FAQS

As I have Loved You

Introduction:

On the law and the prophets hang these two commandments:

Mat 22:36  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.

Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The law is fulfilled in this:

Gal 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Gal 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Starting out on our journey, this is what we hear from the beginning:

1Jn 3:11  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

There is a close link between ourselves and others. We are being forgiven as we forgive others. We are perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

We know what love is versus the false love and “tolerance” the world calls love.

Joh 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

By loving God and keeping His commands, is how we love our brothers and sisters.

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

We have the commandments to love one another.

Joh 15:17  These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Rom 13:8  Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

We judge ourselves first to see if we are in the faith, our consciences being purged before Christ.

2Co 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Heb 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

If we love ourselves less than our brethren in other words not get the plank out of our own eyes first, we have the leaven of hypocrisy [saying and not doing] and are in the company of the man of sin within. Here is what is more expedient.

1Pe 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

So, loving ourselves as our neighbour is good and we come near to the Kingdom of God doing this. However, it is the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees that we have to exceed.

Mar 12:32  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: Mar 12:33  And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Mar 12:34  And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

Christ is not come to destroy the law but to fulfil it [Matt 5:17], He gives us a new commandment and an example that we should follow in His steps. WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS HE LOVED US.

Joh 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Let us now have comfort and Hope that is in Christ alone. In days of discouragement, let us bring these truths into remembrance to do them and to teach them. Let us speak of things if they already are Lord willing! Let us consider the following, loving others as Christ loved us.

How do we see ourselves and how do we see others?

We are a work in progress, the workmanship of Christ.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We are fearfully and wonderfully being made, being imperfect still, but in the process of being made over in down payment form.

Psa 139:14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psa 139:15  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

In the past, what we see in the mirror is often what we see in others. Our disappointment in others often reflects our disappointment in ourselves. Our acceptance of others often reflects our acceptance of ourselves. Our ability to see potential in others often reflects our ability to see potential in ourselves. Our patience with others often reflects our patience with ourselves. Now, we lay our lives down for each other, seeing each other and ourselves as God sees us and as Christ laid down His life for us. We have the Words of Christ to give us Life [John 6:63].

Joh 10:15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Christ and His Christ speaks of things as if they already are.

Rom 4:17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 

Remember the oneness we have with Christ, the I AM

It is the road less travelled, the beginning and the end and all in between which is Christ and His Christ. The most beautiful part of this journey is to be one with Christ and His Christ, obeying Him and them that have this treasure in earthen vessels, which brings peace above all else. It is now to live life and process life as it is this day and moment, teaching ourselves and others to obey Christ bringing them to a perfect man in earnest.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

2Ti 2:10  Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

We obey rather than winning the approval of the world

Peter and James declare friendship with the world within and without is enmity with God [Jas 4:4]. We love when we know and walk this truth out expecting disappointments with the world within and without. We are staying focused on our calling.

Act 5:29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

We flee from evil, cling to that which is good, setting an example

Rom 12:9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

The world within and without behold how we are walking.

Joh 1:32  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

Joh 1:36  And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Our brethren see the fruit of the tree in us manifesting, whether good or evil.

Mat 7:17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

We forgive ourselves and we forgive others

We learn the lessons of the past and reach forth to what is before us. Even our sins are being worked by Christ. We focus on today. We forgive ourselves and others, laying down our lives for our friends, which means not to lean on our own understanding but trusting the Lord and doing what He commands.

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Joh 10:17  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. Joh 10:18  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

We love when we are careful to maintain good works as the Lord permits

Different input equals different output. We move away from the things that drain us and move toward the thoughts and actions of the Christ filling us with power, not an empty form of godliness but Christ in us, the Hope of Glory, doing the will of God, the Father. We are careful to maintain good works and work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Heb 10:24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

We embrace the mistakes we are making

We know that it is through endurance that we are being saved, there are many things yet to come which we are not able to bear right now. We live by every Word of God [Luk 4:4], even our failures, the occasion the Lord seeks, to burn out the wood, hay and stubble within us, making us anew.

Ti 2:19  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2Ti 2:20  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 2Ti 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

We are grateful

We do not get what we want most of the time, and things do not always turn out the way we expect. We do not know what the future brings except that the Lord’s promises never fail.

