Archive for October 2014

Real Worship

October 30, 2014

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We have no ritual, no priesthood, no temple in which to go through the outward forms and ceremonies of the divine service; but, in spirit, we offer to God that essential worship which the temple service only shadowed.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Studies in Philippians
Unsearchable Riches Magazine
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Forsaking Paul for Politics

October 30, 2014

The saints of God are aliens here on earth. Let that sink in. No believer, as such, can be a Republican, for in his heart he believes in and is related to a kingdom. Republicanism is merely political Arminianism – it believes in human ability in some form. How can a rejected king became a member of a rebellious republic? If Christ be the King, forget not that we are His body. Individually we may be ambassadors entreating the world to be conciliated to God, but does England’s ambassador to the United States vote? Can any ambassador legislate in the country to which he is sent? Of course not. …

Paul was no politician. Once, it is true, he claimed Roman citizenship, but see what happened thereafter. The events that followed after he claimed his “rights” quickly led to a conclusion of the preaching of the kingdom of God. If, as a Roman citizen, he received Roman protection for a season, it is also true that as a Roman citizen he was put into a Roman prison, and ultimately as a Roman citizen suffered from the stroke of a Roman sword.

Paul had no political program. The cross put an end to man in the flesh. It assessed the natural man and declared him bankrupt. Bankrupt politically, morally, spiritually, totally. Instead of being a citizen of the world he became a corpse in it: “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). As far as the world is concerned, the church of God is a cemetery full of nothing but dead men, and men with their names on tombstones do not run for political nominations.

The religious world of today prates much and often of the glories of “democracy;” yet the believer’s hope is centered not in democracy but in Theocracy, not in man-ocracy but God-ocracy. If the reader … has learned the truth of Paul’s epistles, he will not claim to be either a Republican, a Democrat or a Socialist; for God’s choice and not his, God’s vote and not his ballot has made him a member of the Theocratic party by the grace of God. “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (II Timothy 4:10) would correctly describe the modern religious political attitude toward Paul’s theocratic teaching.

Alan Burns (?-1929)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 15, page 273 (1924)

The Ecclesia: A Person Expressed in Mankind

October 14, 2014

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I must reiterate that the ecclesia is not a “thing”: it is not an institution, it is not a denomination, nor is it all denominations put together. It is not anything like that. The ecclesia is a Person expressed in mankind, expressed in human life. Paul never went anywhere with the preconceived idea: we will have a “church” here; we will set up a “church” here; we will form a “church” here.

T Austin SparksT. Austin-Sparks (1888-1971)
The Great Transition
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Your Religious Camp

October 7, 2014

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To go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach, does not mean going outside the worldly crowd; it means being put outside the religious crowd you belong to.

One of the most poignant bits of suffering comes along that line. If you remain true to Jesus Christ there are times when you will have to go through your convictions and out the other side, and most of us shrink from such a step because it means going alone. The “camp” means the religious set you belong to; the set you do not belong to does not matter to you.

Oswald ChambersOswald Chambers (1874-1917)
Loneliness
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