit: LOVE in its many varied fruits: patience, longsuffering, kindness, joy etc.

It has always been the heartfelt convictions of these true Lovers of God which have instruments of the glorious branching in the Body. Men and women who felt so deeply about what they believed was "the Truth", that they would rather die holding tightly to their faith than live in rebellion to that Light; feeling in their heart of hearts that to compromise, would mean they were denying God -- which they could not do.

For that reason, I find this a very important discussion in our 'community' of Faith. For what one man might perceive as "cheap grace" to another is an expression of his unwillingness to "act like Christian" on the outward -- knowing in his heart, he has not been changed and in keeping with his conscience, refuses to act the hypocrite -- To this one, what he sees in the Christian Church, is a body of people who pretend to be something they are not -- acting one way on Sunday (or Saturday) and then being something entirely different the rest of the week. To one who believes the Gospel promises a change in his heart, and from that changed heart his behavior will change -- anything less than this life-change is false. As we lovingly kin ourselves to each other -- striving to understand the individual convictions of the heart -- not seeking to be changed in our own convictions as much as striving to understand other's heart convictions, there is a healing that takes place -- as we, once again, are strengthened by our differences -- rather than accepting the false illusion that we are 'divided' by them. We need to often meditate upon the Holy Spirit's teaching through St. Paul, concerning the importance of the individual conscience in this Walk of Faith.

All things are lawful -- but not all things are beneficial.... to one brother who thinks something is a sin -- to him it is, Paul taught. Relationship and Obedience to the Lord of our daily life is the key -- what to one, might appear to be "cheap grace" to the other, is just the opposite -- and to another, what might appear to be "legalism" to the other, is not at all -- but is indeed each brother living in accordance with his sincere, heartfelt understanding of the Gospel.

We all continue to fall short of THE GLORY OF GOD. The GLORY OF GOD is the standard and the goal. In Christ, we shall not fall short of the Glory of God - ultimately.... but until that day when we are wholly sanctified, body/soul/spirit ... we are all sinners, yet in the wondrous process of being saved. We have been saved, yes.... but we are being saved each and every day too!

[Thank You Lord... We desire to be those trees of righteousness, You spoke to Isaiah.. saying we were created for the Display of Your Glory and Splendor! May it be so Lord.. that is our heart's longing --to give back to You, all that You Shine upon us! For Yours is the Glory -- and the Power -- and the Honor for evermore... amen.]

In Love,

Hi everybody,

Your message really shows a lot of love for the rest of the church, Linda. Bit by bit, I am coming into the realm of acceptance for all the others that are off on their own little kingdoms doing their own thing for the Lord. But you know, I am a sinner, I have nothing over them. You may think that I should be calling myself a saint and maybe I am and maybe I am not but I do know that I am a sinner. It is not so hard for me to figure out either, I ask for forgiveness, I would not need to do that if I did not sin. But sin is ever present within me and I keep on making the same mistakes over and over again.

One thing that we can learn from the seven churches of Asia is that they are not all the same. Like all of your different descriptions of the many schisms and factions in the church throughout history, these seven have a diversity but only two of them were found to have that praise from the Lord to reveal their sanctity, five were rebuked. Ephesus was told to "repent, and do the first works." Pergamos was told to "repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly." The church in Thyatira was said to have tolerated Jezebel who was given "space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not," "and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds." The message for Sardis was to " hold fast, and repent" and to the Laodiceans, "be zealous therefore, and repent." Can you see a pattern here? You would have to be blind not to see it but the fact is that most of the church is blind and destroyed for lack of knowledge and unwilling to repent.

The message has not changed "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." I am not speaking to oneness heresies here but rather that repentance is the key to the spiritual life. When Jesus sent out the seventy, the message was "And they went out, and preached that men should repent." Repentance is central to the message. The reason that the righteous are not called to repentance is because "There is none righteous, no, not one" and if anyone thinks they are, they can not be called.

It is just as you say, Linda, that "anything less than this life-change is false." We must repent ourselves and our message to others is repentance, just as our message is the cross, which is the same thing. Going to the cross is admitting that we are in need of the Savior at the cross and that in His name and faith in what He has done, we are saved. Luke 13:5, "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." It is not just a one time thing either, following Jesus is following Him to the cross and is done daily. Note Acts 3:19 "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." The word "times" is of course plural. We also know from Acts 17:30 that this includes everyone, everywhere, not just the elect, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." What kind of authority do we have. The same kind that commands people to repent. We have got to love them but true love warns of a fire and the fire is coming and for many is already here, doing it in love means accepting them just like Jesus did but the consequences are tremendous, this really is a life and death situation.


Dear Jay,
Yes, I understand that not all who claim to be "in Christ" are. I can look to my own life and see that truth. Having been raised in the Church (Protestant-A/G) -- I believe I was one of those who learned to "act like a Christian" long before I ever really had a personal life-transforming encounter with the Lord. I was one of the 'those' Jonathan Edward's would have refused to accept into the church because my life, in those years, did not truly manifest the character of the new birth. -- yet, for many years, I faithfully attended church and took to heart all the many rules and rituals which are considered primary in that particular expression of the gospel. I honored God greatly with my lips -- yet (unbeknowst to me) I kept my heart far from Him.

We know all the various branches of the Vine have many people just like I was, attending their fellowships -- "acting like Christians", by the standards that they hear and yet -- yet not knowing the reality of the Love of God. I was an "insurance policy" Christian -- for I believed the truth of the Gospel, but I was only concerned with my own salvation; I feared hell and damnation -- and so ordered my life accordingly -- but I had no true relationship (Love) for God. After the Lord baptized me in His Love and changed my heart -- I wondered if I was really 'saved' before. I had most definitely 'confessed with my mouth" -- but had I truly 'believed in my heart?' hhhmmm Only God knows -- but I thank Him that He did not allow me to continue to live in that hypocritical spiritual condition...

