Friday, December 27, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
His affirmation of mind being turned in the Light and of strength to let go of the thoughts of professors and our own thoughts ... no longer bound to reflective thinking. This giving over all reflective thought to intuitive thinking in the Presence is not just the foundation of Quakerism, but that of Christianity. This rejection of abstract thought and outward institutions affirms the Kingdom of God is lived, known, and experienced in immediate revelation not thought abstract ideology and outward political, religious, and educational institutions or outward Scriptures.
"And we found this light to be a sufficient teacher, to lead us to Christ, from whence this light came, and thereby it gave us to receive Christ, and to witness him to dwell in us; and through it the new covenant we came to enter into, to be made heirs of life and salvation. And in all things we found the light which we were enlightened withal, (which is Christ,) to be alone and only sufficient to bring to life and eternal salvation; and that all who did own the light in them which Christ hath enlightened every man withal, they needed no man to teach them, but the Lord was their teacher, by his light in their own consciences, and they received the holy anointing."
It is now about seven years since the Lord raised us up in the north of England, and opened our mouths in this his spirit; and what we were before in our religion, profession, and practices is well known to that part of the country; that generally we were men of the strictest sect, and of the greatest zeal in the performance of outward righteousness, and went through and tried all sorts of teachers, and run from mountain to mountain, and from man to man, and from one form to another, as do many to this very day, who yet remain ungathered to the Lord. And such we were, (to say no more of us,) that sought the Lord, and desired the knowledge of his ways more than any thing beside, and for one I may speak, who, from a child, even a few years old, set my face to seek and find the saviour, and, more than life and treasure or any mortal crown, sought with all my heart the one thing that is needful, to wit, the knowledge of God. And after our long seeking the Lord appeared to us, and revealed his glory in us, and gave us of his spirit from heaven, and poured it upon us, and gave us of his wisdom to guide us, whereby we saw all the world, and the true state of things, and the true condition of the church in her present estate. First the Lord brought us by his power and wisdom, and the word by which all things were made, to know and understand, and see perfectly, that God had given to us, every one of us in particular, a light from himself shining in our hearts and consciences; which light, Christ his son, the saviour of the world, had lighted every man withal; which light in us we found sufficient to reprove us, and convince us of every evil deed, word, and thought, and by it, in us, we came to know good from evil, right from wrong, and whatsoever is of God, and according to him, from what is of the devil, and what was contrary to God in motion, word, and works. And this light gave us to discern between truth and error, between every false and right way, and it perfectly discovered to us the true state of all things; and we thereby came to know man, what he was in his creation before transgression, and how he was deceived and overcome by the devil, and his estate in transgression, and in disobedience, and how he is driven and banished from the presence of the Lord, and the sorrow and anguish which he is in and to undergo. And also by the light in us, we perfectly came to know the way of restoration, and the means by which to be restored, and the state of man when come out of transgression and restored. These things to us were revealed by the light within us, which Christ had given us, and lighted us withal; what man was before transgression, and what he is in transgression, and what he is being redeemed out of transgression. And also as our minds became turned, and our hearts inclined to the light which shined in every one of us, the perfect estate of the church we came to know; her estate before the apostles' days, and in the apostles' days, and since the days of the apostles. And her present estate we found to be as a woman who had once been clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, who brought forth him that was to rule the nations; but she was fled into the wilderness, and there sitting desolate, in her place that was prepared of God for such a season, in the very end of which season, when the time of her sojourning was towards a full end, then were we brought forth. If any have an ear they may hear. So that all these things concerning man, and concerning the times and seasons, and the changing and renewing of times, and all things that pertain to salvation, and redemption, and eternal life, needful for man to know, all these were revealed, discovered, and made known to us, by the light which was in us, which Christ had lighted us withal.
And we found this light to be a sufficient teacher, to lead us to Christ, from whence this light came, and thereby it gave us to receive Christ, and to witness him to dwell in us; and through it the new covenant we came to enter into, to be made heirs of life and salvation. And in all things we found the light which we were enlightened withal, (which is Christ,) to be alone and only sufficient to bring to life and eternal salvation; and that all who did own the light in them which Christ hath enlightened every man withal, they needed no man to teach them, but the Lord was their teacher, by his light in their own consciences, and they received the holy anointing.
