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The Midnight Cry:
A Prophetic Witness to the Church Today

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Returning to the Faith Once Delivered to the Saints

Late in the first century AD, drastic changes were occurring in the Christian Church. Jude warned of false teachers eroding their pure faith (Jude 4), destroying true Christian precepts and substituting false ones in their place (Jude 3).

Paul had previously given similar prophetic warnings (Acts 20:29,30; 2 Cor 11:13-15). Peter, too. He lamented the inevitability of the secretive seduction which was happening right under their noses! (2 Pet 2:1.) And the apostle John was actually cast out of one or more of the church assemblies by an impostor who had gained the ascendancy! (3 John 9,10.)

In almost every New Testament book there is a warning about apostasy, either directly or indirectly. The caveats are not to be taken lightly!

Ironically, in today's churches, even among those who repeat these warnings of deception and falling away, there are countless believers who are themselves only 'half there'. Moreover, it seems that the ones who are most vociferous about this malaise – to the point of arrogance – are among the most deeply deluded, but are obviously blind to it. Consider also that the majority have been taken captive to false teachings, spurious concepts and practices, and we have a Church very much in need of fulfilling Jude's admonition:


Are you contending for that faith? Do you even know what it is, or was? God does explain in His Word. In a moment, we will examine some aspects of what He says about it.

Before we do, however, I'd like to draw your attention to what the prophets predicted about this loss of the true faith. Almost 3,000 years ago. Isaiah wrote:

Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion [symbol of the Church]; Put on your beautiful garments [symbol of righteousness], O Jerusalem, the holy city! (Is 52:1a, NKJV).

Isaiah would not be urging an awakening if the Church – pictured in symbol by Jerusalem or Zion – had not fallen asleep! The parable of the ten virgins reveals that the whole Church sleeps at this late time. (See article 2.) To what must the Church now awake? We must consider carefully.

Furthermore, Isaiah is moved by the Spirit to say that she needs to put on her strength. How has the Church's strength been stolen away? The strength of the Church stems from her closeness to her Maker, and is reflected in the mirror of God's holiness. Relatively few, though, look at God's mirror in the way He intends. So the Church slumbers. She has forfeited her potency.

God adjures her to regain what she has lost — to put on her garments of righteousness and to regain her vigour.

God is Restoring What Was Stolen

God is urging a return today through His prophets. He is sending 'Elijah' to restore what was lost through apostasy and neglect. Malachi foretold of this:

See, I will send My messenger who will prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly, the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple [the Church] (Mal 3:1). See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes... (Mal 4:5).

One of the things this 'Elijah' will do is speak out against the corruption that affects God's people. That is the major purpose of prophets. God uses human instruments to 'cry aloud' about immorality, injustice and inequity (Is 58:1), principally in the Church.

The Midnight Cry Jesus referred to in Matthew 25:6 is a final end-time cry to the Bride of Christ to come out of error and put on all the garments of righteousness Jesus gives her (Rev 19:8). It is a prophetic call to awake.

Just as Elijah championed the dual cause of truth and righteousness against widespread apostasy and idolatry, so today the end-time Elijah is restoring the true way among those who are receptive. Elijah, however, is not a man. 'He' came in the form of John the Baptist the first time because Jesus' witness was localised to Israel at that time. Today, however, prior to His universal return, a universal Elijah is at work. [See endnotes.]   He is restoring the many aspects of true faith which the Church has lost.

Contending For The Faith

The faith to which Jude refers is not faith in the sense of belief. Certainly it involves belief, and belief in certain aspects of truth, but it is more than that. Much more.

The NKJV renders Jude 3 as:

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

The belief aspect of our faith is a quality in which we continually grow. It never was given once for all. We go from faith to faith (Rom 1:17). We prophesy according to the level of our faith (Rom 12:6). We all have different measures of faith (Rom 12:3), depending upon various factors. We should be continually increasing in faith (2 Thes 1:3). It is not a static or fixed 'commodity'.

Jude is referring to something more; something which embodies our whole salvation. It is, in other words, the entire belief system which Jesus presented to us in His original gospel. It is the truth that we can be saved from death, and how to receive that salvation, with all its attendant details.

In this time of restoration, we are to earnestly contend for this faith which was once delivered! You cannot casually assume that you have got it, for the parables Jesus gave prior to His departure indicate the opposite! He bluntly described the whole Church – depicted by ten virgins – as ALL ASLEEP just before His return! (Matt 25:5.)

That means you do not have the full picture. You are oblivious to some aspects of the faith which was once given. Let's take a preview of major aspects the Church has relinquished over the centuries.

1. Faith in Jesus Alone

It might seem a bit trite to say that this faith once delivered centred around the person of Jesus. After all, He was the Bringer of salvation. How could any Christian forget that?

But the Church today HAS, in many ways, lost sight of that! I do not mean in the obvious intellectual sense. Not one Christian would intellectually deny that Jesus Christ is the author and centre-piece of the salvation they hope for.

Satan's skill is much more astute than to try to delude us about that. Denial of Christ takes far more discreet forms than intellectual denial. Millions of Christians accept Christ in that obvious way, but deny Him in other respects.

A. Exploitation

Peter warned of false teachers who would deny Christ by their teaching and who would exploit believers.

...there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them... many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you (2 Pet 2:2,3).

One obvious way believers are exploited is financially. There are many rip-off merchants in the Church whose oratory is so captivating that they can talk the back end off a horse! They fool their audiences with their fluent rhetoric and draw great acclaim for themselves. Their offering baskets are full but the spirituality of the people is not.

Exploitation which is less noticed is the fact that these men have drawn away the attention and loyalty of their listeners to THEM, so they become the big names instead of Christ. Oh, Christ gets preached one way or another. These merchants of guile are using His name alright, but they use it for their own ends. They gain a following for themselves, and the majority don't perceive the trap they are falling into. This was the crux of Paul's warning in Ephesus (Acts 20:29,30).