Yet Paul spoke a true word -- He called it a foundational truth -- one of those 'most trustworthy' words that he spoke so often to His son in the Lord, Timothy:

Nevertheless, God's Solid Foundation stands firm -- sealed with this inscription: "The Lord KNOWS those who are His" and "Everyone who confesses the Name of the Lord, MUST turn away from wickedness (2 Tim 2:19) NIV

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. KJV

This truth continues to draw from within the various branches THOSE who are His. No matter where they might be, if they belong to Him -- (and of course only He knows) -- THEY Will turn away (repentance) from wickedness. This is a promise given -- we can trust the Promises of God -- for as Paul also has taught: All the Promises of God, are yea and amen in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah.

There are overcomers in all the branches -- there are those who are deceived in all the branches too... There is false doctrine being taught in all the branches... and there is truth being taught too. Those who are His WILL turn away from wickedness -- for the Lord in them -- the Life of Christ within all those in whom He has been formed by faith, WILL turn them away from wickedness.

We all think we have the whole truth. That is a given in all the branches of the Vine. If there is one consistency in those who truly Love God and care about His Truth and His Honor and His Glory -- all share one characteristic. They believe they are living in the way "most pleasing" to God -- and they all focus on specific Scriptures to confirm their convictions -- ignoring other Scriptures which confirm the convictions of the others. That IS the reason so many branches are created -- and continue. I remember one day standing outside the door of the A/G where I attended in those days.. and the Lord spoke quietly to my heart: 'Linda, what if the Presbyterians were My Arms?... What if the Methodists were My Hands?... What if the Catholics (oh God forbid! THIS really challenged my A/G theology!) .. What if the Catholics were My Legs? ... What if the Pentecostals were My Mouth?..." WHAT?... I had never EVER considered 'the parts of the Body' teaching being applied to denominations like that! It was life-challenging -- because then I had to consider that perhaps God didn't really intend for all Christians to be Holy-Rollers like I had been raised to believe... that perhaps God had allowed the creation of all the various denominations to reach people who would only be reached by that particular emphasis upon the gospel. I had to consider how different tempermentally, God had created us all to be -- and why did I think that He wanted us all to be like I am? I continue to be impacted by that challenge -- for I believe it has foundationally given me the ability to look for those who truly do belong to Christ -- those He KNOWS -- That "Ginosko" word again... the Lord intimately knows, as a husband 'knows' His wife those who belong to Him.... and if they are 'known' in that manner, by the Lord -- they will -- the must -- it is a 'given'.. they will repent, for their hearts will have been touched by the Lover of their Soul. Love compells them to turn away from iniquity!

There are many who think this "ginosko" work of God... this work of Christ Loving His Church ... can't happen in those other branches of the Vine -- because, the others don't believe right doctrines. Yet the records/writings/lives of the believers, throughout history bear witness to the reality of this 'Solid Foundation' of God. HE do know those who belong to Him, and if we belong to Him, He will bring us to this place of repentance, over and over again... as we are indeed "being saved" (I have been delivered.. I am being delivered.. and I shall continue to be delivered in the future: this is part of the underlying meaning of soterion and the derivatives of the word translated: salvation -- it is a finished work, and yet it is a process still happening; it is a having been saved from the wrath of God, and yet it is also a being saved FOR something too; it is becoming all that God created us to be; our new name.. it is healing, it is being kept by the Power of God; it is the reality of transformation; Soteria is Shalom.. and it is the perfection that we are called to be, in our conformity in Christ! It is an incredible word, almost impossible to fully translate (according to the Wycliffe Bible Translators!); -- it is indeed this dying daily; embracing the death of our old nature through the living work of the Cross.. that His Eternal Life - given to us as a Gift, might rule and reign in our hearts! The Kingdom of God is within you!

We all have grown up in a mixture of true and false doctrines.. for we are all human, and are not fully transformed yet; What I grew up hearing in the A/G was not a full expression of The Truth -- and I believe that is true for us all. We have yet heard 'in part'.. we are yet 'seeing through the glass darkly' -- we are yet 'prophesying in part'... because the fullness of Perfection has not yet come. We are still "growing up" into Him who is the Head.. and until we all reach unity in the Faith -- and in the Knowledge of the Son og God -- till we grow up to the measure of the fullness of the stature of the Perfect Man: Christ. We MUST realize that God's Foundation applies to all those who are seeking Him -- no matter where we might be at this time in our ongoing growth -- inside the walls or outside the walls; The hardness that we speak, in our judgment of others, reminds me of the underlying reason for David's plea to God in the Psalms... not wanting to fall into the judging hands of religious man, but entrusting himself to God -- who has so much more Grace than we do!

I pray also that I will be judged by the Righteous Judge -- the one who KNOWS my heart. I leave that judgment of others to Him also... doing to them, as I desire it be done to me.

In Christ who is the Manifest LOVE of the Father...
your sister, Linda

Luke 5:8.---' When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.'

When Simeon, the infant Jesus in his arms, uttered his parting hymn within the Temple, he told Mary that by that Child ' the thoughts of many hearts should be revealed.' Never was prophecy more true; never, perhaps, was the mission of the Christian religion more faithfully defined. For wherever it has spread, it has operated like a new and Diviner conscience to the world; imparting to the human mind a profounder insight into itself; opening to its consciousness fresh powers and better aspirations; and penetrating it with a sense of imperfection, a concern for the moral frailties of the will, characteristic of no earlier age. The spirit of religious penitence, the solemn confession of unfaithfulness, the prayer for mercy, are the growth of our nature trained in the school of Christ. The pure image of His mind, as it has passed from land to land, has taught men more of their own hearts than all the ancient aphorisms of self-knowledge; has inspired more sadness at the evil, more noble hope for the good that is hidden there, and has placed within reach of even the ignorant, and the neglected, severer principles of self-scrutiny than philosophy has ever attained. The radiance of so great a sanctity has deepened the shades of conscious sin. The savage convert, who before knew nothing more sacred than revenge and war, is brought to Jesus, and, as he listens to that voice, he feels the stain of blood growing distinct upon his soul. The sensuous gratifiers of luxury and pleasure, never before disturbed in his self-indulgence, comes within the atmosphere of Christ's spirit, and it is as if a gale of heaven fanned his fevered brow. The ambitious priest, revolving plans for using men's passions as tools of his aggrandizement, starts to find himself the disciple of One who, when the people would have made Him king, fled to solitude and prayer.

