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His Only Gift

The Gift Of His Church

CHAPTER TWELVE

No one likes to be alone and the Lord guarantees that His people will not be alone. He has given His church which is made up of all His faithful children. His church is led of Him for He is the Shepherd. These believing ones are united together as one and move in a single front to bring the life of the Savior to all who will receive it.

There are things we say from time to time that do not sound like God's church always moves with Him. We have said, "The church has apostatized." In a physical way it may appear that that has happened but, in reality, that cannot happen. The church of the Lord cannot apostatize. "There is no other church than the assembly of those who have the word of God, and who are purified by it." (4 SOP 237) It is true that we speak of the many denominations out there as churches. In the physical world this is understandable to our minds, but there are not "churches" of the Lord out there. The only thing out there is the church. One church belongs to Christ and the other to His enemy Satan. "God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments." (UL 315.) The church of the Lord is always pure, but those who profess to be the church are most often not.

Who Are The Saints?

In Scripture the church is also described as "Saints". In some religions the "saints" are special people who have done some great things. The Bible describes all God's people as saints and it also describes what they do. "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12.) God's saints "His Church" keep His commandments and they have His faith. It would be well to notice that these are not merely saying one should keep the commandments or believing that one should keep the commandments, but these saints are keeping the commandments and they are doing this continually. These also have the faith that Jesus had. This is God's church and there is no other church of the Lord than this one.

The other church out there is not the church of the Lord, but is Satan's church. The Scriptures also describe this movement. "And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." (Rev. 2:8-9.) Who is this synagogue of Satan? It is the one who claims to be a Christian but is not. He is not because he does not obey and he does not have Jesus' faith. "Satan has a large confederacy, his church. Christ calls them the synagogue of Satan because the members are the children of sin. The members of Satan's church have been constantly working to cast off the divine law, and confuse the distinction between good and evil. Satan is working with great power in and through the children of disobedience to exalt treason and apostasy as truth and loyalty." (TM 16.)

The synagogue of Satan or Satan's church boasts that it is the church of Christ. They name themselves after many things, but all profess to be followers of Jesus. Even so, God has not left us without ways to detect the church of Satan. He has given us clues to trace. For His people who are deceived in this church, God gives a message. "...Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:2-4.)

A Warning To Escape

God is giving His people warning to escape her. But how are these to escape if they do not know what they are to escape from? The key is found in the statement that "the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her." That is, there is an unlawful union between those who claim the name of Jesus, yet live after the world. "The world must not be introduced into the church, and married to the church, forming a bond of unity. Through this means the church will become indeed corrupt, and as stated in Revelation, 'a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.'" (TM 265)

There is our key. But what is it that the world does that Satan's church also does? All one need do is look at the world and see. The world is clear to define. It is the simple life of the carnal or fleshly man. The world judges only by what it can feel, see or taste. The world makes no claim to be able to live as God lives. The world knows no such doctrine. The world cannot be faithful. Of course, the carnal ones profess loyalty and honesty. In government the politicians say all the right things and believe all the right beliefs, but in the end they cannot live up to them. When the church of Satan presents its religious dogma, if one will look honestly, he must confess it looks just like the world. One of the great foundations of the synagogue of Satan is that the law cannot truly be kept. Satan and his children will say that you should keep it and that you will keep it, but he always interjects that you cannot really keep it and if anyone says they are keeping it, he heaps upon them contempt and hatred. His is the doctrine of "getting better." This is the basis of spiritualism. In many spiritualistic religions one is even given many lifetimes to get better. Other religions, who don't believe you have many lifetimes to get better, still hold you have this lifetime to get better. The whole basis of thought is that when you become a Christian, you sin less and less until one day you are perfected and you don't sin anymore. Of course, that day will be when Jesus comes. Spiritualism states that "sanctification is the work of a lifetime." While that statement is true, the devil means by that statement that it takes a lifetime to stop sinning. His ministers openly say that they sin and everyone does. This is the message of the world.

Worldly Maxims

You have heard the maxim of the world, "Nobody's perfect" have you not? When those who claim they are the church and commit fornication with the kings of the earth, they are heard using the maxims of those kings. This makes them Babylon. This brings confusion into the ranks of the people.

In the church of the Lord there is His own life so there is His own perfection. These are in unity and peace with one another. These are brethren. This is not so in Satan's synagogue. Since unity is not possible there, these must devise other means to stay in control. One of these means is to create hierarchy of authority. Those at the top of this hierarchy have gone through the greatest initiation. The leader of this hierarchy may have the greatest number of degrees or the greatest achievements. The world honors men with an educational system that gives men and women a title. They have gotten better through much study and hard work. The Lord says of these, "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?" (John 5:44.) This honor of men and praising man is the way in which these hold their kingdom. "And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries...." (Dan 11:32.)

