New Foundation Fellowship

Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel

Only a few weeks ago I wrote that I felt encouraged about the direction I perceived the Meeting going in--at least early Meeting.

Last First Day I was moved by the Lord to speak of salvation; that salvation wasn't for those who had gained it, but for those who were in need of it. That had been a startling opening to me. As I spoke one woman left; the others remained but the atmosphere was charged. I left with but one handshake, and when I got home I asked our Lord Jesus, "Is it time for me to go? These people are hardhearted. Their minds are closed, their ears are stopped, their eyes are covered. Why can't I just stay with NFF and be happy?" He didn't respond in his usual form. Instead, He gave me a vision of some members of Meeting, as if to say, don't abandon them.

I don't know what I expected, but I thought to myself after that vision: they don't know how much the Lord loves the Meeting, i.e. them. So I told them this First Day, with the details as quoted above. Some members who had come specifically to challenge me stood as I spoke and one came to remove me from worship. I would not acquiesce to her request that I go speak with her outside of Meeting. I said I wouldn't leave Meeting but would speak with her afterward. Her response, "I won't have the time." Members were cordial to me after Meeting broke, but the angry woman waited to accost me as I left.

She said (among other things), "You want to change us."

I was quite unsettled as I walked to my car. On the way home I thought I should have said to her, "Why do you say that? What do you think I want to change you to?"

At home, still unsettled, I came to my office and worship space in the basement. All I knew to do was to get on my knees and be still. I moved to the chair after a bit. As I sat waiting on the Lord, I was reminded--as part of a conversation with myself addressing what passed in Meeting this morning--that I had dedicated myself to Jesus; I gave myself to Him; sold myself to Him, so to speak, to be His slave. He can do with me as He will, I said. "Even put me through the fire," I heard from one not of myself. Yes, He can do whatever He wants because I belong to Him.

I realized I must think more deeply about belonging to Him in the sense that what He might ask of me might cause me pain and suffering.

"I wish I could say things to you (Red Cedar Friends) as the Lord gives them to me, but you don't like it when I do. Yet, I only came to the Lord because George Fox led me there. Don't you think it ironic that the man responsible for organizing and setting up Meetings is barred from speaking Truth in them in our times?"

I found the following an interesting feature of this whole episode. March 18, 2016, I copied from George Fox, Sermon VI, p.148: "Be obedient to his spirit, power, light, and life."

I apologize for all the drama, but this is spiritual warfare. Satan doesn't want any interference with his plans. The Lord has gifted me with this task. It's good to have somewhat of a refuge.

Views: 221

Comment by Ellis Hein on 3rdMo. 21, 2016 at 11:47
I sent you a copy of Fox's letter to Friends at Dantzick, but I also realized that I needed to put up a portion of it here. Fox's encouraging words are as applicable today as in the 1600s.
‘Dear Friends,—To whom is my love in the Lord’s truth, that is over all, and by which all God’s people are made free men and women, being thereby set free from him who is out of the truth; that walking in the truth, they may answer the witness of God in all people; which truth all must come to if they be made free. Therefore be faithful unto what the Lord manifests unto you. I am glad the Lord hath witnesses in that city, to stand for his glory and name, and for Christ Jesus, the great prophet, whom God hath raised up, who is to be heard in all things; so that ye need none of the prophets which men have raised up. Therefore stand faithful to Christ Jesus, your shepherd, that he may feed you; hear his voice, and follow him, who has laid down his life for you; but follow none of the shepherds and hirelings that are made by men, though they may be angry because ye will not follow them to their dry and barren mountains, who have been and are the thieves, persecutors, and robbers, that climb up another way than by Christ. Set up Christ to be your counsellor and leader, and then ye will have no need of any of the counsellors and leaders of the world; for Christ is sufficient, whom God has given you. Set up Christ Jesus to be your bishop and overseer, who is sufficient to oversee you, that you go not astray from God; by which ye may see over all the hireling overseers made by men, which keep the people, that they do not go from the rudiments, formalities, fashions, and customs of the world, which hath been and is their work. I am glad that ye are come to own Christ Jesus, your high priest, who is holy, harmless, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, as the church and the apostle did own him in their days, Heb. vii. who is the high priest over the household of faith; which faith Christ Jesus is the author and finisher of: and this do all the children of the new covenant witness, who walk in the new and living way. Therefore my desire is, that ye all may be steadfast, whether in bonds or out, in the faith of Christ Jesus, which is the gift of God; by which faith the valiants overcame the devil and all their enemies; in which faith they had victory and access to God, and in that was their unity; which mystery of faith is held in a pure conscience, hidden from the world. I do believe, that your imprisonments and sufferings in that place will be for good in the end (as it hath been in other places), ye standing faithful to the Lord, who is all-sufficient. For your sufferings and trials will try their teachers and religions, churches and worships, and make manifest what birth they are of; even that which persecutes him that is born of the spirit: for ye know that there is no salvation by any other name under the whole heaven, but by the name of Jesus;
Comment by Rhonda Fuller on 3rdMo. 22, 2016 at 18:22

