1. salvation

2. the jews

3. fellowship

4. the gifts

5. our cross

6. eternal judgment

7. the rapture
































These seven exhortations are worth our constant review. They are critical to sound doctrine and a clear understanding of God's plan for the house (we, His church) which He has built for His habitation. Truly they are the seven pillars of knowledge for the Church, which wisdom has hewn out and positioned securely in the framework of our spiritual building.












































































































Paul wrote to the churches in Galtia because they had fallen away from true righteousness by following the law instead of spiritual perfection:
" My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be FORMED IN YOU." (Galatians 4:9)




































One night many years ago, God awakened me in the middle of the night and asked me; "Did you ever notice that the Star of David is made up of two triangles?" I had to answer that I hadn't noticed that. He went on to say that one triangle represented the Church, and the other, Israel, and that the three points of each triangle each stood for the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. He said that it represented a time when both groups would truly be under the Trinity and that the core that lay at the center of the two triangles symbolized the Godhead.









































































Sadly the Church all too often has this advice of Paul flip-flopped. They want to judge the world (which is the job of the Holy Ghost) and not judge themselves within the Church. But it is clear we are to judge sin within the Church and leave the world to the judgment of God.



































































Religionists of any era "love the praise of men more than the praise of God". In our Lord's time, it was the chief rulers of the synagogues who believed on Him but refused to confess Him because they didn't want to lose their jobs. It was as simple as that. This is an ongoing problem. The Lord Jesus forcefully dealt with it when He warned His power-struck disciples not to exult over spiritual gifts but, rather, to rejoice that their names were written in heaven. We can never be reminded enough that Jesus told us that some would do mighty works, even cast out demons, in His name. Yet, He would have to say of them: "I never knew you."

In John 7.24 our Lord both warns and commands: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment". Just as it was not enough for the ancient synagogue rulers to believe on Jesus, yet refuse to confess Him; so, it is not enough for modern Christians to receive the Holy Spirit with His spiritual gifts without the determination to continually yield to Him. Seven times the Spirit speaks to the churches in the book of Revelation so that we may understand what the church consists of and is really all about. Seven times in the Epistles the Holy Ghost inspires the writers to expound upon those foundational topics of which we must not be ignorant. As it was prophesied that the Messiah's presence and preaching would dissipate the gloom and bring brightness to a land and people dwelling in darkness and the shadow of death, so it was promised to the Church that vast areas of ignorance and confusion would be enlightened and clarified by the teaching office of the Holy Ghost, the One sent by Jesus and given by the Father to lead us into all truth. Seven is God's number for perfection and completion. In both the Old and New Testaments, God used units of seven to represent perfect or complete service: the seven years that Jacob labored for Rachel and the seven deacons chosen in Acts. Important life-fulfilling or life-threatening events such as years of fruitfulness and famine, degrees or levels of punishment, formulas for obedience, a spirit of perfect prayer, as well as the perfect completion of Messiah's mission are all described in segments of seven. In the Gospels, forgiveness is related to multiples of seven. We mentioned that Seven Churches are addressed in Revelation. It should also be noted that Paul's Epistles are sent to Seven distinct Churches. The consummation of all things, especially the important topic of judgment is connected with the number seven. Hebrews 6.1 gives perfection itself as the seventh item or goal in a series of doctrines the Holy Ghost wants to teach us: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, eternal judgment.

Most of us feel fairly confident in handling the problems and situations that life throws at us. We rely instinctively upon our innate ability and our past experience. The challenge of "the Seven Pillars of Wisdom" is to set aside these carnal weapons, repent of our spiritual ignorance, listen attentively to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches, and learn from His quickening Word where the battle really is.


Leroy Gardenier

May 1994


Wisdom hath builded Her House

The church has a perfect and everlasting example of wisdom in everything that our Lord Jesus has ever done or said, and will ever do or say. Jesus and wisdom are one and the same. The Scriptures say that in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    The marvelously rich treasure house of wisdom and knowledge is revealed through­out the Bible. The booklet, The Seven Pillars of Knowledge, expounds on the seven places in the New Testament where God's Word expressly tells the believer "not to be ignorant". These seven plainformedces, which we have dubbed "pillars of knowledge", are by no means the only areas in the Gospel where God would have us to be instructed and . These are, however, fundamental areas of knowledge so basic to our walk with Jesus that God has warned us to be alert and schooled in them so that they are incorporated into our faith. In Proverbs wisdom is personified and it is said that she "hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars." (Prov. 9.1) Those seven pillars are the seven pillars of knowledge revealed in the Epistles of the New Testament.

We, the living stones (through our faith in Christ), are the building. "Ye also as lively stones, are built up to a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, by Jesus Christ." The pillars of knowledge are the backbone of our spiritual house upon which our faith and understanding of God's will must securely rest. The seven areas are:


1.) The True Nature of Salvation (1 Cor. 10.1)

2.) The Jews: God's chosen people (Rom. 11.25)

3.) Fellowship: The Sharing of Fruit(Rom. 1.13)

4.) Gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12)

5.) Our part of the cross (2 Cor. 1.8)

6.) Judgment (2 Peter 3.8)

7.) The Rapture of the Bride(2 Thes. 4.13)


These seven exhortations are worth our constant review. They are critical to sound doctrine and a clear understanding of God's plan for the house (we, His church) which He has built for His habitation. Truly they are the seven pillars of knowledge for the Church, which wisdom has hewn out and positioned securely in the framework of our spiritual building.

Peter, on the day of Pentecost, declared, "this is that which the prophet Joel prophesied". The Holy Ghost had fallen on the multitudes and they had spoken in other tongues. The old men dreamed dreams, the young men saw visions, and the young women prophesied. But Pentecost was only the start. Joel spoke of the two rainstorms, the former and latter rains and the restoration of all things. The day of Pentecost was the former rain. Today's revival is the latter rain and now the fruits of God's fertile rain are ripening and bursting forth. Wisdom "hath builded her house" and the knowledge of Christ's princi­ple doctrines has restored many things and made the Church strong again. Wisdom "hath hewn out her seven pillars"!

Consider the pillars if you have not already done so. Review them. Believe God's Word about them. Take serious the announcement made by the Spirit in those seven scriptures where He has said, "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning...". God is asking each member of his household - and remember we are the lively stones built up to a spiritual house - to get their pillars firmly fixed and situat­ed in their active faith so they then can move on to higher ground.


"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permit." (Hebrews 6.1-3)


As Jesus declared to the religious leaders, "Wisdom is justified of her children.". We are not only wisdom's children if we follow Christ but we are the house which wisdom built. Be wise. Do not be ignorant. Check out these seven pillars so you can go on to perfection!






The True Nature

Of Our Salvation


Growing up in the Episcopal Church I was surrounded by regular church goers, sincere in their belief that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. We were all baptized into church membership; we all shared the liturgy; we all fellowshipped together; we all kissed the bishop's ring upon our confir­ma­tion, did good works, and worshipped together. But with us, I now know, "God was not well pleased­".

