A Commentary on Section 182 of the Olive Branch
Over the last three months I, and others of the leadership, have been sifting through the Church's storehouse of Scriptures in order to determine which of the revelations of the past should be used in the Church which is to be officially reorganised in April 1996. In doing so, I have been struck by the numerous references to deception and how to avoid being deceived. The clear message is: "Beware! There are many who would deceive who are themselves deceived but do not know it. Therefore learn these keys of discernment." Thus today I would like to look at one particular revelation, received on 12 October 1989 (NC&C 182), which lists in great detail the things that lead believers away from, or pervert, the Gospel message.
1. The Cares of the World
"Thus saith the Lord unto those who are turning away from Me because of the cares of the world and the enticings thereof..." For those who become distracted from the Gospel and who cast furtive eyes back to the world which they have abandoned for Jesus, He says: "Ye have made a binding declaration with Me, and the sons and daughters of the Covenant have borne witness before angels and thrones."
The moment we accept Jesus as our Saviour and embrace His Gospel by being immersed in water and confirmed by the laying on of hands, we have entered a covenant which cannot be revoked! "I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, a great and mighty God who faithfully keepeth covenant, and maketh not light of that which He hath established." To turn to Christ is not a matter of frivolity -- it is the most serious things we can ever do. The moment a person begins to turn back to the world and its enticings he is in effect rejecting the seriousness of his covenants by making the Gospel out to be a "light" and therefore inconsequential thing. It is not.
"I am just and I keep faith even though My people have not kept faith but have gone awhoring after the perishable idols of Babylon." No matter what we do the Lord is faithful. We, in our turn, must also be faithful no matter what our brethren and sisters may do. We follow Christ, not our brethren and sisters. If we do not, we are likely to follow other Christians into their own delusions and lose that precious relationship with Christ which brought us into His Gospel in the first place.
2. The Seriousness of Rebellion
"The oath and covenant of the...Priesthood is no small matter, saith the Lord. Therefore let those who enter therein lightly beware, for if they fall, they must also receive the reward of their transgression, which is as a rock which dasheth down the wall of rebellion."
All who receive Christ enter into the Royal Priesthood, receiving it inwardly in proportion to their faith and understanding. It is a tremendous inheritance and is given on trust. It is the Light of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the purest and most holy gift the Lord can give any man or woman. The moment the Spirit is received it begins to teach the soul sacred truths about God the Father. As the soul is thus nourished, and as the mind and heart expand in gladness for this knowledge and intimacy, so it becomes closer and closer bound to the Lord.
Everybody knows of the tragic consequences of unfaithfulness in marriage, and how it shatters deep trust. Marriage is a sacred covenant because it involves such intimate, fragile, tender and personal feelings and thoughts. Our relationship to the Lord is repeatedly likened to a marriage because the Holy Spirit establishes such an intimate bond between the believer and His Lord. As the Lord Jesus reveals more and more of His heart so the believer's joy increases.
Adultery -- which in the case of the Gospel is to reject the covenant by being unfaithful to what God has revealed by turning to the teachings of the world and of unredeemed men who despise the Spirit of truth and holiness -- shatters the heart of God. It breaks trust with Him and causes deep sorrow. How do we know this? Because God revealed His heart in Jesus Christ by allowing His Son to bring into the very core of Divinity the filth and scum of the human heart. This is called the atonement. Jesus, bringing human rebellion into the presence of truthfulness and faithfulness, felt the agony of human rebellion so deeply that He bled at every pore. He repented for us, receiving our just punishment. He took the sins of the world upon Himself and suffered terribly. His suffering is therefore a mirror of the suffering of our Heavenly Father which He experiences when we turn away from Him.
To be ignorant is one thing, but to be wilfully rebellious is entirely another. We cannot be punished when we sin in ignorance, but when we sin deliberately, as a man or woman might deliberately go and commit adultery, there are serious consequences which cannot be avoided. Like a huge boulder rolled off the top of a hill, when a covenant is broken that boulder cannot be stopped until it has reached the bottom of the hill. Our rebelliousness has dangerous consequences both for us and to others who stand in our path of rebellion.
So what does the Lord say He will do to whose who deliberately -- willfully -- break their covenants? He says that that rebellion will be smashed into pieces as a rock dashes down a wall, for "justice [must] make its legitimate demands on him."
3. Whoredom and Money
Two of the greatest temptations faced by those under the covenant are the enticings of sexual infidelity and the love of money, for such things bring a man "into bondage to Babylon." Such a person "exchanges his inheritance [in Zion] for bondage in the Order of Cain." Such a person "reapeth the reward of his iniquities and descendeth into darkness and obscurity, having cast himself to the mercies of the destroyer beyond the safety of the walls of Zion."