The "drawing away after them" is not in the physical sense, although that naturally occurs to a great extent. It is in the spiritual sense. The man up front gets as much, if not more, acclaim than Christ who died for them! It is a blasphemy. It was not part of the original 'package'. Christ was up front. He was centre stage. He is God and is deserving of all worship and acclaim. But how often 'His' ministers get more than Him because they are the ones people see!

The Church in this situation is spiritually exploited.

When, late in life, Smith Wigglesworth heard the comment that after his death people would really miss him, he mourned. He considered his whole ministry a failure if all they had come to see was him! The preacher's role is to feed people so they can come to see Christ. When they are mature enough to be led directly by Him, then the preacher can disappear and go where he can help others into the same relationship.

But too many 'ministers' are content to have flocks follow them so they bring in a steady income. Instead of feeding their flocks, false ministers fleece their flocks, and the flocks end up supporting them! Roles are reversed, and Christ is upstaged. A man has put himself centre stage, where only Christ ought to be. As long as he stands there, he blocks some of the light from Jesus reaching you.

The subtlety of this is lost on most. Yet, it is spiritually crippling.

All churches have departed from the faith once delivered to the saints in this respect. If you can name a church where the lead is not spiritually regulated and controlled by men but wholly by the Holy Spirit, you are a rare individual indeed!

Even the so-called Spirit-led church organisations are headed by boards, humanly appointed and humanly governed. Men, put in office by the organisation, effectively determine church doctrine. If any of that teaching is in error, complete truth cannot enter. If you receive from God something contrary to the established doctrines accepted by that church, you are either regarded as anathema or looked upon with pity. Do church boards seriously question established doctrine? Would they accommodate 'new' truth if you, a mere layman, presented it? Would they recognise a prophet sent by God, if he brought 'new' truth?

No! Man always stands in the way of what God does.

We have been directed by the Lord to take aspects of truth to a number of church organisations and 'leaders'. Not one has taken an objective look at what God had us present to them! That is a pitiful reflection upon the state of the Church today. She slumbers. And when a prophetic 'cry' rings out, most pull their ear-muffs over their ears.

B. Hierarchic Blasphemy!

Then there is the blasphemy of hierarchy in the Church. The faith which was once delivered to the saints contained no hierarchy other than the Father, Christ the Son, and the agency of His holy Spirit working with every true believer.

There was no élitist pecking order as we see in so many church organisations. Christ was the Head, and He gave directives to each person who listened to His Spirit. The Spirit led each person into truth (Jn 16:13; Rom 8:14), not the human so-called Church 'leadership'.

Church 'leaders' are not called to lead. They are appointed to serve, to feed. A large part of the Church has lost sight of this today.

In most churches we see a replica of what is ultimately a human system of élitist hierarchy borrowed from the Catholic Church, a system which originated in Babylon. She is called the Mother of Harlots in Revelation 17:5. Not a complimentary term by any standards!

Her daughters may have come through the Protestant Reformation and thrown off some of the shackles of false teaching, but some huge blinkers still remain to be removed. Hierarchic human leadership in church organisations is one of them.

In an administrative sense, organisation is fine. It is when it encroaches into the spiritual arena that it becomes blasphemous. Ministry is to feed. The Holy Spirit is there to lead. And that can only occur when there is a proper environment where all are regarded as equal brethren, not a system where some men rule over others.

Where such perversion still exists – and that is what it is, perversion – élitist domination in the Church is nothing more than an image of that in the civil government (Rev 13:14). Jesus revealed to John in symbol the final end-time 'Roman' government:

I saw a Beast coming out of the sea [figure for masses of people]. He had 10 horns and 7 heads, with 10 crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name (Rev 13:1).

The same blasphemy of ruling over people occurs in the Church. Men dictate to others, spiritually. They may be called ministers, but they can easily hinder the path of progress if they fail to perceive their proper role. It is a role — not rule.

It is blasphemy for one man to be appointed as (effectively) a god over another, even more so in the Church where Jesus wants us to all be brothers!

Where does the head of the body ever use an intermediary as a decision-maker on line to another part? It doesn't. It sends its signals direct to that part. So it is in the Church. The Head is Christ (Eph 1:22). He directs each part without governmental interference. All such intermediaries are human intermediaries and are not of God.

That is not to say that ministry cannot involve correction, admonition, giving direction, etc. It can and it often does. But there should only ever be one source for all that – the Holy Spirit. Jesus guides and leads. We should all follow His lead, both minister and member alike. There is no distinction in God's eyes. We are all His sons and daughters.

Jesus said to His disciples:

You are not to be called 'Rabbi', for you have only one Master and you are all brothers... (Matt 23:8).

Élitism is Babylonian. We are to come out of the élitist religious system of this world (Rev 18:4). It is a system that has its roots in paganism, and originates with Nimrod the first human conqueror. Not only did he conquer people physically. He forced them to be subservient to him, and that involved spiritual domination, too. There is much underlying the Hebrew of Genesis 10:9!

He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, "Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before [in place of] the Lord" (Gen 10:9).

He usurped prerogatives that belong only to God! Nimrod set himself up as a god. The end-time man of sin will do the same (2 Thes 2:4).

No true minister of God deliberately usurps Jesus' office as Mediator. But it happens all the time, inadvertently, subtly. The system perpetuates the error.

C. The Mark of the Beast

Where men rule other people who congregate for spiritual worship, the rulers impose in some way upon their subjects. Just as Rome imposed its mark upon its subjects through required emperor worship, a spiritual parallel occurs in churches. They require subservience from their members – a more subtle form of course, but subservience nonetheless. It is subservience or submission to church 'leaders'.

Allusions to this requirement are heard all the time in ecclesiastical corridors. They range from muted references like "being under authority" or "under the covering of the ministry" to outright blasphemies about the need to "submit to God's government in the Church" – meaning yielding to the men who rule in place of God, who claim their human authority is from Him. The authority being wielded is that of a beast, spiritually speaking.