Unfortunately, none of us had a clue about real salvation or what it takes to live a life pleasing to God. The result of our ignorance was gross blindness about God's ways and, as a result, we were perpetual sinners. The fruit of our lives, which is the undeniable proof of faith, was not the fruits of the Spirit, as they must be for those who claim to follow Christ, but instead they were the fruits of the flesh, and they were in evident abundance.

Lyings, stealings, backbitings, hatred, and all sorts of lusts of the flesh, such as adultery and greed were com­mon works. Instead of being Christians in word and deed, our faith was dead. We were Chris­tians in word only. As our Lord's brother, James, said in his epistle, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." And brother, me and my fellow worshippers were dead - dead as doornails. The hypocrisy I saw within those beautiful but dead walls of stone drove me to a cynicism about Christ and eventually to a loss of faith in God altogether. But God, in spite of the confusion and darkness of the religion of my youth, brought me to the light and gave me a saving knowledge of His Son, and to God's glory I have been reaping the benefits of salvation ever since.

It did not take long after I was born again to realize that many Christians (truly born-again Christians) are like the Episcop­alians of my youth. They say they are Christians, but they live like the Devil. They think that just because they are Christians by some commitment or experience and because they continue to rub elbows with true Christians, they will be saved by their association with the "Church". We born-again Christians should know better, but do we? It is not enough to be a Christian by label or word only. Simply answering an altar call is not the end-all ei­ther. We must put away sin in our life and live in obedience.

Paul, speaking to the body of believers at Corinth, a church which allowed sins to intermingle among their fellowship and worship, warns us all in I Cor. 10 saying, "let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall". There is no such thing as eternal security. God will never take away our free will. As Peter says in his second epistle to the faithful believers in Christ, we must do the will of God to make our election sure. A man must repent, accept Jesus and be born again, but he must learn obedi­ence and how to walk humbly in the love of God.

One of the seven pillars of knowledge (all seven are antidotes administered by the Holy Ghost to inoculate us against ignorance) is this:


"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

    "And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

"And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritu­al Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

"But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were over­thrown in the wilderness." (I Cor. 10.1-5)


God is pointing out to His people that it is not enough to be with Christians, to just be around when His Spirit moves or heals, or even to eat and drink of the same spiritual food and drink. Paul openly says that the things which hap­pened to Israel in the wilderness were written as warnings for us. "Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted." (verse 6)


                                         Warning Not to

                                    Murmur Against God

Righteousness and faith do not rub off on us just because we associate with Christ's people. Let me say it again, righteousness and faith do not rub off on us just because we associate with God's people. This scriptural pillar of church knowledge from I Corinthians continues on by noting that the faithless Israelites had fallen into four sins, all of which are common seductions to those called to a life of faith.
1.) They had committed idolatry.
2.) They had committed fornication.
3.) Some had tempted God.
4.) They had murmured (complained) against Him.

In other words, they had gone a whoring after other Gods, they had fallen into lusts of the flesh, had accused God of evil intentions against them, and had complained that He didn't know how to take care of them properly. All these and more are the sins which easily beset any Christian or member of the Church. Think about it. How often have we heard these sins, seen these sins, even flirted or committed these sins our­selves?

Paul repeats the earlier warning: "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinke­th he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor.­10.11-12). This passage, this exhortation to knowledge, this plea to "not be ignorant" is not a threat, and Christians should not take it as a threat from God. Those with a dogmatic view of the Scriptures may argue about God's intent here, but Paul states that this passage is simply a word to the wise when, a few verses later in verse 15, he says, "I speak as to wise men, judge ye what I say".


                          Joshua's Mountain Pass of Choice
    As the things in I Corinthians 10 were written for exam­ples to us, so God had Israel act out the simple choice He gives us concern­ing hearing His voice and obeying it, or opting to do our own thing instead.

Just after entering the promised land, Joshua (who had been instructed by Moses, who had been instructed by God), had all of Israel walk through the small mountain pass between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. As they funnelled down through the narrow way, God told Joshua to take the leaders of the 12 tribes and split them into two halves. The leaders of six tribes were to stand on the slopes of Mt. Ebal and the leaders of the other six tribes took up their places on the side of Mt. Gerizim. As the people of Israel marched through the narrow mountain pass Joshua read all of the laws and statutes that Moses had written down (Deuteronomy) so that everyone could hear them. The leaders on the side of Mt. Gerizim then read a list of bless­ings which God promised to give Israel if they would be obedient to His voice and follow everything that was commanded of them that day. The leaders on the other side of the narrow strait, on the side of Mt. Ebal, then pro­nounced the curses that would befall Israel if they were rebel­lious and refused to listen to God's voice. (Deut. 27)

What a majestic sight! What a wonderful moment it must have been in the history of Israel to be moving into the Promised Land and have the simplicity of Christ laid so perfectly before them. The way before them was straight and narrow, the blessings for obedience to His voice simple and clear. The penalty for ignoring His voice and loving commands made obvious. What electricity must have been in that ravine! What Holy Ghost goose bumps must have come upon all the people. (Joshua 8) Like those who passed between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim we come to Christ and we are called to walk the straight and narrow path. Jesus told this parable about people who hang around and partake of God's things and never really repent of their rebellion or of doing their own thing.


"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

"When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall an­swer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

"Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

"But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity"


If we do the works of the flesh we are none of His. We should not kid ourselves about that. People do not prove their love for the Lord by words only, they prove it in word and deed. Just because we come to Christ, it is not a given that we will do His will or flee the world and its sin. In another parable Jesus said, "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of the Father which is in heaven." He concludes the parable by telling people that those who hear His sayings are like those who build their house on solid ground and those who hear and ignore are like those who have no foundation for their house and will someday come to ruin with a great crash.

Paul says of himself, what a shame it would be if he brought so many to salvation but he himself became a castaway. Why would he say this unless it were a possibility, no matter how remote? If he, the model in New Testament scripture for us, can say this, then we should also monitor our own hearts as he did his own. The truth of salvation is that those who do the will of the Father are saved and not those who simply say "Lord, Lord".

The apostle John put it this way in his first epistle:

"But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." Brothers and sisters in Christ, all equal before God, let us take heed how we walk and thereby make our election sure.





The Jews:

God's Chosen People


"For I would not, breth­ren, that ye should be ignorant of this mys­tery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blind­ness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gen­tiles be come in.

"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliver­er, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

"For this is my covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins.

"As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes but as touching the election, they are the beloved for the fathers' sakes." (Ro­mans 11.25)


God has clearly warned the Church not to think of herself more than she should, that blind­ness came to the Jews so there could be a time of salvation for the whole world. This "suspension" of time for the Gentile's sakes has a pre­scribed end. In due course the Jews will be saved. Yet in its dark igno­rance the Church has often forgot­ten this truth and ignored the promise to the Jews who are the seed of Abraham. Over the last thousand years the Church has belittled, ac­cused, persecuted, and even killed the Jews. Christianity as a whole has condoned their hatred of the Jews by believing that it was the Jews who killed Jesus and that because of that God has cast them adrift forever. The Church has used this rationale to feed its self-righ­teous attitude and to excuse persecution of the Jews. But no matter how or why this attitude and spirit has prevailed it has been one of deep igno­rance and is scripturally wrong.