Dear Bill,

Thank you for relating your experience with Red Cedar Friends. The Lord did send me back to that Meeting. Whenever I had thought of doing so on my own I experienced visceral revulsion. I was quite startled to receive His message. Then when I did go, I would leave saying, I don't want to go back, and he'd say, I want you to go back. Then I started asking why? They don't like me. They don't like you. He said, and this is true, Because I love the Meeting. Oh! Okay. I've got work to do.

The thing is, just recently I have come to realize Jesus has given me power to overcome Satan. I think George Fox refers to it as "overseeing" that which darkens, etc. I remember a time of worship about a year or so ago when I vocalized my fear and this still, small voice said, Don't be afraid. Look evil straight in the eye. It took me a while to trust that voice. 

I suspect this Red Cedar Friends Meeting will try somehow to remove me. But I have power over Satan. They wrestle with God; I battle Satan. Pray that not a few accept His offer of salvation.

Comment by Rhonda Fuller on 3rdMo. 25, 2016 at 16:46

Right. Speaking truth is love. Also, that's why knowing who the enemy is is essential.

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 3rdMo. 25, 2016 at 18:40

Bill, 

Any Quaker worth her salt is going to know to keep low and make very sure that she doesn't minister in anger or from a place of defensiveness: it's the first check on one's readiness. We also trust that if feeling threatened, we will, by waiting with complete trust in God, be restored to that perfection that we ourselves do not possess but is nevertheless required and available in Christ.

I believe that you're trying to be helpful to Rhonda but also know that without intending it, advice can be an added burden when/if it seems patronizing. Rhonda is bearing up in a very difficult situation...alone among hostile Quakers who most likely know that they've missed the mark and deeply resent anyone who makes them feel like hypocrites. Assume that she knows the basics. Please, Bill, consider if there might be a bit of male chauvinism within that needs to be excavated.

Rhonda, I know you'll keep close to the Guide and follow obediently. Though you feel without other human support in that group, you know that Christ will give you perfect strength as you do his work. 

Comment by Ellis Hein on 3rdMo. 25, 2016 at 23:58

Regarding speaking truth "in love" or not in love. Jesus said, "I am the truth." For us, there is no other foundation of truth than the Word that speaks life into us,making us living beings. There is no such thing as speaking truth in love, in anger, or in any other human state. We can only speak truth in that same breath that breathed it into our hearts. The work of truth is to burn up and beat down all that is contrary to God in motion, word, or work. Those who will embrace that inward work can see this as the very love of God to bring them into life. The one who is faithful to the motions of Christ within them to minister in truth are often chastised for anger, for lack of love, for a spirit of division, etc. The true minister of Christ will stand faithful through all the storms of accusations.

Comment by Rhonda Fuller on 4thMo. 3, 2016 at 17:46

Dear Bill,

I don't see your previous comments here. I didn't get a chance to respond to your last comment and meant to today. I wanted to thank you for you for engaging in conversation. I hope you see my note here. Please write to me any time.

Comment by Rhonda Fuller on 4thMo. 3, 2016 at 17:50

Ellis,

Your comment was beautifully stated. You can only know from Holy Spirit speaking in you to you. How great He is.

Comment by Rhonda Fuller on 4thMo. 3, 2016 at 17:59

Pat,

I so much appreciate your support. Jesus teaches me as I go along. It's interesting to me to see the change in myself as I work to carry out His mission. It's only through Jesus that I can be loving to hostile people and that ability to love them grows as He feeds me more and more. The more I experience Jesus's love, the more love I have for the Meeting. 

Comment by Ellis Hein on 4thMo. 4, 2016 at 1:49

Rhonda, I regret to inform you that Bill decided to have me remove him from the list of members of the website. When someone is removed or removes themselves from membership, all content they placed on the site vanishes. This makes following the thread of discussion somewhat awkward when there is only one side presented. However, if you do want to put in a comment concerning the things Bill said, you certainly can do that.

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