"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| THE CHURCH THAT WOULD NOT SUFFER! by brother Greg|
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[b]The Church That Would Not Suffer![/b]
[i]by brother Greg[/i]
A message showing forth true apostolic power with God
Oh! for a call back to apostolic preaching, apostolic power, apostolic praying. We cry out ‘I want apostolic power’ but do we really? Do we want to suffer as they did? Do we want to crown our offering with a tortured bloody martyrdom as they did? Pentecost has a cost. If we are going to have apostolic success we are going to have to have apostolic suffering. Leonard Ravenhill said: "We talk Apostolic doctrine but lack Apostolic deeds. We claim Apostolic faith but lack Apostolic fruit. Some trumpet Apostolic power but lack Apostolic poverty. Some claim Apostolic enduement but lack Apostolic accomplishment. We may have Apostolic vocabularies. Do we have Apostolic victories? Many claim Apostolic succession. Few, if any, dare claim Apostolic success!" Let us look at the life's of the apostles and see their summation, see how well they ran and also finished the race that was set before them. Will it shock you to know that every apostle died a violent marytrs death. Should we not except to follow the same path our master trod? shall we not tread it still? Let us read their stories: The apostle Andrew according to traditional accounts, was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas at Patrae in Achaia, Greece on a X-shaped cross. The apostle Bartholomew according to traditional accounts, was flayed alive and crucified, head downward, at Albanopolis, Armenia as punishment for having converted the King of Armenia to the Christian faith. The apostle James was the first apostle to be martyred when he was put to death in Jerusalem by the sword at the command of Herod. The apostle James son of alphaeus was martyred at Jerusalem by being thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, then stoned and beaten with clubs and fuller’s mallets, while praying for his attackers. The apostle John was burned with alive with oil and survived and became the only apostle to die of natural causes. The apostle Judas was beaten to death with a club, then beheaded, in Persia. The apostle Matthias according to traditional accounts, he was stoned to death at Colchis. The apostle Paul was a Roman citizen being exempt from crucifixion, so he was beheaded with a sword in Rome. The apostle Peter was crucified upside down because he claimed he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Christ in Rome. The apostle Philip according to traditional accounts, he was martyred at Hierapolis, Phrygia. The apostle Simon was martyred, but the location is uncertain; some claim that he was crucified in Samaria. The apostle Thomas was pierced through with spears by four soldiers in India. The apostle Barnabus preaching the Gospel was martyred at Salamis. Are you willing to add your name to the list of these true apostles for Christ? Perhaps turn your Bible to Hebrews 11 and read where it says: “others tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain by the sword.” ?
The apostles were living martyr’s for Christ dying daily. If we could share in their sufferings but for one day I am sure many of us would forfeit apostolic power. Leonard Ravenhill: “There is a 'deeper life.' It is as deep as a personal Gethsemane and as costly as a personal Calvary." In our beggared condition in the modern day church we cannot handle the consequences of apostolic power. We need first to have our weak skinned, self-seeking, spineless Christianity purged from us. May God be gracious enough to do this. Then perhaps we will have power with God and once again become the “church militant” on earth. "Apostolic preaching is not marked by its beautiful diction, or literary polish, or Cleverness of expression, but Operates "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." stated Arthur Wallis who longed many years for a true move of God. We need men of renown, those who are willing to count the cost and be amongst the few that do great exploits for God. Hear the heart cry from Samuel M. Zwemer to see these sort of men arise in our day: "A man set on fire is an apostle of his age. And the only one who can kindle the spark of light and fire on the hearth where it has died down is He who has revealed Himself as the God of fire, our Lord Jesus Christ. 'Our God is a consuming fire'...Tell me, is your ministry a burning and shining light, or a smoking wick, slowly dying out to ashes? ...It is a strange custom that we should supply a minister with a glass of water; if only we could supply him with a bonfire in the pulpit, a spiritual bonfire. We need the dynamic of a flaming ministry that will set the Church on fire."?
ANCIENT AND MODERN
To any careful observer of the church in our day we realize there is a great disparity between the modern day example and the apostolic original. Here is anonymous article written in the 1700’s depicting some of these disparities very vividly. Oh for a reviving of the true apostolic spirit in the Church is the crying need of our day, or perhaps the only answer for the Church in this day:
“Ancient and modern preachers. The difference between ancient and modern preachers taken from the Scriptures. If any think me to severe to the Clergy, let them study the examples of Christ and his apostles, and compare the picture.