The Jews were no more responsi­ble for the death of Christ than the Gentile world, and the Gentiles were no less responsible than the Jews. Let this truth be established in your heart and mind, as Jesus said;

"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." (John 10.17-18).

Jesus surrendered his life for our (Jew and Gentile) sakes. Those involved in making the trap for Jesus are still guilty, however. Remember, it was not only the Jews (with their trumped up char­ges) that bear the blame, but ROME (representing us Gentiles) approved the execu­tion and it was the Gentile soldiers who mocked and scourged Jesus, placed the crown of thorns on His head, made Him carry the cross up Golgotha, and pierced Him in His side. Yes, we all bear responsibility for hating and crucifying God. It was a con­spiracy of all mankind.

That the Jews shoulder sole re­spon­sibility for the death of Jesus is the first great misconception the Church has carried against the nation Israel and it inevitably leads to a very serious mistake. Wherever this ignorance persists it is believed that the Jews have been cast off forever by God. Romans chapter 9, 10 and 11 should be stud­ied carefully by every Chris­tian and taken to heart. It estab­lishes who we are and who the Jews are in the face of God's plan of redemp­tion.


"I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to pro­voke them to jealousy.

"Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the dimin­ish­ing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? ...

"For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

"And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

"Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root but the root thee.

"Thou wilt say then, The Branch­es were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

"Well; because of unbelief they were broken off and thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear:

"For if God spared not the natu­ral branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee." (Rom. 11.11-12, 16-21).


As the prophecy says, all Israel shall be saved. The time of the Gen­tiles shall come to an end just as God has declared. The Church had forgotten these basic promis­es and God's sure word of proph­ecy. Becoming wise in her own conceits and puffed up in the spiritu­al pride of the blessings which God had bestowed upon her she became ignorant and injurious.

But, glory to God, the Holy Ghost has lifted this condition. The knowl­edge about the nation of Israel and its election has been restored to the Church in our lifetime. In every de­nomi­na­tion and group the truth about the chosen nation has come to light. The establishment of a Jewish state in Israel in 1948 and the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the denominations during the sixties and seventies has forced the Christian believer to look at the Jews with greater compassion. Churches every­where have decided to support the Jewish cause and to sing the praises of God's chosen nation. The Holy Ghost has confronted us with this marvelous truth and it is up to each individual believer to receive it in his or her heart.

Yet, to indiscriminately support the Jews in everything they do may have peculiar dangers lurking within it, too. We must use keen discern­ment. The day is shortly coming when the Jews and luke­warm Chris­tians will again be in league against God. The two will conspire with the antichrist to set him up in the temple in Jerusalem as God Him­self. To the Jews and Christians in­volved in that work we owe no loyal­ty. God will not require that His people support apos­tate Jews work­ing for humanism even if they are of the chosen nation. We cannot give all Jewish causes and action carte blanche support.


"(God) will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and im­mor­tality, eternal life.

"But unto them that are conten­tious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

"Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile:

"But glory, honour and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

"For there is no respect of per­sons with God." (Rom. 2.8-11).


                     How then should we support the Jews?

What then should we do? God wants us to acknowledge and help Israel doe­sn't he? Yes, we should defend the Jews and respect the fact that they are heirs to the promises made to Abra­ham, Isaac and Jacob. We should rejoice in the fulfilling of prophecy and aid them in their spiritual fight against the anti­christ spirit of the world; and we should promote the re-establish­ment of Israel in today's world because it is God's plan being manifested. We should be careful not to be influenced by the hu­manistic arguments that ever rage against the Jews in today's atmosphere of international power politics regardless of how logical or compelling they seem. Yet, in another sense, all that is happening in Israel is none of the Chu­rch's business. If we are not to be deceived by events shortly to come to pass we must be wise as serpents but gentle as doves. Much of what we are witness­ing in Israel today is a sort of family squabble. What is happening in the Middle East, with the violence, intrigue and jockeying for peace, is the fulfillment of end-time prophe­cy.

God's workings with the Jews, even to the Church, remains a mys­tery and a paradox: like a father chastising his son. Through the prophet, Micah, God announced that He has a con­troversy with his child.


"Hear ye, O mountains, the Lor­d's controversy, and ye strong foun­dations of the earth: for the Lord hath a con­troversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel." (Mic. 6.2)


But through his prophet, Zecha­ri­ah, God has also estab­lished Israel as his dear child, saying,

"Deliv­er thy­self, O Zion, that dwell­est with the daugh­ter of Baby­lon. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the na­tions which spoiled you; for he that toucheth you, touc­heth the apple of his eye." (Zech. 2.7-8)

He loves the child but there is a breech between them, one that only the parties in­volved can resolve. The Church has as much insight into this contro­versy as a stranger, who pass­ing by, sees a father chasten­ing his child and has no perfect understand­ing what is really happening. I look forward with great antici­pa­tion to the day when the contro­versy that God has with the "apple of his eye" comes to its saving con­clu­sion. What a day that will be, I am sure. As the scripture says,

"For if the casting away of them be the reconcil­ing of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" (Rom. 11).

We can only now guess at the full meaning of this scrip­ture. Until then we ought to have compassion on Israel and aid them in their battle against the antichrist spirit and the spirit of a world always ready to persecute them. I believe time will reveal that the born-again, Spirit-filled Christian walks a tight-rope of faith concern­ing the Jews and how to react to their plight. Therefore, I will not support those Jews who betray the calling of the nation Israel by compromising with the spirits of the antichrist and human­ism. For the day is fast ap­proaching, and has even started, when Jews in power will support and uphold the Antichrist in return for peace with the nations of the Gen­tiles. Just as this is now happening we can be sure that the days are rap­idly approaching when the Jews and the Gentiles will conspire together, just as in the days of Christ's first coming, against the plan of God. This time, instead of trying to kill God, the conspira­tors will attempt to depose God and usurp His Lordship by wor­shipping the antichrist as he sits on the throne of God, in God's temple, in God's city. We can be certain this con­spiracy will take place because it is written in the books of the proph­ets, in Daniel, and in Reve­lation. It will be a time of great evil and holo­caust for the Jewish people and for all those who hold fast the testimony of Jesus.

The leaders who guide the world into the con­spir­acy of the antichrist, I will not follow, we should not follow, nor am I re­quired to follow. Isaiah heard and recorded these words over 2500 years ago but the Spirit now speaks them to the Church today:

     "For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,

"Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom, this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

"Sanctify the Lord of hosts him­self; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

"And he shall be for a sanctu­ary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

"And many among them shall stu­mble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken". (Isaiah 8.11-15)


When we start to understand the nature of end-time prophecy it be­comes apparent that the Christian must stand by and, in many ways, be content to watch the drama unfold, to watch the conspira­tors swarm together. But we must also be ready to help the afflicted Jews who refuse to be part of the "confederacy" that was prophe­sied so long ago. In the meantime we should not look down on the Jews or be preju­diced against them, or proclaim the Gentile world as the chosen peo­ples of God. Instead, I will look for the fulfill­ment of prophecy, which includes the salvation of Israel, the judgment of the world, the redemption of the Church and, of course, the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds.