So deep and overwhelming did the sense of guilt become under the influence of Christian thought that at length the overburdened heart of fervent times could endure the weight no longer: the Confessional arose to relieve it and restore a everlasting peace. It became the chief object of the widest sacerdotal order which the world has ever seen, to listen to the whispered record of human penitence. Cities, as if conscious of their corruption, bade the silent minister rise amid their streets, where, instead of the short daily or Sabbath service, unceasing orisons might be said for sin; where the door might open to the touch of day, and the lamp be seen beneath the vault of the night, and the passer-by, caught by the low chant, might be tempted to exchange the chase of vanity without for the peace of prayer within. And so, in every ancient village church of Europe there is a corner that has been moistened with the tears of many generations; and the cathedral aisle, emblem of the mighty heart of Christendom, has for centuries swelled with the plaint of penitential music. In private dwellings, too, each morning and evening has for ages past seen many sad and lowly prayers ascend. Everywhere the Christian mind proclaims its need of mercy, and since Jesus began to 'reveal the thoughts of many hearts,' Christendom, with clasped hands, has fallen at His feet and cried, 'We are sinful men, O Lord.'

The more we realize God as ever present, almighty and omniscient, holy, full of compassion, and deserving both our fear and love, the more we learn to hate and mourn over the sins that we have done to His dishonor. But of such sorrow there must be outward evidence. Confession, then, becomes an imperative necessity. The inward grief must have an outlet. We confess, because we could not do otherwise. And we feel that, although the past cannot be undone, there is some slight reparation to the wounded love of a heavenly Father when we turn around from deceits by which we were once bound.

In Christ, Timothy.

Hey Jay,

Why do you suppose Jesus commanded us to be perfect, when it obviously is not possible?

Think about it. Other words of His clearly state that "it is impossible but what offenses will come." And "if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves." Does the word contradict itself?

The only possible answer is "we deceive ourselves." That is, we think we sin when we do not, or we think we sin not when we do.

The lady caught in adultery, did God accuse her? No, it was the "Accuser of the brethren." And who benefits when we accept the goo of sin?

The false god does in that we are ashamed to go to Him. And we will go to the false god in our pride.

There is a sin unto death, and there is a sin not unto death. Which sin are we talking about?

If we are refering to any other sin, the word clearly says that all things are lawful. There is no sin, to him or her who does not see it as sin (that is sin-seeing is iniquity). But, concerning the Sin, its penalty is death.

I am stirring the pot. If Jesus said "go and sin no more" did she then live a sinless and holy life for the rest of her existence on the planet? Had she done that the Catholics would have given her sainthood!

She did not, by the grace of God, given in His word, sin the sin that leads to death. She believed and that is saving righteousness in that the end of faith is life. Her body would be retired but she would never die.

Once again I am questioning the idea that we, in and of ourselves, cannot stop sinning our little sins, before the big one is extinguished. Because our sins are consequent to transgression; either we fabricate sin, or we imagine harmless acts as sin. That is, one yet living in the reality of iniquity can hardly know enough truth to make any kind of sane decision.

We live by every word from the mouth of God, if and when we hear that. And until then, Sin is not hearing truth - an ignorance leading inevitably to death.

The place where we seem to currently reside is Babylon. Confusion. We do not know our right hands from our left. And we call good evil and evil good.

Now in this place when we are commanded to not sin, what do we do? We respond with sin! Because our minds are not yet renewed, we are not out of Babylon, and every thing we do is violent.

Let me try to bring this home. We need to ask ourselves whether our knowledge has changed from the day we were saved. If it has not changed dramatically, reversing the untruths that keep us in bondage, then we yet babble on, thinking we are good.

There is a way that seems right and ends in death. Everyone's way is right in his or her own sight. "By your traditions (doctrines?) you render the word of God of no effect." Sacred belief prevents repentance.

My thesis is this: we are controlled by knowledge of right and wrong. And we allow ourselves to be controlled by good men and women who are right.

To defeat this Jesus proclaims, the new covenant: let no man teach his neighbor, all are taught by God, let each one be pursuaded in his or her own mind. And a new principle, the least are greatest.

When we extinguish the egomania of being right, we lay down our idols which are hidden in our closets.

Now, after our minds are renewed, how do we define holiness? Will it be different from now? And what about sin, and perfection? Will we read those words in a different light?

This is why the new covenant is absolute liberty! NO MAN OR WOMAN KNOWS enough to lead. So Jesus says, I, even I will lead them, and He chastises the sheperds who feed themselves and not the flock.

This is why Jesus said, judge not.

This is why I suggest, we might not need to agree on matters that are subject to change as we grow in wisdom and strength. Except, maybe, to assemble, to edify, and to press on toward a calling beyond our apprehension.


Hi all,
This is really fab stuff here and I am reading and enjoying every word. Linda I was so glad you raised the point of the flesh contaminating the pure love of God between us, I have been down memory lane since then lookng at the things that have happened and see the natural flow into the matter of repentance. There are things that need to be said about this because there is so much secrecy and so little real love abroad in the church that many struggle and suffer, and cannot find any help. Timothy, I am sorry if in any way I upset you with my letters, I want you to know that I really love your input here, and your use of English is nothing short of worshipful. Mine is sometimes a bit graphic for some taste, but I do feel I must write this so please bear with me. Bill, if you are reading this, you are in my heart and prayers.

