The Prerogative for & Performance of Church Purity
Section #2: The Church = “The Called-Out Ones”
The Church = “the Called-Out Ones”
If you are hell-loved then you are heaven-hated. If hell hungers to swallow you down, heaven’s King is vomiting you out! Hell’s-worthies are heaven’s-rejects! If you are heaven-worthy, let it be understood that you are God-called, “a called out one”, and therefore you have been selectively brought near to God. Do you know what a “called out one” is? The scriptures define “The Church” to be “the called”, meaning that it consists of those who are “called out” of Egypt (“The Church in the wilderness” –Acts 7:38, Hos. 11:1), like as Abraham was “called out” from Terah (Gen. 12:1-2, Heb. 11:8-10, Isa. 51:2, Neh. 9:7), like Isaac was “called out” from Ishmael (Gen. 21:12, Rom. 9:7), and like Jacob was “called out” from Esau (Isa. 48:12, 15), and as for the New Testament Church-call, we are:
“As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, Who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory.” (1 Thess. 2:11-12)
“CALLED unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” – 1 Cor. 1:9
“Hereunto were ye CALLED: because Christ also suffered for us… ye should follow in His steps” – 1 Peter 2:21
“CALLED in one body” – Col. 3:15
“CALLED you out of darkness in His marvellous light” – 1 Peter 2:9
“CALLED us to glory and virtue” – 2 Peter 1:3
“Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are CALLED” – Eph. 4:1
“God hath not CALLED us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” – 1 Thess. 4:7
“Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art CALLED” – 1 Tim. 6:12
“Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly CALLING” – Heb. 3:1
“When he was CALLED to go out… he sojourned in the Land of promise” (Heb. 11:8-9), and we are thus, rightly called, “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Pet. 2:11), because we have obeyed our CALLING to “come out from” (2 Cor. 6:17) among the world, which is, by interpretation, firstly, to “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11).
In every case we can see how, typologically and spiritually, every Covenant has “called-out” persons who were, before the call, slaves to sin and depravity, and after the call, forbidden companionship with those who are abiding in the livelihood of sin (once-born or backslidden therein). We must, therefore, be brought into the recognition that The Church is not a mingled company of professing believers: some true and some false, some real and some counterfeit. By Biblical Definition: The Church is “the called-out ones” who have been spiritually and savingly united with the living God, made separate from unholiness by His Holiness! – a company of the saved, twice-born, persevering believers! It was written that The Church is “HIS BODY” (Col. 1:24): a spiritually alive, biologically-joined together, counter-dependent organism, whose lifeblood, heart, and head are tri-unitedly, One Person. This Body, which is Their home, is the place where They are “through all and in all” (Eph. 4:6). God is not “through all” and “in all” the wicked, is He? God is not “through all” and “in all” hypocritical false-converts of professing Christianity, is He? Let us, therefore, make The Church inviting to God, and if He is included in the assembly… who is excluded?
“14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
The Gospel call to holiness is a conditional command bound with promises. The call is a break of yoke! Why? The power of the Gospel establishes this purpose of God through regeneration, which is a supernatural severing from unbelievers. The break of yoke is a break of fellowship, communion, concord, and agreement, and this can be understood when a man understands the work of salvation as a transformation and separation from the world. A “Divine nature” segregates fellowship, voids commonality, and establishes spiritual enmity with all unbelievers and this world (2 Peter 1:4). Reception of this Gospel is a reception of “come out from among them”, and so we become children of Abraham who did obey his Gospel, “get thee out” (Gen. 12:1, Heb. 11:8). If you receive this Gospel, a Gospel that is, in this way, a Gospel of holiness, you are received by God and He becomes your new spiritual Father, being born again His son or daughter (2 Cor. 6:18). This is the unavoidable purpose of God in the Gospel: past, present, and forever. Such an imputation of holiness as this causes holy living! When He – the Holy Ghost – indwells unholy humanity, the indwelling is a regenerating, and this begets holy living in deed as the manifest qualities of God and Abraham’s seed.