We have seen former members of the Church destroyed spiritually by these two vices. It is a pitiful and tragic sight.
The Lord says: "...if a man doth not choose the right when he hath received the Spirit of knowledge and wisdom, he must lose the Light and pass beyond the arms of grace and mercy, and into the cold and lonely world of Abbadon. And his knowledge shall profit him nothing, for knowledge is an orphan without love and discipline. And love is obedience to truth, which is knowledge of the Way of the Lord. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that a man must choose what is right even if it goeth contrary to his nature and the feelings of his heart, for only the truth can save. For the feelings of a man's heart -- his desires and expectations -- are fashioned by his perceptions of truth, even if that "truth" is the "truth" of a false god, and is therefore itself false."
This is one of the core principles of the Gospel that has been repeated over and over again in the revelations: our feelings are not always to be taken as reliable guides of the truth. Moreover, it does not matter now much knowledge we have learned before if we then try to apply it while we exist in a rebellious condition because it will not serve us. It is like an orphan with no parents to guide it lest it wanders off the way.
We cannot plead for mercy indefinitely. Repentance must first come: "For mercy will not always be spurned but must cleave unto her own, even those who will receive her and turn aside from wicked ways." Until that happens, the ears of mercy will be turned away from the one who has rebelled and is crying for deliverance.
3. Pride and Money
Money is a terrible lure. Used rightly, it can be a blessing for the Kingdom, but seen as an end in itself, it traps and enslaves. Such a person, who is dazzled by the god of money, must "repent of his pride and forsake the weights and measures of the cities." In other words, the whole atheistic capitalist system is a trap and a snare, for it encourages greed and would turn a blind eye to those who are suffering because of need.
In our modern world people are measured socially in terms of how much money they have. They are "weighed and measured" by their wealth. The wealthy are first class citizens and the poor are second class. But in God's eyes everyone is of equal worth irrespective of how much money they have.
One of the more subtle temptations faced by New Covenant Christians is the following argument: "I am going to devote my energies to making lots of money so that I can bless the Kingdom, help finance missionary work, build chapels and temples, etc." The Lord's answer is: NO, because such sentiments are based in "I" or "ego" and therefore Pride. And pride, as the revelations to this Church have said a thousand times, is the great spiritual slayer. We are rather to devote our energies to the Kingdom first and let the Lord take care of financial matters.
4. False Gospels
False teachings cling to the soul like an oil slick polluting a beach. They destroy the soul by suffocating it. The soul wishes to continually expand into the love and glory of God's Spirit but false teaching binds us down like Gulliver in Gulliver's Travels. Here a giant is captured by miniature people who bind him to the ground but in the end he breaks free. The problem is not so much whether we will break away from false teachings or not -- if we are earnestly following the Lord and desire to serve Him with all our souls, we will break the bonds of false teaching sooner or later. The question is more one of wasted time. Yet there are others, who are not seeking the Lord of Truth, who are prisoners of false teachings all their lives. What a waste of life -- the only life we have on this sphere.
To such a prisoner of false belief the Lord says: "Let [him] forsake [his false beliefs]....if he is not obedient...he will never arise into the covenant of Zion but must follow the path of the false religion he hath chosen. And he must necessarily remain empty and spiritually barren. He knoweth many things but his knowledge he hath perverted and coveted, and ceaseth not to boast of it. His knowledge is as the wind...."
False religion does not lead to genuine service to mankind. It is, rather, self-serving. The man chasing after false religion never "assumeth responsibility for anything, but chaseth after his own dreams. And he denieth that which is true and calleth his own voice the voice of God and of angels. He seeketh to convert others to himself that he may thereby obtain worth in the eyes of men."
And this is surely the greatest tragedy, when people seek to propagate false religion in a desperate bid to be respected and loved by others. All men and women are seeking for love. The trouble is they seek after it on their own terms and not God's. Examine closely the core for anyone's beliefs and it usually has something to do with a deep need to be loved. Teaching a soul of the love of God and showing him how to experience it is one of the best ways of unseating the false gods of religion though it is not easy. Such persons, terribly insecure, weave intricate and complex theological webs around themselves so as not to expose their vulnerability. Untangling such webs is almost completely impossible. The only way in is by bring the love of Christ to bear, for only this can smash through and dissolve all the false barriers of self-protection men create to isolate their hearts, as they suppose.