Fellowship: The
Sharing Of Fruit



For many people, fellowship means going to church and listening to a sermon. To others it means gath­ering togeth­er around a table, shar­ing a meal, remembering good times, and looking toward the future with a mix of despera­tion and hope. To Christians, fellow­ship ought to be some­thing deep­er, howev­er, some­thing more purpose­ful and fulfilling, a sharing of mutual benefit which will provide nourishment for the soul. The apostle Paul wrote the Ro­mans exhort­ing them not to be igno­rant about fellowship and told them of the great desire he had to exchange spiri­tual fruit with them.


"For I long to see you that I may impart unto you some spiri­tual gift, to the end you may be established;

"That is, that I may be com­forted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

"Now I would not have you igno­rant, breth­ren, that often times I pur­posed to come to you, (but was let hitherto) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among oth­er Gentiles."  (Romans 1.13)


For centuries Christians more often than not came together igno­rant of true fellowship and its spiritu­al purpose. They came together for every reason but to sharpen their personal relation­ship with Jesus and share the good fruit of God. Many church-goers still believe that any gathering under the Christian ban­ner, for whatever purpose, is fel­low­ship. They believe singing hymns, or receiving communion, or talking over coffee and donuts is fellowship; and in worldly terms that is the sum total of most fellowship.

The com­mon dictionary defines fellowship as camaraderie, but in God's world that defini­tion is far too shallow. A deeper look into the root of the Hebrew word re­veals that sharing is synony­mous with fellowship. Among the called out ones (the Church), fellow­ship means sharing the fruits of God. The exchange of the fruits of the Spirit (or fruits of righ­teousness as it is called in many places in the epis­tles) encourages us in God's Word and helps to make it a reality in our daily lives.


                                    Sharing and Washing

                            Are at The Heart Of Fellow­ship

Any group or place that claims to provide fellowship will make it possible for the individual believer to share the fruits which God has grown in them. Saints will not be required to sit silently like wooden people in a row watch­ing the back of one another's heads while one or two people do all the min­istering and sharing.

Further, any true fellowship will make it possible to test the fruits. Be­lievers will be able to have the dust of the world washed from them by the comfort, encouragement and gentle admonitions of fellow saints. True fellowship will allow a saint to grow according to God's time-table. The fruits of patience and longsuffering will be in evidence so new, or less mature, believers can "catch up" with the older, wiser brethren. Immature brethren seeking deliverance and freedom will be allowed to confess their sins and faults openly in an atmo­sphere of love, there­by having their "feet washed" from the dirt that clings to them through un­avoidable contact with the world. In Christ's name sin will be forgiven. In love and faith, unruly and unlearned believers will be taught, and even re­buked when necessary, to the end that they are delivered from their sins. Body ministry, the type spoken of in I Corin­thians 12, will be em­ployed and prac­ticed in the spirit.

Paul longed to have fellowship with the Romans. To Paul that meant im­parting spiritual gifts to them, encour­aging their faith and sharing spiritual fruit with them. Paul, being wise in the Lord, knew that all of his knowledge, all of his freedom and all of the gifts of the Spirit were useless unless they pro­duced fruits for God's use. He also kn­ew full well that where there is no sign of fruit then all of the fellow­ship, or rather presumed fellowship, in the Church is in vain. If no good fruit is growing in our personal lives we have nothing to share of any val­ue when we come together as believers. Our fellowshipping, no matter how impres­sive the music and the worship, is, in a manner of speak­ing, fruitless.

Jesus taught His disciples to be­ware fancy talk and hypocrisy. He warned them about watching for fruits. He said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. "Ye shall know them by their fruits." Paul gave the Church at Galatia an outline of what God says are good fruits and what are bad fruits.


"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivious­ness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, vari­ance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditio­ns, heresies, envyings, mur­ders, drunk­enness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you be­fore, as I have told you in time past, that they which sow such things shall not inherit the king­dom of God.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek­ness, temper­ance: against such there is no law.

"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit let us walk in the Spirit." (Gal.5.19-25)


Everyone who is honest must admit that at some point during their ­life he or she has been well acquainted with the works of the flesh. The nature of the fruits of the Spirit, on the other hand, is a mystery to the unconverted heart. It is the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit that reveals them to us after we are born again. The list in Galatians is a summary of the fruits, but only a summary. To that list we might add things like honesty, patience, humility, and kind­ness also.


We must learn what the fruits are

Before we can detect them

Learning and detecting the fruits is not something we can treat like Psy­chology 101. They are much more than a list just to be memo­rized. Kno­wing what the fruits are is one thing; know­ing what they really mean and how they affect our lives is another. Worldly ideas about such things as love, joy, peace, etc., are quite different from God's truth about them. We may be very happy that we made a dishonest buck, but is that the joy of the Lord? We might find peace by compromising the truth or someone else's interest, but is that spiritual peace? The grea­test exam­ple is in the greatest fruit of all, love. It has been said, love is never having to say you're sorry. That's garbage. It is not love to allow people to have their own way regardless of their treatment of others, or to simply give them any­thing they want. That's deadly. Nor is love indiscriminate uni­ty, as ecume­nism teaches; look what a unified Ger­many did in World War II. Nor is love to be con­fused with recon­ciling sin to Christ; Christ came to destroy sin. God and sin will never be brought together, never be recon­ciled. Instead, love is a mixture of truth and mercy, as the pair so often ap­pears side by side in Psalms. God's love never ignores the truth, but rejoices in it, and yet it mixes com­passion with truth in a way that works salvation and righteous judg­ment at the same time. God's love is a miracle; it is beyond our highest thoughts. It is Jesus hanging on the cross, the truth about our condition, and God's wonderful mercy com­pressed into one enormous act of love. Love is embodied in a person. Love is Jesus.

Brothers and sisters, it is not enough to know the words or throw around Christian platitudes concerning fruit. The Church must know how to detect them if they are to benefit by the sharing of them. We must not settle for a basket of pretty looking plastic fruit. Do not settle for anything but the real thing. If we are to be nour­ished by the fruits then we must de­tect the real thing first in our own lives and spirit, and then look for them in those around us. We must not be ignorant about the fruits and that true fellowship is about the sharing of those fruits so everyone can be mutually nourished.

Paul wrote to his friend and fel­low soldier in Christ, Timothy, about the realities of fellowship.


"And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniq­uity.

"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishon­or.

"If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

"Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteous­ness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (II Timo­thy 2.19-22).