Now we must understand that the Gospel is called “a calling”, and this Gospel is a saving union with Christ – “at-one-ment” – where man is placed in Christ. Thus we are separated from the earth and are born into a life and conversation from heaven (Php. 3:20). We have a new Family and Father, and we do become “strangers and pilgrims in this world”, because we crucify our flesh (1 Peter 2:11, Col. 3:5). Those that are savingly “called” (Rom. 9:24) by the Gospel calling are then called, God says, “My people” (Rom. 9:25) and “children of the Living God” (Rom. 9:26). If you are a child of God, then you are like God’s child – Jesus Christ – who was called the “firstborn among many brethren”. If you will be called God’s child, you will be a man who is “conformed to the Image of [God’s] Son” (Rom. 8:29). Jesus Christ repeatedly explained the various ways in which Christians are made savingly one with God. He prayed for Christians and said, “As Thou Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they may be one in Us” (John 17:21). We are one in Him and Them! This oneness with God is spoken of as the glory of God (John 17:22), the love of God (John 17:23, 15:9-10), the saving knowledge, or intimate knowing, of God (John 10:14-15, 17:3, 1 John 2:4), and it is a life that lives by God (John 6:56-57).
If The Church is a “calling out” of the world, a calling whereby fallen sons of Adam are reconciled to God – this is a reunion to God through Christ, for Christ, and because of Christ the second Adam. A Church must therefore be a holy, sanctified, and God-defined yoking, companionship (or company), fellowship, friendship, and communion amongst a God-called and universal people gathered together in a local congregation. The Church is both universal and local, yes, but those attributes which characterize the universal Church should become visible in the local Church. This means that The Church is a holy company, and by spiritual Laws God saves and damns men by companies (Ps. 106:17, Lk. 6:22, 1 Cor. 5:11, 2 Thess. 3:14, Ps. 119:63, Prov. 13:20, 28:7, Php. 2:25, Rev. 1:9, Job 34:8, Ps. 55:14, 68:11). This company, The Church, is a Divinely begun (1 Cor. 5:11, 2 Thess. 3:14) spiritual friendship because we were confronted and selected by One Befriending Force. There is One Omnipresent Person who has become our mutual commonality. He is the “Friend” which established our friendship (Prov. 22:24, James 2:23), and when we became friends with Him we became enemies with those who oppose Him (Jas. 4:4). Thus we, The Church, have a mutual Friend and mutual enemies - sin, the world, and the devil. Such companies of God-ordained friends are God-clad soldiers and God-commissioned workers – “yokefellows” (Php. 4:3, 2 Cor. 6:14) – Divinely begun (Matt. 11:29) and Divinely continued by God-authored rules which make possible its continuation (2 Cor. 6:14). The Divine beginnings of such persons, companies, congregations, and assemblies are made by God’s “call” – His Personal indwelling of the believer (1 Cor. 1:9, 1 Jn. 1:3, Ps. 94:20, 1 Jn. 1:6, Php. 3:10) – these persons who are united with Him are called together in a regulated assembly acceptable to God’s presence (2 cor. 6:14, Eph. 5:11, 1 John 1:7), hereby, in community with all saints, unity with one another continues by a Divinely authored fellowship (Acts 2:42, Gal. 2:9, Eph. 2:9, 4:1-13, Php. 1:5, 2:1, 1 Jn. 1:3, 7, 1 Cor. 10:20).
When and if a saint backslides into a disqualified spiritual condition, the man is then disqualified from biblical companionship, friendship, fellowship, and yoking with obedient saints, and by God’s command, there needs to be a “forsaking” of the one to save them all (Prov. 9:6), a “purging” of the one to save the “holy lump” (1 Cor. 5), a “casting out” of the one to preserve the health and progress of the congregation (Prov. 22:12). Because the backslider’s presence aggravates and contends against the presence of God and His people, the backslider has become a presence of spiritual disunion from God and His body. This disunion is dangerous! In essence, the backslider’s spiritual condition is in contradiction and enmity against the cause of Christ and His people – this merits his removal (Prov. 14:7). Dismembering the offender saves the body! “Cut them off and cast them from thee”, Christ said! “Pluck it out and cast it from thee” (Matt. 18:8-9), and why? No matter how precious the member, it must be cut off from Christ’s body… or the offender will cause the whole body to offend (see Matt. 18:3-20). These offenders, my brethren! Cut and “cast them” from the body! Or the body will be “cast into everlasting fire” (Matt. 18:8)! We are warned, brethren… will we take heed? [For more information please follow this link to a section titled, “Bodily Sickness”.]
“slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor” – Ex. 32:27
Those brothers and friends, no matter how dear, when they conflict with the purposes of God’s Church in the local assembly, they must be dealt with severely, my reader, as a thrusting sword against a fighting body. There are soldier-like death penalties to Church-army defectors. Our Divine-Captain, sword-in-hand (Josh. 5:13), commands that we “slay every man [our] brother” who is a defector. Every Spirit-filled saint, sword-in-hand, slays and slays – killing sin – or sin will be killing him. It is written, “Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood” (Jer. 48:10)…even so, my reader, are you cursed? If we do not follow our sword-drawn Commander into the battle, our Commander – Jesus Christ – will turn His sword upon us! If we do not slay with our God-given sword, “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Eph. 6), then Christ will slay us with His sword (Rev. 2:16)! If you run not with Him in His charge, He will turn, change direction, and run after you! Do you know Him who foretold the event, saying, “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad” (Matt. 12:30)? Do you know Him who commanded, “SMITE: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: SLAY UTTERLY old and young, both maids, and little children, and women…and BEGIN at My Sanctuary” (Ezek. 9:5-6)? Do you know Him who said, “Judgment must begin at the House of God” (1 Pet. 4:17)? Do you know Him who threatens “His people”, first of all, with judgment and vengeance (Heb. 10:30-31)? Christ, personally offended and vengeful, forewarns His regenerate people of a sword-battle in which He will FIGHT, SLAY, and KILL rebels from His army ranks – sinning saints! Oh, my reader! He said - “Repent; or else I WILL COME unto thee quickly, and will FIGHT against them with the sword of My mouth” (Rev. 2:16)! “All sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us” (Amos 9:10)! “These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges” (Rev. 2:12)! Is this your Jesus?
“And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” - Revelation 19:15
“And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” - Revelation 19:21
“But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.” - Isaiah 11:4
“And He hath made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me, and made Me a polished shaft; in His quiver hath He hid Me” - Isaiah 49:2
“And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” – Rev. 1:16
Brethren, it is written, “slay every man his brother, and every man his companion” (Ex. 32:27), to the end that we, in the New Testament sense, disallow the House of God from becoming, by our lack of judgment (1 Cor. 5:13), “a den of thieves”, a habitation which we would be commanded to “enter not”, “go not”, “avoid it”, “pass not by”, “turn from”, and “pass away” (Prov. 4:13-16), because it remains unpurged. Walking, standing, and sitting, my reader, who are we? Are we those who, in a New Testament sense, “walketh not”, “nor standeth in the way”, “nor sitteth in the seat” (Psalm 1:1)? “It is written, My House shall be called the House of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matt. 21:13)! WOE to us, if we live in a generation where God has left the professing Church, the so called “House of God”, for it has become a House of Sinners. This House of Sinners is a slaughterhouse of saints! Saints who should have, like Jeremiah, “sat alone” (Jer. 15:17), but instead they assembled with the mockers. Oh! The prophetic WOE is upon us! The “strong delusion”, the generation-wide “FALLING AWAY”, alas, our Church congregants are mostly castaways! My reader, the time is now! The Church on the corner is made up of strongly deluded people who have “pleasure in unrighteousness”, who are from God, fallen away! Will these “Christian” assemblies of habitual-sinners obtain the blessed promise of God, “I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17-18)? No my reader, God will say to them what He said of old: “When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread My courts…the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting” (Isa. 1:12-13)! In such a generation, Jeremiah said, “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of Thy hand: for Thou hast filled me with indignation” (Jer. 15:17). What about you? Will you learn to “put a difference” between those things which God commands differentiation? Will you “put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:13)? Or will you follow the abominable hypocrisy of former generations, of whom it was written, “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare My statutes, or that thou shouldest take My Covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest My words behind thee” (Ps. 50:16-17)?
