INTRODUCTION: WHAT THREE STEPS CONSTITUTES THE PREPARATION FOR A WEDDING? WHAT IS THE WEDDING GARMENT AND HOW, WHEN, AND WHERE DOES THE BRIDE RECEIVE IT? WHAT CONNECTION DID THE PROPHET MESSENGER OFFICE OF MALACHI 4:5-6 AND REVELATION 10:7 HAVE WITH THE BRIDE AND HER GARMENT? THE WATER OF THE WORD IN EPHESIANS 5:27, WHAT PART DOES IT PLAY IN THE BRIDE OF CHRIST? WHAT METHOD DID CHRIST CHOOSE TO KEEP HIS BODY CLEAN? FELLOWSHIP, CAN IT BE BROKEN FOR ANY CAUSE? IF NOT, WHAT ARE SCRIPTURAL GROUNDS FOR BROKEN FELLOWSHIP? WHAT PROCEDURE SHOULD ONE FOLLOW IN A BROKEN FELLOWSHIP WITH NO SCRIPTURAL GROUNDS?
CALVARY AND HIS WIFE
Turn with me into Revelation 19:7-8 where, by the grace of God, we are going to investigate something that will affect a certain people of whom we all have hopes of being a part. Revelation 19:7-8 is a familiar scripture dealing strictly with the Marriage of the Lamb. That bloody cross of Calvary according to Paul was the spot where Christ purchased his wife (to be). Ephesians 5 admonishes husbands to love their wives even as giving himself (or it—WHERE? At Calvary! Today, after 1900 years. Christ by the spirit of revelation of the word, is definitely wooing and drawing unto himself that little Bride (people) as she nears the end of her earthly journey–his wife to be, which he purchased with his own blood, and will soon be presenting unto himself as a chaste virgin, clothed in a beautiful garment; a garment not of her own particular choosing which she shall wear to the wedding but one he has previously sent to her. However, it must be she (the Bride) herself who shall put on this garment for the wedding. Perhaps the only difference between natural weddings and this spiritual marriage soon to take place is in earthly weddings the bride to be chooses her own bridal garment, whereas, in Rev. 19:7-8 Christ not only purchased the woman, he also furnishes her with the wedding garment she is to wear to the occasion! Just as certain as the first event (Calvary) did transpire right on schedule so shall the Marriage of the Lamb take place on schedule! Furthermore, everyone purchased for this position shall be there. I am convinced this is the generation of people with which God is definitely dealing to cause this to become an actual reality in our very hearts and lives. Rev. 19:7 says, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give honour to him for the Marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife hath made herself ready, and to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen.”
FINE LINEN—GARMENT OF BRIDE
Since having written an article entitled “THE GARMENT–of the Jew, Foolish Virgin and the Bride–Are They The Same?”. (Vol. 2, No. ) which is yours for the asking, we shall only comment briefly on the fine linen which is the material language referred to here to signify that which the Bride wears in the wedding far surpasses the white robe language spoken of by the Holy Ghost emphasizing the fact that white linen had by far the greatest value of all materials of that day. Recall in the days of the prophet’s inspirational writings there was no such thing known as synthetic fabrics as we know today. Linen, in that day, the world over was considered the most costly, most refined of all the fabrics known to man. It was used strictly for fancy dress material and could be afforded only by the rich. Therefore, fine linen is the language of dress material used by the Holy Ghost as he says “she was arrayed (portrayed or displayed) in fine linen.” Certainly not the general run of material but FINE LINEN—the best, most expensive, most refined of all spun and woven material is to be the material which signified her garment! Note that “fine linen” was the righteousness of the saints. Rev. 19:8, which according to Romans 13:19 would be the full revelation of Jesus Christ. How and where he receives this garment or revelation will be discussed later.
BRIDE MADE HERSELF READY
What a peculiar statement! “His wife hath made herself ready.” In order to better comprehend this statement let us ask ourselves one question–what does a woman do in preparing or making herself ready for her wedding, the greatest event in her life? No bride waits until the wedding hour to begin preparing for a formal–wedding, does. she? Certainly not! A long period of preparation is involved in this most important hour of her life. Bear in mind neither can the spiritual bride wait until she has gone to glory to prepare for her wedding, for when she leaves this earth she is going to be wed to Christ. As a matter of fact, if you are not ready, being properly dressed when he calls, you are not even going! No bride ever stood at the altar to be wed to that man of her life not completely dressed but still preparing herself, did she? CERTAINLY NOT! There has also been a long period of preparation for this event; it is not just some affair thrown together or just hurrying off to a Justice of the Peace with no thought concerning it. In God’s eyes this is something most formal.—(Rev. 19:7-8)–scripture portrays it exactly in that manner. Marriage throughout the eastern world, especially in that area where the scriptures originated has always been considered one of the most important events in any young woman’s life. It is the one event in life which has been most cherished as it formalized over a period of time. Marriage has reached out embracing many customs and traditions all of which tend to only place greater emphasis upon the main event itself once it takes place. Recall, once that union is brought together it changes life for the individuals involved. No longer are you just your old selfish self, you have become a part of someone else while someone has become a part of you. In marriage one undergoes a special change where they take on new outlooks, other responsibilities and obligations. The special event itself embraces many things which tend only to beautify it and bring out the importance of the event itself. Therefore, it is not an event where something is thrown haphazardly together and in a few hours it is all over.—NO SIR, THEN IT JUST BEGINS! It is an event long looked forward to and it is one that should, from the natural standpoint, be long remembered by those partakers of that union.
EXAMINING NATURAL MARRIAGE
Marriage is honorable, ordained and blessed of God himself and Paul referred to it in Ephesians 5 to illustrate Christ and the (Bride) church. Let us examine the events surrounding this occasion more closely. Before any couple is ever brought together in holy wedlock there is that period known as courtship which began somewhere about that point of their lives where they decided to go steady, before they fully decide to become man and wife. There now becomes a fixed goal between them. An objective now enters into their courtship, an objective which involves more and more of their conversation as that day am proaches. Many things are to be discussed, arrangements to be made, the formal make-up of the wedding. The nearer that day comes the more absorbed they become in this conversation. Every thought is now centered around this event. Since that natural bride is the feminine object typifying the mystical body of Christ, the Church, let us take a closer look at the woman as her wedding day approaches.
THREE VITAL STEPS BEFORE MARRIAGE
As already stated in the earthly marriage the woman is generally the one who chooses her wedding garment, how she wants it made, etc. Let us watch her as she approaches that season of time when marriage is to take place.
(1 ) LOVE—Recall if this is going to be a successful, fruitful relationship in marriage she must enter into it with everything she has, spirit, body and soul. Her spirit (which is actually herself) must be deeply in love with this young man who is going to become a part of her life. To not do so could be fatal to her chance of happiness and a successful marriage. Yes, within her spirit, which is herself or her innermost being, lies the very soul making her that creature created in the image of God. If within her spirit she does not have that positive, sold out feeling of love unto him and him alone, within the back of her mind may lay the thought that possibly even though this marriage is fulfilled it will never succeed. So, if this is going to be a fruitful and blessed marriage, one which shall be pleasing in the eyes of the Creator and one arranged by the Creator himself then let us approach our entire study on Bride and marriage on the basis that the Creator has brought them together for marriage. You may rest assured once God Brings a young couple together for earthly marriage, that marriage is going to be fruitful and pleasing to the Creator as he has kept his eyes upon them from the time they were born. These two may have been born many miles apart yet God kept his eyes on them and brought them together and made them as one. Certainly there is going to be a fruitful relation between his two offsprings in which God shall be glorified. As the young woman decides that this is the young man of her choice to whom she shall dedicate herself and chooses to live with the balance of her life, her spirit must be sold out to him in so much that she has no feelings for other men whatsoever! You could run one thousand men past her who had a far greater physique, taller, darker, better complexion than the one she has chosen but not for a moment will they phase her. Sure, with her natural eye she may see each of them but in her spirit she only sees one-that is the one she is sold out to. No thought of marriage should ever be entertained until such a feeling is there. Hundreds of miles may separate them yet she still sees only one Likewise should it be with us who truly believe that we have been purchased by our Lord through his death at Calvary. Our love for him should be no less great nor no less responsive. If he did that much for us that we might truly be a part of his Bride body, surely in order for that courtship (followed by marriage) to be truly scripture our spirits (mine and yours I must be sold out 100 percent to the love of this ONE GOD! I cannot reserve or hold any doubts in my mind that he is not the one and only that I want to live for while here on this earth and if need be die for. He must be the only one I am willing to set my eyes upon and close out everything else around me. If he is the one that my spirit (not my finger, hand, or some part of my fleshy body) chooses (it is the spirit which chooses, not some part of the fleshy body that makes these choices) then my spirit which incorporates my soul must be 100 percent in love with him. It is my spirit that must say,
“I LOVE THE LORD JESUS AND WANT TO BE WITH HIM ONE DAY,”
however, if my spirit after having said this still wanders around looking for some other opportunity, some other little indulgence; some other little pilfering or flirting around then my spirit is not 100 percent sold out to him as It should be—we will not be married because he will not include me in the Bride. his mystical body! The same holds true with any natural bride who says she has made up her mind concerning the one young man she is going to marry, yet if on Monday after being with him on Sunday she is found flirting around with someone else there is every possibility something Is wrong. That girl’s spirit is not 100 percent sold out to her fiance. Whenever you see young people who can date one person one night, someone else another night and at the same time be engaged to someone else, something TERRIBLE is wrong! You may say, time has changed, that I will not dispute, BUT GOD HASN’T! I did not say it was wrong to speak or carry on a conversation with someone else but for thousands of years it has been considered a social shame for young people who have announced their wedding plans publicly to continue dating and flirting around with others, practically up to the hour of the wedding. Remember, one thing is to be sociable and another is to flirt out of season. Once I met my wife I can truthfully say I never looked at another girl from that day to this. I believe this one thing—once our mind is made up concerning who our partner for life is going to be we had better stick with that decision if we want God’s favor yet, rest assured if you have a flirty type spirit somewhere in life it isn’t going to please God and you are going to hit a rough streak as your home takes a shaking. You can’t do such things and please God! You may please society – you may please man, but you will never please God! For God is not a God who flirts all around this universe. When he espoused himself to that one nation, Israel. He declared openly this was his wife. He was most loyal and faithful to her however once she began flirting around with other nations and gods that was the day he put her away and hasn’t looked at another individual nation of people as he did Israel since that day. True he came to a gentile people but not to only one nation of them! He never chose any gentile nation to be his representative on earth as He did Israel. No, He simply let his wife go, allowing her to run over all creation until finally he said–honey. you have taken your whipping so come on home. Today she is back in the land getting ready once again to enter back into the family relationship of Jehovah once those two prophets appear in Rev. 11 and calls out a spiritual nation of 144,000 who shall receive the revelation of who He is. Then after the great tribulation comes the millennial period to which Israel has always looked forward.