Fellowshipping among the saints, partaking of the good fruit of God, one with another, is one of the great­est joys of the Church. The God-given purpose for the gifts of the Spirit is to produce fruit for God's use. As the parable of the sower of the seeds shows: some hear God and immediately forget about it; some do God's bidding for a short while but persecution scares them off, some grow but get choked by the cares of the world and never bring fruit to perfection; and some, with pa­tience, slowly, just the same as the fruits of nature grow, bring forth spiri­tual fruit for other saints to be nourished by and comforted. If we have love (and the other fruits) then we will have some­thing to share when we come together with other saints.




The Gifts:

Given by the Spirit


Few things, during the revival of our times, has stirred more contro­versy than the rekin­dling of the spiri­tual gifts. Citing both real and imag­ined abuses, some have preached again­st the gifts of the Spirit; others have dismissed them as emo­tional super­stition; and still others have gone so far as to say they are out and out Satanic. No matter the objections, God desires to give us gifts. First and foremost, will always be the gift of His Son and the work Jesus did on Calva­ry. But close be­hind the gift of the ‘cross’ are the gift of the active presence of the Holy Ghost within us and His spiritual gifts given in order to help and mature the body of Christ. Whatever the abuses (and there have been abuses), or whatever the fine religious argu­ments fashioned to op­pose the free-flow of the gifts in the Church, one thing remains sure in God's Word: We are told not to be ignorant of the gifts. The twelfth chapter of I Corinthians is explicit:


"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you igno­rant... Now there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit.

"And there are differences of the administra­tions, but the same Lord.

"And there are diversities of op­era­tions, but it is the same God which works all in all.

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withall.

"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spir­it;

"To another faith by the same Spir­it; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

"To another the working of mira­cles; to an­other prophecy; to another the discerning of spirits; to another diverse kinds of tongues; to another interpreta­tion of tongues;

"But all these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to ev­ery man severally as he will."


If we refuse the gifts of the Holy Ghost we will remain ignorant, not only in this crucial area, which is meant to help in our walk, but in other areas of our Christian life as well. Throughout the Age of the Church the Chris­tian world has ma­ligned the Jews for rejecting Christ, the one whom God had sent; and at the same time we have been horribly guilty of rejecting the Holy Spirit, the one whom Jesus sent. What sort of hypocrisy do we engage in when we judge the Jews for rejecting Christ and turn around and reject the minis­try of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Ghost is the Comfort­er, the Teacher, the Judge; He is the one sent of Jesus to lead the Church into all truth. Yet we have preferred to lead ourselves. Regardless, Chris­t's words are no less true today than they were the mo­ment He first spoke them to his disci­ples at the Last Sup­per.


"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of him­self; but whatsoever he hears, that shall he speak and he will show you things to come.

"He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." (John 16.12-14)


There can be no question: the single greatest factor in the lifting of the apos­tasy of the Church has been the out­pour­ing of the Holy Ghost on our generation. The gifts are given to help be­liev­ers enter into the resurrected life. The gift of wisdom is given to the Church to help her in situations that are impossi­ble to cope with by hu­man means. The gift of knowledge is given to en­lighten the Church in time of spe­cial need; supernatural faith is given to accomplish the impossible; healin­gs are brought forth to aid salvatio­n's work; miracles are performed to witness to the Gospel; discerning of spirits is given to protect and deliver the Church; and prophecies come forth to edify the believer and give praise to the Lord Jesus. These and other gifts are be­stowed on the Church as the Spirit wills, in the manner the Spirit wills.


                              Do Not Let Abuses Stop You

                                     From Receiving Gifts

Some churches have fallen into the mistake of thinking there is a set pat­tern which the Holy Ghost uses in bringing forth the gifts. There is, how­ever, neither a pat­tern nor a single way in which the gifts are ad­ministered. As the Scrip­tures plainly say there are differ­ences in the way gifts are adminis­tered and a diversity of ways in which they operate (I Cor. 12). But they are not for entertain­ment either. In some places the gifts have been exploited as enter­tain­me­nt, P.T. Barnum style. Some charis­matic groups have wrongly invit­ed people to be bap­tized in the Holy Spirit never consider­ing whether the person has even been born again. Others, prefer­ring power, have for­got­ten their first love - Jesus, and sought the gifts above hearing the voice of God and being obedient to it. Do not, dear brethren, let these abuses deter you from receiving the blessings that the gifts of the Holy Ghost provide. If abuses were an ex­cuse for dis­card­ing the truth then the whole world would only need to cite the abuses perpe­trated by "Ch­ristian­i­ty" in the name of Christ as an ex­cuse for reject­ing Jesus. There are no excus­es for rejecting God's gifts and if we do we will remain ignorant.

In preaching to the Corinthian church, a church that had been abus­ing the gifts, Paul first warned them to do things in order, but still used words like "desire" and "earnestly covet" to teach them to want the gifts. A word to the wise. Often, if not always, the controversy over the gifts settles on the gift of tongues. Relying on their intel­lect, Christians become embarrassed by the gift of tongues; to them the gift of tongues is ab­surd, or fool­ish, or even demonic. Ignorant men say that God gave it to the Church, but doesn't any more, and now only Satan has it and uses it to mock God. If what they say is true then God gave a gift to his Church, took it away, let Satan have control of it, and now allows His Church to be tossed round and round in total confusion­. It is clear from the full context of I Corinthians (especially chapters 12 & 14) that Paul and the Holy Ghost agree: tongues is a purpose­ful and valid gift of the Spirit. Any honest searcher of the Scriptures will come to know that tongues are very closely asso­ciat­ed with the baptism of the Holy Spir­it. It is, in its prayer form and not its pro­phetic form, the con­firma­tion to the believer that he is im­mersed in the Holy Ghost by faith. Paul ended his teach­ing on the gifts and speaking in tongues to the Co­rin­thi­ans with this: "Where­fore, brethren, covet to prophecy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order." (I Cor. 14)


                            How Do the Gifts Come Forth?

   The gifts will be given to us and admin­istered to us by dream, or vi­sion, or a still small voice, but when and how the gifts come forth is often up to the dis­cretion of the vessel receiving them. "The spirit of the prophets are sub­ject to the prophets." (I Cor. 14) This means that the recipient of a gift will have to initiate the operation of the gift. The feeling to bring forth the gift may be so intense that the person feels like they will explode if they do not get it out. Or, it may be just a gentle prod­ding of the Spirit. People often think they have to be put into some kind of spiritual trance before they can bring forth a gift of the Spirit. Not true. Not all times are proper, but when the time is right I have to act by faith and let the gift flow. "Let all things be done decent­ly and in or­der."

What then do the various gifts of the Spirit have in common? If it is not the way they are administered, or how they are given, or in their opera­tion, what, then, makes the gifts true gifts from God? The test of the gifts is not in their glamour or even in their miracu­lous nature. Satan can, and will, perform miracles of his own. The proof of the gifts lies in to whom and to what they testify. The single common thread running through all the gifts of the Spirit is that they edify the Church while they sing the praises of Jesus Christ. If the gifts are not to be abused, then the recipients and the beneficia­ries must test them with all diligence. Dreams, visions, prophecies, and all pro­found words, must be tested. They must conform to the Good News. The operation and adminis­tra­tion of the gifts may vary, but the one thing which will never vary is their Gospel truth. The Holy Spirit praises Christ and never lies or blas­phemes about God in any way.

