[b]The Church of God[/b]
by Fred Pruitt
I don't feel that I need to make an apology for getting up here in the pulpit, because I have a definite call from the Lord to give out his word and proclaim his gospel. The subject on my heart will be good for everyone of us. I am sure that with your prayers God will make it a blessing to your if you have an open heart and an unbiased mind to receive the truth today. This subject is ''The Church.'' We need your prayers.
The Church of God is an institution in the world which God himself has given or created for us, has given in the world to functions to his glory. It seems that if people can have a clear vision of the church they can be better established in the truth. Some people say, ''Why don't you just preach Christ to the people?'' Well, we can't preach the church and not preach Christ, for the church is the body of Christ that is functioning in the world today.
Great darkness is enveloping souls concerning the church. Not many people have a clear vision of the church. Many, it seems, have a vision of the church at one time, but we find today they are mixed up with all manner of sectism and failing to see the church as a distinct body of people free from all religious institutions or ''isms'' or movements that are in the world, their vision has become dim and they seem to see the church mixed up in the different sect; but we see it different then that. We are persuaded that folks who have that kind of vision have a blinded vision. In other words, they have become dim in vision and are not able to see clearly an more. But the church of God which has been represented in the word of God, is a body of people who are not of sectism, not of an ism or schism, what ever they may call themselves-some could have been called the ''Church of God'' and yet be a sect and attached to the world in different ways and manners; therefore could not be the clear Bible definition for the church.
We read in the word of God that in every nation they that fear God and work righteousness are accepted of him. ''In every nation.'' Now I say that people who discriminate between the different races in any way concerning their association and fellowships in Christ do not see the church clearly. I believe that with all my heart. I do not believe that God makes any difference in race and color in any way but every nation he that fears God and worketh righteousness is accepted of Him. That is the church I see in the world today, and it is a separate, distinct body. It is not a mystic, or as some say, ''a mystic church;'' but it is something that we can see, a visible working body of men and women in the world, standing out clear from all the earthly religious institutions.
Now we want to read some out of the word of God to verify these truths by the Word of God . Heb. 3:1, ''Wherefore, holy brethren,''you notice here that he is speaking to ''holy brethren.'' ''Holy brethern, ''so that would bar out anyone who is not holy. He would not be talking to any unholy person , but to the ''holy brethren." And he says, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house." He is the one we want to consider: "Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house." According to that, Moses had a house, and Jesus has a house, and those houses are the church. Someone may ask, "Was the church before Christ?" Well, it is spoken of in Acts as the church in the wilderness, etc,; and it is also spoken of as the kingdom of God. It is referred to in that sense as being the kingdom of God because they were God's chosen people. the Israelites were God's chosen people. The Israelites were God's chosen people. God set his love upon them and they were counted his people. Hence the apostle, in writing, says: "Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house." Moses was a faithful servant in the house of God at that time. "For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses"-this man, Jesus has a house; Moses had a house; but now we are in the house Jesus built. We are in the tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. We are dwelling in it, and every saved soul, every one who is holy through the Lord Jesus is dwelling in that house; and that is the house of the Lord which is functioning in the world today. "For he who has builded the house has more honor than the house." "For every house is builded by some man, but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after." Moses' house was just a testimony; it was typical of the real house. It was a shadow, and we have the real today. We are living in the real house, the habitation of God through the Spirit. He is inhabiting each of his children, and that makes us the house of God in the world at present.