HUMAN SPIRIT PERCENT DEDICATED
Just as that young bride’s spirit must be sold out completely to her fiancee: we as a people, who feel ourselves to be a part of the true Bride of Christ because a messenger came at the end of this age and brought us the revelation of truth which is our wedding clothe”, our spirit also must be completely too percent sold out to him–that must be our objective! If it isn’t, are you aware of what that means? It means that just as the natural girl isn’t sold out to the one and only she is going to run into trouble, SO ARE WE! We want to discuss a young bride whose spirit is completely and fully given to her young man and marriage is her every thought she is the only one who could typify the Bride of Christ. Let us examine those weeks and months before her wedding As her mind has become so preoccupied with these thought she seems no good (or anything else Take a young girl contemplating marriage standing among her friends, who perhaps asked her some question–there is every possibility her mind will be so lost and pre-occupied in thought that she will not even hear their questions. How often has it been said to a young bride-to-be, hey, where is your mind, as they have had to be awakened out of these thoughts concerning the wedding and shaken back into reality. With all my heart I believe the Marriage of the Lamb is just ahead therefore if we are living near that hour when the scripture declares SHE HATH MADE HERSELF READY, our minds also must be constantly preoccupied with that beautiful thought
(2) CHOOSING OF BRIDAL GARMENT-remember because the scripture declared she bath made herself ready this did not imply she had chosen her own wedding garment, did it? It simply meant she was willing to choose the wedding garment (full revelation of Christ) which had been sent to her. Besides, we must realize there is far more involved in a wadding than simply a garment! This will be more fully revealed once we examine the steps of the young bride-to-be before putting on the wedding garment for the wedding. The garment of the Bride Church spoken of as FINE LINEN which shall be worn over her mystical body is none other than the full and complete revelation of Christ Jesus which she will fully be clothed in according to Rom. 13:14. Furthermore, the physical body of that natural bride which is covered with that beautiful wedding garment is also most important in a wedding for she must bathe and wash herself thoroughly destroying all signs of physical body odor before she even attires herself in the wedding garment to go to the altar. Are you aware there will never be another bath which will be more important to this young girl than the one she takes shortly before donning the wedding garment for it is here that she shall thoroughly wash and bathe, using special soaps, perfumes and deodorants to bring out all her natural beauty as she too bath made herself ready for the wedding? See. it would make no difference how beautiful the bride’s wedding garment would be if she journeyed to the marriage altar with odors about her body proving she hadn’t taken a bath for a week’. What bride would want to put on her best wedding garment and come marching down the aisle with all manner of sour perspiration and odors–IT IS UNHEARD OF! Furthermore, how many realize that these body odors can bury themselves so deep within the fabric of the material that it can simply defile it? Spot cleanings and pressings only tend to stain the garment. Everyone I am sure is familiar with odors the human body can give off. Perfumes and deodorants may cover them for a while but only a bath can wash them away! It is true that bodies give off offensive odors therefore that bride Is not going to take chances that she nor her garment would give forth an offensive odor, is she? All would agree the beautiful garment she wears is not herself. It is only the material that covers her therefore, she must spend much time washing, bathing, cleansing and beautifying herself for this event before she slips into that wedding garment to go to the altar. The same is true with the mystical body of Christ. Our revelation worn, spoken of as FINE LINEN, is not ourselves either therefore we too must make certain that the body. THE BRIDE, does not give off offensive spiritual odors and defile this garment in any manner. Later we shall study how God has arranged for the true earthly Bride of Christ to take a real bath before donning her bridal attire for the Marriage of the Lamb. As it has been stated, we make up the mystical body of Christ while here upon the earth and furthermore we remain in our mortal bodies therefore being susceptible to human natures and carnality. Did you realize these are the things which produce those foul, offensive odors of the spirit and can even defile the very body of Christ? These offensive odors are around us constantly—has our spiritual nostrils become so adjusted to their foul odors that we do not think they are present. THEY ARE PRESENT and must be dealt with before dressing in the wedding garment for the big occasion. These offensive odors which we had neglected are given off by yielding to carnal desires of the human nature. I am sure that if we were around human I bodies which had been hard at work all day perspiring heavily and giving off body odors we would no doubt notice those odors very quickly BUT WHAT ABOUT IN THE SPIRIT: WHAT ABOUT THAT WHICH IS SO DISTASTEFUL TO HIM OF OUR OFFENSIVE SPIRITS? There are so many things which cause offensive odors about the human body that must be watched carefully, likewise is that true in the spirit: As the person who worked hard all day would give off these offensive odors, were they not permitted to get into a tub at the end of the day bathing away these odors whereby the body could once again give off a pure, clean odor, likewise without a bath so shall our spirits continue to give off offensive odors until he finally rejects us as that beautiful Bride who also must stand dean, pure, and fragrant in his presence! What man would constantly desire a woman to be in his presence with foul. offensive odors about her? What God would want a Bride to be standing in his presence with foul distasteful odors about her even if she is clothed in the finest material: Certainly not our Lord Jesus Christ! Beloved I must deal with the carnal side of the picture using these carnal illustrations to get our spiritual points which are far more important across to UN. So you see friends there are a number of scriptural things that could keep us away from that wedding if we are not careful. (I) THE BRIDE MUST DEEPLY LOVE HER LORD as must the natural bride love her husband-to-be if the marriage is to be a success. This we have discussed. (2) THE GARMENT ITSELF which also we have discussed will only portray her natural beauty and make-up provided she is not so offensive with body odors that one could hardly be around her! With the spiritual bride, the garment she has chosen is not something bought and paid for but something he purchased that she might have, and it too will only bring out her real beauty and fragrance provided she also has been in the bath before donning the garment. Recall, in that brief period shortly before she actually dons that garment she is to be portrayed in for the main event, she has already tried it on and properly fitted the garment to herself sometime before she was made ready for the wedding, likewise we by the grace of God have already received our proper revelation or garment to be dressed in before the Marriage of the Lamb . yet the garment itself is not you and it alone will not place you there No sir! that beautiful garment is not my spirit. The beautiful garment itself could never give off offensive odors, yet my spirit which is clothed in this garment could. Yes, all of our spirits (that which we are are blended together making up the whole mystical body of Christ which is to be arrayed in that beautiful garment FINE LINEN (righteousness of saints). Recall, sometime in advance of the occasion itself the natural Bride having already reached a decision has selected the garment she shall wear. The garment has been purchased or either the material has been purchased to make the garment likewise, does not the true Bride of Christ know already the garment she too shall wear? wedding garment which has already been delivered is nothing more than the pure undefiled revelation of Jesus Christ unto his Bride, Rom. 13:14, delivered by his prophet messenger William Branham to this church age of Laodecia fulfilling that prophet office of B Part of Mal 4:5-6, Rev. 3:14, Rev. 10:7, instructing us to return unto these pure spiritual teachings of the apostles-this would be the very fibre used in the garment needed to cover our spiritual nakedness in his holy and righteous presence. No, this man who delivered these truths which make up the framework or serves as the very fiber of that bridal garment was certainly not God himself robed in flesh nor was he the Word of the living God, Lamb or Deity in any form or fashion and for anyone to believe such an unscriptural thing is not only tc be in idolatry but to absolutely miss the very purpose of his visit to the Bride and therefore could not be clothed with the pure revelation fiber of which the garment is made. Not one of these polluted ideas could possibly go into one thread of this garment but would only serve to defile the very individual who clings to them keeping the poor individual from ever wearing the garment of the pure revelation of truth. By the way, HAVE YOU RECEIVED YOUR WEDDING GARMENT YET? ARE YOU ADJUSTING YOURSELF TO FIT THE GARMENT THEREFORE DISCARDING MANY OF YOUR IDEAS AND OPINIONS ABOUT GOD AND HIS WORD? Watch that natural young bride who is busily preparing for the wedding-how she window shops-how her very thoughts are upon this one man and the events that are soon to take place–her very thoughts are being caught up in another realm of thinking. Around the house she has become practically worthless to anything but her own thoughts. Days before the event she may begin washing dishes and though her hands are in the water she is so lost in thought she only stands there motionless.
