Stand up ye prophets of the Lord, for the truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3]; quench not your prophecy, neither heed them that despise it [1 Th 19f]; but in that stand which brings you through to the end [Mat 10:22?]. Heed not the eyes of the world, ye prophets of the Lord, but answer that in them all, which they have closed their eye [Mat 13:15, Act 28:27] to; that ye may to them tell of things to come, answering that of God in them that shall remain. Keep ye in your habitations [Jude 1:6], ye sons of God, that over all the contrary ye may reign. And ye daughters, to whom it is given to prophesy [Joel 2:28], keep within your own measure [2 Cor 10:13f], seeing over that which is without, answering that of God in all [Col 4:6/Rom 1:19]. And despise not the prophecy [1 Th 5:20], keep down that nature that would, which is the same as that is which acts contrary to that of God in them. Neither be lifted up in your openings and prophecies, lest ye depart from that which opened, and so come by the son of God to be judged, and bidden to depart as workers of iniquity [Psa 6:8, Luke 13:27]; for a worker of iniquity is gone from that which leads to the son of God, who is the end of the prophets.
Quench not the spirit [1 Th 5:19], by which ye may prove all things, and that which is good hold fast [1 Th 5:21]; for if the spirit be quenched, then light is put for darkness, and darkness for light, and evil is put for good, and good for evil [Isa 5:20]. This is when the spirit is quenched, then cannot ye try all things, then cannot ye hold fast that which is good. For then ye cannot see good, when the spirit is quenched; but when the spirit is not quenched, then with the spirit ye may see the good, to take the good, and the evil to shun. And this brings to put a difference between the precious and the vile [Jer 15:19], the profane and the holy, the clean and the unclean [Lev 10:10]; the spirit is it that proves all things.
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Friends,—Take your heavenly censers, and offer up your spiritual prayers to the Almighty God [Rev 8:3], and having heavenly fire in your censers, it will consume all false offerings and sacrifices, which are offered in the evil nature. [Num 16; possbly also 1 Ki 18:21-38, conflated with 2 Ki 1:10-14]
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Dear Friends, prize your heavenly calling [Heb 3:1], by which ye are called into holiness and righteousness, without which no one shall see the Lord [Heb 12:14]. And let your conversation be, as becometh the gospel [Phil 1:27], the holy power of God [Rom 1:16], which is the gospel of Christ, the holy one, who suffered by the unholy ones. And keep in the lowly mind, and the humility of Christ, that the fruits of your good conversation, and translation [Col 1:13], and <44> regeneration in your lives may appear, as a people redeemed from the pleasures of the flesh, and the spirit of the world [1 Cor 2:12], and the beggarly [Gal 4:9] lusts; and that ye may obtain the promise of the eternal God, and the power of the truth, through the word in the heart [Deut 30:14], the hidden man [1 Pet 3:4], that ye may obtain victory over that which wars against your souls [1 Pet 2:11]; through which ye may be arrayed and adorned, and by that ye may be preserved and kept from that which is not of the Father, (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life [1 Jn 2:16],) in the simplicity and innocency of Christ Jesus, (over all the subtilty [2 Cor 11:3] and feigned deceit,) through which ye may esteem nothing in comparison of that which is of God [Rom 1:19], and him above all, through Christ the light, the truth, the power of God manifested in you. And keep out of all false liberties [2 Pet 2:19], and that which would lead you out of the fear of God; and in that ye will be preserved in the sense of the power and the truth of God in your own hearts. In that every one watch, through which knowledge and virtue is ministered unto you, and peace from the God of virtue and peace. And keep out of all that which tends to strife, and whisperings, and backbitings, and tattlings, which draws from the witness, watch, and fear of God within, which leavens into the fleshly lusts and nature [1 Cor 5:8]; and