And so we ceased from the teachings of all men, and their words, and their worships, and their temples, and all their baptisms and churches; and we ceased from our own words, and professions, and practices in religion, in times before zealously performed by us, through divers forms, and we became fools for Christ's sake, that we might become truly wise. And by this light of Christ in us were we led out of all false ways, and false preachings, and from false ministers, and we met together often, and waited upon the Lord in pure silence from our own words, and all men's words, and hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and felt his word in our hearts, to burn up and beat down all that was contrary to God; and we obeyed the light of Christ in us, and followed the motions of the Lord's pure spirit, and took up the cross to all earthly glories, crowns, and ways, and denied ourselves, our relations, and all that stood in the way betwixt us and the Lord; and we chose to suffer with and for the name of Christ, rather than enjoy all the pleasures upon earth, or all our former zealous professions and practices in religion without the power and spirit of God, which the world yet lives in. And while waiting upon the Lord in silence, as often we did for many hours together, with our minds and hearts toward him, being staid in the light of Christ within us, from all thoughts, fleshly motions, and desires, in our diligent waiting and fear of his name, and hearkening to his word, we received often the pouring down of the spirit upon us, and the gift of God's holy eternal spirit as in the days of old, and our hearts were made glad, and our tongues loosed, and our mouths opened, and we spake with new tongues, as the Lord gave us utterance, and as his spirit led us, which was poured down upon us, on sons and daughters. And to us hereby were the deep things of God revealed, and things unutterable were known and made manifest; and the glory of the Father was revealed, and then began we to sing praises to the Lord God Almighty, and to the Lamb for ever, who had re deemed us to God, and brought us out of the captivity and bondage of the world, and put an end to sin and death; and all this was by and through, and in the light of Christ within us. And much more might be declared hereof, that which could not be believed if it were spoken, of the several and particular operations and manifestations of the ever lasting spirit that was given us, and revealed in us. But this is the sum life and immortality were brought to light, power from on high and wisdom were made manifest, and the day everlasting appeared unto us, and the joyful sun of righteousness did arise and shine forth unto us and in us; and the holy anointing, the everlasting comforter, we received; and the babe of glory was born, and the heir of the pro mise brought forth to reign over the earth, and over hell and death, whereby we entered into everlasting union, and fellowship, and covenant with the Lord God, whose mercies are sure and infinite, and his promise never fails. We were raised from death to life, and changed from satan's power to God, and gathered from all the dumb shepherds, and off all the barren mountains, into the fold of eternal peace and rest, and mighty and wonderful things hath the Lord wrought for us, and by us, by his own outstretched arm.
And thus we became followers of the Lamb whithersoever he goes; and he hath called us to make war in righteousness for his name's sake against hell and death, and all the powers of darkness, and against the beast and false prophet, which have deceived the nations. And we are of the royal seed elect, chosen and faithful, and we war in truth and just judgment; not with weapons that are carnal, but by the sword that goes out of his mouth, which shall slay the wicked, and cut them to pieces. And after this manner was our birth or bringing forth, and thus hath the Lord chosen us and made us an army dreadful and terri ble, before whom the wicked do fear and tremble; and our standard is truth, justice, righteousness, and equity; and all that come unto us, must cleave thereunto, and fight under that banner without fear, and with out doubting, and they shall never be ashamed nor put to flight, neither shall they ever be conquered by hell or death, or by the powers of darkness; but the Lord shall be their armour, weapon, and de fence for evermore. And they that follow the Lamb shall overcome, and get the victory over the beast, and over the dragon, and over the gates of hell; for the Lord is with us, and who shall be able to make us afraid ?Source: The Works of George Fox, Volume 3, pgs 11-14
From: The Works of George Fox, Volume 3, pg.16"And as for all churches (so called) and professions and gatherings of people, we beheld you as all in the apostacy and degeneration from the true church, not being gathered by the spirit of the Lord, nor anointed thereby, as the true members of Christ ever were, but to be in a form, and in forms of righteousness without the power, and in imitations without life and perfect knowledge. So that all the practices of religion we beheld without power and life, though some had a sin cerity in them, and a zeal and a desire towards the Lord; yet all people erred in judgment, and none were guided in judgment by the eternal spirit; and the error in judgment made their zeal blind, and their performances of righteousness not accepted, though acted in some sincerity and zeal; because they were not guided in practice, and led in judgment by the spirit of the Lord, which only leads into all truth, and none are in the