BRIDE KNOWETH NOT HOUR
Spiritually speaking, even though we do not know the date that is set, only that the occasion is coming up soon, if we have been looking with the proper attitude toward the occasion through the Word, I believe something also within our souls must begin to stir as our thoughts become more and more centered around this event. Realize this, although God himself sets the wedding date we are only instructed to be properly dressed in that Revelation of truth and ready when he comes, Malt. 25:10. However, I do not believe he would want us to remain ignorant as to the importance on our part of getting bathed and dressed, do you? Certainly he would not want us ignorant of the dressing up period since having already sent his messenger to instruct the Bride concerning which garment should be worn, therefore it can’t be far away!! We already have the garment (the true revelation of his Word). Certainly we can not throw a few rags together (which stink in his nostrils) and take off to the wedding. NOT ON YOUR LIFE!: To be caught unaware, not having the wedding garment on simply means one thing-WE ARE NOT GOING. INSTEAD WE MUST FACE THE PRESSURE OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION PERIOD. Yet isn’t it strange that most so-called believers intend to be there and have not the slightest idea of the proper garment to wear. Watch them trying to appear robed in their old carnal church doctrines which are aged and dilapidated. Christ declares they are naked, blind and miserable and don’t even know it. Rev. 3:17. Therefore it will be most important that the true Bride know what to be clothed in. The actual dressing must take place while here upon the earth where the servants (preachers) can instruct her how to dress, Rom. 10: 1315 Rev. 3:14-18. True, the actual union and relation with Christ takes place up there yet this dressing must take place down here. Raving already examined two of the most important steps in the natural bride’s life as she prepares for her wedding, number one, being deeply in love with the one to whom she has given her heart, and number two, the garment which she shall wear selection and fitting, we shall now spend much lime on the third important step before donning that wedding garment and meeting her young man at the altar. Before the actual wedding and putting: on that garment for the last time, (other times were only to make sure of proper fits she will now take perhaps the most important bath in her entire life! Truly she shall want to appear before her bridegroom in all her radiant beauty therefore this next event is most important to her in looks and appearance. Realizing the great pressures of the hour lying ahead, she will no doubt wash and scrub and take every precaution that there be no unpleasant odor about her whatsoever. This beautifully illustrates what the true Bride of Christ must undergo also. Our spirits must also be fully sold out and deeply in love with him, yes, even up to the point we declare him to be our all in all. Satan will throw everything possible against us to keep our spirits from becoming more and more entwined with Christ, Yet, I must say, if there would be a person uncertain of their feelings concerning their love for Christ insomuch that one day you think you love him and another day you are not sure whether you want to go through with it or not–one day you think so another day you found a new interest the truth is, in back of your spiritual mind you are still out there in the world looking for something to satisfy you. You still want to run around and have a good time before you actually give much thought to such a serious event. Beloved face it, you are not ready for a wedding and furthermore with that attitude you will not be in his. You simply aren’t interested! Your mind must be in the right frame of thinking to even consider getting ready for a wedding.
RELIGIOUS WORLD LAUGHED AT WEDDING GARMENT
No, you are not ready for a wedding, there isn’t enough love in your heart for Christ. Chances are you wouldn’t even wear the wedding garment he sent to you were you allowed to go with that attitude. No doubt you would want one of your own choosing. Therefore, until your entire body, mind and soul would be wrapped up in him you would probably only laugh at what he sent you to wear (the religious world did!) When that prophet brought the pure revelation of the word garment to be worn most people declared by actions they wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any such material. Their attitude was -ME WEAR THAT? YOU ARE CRAZY. then turning they wrapped themselves more securely in their own church teachings. Many even declared the garment did not come from God but from Satan therefore then I say you would have to be madly in love with Christ to even wear what he sent. I assure you what…He sent was no bridal mini-skirt! There are many garments offered by the religious world which would be far more appealing but none are as beautiful as the one Christ sent if you can see it through the eye of revelation, and that would be impossible unless you were deeply in love with him. Multitudes of people feeling themselves to be garment inspectors examine the material delivered by the prophet for the wedding garment but from their ideas of what the material should have looked like declared, NO THANK YOU! I BELIEVE YOU ARE A PROPHET SENT FROM GOD. I BELIEVE IN YOUR PERFECT DISCERNMENT AND GIFT MINISTRY BUT BROTHER. THIS STUFF YOU CALL FIBER GOING INTO A GARMENT IS ROTTEN!! It is true any bride would always want the best garment money could afford and as stated there are many garments that would appear more beautiful but none shall be accepted for this Bride Age but that which was delivered by the endtime messenger, Mal. 5-6. Note, he was not the message but only the vessel of clay used in delivering the message which was the revelated truth preached by the apostles. To say he was the message would mean that the Bride must be clothed in the prophet himself and I know our readers are more intelligent than to believe that. However, you will have to be clothed in the message delivered by the messenger. Recall, the Holy Spirit likened this material In FINE LINEN. clean and white, Rev. 19-8. There is going to be a wedding and the Bride will be clothed in the garment her lover sent for her to wear.
GARMENT LITTLE GOOD WITHOUT CLEAN BODY
Now please observe carefully our following statement as we shall attempt to dear the air on some misunderstood thinking that one simply wraps this material around themselves and off they go to the wedding. For recall the scripture says, his wife bath made herself ready therefore she does not simply throw the garment around herself and appear there until first she has done what every bride of the natural must do before putting on her garment and going to the marriage altar. The beautiful clean, white linen garment (full revelation of Christ) which is revealed to his mystical body will do me little good unless first my spirit which the garment covers Is pure and clean before him. Beloved, we can’t stand before him if our spirit would give off an offensive odor–no bride would do that! Her main concern now is her physical appearance and what she can do to bring out the best in herself. Therefore, she will take what we shall call, A SPECIAL BATH. Bride Church, may I ask you a question, HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU TOO HAVE HAD A SPIRITUAL BATH? Like the physical bride who already has her garment chosen before taking her special bath so do we however; If our spirits are not completely sold out to him somewhere along the line as we refuse to take this bath it shall defile our garment and offend him. Beloved, nothing must defile that garment! It came to us pure and clean and must be in that manner for the wedding. Yet if our hearts are not sold out to him we may parade ourselves around in our (revelation) showing it off all over town and defile it. Therefore the mystical body which is made up of our spirits must remain clean and fragrant where there will be no spiritual odors given off from it to defile the garment. No, you wouldn’t want to put on a new $100 suit of clothes, a new dress or new shirt and smell like you had just come from the hay field on a hot day would you? We know unless washed and cleaned the body odors could easily penetrate and stain the expensive material, therefore, baths are most important not only to destroy unpleasant odors which would work their way into the fiber of the cloth, but to preserve the material as well. What could be more important to a young bride than a proper bath in water to be clean, wholesome and fragrant before putting on her wedding garment and stand before the man of her life at the altar? The water, soap, perfumes, and deodorants tend only to bring out her radiant beauty and destroy all unpleasant odors at the same time.
ESTHER BECOMES QUEEN
Perhaps no story can better illustrate the importance of the bath and preparation of the body to be presented to the bridegroom as does the story of Esther. Recall, from the Book of Esther how the king’s wife had refused to come unto him as he was giving a great banquet. Disturbed over this fact he inquired of his advisers what step to take and was advised to get rid of the queen and choose another maiden for his wife. Watch how the wife is chosen Beautiful charming maidens from all races within the kingdom were picked. What happened was they run past the king in order for him to choose one to be queen’ No, not yet! Instead they were all taken unto a certain place where they must go through a period known as purification. Purification was a cleansing process which consisted of certain baths and oils which brought out the real beauty of the skin and complexion. This process tended to remove all skin blemishes, bringing out the natural beauty of the young ladies. Attendants who had studied much about cleansing and beautifying the skin through these oils and baths were there. Once those days of purification were completed, as impurities vanished from their skin, the women possessed only their true natural beauty. To the natural eye the skin would appear perfected therefore when all these maidens appeared before the king it was Esther who was chosen to be queen. No, they didn’t just go out upon the street and pick up a young girl and bring her in before the king, instead the maidens were taken to a certain place for this period of purification which tended to. To the natural eye the skin would appear perfected therefore when all these maidens appeared before the king it was Esther who was chosen to be queen. No, they didn’t just go out upon the street and pick up a young girl and bring her in before the king, instead the maidens were taken to a certain place for this period of purification which tended to bring out her natural beauty then she was brought before the king in all her radiance and charm. Likewise, will also the true mystical body be placed in a purification period before she is presented unto Jesus the king. Christ did not come into this world, pick a group of people off the street without first bringing them through a process of purification and what purification is to the flesh in the story of Esther so shall it be with our spirits which make up the true spiritual mystical body of Christ! She too will be bathed, beautified, and clothed in the garment and presented to him. If this young girl now ready for marriage ever believed in taking a bath to destroy all unpleasant odors truly she will take a bath now before donning her wedding garment. All of us have taken baths and know the importance of a bath l am sure and especially to a young bride having now reached that place in life where she shall enter a new phase making her a completely different person, her own human reason and instinct impresses her that she must thoroughly bathe and make herself as presentable as possible, bringing out the height of her beauty and charm–
BRIDES ARE NOT SLOPPY
Throughout all my years of experience with brides and marriages I have yet to see one sloppy bride. When the scripture stated his wife bath made herself ready what do you think she did to fulfill this verse? There are three outstanding things of which we have already spoken that brings out the beauty and charm of the bride-to-be at the altar. (1) The deep love she tows for the one she weds. (2) The garment which she has chosen also brings out her beauty but perhaps nothing does this more completely than No. (3) The bath which perhaps is the most complete and meaningful one ever taken. Just as the natural bride is fully aware that she could be most offensive even though she loves her young man and has a beautiful garment to wear that bath is no doubt the most important of all, and in this manner she is better able to present herself than any way she knows; likewise must the bride of Christ recognize that one thing which everyone hates to face–she, too, can be offensive— she, too, can give off unpleasant and offensive odors and before she can be wed to Christ, she, too, must make certain there is no offensive odors about her spirit which shall be wed to him.
WHERE HE HAS PREPARED FOR HER TO BATHE
Yes, we must face the facts our spiritual being positively can give off an offensive odor which can easily contaminate the atmosphere as we sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: therefore, if the natural bride realizes her responsibility of bathing going to a natural husband, how much more should the bride of Christ who is going to be wed to the king of the millenium land she by his side as queen should not recognize her need for the bath that he has prepared for her to wash away those odors of the spirit that is given off by jealousy, selfishness, malice, and other offensive things because that group of people who stand before him as his Bride will not be guilty of giving off such odors as these, for these are definitely offensive odors that defile the body of Christ and no defiled body is going to stand before the Lord. Therefore, I ask you, what washing will take away these offensive odors, what kind of bathing place has God prepared for his true Bride shortly before she dons her wedding garment to meet him in the air? For the answer to these questions we must now go to Ephesians 5:26-27. Paul, with the few verses before this has been attempting to explain his spiritual point concerning the role of Christ and the Church.