"But Christ as a son over his own house"-Christ has a house. that makes it very plain what that house is. "For Christ as son over his own house, whose house are we"-Isn't that sufficient? We should not doubt the Word of God. Christ has a house. He is over that house, "whose house are we." We who are saved, we who have the spirit of God in our house are His house. We are the tabernacle that God pitched, and not man. Man doesn't have anything to do with this house. It is God that made it; and it is written in Isaiah, ninth chapter that he is the ruler, the government is on his shoulders, and he is the governor. In another place it is written that He sets the members in the body as it pleases him. I believe we all should be satisfied where God places the members, and honor the members in their respective places in the body. I believe we ought to do that, and it will take the love of God in our life infilling each of our hearts in order to be humble enough to allow each one to function in his proper place in the body. That is the church of the living God that is in the world today. It is the house of the Lord , and we are only members in that house, and we are only faithful while we function in our proper places in the body. As we do that, we find the favor of God upon our souls; as we continue on in that place, some day the lord will say, ''It is enough,'' and we can go up higher. Glory to God!
It is wonderful to think of the church of the living God, which he says is the pillar and ground of the truth. It is the pillar -not pillow-p-i-l-l-a-r, something that holds up- the pillar and ground of the truth. In other words, all the truth that God is giving to men today is coming through that body, through that church. There are others who steal the truth and use it for there own selfish interests, etc., to deceive souls; but, I say, originally, all the truth that God has given to us is coming right through the members of his body that is functioning in the world. The devil is very cunning. He is a thief and a robber, and steals the truth and uses it for his selfish interests and purpose to make up a church of his own; and then maybe calls it the church of God -yes, to deceive the people, but that doesn't hinder the fact that the real church is functional in the world functioning. The devil is making up all kinds of imitations, all kinds of institutions, and calling them churches, often bearing the name church of God.'' But I want to say that the true church of God is standing out clear and distinct in the world, absolutely free from these religious institutions that governed by men in any degree or manner. I say it is functioning to the glory of God, separate from these things, free from the world and all its ways of evil and wrong. They are a peculiar people, zealous of good works. They dress like saints ought to dress. They dress themselves according to the Word of God. They are not afraid of the people, because they have the one who rules the universe back of them, and they are willing to bear the reproach of the cross. They are willing to go forth and weep and suffer for Jesus Christ because they know that heaven is their home. Glory to God! It is wonderful what the Lord has done for us.
Now, I want to turn and read just a little more in the 43rd chapter of Ezekiel. In this chapter the prophet is speaking of this house; in fact, he speaks of both houses, and we want to bring some truth today that is going to be good for us. I am interested in people becoming settled and established in the truth. I am interested in folks seeing the church clearly. I want to say unto you, if any soul among us is looking around for something else, according to God's word they have not yet seen the true church of God. is functioning in the world, and a number of people have seen it clearly and have fled the ruins of Babylon, and have come out clean for Christ, come out on the promises of God, clear of Babylon institutions that are in the world. They are not mixing up, there vision is in clear, they see the church, his body, and hold to it, and every member who sees it has sweet fellowship with the others, and Jesus Christ himself will be the head. He is the governor and the ruler.
Ezekiel 43:10, ''Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.'' Here we have two the houses. Israel was a house; but know we have a house, which belongs to the Son of God. Moses had a house, and Christ has a house. The instruction is ''Show the house to the house .'' Oh, he is going to bring them in to this grace dispensation. The prophet is prophesying long years before Christ came, and he says; ''Show the house to the house.' 'He wants to show them the real house. They had the real shadow, but we have the real now. ''Show the house to the house of Israel that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. ''They were away behind of what the Lord has for us today. Israel, I say, had just a shadow, but today we have the real. We ought to see the real house today. We do not want to back under the law, have our eyes blinded and a veil over us so we cannot see clearly. God wants us to come out into the light, get away from the rubbish, etc., and shine for God as a body of people that belongs to him in this time world.
