Archive for April 2015

The True Number of Believers

April 21, 2015

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It has not been revealed to us what percentage of the professing ecclesia are also members of the genuine ecclesia. It is likely that the true number of the members of the ecclesia is much larger than supposed by some, while remaining much smaller even so than presumed by many. Beyond this, we ourselves have no opinion here; for to say any more would be to be disposed above what is written (cf. I Corinthians 4:6). Indeed, faith can be feigned (i.e., “simulated”; cf. I Corinthians 15:3), not genuine; even so, this is not to say that in any certain case we may know that it is. It is simply not our place or province to judge such matters, whether on an individual basis or on a global basis. It is enough for us to confirm our own faith (cf. I Corinthians 1:23-25; I Thessalonians 4:14), and to be persuaded as well of the genuine faith of our close associates, ones who convince us thus accordingly (cf. II Timothy 1:5; I Timothy 1:2). The rest we may well leave to God (cf. II Timothy 2:16-19), being happy and content in so doing.

James R. Coram
Keeping the Unity of the Spirit, in the Midst of Confusion

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Knowledge Puffs Up

April 16, 2015

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Knowledge puffs up. Love builds up. Almost every advance in the knowledge of God has resulted in an arrogant, self-assertive division among His saints. We witness the sad spectacle of the followers of Christ divided into hostile camps, each proclaiming its own superiority and relegating the rest to an inferior position. Each claims a monopoly of His grace, because of some fancied attainment in faith or faithfulness. Let no one imagine that a knowledge of the mystery is requisite in order to receive its benefits. If that were so, how few would ever find the place prepared for them by God!

KnochA.E. Knoch
Unsearchable Riches, Vol. 59

Differences of Doctrine Are a Blessing

April 12, 2015

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If we fellowshipped only with those who held identical doctrines it would soon come to pass that everyone who exercised some intelligence in the study of God’s word would be a little sect all by himself. Some minute truth or error would effectually bar him from [the fellowship of] all others.

Associations based on doctrine are most baneful deadly in destroying individual study and faith. All who are enclosed within a common creed are either callous on the subject of doctrine or galled by the bands that hold them. It takes a pope, Protestant or Catholic, to hold such a company together with the dictum of infallibility. What havoc has this ungodly course wrought among God’s servants! It is practically impossible for any of them to conscientiously study the Scriptures for fear that they may discover some truth which will disqualify them for their place and perhaps cause the loss of prestige and position, if not suffering and destitution. Truth is discounted. What slaves we have become!

On the other hand, witness the beneficial effects of fellowship based on a common desire to glorify God and a generous spirit of love and forbearance! The very differences of doctrine are a blessing, for mutual and loving discussion cannot fail to edify and instruct all who preserve the proper spirit. All of those finer graces which otherwise would be dormant are brought into full exercise. Love blossoms into lowliness and meekness and longsuffering and forbearance. These are not only a blessing in themselves, but yield a harvest of most precious and desirable fruit for His delectation.

KnochA.E. Knoch
The True Basis of Fellowship


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