It may look to some like a lamb, but it 'speaks' like a dragon (Rev 13:11). The dragon, Satan, will confer his authority upon the civil government (the 'Beast') which is soon to emerge in Europe (Rev 13:4). And an ecclesiastical replica will emerge, too, with equally great powers. Portrayed as an image of the Roman Beast (Rev 13:14) in structure and forcefulness, its authority will be supreme in the religious sphere. It will command a mark upon all its subjects (Rev 13:16), and that mark will carry the number 666 (Rev 13:18). Those who refuse to be part of this system will have to bear the consequences of their 'rebellion', which will be loss of human rights (Rev 13:17) and even death (Rev 13:15).

Such will be the fate of 'the remnant church' who refuse to bow the knee to Baal in the guise of Catholicism.

I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus (Rev 17:6).

How will they bear testimony to Him at that time? By refusing to comply with the Beast's physically expedient command to give homage to a human structure masquerading as Christian, but which flouts the faith once delivered to the saints.

What many fail to recognise today is that the same system is in force in most of Christendom right now. It only differs from what is to come from Rome during the austere times ahead in that punishments for non-compliance are not so overt or physical at present. Instead, in many quarters, spiritual 'incentives' of ex-communication and persecution are employed with psychological coercion, emotional manipulation, ostracism, character-assassination and blackmail. In less dictatorial churches, leaders (usually paid by the organisation) still insist on retaining control. Thus, man rules in the structure which was originally meant to be ruled only by God.

The only spiritual government in the true Church is unseen. It is via the Spirit, which can direct you as a lay person, just as much as (if not more so, sometimes, than) a church leader. Any who suggest that spiritual government in the Church is administered by men who are on a board of trustees, directors, or similar, are biblically out of order!

The Church is not a human organisation. Nor is it several incorporated structures. The true Church is not humanly organised. It is a spiritual organism! It is created by God, guided by God, and governed by God – not by men.

I defy anyone to prove from God's Word that a minister has a right to spiritually rule another person in the Church, even if that man claims a spiritual office such as apostle or prophet. Those offices are offices of service, not of lordship (Matt 20:25-28). Any authority is conferred by the Spirit, and the Spirit is there to do God's bidding, not man's.

There is a tendency for men who claim 'leadership' positions to steal 'the thunder'. The 'rank and file' look up to church leaders as if they were on a higher spiritual level – and therefore more important – than the 'laity'. 'Leaders' are not. Sometimes they may be more spiritual, but that does not make them more important.

However, the converse may be true. They may be less spiritual! And if that is the case, they should defer to those of greater spirituality, which can include anyone in the Church through whom God speaks.

The matter of government in the Church is a thorny and greatly misunderstood issue. Abuse in this area has wreaked spiritual havoc in the lives of countless numbers of believers. Some have even thrown away the faith because of it! A few overbearing and dominant church leaders have pushed some little ones too far. Jesus said:

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin. Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! (Matt 18:7.)

When a church 'leader' comes between you and God, he is doing the devil's work. There should only be one Man between you and God – the man Jesus (1 Tim 2:5).

The mark of the Beast is a mark of human domination. It is a symbol of the totality of evil enmeshed in human systems of worship, where true worship is subtly replaced by worship of man. You don't have to worship the final false prophet to be guilty of this sin. Whenever a man comes between you and Christ in your worship, you are marked by this number. It is the number of man (Rev 13:18).

I will cover more about this matter of the identity of 666 in the Church in a later instalment.

D. Ritualism or Legalism

Another trap, not often recognised because of its subtlety, is ritualism. This takes many forms, not just the most obvious one of idolatrous Catholic worship.

Once again it is a form of human worship – self achievement. Ritualism is a corruption of the faith which was once delivered to the saints. Paul addressed the principles behind this problem in his letters to the Galatian and Colossian churches. It has many forms.

People devise all sorts of human modes of worship. When they supplant true worship – which can only take place in the spirit (Jn 4:23) – with a humanly contrived substitute, that substitute becomes an idol.

This problem is so prevalent that when John wrote his deep letters exhorting us to walk in the love of God, he concluded his first one with the seemingly incongruous statement:

Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 Jn 5:21).


Because idolatry is more widespread than most recognise. Satan can get you to erect an idol in your mind by persuading you that you have to perform some physical ritual to be saved. Thus, he has reduced your worship from worship in spirit to 'worship' in the flesh. It is not true worship at all. It is a substitute – bondage! You become enslaved by your ritualistic philosophy. You have lost sight of the One who does not seek to condemn, but who seeks to save.

People with a religious spirit display all sorts of ritualistic aberrations. There are many religious spirits! There are some very religious people who are extremely ritualistic! They can be some of the worst idolaters!

Some insist they cannot drink alcohol, even though the Bible says no such thing (except for those who took a Nazarite vow under the Old Covenant). Others cling to food fads, fanatical about what they can eat, fearful they will corrupt themselves if they eat anything which 'contaminates'.

There are vegetarians, vegans, and 'vege-nutters'. Some are 'so dotty' about their food fetishes that they have lost sight of what Jesus came to save them from – demonic bondages.

They fail to see that food and drink are such minor matters concerning the Kingdom of God. Paul said:

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).

People trapped by ritualistic bondages have such little joy! And their 'righteousness' is like that of Job, a matter of self-achievement. It makes them feel good. It appeases their conscience in some way. It appeals to their inner religious pride. But all these unscriptural variants are not pleasing to God. They bring the adherent into bondage to an unbalanced lifestyle that causes unnecessary social conflict and division.

Paul wrote to the Hebrews about having a right balance in life:

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them (Heb 13:9).

And to Timothy, he warned about the many doctrines of demons which would become extremely prevalent in the end times:

Some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons... They forbid... them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the Word and God and prayer (1 Tim 4:1-5).

If you think you cannot eat something that the Word of God does not specifically forbid, you are being brought into bondage by irrational fears. These are implanted by demons.