Joh 21:18  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. Joh 21:19  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

There are the multitudes who do not have age abiding life because many are called, and few are chosen. We are so blessed to have this age abiding life now in clay vessels, that is to know the Father and Christ whom He is sending. We are so happy to be counted worthy to suffer for His Name sake. So, we use pain, frustration and inconveniences to motivate us rather than to discourage us because we know, we are being made perfect in love, a beautiful instrument in His awesome Hands.

Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Heb 2:11  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

We feed the Lord’s sheep and His lambs

There’s a big difference between empty fatigue and gratifying exhaustion. We love when we speak Truth and walk in love. The Lord prepares us for this:

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Joh 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

When we fear, we do not live to our fullest capacity

When we act in unbelief, we act in fear. When we love, we do not fear.

2Ti 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

1Jo 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We do not lie to ourselves but speak Truth within and without

We cannot speak with integrity about a lifestyle we are not living. Others behold how Christ walked. Peace comes from knowing that what we are doing is righteousness to Christ, to us and to others. We love our brethren through obeying Christ.

1Co 5:8  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1Co 13:6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

We treasure the talents Christ is giving us  

Christ sets the members in the Body because He is the Head and is training us for our part in the Body, not just saving ourselves but others too.

1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many. 1Co 12:15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 1Co 12:16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 1Co 12:17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 1Co 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

1Co 9:22  To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

We do not compare ourselves

2Co 10:12  For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

We pay close attention to our lives as we are living it

We redeem the time because the days are evil. Our lives in the physical, are not between the moment of birth and death; our lives are between now and our next breath. Distractions are more and more every day; therefore, we stay in the Word, studying, quietly doing our own business.

1Th 4:11  And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We have joy unspeakable

We joy and rejoice to be partakers of this high calling. Paul says this:

Act 20:22  And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Act 20:23  Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. Act 20:24  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Php 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. Php 2:18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

We give to those less honourable and that is how we love

We express the power of God, which is Christ, through humility, forgiveness and inclusiveness. We give more honour to the less honourable.

1Co 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 1Co 12:24  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked1Co 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

Rom 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Eph 4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Closing Thoughts

Christ Himself is teaching us to love our brethren [1 Th 4:9] and the Lord Himself gives us the increase.

1Th 3:12  And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

Christ was a Reformer and so are we in following Him.

Luk 18:22  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Heb 13:1  Let brotherly love continue.

 

Questions and comments are welcome.  You can also email us at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

 

FAQS

Sects in the New Testament

Note:  This is an addendum to a prior post on Cult Accusations Against the Body of Christ. That post can be found here:  Cult Accusations Against Christ

Sects in the NT

 The Pharisees were considered a sect in the NT and so were the Sadducees:

Act 15:5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

Act 5:17  Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,

Paul was a Pharisee [Acts 26:5] in his youth and was also called a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. Christ was called a Nazarene, from the city, Nazareth [Matt 2:23]. Paul was a follower of Christ, thus called a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

Act 24:5  For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

 Whilst in Rome as a prisoner, the Jews that came to Paul’s lodging, said this about the sect of the Nazarenes:

 Act 28:22  But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.

But Paul also was under the Nazarite vow. Let us now briefly consider being under the vow of the Nazarites as given by the Lord through Moses [Num 6:1-2], seeing that Paul took the vow of a Nazarite, coming out from under this vow as he was maturing in Christ. We know that Paul in his earlier walk was keeping the feasts [Acts 18:21] and purifying himself signifying the accomplishment of the days of purification [Acts 21:26]. He was under the vow of the Nazarites, separating himself unto God.

Act 18:18  And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

This typifies us, as babes in Christ [1Co 3:1-4]. The Nazarite vow typifies the immature carnal zeal which is typical of carnal babes in Christ. A Nazarite makes his zeal known to all, by separating himself through a vow [Num 6:2]. He wants everybody to know that he is not like other men looking down on the publican [Luk 18:11]. We notice the three requirements of this vow [shadow] and what this is spiritually representing to us, Christ’s sons.

1] The Nazarite was forbidden to drink wine or strong drink or touching anything made of the fruit of the vine.

Num 6:3  He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.