then that judges, and yet is in the same thing for which he judges others; which nature and judgment, are for judgment and condemnation [Mat 7:1-3]. So be wise, and keep your first love; break not wedlock with the Lord Jesus Christ; keep your first habitation [Jude 1:6], keep your garments clean, for such as so do, they are blessed; that ye may shine as lights to the world [Mat 5:14,16], and be examples in virtue, righteousness, and holiness, walking in the truth in all patience and quietness, looking at the Lord, your strength, and Christ Jesus, the conqueror, and beyond all the hills and mountains; that ye may be a good savour to the Lord [2 Cor 2:15], having salt in your selves [Mark 9:50]. Let your lamps be burning, and your lights shining, and then ye will see over all the unsavouriness that is in Adam's family in the fall, who live in Christ, the power of God [1 Cor 1:24], that never fell [1 Pet 2:22], and keep marriage with him the Holy One, the Just One [Acts 314], the light, the truth, and power of God, who makes an end of all unholiness [Dan 9:24?]. And so, walk in the righteousness, that your feet may be kept in the way of peace [Luke 1:79]. And keep your tongues, and hands, and bodies, and lips, and minds, and words out of all that, which would defile and corrupt you, and bring you under the indignation and wrath of God, and his hand to be turned against you. So, keep in the fear of God, and keep in his truth which ye at first received, for truth never changes [Heb 13:8?]. And walk in the spirit, and then the lusts of the flesh will not be fulfilled [Gal 5:16], and then strife is kept out, that which would be high and get up, through which come strife and wars [James 4:1]. So keep your fellowship in the spirit, in which is the unity and bond of peace [Eph 4:3], and the fruits of the <45> spirit will appear, righteousness, holiness, goodness, peace, soberness and gentleness, [Gal 5:22f] chastity and virtue, through which ye may have fruit to feed the hungry, and to relieve the sick and poor. For the unfruitful walk not in the spirit, and so bear not fruit; and so the curse comes, and briars [Heb 6:8], and misery. So, eye the Lord God in all things in the spirit, who is a spirit; in that ye may distinguish his things, and the things that are of your selves, and what is of men, and what is of God, and what to keep alive, and what must die. So be obedient to the spirit, and to the good power of God, that hath quickened you; and live in it, that ye may die no more, for that gives you life. For they that are made alive, and come to die again, and to be twice dead, and then come to be plucked up by the roots [Jude 1:12]; such lie dead upon the earth, and corrupt it. So, let not the world, let not things visible draw your minds away from the Lord. Do not mind the body more than the Lord; do not forsake the Lord; but be of good faith in the truth of God, and live in it, then ye live in Christ Jesus, who is your way [John 14:6], who is your teacher, who is your prophet, who is your priest, who is the bishop of your immortal souls [1 Pet 2:25], Christ that never fell [[1 Pet 2:22], nor never changed, nor never will change [Heb 13:8]. And here ye come into the seed, the top stone, that is atop of the world set, and before the world was, who will remain when the world is gone; who was full of grace, and truth [John 1:14], and virtue, and life, by whom grace comes, that brings salvation [Tit 2:11], who is every one of your teacher in yourselves. So, know Christ the head and salvation, in which there is peace, and no condemnation; for the condemnation is upon them, that are out of the light. And so, live in unity in the light, before darkness and enmity was, in which ye have peace, and love to God, to Christ, and to one another.
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Friends,—All are to receive your spiritual bread and water from the Father of life, by which ye may be strengthened and watered from the Father of life, in your passing and travelling on in your spiritual journey heartily and comfortably; that ye may come to your heavenly rest, being come and coming out of the great city of Sodom [Rev 11:8], towards the city of heavenly Jerusalem [Heb 12:22], where ye shall abide eternally for ever.