BRIDE WIFE SUBMISSIVE
We hear Paul say, ”husbands love your wives. even as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it.” Paul will now use the natural illustration of husband and wife to bring out the spiritual point he wants to drive home concerning Christ and the Church who are to be wed, becoming husband and wife. Going back to Eph. St Paul begins by saying, ”wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord for the husband Is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the Church and he is the savior of the body’, (WHAT BODY?), the true redeemed mystical body, the one that will be his Bride. Therefore, as the church Is subject unto Christ so let the wives be unto their own husbands In all things” Eph. 5:22-24. Find that coup of people who is totally submissive to Christ and you have located the mysterious wife-to-be. Every movement that is not subject to Christ and him alone could not possibly be his virgin espoused Bride. These scriptures declare that Christ purchased the Church. Remember how in the Far East brides were purchased, usually for a small amount, especially if the bride’s father favored the family into which she was marrying, but not so with the spiritual father who ruled us in our depraved nature. True we were created children of God however, from the spiritual standpoint we were Satan’s children, having given ourselves over to his attributes fulfilling every lust and work of Satan. When Christ came along and asked for our hand in marriage, what a fight the devil put up; His price was high, nevertheless, Christ paid the price and purchased his wife. The price was his shed blood, therefore he is the saviour of the mystical body, that body which has been subject unto him only. Paul is showing that true divine relationship which God desires to express in his two earthly creatures once he brings them together as husband and wife whereby he may be expressed in their life as they travel down life’s road together.
CLEANSING HIS BRIDE
Note how Paul has used verses 22-25 as a type to reach his objective verse where he states Christ gave himself for the Church that he might ( 1.) sanctify and (2) cleanse It. HOW? This has remained God’s only method to cleanse his Bride once he purchased it through his blood and remitted her sins in water baptism. As always it shall be the Bride people only who shall now move into the third phase of washing in the scripture which according to Paul is WASHING BY THE WORD. Were we to move among people today we would probably receive many ideas of how God will cleanse his church but it is not everyone’s idea that we are searching for because it was everyone’s idea that got the church in the dirty polluted state she is In whereby she demands a good clean bath before going to the Marriage of the Lamb. Recall, the prophet fulfilling Mal. 4-5-6 who called out a great multitude of people instructing them the proper garment to wear did not wash the Bride Church, NO, only the Word will do that! He only delivered the garment or material. You who make up the Body of Christ will have to submit unto your own washing! It will be up to you who feel you are a part of the Bride Church to wash away those offensive odors that defile the body.
THREE WASHINGS FOR THE BRIDE.
Calvary was the place where he purchased her with his own blood. Recall Paul said she was the only one he purchased. The blood of Christ atoned for her inherited sinful nature which she received from the results of the fall in the garden, (Gen. 31 Heb. 9:22 declares that without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins therefore (2) WATER. Her second washing or formula as declared in Acts 2:38 does in no way atone for the original sin which is covered only by the blood but remits the many sins or deeds committed in our flesh through those attributes or deeds of sin which were transferred from the line of Cain in Genesis 6:1 unto the righteous line of the sons of God. HOW? Through sex Into the blood stream! Sex, according to Gen. 6 was responsible for the transferring of the evil attributes of the serpent into the blood stream of the sons of God, whereby the entire human race became polluted with those attributes of evil which led to the destruction of the antidiluvan world. Recall, up to Gen. 6 two lines or strains of people were in the world-Cain and his line were filled with the attributes of lying, cheating, murder, rape and every other evil devised by Satan who now successfully transferred those evil attributes of the seed of the serpent into the blood stream of the righteous sons of God line down-breeding it. Through Adam death entered the world, Rom. 5:12-20-this was his punishment. Adam and his seed lost eternal life but nowhere in scripture does it teach us that because Adam lost his eternal life he would now become a lying, murdering, cheating, adulterous human being—this was accomplished only after Satan crossed the blood streams in Gen 6. Now, all the evil attributes committed in the past life of the Bride which came through that transferred in Gen 6. the washing of water (according to Paul’s revelation; remits or takes care of those vet, attributes or deeds done In this hod, of flesh such as lying, smoking, killing, drinking, cheating, gambling, whore-mongering, adultery and wickedness of every description. II Cor. 6.9-11 (Sec Vol. 2,)
No. 10-EDEN TO ME FLOOD)
3-WORD–Cleaning up the Spirit. Two washings for the Bride has now been taken care of, one for the original sin. two, for the attributes of sin however, what shall now wash away such things as carnality, dilatory and indifferent attitudes, selfish nature, bitterness, jealousy. contentions and the many other things all of which tend to create nothing more than foul offensive odors coming from the spirit personality of many who at this point appears to be in the Bride of Christ? Whoever refuses to take this third washing which is for the Bride only and is for cleansing of the spirit will not be at the Marriage of the Lamb! Thank God he has provided a bath to do away with these offensive odors which defile the mystical body of Christ. Yes, it is this bath and this bath alone that shall cleanse the foul odors from the Bride of Christ, serving the same purpose as the bath did for the natural bride. It will be this spiritual washing that shall take hold and correct those horrible things about our personality which is so offensive defiling our spirit and giving off offensive odors in the body and shall correct everything that Christ is not pleased with concerning our fellowship etc..
ONE’S SPIRIT MUST BE CLEAN
Don’t think for a moment we are going to put on this garment of revelated truth and maintain such foul odors in our personality. Only this washing by the Word will wash away all these offensive things. Spiritually speaking, these offensive odors are not coming from our natural corruptible bodies but from our spirits, the real you and me who make up the body of believers who feel we will be in the Bride of Christ. Bodies of this corrupt nature must constantly be washed and bathed otherwise these offensive, sweaty odors will reappear. When this happens if you were to don a new suit, new dress or shirt, chances are these very odors would get into the clothing and defile the garment. Our spirits which are not after the order of the corrupt nature nevertheless can also become offensive and give off odors and mar the revelated garment we are to wear to the wedding unless certain definite steps are taken; That is where Paul’s revelation on how Christ will cleanse his Bride body in Eph. 5:26-27 enters the picture, for note this washing of water by the Word. It is not washing by water in the sense you think of natural water but in this particular expression washing of water by the word will give the same effects as washing with literal water does when we wash or apply it to the human body as did the natural bride. This washing is by the WORD! WHY? Whereby he might present the church unto himself as a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that it should be holy and without blemish. Beloved we had better believe he will present such a church unto himself. Therefore, we see the washing by the Word will remove all those foreign matters or particles from the Bride which causes spot and blemishes. etc.. No! Eph. 5:26 is not another water baptism ordinance to be observed and has nothing to do with washing in literal water. Oh No, This merely shows there are certain portions of the Word of God which serve for other purposes than dealing strictly with revelator doctrines revealing truths such as Godhead, name of Jesus, Second Advent, Etc.. Yes, there are many scriptures which do not touch on who he was or anything of that nature but it touches you and I. It gets straight at our old stinking nature. It gets at that part of us which he is going to wash in Eph. S:26 and has nothing to do with the revelatory capacity of the scripture which is the fiber of our beautiful garment to be woos to the wedding and furthermore washed our thinking of carnal doctrines. Beloved, I believe that we have received a marvelous revelation of what God has done for us at the end time, therefore allow me to remind you if it did not in any way affect or wash away the false Ideas from your mental factors YOU are in trouble: Yet there are certain things those revelations did not do or wash away. They were never designed for that purpose. Notice after our doctrines got straightened out in our minds for some reason people still remain selfish, indifferent. indignant etc., yet they profess to have seen the revelation on the correct water baptism and also testify to having received the revelation on the Holy Spirit and said they received the proper understanding of what God was doing however, there are certain things those revelations did not correct, mainly because they were never designed for any other purpose than form a garment then what is going to correct those others things which give off such offensive odors about the Body of Christ? So like the little bride shortly before her natural wedding who takes a good bath, making use of all kinds of deodorants so must the Bride of Christ thoroughly cleanse herself by the washing by the Word before donning her garment. You see my friends, we are going to have to take a bath in another part of God’s Word which will not affect revelatory capacity in cleaning up our minds on doctrine. Eph. 5:26-27. If the garment came clean without spot, wrinkle, blemish or any such thing and he has promised to receive it back unto himself without those things spoken of here not only must the garment which we wear be 100 percent correct but what about the spirit that wears it? Seeing that he has promised to deliver unto himself a glorious church and Rev. 19 says the Bride hath made herself ready, could she possibly stand there before him filled with offensive odors? NEVER! BATHING IN THE WORD WHAT BATH WASHES AWAY. Notice he is going to have a glorious church. Our spirit and not our garment is the church. The garment only covers spirits or the church. With all my heart I believe our spiritual motive and attitudes must be washed and cleansed. We ourselves must be 100 percent right or the garment of revelation which we wear will absolutely be defiled with these spiritual offensive odors. Therefore, this bath or washing which is our final step to take (plan before going to the wedding is not going to be a bath that will affect our doctrines garment material) but will now affect to a greater part your spirit and mine; That is what must be thoroughly washed and cleansed in this water by the word whereby he may present it unto himself a glorious church not having (1) Spot. (2) Wrinkle or (3) Blemish. Stop a moment!!