Ancient: CHRIST call'd his preachers to renounce their wealth, And set a glorious pattern in himself, Who, tho' he did possess all things in store, Yet for our sakes, became exceeding poor.
Modern: Some preachers now, large salaries do fix, So that, by preaching, they may now grow rich, So far departing from their blessed Lord, They worship mammon and a golden god.
Ancient: CHRIST told them, to be wise, they must be fools, And that not all the knowledge of the schools, Could ever teach one soul the way to heaven, That this is only by his spirit given.
Modern: But now, some go unto the schools of men, Expecting heavenly wisdom to obtain, And that, by reading books, they may acquire The holy spirit, the baptismal fire.
Ancient: CHRIST charg'd his followers, titles to contemn And, often faithfully, admonish'd them Not to be called RABBI, learned, wise, But all ambitious selfishness despise.
Modern: Now, some are call'd Archbishops and Prelates, Reverend Doctors, learn'd, wise, and great, The reverend parson, and master of arts, Old pharisaick pride, in all its parts.
Ancient: CHRIST told his followers, to be meek and mild, As low and humble as a little child, That they must not aspire to lofty seats, But must come down and wash each others feet.
Modern: Now some, in garments long, do love to stand, With college flourishes, they wave their hands, Read their writings, and then call it preaching, Old orthodox apostolick teaching. Now money, schools and books supply the place, Of humble love, and sanctifiing grace, When money fails, these teachers often flee, The reason is, because, they hirelings be. When any now, are call'd of GOD, to teach, And by his spirit, are sent forth to preach, These learn'd scholars soon, will them degrade, Lest their cheap preaching should spoil their trade.
Ancient: CHRIST told his followers that they must expect, The world would hate them treat them with neglect, That as they hated him without a cause, So they would hate his followers and his laws. Fools in the eastern of the world.
Modern: No, say some modern preachers, 'tis not true, The world will love us and respect too, We are commanded for to live in peace, We will not then disturb their carnal ease.
Ancient: CHRIST told them, a distinction they must make, That they, the sheep and goats, must separate, That, as the sheep were separate from wolves. They must not be by worldly maxims rul'd.
Modern: No, say some teachers, this is a mistake; Therfore, we now will join the church and state. Tho' this is very far from GOD'S design, This jargon union, they attempt to join.
Ancient: CHRIST oft declares, the help of man is vain, And, that except a man be born again, And that except we all converted be, GOD'S kingdom we can never, never see.
Modern: Some hold, that there is yet some power in man, And that by creeds, and modes, and forms he can, Profess, confess, and plead, and, by degrees, The holy, angry, jealous GOD, appease.
Ancient: CHRIST says he is the way, the truth, the life, That, our of him, we have no strength or light. We have no faith, no hope, no might, at all. He is our joy, our hope, our all in all.
Modern: Why then, among the herdsmen, is such strife, When all of them can't bring a flea to life. Striving, both night and day, to proselyte, And yet cannot make one hair black or white!
Ancient: CHRIST'S followers, of old, were of one heart, Did, with their worldly int'rest, freely part; Neither did any say, ought was his own; It all in common stock was freely thrown.
Modern: Some christians now, so selfish they are grown, It is with trouble, we can get our own, And sometimes are obliged to complain, Unto the laws, our rights for to obtain.
Ancient: Christians all took their names from CHRIST, their head, All party names, from them, entirely fled, No Parthians or Medes with them were known, No other names, but christians, they would own.
Modern: Christians are so divided, in our days, The want of true religion it betrays, Presbyterian, Churchmen, Baptist, Quaker, Methodist, Universalist, and Shaker. It makes me almost sick, To see the names Iv'e writ, My pen I now will quit, And will not waste My paper.”
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2006/12/20 2:27||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| 2006/12/20 2:40||Profile|
| Re: THE CHURCH THAT WOULD NOT SUFFER! by Greg Gordon|
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Tim 3v12.
Notice the verse says all, not some, not many, but all.
Does lack of suffering mean lack of godliness? Not necessarily. As long as you keep your mouth shut. Speak about it, and wait for trouble.
If Jesus was crucified, the apostles and early Christians martyred, present day Christians in non-western nations expriencing hardship, trouble, torture etc, and eventually a martyrs death, what makes us, in the west, think we won't suffer?
We will. We will suffer. We won't have to go looking for it.