First, we all know that our nature is sinful, but too much for the sake of appearances we like to give the impression that we are pure as the driven snow. There is much hypocrisy in the church and we need to know that it is thoroughly hateful to God. For too long the church has given the impression that holiness means swishing about in religious garments and separating ourselves from the "sinful hoards". Personal experience has revealed that despite this energetic "swishing," sin of every kind is alive and well behind the scenes. I do not want to imply that I am someone who has "got it all together": it only takes a short look into my own heart to find a range of impure impulses and I have found that I cannot afford to be anything else but vigilant in respect of the flesh. But is it really so impossible to trust each other with our faults? In practice there is much comfort for the new convert to see that we are all equally dependant on God for His continung mercy: many fall by the wayside believing that they are alone in their sin.

It is so hard starting out with Jesus if all we get is a pounding for our wrongdoing by our brethren. It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance, not the noise of the rush of the congregation in the race to be the first to convict - and to execute punishment. It is hard to hear the voice of God in our own hearts too when rules and regulations are being enforced that are plainly unbiblical. Can we not go a bit more kindly with each other, more apt to concentrate on the evidence of conversion than the places where we fail to meet each others' expectations?

Going back a good while now, I was only a few weeks into my conversion when a big problem struck. The person who told me about Jesus happened to be "drop-dead gorgeous". I was already living with someone who later on became my husband. The enemy must have thought I was a "pushover" - well, I always had been in the past, and I found that I was unable to stem the tide of powerful physical attraction that was taking a hold of me. (I hope this doesn't offend anyone, that old serpent desire too often gets a hold of us and brethren, we need to shake it off)

It is fair to say, I think, that there was the merest germination of a desire for Jesus at this point, and how easily it was transferred to this holy, able, loving disciple that I was having fellowship with. I had started to make justifications for it.

Yet I think even in the natural sense there is such a thing as enduring love and I knew that I had something good with my partner. What was I doing spending so much time fantasising and then justifying and then feeling guilty - my life was being ruined by all of it. At a point where I could endure no more I walked into the bathroom and shut the door and prayed: "Lord, this is WRONG, PLEASE take it away". I was as green as grass in the Lord but I had enough faith to believe Him. By the time I returned to my partner's company the enemy had gone, and all of the difficult feelings with him.

The Bible says Eph.6:12 "We wrestle not against flesh and blood..." Some may disagree with me but I think this applies even to our own. We put it into the hands of God when we first trusted Him for salvation. And so we continue to put it into His hands as we continue to trust Him for salvation.

Since then in more recent years I have witnessed the deep misery of the spiritual relationship which became fleshly, and the terrible pain of a sister who had yielded to the advances of an elder in a past fellowship. Beloved, there is nothing worth that extent of misery, be sure it will end in bitter tears one way or another. With this person, there were years of heartache and fear, and only after a very long time of suffering did the Word of God again take root in her heart as she believed again for salvation. Yet I know even now she struggles. But I give more for her chances than any who would think it was somehow possible to sin and continue in oversight duties, as I have seen.

Really, we are back to the Word of God for all of the troubles we face, and if God says He will forgive us if we confess our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, then that is what He means. Why then would we want to turn away from any pleasure of the flesh if there is always such a safety net? Because, beloved, there is nothing, nothing at all in all the range of fleshly enticements available to us, that is remotely as exciting as knowing Jesus personally, and we simply cannot have both.
Much love from Mary

Dear Sister Linda,

It seems almost like an envasion of your privacy, as I listen to the conversation between you and Sister Mary. But as a new member of the list, and inner group, I reckon it is legal for me to do so. From what I read this morning I would knock walls down to speak with you. Because when I read what you wrote yesterday I said, "This is it!"

Just yesterday I was beginning to think about the concept of an innernet. And then last light I was feeling void, and got horribly depressed, believing that I need more than fellowship at a distance.

And lo! first thing this morning I read:

"Lately I have been re-reading Madame Guyon's autobiography. She experienced this UNITY in the spirit with Fr. La Combe and with many of those she called her 'children' in the Lord. The unity that she expresses is a union of the spirit, in Christ --where communication between the Body was possible whether or NOT SPACE/TIME - distance separated them -- In the Spirit, they knew the state of being of the others; and the purest form of communication was possible without the speaking of a single word. Grace was given to make the heart/spirit thoughts flow between all of those so gathered by Christ. Paul makes mention of this truth too -- declaring that whether or not he could be with his beloved church in person, he would be there in spirit. We read such statements and put our own limitations upon them -- whereas the testimony from that great cloud of witnesses who went before us, has given us all ample testimony as to the supernaturalness of the fellowship of the early believers. I believe that many are BEGINNING to experience this spiritual communciation even HERE AND NOW."

I believe this, and it is what I have been waiting for. I have been thinking and brooding in my cave for a long, long time, waiting for first light. And now I am coming out to watch the dawn.

Your words reminded me of a song by an Arkansas group, Harmony, titled, GIVE YOURSELF TO LOVE. I did. And now I feel I am sane again. Much more than that, I feel connected.

I wondered if that phrase was in the Bible and I searched my Theophilos for the related words, give and love. And there they are in red letters, give and love and love and give all over the Bible, linked and inseparable. Just what you said.

All of this makes it a special day for me. I have known for years that "love is the answer" (from Harmony's song). But I could not understand how it -or He without violence - would overcome the world. (I get depressed when I cannot understand - and do not chastise that for David said, "Give me understanding and I will live" - more than that it is my gift and calling in the Body - what I do).

You see, you restated the answer perfectly. How are we going to be one when none of us see eye to eye?

You see, you said, "love consumes all our differences." Yes! Love covers all fault (Pro 12:10). And the original sin, the genesis of apparent dislikes, the cause of rule by violence, blocks that love when we know we are going to get burned exposing faults. Judging is a defense, sometimes an offence.

Am I getting warm?

Where there is love, it is safe to be you - the creature that the Creator created and called and commissioned. More than that, it is safe when it is not safe, when you give yourself in Love.

Depression is my exposed heel, and I know where it comes from, and I know what to do about it; but I still let the Adversary get to me. Now, maybe I will believe less lie, and more love, hearing love on the innernet; as you say love, or His life, is the communication.