To have gifts flowing in our church increases our responsibility as believ­ers, for it means added respon­sibili­ty in testing their truth, and that means we must be knowledgeable in all areas of the Gospel, especially where the Holy Spirit has told us to beware and to "not be igno­rant". We must know God's Word in order to hold the gifts up to the proper scrutiny. We cannot rely on a pastor or leader to know God's Word for us. The gifts mean added responsi­bility. We must be able to detect which spirit is speaking, whether it is the good Spirit of God or the wandering, fallen spirits of Satan. And for that we need to be of good understand­ing. We must not be ignorant, breth­ren.




Taking Up

Our Cross



"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trou­ble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, inso­much that we despaired even of life:

"But we had the sentence of death in our­selves, that we shou­ld not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:"

                                                                                                                                                            (2 Corinthians 1.8-9)


Many churches and preachers preach the message of the cross. They preach that Christ left His glo­ry in heaven, shed His blood for us, died on the cross, was buried, and rose again to sit at the Father's right hand, so we, sinful man­kind, could be saved. And we, as Paul did, praise God for anyone and everyone who preaches the Good News. But that is only the begin­ning of the truth about death and life, only the first half of the message of the cross.

Oh! Don't get the wrong impres­sion! Christ did it all on Calvary. There are no other and will be no other sacri­fices needed to redeem man out of the deadly grip of sin. Jesus is the once and for all Lamb of God. He is the begin­ning and the end; the Alpha and Ome­ga; our fa­ther, brother, sister, mother. We must pick up our own cross and fol­low after Him.

Like Paul, we must succumb to the Spirit. We must live in the Spirit and "kill" our flesh. That mystical, but very real, "sentence of death" should be active and working in the life of any true disciple of Christ. Desires and ambitions anchored in this present world should give way to hope in the Gospel and the life that is to come. Hope for a continuing bet­ter world built on the sandy delu­sions of human­ism should be shat­tered to pieces by faith in God's pro­phetic word. Disci­ples who are bur­ied with Christ will also be resurrect­ed into new life, a life of love and power that the world cannot know.

The Bible frankly advises the Church "to not be ignorant" concern­ing the wonderful power of the resur­rected life. By dying to self Paul could honestly say, "For when I am weak then am I strong.", and also, "I can do all things through Christ who strength­ene­th me."  The way to this kind of super­natural strength, un­known entire­ly to the ways of man, is to pick up our own cross and follow Jesus to our very own, personal death.


                                  Everybody wants to go

                       To Heaven but nobody wants to die


This, however, is not a popular stand to take. Getting people excited about healing and mira­cles is much easier and more acceptable by far. Insisting on spiri­tual death is a hard thing, as a gospel song says, "Everybody wants to go to heav­en, but nobody wants to die." Everybody wants the power of Jesus Christ to be active in their life, but very few are willing to give up ev­erything in order to have it be a reality and the prominent force during their entire day. Chris­tians often prefer to wallow in their own excuses for sin while searching for some hidden door that will lead them on some easy, self-gratifying way to spiri­tual perfection. The fulfilling of sac­ra­ments, giving of tithes, going to church, making confes­sion, doing penance, good works, memori­zation of Scripture, and witnessing can all be neat little ways to think we are appeasing God's will; when in reality we are avoiding the nitty-gritty of the cross.

The flesh cannot obtain to the power of Jesus Christ. Paul told the Galatians (a church fallen into the snare of think­ing they could live righ­teous lives by fol­lowing rules and laws), "I am cruci­fied with Christ: nev­erthe­less I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave him­self for me." Paul had crucified his flesh so that the righteous one, Jesus Christ, could live through him.

But what does it mean? How does one die to self? How is one cru­cified?

It is done through prayer and belief. Dying to self means yielding to the Holy Spirit. It means being obedient not just in word but in action. It means seeking the truth rather than our own selves, even to our own hurt. The prophet Micah asked this ques­tion over two millennia ago, "Where­with shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thou­sands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"

And God gives Micah the an­swer...

"He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

If that were the case under the law, how much more does it apply under grace? Infinitely more! But the believer cannot hope to have the fruits of love and justice brought about through a humble walk unless he has died in the spirit. Why else would Jesus have taught things like:


"And he that taketh not his cross, and followe­th after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."...

And this parable:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ex­cept a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour."


Jesus taught about our part of the cross because it is a spiritual necessity for the Christian walk and to ignore it is to walk a fruitless walk. We are told fruitless branches are thrown on the fire because they have no other use. What seems to be a myste­rious and frightening path - because no one wants to die - is actually the true garden path. If we believe by faith that the power of the Holy Spirit can bring about our spir­itual death whereby the deeds of the flesh can be mortified and we can be resurrected into a life of victory; then it will happen for us.

Many Christians through this Age of Grace have lived the follow­ing scrip­ture in such a way that they could testify in truth to its reality. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Only by believing in the power of dying to self does this great passage of the Bible have any substan­tive meaning:


"There is therefore now no con­demnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son ­in the like­ness of sinful flesh, and for sin, con­demned sin in the flesh:

"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spir­it.

"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

"Because the carnal mind is enmi­ty against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteous­ness.

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwel­leth in you.

"Therefore, brethren, we are debt­ors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Rom. 8.1-14)


There is no other way to attain the righteousness of God than through the crucifixion of our own flesh by the spirit. There is no short cut. If you can hear this message, then by faith pray to God that He gives you the grace to die to your plans and your will, so you can live to His. I assure you God will smile on your prayer and will begin engi­neer­ing your glorious demise in His own time, in His own merciful and compas­sionate way.


Fast Approaching:

Judgment Day



The Day of Judgment is coming. Let the mocking movie, the scoff­ing co-worker, the doubtful religious man, and the ambitious politi­cal lead­er con­tinue to walk in darkness; the day of coming judgment is dra­wing nearer as we draw each breath. God has prom­ised that His only Son will return with armies of saints from heav­en to purge the earth of cor­rup­tion, injustice, and sin.

We who know and believe the words of the Bible take to heart this passage which Peter wrote telling fel­low Christians not to be igno­rant.


"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judg­ment and perdi­tion of ungodly men.

"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thou­sand years as one day.

"The Lord is not slack concern­ing his prom­ise, as some men count slack­ness; but is longsuffe­ring to us‑ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3.7-10)


The Holy Ghost has taught The Church in these past 40 years and con­tinues to bear witness in our hearts that the judgment of the world is necessary if God's promise of a righteous rule of Christ on earth is to be fulfilled. If heaven and earth are not purged then the new heaven and new earth prom­ised in the last two chapters of the Bible would have no chance to exist. The Scriptures are explicit, the world is going to be burned up in fiery judg­ment. Revela­tion tells the story. Peter prophesied in His second epistle:


 "... that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

"And saying, Where is the prom­ise of his coming? for since the fa­thers fell asleep, all things con­tinue as they were from the beginning of the cre­ation.