''Shew the house to the house of Israel that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.'' God has a pattern for his house. He wants us all to measure to the pattern. He wants us all to move up. Now we want to talk about this house. ''And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house.'' This truth would be good for the people in sectism. It would be good for them. Show them the house. They don't see it, that's what's the matter. God wants the people who are in darkness to see the house, the real house, the house that the Son of God has built, over which he is ruler today. "Show the house to the house, and if they be ashamed of all they have done, show them the form of the house and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them." DO THEM. That's why God has his ministers in the world, to declare the truth to the people, show them the form of the house, the ordinances of the house, the goings out and the comings in, and all the things that are taking place in the house of God. That's what the ministers are for; that's why they proclaim the gospel on this line and on that line, because they are showing the house to the people, so that they can measure the pattern. And he says here, "This is the law of house." Now, he is going to show us the law of the house: "This is the law of the house: Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house." Oh, glory to god! We are on a mountain, folks. He did not put us down in the valley in the smudge and smoke and in the fog, but he has us upon a mountain. "The whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house." The law of the house is coming from the top of the mountain-the most holy; not the justified people, but the sanctified people. When you get sanctified you are most holy and you are up on the top of the mountain, and the law is going forth from the sanctified people, the most holy people. We're on the top of the mountain, most holy people-yes, clear around about, the whole limit thereof. The whole top of the mountains just full of the law of God. it is going forth from that source today. That's what God has, that's the house of God, that's God's house in the world today. he is not using the worldly people to proclaim his truths, wisdom and knowledge; neither the justified to any great extent; but he is using the sanctified ministers, and the law is going forth from the top of the mountain where the limits round about are most holy. It is going forth today. I thank God for that.
When we see and have a clear vision of the church of God, we are not looking for something else. Should someone come among us speaking perverse thins, he won't draw away the real children of God who have a vision of the church. He won't draw them away I say; but will cause them to draw closer to the Lord. I say when people begin to lose the vision of the church, and you will find them getting into sects, into divisions , following out after divisions, this way and that way. But so long as they keep a clear vision of the church of the living God that is functioning in the world, when divisions and there arise those that speak perverse things to draw them out of the way, they will just nestle up closer the Lord.
I see the church. I am a member of the Lord. I am the body and I belong to the Lord. Everyone who will do that will remain in the body. That is the church that is in the world, but not of the world. The prophet said to show it to the people, to write it in their sight, get it out to the people, let them see the fashion of it. If I were in any question about the church of the living God , I would surely get down before God in humility of heart, and I wouldn't move till God showed me the church of the living God. Just as surely as you move without a clear vision of the church of the living God, you will move out of the order of God. God wants his people to see these things. That makes an institution, a divine institution that is working in the world free from schisms, isms, divisions, etc. It is shining in the world. It belongs to God alone He sets the members in; he takes them out at his will. If they sin against Him, they go out. When they repent of their sins, ask God to forgive them, and the blood cleanses, He just takes them right in as a member of the body. They come in and go out. Oh, we find that some folks have lost their vision of the church , and they have gone off into little sections, divisions, this thing and that thing, following after some man. Oh, you will go to destruction. If we keep our eyes on the Lord and the body of Christ we will function together to the glory of God. We are just human, and we find that a number of people before us that who once had this truth went into darkness, lost sight of the church, and today they are in such a condition that one cannot tell them from the sects around them-just taken up with the world filled up with those things, claiming still to be the church of God; lost their vision; lost their vision! Now we could do that if we are not watchful, if were not we're not careful, if we don't keep humble before the Lord in humility of heart and mind, looking to him for grace and strength to keep a clear vision of the church of the living God, we could begin to get in darkness and gradually drift away into some ''ism.'' Think about this!
The prophet says, ''This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be mostly holy. Behold this is the law of the house.'' There is where the law comes from. That is the law of the house. They are mostly holy people. They have the laws of God. They have the truth of God and our proclaiming it to the people, and the whole limit of the mountain round about there. They're the most holy people, the sanctified, retaining the sanctifying grace of God in their hearts, and see these things clearly and proclaim them to the people.