This sounds so special. Here is the NT witness or parallel to this exclusiveness:

1Co 1:4  I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

1Co 1:5  That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

1Co 1:6  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 

But is this holiness really so glorious or is there something that excels?

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2Co 3:7  But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

2Co 3:8  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2Co 3:9  For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

2Co 3:10  For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

As spiritual Nazarites at the beginning of our walk, we too, do many wonderful works under this vow [type] [Matt 7:22-23] while we spiritually walk this out in our immaturity. We are blind as bats, as Samson, the lifelong Nazarite [Judges 13:5], whose eyes were put out [Judges 16:21] to then see, being made blind first [John 9:39-41, NT parallel]. Paul was three days without sight [Acts 9:9]. The symbolism of not being permitted to drink, eat or touch anything concerned with the vine tree or the fruit of the vine, is the symbol of Christ and His Words [Matt 26:26-29].

Luk 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Joh 15:4  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.

Joh 15:5  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.

After the days of our separation [type and shadow], we now partake of the fruit of the vine. We are now mature enough to partake of Christ, eat His meat and drink His blood [John 6:53].

2] The Nazarite could not cut the locks of his hair [Num 6:5] which symbolizes his own self-righteous works.

We know we have to exceed the righteousness of the law.

Mat 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 What is the spiritual reality for us, after our vow [type] is fulfilled [when we mature in Christ]? We can cut our hair and live by a much more mature law. The symbolism of not being permitted to cut one’s hair, short hair being the symbol of the man who is the head of the woman, means in the spiritual language that Christ’s Spirit in us is ruling over our souls. This only comes as we are maturing through much sorrow of having fiery trials.

 1Co 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1Co 11:4  Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

 1Co 11:14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 

 3] The Nazarite could not touch a dead body until the days of his vow was fulfilled.

Num 6:6  All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.

Num 6:7  He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.

 As spiritual Nazarites in type and shadow, we, are not able to eat all things or esteem every day alike at the beginning [Rom 14]. But as maturing sons, we reckon ourselves dead with Christ, dying daily [1Co 15:31] [Gal 2:20] and make ourselves unclean for Christ’s Body [type and shadow] filling up what is behind of the afflictions of Christ.

Rom 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church

 Paul, as a Nazarite, in the beginning, did not understand that the Lord is making Himself one new man and only whilst in Rome, not being under this vow anymore, now declares these Words:

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; ………. Eph 2:19   

 Coming out from under the Nazarite vow, all spiritual Nazarites Lord willing, will get past the need for any vows [type and shadow, when our separation is fulfilled] and will be made able and ready to follow Christ who says this concerning any vows:

Mat 5:34  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

Mat 5:35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Mat 5:36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Mat 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 Summary

We, as the sons of God, members of the many membered body of Christ, only have the Truth and His Spirit to ward off the fiery darts of our enemies. The Words of Christ never puts us to shame. Christ’s Words are Life [John 6:63]. The carnal world does not understand the Truths we hold and cherish [Joh 12:38].

2Co 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

Dan 12:9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Dan 12:10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

We, as the true Bride of Christ, are not members of a cult, but reformers as is Christ because as He is, so are we [1 John 4:17]. We rest in Him because He is our Sabbath.

 

FAQS

Cult Accusations Against the Body of Christ

The way of Jesus Christ truly is very narrow and the gate is straight and there are few that will find that way.

Mat 7:13  “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
Mat 7:14  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Following this narrow way that few find, will have us being accused of being in a cult by those not given ears to hear and eyes to see.  Other times, when we give answers for our joy by those given to ask us, the seed of truth given is initially received with joy by those the Lord puts in our path.   Yet more often than not, those sown seeds are quickly eaten up by the adversary who works in the minds (heavens) of all mankind.

Mat 13:19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

A very common way this manifests itself is when the carnally minded friends and influencers, blinded by the false doctrines of their Babylonian churches, make the charge that our fellowship group, the little flock of Jesus Christ scattered around the whole world is a cult.  Such a baby hearing the truth, without the sufficient measure of the gift of faith from the Lord and the ability to discern spirits s easily led right back into Babylonian deception.   These experiences actually all work for good, because they separate out those that are not yet prepared and whose time to come to know the truth is not yet.