I feared you guys on the list where just another bunch of dreamers, as I have seen in virtually every other experience with human beings. But now I am very sure that you, and I are onto something!

Sister Linda, where did you get such wisdom? And thank you for giving yourself to sensitivity.


O thou Source of Love! Thou dost indeed seem so jealous of the salvation Thou hast purchased, that Thou dost prefer the sinner to the righteous! The poor sinner beholds himself vile and wretched, is in a manner constrained to detest himself; and finding his state so horrible, casts himself in his desperation into the arms of his Saviour, and plunges into the healing fountain, and comes forth "white as wool." Then confounded at the review of his disordered state, and overflowing with love for Him, who having alone the power, had also the compassion to save him -- the excess of his love is proportioned to the enormity of his crimes, and the fullness of his gratitude to the extent of the debt remitted. The self-righteous, relying on the many good works he imagines he has performed, seems to hold salvation in his own hand, and considers Heaven as a just reward of his merits. In the bitterness of his zeal he exclaims against all sinners, and represents the gates of mercy as barred against them, and Heaven as a place to which they have no claim. What need have such self-righteous persons of a Saviour? they are already burdened with the load of their own merits. Oh, how long they bear the flattering load, while sinners divested of everything, fly rapidly on the wings of faith and love into their Saviour's arms, who freely bestows on them that which he has so freely promised!

Madame Guyon

Dearest Edward,
Praise God -- another heart touched by Love! "Ginoskoed" by the Lord! Intimately known by Him who Loves His Church.

Yes, we do 'recognize' another, as we see and hear the work done in our heart by the Love of the Father, Jesus Christ -- who IS COME in the flesh -even now, again and again! I do believe this is a 'Prophetic Love'. As we have learned in prior years, to speak forth the 'words' given by the Holy Spirit, so too now we learn to step out by Faith and walk upon these uncharted and oft times turbulent waters of Love; Ears have not heard.. nor eyes seen... all that is now being revealed to those who Love God! This IS that for which we have been created -- and if we will just simply obey, throwing our 'full weight' upon the staff of God (one of the Hebrew pictoral words describing: 'Faith') --nothing held back -- Loving with all the Extravagance which He, who is LOVE in us, sends forth -- trusting God to protect us and to deliver us from all evil, we shall be one of those who live here -- even as we are living now in Heaven. It is all a matter of perspective really -- as our eyes are made 'single' we see that we are being brought into 'focus' in a way... as we become that which we already are, in Christ -- all for the Glory of God!

Is this too much to believe for? I think it is not too much, because we believe through the "Gift of Faith". I don't believe we are speaking these things and experiencing this Love through our own faith, but the Scripture speaks of God giving to us His Gift of Faith - "God-Faith" -- and I truly do believe 'that' is what you are hearing an expression of and are speaking also! :) It is not 'my wisdom' -- for I am speaking only that which God has filled my heart with the faith to believe for. It is the Gift of Christ, the Wisdom of the Father who has been given to all who believe, speaking these things - speaking this vision of the Kingdom of Heaven, a vision and a teaching which makes total sense to the Hearts given over to Love.

It is the time of Love for the Bride -- the Bridegroom has awakened those hearts receptive to His Call -- His Shout -- His Trumpet Sound.... many are being awakened and are responding to His Love... And many are yet coming through the Fiery Transformation in His Love; Just as Mary shared... the Heat of Love draws the dross up into plain sight -- to be dealt with by the Cross; It is necessary for all to see the reality of our own hearts (for this is the birthing of true humility). We deceive ourselves if we think we are not sinners. We are the Shulamite Bride! -- we have been darkened by our years working in the vineyards of our brethren... we have been rejected-betrayed-wounded by many, and yet... He calls us His Own!

He Loves us while we are yet sinners! He Loves us while we are yet darkened by the years here in the bottomlands, unwanted, rejected -- being conformed to the image of the suffering servant; yet all the while hidden away in our hearts, He has planted the seed of Agape! Christ has been formed in our hearts by faith; HE is the Agape of which we speak.. He is the Spiritual Union of which we share the Koinonia of the Spirit!

We have been taken captive by the lusts and desires of the flesh, for there is no way Agape runs pure and uncontaminated until the Lord lures out that 'great leviathan' who hides in our heart -- and He does lure him out by Love. Love's Light consumes the darkness that is in us -- that we might be those servants of Love, humble and contrite of heart -- knowing our own failures and faults and yet knowing the Love of God which we NEED so much. Just as Jay just posted... it is this Enormous NEED which we have for Christ, which makes our union in Him so complete! This is the GOOD NEWS! God LOVES the brokenhearted... and will make of us all, an expression of His Great Love; This is His Glory; This is His Splendor; and this our purpose! Isaiah called us, trees of righteousness for the display of His Glorious Splendor! Radiant with His Love.

LOVE is the Power of the Kingdom unleashed. May we not fear Love, but give ourselves over to Him without reservation.... for this is the means of the "Vengeance" of the Lord released on earth -- Vengeance directed against the archon-- the exousias.. the spirits of wickedness who have taken God's Creation into captivity! We wrestle not againsts flesh and blood.. and Love's Vengeance unleashed shall destroy the bondages -- this is the Glorious Freedom of the Sons of God! Nothing can stop Love from setting the captives free. LOVE NEVER FAILS. This Kingdom reality is not a figment of our imagination... it is indeed Torrential Rivers of Living Waters flowing forth from the heart of the Bride; it is the Fire which so many have seen prophetically starting all over the earth; Fires which can never - ever be quenched...

'Place Me like a seal over your heart. Like a seal over your arm; For LOVE is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like a Blazing Fire; like a Mighty Flame. Many waters cannot quench Love; Rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for Love.. it would be utterly scorned!"

YES... we choose JESUS -- we choose LOVE.

"You who dwell in the Gardens with friends in attendance... Let Me hear your voice!"