There were many like this in the early New Covenant Church and ministering to them was virtually impossible. Their world was a barren world of words and philosophy, of ancient documents and revelations, of wonderful spiritual manifestations, all spun to dazzle the eye yet successfully steering the listener away from the core problem: a lack of love and self-worth. Such are dangerous, not only to themselves but to others too, as we shall see in the final category.
5. Pride, Pride, and Pride Again
The New Covenant Church has attracted many very gifted and talented souls -- men of great intellectual, artistic and administrative ability. Most of them have gone. Why? What is it that ended such promising ministries in the Kingdom?
I will cite as an example the man with great intellectual ability. Of such the Lord has said: "I have richly blessed my servant...with knowledge and wisdom above all his brethren and I have given him instruction [through the revelations] sufficient for his needs. Many times he hath stood at the borders and I would have healed him, but he would not yield himself fully, nor make confession and thus complete his repentance. And pride hath slain him, and behold, he seeketh to justify himself and reject the part of My Word that would have cleansed him."
A man who is gifted with words but who will not fully repent from his sins because of pride is perhaps the greatest danger to the Church, and especially so if the people are not mature enough to discern the Holy Spirit. The honest New Covenant Christian often falls into a fatal trap. Speaking to the honest man, the Lord says: "And thou...hast often indulged [the unrepentant intellectual] in thy weakness because of thy great love for him; and thou hast stood in awe of him and been deceived by his words. Obedience is better than sacrifice, saith the Lord, and ye are all called to sacrifice your own desires for the sake of truth. And because they would not sacrifice their own desires, but rather sought to justify them, giving them pre-eminence over My Word, many have rebelled and fallen. And some are more fallen than others."
We must never be awed by another's gift because awe is also a kind of coveting and idolatry. Everyone has their unique gifts to give to the Body. The trouble is that there are some gifted persons who delude themselves into thinking that they are completely endowed with all the gifts and who led pride and vanity persuade them that they have the right to lord it over their brethren. So many have fallen into this trap. Every rebellion the Church has experienced has been because of such souls who na´vely and foolishly deluded themselves into believing that they suddenly had the "fullness" and were on a "higher path" to everyone else. So they created a faction and called others to follow them. All have fallen.
The Lord's plan is quite different: "Let each therefore repent and heal the wounds of the Body [Church]. I have been merciful, saith the Lord, but I cannot sacrifice the Body for the sake of a few of the members who have departed from the Body."
Such rebellions have caused the Church to almost be destroyed. The Lord has further said: "I shall withdraw the...covenant if there is not a general repentance, and the Bride shall go into the wilderness for a season where she may nurture her child within the Temple of the Most High." This happened in 1992, three years after this revelation was received. "I am not the creator of imperfection, saith the Lord, and will not have My Name taken into the world by the lukewarm and rebellious. Therefore I would rather divorce the Bride than have the Name of My Father disgraced before the children of men, and I shall divorce her and send her away if she does not fully awaken and sweep out her house. The best I shall preserve in My Temple, and there I shall make a new creation and receive the covenants of those who will obey Me. Even now I am sifting, saith the Lord, and have taken aside those who are willing to subject themselves unto all things for Christ's sake."
Prophetic words. In 1992 only seven souls survived the rebellion of the first Church which preserved the Gospel in the temple. In 1996 another seven souls did the same thing.
The Lord has said: "Great blessings await those who are pure and undivided, but those who are divided, who are unable to choose one way or the other, have chosen no way, and it is as though they are in the wilderness."
Those who were divided within themselves because they would not repent have again departed. And this will always happen in this Church because the Lord "is not the creator of imperfection." This Church strives to be obedient to the call of Christ, which is that His servants become perfect even as our Heavenly Father is perfect.
"Grapes cannot be picked from briars nor the joy of the Lord harvested from those who are bitter or rebellious; but the vine that is watered is plentiful, even that its branches bend with the burden of its joy. See that ye also are as the grapevine, bearing many good and delightsome fruits because of your good works, that your burdens may be a joy unto you like the mother who carrieth the child within the womb. Unto the joyful I say: Bless the Name of your God and be faithful, for He will supply you abundantly. And unto those who are grieving and have lost their way, I say: Come unto Me and trust your cares unto Me, for I shall receive the truly penitent and forget their offense, holding no charge against them. And they shall become faithful also, and the vineyard shall flourish and multiply, until none are thirsty anymore in My Holy Mountain. Even so. Amen."
This page was created on 16 April 1998
Last updated on 16 April 1998
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