Reason not with flesh and blood [Gal 1:16], that shall never enter; take not counsel of that which draws thee nearer to carnal things, and draws thee to consult with carnal reason [Rom 8:6f], and so draws thy eye and mind to visible things, and so brings thee to wander from going on thy journey; and if thou followest that, thou goest to death, hell, and destruction, and <46> to the pit and the snare, and that gets dominion over thee, and comes to rule over thee, which ought not. But every one wait in the pure spirit to guide you to God, then ye shall see the promise of God fulfilled in you, and the springs of life opened to you, and refreshment daily coming in from the Lord; and then ye will come to walk with the Lord, forsaking all, father, mother, wife, and children, lands, livings, and all. [Mat 19:29] Here is joining to the Lord, as one spirit; and he that doth not forsake all, is not worthy of him [Mat 10:37, Luke 14:33]. All who are in the first birth, and all who reason with flesh and blood, stand here, and are for persecuting them who are born of the spirit Gal 4:29], that are passing out of this city, towards the city whose foundation and builder is God [Heb 11:10]. For in that city the righteous ones are slain, by them who are of Cain's generation [1 Jn 3:12]. All ye, who are got up into his steps, professing Christ and to be ministers of Christ, who stand in the envy, and have ‘the chiefest place in the assemblies, and are called of men master,’ [Mat 23:6f] which Christ forbids! lie down all for shame [Jer 3:25], who are in pride and oppression, and in the steps and places of the Pharisees, and have got a form of the words which the apostles said, and which Christ said, and have got it in three or four languages; the Lord hath discovered you now; the Lord God Almighty hath discovered you by his prophets and servants. All honour, and glory, and thanks be to him for ever, who now is come to rule alone in his saints. Rejoice, O all ye prophets and righteous ones! The beast, which made war with the lamb and the saints, the lamb hath got the victory over the beast, and the ten horns [Rev 17:12-14, Dan 7:19 -22], which pushed at him. Powerful Father and eternal God, to thee alone be all glory, honour, and thanks for ever. . . .
Now all ye teachers, and hearers that hold you up, I witness against you, that ye may be witnesses against yourselves [Mat 23:31], and that ye witness yourselves to be in Cain's generation, and in the generation of the false prophets, and antichrists, and seducers, (who have the form of godliness, but deny the power, [2 Tim 3:5]) and in the generation of them that ever slew the righteous seed [Mat 23:31-35], as it will appear.
Now all people, take notice! who are they, that bear rule by their means [Jer 5:31]? Who are the hirelings [John 10:12f] now, that the scriptures speak of? Who seek for their gain from their quarters [Isa 56:11] now ? Who feed themselves with the fat now? Who seek for the fleece, and clothe themselves with the wool now [Ezek 34:3, Mat 7:15], and so make a prey [Ezek 34:8] of the people? Where are the hirelings now? The priests preach for hire, and the prophets prophesy for money [Mic 3:11]. Who sue men at the law [Mat 5:40] now, which Christ spake against; which the apostle speaks against [1 Cor 6:7], who was a minister of the living truth which testifies against all such practices? Who go in the way of Balaam now for gifts and rewards? [2 Pet 2:15, Jude 1:11] Where are the covetous teachers now [Mic 3:11]? Who are called of men master now? Who love the chiefest places of the assemblies now? [Mat 23:6f] Who go in long robes now? Who stand praying in the synagogues now, [Luke 20:46f] and speak a divination of their <47> own brain, which the wo was pronounced against by Christ Jesus, (the substance of all the prophecies,) who cried wo against all such Pharisees and false prophets? Who hale out of the synagogues now? Who stone and stock, prison and beat now, and hale before magistrates? . . . Where any prophet comes to cry against any of you, ye seek to imprison him, or to destroy him, which Abel did not, (as ye may read,) but Cain, who was the first birth, whose sacrifice God had no respect to [Gen 4:5]; no more hath God to your customary will-worships [Col 2:23], praying and prayers, than to Cain's. For Cain's generation was and is the same that ever it was, and is not of the generation of the righteous. And except ye all be born again, ye cannot inherit the kingdom of God [John 3:3]. So, here be ye witnesses against yourselves, that ye are in the generation of Cain, which ever slew the righteous seed [Mat 23:31-35]; and in the generation of all the false prophets. Put it not far from you, as they did who put Christ to death. If thou hadst lived at that day, (thou mayst say,) thou wouldst not have put Christ to death. But thou shalt see the same nature in thee now, as was then. For now is the son of God come; and ye are of the same generation that they were, seeking to put him to death where he is manifest.