truth but who are led only thereby. So that we beheld all profession to be but as coverings with fig leaves, while the nature of transgression stood uncondemned and not crucified. We then also saw not only that the performance and practice in church state, and in religious orders were corrupted, but also government, and magistracy, and all things in civil state were not aright in the sight of the Lord, nor as the Lord required, neither as he had ordained in the beginning; for government, we know, as ordained of God, is to punish, and limit, and terrify all evil doers, and to preserve and defend all that do well; and that men's consciences are to be left free, to be ruled by the Lord alone, and guided by his spirit; and that outward power and civil magistrates and laws, (so called,) ought not to be Lord or ruler in men's consciences, nor over them. But we beheld how unrighteousness and iniquity, and sin and wickedness were strengthened and encouraged in the government, and by such as were in authority; and how the exercise of a good conscience in the fear of God was abused; so that it was turned backward from what it ought to be; them that did well were punished, and limited as transgressors, and the evil doers were set free, and not made afraid: so that we could truly cry, truth was fallen in the streets, and justice and true judgment turned back ward, and equity had no place to enter, and the innocent were devoured through want of true and just judgment, and the needy were spoiled and made a prey. For no sooner had we opened our mouths, but the magistrates began to put us in prison, and execute great injustice upon us, and became oppressors of the innocent, and laid unjust burdens upon us, grievous to be borne, and true justice and judgment were neglected, and wrong judgment brought forth, and good government abused, and men in authority not ruled by the Lord, neither ruling for the Lord among men: and thus it came to pass upon us, through the corruption and degeneration in government and magis trates, which we saw to be, as it was fulfilled by them, to wit, not as the Lord required, nor as he in the beginning ordained it, but quite the contrary. And this we saw in the beginning, when the spirit of the Lord was poured down upon us, and power from on high was re vealed to declare against all the abominations of the earth, and to make war against all corruption, in all orders, and places, and men.
Monday, December 2, 2013
An Inward and Living Christmas Story
by Job Scott
Edited Into Five Movements by Keith Saylor
Source: Essays on Salvation by Job Scott, Friends' Book Association, 1894
Except we are regenerated and born again ; that is, except another birth and life take place in us, besides our natural birth into, and life in this world and into things natural; except a work, that, strictly speaking, produces a real regeneration and new birth, as real a conception, generation, and birth of the seed of God in us, and of us too, as the production of our natural life is a real work of conception, generation, and birth into this world, we can not possibly enter into the kingdom of God. This is the new creature that is born of God, and sinneth not; and this must have the rule and government in us, and bring forth the works of God, so far as we are justified (pg. 23,24)
Movement One: Co-workmanship
We must, through the divine workings of God by his grace and spirit in us, work out our own salvation. This is always the way it is wrought. We can do no more of it ourselves, unassisted by him, than " the Ethiopian can change his skin, or the leopard his spots." And yet, even where it is done in the most sudden manner that ever it was known, it is done no other way, and no further, than as the will or spirit of man yields up, submits to, and becomes a co-worker with him who worketh all in all in true religion. (pg. 29,30)
Our part is to be unresisting, as the clay in the hand of the potter. The simile regards the non-resistance of the clay, but does not extend so far as to represent us inactive, unconscious, or without choice, will, or exertion, in this great work. It might as well represent us unconscious, and entirely insensible, as inactive, or active as mere machines. It shows that we can do no more merely of ourselves in it, than life less clay ; and that even where we are the most vigorously active in a right line religiously, our will and activity are not only wholly yielding and unresisting under the divine operation, but they are no further or faster exertive in the work, than the divine hand or influence is felt and extended, holds us fast, and puts us forward, forms and fashions us vessels of use and honour, as he pleases.(pg. 30,31)
And he never pleases to make any of us any thing in religion, either in ourselves or to others, without the consent, concurrence, and co-operation of our own minds and abilities in it. As we yield to his call and operation, the new formation, creation, and generation begin and advance. Old things are done away, all things become new, and all things of God ; and not of ourselves, without him. (pg. 31)
Movement Two - Preeminence
This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light. None therefore have, nor ever can have, this condemnation, who have not had the light. Its coming cannot be to the condemnation of any but those who hate it. He that loves it, that lives in it, and conforms his deeds, his heart, his life to it, is and must be in union, communion, and reconciliation with God, the source of it, and from whom it shines an emanation of the Eternal Divinity. The word that was in the beginning with God, and truly was God, is now, and ever was the light of all men, and the life of those in whom it obtains, in all things, the pre-eminence. These live by it ... (pg. 33,34)