Be godly. It will come to you.
| 2006/12/20 6:46||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Embrace suffering?|
Does lack of suffering mean lack of godliness? Not necessarily.
Enid, that seems rather nonsensical with the use of that verse and what you stated before and after. Perhaps you could clarify ...
Something related that I read last night, based around Romans 5, [url=http://www.charityministries.org/theremnant/theremnant-November2006-tribulation.cfm]Tribulation Worketh[/url], an excerpt;
Paul says, [i]We preach Christ crucified.[/i] We preach a suffering gospel. We preach that [i]tribulation worketh.[/i] We preach that its okay to have a financial setback. That doesnt mean that God is against you! Theres a lot to ponder when we think of preaching [i]Christ crucified.[/i] It reminds us that we need to have a life dead to self, and that we need to welcome suffering, and have our lives daily placed on the altar, and never being satisfied with where you are. We would never have found pardon, or have known redemption, if it wouldnt be for the suffering of Christ, and His clothing Himself in human flesh. We would have no hope, if it werent for [i]Christ crucified.[/i]
If I may stretch the point here a bit ... Is there something of an antichrist notion that works greatly against all that we have been told otherwise throughout scripture?
Im concerned about the way our country approaches persecution and sufferingthe Charismatic seems to say that God doesnt want us to suffer, or to be sick; many seek to cause the church to be angry and up in arms about the rampant persecution in other parts of the world, and to get involved politically to help stop such persecution, and to make sure that no one has to go through persecution. After all, dont we have a right to believe what we wish without persecution? But the apostle Paul seemed to think differently. There seems to be a resignation and an acceptance of persecution, with the underlying thought of You need tribulation in your life. Dont run from tribulation. Dont believe Gods main goal is to free us from difficulty here on earth.
| 2006/12/20 8:36||Profile|
The thought that comes to mind comes from Timothy and is that in the latter times folk would depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. I couple that with a similar thought that they also would heap to themselves teachers having itching ears and unable to 'endure' sound doctrine.
There is a shallowness to the experience in God that has been passed down from one generation to the next. The future leaders of the church are being trained up in the environment we see. many have never seen or even heard of the level of sacrifice you are talking about. And because there are so few that stand for the truth and so many that are willing and ready to compromise- the righteous are utterly dispised. to stand for truth in many circles is to stand alone. Not just opposing certain pet moralisms- but an overall stand opposing worldliness and sin. Not fanatical in one area- but a balanced stand for righteousness and truth.
So long as there are compromisers abounding this problem will continue. When I was a child I can recall how cousins and siblings would sometimes be disciplined and spanked. Sometimes it was another form of correction. Understand that 9 of 10 adults would stay their own mouths and allow the child to feel the weight of their correction. But there always seemed to be that one that would pick the baby up and start (what we call in our parts) 'babying' the child. Patting it on the back and making the parent look like a bad guy and thereby winning over the heart of the child. Generally this would cause a physical confrontation if you know what I mean. Why? Because anyone can play the sympathy card and win over the child in that way. The nine chose the best interest of the child. The one chose to use the situation to win friends and influence people.
And this is the issue in our times. The wolves have overtaken much of the tableland. They have been ordained as shepherds and its a picture strait out of Droopy the cartoon or something. Ignorance of what is happening is at an insulting level. As the scripture says.. truth is fallen in the streets.
Robert Wurtz II
| 2006/12/20 8:49||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: At random|
There is a shallowness to the experience in God that has been passed down from one generation to the next. The future leaders of the church are being trained up in the environment we see. many have never seen or even heard of the level of sacrifice you are talking about. And because there are so few that stand for the truth and so many that are willing and ready to compromise- the righteous are utterly despised. to stand for truth in many circles is to stand alone. Not just opposing certain pet moralisms- but an overall stand opposing worldliness and sin. Not fanatical in one area- but a balanced stand for righteousness and truth.
Been giving this a lot of thought of late brother. Present circumstances still very challenging, disturbing... Been under a great deal of pressure of late primarily in my work and though bit's and piece's have been eked out here and there in various post's ... It is still remarkable and surprising how much a resting on the laurels is evident, how a distraction from prayer ... ah, it's peculiar, even getting the mind to settle down and concentrate long enough. Amazed at my reactions, at the frustration, the sometimes outbursts of anger, blowing off steam, complaining ... Exhaustion, responsibility, confusion, this being caught in the cross fire of 'no man's land' .. Almost as if it isn't a fault finding just as much as the cry is "For crying out loud, can we not just slow down here a bit?"