But the eternal, glorious God of heaven and earth, the same as ever he was, is manifesting himself in his sons and daughters, who are called out of that generation and worship. For he said, ‘Come out from among them, be ye separate, touch no unclean thing, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters;’ [2 Cor 6:17f] and this we witness, and this is fulfilled. The generation of the wicked we know, and the generation of the faithful we know; here is a separation between the precious and the vile [Jer 15:19], between the holy and the profane [Lev 10:10]. So all people, weigh and see, in what generation ye are! The generation of the righteous shall shine; the generation of the wicked are for the fire prepared, and to be turned into hell. Ye are the stubble; ye that are proud, are for the fire [Mal 4:1]; ye that are wicked, ye are chaff that the wind drives to and fro [Psa 1:4]; ye that are scorners, are turned from God: ye that are heathenish, know not God; and all that are heathen, <48> know not God [1Th4:5]; the Lord will render vengeance in flames of fire upon you [2Th 1:8]. The mighty day of the Lord is coming, that shall burn as an oven. The fire is kindling in the earth, which shall burn up all, root and branch, head and tail [Mal 4:1]; the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. The Lord God of power will reign. O happy day! praises! praises! Praise ye the Lord, ye righteous ones; sing praises to the Lord God Almighty for ever!
All ye liars and dissemblers ye must never inherit the holy city [Rev 21:7f] in that state. And all ye, who commit sin, and live in sin, know not God; and who are disobedient, and hold the truth in unrighteousness, the wrath of God abides upon you. All ye, that work iniquity, (and live and die in that,) are to depart from God, as cursed, to everlasting punishment; (where then will ye find him, that ye talk of with your mouths, and call your saviour? Ye that live in your vain, wicked, profane ways, and take him to be your cloak, and say, ye are redeemed by him, and live in your wickedness,) ‘Go, ye cursed,’ he will say, ‘I know you not [Luke 13:27; Mat 25:41] Plagues, wo, and misery will be poured upon you all. Let every one that nameth the name of the Lord, depart from iniquity [2Tim 2:19]. None can call him Lord, but by the holy ghost [1 Cor 12:3]; and where the holy ghost is come, there he is Lord and king. This is witnessed in all his saints, where he is so; but in Cain's generation it is not, but these persecute it. But he is risen and come in his saints, who is Lord and king, who will reign over all the world, and bear the government upon his shoulders [Isa 9:6]. For the Lord is king in his saints, he guards them, and guides them with his mighty power, and doth preserve his seed and children from the seed of evil doers, in his kingdom of glory and eternal rest, where they find joy, and peace, and rest eternal. All glory and praise be to the Lord God Almighty for ever!
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[XXXIX. (39) — To Friends in the North.]
Friends,—To you all this exhortation is from the word of the Lord: Dwell in the life, that with it ye may see the Father of life. And dwell in the light, with which light the world is condemned; which which light comprehends the world's wisdom; which light comprehends the world and their knowledge, and all the deceivers, which are entered into the world, (who are turned from the light,) with which light they are condemned, that is, the world, who hate the light, because their deeds are evil, and they will not bring their deeds to the light, because the light will reprove them, they hating it, and you that live in it [John 3:19f, John 15:18]. And all the deceivers, and all the antichrists [2 Jn 1:7], they are such as are turned from the light, which oppose Christ. To you all, my brethren, who dwell in the light, which is the condemnation of the world, and of all the deceivers, who are turned from the light; it is not possible, that those deceivers should deceive you, who are the elect [Mat 24:24], who dwell in the light, which comprehends the world. I do charge you all in the presence of the living God, to ‘dwell in what ye speak and profess; and none to profess, what he doth not dwell in; and none to profess, what he is not; a sayer, and not a doer [Jas 1:22]; such beget vain talkers [Tit 1:10]. So, with the light all such are to be condemned from the life. ... <50> ....
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To all Friends every where, scattered abroad: in the light dwell which comes from Christ, that with it ye may see Christ your saviour; that ye may grow up in him. For they who are in him, are new creatures; and ‘old things are passed away, and all things are become new.’ [2 Cor 5:17] And who are in him, are led by the spirit [Rom 8:14], to them there is no condemnation; but they dwell in that which doth condemn the world, and with the light see the deceivers, and the antichrists [2 Jn 1:7], which are entered into the world. And such teachers as bear rule by their means [Jer 5:31]; and such as seek for the fleece, and make a prey upon the people [Ezek 34:8], and are hirelings (John 10:12f], and such as go in the way of Cain, and run greedily after the error of Balaam [Jude 1:11]; and such as are called of men master, and stand praying in the synagogues, and have the chief seats in the assemblies [Mat 23:6f], all which are in the world, who by those that dwelt in the light, were cried against; for it did them condemn, and all such as speak a divination of their own brain [Jer 14:14], and are filthy dreamers [Jude 1:8], who use their tongues [Jer 23:31], and steal the words from their neighbours [Jer 23:30]; with the light, the world and all these aforesaid are comprehended, and all that is in it; and all <51> they that hate it, and all the antichrists that oppose it, and all the false prophets and deceivers [Mat 24:11], that are turned from it, with the light are comprehended, and with the light are condemned, and all that are turned from it and hate it.