There are many who have been awakened this day in Love... may the witness and the testimony of these awakened hearts, fill all the earth with the Glory of God. These are those who have overcome.. by the Blood of the Lamb, and the Word of their testimony -- not loving their lives even unto the death: Love shall be made manifest in those who have paid the price and died to all others loves in their life. So be it Lord.. . We choose the Most Excellent Way; the Way of Love. Faith and Hope and Love remain... yet the Greatest of these is Love.

Just one little note of Love, flowing in the bottomlands of Idaho.
Linda the Beguine

Thanks Linda,

Your experience with the church is about the same as mine in that I also was brought up in church but it was Baptist. Now I know that there are a lot of real good Baptist folks out there and they will be dressed in white because they are worthy and some of them are even full gospel people and all but my church taught me a lot about the Bible and I was involved with the youth fellowship and they considered me a Christian but I never really knew Jesus in a personal way until I poured out my heart in Godly sorrow and was Baptized in the Holy Spirit. I talk to most Baptists now about the Baptism and all I get back is an argument so after a number of years I left. When God confirms a prophetic calling in your life it is hard to be among those that deny the gift.

However, I also thought that I was a Christian as a youth and as I look back, I probably was. And so are these other people that confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. But I really know now the meaning of the word "nominal" Christian, which is Christian by name only. Was I saved back then? Well we are discussing salvation as a process here so maybe I was, at least in the process of being saved, I was a believer. But I knew nothing about walking in the Spirit. I knew a lot about the Baptists having the true doctrine and how all of the Catholics and Methodists and Democrats were bad and Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me so but i'll tell you that it was all the milk of the word and even when they got real deep and involved in theology, it was still the milk. I had heard of the holy place but no one ever showed me how to get there except by being a good boy and doing what my teachers and parents told me to do. Like you, I was shown how to act like a good Christian but it was also where i learned about hypocrisy.

Well praise the Lord for our fellowship here. I feel a real kindred spirit growing more and more into something that might last instead of people just showing up for a while and moving on. It doesn't have to be such a big thing as far as numbers go, it is the quality of our love and unity that is important. And I suppose that if people move on, that is all right too, I have fond memories of many on this list from last year that are no longer here but there are still doing what the Lord would have them do and like we are discussing here, it is still in the unity of the spirit. I am reminded of Fr. Teilhard's teaching on the noosphere (sp) which I like to think of as that collective consciousness that is inherently revealed in the prophetic. There really is a unity of the Spirit that makes us One with the Lord and I believe that the perfection that we are waiting for will be seen in this unity as we mature, tear down the high places, lift Jesus up and draw all men unto Him. We may not have the whole truth in ourselves but Jesus does and the more that we become like Him and come together in unity, the more that the truth will be manifest in the sons of God.


Psalm 119:59.---' I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.'

Here is the Psalmist's definition of 'conversion,' that old familiar word which has fallen upon our ears so often that it has lost its power to arrest and impress; we think of it as a kind of theological jargon; the life has gone out of it. We can restore that life to the word only by showing that it represents a genuine human experience, that it stands for a process that takes place in actual human hearts, that the whole interest of the word lies in the living through of experiences to which thousands of men and women can bear witness. The word starts up into newness of life when we see that it sets forth the history of a thousand hearts.

When a man talks about his own life, about the things that have happened to him, about his various experiences, he does not use the lofty formal phraseology of schools and systems; he uses the speech of every day, especially when referring to his religious experience. Such simplicity is always very impressive, and full of suggestion. It is provocative of thought. Here, for instance, is a man who very plainly says, ' I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.' Technically we describe this as ' conversion ' ; but how arresting, impressive, and suggestive to have that great experience spoken of in this simple way; how real and vital it appears to be when the very process is unfolded and set forth as a transcript of actual experience, a page torn from the man's religious diary! We want to know what the man himself did and thought, not what the theologians say he ought to have done and thought. When talking of our own spiritual history we do not borrow our language from the library or the class-room, we coin it as we go; the experience bears the hall-mark of individuality.

Let us see how this man's spiritual experience began. What was it that brought him to God? It was no momentary impulse of remorse consequent on some sudden sense of nearness of death, no stress of some affliction, no Vision of Judgment. What, then, started him on the quest for truth and the longing for goodness? What thought of God was it that impressed his mind in the first instance? His answer is that it was not a thought of God at all that brought him to a halt, it was the character of his own life: he was not thinking about God, he was thinking about himself. ' I thought on my ways,' that was what started it. This is surely where every true conversion is grounded, where every genuine religious experience begins---in the facts of human nature and in the events of human life. Men do not begin with a theology; they arrive at one. We often speak about this matter of conversion as if we had to wait for God to do something, as if we had to wait for some supernatural event, some abnormal experience, which is going to work a miracle in our hearts and effect a revolution in our lives. But what do we expect God to do? There is really nothing to wait for; it is God who 'waits to be gracious,' and we keep Him waiting. God has already taken the initiative in these deep matters; He took the first step by giving us life and making us human personalities and setting us in the midst of this mysterious and profoundly interesting world. It is a world in which He reveals Himself in a thousand different ways, a world in which Jesus Christ has lived, a world in which the eternal Spirit of Truth dwells to lead men into the deep things of God. It is a profound truth that, whether we be conscious of it or not, ' we live and move and have our being in God ' ; and ' conversion ' occurs when our eyes are opened to that truth.

The words of this thinker---' my ways and thy testimonies '---show a clear recognition of the supreme and ultimate relation of every human life. They present the two terms in the great final comparison, the two persons, the finite and the infinite, who have to do with each other before all and after all. As a cathedral built in the heart of a great city rises with the other buildings round about it, keeps company with them a certain distance, and then, solitary and alone, looks up into the infinite spaces, so every man lives among men. He stands with them in a wide and important fellowship; he rises with them a certain way, and then he goes beyond them all, and the last look and reference of his spirit is to the Eternal. We drew our being in God, and at death we breath back our life into God's hands.