The Church is a company of redeemed persons, not by mere confession, but by vital reality with God in which they walk with Him: by heart, word, and deed in righteousness. Thus it is written, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:6-7). There are holy grounds by which we, His people, are enabled to “have fellowship with one another” (1 Jn. 1:7): we have fellowship and saving union with God’s Presence (1 Jn. 1:6, Ex. 3:5, Josh. 5:15). There are therefore persons (once-born or backslidden) who are, by spiritual condition, God-rejected. If they continue in sin without recovery, we are commanded to “have no fellowship” with them (Eph. 5:11). The reasons for this no-fellowship-call are apparent: Firstly, by essence, the two individuals exist in contradicting spiritual conditions; therefore for all respective purposes they are enemies, as darkness is in contradiction to and at enmity with light. Secondarily, their union and mingling is impossible (in one sense) and fatal (in another). The local assembly, congregation, and gathering in which these two forces mingle in a forbidden union may have the appearance of peace… but they’re at war. The two forces – light and darkness – never cease to wrestle and fight against one another. If there be a greater or lesser presence of the one, it is because the one is more or less victorious against their foe… no friendship is ever made. Therefore the assembly, congregation, and gathering of this mixing is a mockery of impossibilities, like God and the devil sharing a friendly meal together. This mingling in The Church is unacceptable, God exclaiming: “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness” (2 Cor. 6:14)? Therefore what “God divided”, let no man bring into union (Gen. 1:4)! What God divided, let it be “separate” (2 Cor. 6:17)! It is written, “God divided the light from the darkness” (Gen. 1:4). The union of what God has divided is not permissible or possible, and if delusional saints do attempt inordinate reconciliation with sinners… the friendship will be fatal.
The act of friendship here is mutiny against the Master and treason against God’s totalitarianism. An act of peace extended to whom God is at enmity with, is an act of war against God, and he who acts in friendship toward God’s enemies, is God’s enemy. Let us finally understand it, dear Church! As long as we seek inordinate peace with sinners we are at war against God! Which means, in other words, as long as we have fellowship with sinners we are dis-fellowshipping God Almighty!
Our “yokes” (2 Cor. 6:14), the “companions” (Prov. 13:20) of our “company” (1 Cor. 5:11), our “fellowship” (2 Cor. 6:14, Eph. 5:11, 1 John 1:3, 7), “friendships” (Prov. 22:24), and “communion” (2 Cor. 6:14, 1 Cor. 10:16), depending on with whom they are, rewards unto us the promise of continual union with God, or, alas, by profanation, desecration, and betrayal of that union, we are rejected without reunion except by a renewal of the God-called separation. Whatever our present case, the persons with whom we have these holy bonds should be “examined” (2 Cor. 13:5) and “judged” (1 Cor. 5:12, Ps. 1:5), to the end that “sinners” and “wicked person[s]” (Psalm 1:5, 1 Cor. 5:13, Jas. 5:20) do not stand in the congregation of God. This “call” to judge is not directed to the branches of Church ministry, merely, but the literal congregations, assemblies, and local gatherings of The Church! Once The Church congregation is separated from the once-born, henceforth, through judgment and examination (because “the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; proving what is acceptable to the Lord” – Eph. 5:9-10) the brethren will remain aware of how holy, genuine, and authentic the spiritual bond of the congregation is, thereby maintaining the good pleasure of the King around Whom they gather. But if those of regenerate circles deny that saints can become fools, those that are in darkness, declared to be sinners who are turned into unbelievers, and thereby rendered objects of Divine-contempt, henceforth disdained by God’s immediate Presence, comparable to the irreconcilable relationship God has with “Belial”, “infidels”, and “idols” (2 Cor. 6:15-16)… woe to us! The House of God is defiled. For Israel, if there is no sanctity there is no salvation, and if there is no holiness in the House of God… there is no hope. Woe to us! Pastors don’t even judge and sanctify the congregation from once-born sinners, and yet, furthermore, they fail to judge, examine, and maintain saints in the authenticity of their calling (what means to implement judgment and what fruits verify authenticity). Unlike such men, brethren, we must put a “difference between the clean and unclean” (Ezek. 22:26), and so, let it be that the “congregation of the dead” (Prov. 21:16) is separated from “the congregation of the righteous” (Ps. 1:5)!