Joh 10:3  To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Joh 10:4  And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5  Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

If one cannot discern the truth and hear the voice of the Christ in us and instead follows the voice of the antichrist in a stranger, they are not of the Lord.

Luk 10:16  He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

It is the calling of the true church, the one Body of Christ to endure these trials and these false cult accusations.  We know that it is 100% all of the Lord whether one is added to the church or not and whether one is given to receive the truth or not.

Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved

Act 13:48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Mat 13:11  He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

To help the new ones in the faith, it is helpful to be able to refute and affirm as the case may be the characteristics of the Body of Christ.  To achieve that objective, we will now look at the 25 common traits of real cults and show the truth about the  Body of Christ.  As fellow believers, of one mind and one baptism of the many-membered Body of Christ, we all believe the same thing, the written Word. We are to be ready to give an answer to all those asking of us.

Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

So, let us look at what the carnal world defines as a cult and see what Christ teaches about this. The list of attributes of a cult is taken from a college course called “The Psychology of Fundamentalism” offered by the University of Texas. Their statements are in red.

1.The leader is charismatic and often militaristically demanding. There is nothing charismatic to those in the world about being weak and foolish which is the most common trait of those in the Body of Christ.  Loving our enemies and being subject to the higher powers put over us, is not appealing to flesh.

1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1Co 1:26 – 29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Mat 5:43 -44 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 Rom 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 

 2. The leader is always right. Christ says we become all things to all men in order to save some. In order to do this, we have to die to self, daily.   All the elders make mistakes, nobody has been perfected yet.  A true leader in Christ leads by example and is humbled and thankful for correction.

Pro 11:14  Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

1Co 9:19 -22 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;  To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

2Pe 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged (now in this age) we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world (later in the lake of fire)

3. Elitism, the leaders treated as royalty or a sense of awe, hierarchical, authoritarian power structure. We esteem those that labor in the Word and are helpers of each other’s joy, we hate the Nicolaitan spirit which lords over others and obey our elders because they watch for our souls.

1Th 5:12-13  And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;  And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

2Co 1:24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Rev 2:14 -15 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

1Ti 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Heb 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

4. Lower members get no respect or get abused. Christ teaches us to look out for all, submitting one to another and regard those that are less honorable with more honor.

Php 2:2-4  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

1Co 12:23 -24 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  or our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:  

 5. Leaders are not held accountable for his actions or the actions of his authority structure. Christ teaches we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Christ admonishes us that we all give an account of ourselves to God.

1Ti 5:19-20  Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Jas 3:1  My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Php 2:12-13  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Rom 14:11-12   For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

 6. The leader will not tolerate or receive criticism, but leader criticizes all others. We do not argue with weaker brethren in the faith but receive them where they are at. We do not judge them but love them which is to teach them the doctrine of Christ.

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

Rom 14:13-17  Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably.  Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.   Let not then your good be evil spoken of:  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

1Pe 2:17  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

 7. There is no exit. It is true that if Christ is choosing us, we are His, chosen before the world began.  Those who stay or leave all do so at the Lord’s choosing and there is no coercion by anyone.

1Pe 2:9-10  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

1Co 11:19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you

 8. If members exit they are considered rebellious, out of the will of a higher power or the leader. When members leave, they were never one of us, Christ’s Words are never-fading away, they are Spirit and Life [John 6:63]. Christ works all matters to His will.

1Jn 2:18-19  Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

 9. Members do not have any association with members that have left the group. These are Christ’s Words in 2 John 1:8, we do not go beyond what is written.  The way is narrow and the people of God are being made obedient to these commandments no matter how the world hates them or thinks they are mean.

2Jn 1:8-11  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.   If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:   For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Tit 3:9 -11 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.  A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;  Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

 10. There are no graduates from the program or group, just deserters or evil people. Those that leave have not the Spirit of Christ. It is Christ giving us age-abiding life, we have nothing to do with it. If we endure, we are being saved, all by Christ’s design. People leaving us, do not have the Spirit of Christ because of His design.

Jud 1:17-19  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

Joh 10:27 -28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

11. There is cult speak (a language many others cannot understand). Christ’s parables and the revelation of Jesus Christ is a mystery according to Christ. His wisdom is being made known through His Church only.  It’s true that those in the Body know things and speak things the world does not understand.

