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Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel

Ellis, do you believe in…?” I have been asked this question concerning many different “objects of belief:” God, Jesus, scripture, etc. But when I was recently asked “Do you believe in the Devil?” as an admonition to look at scripture as our safeguard against the wiles of Satan, I deemed it appropriate to make a thorough explanation.

So, first, lets look at that phrase, “do you believe in...?” To believe in Jesus, for example, means to encounter his power and authority (as creator) and to accord him his authorized right of command in my life. I don’t mean just to consent that, “yeah, Jesus has ultimate authority and if I ever hear from him I’ll jump to and do it.” I mean that I accord him his authorized right of command of my life now by hearing and obeying his voice in all things. Thus to say that I believe in Jesus carries with it a history of me yielding to his rule and learning what that means, learning the security of walking on the foundation of his command, even though there is nothing else but water beneath my feet.

Now given that understanding of “believe in” I can take up the question of “Do you believe in the Devil?” The answer is: “No, I do not believe in the devil. It is not possible to both believe in Jesus and believe in the devil. I have experienced the work of Jesus to destroy the devil and his works within me. The devil has no authority, no power, and no right of command in my life.”

The chief work of the devil is to bring death  inward death to humanity and to then feed upon the dead. There is only one power that is greater than the power of death: the power of life. Jesus told the Pharisees, who searched the Scriptures because they thought to gain life through them, that the scriptures testified that He was the fountain of life. But they refused to come to Him that they might live. (See John chapter 5) Isaiah wrote of the sons who are taught by the Lord. He then asked “Are you hungry and thirsty for this well being, this life?” “Incline your ear, listen to me that you might live. Delight yourself in abundance [of listening and of living]” was Isaiah’s prescription. (See Isaiah chapters 54 & 55) Jesus continued in John 5 saying, “The hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”

Jesus, who IS the Word of God, IS the life. His life is the light of mankind. He instructed and instructs those who would follow Him to believe in the light that you may become children of the day. (See John, chapter 12) Here we have that phrase “believe in” again. Just as before, it is to be understood as acknowledging the supreme authority of the light of Christ and granting it the right of rule in our lives. Those who believe in the light have no occasion of stumbling. We receive the life by believing in the light. And it is this life that destroys Satan and undoes all his works of death.

Jesus told his followers, “all authority, all power, all jurisdiction in Heaven and Earth is given unto Me.” There is no secondary authority; not scripture, not priesthood, and not Church tradition. We do not need to consult a second opinion. If you are not walking in the light of Christ within you, you may quote the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, but you have no authority and no power over evil. Where His light reveals evil within the heart, there is His power revealed to enable us to turn from evil to righteousness. Where ever mankind turns from that light, there is His power present condemning them for loving the darkness, for loving death. Where He commands, there is his power and authority given us to obey. There is neither legitimate excuse nor legitimate plea for sin as in, “I know what I ought to do, but I don’t have the power to do it.”

The proclamation that “Christ is come to teach his people Himself,” is a proclamation of Christ being present in and among us in all His authority, all His power, and all His jurisdiction to teach, lead, and direct his people. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is not a diminished Christ shorn of his authority and power, it is the revelation of Him who was, who is, and who will be to all eternity.

Views: 73

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 3rdMo. 8, 2018 at 9:02

Ellis wrote "There is no secondary authority; not scripture, not priesthood, and not Church tradition. We do not need to consult a second opinion."

Then hear what Barclay wrote in Apology and see that your view is not Quaker:

§VI. In this respect above mentioned, then, we have shown what service and use the holy Scriptures, as managed in and by the Spirit, are of to the church of God; wherefore we do account them a secondary rule. Moreover, because they are commonly acknowledged by all to have been written by the dictates of the Holy Spirit, and that the errors which may be supposed by the injury of times to have slipped in are not such but that there is a sufficient clear testimony left to all the essentials of the Christian faith; we do look upon them as the only fit outward judge of controversies among Christians; and that whatsoever doctrine is contrary unto their testimony may therefore justly be rejected as false. And for our parts, we are very willing that all our doctrines and practices be tried by them; which we never refused, nor ever shall, in all controversies with our adversaries, as the judge and test. We shall also be very willing to admit it as a positive certain maxim, That whatsoever any do, pretending to the Spirit, which is contrary to the Scriptures, be accounted and reckoned a delusion of the devil. For as we never lay claim to the Spirit's leadings that we may cover ourselves in anything that is evil; so we know that as every evil contradicts the Scriptures so it doth also the Spirit in the first place, from which the Scriptures came and whose motions can never contradict one another, though they may appear sometimes to be contradictory to the blind eye of the natural man, as Paul and James seem to contradict one another......