‘I am the light of the world, [John 8:12]’ saith Christ, and he doth enlighten every one that cometh into the world [John 1:9]; and he that loves the light, and walks in the light, receives the light of life: and the other, he hates the light, because his deeds are evil, and the light doth reprove him. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world [John 3:19f], in which light, they that love it, walk; which is the condemnation of him that hates it. And all the antichrists, and all the false prophets, and all the deceivers, the beast, and the well-favoured harlot [Nahum 3:4] , all these are seen with the light to be in that nature, acting contrary to the light; and with the light are they comprehended, and by the light condemned....
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To all my dear brethren, the flock of God every where; keep together in the power up to God, and none be discouraged or disheartened <52> at the enemies without, which are without God in the world; but be bold all in the power of truth, triumphing over the world. Hold your freedom, and keep and stand fast in it [Gal 5:1], that ye may be armed with wisdom, and furnished against your enemies, who are wiser in their generation than the children of light [Luke 16:8]. But the wisdom of the Most High is spreading, and making itself manifest in your hearts, by which ye may comprehend the world's wisdom, the world's worship and knowledge. And waiting in that which is pure, it will lead you into that which was before the world was, before the false worship was, before the seducers were, before the antichrist was, and before the outward temple was, and false prophet and hirelings: and here ye will comprehend the world, and what is done in the world. Therefore every one keep your habitation [Jude 1:6], abide the trial, and abide the day [Mal 3:2], and stand fast in your freedom, so far as Christ hath made you free; [Gal 5:1] free from man's will and commandments, which imbondageth; free from the fashions and lusts of the world, the fleshly will, which bondageth and burdens the pure. And to you that cannot witness this, wait, and mind the pure, and then the burden will be easy [Mat 11:30] ; and wait for redemption and salvation, to make it so [Lam 3:26f?]. And your strength is, to stand still [Isa 30:7], that ye may receive refreshings; that ye may know, how to wait, and how to walk before God, by the spirit of God within you. So God Almighty be with you, and keep you up to himself under his own dominion, from under the dominion of satan, that ye may trample him under your feet.
And Friends every where, meet together, treading and trampling all the deceit under your feet; and watch over one another in that which is eternal, and see every one, that your words be from the eternal life. Examine and search with that which is eternal, which speaks to that which is in prison in others [1 Pet 3:19]. And ye that are led forth to exhort, or to reprove, do it with all diligence [2 Tim 4:2], taking all opportunities, reproving that which devours the creation, and thereby destroys the very human reason. For the truth doth preserve every thing in its place. And all meet together every where, and in your meetings wait upon the Lord; and take heed of forming words, but mind the power, and know that which is eternal, which will keep you all in unity, walking in the spirit, and will let you see the ‘Lord near you, and amongst you.’ So, God Almighty be with you, and multiply you, and give you the dew of heaven [Gen 27:28], the heavenly dew, the living mercies, (which nourisheth the tender plants, which causeth them to grow, bud, and bring forth,) and water you with his blessings [Ezek 34:26]. So, the Lord God of power be with you all, my dear hearts! I am with you in the spirit, and in the love of your God, your Father and mine. The Lord God prosper, guide, and protect you, and bring you all into his kingdom of glory, you who are <53> elected, called, chosen and faithful [Rev 17:14], who are the lambs. God Almighty bless you, and keep you all, my dear hearts! The love of God is love past knowledge, which bears all things, endures all things, hopes all things, envieth not, thinketh no evil [1 Cor 13:5,7]. And the love of God is the ground of all true love in your hearts, which casts out the love of the world, and the enmity, which was begotten betwixt you and God [James 4:4]. ‘He that believes, is born of God [1 Jn 5:1]; and he that is born of God, overcomes the world [1 Jn 5:4].’ So, fare ye all well, and God Almighty bless and prosper you.