What steps does God take to open our eyes to His presence and power in the world? Do we not dwell too much on the supernatural side of this matter, and greatly mystify ourselves in so doing? But God can be safely trusted to do His part, and He will not always tell us exactly how He does it. We do not know what ' the supernatural ' is until it is made known by means of the natural, any more than we know what ' revelation ' is until it is expressed in human terms. What we need to be reminded of is our own part in conversion. That is what this man dwells on---' I thought on my ways.' We have a history of our own---what kind of a history is it? New days are constantly being given to us---what are we doing with them? Our character---what is its influence? Is God in it yet? Is love directing it? and truth making it strong? Is the Ideal calling us, and are we deaf to it? Is the Figure of Jesus shining before us, and are we blind to it? Have we understood yet the meaning of the tussle that goes on in our own hearts, or unraveled the message of our ' pulses of nobleness and aches of shame'? Have we properly considered the events that are happening round about us, not only 'the signs of the times,' but the manifold incidents that are playing daily upon our souls and seeking to evoke their richest music? ' I thought on my ways.' That is what God means us to do---to think on our ways. It is through the hundred gates of man's ' ways,' through the manifold avenues of his experience, that God is seeking to find an entrance into his heart's core.

Is it not a strikingly vivid and human way of regarding conversion, as a process of thinking? Not academic thinking, not philosophical thinking, but the quiet brooding of the mind over the mystery of life, the play of the thoughts upon the thousand themes, especially those that rise up out of the depths of human nature and form our chief problems, the sudden thoughts that visit us in the night when we lie alone, or in the hours of joy or sorrow or fear or shame; in these things are the turning-points of life. When a man seriously thinks on his ways, when he brings an awakened intelligence to the business of living, what happens? Of course he sees their defects, their imperfections, their pettiness, their wrong-headedness and wrong-heartedness; but he will also surely see the possibilities of his life, its hidden capacities, its secret potencies, its extraordinary powers of recuperation and reinforcement, its kinship with the highest. Not only so, but he will begin to see a relationship between man's ways and God's laws; and in the light of that revelation he will ' turn his feet unto God's testimonies,' knowing that only in moral obedience is true life to be found and Divine teaching to be understood.

Something else will happen, too, in this process of thinking on the ways of life and character---emotion will be kindled; not the spurious emotion that ends in mere excitement or hysteria, but that glow of feeling which is referred to by the Psalmist who said, ' While I was musing, the fire burned.' It is that emotion which becomes the driving power of life, the force that underlies all moral action. Feeling and thought that end in themselves, never passing over into action or finding an embodiment in character, render a man's life unbalanced and untrue. But where the heart is really moved there will be a genuine eager turning to the testimonies of God. In that lies the whole secret of Christianity. To keep a command and keep it readily, habitually, enthusiastically is impossible unless the heart goes with it. That is where mere law becomes a burden that simply breaks the back of the moral nature. Jesus Christ gave the true order, the true explanation, when He said, ' If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments.' Men will do anything when they become lovers. Then our interest is kindled, our conscience is awakened, our better self is quickened, our industry is insured, our heroism is drawn forth. The testimonies to which our feet are to turn are not the cold, stern laws of a distant God; they are the warm, living principles of Jesus, who has summed up the whole law in love of God and love of neighbor. To that conversion we are called.

In Christ, Timothy maranatha

Hi all -
Linda I suppose in any real discussion on unity we must also explore the topic of disunity, and I think it is this that I experience which causes the pain so much in the Spiritual sense. Perhaps I feel this more acutely not having any fellowship here to gather with, there isn't anyone to pray with me, to walk with me, to bear my burdens and for me also to function bearing others' burdens too. All of my fellowship and Christian interchange (apart from evangelism on the streets) goes on here, and I feel the deepest love for those who meet here, and also inexpressible gratitude to God for providing me with it.

Separation when it happens needs to be brought under God's eye, in order to see the elements of flesh that are mixed in with the pain. Partly we want what we want even in the Spiritual and we have to be shown of course that we need to accept everything that comes our way from God, there is that pain there in not submitting, so we submit. Usually there is revelation of what God is doing with us which settles the matter on whether or not it should have happened, or if we have something we need to put right. In this case it was shown me that it was radical pruning, and I trust the Lord to bring forth more fruit according to His promise. I do not see any problem in the fleshly separation, all of the forgiveness things have been done and we are friends if we pass but have no function for each other in the Spirit. It is this that hurts so much.

To say that Agape doesn't react the same way when testing or reproving happens is O.K. in itself, but I think it is a mistake to believe that if we yield ourselves fully to the love of God that is in us we will somehow be protected from any emotional trauma. As the song goes, Jesus "cries, He weeps, He bleeds, and He cares for our needs" - to give ourselves over to this work of God in us surely lays us out and strips us down, but not to a place where we are not touched by events such as these, more to a place where we are more acutely touched. There is no value in holding on to our fleshly emotions, we need those of Jesus, and my experience is that they hurt, hurt really badly, but not without an exquisite touch of reassurance from the One who loves our soul.

Linda, this is an intimate sharing and I know I can trust you to accept my attempts at honesty. I do not care for the things that have gone that were fleshly things. But I cry for the unity we have in the Lord and keep denying to ourselves, doing our own thing always, even our own Spiritual thing, failing to function for each other and with each other and not raising up our one voice in praise and adoration. Perhaps you still feel that there is a fleshly element to that particular hurt. I am wretched in this hurt and I fear, yes really fear, that this will turn out to be something that will come to an end too unless we begin to love that big love of God that cries and weeps and bleeds. I am still down here, Linda, and you are still up there standing. I feel as though (forgive me) I have been thrown a crust which says my hurting and fearing is springing from the flesh. I do not see it, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Only you will have to come down here and feed it to me if that is the case, because I cannot see it myself. I am still willing.

