Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
...Continued from part 1....
Look at the contrast between what modern evangelists and preachers declare as the gospel and the message proclaimed by George Fox and the early Quakers:
...therefore, fear the Lord, let him be your fear and dread, and turn to the light, which Christ the Son hath enlightened you withal, and believe in Christ, the saviour of the world, the offering for the sin of the whole world, that you might have life in him, and through him, and come to the dominion (which Adam hath lost,) over all the creatures, to Christ, the light and life, the power and righteousness over all, and wisdom of God itself, that renews man into the dominion which man hath lost; Christ, by whom the world was made, was before it was made, who is the brightness of his glory, the express image of the substance of God: in him was life, and the life was the light of men, which doth enlighten every man that comes into the world; through the light that enlighteneth them they have life, light, justification, sanctification, redemption, they have salvation, they have truth, they have peace with God; for the light is the covenant, “I will give him for a covenant of light to the Gentiles,” saith God, “and a leader to the people:”
This is a crucial point. Through the light that enlightens you, you have life, light, justification sanctification, redemption, salvation, truth, and peace with God. Most theological teaching says these come through Jesus’ death on the cross. Fox is not belittling Christ’s death on the cross. He is pointing out the path to life. If we miss our way here, we do not come to peace with God, truth, salvation, redemption, sanctification, justification, light, or life.
So that light should be the leader of every man that comes into the world, the light with which every man is enlightened that comes into the world, that is the leader; which light was with the Father, glorified before the world began; which light lets men see all their evil ways and sins, and transgressions they have done in the world, and the first transgression that was upon the earth, with which light, (the covenant of God,) sin and transgression is finished and blotted out, (to them that believe in it,) the which separated them from God, (sin and transgression) Christ, the light and truth, separates from the sin, transgression, and iniquity, and reconciles to God, and brings to unity with God again, and in that hath the people life and immortality,
Stop a moment. Think about this. Here is something more significant than “Believe and you will be saved.” Fox is calling us to return to the beginning, to Christ whose power can separate you from the sin that separated you from God, whose power can reconcile you with God.
and that is the word of the Lord God to all, and I charge you all to hear it, the light that lightens every one that cometh into the world, it will make you free from sin, by which light shall every one that believes see their salvation Christ Jesus, and the man that hath told them all that ever they have done, and they shall know his salvation to the ends of the world, ... with the light they are justified; and he that believeth in the light shall never be condemned in this world, nor in the world without end. And in the light you will have unity with God, and peace with God, and one with another, ...So all being in the light, they are in the way, they have found the way Christ Jesus, the chief shepherd, the bishop of the soul, (which soul is immortal,) the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, ...by whom all was created, who is the soul’s bishop, and the author of man’s salvation, and redemption, and justification, ...Christ who blots it out, and is the offering that offered himself for the sins of the whole world,
Stop again. Modern Christianity would make Christ’s offering, i.e. salvation, something He did in His death. Fox is saying that Christ’s offering is something He does in His life. It is this offering of life that removes sin. It is this offering of life that is powerful enough to remove the sin of the whole world, if they will accept and live in the life offered. Modern Christianity quotes Paul, saying, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins...” (Eph. 1:7 and Col. 1:14) and use this to claim redemption comes through death. But blood is a reference to the life. Paul is stating that by Christ’s life are we redeemed. By Christ’s living presence are we made alive.
(Repeating a little bit.)...So all being in the light, they are in the way, they have found the way Christ Jesus, the chief shepherd, the bishop of the soul, (which soul is immortal,) the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, ...by whom all was created, who is the soul’s bishop, and the author of man’s salvation, and redemption, and justification, ...Christ who blots it out, and is the offering that offered himself for the sins of the whole world, who is the light of the world, that enlightens every man that comes into the world, that all through this light might believe in the Son of God, Christ Jesus, the one offering, who is the way to God, and the covenant between God and man, in him is God well pleased, and doth accept man; and they which believe in him have life, have power, have wisdom, and receive him that gives them power; and no one upon earth hath life, peace, or justification, but such as come into the light of Christ the justification, the life of all that come to God, who was glorified with him before the world began, who lets all men see their way again to God, who is the life, the truth, and the leader of the people; which light is the condemnation to them that do not believe in it, and such have not unity with God, nor one with another; they be not in the one offering, the great sacrifice, the Prince of life, Christ Jesus, the Immanuel, and know not the interpretation thereof, that is, God with us. Therefore, every one of you that would have salvation, receive the light, and so you receive Christ your salvation, and neglect it not; for this is the day of your salvation and visitation; and the mighty power of God is gone forth among you, and his everlasting gospel, which is his power, is going forth to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that dwell upon the earth, by which gospel shall kindreds and nations be gathered unto him, and into the mystery of the fellowship of the gospel, which fellowship is everlasting, the gospel everlasting, the power of God everlasting, in which is the fellowship, so that is everlasting; in this, people have fellowship with God, and one with another. (excerpts from Works of Fox, Vol. IV, 1831, pp.219-221 [from Fox’s epistle To The Turk And all that are under his Authority to read this over, which concerns their Salvation.])
To Be Continued....
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