Mat 13:34-35  All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

1Co 2:7-10  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Luk 8:9-10  And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?  And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

Rom 16:25-26  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

Eph 3:8 -10 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

 12. Personal attacks on critics or those who are not in the group. We are admonished to not speak evil of one another or of no man.

Tit 3:1-2 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Jas 4:11 -12 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Eph 5:3 -7 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

13. Solidarity within themselves, no outside allegiance or association. Christ teaches that He has left Himself a remnant of His people. All that are His are being drug (Joh 6:44) to become members of His Body and they go through much tribulation to enter into the Kingdom of God.

Rom 11:5  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

2Co 6:15 -17 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

 14. Use of guilt to manipulate members. Our consciences are purged from dead works from carnal selves to serve Christ. There is no manipulation in love.

Rom 13:7  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Heb 9:14-15  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Col 3:12-14  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.   And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Job 15:12-13  Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at, That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?

 15. The leaders of the group are self-absorbed. Christ wants everything if we are His.  The Lord demands preeminence in all things.  Loving the Lord with all our heart, mind and  soul takes real actions contrary to the ways of the world and the carnally minded.

Mat 10:34-38  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.   And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

1Jn 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

 Jas 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

16. Instant community. Very few have eyes to see and ears to hear, we have no choice in the matter, faith is a gift.

1Jn 4:4-6  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Luk 15:7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

17. Members unable to tell the truth. We worship in Spirit and truth which is no lie.

Joh 4:24  God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Joh 16:13-15  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Joh 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

1Jn 2:20-21  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

 18. Money grubbing. Our leaders lead by being examples and of a ready mind.

2Th 3:7-10  For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:  Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.   For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

1Pe 5:2-3 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

1Ti 6:6-10  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

19. Newcomers don’t “think right” and need to be trained. It takes a fiery process to be made righteous. Christ is the Head of His Church.

Heb 5:13-14 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Joh 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

 20. System of punishment and reward. We are not under the law but under grace.

Rom 6:14-17  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Joh 7:24  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

1Co 4:7  For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

21.  Cults exhibit Intrusiveness; meaning they get into the face and intimate details of the other members.  

Joh 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

2Ti 4:1-2  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Heb 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 22.  Sense of powerless, dependency, covert fear, guilt. We have the assurance of Christ’s promises.

Heb 10:22-23  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 

 Pro 28:1  The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.  

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth

23. Members and leaders are imbalanced or mentally ill. We have a sound mind. We are not of this world, having the carnal mind of the world.

2Ti 1:6-7 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Joh 17:14-16  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Joh 10:20  And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

Joh 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

 24. Thought stopping language, clichés, or slogans. The sons of Christ stick to the written Word. We have eyes to see and ears to hear and speak in new tongues.

1Co 4:6  And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 

Exo 4:11  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

 25. Demands of ultra-loyalty or ultra-trust in the group’s process and others. We need to be faithful to the end.

1Co 4:1-2  Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Joh 6:66-68  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

 Summary

 We, as the sons of God, members of the many membered body of Christ only have the Truth and His Spirit to ward off the fiery darts of our enemies. The Words of Christ never puts us to shame.

2Co 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 The carnally minded world does not understand the truths we hold and cherish.  In fact, they cannot know these truths because the Lord has blinded their eyes.

Dan 12:9-10  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Joh 12:38-40 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?  Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

The blindness and inability of the whole world to know these truths exist to this very day.  Coming to know this is the Lord’s will and work is part of us maturing in the faith.

Rom 11:7  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

Rom 11:8  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

To those outside the covenant of faith, the true Body of Christ will have the appearance of being a cult because they are unable to see the truth. That was the way it was for the original disciples and that is the way it will be for us as well.  The Jews in Rome that spoke with Paul had heard all the negative things about the Body of Christ as it was thought of as a sect/cult by those yet carnal, in the world and blinded to the truth.

Act 28:22  But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken (evil) against. 

Act 28:23  And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

Act 28:24  And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

Remember it is not given to many to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God.  It is given to indeed very few.

 Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

Count it all joy to be persecuted and accused just as our Lord was.  Great is our reward in heaven now as we are blessed and our faith is being increased.  We are being made ready!