The Church = “the Called-Out Ones”
“For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that CALLETH” – Romans 9:11
The Church is “the called-out ones”, the assembly of the strangers and pilgrims who “pass the time of [their] sojourning here in fear” and “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 1:17, 2:11). Seeing that the fire of God will come upon the world “the called-out ones” have their affections captured elsewhere, in Heaven. Heaven is the origin of true religion, thus “pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this ….to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). Christian spotlessness is Christian separateness, according to scripture. The end of the work of Christ in His Church is, “that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). All worldlings, worldliness, and worldly doctrines do cleave to the Adamic Man like leprous spots of decaying flesh (2 Pet. 2:13, 3:14, Jude 1:3-5, 12), except Jesus of Nazareth says, “Be thou clean” (Mark.1:41). Leprosy IS decaying flesh, unbearable to smell and violently contagious… thus the presence of a regenerate man who is, at present, a spiritually dead man, is rightly called a living dead man. He is not just a living dead man, but he – by “TOUCH” (2 Cor. 6:17) – spreads death! The cry of the meek ascends to God in prayer requesting on behalf of the Bride of Christ, “let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb” (Numbers 12:12). Oh the tragedy! The Bride of Christ turned leprous! This is the process of death seizing her while she yet lives, when Christians have a name that they live and are dead (see Rev. 3:1)! The flesh of lepers decays while the body is left unburied because, shockingly, the person is still living! Lepers were to go without the camp and congregation of Israel; likewise they must go out of the congregation of the saints today. There IS healing with repentance, praise God! Therefore let the leprous limb of the body of Christ that has been rendered unprofitable, limp, dead, and useless – “let it rather be healed”, “lest that which is lame be turned out of the way” (Hebrews 12:13). We must “make straight paths for our feet” (Heb. 12:13), with our gaze straight on (Heb. 12:15), and we will persevere in repentance. [For a further study see how “The Clean and Unclean Laws” relate to leprosy in New Testament applications authored by the inspired writers.]
A Church assembly ought to be holy. Holy means separate: separation from the world. Upon fulfilling what is written, we can unanimously pray “lifting up holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8), for here, in The Church assembly, A-L-L are holy. A lepers hands are hidden in their pockets, the lazy lukewarm fold them in their bosom, but when the assembly lifts up their hands in prayer let it be said of us that all of them are “holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8). We must cleanse them and lift them, “wherefore lift up the hands which hang down” (Hebrews 12:12). We must “follow… holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). The Church assembly is to be a holy company. When assembled it is a time of separation from the world, and we, being divided from it, will be attentive to God. All that are assembled together are, by calling and livelihood, the brethren. At other times physical separation from the world is impossible for us as human beings, “for then must ye needs go out of the world” (1 Cor. 5:10). The word “Church” is local and visible via the assembled congregation, but it was first universal and invisible by the salvific calling of God, the second birth, whereby men were translated out of the world into a heavenly citizenship. In this way we are, spiritually speaking, “the called out ones”. This call of God, which is an unspeakable freedom, is granted to depraved, God-hating, salvation-rejecting, rebels, and they, being apprehended by the irresistible hands of the Almighty, were unwillingly nailed to a cross! A cross, my reader! You – nailed to it – are free from the world! Do you know the boast? “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14)! Let the crucified-congregation lift up their holy hands in prayer, for we, being assembled, have become the “House of Prayer”, and let all our prayers begin with “Our Father” (Matt. 6)…closing the door on all of Satan’s children from our midst. God does not answer the prayers of hell’s congregation, does He, as they burn alive (James 3:5-6)? Nor will He mind man’s praying tongue when it is on fire with Satan’s arguments and lies.
The Church is not a mere man-call for once-born sinners, “Come to Church?” No! Our calling is not “a calling out” from our homes into an assembly, it is another calling out! Today men add to The Church them that are unsaved, in the New Testament “the Lord added to The Church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47)! Adam Clarke did take note of this from the very same scripture, commenting to his readers,
“And the Lord added to The Church daily such as should be saved - Though many approved of the life and manners of these primitive Christians, yet they did not become members of this holy Church; God permitting none to be added to it, but τους σωζομενους, those who were saved from their sins and prejudices. The Church of Christ was made up of saints; sinners were not permitted to incorporate themselves with it.” – Adam Clarke
I say then, in agreement with Clarke, in affirmation to scripture, let us leave the calling to God, and all that He does call, even they will saving-ly call upon the Lord to be saved (Joel. 2:32, Rom. 10:13, Ps. 145:18), hallelujah!