I believe I will read just a little more from Isaiah. We want to get the sum of these things, to show up this house just like it is in the sight of the God. 4th chapter: ''And in that day,''-what is the prophet talking about? This gospel day. I believe we all understand that. When the Lords prophet said ''in that day,'' he didn't mean the day in which he lived, but the gospel day, the day of grace, the day of Holy Spirit. ''In that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.'' I think of how that Scripture is being fulfilled in the world today. We find that the church of God, in name, has multiplied and multiplied. It was told me that there were fifty churches of God recorded in Washington, D. C. Fifty of them. It wasn't that way in D. S. Warner's time. No; there was but one church of God (unless it was the Winebrenarian church. I believe it existed, but it was a sect). And so it was a different proposition then that what we have today. We have something to go against, and we are going to have to put out the truth clearly that man can may see the difference between the false and the true. They have the name. And why do they take the name? It says very plainly here, ''we will eat our own bread, wear our own clothes.'' In other words, we will take from the word what suits us. ''We will eat our own bread,''-take what suits us; ''wear our own clothes,'' just the doctrines we want, etc. We will only take them, but we want the name so we can full the people. That's what it is-''to take away our reproach.'' Why, if they had some other name, they would fell reproached because they are wise enough to know now that the ''church of God'' is the Bible name. They are wise enough to know that.
This truth concerning the church was preached in the morning time, then there was a time of darkness when it was lost from sight, then D. S. Warner brought it forth to the people again and began to proclaim the church of the living God. The saints saw it, taught it, and practiced it and God blessed in a great way and sign and wonders followed. Miracles were done because God was putting his approval upon the light of the gospel he was bringing forth to the people. But how long did they stay in the light? The devil got in his work, dimmed their vision of the church, of the living God. They held on to the name-they eat their own bread and wear their own clothes, but want the name to take away their reproach. ''Why,'' they say, ''Yes we're the church of God. Warner brought this to us. We are the original church of God.'' Just like the Catholics claim that Peter founded their church. They say that they are the original church of God and that Peter was the first Priest, pope, ect. ''We are the church of God.'' And so these people, though they have drifted away from the truth, gone into darkness, and taken up with the world and all its ways, still hold the name. They wear their own clothes. God wants them to measure the pattern. They still wear their own clothes, eat their own bread-wrest the Scriptures around so cleverly and make folks believe it means that and just take them right on down to the flames with their doctrines that they are wrested around about, and cause the people to err from the truth. They do that, I say, in the world today And I want to say it behooves God's children to keep a clear vision of the church of God, love it, love its ways, love its forms, love its ordinances, love its going and its coming out, love all these things, practice them proclaim them, work in them, live in them day by day, keep our hearts open to the will of God; and He will lead us on as a group of people after his name, and accept us when he comes back to claim his own. But nothing else will be it. Anything else will not stand in that day-only that which is real These sham religions and different churches of God that are tainted by the world and other things which our contrary to true doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God, I say, will not be recognized by the Lord when he comes after his bride.
Now let us read from the new Testament. We could say much more from the prophets, but we want to hasten along and get some truths that may do us more good then ant other. Eph. 2:19; ''Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.'' That are in connection with heaven. They draw there strength , their wisdom, their knowledge and all that is worth while right down from God out of heaven to their souls. They are in touch with heaven. Their spirits are in working order and they have communion with the Father in heaven. We have the truth of the Bible today to proclaim to the people. ''Ye are not strangers.'' ''Ye are no more strangers then foreigners, but fellow citizens with saints, and of the household of God.'' We are the household of God and we have fellowship with the saints. Every soul, I say, that is out clear for God, separate from the world and the religious institutions of the world, will have no trouble in having fellowship with others that are like wise clear. These things of the world that men take up with will hinder the fellowship between brother and brother and sister and sister.