BATHING AWAY SPOTS, WRINKLES, AND BLEMISHES
Where would the spot and wrinkle appear? In the garment naturally but did you ever stop to think how it got there; It is what is going on in the person’s make-up or spirit who has that garment which determines where and how we walk, how we sleep—these are the the things which determines how we get a wrinkle in the garment or whether we come into contact with something that put a spot in the garment. Recall, the garment itself could not place a spot on itself nor did it wrinkle itself. These things were placed there by the very one who wore it, who went somewhere to get that spot or who was simply lying around somewhere asleep or doing something when they received those wrinkles in the garment, right? The spot is that something of the wim that is hanging onto us because our spirit has a blemish on it that could be washed away but what about the wrinkle? Everyone knows the appearance of a wrinkle shows the garment has been wadded up income fashion. Sometime people get so enthusiastic over the revelation of Jesus Christ, his soon coming and our being caught away yet as time drifts on certain things begin to affect that inner man who will either become dilatory or indifferent, cultivating a careless attitude the garment can not create such an attitude, it isn’t the garment that leads you to do these things it is some blemish on your spirit (yourself)–it is you in whatever you (your spirit) have come in contact with or what you face that determines your decision or action as to where you are going to be and how you are going to position yourself. A woman could purchase an expensive dress made of the finest material, wear it home, sleep in it and look what happens-it will become wrinkled from twisting and turning. The wrinkles must now be ironed out! That is why it is always a safe rule to follow, once you put on your best don’t go to sleep in it, stay awake and remain in a position so you won’t wrinkle your garment! Getting in the wrong position will cause wrinkles to appear. Take a fresh suit of clothes and slouch in the wrong position or go to sleep and brother it won’t be long until wrinkles will begin to appear. No, it wasn’t the garment itself that placed the wrinkles there, it was simply the way we positioned ourself that brought the wrinkles. Therefore, I am persuaded since Christ said he was going to have a church free of these things there must be some kind of spiritual bath the Bride takes in order to purify herself to fulfill the scripture the bride hath made herself ready.- Pure water acts as a cleansing agent and also carries away the filth washed off the body, likewise shall the bathing or washing in Eph. 5:26 serve the same purpose to our spirits (the glorious church). We realize there are certain soaps which serve two definite purposes: actually cutting or lifting the dirt away from the body and at the same time leaving a sweet fragrant smell. Therefore, God has the place for the bath IN THE WORD and whether you get in the tub or not depends on whether you go away giving off foul odors. If you get in God’s tub (his Word) your spirit is going to come out smelling fresh and fragrant leaving behind all these offensive odors because when we put on this marvelous revelation we not only want to look good but smell good, and if he cleans up our personality truly we should smell fragrant. Again I repeat, preaching the pure revelated doctrine of One God, Baptism in His name, Security of the believer, Sanctification, Gifts of the Spirit etc.. is not a tin pan of the Word or bath which deals with our individual personality. These pure revelated doctrines only tend to make up the wedding garment which the bride wears to the wedding. It is not my correct understanding of these doctrines which determines if my motives are right or not. These teachings do not affect my human nature as to how I will conduct myself! Beloved, one day we are going to awaken to the bitter fact of actually how carnal we really are. I Cor. 3:1.4. How often we find ourselves entertaining carnality and trying to hide behind the beautiful revelated garment we wear. Perfumes are good provided you have taken a bath first yet the day will come if we did not take a bath and we try going along hoping that the expensive perfume will serve as a cover-up. Let me say $50 per ounce perfume will not cover up distasteful odors very long. When human bodies give off an of-fensive odor there is nothing that is going to take the place of a good wash job. Once the odors are washed away then you should use the perfume only then can the perfumes serve their full potentials making you smell good after the bath. not before. There is going to be a wedding and John said it was the Bride (wife) herself who made herself ready for the wedding. However, until the Bride people obtain the knowledge of know how to make themselves ready they really won’t know what to do. Remember, brides never take these final steps in getting dressed months in advance and simply wait, do they? In that respect. if we are now entering that dressing period-time must be just around the corner. If for some reason foreign matters do attach themselves either onto the garment or the body something must come along which has the power to separate the two elements. Recall, as long as the two elements remain together the right would linen become polluted. God has certain portions of his word especially for that washing and cleansing power In this sense the right never makes the wrong better. Perhaps if we could convert Satan, things might be better but since we can’t be wrong never gets better only tends to get worse, becoming more foul as it grows worse and worse creating a worse smell. We do not mean to imply individuals themselves who are doing wrong cannot do better for they certainly can once they have separated themselves from whatever they are doing wrong. Only when the cause. the wrong is put away can things be made better. Scripture instructs us of the things which the body of Christ should definitely obey in order to make their fellowship to remain pure and clean. Do we desire such a clean, wholesome fellowship? If our answer is yes we are asking for trouble. If our answer is no. We won’t make it! By the grace of God, I determine one thing, I must make it. if not I have lost it all. Having openly declared we desire such a clean, fragrant fellowship in order that we might give off that sweet fragrance of aroma called sweet smelling savour when fellowshipping together let us observe what was put into practice by that early church in keeping their fellowship clean. wholesome and fragrant. Yes. even in her early courtship as the espoused Bride she did bathe regularly in the Word. Whenever she appeared in his presence she had to be pure and clean. Naturally several hundred years later as Babylon entered the picture they ignored these scriptures which were designed to keep the church clean because it wasn’t her nature to be clean but to be dirty! Not so with the Bride believers, they desire to be clean in his presence, don’t they? Individuals often try concealing or hiding things and instead of them getting better they only tend to become worse. Often we hear people say, pray for me that such and such will get better. You may be shocked to learn this but there are some things we have never been instructed to pray about! Instead we have been told what to do about it. Recall, Israel defeated Jericho and secretly Achan disobeyed the word of the Lord by keeping the golden wedge and Babylonian garment, WHAT HAPPENED? The next city was Ai and on this conquest there was no victory. Joshua, falling upon his face, began to pray over the matter. What was God’s answer? Get up, it isn’t going to do any good to pray, there is sin In the camp! Friend, there are some wrongs you Just can’t pray away no matter how many volunteers to pray. Some evils you can pray about but some you act against. Remember if these sins and failures, we shall discuss the result from personal failure to obey the Word then pray until you turn gray and still God won’t touch it! WHY? Because in that part of the Word or bath it instructs us what to do and until we do our part we will never hear from heaven on the matter. Recall. Achan and his family were harshly dealt with before the army of God could move forward. When we said we wanted to be clean. WE SAID A MOUTHFUL. yet before we leave this world in order to fulfill the scripture. THE WIFE HATH MADE HERSELF READY. AFTER BEING TOLD THE KIND OF MATERIAL SHE WOULD WEAR AT THE WEDDING. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF GETTING READY FALLS NOW SQUARELY UPON OUR SHOULDERS! True, God furnishes Individual to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and give no occasion to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Rom. 13:14 Note, lust of the flesh spoken of here does in no way imply to when we were in the world of sin, however, often through the weakness of our human nature there might be manifested in us that which contaminates and pollutes the fellowship in the body of Christ causing her not to give off that sweet (smelling savor) fragrance that she should as she nears the end of her earthly journey.
TIME DETERMINED IN BATH DEPENDS ON BRIDE’S ATTITUDE
Although it Is true brides of the natural do spend some time longer with their bath before going to the altar, they never begin months in advance to get dressed then sit around and wait. NO, but In the respect of our getting ready it could possibly take years to accomplish depending upon us and how willing we are to submit to the bath which God has provided for cleansing God sent his messenger at the end of the age instructing the Bride of the true revelation she was to wear at the wedding, however as already stated, it isn’t my right understanding of the GODHEAD, WATER BAPTISM AND OTHER SALVATION DOCTRINES that determines how I am going to conduct myself once in the body of Christ. Water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ only remitted those things which we did in the world blotting out every lie. every theft etc.. Baptism in his name remitted the old bill yet in no way did it begin to touch the debt which we have accumulated through our conduct or motives while traveling along life’s journey in the family of God. Possibly there may be many things in the category of God’s mind which has accumulated on our part that he looks upon as sin, yet not in the sense that we would be judged with the world. No! Only sin in the sense that these are unconfessed acts of disobedience committed somewhere within our Christian life. It is up to us to meet God’s way and pay this bill.