....Yet because they give a true and faithful testimony of the first foundation, they are and may be esteemed a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit, from which they have all their excellency and certainty: for as by the inward testimony of the Spirit we do alone truly know them, so they testify, that the Spirit is that Guide by which the saints are led into all Truth; therefore, according to the Scriptures, the Spirit is the first and principal leader.a Seeing then that we do therefore receive and believe the Scriptures because they proceeded from the Spirit, for the very same reason is the Spirit more originally and principally the rule, according to that received maxim in the schools, Propter quod unumquodque est tale, illud ipsum est magis tale: That for which a thing is such, that thing itself is more such."

2nd Proposition Apology.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 3rdMo. 8, 2018 at 12:04

You have highlighted, by enlarged type, part of Barclay's 2nd proposition. But do not ignore that part you have left in 10 point type, namely: "for as by the inward testimony of the Spirit we do alone truly know them, so they testify, that the Spirit is that Guide by which the saints are led into all Truth; therefore, according to the Scriptures, the Spirit is the first and principal leader.a Seeing then that we do therefore receive and believe the Scriptures because they proceeded from the Spirit, for the very same reason is the Spirit more originally and principally the rule, according to that received maxim in the schools, Propter quod unumquodque est tale, illud ipsum est magis tale: That for which a thing is such, that thing itself is more such." Which is as much as to say that Christ, not scripture, IS the authority.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 3rdMo. 8, 2018 at 12:21

I agree absolutely, the primary authority is immediate and personal revelation but it must be backed up by scripture other wise we are on shaky ground as the enemy seeks to deceive us. Well most of us, some claim they cannot be deceived but by saying that they already are.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 3rdMo. 14, 2018 at 19:49

Your answer has been bothering me ever since you put it up. Today, I see two things that need clarifying.

  1. If you can be deceived in following the light of Christ within you, you can be deceived in your understanding of the scripture (which must be enlightened by that same light before you can understand them aright).
  2. Whose sheep are you if you are so unsure of the voice of your shepherd that you will follow a stranger? 
Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 3rdMo. 15, 2018 at 8:16

That is a very good question Ellis and I am pleased that you asked. I could have been clearer so thank you.

I do not mean using scripture like many do, that is to say, by proof texting. We can find backup for almost anything if we do that. We may all have heard of this example: "And Judas went out and hanged himself." then "Go thou and do likewise". So it must be taken in context and according to the rules of good exegesis and hermeneutics http://www.spirithome.com/bible_exegesis.html.

We must also use the Bible to interpret itself and understand the different genres and types and pictures used. And if we do not have the guidance of the Holy Spirit for discernment within, we will not be able to avoid being deceived as you say; we  are not in the light.

I always supplement my understanding of scripture by only using the learnings of those who can discerne spiritually and especially those who taught holiness like George Fox and most importantly witnessed to receiving the blessing themselves. There were some of the Church Fathers with this level of understanding and other times in history like the Holiness Movement but not all. I find the eQukers nearest to my own discernment.

It is the pattern that Paul taught when he told the Bereans to check up what he had said in the scriptures which of course was the OT at that time. Truth will never ever contradict scripture.

It is not a matter of being unsure of His voice, as we become adept at knowing instantly if it is Him or not but in some instances we do need to check up. A lot of the time though we will be so immersed in scripture that it will sound wrong straight away, like if someone told you your wife sent a message, you will know immediately if it was really from her.

I find it very useful to read the writings of those who have a different understanding to me and to discuss things with them as it sharpens my discernment.

Some people think that the Christian cannot be deceived. That is wrong. It is only when we come up through the flaming sword and have been made pure and do not sin that we gain the discernement to know His voice very clearly because satan has no foothold in us any more.

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