And all ye Friends, that wait in that which is pure in itself, which cannot lie [Tit 1:2], which doth not change, wait upon God, for God doth not change, and let all flesh be silent before the Lord [Zech 2:13], that the life may speak in all; then the mouth of the Lord is known, and God is exalted and glorified with his own work, which he brings forth. And meet together therein every where, and mind that which gathers you, and wait on that which is pure, which gathers you out of the world's nature, disposition, conversation, churches, forms, and customs, which will knit your hearts together up to God [Col 2:2]. That which gathers you out of all these, is the spirit of the Lord, which will gather you up to him, who is the Father of spirits [Heb 12:9]; that ye may be able to judge, and discern, and confound all the deceit in the world, and grow up to be as kings, and suffer nothing to reign in you but what is in the life eternal. And beware of speaking in the presence of the Lord, except your words be from the eternal life, the eternal word of God, else it doth not profit, nor build up, nor edify. So, God Almighty be with you all in your meetings, that ye may see him to be your head, king, and Lord over all. To you all, who are enlightened with the light of the spirit, that is the light which shows you sin and evil, and your evil deeds and actings, and the deceit and false-heartedness; it will teach you holiness, walking in it, and bring you into unity; and it will draw your minds up to God, and in it ye will see more light. But hating the light, there is your condemnation.
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All Friends, wait upon the unlimited power and spirit of the Lord, which baptizes into one body [1 Cor 12:13]: where ye will have all unity in that which crucifies the flesh [Gal 5:24], and mortifies all evil desires [Col 3:5], and puts off the body of sin, the old man with his deeds [Rom 6:6, Col 3:9], and circumcises without hands [Col 2:11], and joins together your hearts up to God [Col 2:2], from whence the living mercies come, from the living God alone, who is God over all, blessed for ever. To that in every one of your consciences [Rom 2:15] do I appeal and <54> speak, to the measure that God hath given, the light; loving it, and taking heed to it, and waiting in it for power from God, it will guide you to the Father of light, in which ye will have all unity; and hating the light it will be your condemnation. [John 3:19f] Oh! wait, wait upon the living God to nourish the tender plant in you, that ye may bring forth fruits of righteousness unto God, for he accepts such, and none else. Therefore wait upon God, he hath a pure seed among you. Let your waiting be in the light; and mind that he is a wise man whose eye is in his head [Eccl 2:14], which is Christ, the end of all priests [Heb 7], the end of the outward temple: and the fool's eye is abroad [Prov 17:24], after many priests, and they are led away with conceivings, and divers temptations. Therefore in the light wait, where ye will see all deceits within and without. For it is a sin to enter into temptations; but it is no sin to be tempted. Christ was tempted, but he entered not into the temptation. Therefore in the fear of the Lord wait and watch. The light is that, which lets thee see sin, and evil, and temptations; which if thou enter into, the light will be thy condemnation; then thy heart will not be right towards God [Acts 8:21]. But in the light of God all wait, which will bring you to see where wisdom's gate [Prov 1:20f] is; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of it [Psa 111:10]. Pure wisdom [James 3:17] is let out of the treasury into the pure heart, which sees God [Mat 5:8]; and fearing the living God, it keeps the heart pure and clean, to receive the wisdom from the treasury freely, who doth not upbraid. [James 1:5] And as ye depart from evil and iniquity, he breaks the bonds by showing mercy; and then the understanding grows pure and clear. [Prov 16:6, Job 28:28, Acts 8:23] So in the power of the Lord God fare ye well.
And the Lord God of power keep you all in his measure up to himself, from and above all the world's evil ways, baits, customs, and teachings, to trample upon them in his power; that wisdom may be justified of you all [Mat 11:19], and ye may be preserved, and God glorified. To whom be all glory, honour, and thanks over all, God blessed for ever!
Read these among all my brethren and friends, and send it abroad to Friends, that ye may all know the power of the living God in one another, not in words, but in power [1 Cor 4:20]. So farewell.