"For this they willingly are igno­rant of, that by the word of God the heav­ens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

"Whereby the world that then was, being over­flowed with water, perished:

"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3.3-7)


The world and its faithful followers believe that their governments, institu­tions and glorious ideas will all last forever. And though there is no recon­cil­ing the Spirit of God with the spir­it of the world, many Christians have fig­ured that God wants to save the "world". But James declares: "... know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Who­soever there­fore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4.4)

And John exhorted the Church in this fashion.

"Love not the world, nei­ther the things that are in the world, if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Fa­ther, but is of the world, and the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that do­eth the will of God abideth forever." (1 John 2.15-17)

 We can be sure that if the world is going to pass away then they who love the things of the world will also pass away.


                                        A fiery judgment

                                   Is coming on the Earth

Christ first came in meekness, low­ly, riding a colt, not a warhorse, and gave Himself into the hands of the world so that some would re­ceive salvation, but that will not be His mission at His second com­ing. He will return with fire in His eyes and a sword of judg­ment in His mouth. An unusual way to ex­press His appear­ance if it were not so spiritually per­fect. Christ will burn every­thing that cannot stand up to the gaze of God and will cut to ribbons any­thing that does not measure up to His word.  The world will melt and tremble at His pres­ence. According to the prophecies written in Revelation, Christ and His saints (all true and faithful believers) will begin a thousand year reign, ruling with a rod of iron.

As the day of God’s terrible judgment draws clos­er and closer; God's warnings echo louder and loud­er. Crime, cor­ruption, sexual perversion, hypocrisy in govern­ment and religion, and lusts of all sort are rampant, false prophets are seducing the Church., lying spirits are working every kind of deceit inside and outside the confines of believers. Not even judgment like AIDS, war, or financial ruin can con­vince people to do the right thing. The cup of iniquity is filling and the signs of the time are shining bright­er and bright­er in every news­pa­per head­line and on every 7 o'clock news bro­ad­cast. As prophe­sied in I & II Timo­thy, seducing spir­its are sell­ing the doc­trines of devils. Sin is said to be good; doing your own thing is righ­teous - indeed we live in the peril­ous times of the last days. Everything points to the soon re­turn of Jesus.

Two thousand years, or just two days on the Lord's heavenly cal­en­dar, have passed since Jesus departed to be with the Father and it is very, very likely that Je­sus will reappear on the dawn of the "third day", just as he reap­peared on the dawn of the third day after His crucifix­ion. To escape the judg­ment that is coming upon all the earth, mem­bers of the Body of Christ must be willing and ready to receive judg­ment now, in their personal lives and in their hearts, as well.

There is no escape from God's judgment, neither should there be. Sac­raments, tithing, good wo­rks; none of these can deliver us from our ulti­mate destiny. We must all face our maker. Either we can sub­mit to His merciful and deliv­ering judg­ment and let it pro­duce love and free­dom in us, or we can stub­born­ly hold out and fall vic­tim to His terri­ble judg­ment. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God­.", as it says in Hebrews. Instead we are taught by the Bible that, "if we judge ourselves we shall not be judged, but when we are chas­tened we are chas­tened of the Lord that we should not be judged with the world." (I Cor. 11.3­1,32)

Many aspects of our walk in­volve a process of being deliv­ered from evil into goodness, of being brought from darkness into light; departing and fleeing and being changed into His likeness. If those things are to happen to us we must invite the judg­ment of the Holy Ghost. His judg­ment must win out over ours. Without ac­cepting God's judgment in our walk we will remain in the world no matter how godly or pious we appear to be.


"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy con­versation and godliness,

"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wher­ein the heavens being on fire shall be dis­solved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwel­leth righteous­ness.

"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." (2 Peter 3.11-14)


This is the only way to be spared the fiery judgment coming on the earth. If we live spotless and blame­less lives for Christ, a spiritual per­fection before Christ, then we can look forward to the judgment of the world and the second coming. We can hope in the rapture, which will likely come before the great tribulation that is to come on all the world ac­cording to Revelation. (Rev. 3.10) To use the words of Peter, we can make our calling and election sure. (2 Peter 1.10) This perfection spoken of is not a carnal or intellectual perfection. It does not mean we will never make a wrong judgment or a mistake. It is a perfection achieved by obedience of faith. It can be detected by the faith­ful eyes of other disci­ples of Christ because the fruit of our actions is the evidence of our obe­di­ence. Our per­fection hinges entirely on hearing the Word of God and doing it. It is important here to realize, how­ever, that God does not want us to fear His judgment; in fact He wants us to invite it. Beautifully, this passage of Peter's which exhorts us to not be igno­rant, this pillar of kno­wledge in the Church, is the only one of the seven pillars which is ad­dress­ed to the "be­loved" instead of simply, the "breth­ren". Being addressed to the beloved reas­sures the faithful that God's love is with them always - even in judgment. For it is for our sakes that the world will be judged.




The Rapture

The Bride Waits:



     "But I would not have you to be ignorant, breth­ren, concern­ing them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

"For the Lord himself shall de­scend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archan­gel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

"Then we which are alive [and] re­main shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

"Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thess. 4.13-18)


Comfort one another with these words. How often are we comforted with the words of the rapture in our fellowship? The resurrection, whether of the dead or living, is the hope of the Church. It is the reward of our labor of faith and without a living faith for the rapture, without the constant nour­ishment it provides for our souls, we will suffer from spiritual malnutrition. The resurrec­tion is the glorious mo­ment in the battle of our salvation. If the goal - if the end of our discipline and trials - be­comes vague and ob­scure, then our whole walk can be­come muddled.

Ignorance in these last hours of the Church Age can and will make us a lazy, sleeping, carnal body of mis­di­rected believers. Histori­cally, the Church has been so busy buil­ding a kingdom here on earth, or meddling in the politics of the nations that it has had little interest in the "vague and dis­tant fables" about the rap­ture. But a new day has dawned in the Church. The Holy Ghost has re­newed a spirit of faith about the resur­rection of the liv­ing and given her faith for God's promise that He will lift all faith­ful be­lievers out of im­pending world tribu­la­tion. The Church has been in­formed by the Spirit that the time for the rap­ture looms closer and closer with each tick of the clock.

The revival of the '60's and 70's opened every denomin­ation's eyes to the signs of the time. Now, one ful­filled pro­phecy is following fast on the heals of another. Pro­phetic schol­ars all agree; the signs of the end-time are appearing and flashing like huge neon signs on the horizon of time, cha­ng­ing color and graphics as each prop­he­cy is newly fulfilled.


                                  Signs of Christ’s Return

    Jesus told His disciples to behold the fig tree, and all the trees, that when they be­gin to bud it would be time to look up, for our redemption would be drawing near. The fig tree represents Israel, the other trees represent the nations of the world. It is not a coin­cidence that just after Israel, once again, budded into a nation in 1948 after more than 2,000 years of lying dormant, that many of the an­cient bibli­cal powers also returned as forc­es on the world scene. Egypt, Iraq (Baby­lon), Iran (Persia), Syria, Libya and Ethio­pia have all, for various rea­sons, re­claimed important posi­tions in the affairs of the nations of the world, and all within the last two decades. These countries which were all but laughed at in elementa­ry ge­ography books a generation ago, are now forces to be reckoned with, and it is a miracle.