According to the word of God only the Lord can add to or build a Church. It is written, “except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps 127:1). Is there any question who should build or who can be added to The Church? We have been saved by Him “who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9), remember? He “hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). “God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1 Thess. 4:7). Holiness, glory, virtue, and light is in Christ, and therein is our unity and calling, our “calling out”. We are “called in one body” (Col. 3:15), “called in one hope of your calling” (Eph. 4:4), and supremely, “in this He has called us unto eternal life (1 Tim. 6:12), a “high calling” of the redemption of our body in an eternal resurrection (Phil. 3:14). We are “called-out” of the world by being born of heaven, a second birth. Even so, we have been “called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9). Born of another place while still abiding in this world, here we walk-out our “calling” as we await the inheritance of the world to come (1 Cor. 3:22).
The constitution of The Church assembly is inherently defined in the meaning of the very word Church. According to the aforementioned scriptures, God’s calling re-creates. This recreation, and only this, does enable us to have fellowship in the congregation of “the called-out ones”, The Church, in whose midst is the chief centerpiece of affection in a Person, the Caller and Elector Himself! As our calling is, so we must be in assembly - holy unto the Lord! “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY” (1 Peter 1:14-16). Today men add to The Church, but only God can add to The Church, and that is by an effectual and irresistible calling of salvation. The calling is the work of the Lord, the “assembling of ourselves” is the teaching of scripture, and in physically assembling we become a local Church (Hebrews 10:25). Let us limit the local Church to them that are The Church--there let men call to assemble only those ones that have already been “called” by God! God has called for a congregation because of the new creation! Note: Through water baptism men come under the public recognition that a man is saved and therefore welcome in The Church. Water baptism is when the saved individual is coming under the authority of the Lord Jesus in the local Church, the Kingdom of God on earth. Notably, though, a spiritual baptism is what saves a man, but water baptism does publicize a man’s salvation! The one is God’s, the other is man in the stead of God. Even so, likewise, God’s spiritual calling does save a man, and man’s calling to assemble together in a local congregation (The Church) is a publication of God’s calling!
The Spiritual Focus & Intentionality of a NT Church Assembly
The company of “called-out ones” are spiritually empowered for singular focus and service to God and His people. Therefore such ministry Godward is a corporate activity which is HOLY, like the NT example,
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to The Church daily such as should be saved.” - Acts 2:42-47
“All that believed were together”, which meant: all that were saved were together and all that were called out were together, and all that assembled were saved! So, also, the “assembling of ourselves” that is taught in Hebrews 10:25 is a Church company that is “sprinkled” by “the blood of Jesus,” “having an High Priest over the house of God” whose name is Jesus, and they assemble to one holy, sober, intentional end (Hebrews 10:19, 21-22). To what end? That intentional end is,
“and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:24-25
The Lord calls for earnestness to increase as “the day” approaches. What grave Judgment will this day bring that would motivate saints to corporate exhortation, driving them harder and harder into love and good works? The Judgment they are minding is certain and fearful, my reader!
The Standard of Judgment Day: “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” - Hebrews 10:26-27
The writer of Hebrews says, “if we”, not some mixed multitude of unbelievers. The judgment and warning is toward them that have “the blood of the Covenant” as their sanctification (Heb. 10:29), so that if they perish it is because they have “counted the blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing” (Heb. 10:29), according to the writer of Hebrews.
Since the assembly is for “the saved” alone, this sober-minded purpose, atmosphere, and temperature can be maintained in that true believers have “all things common” in the unity of regeneration (Acts 2:44). As it is written, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:4-6). All this oneness is a work of regeneration, even as we “are called in one hope of” our “calling”. It is no wonder why 21st century Christianity cannot “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith” we “are called” (Eph. 4:1) when those who are partnering or “yoking” (2 Cor. 6:14, Php. 4:3) with us in our “calling” are not even “partakers of the heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1)! Therefore they cannot help us or God, but they can harm us! The hellish nature of unbelievers will not peaceably surrender until they are crucified with Christ or else, on the contrary, they crucify Christ’s Body, The Church. They will always be a spiritual pretender, a spiritual deceiver, a spiritual defector. Seeing that these men are said to be, according to Jude, “having not the Spirit” (Jude 1:19), how can we, with them, obey our call and “keep the unity of the Spirit” (Eph. 4:3)? If they don’t have the Spirit how can we keep the unity of the Spirit, as we are commanded in The Church?