Love in the Lord

Oh dearest Mary,
Please forgive me if I have applied what has helped me so greatly, in my own pain of separation, to you. What I have shared is my own struggle for understanding and heartfelt acceptance of the separation, not meaning for it to be any kind of judgment or discouragement for you. The only way that I survived the pain was to take these steps of sorrow-repentance/crucifixion and death to my own wants and desires and to cling tightly to my own spiritual understanding, that this IS the way for the Pureness of Agape to flow through me, untainted by my own fleshly wants and desires. This understanding was a great and glorious gift to me, at the time that I received it, and I shared it with you, only with the desire to give away what had proven to me to be such a powerful help. Crucifixion brought me freedom and such a greater understanding and identification with the Heart of God and His Intense Suffering due to our betrayals of Him.. that is what I wanted to share - not to bring death, but Life and Hope in the midst of the suffering.

Mary, please forgive me for speaking in any way that brought you discouragement or that feeling like I am not right down there with you in the bottomlands.. I am. But what each of us can share from our own hearts, is really only an expression of our own ongoing transformation. For me personally, I had never fully grasped the incredible power in my co-crucifixion with Christ -- and it took this working of Love/Suffering to lead me to this Divine Weapon for the pulling down of strongholds -- in my case, it was my own flesh. I am sure most Christians have grasped that power long before me.. but for me, this was the means and the time. :)

In the initial years of my training-in-Love (1990-1992) the Lord led me to the Beguines. These women were often called the "Love Mystics" - I would have called them Spirit-Filled Lovers of God. They were but one of the many expressions of the Love of God in hearts awakened to Love during 12th Century. These women were awakened to a Love which caused them to become great servants of Love, down here in the bottomlands where we live. (Like you Mary, I too walk a path that mostly is ((( TheLord-and-I ))) -- married as you are, to an unbeliever who does not desire the things that I hold most precious and valuable.)

When the Lord baptized me in Love, I had no fellowship with anyone who understood me in the slightest!.. So, in His Mercy, He led me to these women of old, to mentor me, through their writings. They were passionate Lovers of God -- experiencing this Grand Love Affair in the midst of the great darkness permeating the middle ages... yet, there was this Glorious Light of Love, radiating outward --touching all the lives they came in contact with. They were compelled by Love to care about others... working on the streets, caring for the homeless, the orphans, the old people. They created communal living spaces -- walled in portions of the cities, self-contained areas where they lived and served and Loved and they called them Beguinages. Some of the Beguines were married, some were not; they took no vows, they were not nuns -- but they were awakened hearts fully given over to God for His Love Purposes. These women became my 'spiritual mothers', and I use the 'nick' because the Lord has called me a Beguine too. He has shown how this name will be such an offense to the 'religious' and yet to Him, it means His Bride.

From these dear sisters of ours, I have learned the relationship of the Suffering to the Love; For they do go hand in hand. How could it be otherwise? But there is a 'Godly Suffering' and a 'Fleshly Suffering'.. they are not the same. Jesus, who was fully human and fully divine, still suffered -- I do not mean to infere that when all our flesh is crucified, we will no longer suffer -- but what I believe is that we will suffer for the sake of others, and not for ourselves. Jesus suffered with the suffering of others.. with the bondages and the pain and the grief that we felt, He felt.. In His Identification with us, He experienced everything that we feel -- and as His Body, we too shall know this suffering the pain and grief of others. Our hearts only become more and more soft - more vulnerable - more able to suffer, as we Love more and more. But again, I can only speak from my own life, that the suffering I felt from the separation was a selfish suffering -- it was my own loss, my own grief, my own hurt that I suffered with, not the pain of the other... and because it was selfish, it had to be brought to the Cross.

Until the internet, I too had no others to gather with who understood this calling to Love. There are those I fellowship with, but they do not understand this singlehearted focus on Love.. and so, I too depend upon you, my brothers and sisters of the Heart to share myself with and to receive your hearts too, in Love. Because I have experienced this Spiritual Koinonia enough times now -- not face to face, but rather heart-to-heart - in His Heart, our hearts gathered, I do fully believe this is the Kingdom Life that we are entering and if we make many mistakes on our way "Home", so be it -- let us just hold one another close, continue to speak the Words of Love and help one another over the rough spots... For this we were created.

In that Love which mortal words cannot express.
Your sister, Linda

In response to your agonizing Mary, I must agonize with you. I do believe that there is an inner peace that comes with knowing the Lord but as we are tested and tried and pruned, it is not a pleasant experience. I have the joy of my salvation but yet I travail over the condition of the church and no matter how much unity we have among ourselves, the fact is that the church is still divided and we are a part of that church. Even Jesus wept over a dead brother knowing that He was about to raise him up. We should be no different. The hope that we have is that one day our trials will be over but we have work to do before then and a dead church needs to know the same unity and fellowship and love that brothers and sisters can have for each other that was given to us from the beginning. We do need to pray for each other, we need to lift ourselves up as if we were all the same Jesus that draws all men unto Him. We are His body and we have been broken for Him.

I appreciate your willingness to pray for me and others when we communicate, I have not had that experience with others and hope that this willingness never fails. You are an example to me, you make my life better, more complete, more fulfilled. We all belong in that lowly state but we should take our stand and be that kind of example to an entire world, or at least to the part of it that we come into contact with.

I need that local fellowship here at home also. I may have found it by the way. A minister of a local church contacted me and wants me to build him a web site. I never did graduate from Bible college and then he tells me that Stockton is the home of some leadership of a Bible College that will take my credits, give me online work for more credit and life experience and in time, I could get my degree, work on my masters, which is easily done with all the work that I have already done. I want to be ordained, this is probably the best way.

Anyway, yielding to anything makes ourselves vulnerable. When we submit ourselves completely to the Lord, it is by faith, this lays our emotions bare and susceptible to attack. Jesus of course is there and He has sent His spirit but you know who is right there around the corner waiting for us to fail, don't you. And when we fail, the accuser is there to bring us into condemnation, lay guilt trips on us and keep us down when we should be standing on the promises that God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. The closer we get to the Lord, the more that the enemy wants to get to us. Now I know that there should be a time that we are so strong in the Lord that we are immune from the attacks, I have just not seen it yet.


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