He is the eternal Word, and as such is God. To us he is the emanation, or son of God's love. When he lives and reigns complete in us, when he is our life, and has in all things the preeminence with us, and so is our complete justification, as such he must have been begotten and formed in us; strictly and truly so; for it is thus, and thus only, that we are or can be complete in him. (pg. 36)
Movement Three: Christ “begotten and formed in us: strictly and truely so ...”
He is one in all the only begotten of God forever. God alone is his Father. Every true believer is his mother. Hence he assures us, " Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matt xii. 50. And hence too he is the son of man. (pg.36)
The outward body of flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God, never came down from heaven. " He that ascended, is he that first descended." The outward body was prepared for him who came to do the divine will. It was the eternal holy Word that came down from Heaven, and took flesh in that body ; and this divine word having a conception and birth in man, becomes truly, and in the scripture sense, the son of man, as well as son of God ... (pg. 36)
It was not the outward body, nor the mere human nature ... It was that living birth of divine life ... This is the seed of the woman that bruises the serpent's head. It was and is necessary, in order to our restoration and union with God, that the life of the Deity, the holy Word, should so operate as to bring forth in us a conception and birth of his own divine nature ; a real birth of the incorruptible seed and word of God. As in this holy offspring a real union of life, human and divine, is formed and brought forth, and as man herein becomes the mother of this heavenly offspring, this is really the seed of the woman, the seed of the church and spouse of Christ ; for it is not only as the seed of Mary or of Eve, that the only begotten is the seed of the woman. The souls in whom he is begotten and brought forth, are all in the relation of parent to him, as well as brethren and sisters ; and according to the nature of the work which form's this relation, it is strikingly represented by the parent in the female line ; " Whosoever, &c. the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." And this is that begotten of God, and at the same time that son of man, which ascends up where he was before he became the son of man. And as God alone can be the father of this his only begotten, man at most can be his mother. (pg. 37,38)
Movement Four: Christ is come in the mortal flesh of each human being.
When Peter knew Christ to be the son of God, Christ told him, flesh and blood had not revealed it unto him, but his heavenly Father. Matt. xvi. 17. This holds good to every individual. The world by wisdom never knew God, and never can know Christ. None know him, but those to whom the Father reveals him ; nor can any know the Father, but by the revelation of the son in themselves. " No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. xii. 3. This is the reason why " every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God." 1 John iv. 2. The evil spirits of old confessed him in words, but he rejected their testimony, and suffered them not to speak ; Luke iv. 41. For though they had an outward knowledge who he was, they spake not by the Holy Ghost ; they were not of God. And thus thousands now confess him to have come in the flesh in that body, and are proud to call him Lord; but none ever rightly called him so, but by the revelation of the Father. (pg. 39)
It is not merely confessing, though in full assent to the truth of it, that Christ did come in that one outward body, that determines any one to be of God ; the devils believe, confess, and tremble ; but none truly and thoroughly confess him without knowing (in the present tense) that he " is come in the flesh " in themselves, spiritually. " I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not) neither knoweth him ; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless ; I will come to you : yet a little while and the world seeth me no more, but ye see me : because I live, ye shall live also. At that day, (that is, when I come again the second time, the comforter, to salvation), you shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." John xiv. 16 to 20. This is the great mystery of godliness. God manifest in the flesh, is not confined to the flesh of that one body. (pg. 40)
The preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made mani fest, " is Christ in you the hope of glory." Col. i. 27. " Always bearing about in the body," says the apostle, " the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body; for we which live, are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." 2 Cor. iv. 10, 11. " We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us ; " 7. Here is plainly in us the death; the dying of the Lord Jesus, in order that his life may be manifest in us. This is baptism into his death, and rising with him into newness of life ; the one soul-saving baptism. (pg. 41)
Christ formed in man, is in the oneness with the Father. The begotten of God in every soul is one with him in the everlasting covenant ; as truly so, in measure, as there was a real oneness with God in the man Christ Jesus. (pg. 42)
The Final Movement: The Living Christmas. Christ is conceived and born about in the bodies of individuals.