“For God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace, as in all Churches of the saints.” - 1 Cor. 14:33
Christ did not to come bring peace or unity between the flesh and the Spirit, nor they who are born of the flesh with them who are born of the Spirit, “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now” (Gal. 4:29). Isaac had no peace with Ishmael and God has no peace with carnality, neither should we think otherwise, for Christ said, “think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34)! With the earthly, God has no peace, but amidst the heavenly there is “grace and peace” (Rom. 1:7, 1 Cor. 1:3, 2 Cor. 1:2, Gal. 1:3, Eph. 1:2, Php. 1:2, Col. 1:2, 1 Thess. 1:1, 2 Thess. 1:2, 1 Tim. 1:2, 2 Tim. 1:2, Tit. 1:4, Phm 1:3, 1 Pet. 1:2, 2 Pet. 1:2, 2 Jn. 1:3, Rev. 1:4), hallelujah! Trying to keep spiritual unity and peace between the righteous and the wicked is not the ordination given by God “in all The Churches of the saints” (1 Cor. 14:33).
God is the author of peace in The Church, but not of peace with the foolish, wicked, and unregenerate men that come into The Church. God never said, “Go ye into all the world, and bring them into the Church”, did He? This is not The Great Commission, is it? Rather, God said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark. 16:15)! The Church is for The Church, and the world is for the world – by our contrary natures there must be a separation put between the two if unity is even a prospect! It is a confusing situation to try to keep spiritual unity and peace with those who are in spiritual enmity and war against you and God, isn’t it!? “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all Churches of the saints” (1 Cor. 14:33), yes, therefore God has called a company of wise men together – even to take up “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17) – but if a foolish man comes in “there is no rest” (Prov. 29:9)! “If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest” (Prov. 29:9), as scripture declares, and God has called men together in The Church to “keep the Law” (Prov. 28:4). There are no sons of Belial (lawbreakers) aloud in The Church (2 Cor. 6:14-15)! God has called men out of the world “that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4), but if a wicked and Lawless man comes into The Church, shall we praise him or praise God with him? Nay, “they that forsake the Law praise the wicked: but such as keep the Law contend with them” (Prov. 28:4)! God has called for peace in The Church, not war, but these traditions of men who invite sinners into the congregation of the saints do make “the commandment of God of none effect” (Matt. 15:6)! On this wise they make impossible peace and rest, and by their unbiblical good intentions (some of them) they are establishing war and confusion in The Church! Oh, my reader, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20), can’t you feel it? Peace will replace confusion when all The Churches become “Churches of the saints”, not sinners (1 Cor. 14:33).
There is an uncross-able chasm of difference,
An enmity which is immeasurably immense,
An unbridgeable canyon of width and breadth,
Between two natures of governance, inner life and death (Rom. 8:6-8).
The hands and feet of Jesus or the satanic savour of the things of men (Matt. 16:23),
One of these two will define your ethics, righteousness, and sin.
Spirituality and Carnality are the opposite of one another,
These create two religions that are an antithesis of each other.
Laws of morality that determine steps of obedience from an antagonistic locality.
No rest, union, and sympathy can be built in mingled intimacy (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1),
With constant contention and restlessness will they fight-on, wrestle, and stress.
O that a spiritual man would walk this road of Christ’s sufferings and distress,
To show the world “the foolishness of God” in a kingdom of nobility (1 Cor. 4:8-17):
Namely, a poor man in tribulation, in unceasing jeopardy (1 Cor. 15:30),
Hunted by beasts of “wisdom” who growl and roar in popular-religion-piety (1 Cor. 15:32).
Unbelief is utter blindness from the biblical bias,
It is poverty from the warfare of the Almighty,
It is surrender to the Satan-led army of offenders!
O what wonder that all this is hidden (1 Cor. 2:7),
Even that the Kingdom is to children given,
Pleasing to God, He makes the babe have sight (Matt. 11:25-27),
He takes the lowly and contrite (Matt. 11:28-30),
And makes them scale the cities of Satan as a penetration of Light (Prov. 21:22).
Assembly and congregational segregation from the world does not mean damnation to the world. Rather, it means salvation to The Church! In spite of 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, some will ask, “If the unsaved cannot be invited to Church, then how will they get saved!?” But the real question is, on the contrary, “How will The Church continue to be saved if they assemble and congregate with sinners!?” How will The Church continue to be nourished by God’s Divine-acceptance and Fatherly compassion if, alas, we defy the conditions of God’s inspired call to holiness!?