It is not God's will, but it is the working of Satan to disturb, divide, and separate, if possible; and I want to say that Gods desires that every one of us see the church and be willing and humble enough to function in our place in the body and allow others to function in their places in the body separate from the world and all its folly and foolishness, out clear for God, and we all have fellowship one with another, and god will be glorified in the whole body,
The Apostle Peter said, ''Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.'' Jesus answered him, ''Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.'' And he said, ''I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and unto this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it''-IT, not THEM, only one church. He has only one church in the world today. He never will have but one. If men and women who are in these institutions are saved at all, it is merely because of the great mercy of God toward their ignorance. God is calling them out of these institutions. ''Come out of her, my people, and be not partakes of her sins.'' I want to say that God is calling all away from those things, and if there is a soul today mixed up in any ism or schism or church of this world, I beg you in Jesus name, take your stand against these things. Come out clean for God. Have fellowship with the white -robed throng that have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
The Scriptures says that God's heritage is as a great speckled bird, all other birds are against her. They are against God's true children, and will make plans among themselves to oppose the true ones. A crooked preacher will have fellowship with other crooked preachers, but their spirits will not blend with those who have the holy spirit. God is calling his people to have a better vision of the church of God. Oh, yes, she is a speckled bird-some are white, and some are black, and some are red, etc., and they are all shining in their places in the church of the living God. He says, ''Ye are all one in Christ Jesus .'' We have forgotten about race and color, and are clear on the promises of God, living together in the spirit. having fellowship together because we are free from all worldly institutions. We are not hanging on to them . We do have to bow down to the idols of Baal. We don't have to do these things because we have come out free from them One time just before the Assembly meeting I received word that two crooked preachers planned to attend the meeting. They were noted fellows, and I became troubled about it. We didn't want them to come and disturb the meeting and teach some false thing, maybe get the children of god confused and troubled in soul. We knew they were false and they had been in the way a long time and knew a lot of things. But, oh, as we prayed to God, concerning this matter, He spoke to our soul, saying, "When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?" Oh, that was wonderful to me-wonderful to me! it is good to be in touch with heaven, folks. When we can take our troubles to the Lord and hear from heaven, we have something that is real. We have something that we can depend upon. That just settled the whole matter. Why? Because the son of God had spoken. I knew He had the matter in hand. When he assembly meeting came on, He didn't let one of those men come. Now it is wonderful what God will do for us.
We are in the body of Christ and each one needs to be in touch with God for himself. Each of us needs to know that we are a member in the body; and it is God's will for us to be individually in touch with Him and draw down food for our own souls from God above. That's the body working in the world today; and if you draw down food from the Lord and I draw food down from the Lord, I say it will be just the same. Now, there could be a misunderstanding, and someone might misunderstand the Lord; but even when such is the case, each one should have enough of the love of God in his heart to wait on God till he clears it up-the whole thing. The body then would function right on. Now that's the working of God's body in the world today. When any member becomes so stiff that they are not willing to listen to brethren and humble down and wait on God, God will just put them out. That is some of the ''going out,'' God puts them out; we don't have to do it. We think God it is not our own shoulders. We can just leave it to him and he will take care of the whole thing. It has worked over and over, and will keep on working till Jesus comes. We need to know what the body of Christ is.
''Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the house hold of God.'' The house hold of God-I believe one place it is called the ''household of faith.'' Here it is called ''the household of God.'' The whole family of God. We are in fellowship with the whole family of God. Someone says, ''You fellows think you are just think you are about the only ones there are.'' We do not think that. We just know we are it. We know that. ''Oh'' they say, ''You just think you know nobody else knows.'' We just know what God gives us. That's all we know. And if you will get in touch with God, get lose from your idols in the world which darken your souls and darken your vision, and look to God to get truth from God to get truth from God in your soul, that which you receive from God will harmonize with that which He has revealed to his body, and all will be one in Christ Jesus. I tell you God never did sanction separation and division. There is no place in the Bible where God sanctioned division. He is always bringing together. In the very beginning it was prophesied that Shiloh would come and ''unto him shall the gathering of the people be,'' and we are instructed to join ourselves unto the Lord in a perpetual covenant. The only thing God ever told us to join is Him. I am afraid to join anything else. I want join an institution of this world will dim their vision. God may bear with them, and he does bear with them; but I say when you go after this old world, you are going contrary to the word of God, and it will dim your vision more or less, and it will hinder you in having fellowship with those who are out clear and distinct from all of these things. God has a clean holy people. He doesn't accept anything but cleanness.