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They are the heirs of the kingdom of God, and of the generation of God, that live out of the kingdom of the wicked world, (up to God, in the seed, which all the promises of God are to [Gal 3:29],) following after Christ, who was in Egypt, and passed out of Egypt [Mat 2:15f], the house of darkness [Exo 10:21]. And he was in the wilderness, and there he was tempted to lust after the creature [Mat 4:1-4]; <55> he was tempted to make himself away [Mat 4:5-7]; he was tempted to worship the devil, (to bow down and worship him [Mat 4:8-10].) He is the captain of our salvation [Heb 2:10]; he is gone before, he endured the cross, he despised the shame, he suffered the contradiction of sinners [Heb 12:2f], for the glory that was set before him, he hath won the crown. He hath overcome Egypt, and he hath fulfilled the law [Mat 5:17], he hath overcome the world John 16:33], he hath overcome the temptations; he is able to succour all who are tempted [Heb 2:18]. It is no sin to be tempted, but to enter into the temptation, that is sin. He is the head of the body, he is the head of the church [Col 1:18], who hath blotted out the ordinances [Col 2:14] and traditions of men; who is the end of the daily sacrifice; who is the end of the Levitical priesthood [Heb 7:27,24]; he is the end of all outward temples [Rev 21:22], who is the substance of the prophets, for they all witnessed of him [Acts 10:43]. He is ascended above all principalities and powers [Eph 4:10/Col 1:16].
Now, to all dear ones, the same seed, which is Christ, the same spirit is now manifest, as ever was; the same world is now, as ever was; the same temptations, and the same devil, and the same vain worship of the world, twining into another form and colour. And Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life [John 14:6], the door, that all must pass through [John 10:7,9], and he it is, that opens it [Rev 3:7]; the same door that ever was, the same Christ yesterday, to day, and for ever [Heb 13:8]. And all who follow Christ, the seed, and are of his generation, and are brought out of Egypt, the house of darkness, and from under the law, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them; who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit [Rom 8:4], (as the apostle saith,) which we do witness. And the seed's generation hath passed through the wilderness, where they have been tempted to lust after the creature. Ye that have been in the wilderness, can witness this with me, and the same temptations, even to despair, and to make themselves away. The devil, before he would go out of his kingdom, he would destroy all. But look at the captain Jesus Christ, who hath passed before, who was tempted (the captain of our salvation) with the same temptations to worship the devil; and that if thou wouldst worship the devil, thou shouldst have the glory of the world; if not, be called a devil, as Christ was, and be called a mad man, as he was [John 10:20]; and that none followed him, but a cursed people, (as they said.) [John 7:49] And they that worship the devil, gave those titles to him. And thou shalt lose thy good name, and be a laughing stock to them that worship the devil, and as a derision among them, and a mark for every one of them to shoot at, and the drunkards to make songs of. This is the portion of them, who deny the worship of the world, and the glory, and the favour, and the evil fashions thereof, and cannot fashion themselves to it; who are tempted to all these things. But it is no sin to be tempted; but standing in the power of the Almighty God, ye will be enabled to stand against, and above all the wiles of satan [Eph 6:11]. So dwell in the power <56> of Almighty God, which carries through the wilderness, and through temptations to the end, and gets the victory over all the carnal ordinances [Heb 9:10], and commands, and traditions of men; [Col 2:20,22] and he that overcomes, ascends above them all. And he that overcomes, shall sit down with Christ in his throne [Rev 3:21]. So, every one must witness Christ born in them, passing through death to him, through the world, through the law, through temptations, through the wilderness, and out of the world; and the son of God ye will witness to arise, who doth overcome, who was born of God. And the same spirit, that raised up Jesus Christ, the same spirit raiseth you up, and quickeneth your mortal bodies [Rom 8:11]; and he that hath not the same, is none of his [Rom 8:9].
So, examine yourselves, and see if ye have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings, and be brought to be comformable to him in his death [Phil 3:10], and to have fellowship with him in his temptations and reproaches, and buffetings, and scornings, and the contradiction of sinners, and to be spit upon, as he was [Mat 26:67]; and he that hath fellowship with him in his sufferings, shall have fellowship with him in his glory. And he that doth confess him in this dark world, him will he confess before his Father, and his angels; and he that doth deny him in this world, him he will deny before his Father and his angels in the world to come [Mat 10:32f].