There are food faddists who won't eat any white flour, white sugar, or processed foods. While processed foods may not be ideal, they are certainly not the satanic poison some regard them as being. You won't defile the temple of the Holy Spirit by eating a mouthful of impure food. But you can defile it through eccentric fears!

Don't destroy your faith by fears of this ilk. What is more important? The body which houses your spirit, or that spirit which God is re-forming within you in His likeness? Let's get things in proper perspective.

My wife and I had someone stay with us who was obsessed with their diet. This person would not eat any white flour, white sugar or other processed foods! They forgot that the priests in the Temple ate fine flour, sifted so finely that it would have had most of the bran removed! This person even declined to eat prepared potato chips, because they didn't know what oil they might have been fried in. Do you think Paul would have been so pernickety? He said:

Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean [all, that is, which the Bible says is clean], but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble (Rom 14:19,20).

Ironically, the converse can be true, too. Some destroy the work of God by NOT eating various things! Their food fads cause division. If you invited a person as a guest to your home and they declined to eat almost everything you put before them which is 'clean' according to Leviticus 11, would you be offended? Would their actions constitute "mutual edification"? No. They are being socially divisive. They are actually destroying the work of God with respect to the harmony that should exist.

While this person stayed with us God gave me a dream which provided more insight about ritualism – in this instance to do with eating habits. In this dream I saw scaffolding which needed stabilising. It was a simple matter of just adding a cross member as a brace. I was able to do that on one set of scaffolding that had been erected. But when I came to another structure, it was impossible to stabilise it. The standard or upright pole to which the brace should have been attached was not just the thickness of normal scaffold tube. It was about six inches thick! I couldn't get any hold on it at all. It was an impossible task.

And that is the problem with those who have added so much girth to the faith once delivered, with their own additional do's and don'ts that are entirely unnecessary. They are man-made taboos. Such rules don't add to righteousness. They detract from it. Their 'scaffolding' is rickety and unstable. They don't have the stability of faith in Christ that comes through simplicity. They have added to His standard far more than they should have done. They have weakened in faith.

Ritualism is virtually limitless. There are other believers who go to an almost ascetic extreme. They feel guilty about any form of physical enjoyment, even though God encourages us to rejoice, and commands it at appropriate times (e.g. Lev 23:40). Such people often equate enjoyment with sin, which it is not.

Sin is defined and condemned in God's Word, but enjoyment and living life to the full is not. Jesus wants you to have abundant life (Jn 10:10), but if you are trapped by any form of ritualism, you will be depriving yourself – and those who have to live with you – of sharing some of God's joys for mankind.

Instead of looking to Him and relying upon Him, you are looking to yourself, and relying upon yourself. Your religion becomes a sham, based on self- righteousness, pride, and human works. This shuts out the Spirit. Demonic spirits are welcomed instead.

All these wrong approaches stem from the presence of dominating deceiving spirits, which want to keep you in bondage so you don't have the liberty of enjoying His grace as Hebrews 13:9 mentions. That enjoyment is not an immoral sensual pleasure, but an inner peace that comes from His indwelling presence.

Ritualists are unknowingly trapped. They are trapped by thinking that they must do what they do in order to be saved. Their human dogma, whatever it may be, is to them a salvation-earner. They may not see it like that, but that is what subconsciously underlies their behaviour.

They forget that whatever deeds we do as mere humans are dead works — works humanly performed to gain 'favour' with God. (Not that those works do any good! God is not impressed.)

A ritualist doesn't really see his need for God. Rather, his focus is upon himself, as he "goes through the motions".

Instead of seeing the immense price Christ paid in His love for you by His death on the cross, as a ritualist all you really have is a superficial intellectual acceptance of His death, not a highly personal one. Jesus died for me and for you – making available the indwelling of His Spirit. He wants to live in us.

As long as you rely upon yourself, in whatever manner, you are reverting into ritualism. You deny the Lord who bought you with His blood and who will save you by His Spirit. You are quenching His Spirit.

You choose bondage instead of life. Satan has you bent over, only seeing earthly things, not looking up and seeing heavenly things.

A few years ago a man came to us, having found in us the love, acceptance and friendship he could not find in his former church. We offered him a room in our home for a few days while he recovered from the hurt and rejection of his recent past. Suddenly, out of the blue, he began to comment about my failure to do certain rituals which he considered essential for a true believer. He couldn't understand why I did not see their importance. To him they were essential. They were small physical things, not major aspects of our spiritual lives such as prayer or keeping the commandments.

I tried to explain. I queried what he based his salvation upon. "How are you saved?" I asked. He responded immediately, "By keeping the law." (By 'the law', he meant all of the rules and regulations found in the Old Testament.)

I said I could not agree with him at all. Paul wrote to the Galatians that we are not saved by keeping the law, but by faith in Christ (Gal 2:16). I opened to that text and read it. I wanted to explain further, but he had already heard too much! When he realised that there was no way I would ever agree with him on this point, he stormed out and never came back!

This man had no faith in Christ. His faith was in what he could do himself. That is ritualism in the raw. It is evil and a denial of the sacrifice and life of Christ.

Through this subtle transfer of trust, Jesus gets shut outside. Reliance upon self takes over. And that self-reliance eclipses the love of Christ.

If you are just now seeing that you have been hooked by this subtle bait of the devil, you can be freed. First, humbly recognise you have fallen. Admit your need for Jesus. Ask Him to come into you fully by His Spirit and give you HIS new life. And stop trusting in yourself. Just rely upon Him in faith.

The spiritual sickness of ritualism grips untold multitudes of believers. God has spoken to me more than once about the ubiquitous malady of ritualism. It is vast in its ramifications.

Besides the 'denialists', there are the 'doers' – those whose ritualism takes the form of doing something mentioned in scripture, but which is additional to the faith once delivered to the saints. Wearing a prayer shawl when praying; insisting on using Hebrew names for God or Jesus; wearing beards for men, head coverings for women... the list is endless.