''And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets''-who was the foundation of the apostles and prophets.'' The prophets spoke of Christ as their foundation. ''Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.'' Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone in the building today. Peter says that we are all lively stones in the building. The spirit of Christ will cause every one who possesses him and look to Him daily to be lively in the things of God. They will be interested in these things. They will believe to these things There is not a dead stone in the building. Mother Winn used to tell us that often, and it got down into my heart, and I believe it with all my heart-not a dead stone in the building. That is another way of going out. He says he will show the way out, and that's a way out. If you just want to trifle with the Lord and be careless about your salvation, neglect it, the first thing you know you will just be outside. You will have no life, and the Lord will have to put you out. You will automatically go out that way. It behooves every member to keep in touch with Him, individually, and draw strength and grace day by day down into our hearts, thus be a lively stone in the building of God. That is the church we are talking about-showing the house to the house. We are trying to show house to the house. You saved young people are the house, and we are trying to show the house to the house, its goings and its comings out, the form thereof and the fashion thereof, the ordinances thereof, and all these things. We want us to see what manner of folks we are. Oh, it is wonderful to me!
The 21st verse: ''In whom-''oh, listen, this is good-''In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into a holy temple of the Lord.'' There's holiness true holiness. We are the building-all the building is fitly framed together! ''Fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. ''In whom ye-''talking to us-''In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God thru the Spirit.'' It would be very hard to build a thing together if it were tied up with something else. If you were going to build a house or this tabernacle and you had part of the lumber tied up on the west side of town, some of tied up on the hill, I say so long as it is tied up, you could not build it into a building. You could not put any of it into a building. Let people get loose from institutions of this old world, and it will be easy for God to put them into the building. He will just fit and frame you right in, you will be a member of the building-a holy building. He will do that.
The Bible is just full of this, and the Lord has brought many of these things to our hearts. Now I will read from the first chapter of 1 Corinthians: ''Now I beseech you, brethern, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe that there are contentions among you. Now this I say , that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.'' Now just think of this . There was a division starting. That is the way divisions start today right among us oftentimes. Someone says, "This is my preacher." Another, "That is my preacher, and if my preacher isn't in the pulpit, I don't care anything about it." That's a divisional spirit. We exhort the brethren to have respect unto God's ministers. When God puts one in the pulpit, you back him up with your prayers and be encouraged as much as possible by the speaking. You do not know, it may be that God is using that minister to get some truth to some poor soul and that some other minister could not get to them at all. We ought to bear with one another and respect God's humble ministers whom He puts into the pulpit. If they make some blunders and mistakes, they an be talked to afterward about it, unless it is such a big open one that it is going to damage. God will teach us how to deal with one another if we keep our hearts open to the Lord. He will teach us how to do these things, and there need be no friction. When one begins to say, "This is my preacher," and another says, "This is my preacher," there is no division. I have seen it in a congregation. there was division in a congregation-hidden-like. It wasn't open, but it was division just he same, and it hindered the working of God's Spirit among the people If there had been enough of the love of God in each heart toward one another, I say it would have put to death any divisional spirit that started. division ought not to be in the house of God. Someone might say, "Oh, I am not going to listen to that old crook." Don't you think God will take care of a crook? Some folks think no one sees those things but them. I say every anointed minister in the house sees it when a crook gets into the pulpit. They may suffer and wait on God to know what to do about; but I say God will take care of the thing, and He won't let it do any damage if we will just let Him have His way about it. We could do a lot of damage if we would jump in on it before God would lead-do a lot of damage. ''Is Christ divided?'' Christ is not divided. Whenever you see any one pulling away from the saints, you may know that fellow is going to die spiritually. One cannot exist out of God; nor exist fighting Christ and his body. One cannot keep alive that way. One may keep alive carnally, but not spiritually, not in Christ.