THAT SPECIAL BATH
I Cor. 5:1.13 holds many things of major interest to us at this time showing that espoused Bride how to remove or wash from herself filth and evil which accumulated around her in the same manner that water does on the human body as it washes away those unpleasant odors allowing the body to give off a fragrant smell. Recall up to this point the bride had not known how to deal with many things which were beginning to contaminate the fellowship, therefore Paul the Apostle to the gentiles is writing a letter of instructions to the espoused Bride who has now begun to give off strong offensive body odors–here are her Instructions on how to bathe to rid herself of these impurities. True, they had been admonished and revealated being greatly helped but now had come the time that she was accumulating some offensive odors and must be washed but as yet she did not know where or how to take the bath In order to keep the fellowship clean. How true it is people are often guilty of breaking fellowship with certain people simply because they don’t like-them or can’t get along with them–friend that is no scriptural grounds for breaking fellowship with another member of the Bride of Christ however there are scriptural grounds for breaking fellowship mentioned in this chapter and I would say break fellowship with a believer for any Other reason than some scriptural bible grounds yourself have become a transgressor against the full Word of God which is the authority Of the Bride. God pity: the person who cannot shake his brother’s hand and say God bless you when they meet in fellowship. Let’s take a bath in God’s Word as the early church did to see what must be removed from us that is displeasing and distasteful hindering the body of Christ from giving off that clean pure fragrant odor in his presence I Cor. 5 shows Paul approaching the very evil degrading the body. A young believer in the fellowship is committing fornication with his father’s wife. I Cor. 5:2. Paul says, ye are puffed up, other-words, you are all in an uproar and don’t know what to do so you are arguing, fussing and in confusion. Isn’t that like us so often when something happens and no one knows what to do. Somewhere there has to be an answer from God telling at how to get rid of that filth. Watch this great Apostle who has espoused these gentile christians to Christ as a chaste virgin (clean and pure) saying get rid of that man: What he is doing is defiling the fellowship in the body of Christ. Verse 3-I am absent in body but present in spirit and judged already as though I were present. Paul wasn’t three months in deciding what to do concerning the one that had done this deed “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ when you are gathered together with my spirit in the power (or authority) of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one unto salon for the destruction of the flesh.” WHY— because he was lost. NO. THAT IS NOT WHAT PAUL SAID– “so his spirit could be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Delivering unto salon a believer who had become weak in the flesh and who had given himself over to some moral evil which polluted the body of Christ, causing it not to remain healthy, clean, and fragrant was one of God’s wars of keeping the Bride church clean, yet it must be remembered that although the individual was turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh it did not mean it would always lead to that because the believer could alter once being completely separated from the fellowship of all the other believers find a place of quick repentance, beg and plead God to have mercy upon him and no doubt if the repentance was pure and genuine. accompanied with grief and sorrow over the error, pleading with God to put it away forever. The individual could probably be reinstated to the fellowship after a period of time. However, we recall in II Cor. Paul, Instructed the same church, to take back into fellowship that one who, we feel had been put out lest he become overcome with grief over his wrong. showing there had truly been a godly sorrow and repentance on his part. True, God often took the person home in death as Paul said ”that his soul would not be lost but saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” ARE YOU LISTENING? However once the guilty party had been separated from the fellowship of believers if he did not quickly repent with godly sorrow there was no alternative but rest his flash. Yes, Paul now begins to instruct the body of Christ how she is to stay clean and fresh, giving off no unpleasant odors yet since there were unpleasant odors coming from the Bride body it had now become compulsory she take a bath and we see that after the church learned how to take the bath she took one quite frequently. Whenever believers buckle down and become willing to keep clean God’s way, they will always find God working for them. This was characterized also by Israel, as long as she walked in the true application and precepts of the law, God was there keeping everything clean even if occasionally he had to kill quite a few. Remember the time 23,000 fell in one day who committed fornication. I Cot 10:81 however, the very minute Israel started compromising with one phase of the Law God began withdrawing his power and blessing until finally after 1500 years when Christ came on the scene one would actually wonder where God was in the application of the Law in the blessings upon his people. Never forget if you sell God out, he will sell you out! Deliver such a one unto Satan. demanded Paul. Nothing will do any good until you do! Watch people today in their philosophy, Oh! you can’t do that, we all have to forgive! That’s not what Paul instructed the Bride to do! Separate him out from the fellowship then after true repentance has been given by the guilty party Paul says scripturally we can forgive. Forgiveness on the part of the believer is only in order after he repents never before he repents! Is there one of you who can testify that God forgave you before you repented? Certainly not! Forgiveness never comes until after genuine repentance. To do otherwise you have the can before the horse. God set the example!! Although remember we should stand ready to forgive the moment genuine sincere repentance is put forth. To do otherwise is to only play with God’s plan to cleanse the body of fellowship! What did Paul mean when he said “purge out the old leaven that you may be a new lump.” I Cot 5:7 Virgin Bride. you smell! TAKE A BATH! USE THAT SOAP OF THE GOSPEL AND GET THAT FILTH AWAY FROM YOUR BODY! PURGE OUT THE OLD LEAVEN CAUSING THAT SMELL! This is the term Paul used to show how it had contaminated the fellowship
FELLOWSHIP OF SINCERITY
He spoke in terms of them keeping their feast of fellowship in punt, and sincerity not in malice and wickedness. In verse 8 he spoke of malice and wickedness as that old leaven but that their feast of unleavened bread should be held in sincerity and truth. Notice he refers to their fellowship in the pure Word of God as one that should be eaten as unleavened (pure fellowship). However, the bread of this fellowship had become thoroughly contaminated with leaven. It was their bread (or fellowship) which had become contaminated over the acts of this fornicator and added to the confusion that had been created among themselves because they really didn’t know what to do as they had never been instructed before. Paul reminds them in verse 9 that he had written before about believers not keeping company with fornicators however, he had never said until this letter what to do about them) Therefore, the fellowship was polluted, it smelled, it gave off an offensive odor and only a bath takes away odor. Perfumes can for a while cover it but eventually it will come through! Once perfume and deodorants wear off the stench is still there. These poor people, not knowing how to handle the situation, had given themselves over to the spirit of the thing and were simply letting it alone. Purge it out! demanded Paul, that you may be a new lump”. verse 7. Then he begins by illustrating the passover, verse 8. Even Christ our passover was sacrificed for us therefore let us keep the feast meaning the fellowship not with old leaven which he is using here as a type. We realize what would have happened to Israel had she kept the feast of unleavened bread deliberately using leaven in her bread-she would not have had God’s blessings upon her. Paul is using here the natural application applying it to the spiritual saying, let us keep the feast or fellowship, not with old leaven, neither malice or wickedness. Many of them had become angry at each other because of the confusion not knowing how to clean the fellowship. Some were saying you can’t do that to him. He is my christian brother! Nonsense! Paul says, purge him out! He is like a leaven in your bread fellowship. See, beloved, this washing by the word can only be for those who are actually candidates for the Bride of Christ, those who have received their blood washing and their literal water washing for original sin and attributes of sin. God does not look upon us because of human ties and relationships as the church does upon one another. We must become a part with him or we shall have no part in him! Now often we lean upon human sympathy–that is my brother or sister, you can’t do that! Beloved, the day has arrived in the revelation of truth that the body of Jesus Christ must be clean and this is God’s only provided way of keeping his body clean. Already we have lived too long according to the ways of the flesh, trying to take that which pleases human nature and build God a church off of it! It must be built upon the Spirit and the true application of the Word of the living God. Our spirits must be completely hid away in Christ Jesus. Yes, it was malice spoken of here as leaven, verse 7. I do not have time to show what leaven (yeast, soda baking powder) does in the making of bread bringing it far out of proportion from what it would normally be without it as it works within the dough however this typifies what can happen to a body of believers who were once clean then allow some carnal evil to get started working in their fellowship. The devil and all the imps of hell serve the same purpose as does the leaven in bread as they breed and multiply until the entire fellowship is affected. Therefore, Paul says let’s keep the feast of fellowship in the body of Christ not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness but with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, I Cor. 5:9 Paul is using that one thing which contaminated the fellowship at Corinth as he says separate yourself from this person give him absolutely no fellowship and turn him over to Satan (I would say it the guilty party who had to be removed from fellowship wants to live he should repent quickly. Notice also in verses 10-11, Paul has used this situation as a springboard to dive into over things the true bride of Christ is to have no fellowship with.
JUSTIFIABLE REASONS FOR BROKEN FELLOWSHIP
Yes, there are justifiable reasons for breaking fellowship with one called a brother (or another believer) and in order to be clean and pure the Bride did so! Breaking fellowship is serious business and when it is done for any other purpose than a scriptural one in order to keep the body (fellowship) clean those who break fellowship are in trouble with the scriptures! Refreshing their memory concerning a previous epistle he had written telling them not to keep company with fornicators, yet at that time gave no instructions on how to deal with them. I Cor. 5:10, he says “not altogether with fornicators of this world,’ meaning those evil unsaved ones of the world but, “if one that is called a brother be a fornicator with such a one no not to eat”, (meaning have no fellowship). And for the first time in verse It Paul now presents a list of touchy things if a brother (one called a Christian) is guilty of not to have any fellowship within the body-of Christ because this pollutes the fellowship giving off most of offensive odors! There are other things Paul mentions here while on the subject that the church is to have absolutely nothing to do with in order to maintain a pure clean fellowship in Christ: things that we may not like to face yet nevertheless they are here If we would be what God demands out of a bride fellowship to remove offensive odors from our presence then we are going to be compelled to follow the example set by the early church. As believers in Christ don’t you feel when coming together in fellowship we should cultivate a sweet spiritual environment and aroma, in order that the man of the world who is sick of that mess might look toward the true body of Christ and be able to smell something refreshing and pure; Take stock beloved of the many scriptures used by the early church to keep herself clean whereby she might give off that beautiful fragrance of Christ. At Pentecost the church body actually started down her earthly journey and even in her courtship or espoused period with the Lord Jesus, II Cor. 11:2 she was required to bathe regularly to maintain that sweet fragrance and had the church down through the centuries maintained use of these same cleansing and purifying scriptures they would never have lost sight of his presence. In other words, she would never have reached that place of giving off such an offensive odor that he eventually had to leave her presence and certainly Christianity today would not be in the polluted unclean, filthy environment it is; However, because she refused to remain with the scriptures forsaking her revelation and seeking instead a wedding garment after her own choosing, many of these scriptures lost their true value and meaning. Since that hour they have been argued over until finally in the latter days they have merely been tossed out the back door of religion with the feeling, they don’t work anyway. Naturally, we can only see as far back as 50-60 years where perhaps they didn’t work or didn’t seem to have much value but oh, brother, turn back the pages of time to that early church over 1900 years ago as she started out. Let me tell you every scripture worked for that early body of people and there were certain verses that we will study that served one purpose, that is the place for the Bride to bathe in order to maintain her fresh aroma and fragrance at all times..
FELLOWSHIP BROKEN ONLY TO KEEP FELLOWSHIP CLEAN
Having already discussed fornication, let us simply say fornicators are those who are committing illegal physical relationships outside marriage strictly for pleasure. Second, Paul tells the church if there is one who is covetous have no fellowship with him either. Let’s examine that word covetous from the Old Testament setting of the Ten Commandments where the Lord told Israel. THOU SHALT NOT COVET. Exodus 20:17. To covet means having a greedy desire or motive to want something usually which belongs to someone else as illustrated in the law. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife, ox, ass or anything of thy neighbors, though it is different from a person merely wanting something unless the want becomes an uncontrollable desire to obtain at any cost that which you want.
WHEN DESIRE BECOMES OBSESSION
Perhaps you may see your brother with something, in your heart say, I sure would like to have one like that. Notice, that is not coveting unless you begin wanting his, however if your desire becomes such an obsession until you cannot conquer the drive or urge – I SIMPLY MUST HAVE ONE—in other words you are ready to exhaust any means necessary to obtain one, although you are not necessarily wanting your neighbor’s but I MUST, MUST have one at any cost. Many times people want something like everyone else has. It has now become an obsession, bringing the person to an endless mental pressure because some people simply can’t stand to see someone else get something they can’t have also. This may become a little sticky or personal yet we have to face it because such things give off a terrible offensive odor in the fellowship of the body of Christ. Therefore. separate yourself from this Vairegial brother, Paul tells the church. Recall, the scripture teaches, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these other things will be added unto you, Matt. 6:33. Christ was not saying I will give you everything out there in the world. certainly not, he knows our ability. Yet if I am truly seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness along with his perfect will for my life, then I am going to bring myself to a way of walking with him that I want to be desiring something that is not according to his divine will. We must learn to be content with what God sees fit to place in our life. Therefore if we allow a covetous desire to drive us into something only because someone else has one our Christian life has become nothing more than a carnal, lustful, covetous, greedy desire for material things of the world, sapping our victory and giving us very little time to sea God and present yourself before him. Basically, covetous stems from some desire to possess something that belongs to someone else.