Now to all you who are convinced, and have your understandings enlightened, and the worship of the world doth appear to you to be contrary to the worship of God and Christ in spirit, and all the prophets and apostles, who worshipped the living God in newness of life [Rom 6:4], in the second birth, beware ye enter not into the temptation, to lust after the creature, and give not way to the lazy, dreaming mind, for it enters into the temptations [Luke 22:46]. So there thou wilt be polluted with the pollutions of the world [2 Pet 2:20]; then thou wilt be tempted to despair, and the devil there gets power upon thee, if thou enter into temptations, and follow thy imaginations in going from the light of Christ within thee. And then thou judgest with evil thoughts; and he will come with his instruments, his evil angels, to tempt thee from God's worship to the false worship, or else thou wilt lose thy credit or good name, or thy place, or thy authority, where thou art, except thou wilt bow to him [Mat 4:9f]. And every one will stare at thee, and thou wilt be gazed at, and wondered at. So if thy mind go from the light, and out of the fear of the Lord, then thou wilt consult with flesh and blood [Gal 1:16], which must never enter into the kingdom of God, and that carnal reason must never enter. And then thou wilt take counsel of the harlot [Prov 29:3?], and so the eye of thy mind will be turned out from God, and so thou goest under the power of the prince of the air, which rules and reigns in the children of disobedience [Eph 2:2], and so under the dominion of satan. And then, though thou hast the praise of the world, and the glory of the world [Mat 4:8]; yet disobeying that, <57> which should have led thee into the kingdom of God, and from under the dominion of satan, thy latter end will be worse than thy beginning [2 Pet 2:20]. And in the world there thou mayst have thy honour, and the fleshly man is nourished, and thy glory and renown may grow again among the fleshly ones, who are gone out from God, and have disobeyed the light in them, which should have led them from under the dominion of satan, (under whose dominion they are now,) up to God, where there is joy eternal, where there are riches and glory eternal, and where there is comfort eternal; whose kingdom is for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion [Dan 4:3,etc]. But thou, who forsakest the right way, goest into eternal destruction. Wo, wo is to thee! For the love of the world is an enemy to God [James 4:4]; and he that loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him [1 Jn 2:15]. And thou, who settest thy hand to the plough, and lookest back, art not fit for the kingdom of God [Luke 9:62].
And all who can witness the second birth, and are born again, know the promises of God in and to the seed are yea and amen [2 Cor 1:20]; and ye coming out of that which was in time, ye come up to God, who was before time was. This is a mystery, he that can receive it let him [Mat 19:12]; and he that hath an ear to hear it, let him hear what the spirit saith [Rev 2:7, etc]. Abel was the second birth, he was no murderer, nor no sinner; for God called him. And God saw no iniquity in Jacob [Num 23:21], but Esau the first, is hated [Mal 1:3, Rom 9:13], and not perfect. And except ye be born again, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [John 3:3]. Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God [1 Cor 15:50]. And ‘he that is born of God, sins not, because the seed of God remains in him, neither can he sin, because he is born of God [1 Jn 3:9].’ And ‘he that is born of God overcomes the world [1 Jn 5:4];’ he that is born of God, is not of this world. And he that is born of God testifies against all the works of the world, and the wickedness of it; and he that is born of God, doth not commit sin [1 Jn 3:9]. He that committeth sin is of the devil [1 Jn 3:8], and hath not seen God at any time [3 Jn 1:11]. Hereby are the children of God made manifest from the children of the devil [1 Jn 3:10]; for he that sins is of the devil, and knows not God. For this purpose was the son of God made manifest, to destroy the works of the devil [1 Jn 3:8]; and he that doth righteousness, is righteous, even as he is righteous [1 Jn 3:7]. And they that were of the second birth, were taught of God, and needed no man to teach them [1 Jn 2:27]; and were come into the everlasting covenant. And those are the second birth, who are born again of the immortal seed [1 Pet 1:23] by the will of God, and not by the will of man. And as many as received Christ, he gave power to them to become the sons of God, which are not born by the will of man, but by the will of God [John 1:12f]; not by water only, but by water and the spirit [John 3:6].
G. F. Top