This is disjointed and am writing because I can't sleep. Awakened by another in a seemingly endless line of false alarm calls from work ... Terse would be a bit of an understatement getting these unwanted wake ups ...
To be frank, the thing troubling a great deal is that even as busy as it has been for the last 6 months or so, there was more a sense of it not being a bother, a great deal of real heart crying dependence on the Father truly, so much so ... so much by way of answered prayer it is astonishing. Nothing dramatic to speak of, just the opposite; That everything that could and should have gone wrong did not. Well beyond mere happenstance. But the bother now is, well, that many of these things are now a bother. Self interest, self appreciation? ... (muddied, that distaste still too much to be much of a consideration) There is an appreciation and an acknowledgment, all well and good in it is proper understanding, but not needed, still shy away from it ...
What I am trying to get up and out here is the possibilities that we have not yet experienced, what happens when we are really put in the olive press, what comes out?
It seems suffering helps us to better suffering, it also may well show forth what is still lying buried deep down within us, hence all the warnings about "taking heed" ... Just when we think we have it all pinned down ...
There is a justification that can come up from the bowels that is astonishing, this want to express in frustration, in outburst all the things being held in, that earlier were held differently, the care-less-ness as to weight and import. Have been quite taken back by my behavior even while I recognize it, it's ugliness, the complaining ... whining! Even had a boss of sorts make note of it, while I was whining about the 'whiners' ... "You too!" it was in a nutshell. Had to wince and laugh and respond, "You are absolutely right!"
I marvel at the Lord. Truly. To take a step back and just wonder at what he might have done, could have said ... What [i]if[/i] He had unleashed a legion of Angels when they came for Him, let alone 12? All the great suffering of various misunderstandings, hatred, unbelief ... All the things taken in and quietly, silently, never responded to or reacted at. The rare times when He did ... "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem" or the money changers, the Pharisees and the character and authority that emanated out from Him, the reasons for these things.
The betrayal and then on to the great sufferings of Gethsemane, the cross and it's manifold ... perplexities. The sufferings mentioned here in part, those that we know so little of, torture and martyrdom, to just dwell and think hard on them, to come back to these things full circle and put our own into perspective. Can't be a complete doing away of them or an accurate comparison ... just we haven't tasted of them in their full velocity.
There is personally much that I find so peculiar and opposite of what our day has now turned inside out and upside down. That we 'must' be healed goes the subliminal or pronounced ideal. That so much is inverted ...
[i]Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?[/i]
[i]And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,[/i] (2Ti 2:24 ESV)
Example after example, Hosea and Gomer ...
We defend where we are supposed to suffer patiently.
We mistake 'being a doormat' for something much more tremendous, the holding under of that which you could respond, not an particular cowardice, and waiting ... repaying evil with good, not a smugness, but sincerely.
Finding a great deal that is learned that has yet to be fully lived.
A bit random, a bit late and maybe even a bit personal ... Something of a confession and a concession perhaps, that I needed to get worked out, to hear myself speak it out loud.
There must be a way Robert to get the saints out of the shallows. A great deal of it is available in these corridors I believe, a great deal of it may be as simple as the emphasis and simplicity of prayer and dependence and ... suffering. If it was always so 'simple'.
| 2006/12/21 4:00||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
recent comments on this article:
You know brother Greg, what amazes me is how much things stay the same. During the first one hundred years of the church they were suffering with this issue. And it seems that throughout the history of the church there has been this lethargy and apathetic cancer among the body of Christ. I truly thank God for you and your passion for the truth. Please receive this in the utmost sincerity.
Again, all very true. What on earth shall we do?!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2006/12/22 3:08||Profile|
| Re: The Church That Would Not (Will Not) Suffer|
Would not or will not?
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
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.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
When we truly love Christ with all our heart, being obedient unto His Word, instead of lip service; Then we will,
2 Tim. 3:12
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Those who do not will,
 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
By whose Spirit are you being lead?
1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
This is so plain from scripture, makes one wonder why we only talk about it and make excuses for why we do not suffer today.
Could it be we love the creation more than the creator?
Choose you this day whom ye shall serve tomorrow may be to late.
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
We are not suffering today because we are free; we are not suffering today because we are in bondage.
In His Love
| 2008/1/25 20:19||Profile|