IDOLATOR – WHO IS HE?
Note the third destructive spirit we are to abstain from fellowshipping, an Idolator verse It states, If we were to only interpret the Word on the basis of ancient meaning probably there would be no problem, however. I want you to know the spirit of idolatry has never left this world’ It has only changed form and dress although it has never changed its wicked evil purpose and objective in the life of a person whatsoever. Let’s examine idolatry because whoever, Paul said, is called a brother and is guilty of idolatry should be disfellowshipped from the body of Christ. Ancient meaning of idolatry would be worshipping idols of wood, stone, etc., and no doubt all of us would say I don’t worship an idol. I am sure Paul had no such definition in mind because how could one referred to as a brother be guilty of such. Recall, in order to worship an idol there had to be something in that person drawing them toward that very thing. Sure you could remove the totem pole and idol statutes from the pagan but if that certain something in the individual’s life wasn’t removed which caused them to do that Satan will always have something else beside a totem pole or statute to put before that same person to bring out the spirit of Idolatry. It is true one who worships a carnal idol often makes it what it is (their object of worship. not what it should be. God should be the supreme object of our worship-He is our perfect object to be worshipped, yet he is not a carnal idol. We must place him in his proper category. Because this is only One God, he should be idolized by ever: creature. Back in that first church age that evil spirit came against the early church constantly attacking the revelation of the Godhead for Satan knew if he destroyed that revelation he had the church right where he wanted it.
Even the Anti-Nicean fathers fought this spirit. One writer with revelation of one God reaching back to the Garden explaining why God took Eve from Adam’s side said it was to show there was only ONE GOD; for God created one man and from his side took himself a helpmate who was a part of him and though she was of the weaker vessel which the serpent, under the influence of Satan, came to (Eve) was a part of Adam who was the Son of God AND GOD IS ONE! The devil through the serpent was actually attacking the Godhead when he said tempting Eve, “Now in the day thou eatest thou shall not surely die but thou shalt become as the gods.” not GOD, trying to plant in her mind the possibility of there being more than ONE GOD! Hasn’t that been Satan’s attack through the ages yet who is more fully aware than Satan that there is only One God. James 2:19. Therefore, why did he not say “Thou shalt become as God” instead of “Thou shalt become as gods” Gen. 3:5. Down through the centuries of time Satan continued to hammer- away at this – revelation of ONE GOD until the Third Century he absolutely made God into a trinity of persons, a multiplication of gods and idols. The definition of IDOLATOR is one who worships an idol or one who shows excessive devotion to or reverence for one person or thing. This is much in our day as human beings are being worshipped in a sense as an idol! People often adore a person in such a manner that they place their entire existence in that of a person. I want to discuss this idolatry solely in connection with the message delivered on this last day which affects a Bride people. Idolatry in the sense Paul spake of it in I Cot must deal strictly with the Bride fellowship.
IDOLATRY AND THE BRIDE REALM UNBELIEVABLE
This is what many somehow have taken of this message and made the prophet messenger to the age! (concerning the Mal. 9:5.6 ! prophet) They have made him an object of worship in themselves. I am sorry to have to speak in this fashion however I must say these things since we have been told to break fellowship with an idolator we must know how it applies in the hour in which we live. Of ten people will feel wrong in their hearts toward you saying, you are speaking against the man. Beloved, you are not speaking against the man but to refrain from speaking out at all is only to become guilty of not being loyal to God who alone should be man’s sole object of worship. Did he not say I will not give my glory to another? Beloved, God only asks that man be honored in his proper relationship and that is man be honored only as the scriptures declare honor: Did not the Apostle Paul plainly state in Heb. 13. honor them that have rule over you and salute them that have the rule over you but beyond that brothers and sisters, NO! Because that same Apostle Paul says, who is Paul, who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed. I Cor, 3:5. Paul said they are just men who brought you Into Christ, beyond that he says they are nothing. However you will always find some who want to carry it to the extreme saying you don’t understand. BRO. BRANHAM WAS FAR MORE THAN A MAN. HE WAS GOD IN FLESH JUST AS JESUS WAS AND HE WAS TO THIS AGE WHAT CHRIST WAS TO THAT AGE. Then I ask a question, how do you explain Heb. 13:8. Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday today and forever? But someone else will say, he was the WORD, he was the LAMB THAT BROKE THE SEALS or he was THE MESSAGE ITSELF.
Friends, to begin making this man something other than what he was is to take him from his scriptural office of Mal 44-6, Rev. 10:7. Rev. 3:14 This man held the prophet office to the Laodicean Church Age. You make him Ditty in any form and you have become an IDOLATOR! God alone must be worshipped Luke 4:7-8 Jesus himself accepted human worship because he was God in the flesh, however, Bro. William Branham never did: How often he would say. I am your brother. I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. Beloved, no man could actually hear or read his messages and get such a concocted idea from them. That dirty spirit of IDOLATRY is loose and on the rampage and it is up to the Bride of Christ to recognize it and separate themselves from such a spirit. GOD SAID SO!: This spirit has so fed into the minds of people and has reached the point that some no longer are looking for the Lord Jesus Christ and his soon return. Titus 2:13. but instead they are looking for the return of this prophet, church age messenger! True, the prophet will return but when he does (in the first resurrection) there is going to be many, many others come with him such as ALL THE CHURCH AGE MESSENGERS and those true believers through those periods I Thes. 4:16. I believe in giving honor where honor is due but beyond that you will touch the realm of IDOLATRY where you are on dangerous ground. There is a risen Christ who seeks to live, rule and reign in the hearts of men and women. It was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross of Calvary yet in God’s divine purpose and program he used this particular man (Bro. Branham) for the very end time that this man, by the revelation of God’s Word and the authority of the Holy Ghost who ruled his own life supremely, might manifest and demonstrate the Christ of the Bible to the endtime Gentiles and washing out carnal teachings within the minds of people place Christ back in the central position of God’s Word. Fulfilling his Mal. 4:5.6 office, he continually shouted to the children, GET BACK TO THE WORD (the teachings of the apostolic fathers!! Therefore in the restored Word he taught there is no room for this foolishness!! It is only a vicious attempt of Satan to pollute the revelated Truth delivered by this messenger! I warned you some of these things would become a little sticky and touchy yet they must be faced, since Paul says a fornicator, covetous, or idola tor or a railer is not to be fellowshipped.
WHAT IS A RAILER?
One definition is one going along a railroad laying tracks however I doubt seriously this is what Paul is referring to when he says if a brother is a railer not to fellowship him. A railer speaks bitterly or reproachfully against someone or thing. Notice to speak bitterly is to speak with anger or to scheme. The railer is one trying with willful intent to do something In order to destroy, bring reproach, to blemish, annihilate or in some way do something to destroy that against which they are speaking. Now beloved, in the sense of the body of Christian people the only thing you are to speak evil against is the devil and all his evil works beyond that it should never be as scripture declares, speak not evil one of another brethren. Therefore to maliciously rail angrily against another brother with the purpose of destroying his image or church or fellowship would be classified under one who rails and one who is to be disqualified from fellowship. Furthermore, it should be remembered that a continuous railer is one who has crossed the deadline of God’s word in his absolute true revelation of that which God has given him. Therefore they have lost their protection with God and are out on their own and are open targets to every kind of spirit that comes along Thus. the rollers will attempt to hide themselves behind something to perceive things are right, but it will not work. Persons troubled with this spirit in the Bride fellowship were these when out in The world before coming to Christ had that railing, abusive nature, living in trouble. Some people now live in trouble and if there isn’t trouble going on they think the world is coming to an end. Once they get into the family of God and everything gets quiet their feeling is what is wrong, everything is too still. See, they lived in trouble and if there isn’t trouble or they can’t live in trouble now, they make trouble because their life is molded in that fashion. Jesus, in the beatitudes, Matt. 5:9 stated, Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God; However, these people cannot make peace–not even if they had a boxcar load of it. Whenever a situation arises, instead of them going at it in a Christ-like attitude they must go at it with a crowbar and sledge hammer or whatever else might be handy and more often things are wrecked than actually what God gets glory from.
WHAT IS A DRUNKARD?
Since the drunkard is next to the last one in this particular list of Paul’s, we must learn what a drunkard is!! Drunkards in the fellowship of the body of Christ-WHOEVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING! someone will say!! Many people feel a drunkard is one who drinks in excess, passes out, falls in a gutter and spews vomit everywhere. Granted, this is one form of a drunkard. However, I would say beloved, a drunkard could be a person lone called a brother, who becomes such a partaker of alcoholic beverages until they reach a place they feel they have a revelation from God and justify themselves in drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage they want, any amount they want and wherever it pleases them and that it pleases God to authorize them to do so therefore they make it a social thing. They may never pass out: they may never vomit, It is doubtful those who became drunk in I Cor. 11:21 had reached that point either, yet Paul said they were drunken. I have never seen a person yet who had the feeling they could drink as much as they desired as long as they didn’t pass out who could actually walk up to you, shake your hand but what they didn’t show signs of being affected by the stuff. Did you know scientifically it is declared alcoholic beverages numb your brain and even destroy brain cells that can never be replaced! I say anyone who drinks enough to numb their senses affecting their brain toward right thinking and has reached a point where they cannot absolutely focus their gaze upon you and talk a reasonable conversation, that man is drunk! I spent several years in service and don’t tell me I don’t know what a drunk is, I have seen all kinds! As a little boy I remember seeing drunks walk down the street. No these men wouldn’t get dog-drunk as the old expression is, however once that thing took hold of them and after they had a few you would see them walk down the street. speaking politely, yet WATCH THEIR STEP! They will take long steps then a few short ones. This shows already their thinking is becoming affected. Usually they are gay and happy and beside themselves in a general sense that they cannot zero in on anything perfect. When any influential person comes up with a revelation that you may drink socially, that person will absolutely be guilty of leading people into a social realm of catering to the flesh which becomes a spirit of the devil and you can rest assured someone will end up spilling the whole thing. Once that happens, in order to cover up the rotten mess they must begin lying and that leads from one thing to another until the point is reached that it is no longer a little wine for health’s sake as Paul told Timothy to take for his stomach’s sake and other infirmities, but after while will reach the point that empty bottles must be hauled away in great quantities: you have become a drunkard: Furthermore. in Cohesions Paul taught the believers, “let no man judge you in meat or drink”, however if you are going to use that verse for an excuse to drink you should also take Rom. 14:21 in consideration. We realize in Colossians Paul was not speaking of drinking water. There are, in many parts of the world, ancient customs of drinking wine at the table along with the meal yet I assure you none of these people raised up under these customs drink for the purpose of getting drunk, that is far from their thinking. They sit down at the tables, pour a little wine and drink it and remain in as much control of their faculties as if you and I would drink a coke. However, remember in America liquors, wines etc., have become an obsession with the people. America is known the world over for their drunkenness, however, not so in the land of Israel where Jews, with their families, come into restaurants and have wine with their meals yet they do not sit there, sipping and sipping, saying bring me another bottle as Americans do. The more they drink the more they want. We are known to be a land of hogs, gluttons and extremists-having very little temperance. This should not be in the bride of Christ.