Sincere questions and comments are always welcome.   You can also email us directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com and we will be happy to be of service.

 

 

 

 

 

FAQS

Battling Anxiety and Depression

Introduction

Our lives are a reflection of our faith [which is a gift].

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Christ makes this point, on the positive side of the two-edged sword, known as the Word of God.

Mat 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

So, if we are convinced that something is A, or something is B, then it will be either A or B for us. If we think that we are fearful or depressed, then that is what we are. But if, on the other hand, we are convinced that we, in Christ, are sons of God, we have the faith to believe that we are not fearful or depressed when the trials and worries of life comes to us. We know that we cannot be afraid and have faith at the same time. But what is the cure for fear? What is the cure for depression, or evil spirits? Here is what we are told is the cure for fear:

1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

All of our negative emotions are the result of both fear and vanity. There is torment in fear, and there is torment in vanity. Vanity concerns itself with what others think of us instead of what God thinks of us. But when we come to know God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, we become aware that even our fear and vanity are Christ’s work in us, to bring us to see our need for Him in our lives. When we come to know God and His Son, we come to understand that it was He who has first made us naked, so that we would fear and be vain, before we can even begin to see that we really do need Him to cover our nakedness. We have to recognize our sins which have to be covered and overcome through Christ in us. The cure for fear and depression is perfect love. Here are the verses which defines perfect love.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

So, if we want to love the children of God, and if we want to love God, we must keep all of His commandments, and His commandments are not grievous. That is perfect love which casts out fear and depression. Good works are a result of the love of God. Good works, done while ignoring the commandments of God, amount to works of iniquity. The more we familiarize ourselves with the mind of God and Christ, the more we obey God and keep His commandments and through this we know that we love the children of God. Believe it or not, that is the solution to our fear and depression and negative emotions. As we come to know Christ better, the bolder we become.

Pro 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Anxious thoughts

Even Christ dreaded what He knew was just ahead, so we should not be discouraged that we too, are at times anxious about the future. Remember, every admonition we are given is there because God knows this is exactly what we do first.

Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 

Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [ is] the evil thereof.

We have to keep reminding ourselves that every day of our lives was written in His Book, before there were any of them, and remember that in the end we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us.

Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)

Php 4:13 I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me. (ASV)

So, it was all decided in advance and all the worrying in the world about matters making us worry, changes nothing.

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Christ supplies all our needs for all the many trials still waiting for us in this life. He supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory.

Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

We are part of a Body. It is not rich in this world’s goods, but it ministers to every part of the body according to its needs.  So we, continue to wash ourselves with the water of the Word, it will never let us down but achieve exactly what the Lord intends to do in His great plan for our lives.

 We can do all things through Christ

We can do all things through Christ and His Christ as the truth of this verse is being confirmed in us. There is no other way.

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

This struggle is within us and it is being ordained from before the foundation of the world.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

We are in Christ and partake of His sufferings daily!

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;

1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

Col 1:24 Now, am I rejoicing in the sufferings on your behalf, and am filling up the things that lack of the tribulations of the Christ, in my flesh, in behalf of his body, which is the assembly,

Peter and Paul denied Christ and had placed stripes upon Him and both had an appreciation of what Christ did for them. We too, deny Christ and we too, must come to appreciate what He has done and is doing for us. This is what Christ is doing for us:

Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves [the hearts and minds of His elect] with better sacrifices than these.

In Him for us, and here is what Christ can and will and is doing in Him, for us:

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Let us remind ourselves of the truth of this verse all day every day. We are conquerors of our flesh and spirit through Christ. Paul’s reminds us:

Eph 6:13; Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Depression

 The world classifies depression as:

Major depressive disorder (also known as clinical depressionmajor depression, unipolar depression, or unipolar disorder) is a mental disorder characterized by an all- encompassing low mood accompanied by low self- esteem, and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities

Depression is common to all men, but just as diseases are common to all men, not every man is stricken with a major disease. Scriptures makes it clear that just as sure as Ahab’s prophets were prophesying lies because a lying spirit had led them to do so, so too, are all of the diseases of mankind, in the final analysis, is nothing more than evil spirits being sent to afflict mankind. First, let’s see how this is proven to be so for physical ailments, then we will see how it is also the cause of all mental ailments. Here are a couple of examples of physical ailments which Scripture tells us are evil spirits.