Worldly Men Attain

Look at the world. Worldly men go through a period of attainment. After they attain, they are given a "degree" which testifies to their status in society. They are praised and honored for their attainments. This is the world. When those who claim to be the church of Christ fornicate with the world they use the same means. They, too, use the process of the world. These honor and flatter and give degrees, but they little know that using the world's methods of government is only to adopt the methods of the synagogue of Satan.

The Bible calls the ministers of these religions merchants: "...and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." (Rev. 18:3.) What do these merchants merchandise in? Among other things, verse 13 of Revelation 18 states that the merchandise is the souls of men. Today's ministers of the church of Satan deal in souls. But these ministers use the world's methods. They have committed fornication with the world. Their titles are, "Holy Father" or "Reverend". These pastors are spoken of by the Lord. "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries (increase their degrees), and enlarge the borders of their garments (work to be seen in greater religious endeavor), and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues (the foremost noticeable church seat), and greeting in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi (enjoy being noticed and called pastor or reverend). But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." (Matt. 23:5-8.)

The Attitude

Notice that Jesus is dealing with attitudes. The attitude of these who belong to this synagogue is the attitude of being noticed and being in authority. These have the last word in board meeting or in religious discussions. These ministers rule over the church. These are the "great men of the earth."

The church of the Lord sees itself as brethren. The minister is the humble servant of all. His work is to bring souls to obedience to the master and not aggrandize himself. These strive that their congregations receive the new heart which Christ offers. The false shepherd is characterized by his rule over the church. He administrates and controls. He is not concerned so much with the salvation of souls but, rather, with numbers and money. He wants an impressive record for those looking on. This hireling who poses as a shepherd will be found comparing his church growth with someone else or comparing the offerings with some other church. These will boast of the church and its exploits and make great flattering statements of the work of God's church on earth. Another way to detect the counterfeit is to notice how this church gets her way. The false church will go to the world to get its will fulfilled. "In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends." (GC 443.) You can tell when an image to the beast has been formed. It is when a church uses secular power to get what she wants. This can be seen if a church takes another to court to get what she wants. Other ways this image is formed is if she uses her power to get laws passed in her favor, then uses the secular police authorities to enforce this law in her favor. She may force dissenters by having their church locked up and the congregation removed by secular authorities. This is forming an image to the great apostate of all time Rome. The great Roman church has for centuries held that the law of God is subject to the will of the church. She has punished dissenters with secular authority. She has boasted of her greatness. So it is with all the daughters of the synagogue of Satan. Babylon is fallen is fallen. The churches of the land are full of the wine of Babylon: "How much she hath glorified herself...." (Rev 18:7.) It is a popular thing to be a "Christian" today because men know little of what it means to be one.

Spiritual Fornication

It can be seen how one fornicates with the world. It is when one claims to be a child of God but uses worldly methods to attain his ends. The world simply does what the world does. God is not making accusation against them here. It is when men are in the world, yet claim to be His children, that they bring Babylon (confusion) into the church. No man is deceived that the world is Christian. Even the world does not claim to be Christian. It is when the world dresses up in the clothing of religion, it is when wolves put on sheep's clothing that the term Babylon applies. Indeed, in these last days the churches of Satan everywhere are full of the corruption of man. The law of God has been set aside except in lip service. The honor of the world in the use of degrees and status has well nigh taken over every element of religious experience. The pride of man and the pride of life is forever extolled. "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen and has become the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.".

All throughout the land God's people are found. They may be found in a desolate wilderness. They may be found in a humble setting. These may also be found in kings' courts but they know and understand the basis of God's kingdom. These are born again. They have the life of Jesus and they do not have respect for persons. That is, all men are regarded the same to them. These do not attach to themselves titles and degrees to be seen of all men. They do not extend their names with letters or other honor descriptions. These do not take pleasure in being called "doctor" or "reverend." They simply do their job faithfully and regard all men as beloved of the Father.

These men cannot be brought under the authority of any man, for they are under the authority of God, but where man's laws do not conflict with God's laws, these will obey them. These souls do not lose their temper or quarrel because they do not get their way. This is God's church. This is the only church there is. The greatest goal of the church of the Lord is not the goal of causing the institution to survive. That is Babylon. The greatest goal of the church is to find those who are God's people anywhere on earth and showing them that God has redeemed them and given them His life. The church may be seen going door to door with their faces lighted up in perfect obedience to the law of God. These are obedient subjects. These are not in competition for prizes and honors. These seek no glory but the glory of Him who sent them. This is God's only church.

Come Out Of Her

The Lord says, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Notice the cause and effect relationship. If one does not come out of the synagogue of Satan these will receive the same plagues that the synagogue receives. When one supports apostasy, then they receive the judgments that apostasy receives. The Lord is not here calling men out of the church. He is here calling men into the church. "Come out of her my people" is saying, "come into my church, my people." He says, "No longer follow the traditions of men but, rather, follow after the commandments of God."


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