Satan does not usually suggest a ritual from the world. Christians would not buy that. More often, he deludes them by re-imposing some scriptural rite from the past, but which has been superseded by a spiritual aspect under the New Covenant.

You do not need dead rituals. You need the living Christ in you. However, EVERY believer, in one way or another, to some degree or other, is infected by ritualism.

How come? Because we are all human and none of us submits 100%, to the indwelling direction of the holy Spirit.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor 3:17).

E. Worship Meetings

Peter referred to the universality of the priesthood now that Christ lives in us. We are all part of His body. Jesus is our High Priest and we are part of His priesthood.

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Pet 2:9).

Under the Old Covenant there was a priesthood appointed by God within the Levitical tribe. However, that was superseded by Christ and the priesthood was officially discontinued at Jesus' death, although priests continued to officiate in the temple until it was destroyed in AD 70. Jesus reassumed the priestly rights which were once His under the order of Melchisedec before the Covenant at Sinai. All this is explained in more detail by Paul in his letter to the Hebrews.

As our High Priest, Christ has now appointed each of us as priests with Him, to be purveyors of the truth and goodness of God.

The Old Covenant priesthood had the responsibility of educating the people about God, and about His law. Malachi wrote:

For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction – because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty (Mal 2:7).

They also officiated in the temple, offering sacrifices and praise to God on behalf of the people. Now, under the New Covenant, all believers have that duty.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name (Heb 13:15).

Notice, that this praise is through Jesus. True praise and worship can only emanate from us if His Spirit is in us. Then we can truly worship in spirit and sincerity (Jn 4:23).

God is spirit, and His worshippers MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24).

Worship meetings, then, are to bring us closer to His throne in praise and worship.

Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Jn 1:3).

This is the only acceptable 'formula' for believers' meetings – fellowship with the Father and Son through the Spirit. When that fellowship exists, then we can have meaningful fellowship with one another, if we are of like faith.

For many today, however, 'worship' is not worship at all! It is a perfunctory repetition of human procedure – a few songs, a reading from the Bible, a sermon from a church 'leader' and superficial prayer. Ritual of litany and liturgy has replaced true worship in spirit. The holy Spirit guides far too few meetings today.


One major reason is that the human leaders have stolen the prerogatives of God. THEY assume control. Their command is what is followed. Usually, they dominate proceedings.

It was never like this in the early Church. Everyone could take part, so long as it was orderly and everyone respected the prompting of the Spirit. (See 1 Cor 14).

However, what most people experience in churches today is not orderly worship, it is organised. And organisation kills the flow of the Spirit. There is a vast difference between being orderly and organised! The former can be of the Spirit, the latter merely of men. Leaders who want control can create very orderly meetings by having everything organised. But that quenches the lead of the Spirit, so nothing much happens by direct intervention of God.

Spiritual gifts are not exercised and developed by all. And few people are truly edified. All because men have tried to organise what God wants to do in worship meetings.

You can't organise God. You cannot set an agenda for Him, or dictate His movement. We have to be open to His leading, and that means when we come together to worship, we must be prepared for God to show up. There should be a minimal pre-arranged agenda, and even then, we should be ready to shelve that when God decides something different is better for us. When meetings operate that freely, all can be edified, and all will be able to take a direct part as they are moved by the Spirit.

A perfect example of a Spirit-led meeting is in Acts 4. The early Church did not pray according to a pre-arranged agenda. They prayed when the Spirit called them to prayer, and prayed what the Spirit gave them to pray. Luke records one wonderful example:

They raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit.... Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly (Acts 4:24, 25, 30, 31).

This was true worship in the Spirit because the presence of the Lord was among them. Where has He gone? Why is He not in many meetings today? Who pushed Him out? In many cases, the blame falls at the door of church leadership.

O My people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path (Is 3:12). The Lord enters into judgement against the elders and leaders of His people. It is you who have ruined My vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses (Is 3:14).

We must be very careful that we follow the lead of the Spirit in worship meetings, otherwise they will degenerate into mere social gatherings devoid of God's presence and empty of encouragement.

The faith once delivered to the saints was a faith that embodied a demonstration of supernatural power! God was present: and He showed it! In far too many churches, what we see now is more human domination and less supernatural power.

Today we have a church mostly managed by élitist hierarchic 'priests' and 'prophets', who effectively spiritually lord it over their subjects, whom they refer to as 'laity'. Jeremiah prophesied:

A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way (Jer 5:31a).

It begs the question:

What will you do in the end? (Jer 5:31b).

The end is an apostate church which loses its spiritual bearings and is led astray by false apostles and bogus prophets. The Spirit of God is expelled and replaced by human substitutes. Like Sardis, the church dies.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, they were troubled by the opposite tendency – outrageous flamboyance! There was an over-abundance of enthusiasm by most to take part, but with one member trying to 'outdo' another. Worship was rapidly degenerating into a spectacle of vanity and exhibitionism.

Paul exhorted them to curtail their carnal enthusiasm, and make sure everything that occurred was done with a motive of edification – primarily for others present. But he did say also:

You can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged (1 Cor 14:31).

Prophesying, speaking in tongues, interpreting those tongues, receiving revelation, giving encouragement and instruction — all these are essential features of true Spirit-led meetings (1 Cor 14:26). "All of these MUST BE DONE for the strengthening of church" (ibid.).

Paul is talking about worship meetings where the Church comes together to fellowship and meet with God. There may be other occasions especially arranged as teaching seminars or group discussions. Those are not specifically worship meetings and may therefore operate on a different format. Even so, the lead of the Spirit of God should be welcomed. But group worship in worship meetings MUST be in spirit and truth, as Jesus commanded, otherwise it will become devoid of spiritual value. God will remain distant. He does not want that.

Let us learn from these reminders in scripture and return to the faith once delivered to the saints!

2. Faith in the Law

One other major aspect in which the true faith once delivered has been compromised is to do with the approach to 'the law'. This term has been grossly misunderstood, with the result that many perverse teachings have arisen.

