Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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by George C. Clark
This inspired utterance, "Have faith in God," came from the lips of Jesus and was directed to his disciples the morning after he performed that noted miracle of cursing the fig tree. Early that day, as Jesus and his disciples passed by, they saw "the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter remembered and said to Him, 'Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed is dried up!' And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have faith in God'" (Mk. 11:20-22). Now, in a time such as this, when the saints are being tested in a world seething with turmoil and strife, bloodshed and destruction, Jesus still challenges all who follow him to "have faith in God."
Faith in God is the believer's hope. Lack of faith in God and His power hinders us from experiencing the abundant life that Jesus offers us. Every believer has faith; but, oh, how little the majority really have when fiery trials come! I ask you now, when the "Old Ship of Zion" is being tossed to and fro by the stormy winds of doubt and unbelief, how much faith do you have? And where is it? Is it in man? in his military might? in God? Just where is your faith?
Faith in God creates faith in men who truly are sent from God. It does not create faith in religious organizations or leaders that God has not ordained. Faith in God generates a discerning faith, a faith born of godly wisdom that recognizes God's anointing. It refreshes the spirit because faith in a man sent from God brings blessing and joy. As a righteous king once said, "Believe in the Lord your God; so shall you be established. Believe His prophets; so shall you prosper" (2Chron. 20:20).
Paul told the saints of his time to "be followers of me" (1Cor. 4:16). Paul knew that he was sent by God and that those who followed his example would be blessed. He wrote in another place, "Those things which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do, and the God of peace will be with you" (Phip. 4:9). Any man whom God sends, if he is faithful, can say the same thing.
It is dangerous, very dangerous, to trust any man unless that trust is inspired by God, the Director of our faith. True faith understands that ministers are safe guides only as they are directed by the mighty hand of God, and it recognizes those who are not.
For many centuries now, God's people have placed their confidence in Christian ministers, professional religionists who know neither the power nor the wisdom of God; consequently, God's people are completely divided and utterly confused. God's children desperately need men who truly have been anointed, men who will warn the saints, as the apostle Paul warned them in his time, to place their faith "not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Only by faith in the miracle-working power of God will we escape the disasters, plagues, and strong delusions that are coming upon this wicked world.
Faith in God will deliver God's people out of the terrible plight into which Christian ministers have led them. It will create a desire among the saints to escape ceremonial form and experience the power of God mentioned in the Bible and to learn again the singular truth of Christ Jesus. When God opens the eyes of His children, they will marvel that they ever followed the men they have followed, men with no anointing from God, desolate of God's grace, yet who claim to speak for Christ. Ceremony and false teaching are all these ministers have to offer a dying world. There is no healing for the sick and oppressed in either their words or their hands. No doubt, many of these Christian ministers have done their best, considering the pomp and ritualism under which they have labored. I do not condemn those who are earnestly striving to serve Christ; however, I cannot be honest, as a servant of Jesus, and not mention this revealed truth: The religious system called "Christianity" is not of God, and God is calling sincere believers everywhere to come out of it. Church religion is not what Jesus suffered and died to establish; he suffered and died to make God's holy Spirit available to man.
Without a return to "the faith once delivered to the saints" and the power that accompanied it, God's people are doomed to languish in the bondage of Christianity, for nothing can restore unity and purity but the power of God. God's children are as scattered sheep. Long ago, they turned away from the voice of the Shepherd, following the voices of strangers instead, and now, look at the results!
Brother, sister, if there was ever a time, as Paul said, when "your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God," it is now. We need more Josephs in our midst today to bind the princes of error and to teach the saints wisdom (Ps. 105:22). Yes, we need men who can lead God's children back to Him for a restoration of the signs and gifts that are a seal of His approval. Suffering and bloodshed such as man has never known is coming. The only thing now holding back these terrors is the inability of the children of God to protect themselves from them. God must be asking, concerning His children now, as He did long ago, "How long will it be ere they believe me?"