Another beacon blinking on and off almost every day is the warning given by Jesus on the Mount of Ol­ives. Jesus promised that the end would be preceded by wars and ru­mors of wars and earthquakes in diverse places. Hardly a news day goes by when one of those things cannot be reported. On the day of this writing war was being ru­mored in Bosnia, and two violent earth­quakes, killing hundreds of peo­ple, hit along the Pacific rim. Post-colonial Africa has been the scene of millions of murders and deaths with constant tumults and unceasing commotions, rebellions, coupes and genocides.

Along with these signs shine the brilliantly bright prophecies of Dani­el serving as a tremendous warning of the near­ness of the rapture. Daniel was told that the meaning of his proph­ecies would be hidden away until the time of the end when travel and knowl­edge would be vastly increased. To­day we can under­stand Daniel's pro­phecies in the light of history and current events. Our understand­ing of Daniel is partly due to the fact that we live in a world that has in­creased its knowl­edge a million-fold in this cen­tury alone. We live in a "global village" shrunken to miniature size by TV, computers, jets, satellites and auto­mobiles. The Book of Dan­iel is, in and of itself, a sign of the end-times and the impend­ing rap­ture. Every Christian who reads and understands the book of Dan­iel will be bless­ed by having their faith for Christ's re­turn bolstered.

The New Testament's forewarning of the believer about the spiritual condition of people in the last days is yet an­other sign. Ask your­self if the follow­ing pas­sage of Scripture does not describe an all too familiar world.


"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selv­es, covetous, boasters, proud, blas­phem­ers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accus­ers, inconti­nent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2 Tim. 3.1-5)


A good and accurate description of the workplace and society in gen­er­al, don't you think? Other signs of the end include the formation of the Euro­pean Community (which is headed toward a powerful and uni­fied Eu­rope), the rise of ecumenism in reli­gion, the taking of Jerusalem by the Jews in 1967, and the out­pouring of the Holy Spirit in accor­dance with the prophecy of Joel con­cerning the former and lat­ter day rain.


                         Exact Hour of Rapture not known

It is clear; Christ is getting ready to receive his bride. The exact hour of the rapture is a secret known only to the Father Himself, but the words of Jesus tell us that we can know the general time and season by discern­ing the signs of the day. He gave us signs to look for and warned us to be ready and watch­ing, lest that day come on us like a thief.

Ask yourself this. If we could not know the time why else would Christ have scolded the religious lead­ers of Israel for know­ing how to read the signs in the skies so they could deter­mine the coming we­ather while they ignored the spiritual signs of their day that foretold of Jesus' first com­ing?


He said, "When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

"And in the morning, It will be foul weather today the sky is red and lowri­ng. O ye hypocrites, ye can dis­cern the face of the sky; but can ye not dis­cern the signs of the times?

"A wicked and adulterous gener­a­tion seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them and departed."(Matt. 16.2-4)


The sign of Jonah referred to is, of course, the sign of the resurrec­tion. As Jonas had been in the belly of the whale for three days, so Jesus was in the belly of Hell three days before he rose aga­in. The sign of the second coming will also be the resur­rection, this time it will be the first-­fruits rap­ture of the Church, those who are dead in Christ and those who remain alive (and have been faith­ful­ly watching for and listen­ing for Chri­st's calling) will be taken out of the "belly" of a coming "Hell­". Jesus refused to put on a super­nat­ural circus for the faithless lead­ers of that day and our day will be no differ­ent. Jesus will not send lights flashing in the skies, or com­ets racing through space spelling out his name to herald the coming of the rapture. The signs of the rapture will be, and have been, prophe­cy being ful­filled. The sign of His second coming with ten thousands of His saints will be the rapture. The warn­ing is al­ready giv­en. The rapture (itself a sign of the end) will come in a twin­kling of an eye and it will proclaim the soon return of Jesus to earth with his fait­hful saints.

Christ's beloved bride will be faith­ful while she awaits His call. She will be a spiritual vir­gin keeping herself clean from idolatry and forni­cation while making herself pure with the hope of His calling. She is striv­ing for what the apostle Paul called "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus"; a calling so great he counted ev­erything else as dung.

Get ready then, and as Jesus advised, pray that you be ac­counted worthy that you escape all the evils that are coming on the world so you can be found standing before the Son of Man in glory.










If you believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God then you will be more than interested in the seven passages of scripture discussed in this book. Seven times in the New Testament the phrase "I would not have you to be ignorant" is used to exhort the believer about certain basic points of Christian doctrine. Lost to the world for centuries, these seven "pillars of knowledge" are widely known today and even sometimes practiced among churches and fellowships around the world.
In this book each of the seven pillars are discussed in simple direct terms without theological debate or questioning. God's Word has specifically warned the Church not to be ignorant in these areas and that alone ought to be sufficient reason for the Bible believing Christian to take heed to the subject of this book.













1. The True Nature
      of Salvation

2. The Jews: God's      Chosen People

3. Fellowship: The      Sharing of Fruit

4. Gifts of the Spirit

5. Our Cross:
     Dying to Self

6. Judgment of the      World

7. Rapture of the














"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

    "And were all baptized unto Mo­ses in the cloud and in the sea;

"And did all eat the same spiritu­al meat;

"And did all drink the same spiri­tu­al drink: for they drank of that spiritu­al Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

"But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were over­thrown in the wilder­ness." (I Cor. 10.1-5)


In the book of Hebrews chapter 10 we are informed if a person sins (lives unrepentantly in sin) after being saved then what hope is there for that person.

"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."




1 JOHN 3:

1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

11For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.


Hebrews 6, verses 1-3, tell on the one hand of a perfection to strive for, verses 4-6, on the other hand, tell of the terrible falling away that can happen to believerswho having tasted of the good things of God desert Him.

1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3And this will we do, if God permit.
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.










"For I would not, breth­ren, that ye should be ignorant of this mys­tery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blind­ness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gen­tiles be come in.

"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliver­er, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

"For this is my covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins.

"As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes but as touching the election, they are the beloved for the fathers' sakes." (Ro­mans 11.25)


Jeremiah chapter 30 prophesied of Israel's return and salvation in the "latter days":

17For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.
18Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.
19And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
20Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.
21And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD.
22And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
23Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.
24The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done [it], and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.

Amos 9:14&15 prophesies:
And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God."


Zephiniah chapter 3 tells of the glorious establishment of the Messianic Kingdom after the battle of Armageddon:

8Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
9For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.
10From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
11In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
12I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.
13The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
14Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
15The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
16In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
17The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
18I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
19Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
20At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.

















There is no such thing as a blanket of 'judge not lest ye be judged' to be thrown over the discernment of whom we should fellowship with. In fact, we must judge who and what we fellowship with.
     Paul told the Corinthians; "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."