Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully" (Psalms xxiv. 3, 4).
As a newbie I will give an introduction to myself. I had been following Christ for quite some time, over thirty years, before I came across Quakerism and George Fox. I had become greatly dis-satisfied with what I found in evangelical Christianity because no-one could answer my question which was, how does one become like the Christians in the New Testament, because I found myself unable to reach that standard – I was constantly feeling a failure and that I was letting Christ down. What I wanted to know was, how could feel worthy of the grace God had shown me and be an obedient disciple? And why could I not find others who were living a pure and sinless life? Instead I saw disobedience and worldliness all around me in those who were supposed to be `little Christs`.
My will power was not sufficient. Some told me that I was already holy because God only sees Christ when He looks at me. I could not accept that because it says in the scriptures that we are to be over-comers and in my heart, I was not. I constantly struggled with a `proneness to wander` in the wilderness of apathy and lack of trust towards God. I had great respect for Christ but in my heart I did not love Him with the whole of my being – how could I when I still found myself giving in to questioning Him and feeling deserted in the hours of my greatest need and still struggling with certain sins like lack of patience and love towards others.
I was hearing two voices. One said everything was ok, I should ignore the other voice that told me it was not. Which one was right? I think I was fortunate in being sick so that my involvement in church was limited, and if you do not attend regularly, you just get forgotten about. So I was left to `wander` on my own. The voices in the churches did not speak to my condition so I listened to the voice within and the answer came eventually, and it was that Christ was the only one who could help me. And He did. He began to teach me about holiness and lead me by way of the cross, to the flaming sword which stands in the entrance to paradise. Those who dwell in that holy place where they are restored to the state Adam was in before he fell (first stage) are those who hear God in fullness of His revelation rather than on occasion and who are transformed by His power to overcome sin, the world and the devil.
My joy knew no bounds when I discovered the writings of George Fox, and felt that had come home, in finding someone who had trodden the same path and who led a group of people into the same experience he had been through and the same as myself. I had found holiness writings of the Wesley school, but they did not resonate with me the way Georges` writings did and I came to see that most of those in the holiness movement had not gone as far as he though they were on the right path. None were as enlightened as George.