Around the globe, people are anxiously watching the positioning of armed forces, speculating upon the time and place of the next great war or terrorist attack. Others, wiser than these, are watching and praying for the promised outpouring of the power of God in the last days. They know that war is like the poor – it will always be among us, as Jesus said. Those who understand the truth do not worry about that; rather, they strive to be full of the oil of the Spirit so that they may be prepared whenever it happens. Pray, child of God; a time of great sorrow is coming, and our need of Christ is great.
Jesus foretold the events now approaching, when the opposing forces of this age will reach a climax of evil under a mysterious earthly king of extraordinary genius and majesty. The nations of earth have pursued vain objectives since they came into existence, and the craftiness of Satan easily deceives the hearts of fallen men and women.
God, on the other hand, is calling His children to peace and goodness, far from the confusion of vain religion and the sin of this world. Let us at long last be united and covered with the whole armor of God! When that is done, we will be equipped to survive the "fiery trials" that lie ahead. Of the coming "great tribulation" (Mt. 24:21), Jesus said, "As a snare, it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth"(Lk. 21:35). But it need not take us by surprise, as Paul pointed out to the Thessalonian saints: "The day of the Lord is coming like a thief in the night. . . . But you, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief" (1Thess. 5:2-4). And Jesus exhorts us to prepare for that time with these words: "Watch, therefore, and pray always so that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of man" (Lk. 21:36).
The preceding warning, given originally to the Jews, had in it a depth of meaning that was by no means apparent when first uttered. The destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the son of Vespasian the Roman Emperor, in A.D. 70, and the massacre of the Jews that followed were only a shadow of the coming suffering; it only represented the terrifying situation that will confront God's family in the last days. Pray for faith, dear child of God!
We find many today who, instead of "fleeing the wrath to come" by running to God for mercy, are trying to flee from the call of God, as Jonah did. They run from God and hide behind religious ceremonies and titles, but what does any title or ritual mean to God? Is He impressed with us? My brother, my sister, the safest way to run from God is to run to Him. God is calling you out of darkness and death into the light of His Son. Now, where will you go?
Faith in God through his Son Jesus Christ is now regarded by many of the world's leaders as a relic of the past; but that precious faith has transformed the lives of untold millions of men and women, giving them boldness for fear and love for hate. There is even now a nascent revival underway, as yet unnoticed by both the world and many saints. There are men even now sounding out God's loving call for His people to forsake Christianity, the religion that has divided and made merchandise of God's children and that has exalted itself as the bride of Christ. She foolishly boasts that no harm will come to her (Rev. 18:7); but God will destroy her in one hour (Rev. 18:8-10), and when He does, the righteous in both heaven and earth will rejoice (Rev. 18:20).
The faith that some children of God have in Christian teachings is one of the chief causes for their lack of faith in God. But when God anoints the eyes of His people, they will love one another and reject all of Christianity's divisive sects. They will at last begin to see and understand together the wonderful things of the Spirit. They will be united and will completely reject all of Christianity's churches. Their cry will be according to the word of the Lord through Paul, "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." The gospel will no longer be "in word only" (1Thess. 1:5; 1Cor. 4:20); it will be accompanied by miracles which will result in the conversion of many precious souls. They will make evident this incontrovertible truth: the body of Christ on earth cannot render creditable service to God without the working of His mighty power.
Using religious men, Satan's envy and hatred is and always has been most virulent against those who are true servants of God, for the power of God they have poses a threat to men who have no ordination from God; it exposes them as frauds. The heart's cry of God's ministers, however, is not against any person, for the gospel is offered freely for the good of all who will believe and repent. The message of true servants of God is simply this: "Have faith in God!" They preach Christ – and him crucified – to this lost generation, for Christ is the only hope of man. May God help us, my reader, to walk in the light of those men while we have it, so that we may escape the wrath which God will pour without mercy upon this world when His Son begins to execute His holy displeasure.