(A Balanced Faith)
REDEMPTION WAY about Heaven; salvation (gospel); eternal life; blessing; our course; judgments; the Lord's sacrifice, reign, kingdom, glory and purposes; etc. CHURCH TRUTH about baptism; the gathering of believers; the collective testimony; obedience; a Godly path; the Lord's glory and honor; etc. SPIRITUAL LIFE about worship --- F15; the love of God; devotion; maturity in faith; trials; grace; peace and joy; holiness; communion; charity, service; the Lord's glory and praise; etc. GENERAL MINISTRY about the Creator-God; Trinity; Bible overview; God's plan; Bible subjects; the OT & NT; Christianity; sects and cults; God's honor; etc. SPECIAL THOUGHTS about life; some viewpoints; letters; information; Christian Counsel Collection; etc. THE SITE MANAGER background and thoughts about this ministry and purpose; & e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Site updated on: July 2, 2020
Established 2000 A.D.
Holding forth the Word of life - Phil. 2:16
Holding fast the
faithful Word - Titus 1:9
See thoughts about God's recovery of church truth for His testimony and our pathway as believers, from that revival of 1827 AD shown herein
May God bless this site
to all readers
July Edition, 07/2020 www.biblecounsel.net or www.biblecounsel.homestead.com Scriptural Newsletter
WELCOME HERE FRIENDS! It is hoped you will find this site to be very helpful. All questions and comments are welcome and held confidential (e-mail: email@example.com). This web site is non-sectarian ministry to encourage the reading of God's Word, and for serious seeking after truth. It values God's work of revival in the early 1800's, with which it is associated, and urges readers to learn about it (see Church Truth page and Feature pages above). It is always the desire and hope here to obey and honor our Lord, and encourage and seek the spiritual welfare of all people. WE NEED TO SERVE AS "ONE BODY" IN CHRIST in the world (note 1 Cor. 12:25)! No thought here is to condemn personal faith, for each one must look to God in their personal life, but this speaks to the ESSENCE of biblical Christianity, which is BIBLE ONLY, apart from man's reasonings and innovations; and addresses Redemption Way; Church Truth; Spiritual Life; and Bible overview to maintain the balance in the faith. It is what God has intended for His collective testimony in this world. We need "all the counsel of God" as God enjoins us, and we need to encourage all souls to embrace all these things.
Everyone may participate in the ministry of this web site, by telling their friends to visit here. We hope all will find some ministry to help, and perhaps a nice challenge for their faith. Surely "the time is short", as God says, and surely we need to also "be about (our) Father's business". See the message and testimony at Site Manager Page. The writer does not have all answers, but will be glad to share what has been learned over many years. Questions and contrary views in a helpful way are appreciated.
Papers and comments here are changed periodically, and are personal convictions. Serious seekers after CHURCH testimony might well see Christian Assembly pages: F4 & F5. There are many pages for help and encouragement --- SEE INDEX ABOVE FOR A BIBLE STUDY --F8. The manager may not have answers for all questions, but is glad to share what he has and be of some help. He is not perfect and revisions and updates seem needed at times to clarify thoughts, so one might note the revision date on any papers they wish to copy. Any copies made should not be altered or taken out of context.
DOES THIS TRUTH DESCRIBE YOU?
A true and faithful believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, will walk with Him in trust and devotion; and talk with Him daily, until that day when one can see Him and be with Him forever, in the Father's house in Heaven. - RLD, 12/2009
Meditate On All
F Series Above
CHURCH CONDITION IN A BRIEF HISTORICAL OUTLINE
By R. L. DeWitt
This outline seeks to set forth that testimony which is believed to have faithfully continued to represent the mind of God, rather than a history of all the Christian sects and systems which were organized by men, to serve the various interests of the founders. More detailed papers are available for those interested.
In the beginning believers in Christ continued steadfastly in truth and with one accord (note Acts 2:1, 41-47; Acts 5:12; Rom. 16:16; Phil. 2:2; etc.). The Apostles taught them and admonished them, but over time there began to be a falling away (Rom.16:17-18). When the Apostles departed, most Christians embraced human innovations and much of Jewish traditions, and there was generally little regard for the counsels of God (II Tim.4:1-8).
About 500 A.D.+ continued disregard by Christians for sound doctrine (Titus 1:9), not continuing in the Spirit (Gal.3:1-3), and allowing leaven (I Cor.5), gave rise to false teachers and more ritualism; then in time the RCR (Roman Catholic Religion) of popery arose with hierarchy, ceremonies, and wickedness. In those "dark ages" true believers were scattered, and could only meet in secret because of the terrible persecutions by the ritualistic religionists --well documented in secular history records (note also Acts 20:29-30). At that time the written Word of God was not allowed for all by those in power ---at least not to be interpreted by any but the leader priests who controlled the governments.
About 1500 A.D.+ God revived the gospel message out of the religious bondage, with a number of such servants as Martin Luther (who was personally well known as protesting loudly against the RCR Pope); and all facing persecutions and some slaughter by the RCR. Many godly saints were then embolden to speak out for the Lord and preach the Gospel of salvation. There was a protest movement and attempt at reformation, which soon became separation in circa 1500 AD. The Word of God then began to circulate as more copies were made as printing developed. The separation brought forth SECTARIANISM with various denominations and the traditions, hierarchy, rituals, and practices they had learned with the RCR for 1,000 years. There was not a clean break with the system.
About 1800 A.D.+ God began to call faithful believers out of the denominated sects which had developed in form like the Roman religion, and with exercise to return to His Word and dependence on the Holy Spirit (Matt.18:20). In 1827-28 there were those who came together in homes in Ireland and England in simplicity like the early church, as members of the "one body" (I Cor.1:2; & 12:12); so to just continue "steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). They recognized the priesthood of believers (I Pet.2:5-10). This was a new work and revival by the Spirit and much sound ministry was written, which is available today. A lovely fellowship prevailed. The movement was blessed and spread rapidly to revive precious truth.