Perhaps the most damnable is that 'the law' is done away, and Christians are no longer under any obligations to keep 'the law', whatever that was. So few really know what 'the law' was – and which they are informed is no longer binding upon them.

I will come to what 'the law' means in a moment. But first, notice what Paul said about our obligations to God and to 'the law' under the New Covenant.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death (Rom 8:1).

If you think that Paul is providing you with a moral license to disobey the law which God gave Israel, look more closely! He continues a few sentences later:

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation – but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it... (Rom 8:12)... because the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God (Rom 8:7,8).

Do you see that Paul was condemning those who refuse to submit to God's law? Why? Because:

...the law is spiritual (7:14a)... is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good (Rom 7:12).

This teaching is no different from that of king David who extolled the virtues of God's law:

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring for ever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward (Ps 19:7-11).

Yet, many Christians have been fobbed off with a pack of lies about the law God gave Israel – that it was unreasonable, and was a law of bondage. Not so!

It was the breaking of that law – which is sin (1 Jn 3:4) – which led to bondage. Israel was in bondage in Egypt – a nation totally cut off from God. Israel had to be released by a deliverer, Moses – who was a type of Christ, so she could be led into freedom. Egypt is referred to in the Bible as a metaphor for sin and bondage. The law was never bondage. It was the foundation for the preservation of their spiritual freedom.

God promised Israel every blessing would come to them if they continued in unwavering obedience to the law He gave them at Sinai. The list of blessings for obedience are found in the Old Covenant writings of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. But in the same place, the list of curses for disobedience was four times longer!

That was the curse of the law to which Paul referred in Galatians 3:13. The curse was law-breaking with its inevitable penalties of suffering and death. Jesus came to redeem us from those horrendous results of our own sinfulness. Christ nailed the curse of the law to the cross. He paid that penalty for us by dying on the cross,

...so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (Gal 3:14).

The Spirit imbues us with a law-abiding nature, so we can submit to God, obey His law in its spirit or intent, and reap the blessings He wants us to enjoy.

When Jude wrote his letter lamenting on the gross heresy which was sweeping large segments of the Church into deception, liberalism was at the heart of the false teachers' message:

They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a licence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord (Jude 4).

I have already mentioned how ritualism or legalism denies the Lordship of Christ. The other extreme – liberalism – likewise denies Him, but at the opposite end of the spectrum. Liberalism denies our need to be obedient to God.

Abraham became known as the father of the faithful because of his unwavering obedience and trust in God. James explained that you cannot separate obedience and faith. They go hand in hand. And yet, there are many devious expositors of "New Testament Grace" who peddle the view that grace and faith dispenses with law.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While obedience will never earn you salvation, you can earn death by an unwillingness to obey God. Hence, Paul talked of the wages of sin (Rom 6:23).

Grace does not negate law. It is because of law that we need grace. Our human inability to submit to the perfect standard of God's law (Rom 8:7) is the reason for God's provision of grace. By faith we accept Jesus' sacrifice in place of ours to pay the death penalty we have earned by our sins, and through the faith He imparts to us, we are imbued with the power and virtue of His Spirit that we may become holy. This is the essence of the spiritual rebirth which must take place in us if we are to inherit eternal life (Jn 3:3).

None of this is by human effort. But it is with human co-operation and consent. And that must be 100%. We have to die to self, and desire the fulness of God to live in us. Such indwelling comes through the agency of the Holy Spirit – not another God-being, as so many theologians wrongly portray Him – but as another form of Christ, the Saviour in us.

The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor 3:17).

You want freedom? Christ offers it to you. But that freedom is not in freedom from restraints imposed by law. The law was provided as a guide to outline moral behaviour. It tells us what is wrong and what is right, in basic terms. The spirit of that law is love for God and love for fellow man, which is what Paul meant when he said,

...he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law... love is the fulfilling of the law (Rom 13:8,10).

He did not mean that so long as you 'love' your fellow man you can do anything outside the stipulation of the commandments, for he went on to say that such love was defined by those very commands (v 9).

Yet, I have heard the subtle heresy that so long as we love others, we are absolved from a responsibility to obey the Old Testament law. Rubbish! You have no right to murder in 'love', commit adultery in 'love', break the Sabbath in 'love' or rationalise around any other commandment of God.

The law of God is immutable. That's why it was engraved in stone by the finger of God. Man has no right to change it, annul it or teach against it, however subtly. Any who do are submitting to a lie of the devil in doing so, despite all their other seeming virtues.

What 'the law' is.

By the first century AD, the term 'the law' (Greek, nomos) had gained expanded meanings, which is why Paul's letters about the law are rarely understood today.

The law is firstly the Decalogue (ten commands).

Secondly, it is the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch), in which that law of God is first found.

Thirdly, it is the complete teaching of the Old Testament (the Tenach) complementing, expounding and relating Israel's conduct to those commandments. It became known as the Law and the Prophets.

Fourthly, the law became a colloquial term for the Old Covenant system of rule under which Israel was covenanted as a theocracy.

And fifth, Paul sometimes uses the term to refer to the Judaistic legalism that had become a product of human interpretation of that law.

It is important when reading any N. T. writings, to ensure that the meaning of 'the law' is gleaned accurately according to the context. Many false teachings have arisen due to a failure to understand these contextual differences.

Never forget Jesus' immutable words:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the Kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:17-19)

Let's return to that faith once delivered!

Part 2

The faith Christians possess is more than just belief in God, and in Jesus as the Christ. It is also a system embodying definite aspects as a result of that belief. The faith once delivered to the saints contained a definite creed. However, that has been muddied by the waters of time. Many of today's versions of "the faith" have ill-defined creeds so they can expediently accommodate those of differing doctrinal belief.

However, that belies the fact that there is really only one faith which was delivered to the saints, and only one creed. While the original faith certainly allowed for minor differences of view within its parameters, it did not sanction all the differences we see today under the deceptive banner of "the faith".