When God begins to reveal things to one and that one begins to think he knows all of it, God has a way of letting him down. Oh I want to say, we need to keep self dead. That big ''I'' wants to pop up. That fellow wants some praise; he wants some honor. I say whenever he gets any honor for himself, he will take it away from God. Jesus Christ is the one to honor. He said (John 5:44), ''How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?'' Oh, he is all we want to honor. It isn't the man. We do not want man exalted. We want Christ exalted. We want men to see him and come to him and attach themselves to Him and work with Him and be a member of his body. We don't want any honor. We want folks to see Jesus.
''Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?'' You see how the apostle Paul, as soon as he saw division working, jumped right on that thing to fight. He just began to clear it out and show them the right way. We need to know the right way today.
Chapter 3:(Paul speaking still), ''And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat" for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal''-Now listen, I can prove to you by the bible that if you prefer preachers in the church of God you are carnal; that's carnality working-"whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal and walk as men?" they are not walking with God any more. "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" There it is. whenever we get to preferring Christians in the kingdom of God, we are showing carnality. If you do that, you are going backwards. You are going down in your experience, and the first thing you know you will automatically be out of the church of God, be out of Christ. None of that kind remain in the church. they won't stay in there. I say there is not a sinner in the church of God. thee is not an unclean person in the church of God. They are all washed in the blood and made clean. God's people are a clean people. God wants us to manifest that life, that cleanness, that humility until we can bear and suffer and wait on God until He works. When God works and clears things up, they are cleared up-they are cleaned up!
We are talking about the house of God, the house of God which is the pillar and ground of the truth, and want to read a little more before we close. All of the truth is in the house of God. In the 87th Psalm it says, "All my springs are in thee." All of God's springs. You know, a good spring is something that gives a refreshing drink; and all those springs, the good things that God may have, come right through the members of God's body out to the people-something refreshing, springs of water, the waters of salvation just flowing free, right out of the church of the living God. In Revelation 22:1 it says, "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." A river of life flowing right down from God from under His throne-right down to the people in the world today, feeding hungry souls on the good things of God.
I Corinthians 12:13, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body"-one Spirit, just one Spirit. Now there are other spirits in the he world; but we are baptized into one body by one Spirit. There are other spirits and they may have a baptism of some kind. Some people are filled with some kind of spirit, but it is not God operating. The devil is imitating everything God is doing in the world. That is why we need to keep in touch with heaven for ourselves. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit"-just one Spirit. "For the body is not one member, but many." The body isn't one member, but many." Many of us make up the body, the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit. "If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not of the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the haring? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members everyone of them in the bode as it hath pleased him.'' The Lord wants us to be careful. If you are a member in the body that God may not be using so much, don't say your not of the body. The natural body has many members. I don't know how many bones they say our in the body-208-well, they all have there places. If you take one of those bones out, it weakens the body. You take one little member away from the body it weakens the body. God may want to use that member some time and He reaches for it and its gone. I had a little joint taken off my finger. You may say, '' That is just a little member, you'd never miss that.'' Well, I hardly ever miss it, but some times I do. When I want to pick up something or reach for something, sometimes I don't get it. What's that matter? The joint is gone; that little joint is gone and it just want function. I say every member is vital importance to the body of Christ. They may be insignificant , seemingly, but they are of great use to God. God may not be using them very much, but when he wants them, they need to be there so God can use them. Some folks get the idea, ''If I can't be 'so and 'so in the body, I want be at all.'' That all belong to carnality and the devil. It belongs to other family, not to God's family. I want to say that when God saves a soul, that soul is humbled down. He says, ""As ye have received Christ Jesus, so walk ye in Him.''
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon