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DO THE READERS KNOW of those believers in Christ holding that recovery of church truth in 1827--- endeavoring to continue the expression of the "one body in Christ" worldwide in the scriptural order, as inten-
ted by God for "unity of the faith"----rather than independency, mergers, and sectarianism? Does one want to know? Such a fellowship does exist today.
Some thoughts here especially for the faithful saints who value Bible-only , who earnestly desire to be faithful to our Lord and His Word (Mt.18:20; Acts 20:27). See also other pages listed below for some thoughts. Write to the Site Manager if one has questions or comments.
- Bible Counsel: Feature Page 13
NOTE: For the faithful gathered saints already in a scriptural assembly who would like to review related papers on our path, they might see the Conditions And Comments page, and may write for copies of papers. It would not likely be understood or appreciated by other readers. Contact Site Manager with any questions.
CHRIST IS THE CENTER
If the "Kingdom of Heaven" is like an OUTER CIRCLE of profession and honor to God and His ways, as we understand, and the "Kingdom of God" is like an INNER CIRCLE of posses-sion of Christ and the "new birth", then we might well look for a CENTER CIRCLE with-in of believers gathered around Christ and His Word for obedience and submission.
This page speaks to those who value the fol-lowing G.R.E.A.T.W.A.Y: Gathering with other saints to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone in love; Receiving "all the counsel of God" and "rightly dividing the Word of Truth"; Expressing the "one body" of Christ in the world; Acknowledging the "priesthood" of all believers; Trusting the Lord and keeping His Word; Worshipping in devotion as pleases God; Appreciating God's assembly, order, and government; Yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In anticipation of those who might have some objections, one ought to say: no one should presume to boast of being in a center circle; nevertheless, it remains and that should be the object and desire of faithful saints.
THE REVIVALS OF GOD
We can read of significant revivals by God in Church History, and depend-ing who wrote the history Christians might see the workings of God to maintain His Word and testimony in the world, in the face of sectarianism (note Acts 20:28-30). It has been the intent of God to get His saints back on track with Redemption Way, Church Truth, and Spiritual Life ---the essence of Christianity. God opened understandings by faithful men and gave zeal to correct failures down through history to guide His saints.
The purpose by God, it appears, was to limit the move by Satan to defeat all that the Apostles had established as shown in Acts 2 and in all the Epistles. After the apostolic time ended, and the Church was set forth by the leading of the Holy Spirit through God's Word, there was weakness and failure among saints; and wicked men persecuted and troubled the saints as secular history also shows, who were often forced to meet in secret, such as the types shown in Revelation 2-3 ---a prophetic picture there also of the church in various ages to the present day.
Without the teaching and care of the Apostles there was a falling away from God's Word as the Apostle Paul warned about, and in time God called faithful servants to return to the Gospel truth from much religious confusion. From circa 500 AD to about 1500 AD the system of a Roman catholic religion began to prevail over governments, with influence to control all thought by civil approval to control the public; and with corruption, tyranny, taxing, misusing the Bible, killing of anyone opposing them; and a so-called "papacy" prevailed with much control of lives ---purporting to be the Agent of God. There was persecution and slaying of saints who held to Christ alone apart from the religiosity. The Gospel message was nearly lost (note Acts 20:29-30; 1 Tim. 4:1-2 -apostasy). Even secular history about the Middle "dark" Ages shows this fearful time.
This recovery took on different forms in stages ---called revivals. Significant to preserving God's testimony were faithful saints who esteemed the Bible, in the ministry of such notable ones as Peter Waldo -1100 AD; John Wycliffe -1300 AD; John Huss -1400 AD; Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingle, John Calvin, William Tyndale, all of circa 1500 AD; and John and Charles Wesley followed in circa 1700 AD.
This work became known and seen as the so-called Protestant Reform-ation ---a revival coming forth by a number of faithful and bold preachers ---notably Martin Luther, who wrote much about redemption, and was bold to post His thesis directly to the Pope about "justification by faith"; and one can read much of the history on all that good work. The various sects that began to form emphasized the Gospel message, but sadly neglected church truth and unity; and most of them continued with the many rituals, ceremonies, hierarchy, and practices they had learned for a thousand years under the RC religion.
Church truth and much about spiritual life in Christ was mostly revived by God and set in practice in the world with that next revival of the so-called "brethren movement", which followed with gatherings in 1827 AD and
continues. The fellowship was and is a universal unity and testimony of saints in this world, which stands apart from the sectarian spirit and holds to Bible-only for worship, order, study, and all practice and walk. Notable teachers among them were such as J. N. Darby, J. G. Bellett, G. V. Wigram, W. Kelly, C. H. Mackintosh, and a few others who were moved to hold fast to Bible-only; and without innovations for the New Testament Church in the world. There have been divisions of this testimony, as in all works of God by rebellious souls who want their own ideas, but that sound recovery and revival continues to this day in the order as God intended.
The elders in various places sought to maintain the fellowship, and look to God for leading to further the collective testimony in "unity of the Faith" worldwide, as God intended. One can see more on this history at Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, IL - USA; and at the site: www.biblecounsel.net on the Internet. - RLD, 03/15