WHAT IS AN EXTORTIONER?
The last one on this list the true Bride is to break fellowship with without question is one classified as an EXTORTIONER. Extortion means misrepresenting the true value of an item or charging someone more than it is worth in the realm of transacting business, in other words TO MISREPRESENT SOMETHING AS CONCERNING ITS VALUE. The old grocery man who would give measure, heaped up and running over is gone forever. Modern business competition has created an environment where there is a SPIRIT OF EXTORTION which misrepresent: for personal gain, prestige or position. All these things are spIrits which live In mental man out in the world and we, as the Bride of Christ, should not fellowship those who call themselves brothers and are guilty of these things.
THE MAN WHO WON’T WORK
Turning to another of Paul’s writings, we find in II Thes. 3:10- 15 “If there be any among you who will not work (that is, labor to make his way) neither should he eat.” Paul goes on to say “we hear that there are some who walk among you disorderly, working not at all but are busybodies. Now, them that are such we command and exhort by the Lord Jesus Christ that with quietness they work and eat their own bread, verse 14, and if any man obey not our word by this epistle NOTE THAT MAN AND HAVE NO COMPANY WITH HIM THAT HE MAY BE ASHAMED YET COUNT HIM NOT AS AN ENEMY BUT ADMONISH HIM AS A BROTHER. (this passage certainly refers to those constant drifters and not to someone out of employment). There are so many today who drift about feeling that they are living by faith when actually it isn’t by faith they live but off the goodness and mercy of the people of God who help them along. I know It is hard to turn your back upon a man who has a family and for his wife and children to suffer along with him yet this is what Paul says and the early church observed it. It did not mean the church was not to help a person who had bad luck but they were definitely instructed not to put up with free-loaders, drifting here and there calling themselves simply living by faith. Beloved, those who live by faith that God sends out will be a blessing and not a burden to the People. Paul says we are not to allow these things to have free course and run loosely because this only opens the door for other spirits to come in and disturb the sweet fellowship of the body of Christ. If these people were to truly be Christians and found themselves completely shut out of all fellowship of the body of Christ. no doubt they would come to their senses and repent and get their live; in line with the word of God therefore ceasing to create foul offensive odors in the body of Christ. It is not your place, Paul says, to say be not a believer; It is not our place to condemn the person, you Just don’t fellowship them because they are polluting the body of Christ. Remember. beloved, when you break fellowship with anyone you must have Bible grounds for doing so or you become a transgressor of the Word.
BELIEVER LEAVES TRUE REVELATION
Now this is strange, but in II John verses 7-11 we have instructions concerning someone who perhaps is in the church of apostolic faith or true revelation of Christ and John says, verse 10. that if any come to you and bring not this doctrine receive him not into your house neither bid him Godspeed for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. I realize today that this verse has been used in many ways, every group feeling that they have this doctrine of which John spoke. therefore they are to turn everyone else away who doesn’t come bringing their doctrine. Beloved, I remind you, this verse was written before the Dark Ages, or even before any multitude of Protestant and Pentecostal movements sprang into existence. It was written strictly in the day and applied to the day that the early church apostles preached the doctrine of the ONE GOD according to II Cor. 5:19. It is the only passage of scripture I know of that is actually placed in the Word as a guard against heresy concerning the GODHEAD revelation. That is what ‘This doctrine’ means in verse 10 (the Godhead revelation). It is speaking of someone who, out of their own particular fellowship, would cater to a spirit that would be contrary to the apostles revelation on the Godhead. It is a passage of scripture that strictly guards the apostolic truth that was alive in the early church (not coming out of the Dark Ages after the Trinitarian doctrine came in). John says have no fellowship with the ones who bring not this doctrine nor bid them God speed.
What doctrine is he referring to “Not the doctrine of Predestination. Security of the Believer. Sanctification, or any of the other revelated doctrines which actually go into the making of the Bridal garment but this doctrine’ refers strictly to the Godhead doctrine. It is someone within the church body of fellowship that would come up with a concocted idea or revelation instead of this great revelation of truth on the Godhead as taught by the apostles. This man is to be disfellowshipped. John says one who abides not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God however he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ (as taught by the apostles, hath both the Father and the Son.
CORRECTION OF EARLY CHURCH
Note some other verses used by the apostles in keeping the fellowship clean. 1 Thes. 5:12-we beseech you brethren to know them that labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish them (this does not mean idolize them) and to esteem them very highly in love for their works sake and be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you brethren warn them that are unruly, comfort the weak, be patient toward all men, see that none render evil for evil unto any man but ever follow that which is good both among yourselves and to all men, I Thes. 5:12-15. Beloved, a true minister in Christ is not simply a tool which is to be used to hold a bunch of church ideas together. God’s true ministry is one to correct situations within their particular body of believers that they see wrong. In Babylon these scriptures could have no real value because a person, being corrected would not have to take it, he would simply go down the street and join another church and that church would be happy to receive him an extend to him the right hand of fellowship however, in the true body of Christ the day will come when such a procedure cannot be followed as the guilty would say –if I don’t like what you say I will go somewhere else–, because in a true body of fellowship that man who has been corrected doesn’t get fellowship ever until his ways are amended.
In I Tim. 5:20-22 speaking of the elders, the Holy Spirit says through Paul, against an elder, receive not an accusation, but before two or more witnesses. Them that sin rebukes before all that others may fear- This rebuking openly is to put fear and respect into the true believers that they may recognize what they have been doing wrongly. if it is not stopped they may hear their names called in the congregation also. This is not for humiliation; it is not to satisfy carnality for that would be just as wrong; it is for one purpose-that the individuals might straighten up and truly prove by their actions of repentance, submission and in humility show that they are a part of the body of Christ. Recall, how even in Galatians 2:11-14 Paul speaks of the time he withstood Peter to his face (not calling him over in a corner but openly) concerning the fact that before the Jewish brethren came to Antioch Peter had been eating with the Gentiles yet when they came he withdrew and separated himself fearing them that were of the circumcision and other Jews did likewise insomuch that it caused quite some. confusion. Paul withstands Peter to his face telling him that he is in the wrong handling the matter this way. That great apostle who held the keys to the kingdom did not get all pulled up saying Paul, you should not have done this, I am great as you are, after all look what God has given me to do. No. that is not the spirit he showed. In Humility he recognized the error of his way so not only did the early church ministry rebuke those of their congregation openly, once in a while we see it was practiced on their preachers. Although I do not have time to discuss Titus 2:7-IS, it is a passage you should read in connection with keeping the body of Christ clean and fragrant allowing it to give off its pure fragrant odor of Christ.
BROKEN FELLOWSHIP WITH NO SCRIPTURAL GROUNDS
In closing let me say, one should be cautious about breaking fellowship with another member of the body of Christ unless it can be broken strictly on some scriptural grounds as mentioned above! God says with these we are definitely not to eat or fellowship, but what about those who are out of fellowship with us over some small frivolous reason, without scriptural grounds whatsoever? What is one to do in such cases as this? For this also the Bible holds the answer. The beginning of the answer is found in Matt 5:23-24. Here we are reminded if we are in the worship of the Lord and we become aware or perhaps the spirit reminds us of the fact there is someone in the congregation or somewhere in the fellowship of Christ with whom we can’t seem to get along with, that is, the individual has broken fellowship with us, before we get very far in our worship of the Lord (1) we should go and try to reconcile yourself with our brother, then if having succeeded, we return and give our offering or gift of praise. A love and admiration to the Lord. (2) However, if having gone to our brother and done all we could 1/4 but failed to reconcile yourself with him, we are then to take, the scripture says, two or three other individuals, Matt. 18:15-19 unto him trying once again to reconcile the difference. (3) If now this fails, if still he will not hear, tell it to the church but if he neglects to hear the church, let ti him he unto you as a heathen man or publican. Recall, this deals strictly with that broken It fellowship only whereby There Is no scripture for breaking fellowship. When there are j scriptural grounds as we has. I discussed, broken fellowship is permissible in the body in order to maintain a sweet fellowship within the body of Christ giving off that sweet fragrance of his love and grace. This bath keeps the body clean until the calling out and the fulfillment of Rev 19:7-8.
WHOM HAVING NOT SEEN, I LOVE
My days are long and lonely, filled with Pain.
While waiting here for Christ to come again;
Sometimes I gaze with longing at the sky And wish that I were with my Lord.
Yet I am just as much the object of His care,
As though I were already living there.
My blessed Lord is with me just as much
As though I saw His face or felt His touch,
And He sees me though I cannot see Him!
Am I less HIS because my sight is dim?
Less safe because I cannot see the arm –
Which circles me and shelters me from harm?