Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
Among other things, I am a woodturner. From experience, I can state that it is possible to do a lot of things with dull tools. But if you ever come to use a properly sharpened tool, you will never again be satisfied with dullness.
This is the distinction between a life lived hearing and obeying the voice of Christ, the prophet like Moses whom God has raised up, and a life lived subjugated to any man-made discipline you care to name.
The reason for the difference is that hearing and obeying the voice of Christ brings life and return to the image of God. The other does not. The other, at best, builds the tower of Babel not the kingdom of God.
In the 1600s when George Fox began preaching the everlasting gospel, he began to refer to those gathered by the Lord as "The people of God in scorn called Quakers." The message God gave him to proclaim was all about this distinction between the image of God and the image of the serpent, between light and darkness, and between life and death. He bid his hearers to come before the Lord, to be judged by His light within them that shows one his evil deeds and thoughts. This experience often involved much quaking, inwardly and outwardly. His detractors ridiculed him and those who received his message as "Quakers".
Today, many who should be able to claim descent from those early Quakers are anxious to distance themselves by some means or other. I have met people whose pride is to be called Quaker, but they are not willing to sit under the ministry of Christ to know his word in their hearts to beat down and burn up everything contrary to God. They are not willing to tremble and quake at the word of God.
I have met people who scorn to be called Quaker, saying "It is more important to be called Christian than to be called Quaker." They also have rejected the sharp tool in order to use a dull one. They look for some other means to enter the sheepfold than by hearing the voice of the shepherd.
It is the work of the New Foundation Fellowship, in the midst of this pride, scorn, and indifference, to call all to that same foundation, which upheld that people of God in scorn called Quaker.
We say it is a new foundation even though it is the foundation God laid at the beginning. It is new in two senses of the word. First, we say it is new in distinction to that foundation, grown old and crumbling, currently under girding much of Christendom. Second, it is new because it perpetually renews itself; it is a living foundation.
The old foundation consists of the traditions and rituals of man, garnered from here and there and applied as though they were magical incantations able to ward off evil.
The new foundation consists of "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The early Quaker message that Christ is come to teach his people himself was a call to come off the old foundation and experience the new. Christ, the Word of God, brings the life, that life which is beyond bread, as we receive and walk in what he teaches by His light within us.
by Ellis Hein
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