Widely divergent views, within what we broadly call "the Church", represent the effects of apostasy since the first century. The Church needs to get back to the faith once delivered, because anything less than that is imperfect, and is a departure from what God wants.

Aspects of the Faith

As I said, the faith once delivered encapsulated a creed – a set of principles containing a philosophy of life. But that creed was often an unspoken one.

The early Church developed as an outgrowth of the religion of the Jews – first century Judaism. It deviated from this, of course, because of what Jesus brought as truth, which differed from what Judaism at that time upheld.

There were some aspects of conduct and belief which remained emphatically the same. For this reason, the first Christians were regarded as a sect of Judaism (Acts 28:22). You would not call the large Christian churches today anything like an outgrowth of the religion of the Jews!

While that may be regarded by some as favourable, the truth is, it is not!

The Jews who worshipped according to the truth which God had made available at that time were adamant that God required very definite obedience to moral principles. Breaking them was (and still is) sin (1 Jn 3:4).

The books of Moses and the other Old Testament prophets confirmed their need to be vigilant in remaining faithful to the decrees God had given the nation. The law which God gave Moses was given to fashion Israel in God's image.

But what happened in the first century? Did Jesus come to change all that? No. Emphatically, He did not! He said without equivocation: "Don't think I have come to do away with God's law, or even to water it down. I have come to do nothing of the sort! I now tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, you won't enter the Kingdom of heaven!" (Matt 5:17-20, paraphrased.)

What righteousness did Jesus want to see in us, then? A greater righteousness than was ever attainable under the Old Covenant in Israel. That righteousness was defined in terms of obedience to the commands God had given them (Ps 119:172). Simply speaking, it was complete obedience to those 10 commandments for which they would have been richly blessed by God (Deut 6).

If that was the standard of righteousness which God anticipated from His chosen then, do you think a standard any less will be fitting for followers of Jesus under the New Covenant? No way! The demands are even greater upon us (Rom 8:12; Matt 5-7), for our infractions of that holy righteous moral code (Rom 7:12) crucified our Lord (Rom 3:23; 6:23; 2 Cor 5:21,15). We are to leave sin behind and no longer live in sin.

So, here are some of the aspects of the faith which was passed on to the saints of the first century Christian Church.

Prepare for some surprises!

1. The Ten Commandments

Jesus answered a questioner who wanted to inherit eternal life. His reply was simple:

If you want to enter life, keep the commandments (Matt 19:17).

There was no question in this man's mind which commandments Jesus was referring to. They were the bedrock teaching upon which Judaism was founded. Obedience to the ten commandments was fundament- ally central to the new faith, too. Paul summed it up:

Keeping God's commandments is what counts (2 Cor 7:19).

2. The Sabbaths

What is much more strange to many Christians today, however, is to hear that the Sabbath command is still relevant in its original form. Many have been inoculated with the concept that the Sabbaths were a Jewish invention, or part of only Jewish heritage. Supported by anti-Semitism in the early centuries AD, this belief has gained dominance. But it is wrong.

Jesus was a Jew, but He was more. He was also the Son of Man, and therefore lived His life as an example for all races. He obeyed His Father's commandments (Jn 15:10). He observed the Sabbath day (Luke 4:16) by keeping it holy, although He vehemently objected to the ridiculous legality of Judaistic sabbatical scrupulousness. They had reduced the liberty and joy of the Sabbath to legality and duty.

We are enjoined to follow Jesus' example with regard to Sabbath observance, since He is still Lord of the Sabbath, not of Sunday, (Mark 2:28). That fact should be clear to any who know pure biblical teaching, and is confirmed by His words in Matthew 24:20. If the time comes when Christians need to relocate due to persecution, He said to pray that such flight should never have to take place on the Sabbath. It is so holy, that such an event would be far from ideal.

The Sabbath is holy time, set aside each week for seeking and worshipping God. It is not time to do as we please (Is 58:13).

3. Festivals

While every seventh day is weekly holy time, God has established annual holy days also. These events are convocations – times for God's people to come together in fellowship, for edification, praise and worship.

First given to Israel (Ex 12; Lev 23; Deut 16) and intertwined with their sacrificial system (Num 28 & 29), they remain in tact under the New Covenant (Matt 5:17, 18). However, their physical sacrifices have been replaced by the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus (Heb 7:27; Heb 9), and the spiritual sacrifices of God's people (Rom 12:1).

Jesus met with His disciples to eat the Passover before His death (Matt 26:18-20). This event is part of the New Covenant, which Matthew 26:28 shows. Thirty years later, the Festival (with the Days of Unleavened Bread) was still being observed – not just by Jews, but by Gentile Christians as well (1 Cor 5:7,8).

The New Testament Church was gathered in Jerusalem for the auspicious event of the coming of God's Spirit in power. The occasion was Pentecost (Acts 2), the festival sometimes called Feast of Weeks or Feast of Firstfruits (Lev 23:15,21; Num 28:26; Ex 23:16). Many years later, Paul is found still keeping Pentecost (Acts 20:16; 1 Cor 16:8).

It is clear that the early Church was still observing these times appointed by God as annual days of rest and worship. Other festivals in the God-ordained calendar are the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement (also called the Fast, referred to in passing in Acts 27:9), Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day.

All these festivals are an integral part of the 'unspoken creed' of the faith which was once delivered to the saints.

3. New Moons

A classic NT text misused to justify wilful neglect of these commands of God is Colossians 2:16. It reads:

Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a new moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

Ironically, the very text which Paul originally wrote to protect these correct commemorations from abuse, is turned upside down and applied by wrong exegesis to attack the very things Paul was protecting!

From Colossians 2:16 it is clear that the Church was keeping Sabbath days and the other festivals God had first given Israel – Gentiles, too. And no wonder, for the Gentiles were grafted into the same olive tree and inherited the same roots (Rom 11:17,18,24). They may seem Hebrew roots to us, but they are true roots nonetheless. Here, Paul just says in passing that new moon celebrations are an aspect of the faith they had accepted.4

4. Clean and Unclean Meats

Leviticus 11 contains a 'shopping' list of animal meats. Here, God outlines which meat is fit to eat and which is unfit for human consumption. He doesn't say why it is unfit, just that it is. To explain all the reasons in physiological terms would have been too involved and lengthy, and Israel at that time could not have understood. It ought to be sufficient for us to believe what God says. It is not for us always to understand why.