Luk 13:11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

Mar 9:25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

A crippled lady and a man who could neither speak nor hear, are both said to be afflicted by an evil spirit. Here are mental ailments which attributes to evil spirits.

Act 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Neither soothsaying nor fear are physical ailments. Both take place in our minds, and yet Scriptures declare that both are actually spirits. What does this all teach us? It tells us that God is working all things after the counsel of His own will and that all we do, and all that happens in our lives, was predestined to occur [Eph 1:11].

Times of depression certainly are a by-product of our tribulation experience and are common to all men, just as diseases are common to all men. But not all men are afflicted with a crippling affliction in which they are bowed together to the extent that they can in no wise lift themselves up, and not all men are stricken with fear and major depression. The extent of any physical or mental disease is, a sovereign work of a sovereign God, and that work is always accomplished by means of the realm of the Spirit. Here are how the Scriptures put this:

Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear is another way of telling us that the visible world is controlled by the invisible world of the realm of the Spirit. Here is what Christ through Paul teaches us concerning all suffering that is endured by any of God’s children, regardless of the degree of that suffering:

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

The way of escape does not keep us from the trial. Noah escaped the flood by going through it. Israel escaped being pinned down at the Red Sea by going through the Red Sea. Daniel escaped the lion’s den by going into it, and the three Hebrew children escaped the fiery furnace by going into it. The fiery trial is to try us, and we escape it only by enduring to the end of that fiery trial, going through the trial.

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

We are admonished that we ought not to suffer as evildoers, but nowhere in Scripture are we ever told that our apparently self- inflicted sufferings are not part of the fiery trials which are to try us. We are all first hardened by God’s Spirit and we do that we would not. But that is only for the purpose of chastening and scourging us to bring us to see ourselves for what we are, by God’s design. Our sins, are His work.

Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it [ the law of God, verse 22] is good.

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.

Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Our sins are the result of a law. God is the Lawgiver who sustains both the law of sin and death and the law of the Spirit of Life, the meaning of the first and the last [Rev 1:17].

1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

 

1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

 Our trials as painful and as long as they seem to last, are all a vital and necessary part of the revelation of Jesus Christ within us. God loves us and has already decided that we, in His time, bear the image of the heavenly when His work in our lives is being finished [present tense].

How do we deal with the spirit of depression? We read the fundamental truths of God’s Word and try the spirits:

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

If we can get the Words and thoughts of Christ to replace the thoughts we spend thinking of ourselves and our problems, then Christ is sending His Word and is healing us.

Psa 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Christ turns up the heat like He did with Job, before Job learned to sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving even for his trials.

Psa 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare his works with rejoicing.

We have to thank the Lord for our trials and put our minds to pleasing Him by becoming an example of how Christ changes a person though His Word.

Psa 107:31 Oh that [men] would praise the LORD [for] his goodness, and [for] his wonderful works to the children of men!

Summary

As we mature in Christ, we come to see that everything that happens to us is of God, and in the long run, for our good. Just as Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt, we will never be able to see the good of our trials while we are enduring them.

Gen 50:19  And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Gen 50:20  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Gen 50:21  Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Jas 1:2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

God meant it unto good, a deep abiding faith in God’s love and in His total sovereignty will drive out any sense of panic.

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We all have concerns of this life with which we struggle. But those concerns are subdued by our faith in the love of a Father who, we know, to be working all things after the counsel of His own will. We continue to rely on our loving heavenly Father to give us the faith to face every trial, and day by day that faith will grow until all fears will be subdued to the confidence that all things are working together for good to them who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

When we do not understand that trials in our life are brought to us by God for the good purpose of making us more godly, we view trials as torture and fear them greatly. Understanding the purpose of our difficult experiences in this life and having faith in the character and purposes of the one putting us through them, will enable us to overcome our fear and live with more peace through faith. This is a process that we are being put through that takes time. God has ordained that we experience fear, doubt, and worry as we go through all the trials He has prepared for us.

 Sincere comments and questions always welcome.  You can also email us directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com