Original brothers among them were J. N. Darby, J. G. Bellett, Edward Cronin, and William Hutchinson. Soon, William Kelly, G. V. Wigram, C. H. Mackintosh, and other capable teachers and students of the Word became associated with this "brethren movement", as it was called.
Satan hated this new work of God and soon raised up the flesh. An independent spirit came forth. Some brethren arose promoting ideas - as "speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:30). A number of saints went out to form new and compromise gatherings back with denominated systems, some established rigid control of the saints, and some sought mergers or various ideologies. A faithful testimony continued, however, in spite of the falling away. One can learn about this further at BIBLE TRUTH PUBLISHERS, Addison, IL. - USA.
About 1900 A.D.+ "Fundamentalism" then arose among the denominational sects seeking to preserve the Gospel there. It also preserved man-made traditions. A so-called "Pentecostal/charisma" system came out of that, which denied the eternal security of believers and promoted signs and emotional experiences and activities. Satan began also to raise up many wicked Christ rejecting systems, cults, and religions to imitate and confuse (2 Cor.11:13-15).
In the present day the saints are quite scattered with new sects and sub-divisions form-ing every year. Denominated sects are now amalgamating. The professing Christian groups without Christ as Savior are moving back to the RCR system and likeness with over-lords. Christian "fundamental" sects are overlooking differences and merging. Some Christians shun any order and are seeking to have an experience as a "free-spirit". There remains, however, that testimony that God raised up in the early 1800's--expressing the "one body" worldwide in the scriptural order, gathering to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone, and waiting upon the Holy Spirit. They recognize the ruin in the Church is to our collective shame, and are not occupied with forbidding the unions and popular ways (Mark 9:38); rather, they continue in the path given, desire the honor and glory of the Lord, and "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). Though small in numbers they are holding fast "Till He comes". Does the reader know about this recovery of 1827 AD? It exists worldwide for the 'unity' God expects of all saints.
Choices for the saints today are many, if one approves of sectarianism. They can find liberal church groups, conservative groups, political and social groups, all kinds of entertainment and religious ideas; or they can seek the scriptural path and recognize that God has maintained His testimony from that revival of the 1800's. Even from that good revival there have been splinter groups following after men and certain doctrines, and prefer independency. We all fail some in obeying and following our Lord, but we ought not to fault God and dishonor Him for failure by Christians.
One might decide it is hopeless and just stay home and read their Bible, but God exhorts us to "not forsake the assembling of ourselves together" (Heb.10:25). He has a path in unity (Bible-only):
a) Gathering to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Matt.18:20), NOT to popular personalities which usurp the Lord, and with various sectarian systems and innovations ---limiting other believers who want to hold to the Word of God.
b) Receiving "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27), "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (II Tim.2:15), NOT traditions, entertainment, creeds, rituals, and pledges; programs, religious ideas, emotional experiences, and unscriptural things which are for the flesh.
c) Expressing the oneness of the body of Christ in the world (Rom.12:5; I Cor.12:25), NOT independency, nor mergers and unions, organizational membership, etc., which is the deceit of Satan to divide the saints and compromise the truth.
d) Acknowledging the priesthood of believers (I Pet.2: 5,9), NOT titles, offices, hierarchy, dominion over the saints with selected ministers to lead, preach, and manage ("Nicolaitanism": i.e. 'rulers over the laity' -- Rev.2:6), etc., which denies liberty.
e) Trusting the Lord and His Word as the only way--- authority and path for the Christian faith, NOT man's preferences or reasoning, which will lead one astray.
f) Worshipping collectively as is pleasing to God at the Lord's Table, NOT innovations for the flesh, which is pride and entertainment.
g) Appreciating the assembly and maintaining God's order and government, NOT the ideas and governmental ways of men, which is unprofitable.
h) Yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit as in the early church (II Cor.3:17), NOT to ceremonies, schedules, plans, arrangements quenching the Spirit (I Thess.5:19), which dishonors God.
If we cannot hold these things we will fall into SATAN'S SNARE, and always divide and scatter the saints and dishonor our Lord. God never intended that individual saints should act independent of the universal Church, and His order and government in unity. Even among Israel, they had to learn to bow to God in the midst. If they had a difference with others and ignored the cloud above and the pillar of fire by night, they might go off into the wilderness and set up their own form of worship, but the cloud and the pillar would not follow them.
At this present writing, the original work of the Spirit from that early time of circa 1800 AD, continues apart from all the above separations, and some of us know this ground of truth on which we are gathered; though we would not boast; and we pray that the Lord will keep us humble, faithful, and from any further trouble until we hear the home call. Does the reader desire to be on that original ground and going on as pleases the Lord? We would be pleased to help.
One may contact Bible Truth Publishers, P.O. Box 649, Addison, IL 60101 for these and other histories on the various attempts by Christians down through the years to maintain the testimony and Bible-only, and see the site at www.biblecounsel.net as to what God intends for His testimony in the world. One is also encouraged to read the books: Foxe's Book Of Martyrs, and Miller's Church History--the Original Edition. The writer would also be happy to answer questions.
- RLD: CH05; 1980; add 7/2020.
One will hear teaching and diverse ministry along our pathway from many sources . One should always test it by the Word of God (see John 5:39; Acts 17:11; II Tim.2:15; II Tim.3:16; Titus 1:9). Whether it is profitable often depends, too, on our state of soul. This paper is prepared with much care and prayer to be a help and honor the Lord. Comments and questions are welcome.