We are enabled to work out our own salvation, but it is only as God worketh in its and we work by him; he in us, and we in him. (pg. 44)
The only begotten son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John i. 18. "And of his fulness have all we received." 16. Had we not, we could never rightly know God, nor receive the testimony of the son. There is nothing else through which we can receive it. It is hid from the wisest of men except only so far as it is manifested to them in and by this. It is revealed only unto babes, that is, to his begotten. Men, as natural men, and as such considered as the work of God, are created. But the new born babes in Christ, though in a sense the work and creation of God, (as Christ is the beginning of it), yet they are, as his production, not merely created as Adam; they are, strictly speaking, begotten. There is in their formation, a spiritual conception and birth in the soul. The Father, by the overshadowing of the holy ghost upon the willing mind, which embraces and yields to the visitations, operations, and wooings of his love, begetteth and produceth a true and real birth of divine life, a conception and birth of that which is truly and properly his only be gotten forever, being one in all his spiritual offspring. This is he that is born again of God, of the incorruptible seed and word of God. In the production of the conception, generation, and birth, there is both Father and mother. He that begets, is the only possible Father of this the only begotten. The soul in whom this conception and birth is effected, is the mother ; and here " the man is not without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord." This conception and birth cannot possibly be effected by the mother without the Father, and is never produced by the Father without the consent of the mother. There must be a celestial union, and real co-operation, wherein two become one. Of twain the one new man is made, which is God and man in the heavenly and mystical fellowship and union.. This is the mystery of Christ. This is what is held forth strikingly and livingly in his birth of the virgin Mary ; and this ever was, and ever will be the only possible way of salvation. This is the new creature, that being born of God sinneth not ; indeed, cannot sin, and that for this very reason, because " his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God ;" (1 John iii. 9), as really so, as one was ever born of another in natural procreation. The natural man, the mere creature, as the work of God, is a created being ; he never saw God, cannot know him, nor receive the testimony respecting the mystical union and sonship: but the babe, the begotten, that with a true and living knowledge of its sonship, cries Abba, Father, both sees and knows the Father, and receives the heavenly testimony. (pgs. 45-47)
Christ is the door. Is there a door of entrance into the kingdom in our hearts? If so, it is Christ in us; there is no other door, nothing can open to receive him, nor enter into the kingdom with him, but that which is of him ; all else is, and ever will be, darkness, and can not comprehend the light, or receive it. Nature works against it; men love darkness rather, and as men merely, ever will. (pg. 48)
Afterword: by Keith Saylor
The natural world yearly manifests death, life, regeneration, and rebirth in the movement of the seasons. Outwardly, men and women observe life, death, and resurrections of Jesus in the holy days throughout the year, that follow the seasons. These outward manifestations and observances are empty without the same literally and experientially happening within the mortal flesh of human beings.
In the inwardly experienced, Living Christmas, Christ is come in each individual; conceived in the literal union of humanity and divinity and bearing eternal being, the Presence, in an earthly vessel.
The power of Scott’s testimony is in the experience of the substance behind his words. This is not mere analogy, it is a spiritual happening in the lives of individuals awoken to eternal being even in mortal flesh. Men and women carrying the baby of eternal being conceived through the union of human and divine.
This Christmas Story is lived and experienced in all things and in all moments.