The prophets confirmed this revelation. Isaiah prophesied of a future time when God's people would blatantly disregard His laws in this regard (Is 65:4; 66:17).

Ezekiel was given a vision of Israel's idolatrous practices. God likened them to 'unclean' animals (Ezek 8:10). He wants us to regard these meats as detestable for food.

Such a law is still in force. It is not outdated, otherwise Peter would not have protested about the apparent suggestion that he should eat such things (Acts 10:14). Peter's vision contained a symbolic meaning which is explained in Acts 10:28. It did not mean that these unclean animals were now fit to eat. Nothing was to pass away from the law (Matt 5:17,18).

The Word of God consecrates food (1 Tim 4:5). It declares what is fit to eat and what isn't. Appropriate foods (meats) should be:

...received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth (1 Tim 4:3).

Likewise strangled animals, and blood and fat, which God outlawed as unfit to eat, are still unsuitable, (Gen 9:4; Lev 3:17; Deut 12:16; 1 Sam 14:33; Acts 15:20).

5. The Holy Spirit

When Paul wrote all his letters to various churches, he never once referred to the Holy Spirit as a person, on a par with God the Father or with Jesus His human representation. The Trinity concept has become the most widely held doctrinal belief to explain the Godhead. But from Paul's writings, you cannot objectively deduce this concept. Paul's opening formal remarks always make reference to God the Father and Jesus Christ, but never to the Holy Spirit in the same way (e.g. 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Phil 1:2; Col 1:2; 1 Thes 1:1; 2 Thes 1:1; 1 Tim 1:1,2; 2 Tim 1:1,2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 1:3).

The other apostles also failed to give approbation to the Holy Spirit as if 'He' were a distinct personage of a Trinitarian Godhead. James, for instance, introduces his letter by mentioning God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Jas 1:1). John says:

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard... And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Jn 1:3,4).

There's no mention of the Holy Spirit in the same light.

Peter, in his second letter writes in a similar vein, giving honour to Father and Son from whom we have received this previous faith. Only in his first letter, does Peter include an opening remark which some may misconstrue as an excuse to regard the Holy Spirit as a third entity of a Trinity (1 Pet 1:2). But if you consider his words carefully, all he is saying is that our salvation is the culmination of a three-fold process. We are called by God the Father, sanctified through the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:2).

What are we to make of all this? That Paul and the other apostles blasphemed God by removing the Holy Spirit from His standing as a co-equal representative of the Godhead? Did he impugn Him by default? Hardly! All those letters were inspired by that very Spirit of grace! (2 Pet 3:17.)

What we should realise is that the Holy Spirit is not a distinct Being in His own right like we consider God the Father, but that it is the outworking of Himself, the agency by which God works with mankind to create holiness in us.

The Trinity doctrine was not promoted by the early Church because they never believed God to be Three Gods in One. (They believed Him to be One God.) This subtly false teaching was introduced by an apostate Church council centuries later!

6. Spiritual Gifts

Understanding that the Holy Spirit is an outflow from God makes more sense of the gifts of the Spirit, too. These are spiritual proclivities given to people through this supernatural agency.

The advent of the Spirit in power on that first NT Pentecost bequeathed gifts to men (Eph 4:8). These are outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 and are being covered in the article series An Introduction To The Spiritual Gifts, so I will not repeat that here. Suffice it to say that the receipt and expression of these supernatural gifts was a vital aspect of the original faith.

7. Witnessing in Power

The gifts of the Spirit are manifestations of divine power. This power is given to those who have faith to receive and utilise it (Mark 16:17,18). It is not given to those who don't exercise that belief and expression.

Through divine power demons are cast out; sicknesses are cured; and many other miracles testify to God's supremacy in every circumstance.

Because they had received this power:

...the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it (Mark 16:20).

Only miraculous power gives undeniable witness to the fact of God's inspiration. God birthed the Church in that power as we read in Acts, He projected the apostles' preaching with power (Acts 8:6; 15:12), and He continues to do so today. Too many have lost sight of this, as they have the other aspects of the faith.

8. Love

The capstone of the faith given to the saints is love – not human love, but divine love. It is the culmination of spiritual growth (2 Pet 1:5-8). We are given the chance to participate in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4).

There is nothing greater to achieve or attain than what God's love achieves and attains (1 Cor 13). It is the pinnacle of His design for man.

Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did (1 Jn 2:6).

Every follower of Jesus needs to return to THAT faith which was given to the saints! The Bride must put on her garments of righteousness to be ready.

Malcolm B. Heap, December 1997
(This article first appeared in Awake! Awake! of Nov/Dec 1997 (Part 1), and Jan/Feb 1998 (Part 2).)

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Further Reading

What the Bible Says About the Holy Spirit, Debunking the Trinity Myth and Why the Holy Spirit? Send £2.00 ($3.00 US) for these eye-openers!

Who is the End-Time Elijah? God promised to send us Elijah the prophet before the end of the Age and the Day of the Lord. Is he a man or more than a man? God is moving, and will do more! 52 page booklet, £2.00

The Controversy Concerning Law and Grace: This booklet explains the relevance of works in the believer's life. Most believers misunderstand the matter of God's grace and His attitude towards 'law'. His grace does not exempt us from moral duty! Here is the truth from the New Testament. It may surprise you! 56 page booklet, £2.00

Our Sabbath Rest. This book contains a comprehensive analysis and exegesis on the matter of the biblical Christian Sabbath. Also, a brief history of Sabbath keeping down through history to the present. £3.00 ($5.00 US.)

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Copyright: Midnight Ministries, PO Box 29, Aylesbury, HP17 8TL, UK