The adversary is a roaring lion attempting to devour us.
He is an accuser of the brethren and his spirit of accusation permeates this world and all who would be used by it.
I have noticed that we have lost a few people this year that could not rise above this accusative spirit and became preoccupied with attacking those in the Church who they perceived were in fault, or indeed in positions of authority over them that they considered inappropriate, or with whom they had problems. Some people are just plain jealous of any advancement of their brethren. Some cannot work with others as a team. Some have erroneous doctrinal baggage. Others may carry deep-seated emotional trauma that they have not overcome. The trauma affects their very capacity to love their brethren. It is a form of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In this way people who have been affected by trauma often have a reduced hippocampus. They often relate all things back to themselves and their trauma, and are unable to see things clearly or relate to others in what others less affected see as a normal way.
What causes trauma and anger? Often it is the result of the problems of our modern society. It is often caused by divorce and rejection or failure. Sometimes it is anger at injury and rejection as a result of a problem. It often does not have to be a physical injury that caused the problem, although often it is. Sometimes the physical trauma is easier to heal than the psychological trauma. Often we need to develop thick skins when dealing with these problems. I suppose if I or the other church officers took umbrage at every time we were attacked by people who were angry with us for some perceived slight, or doctrinal position we follow, we would never be able to function in our tasks.
Often I am the focal point of the attacks because I happen to be our leader. If it were another officer then they would be attacked as well. They would have to develop a thick skin to do their duties. Indeed many of our ministries go through this process often in their areas. Remember we have functioning churches in eighteen nations now and study groups in many more working toward formation of churches. All will face problems over time.
All of us should be aware that we have to mature emotionally in the faith. We need to be able to aid one another and to support the ministry. We need to be able to address trauma and the results of it and help the person who is injured by that process. The Church must function on love: The love of God and the love of one another.
If you carry a long list of grievances and are unable to overcome them, then
you need to seek professional help. If such problems intrude into the functioning
of the Church, then the person should be assisted in getting professional counseling.
If they persist in problems then there is a set procedure for handling grievances
in the Church and that procedure must be followed. It is there to minimise conflict
in the long run and to settle dispute along biblical principles. The first stage
is to go to your brother with a grievance. If you do not and gossip to others
then you are in the wrong. The brethren approached should ensure that the first
principle is followed. Send them to their brother. If they won't go, then have
the Church deal with the matter. Prepare a list of matters that are at issue
and deal with the problem before a panel. Fresh air and sunlight is often the
best antiseptic. Judge the matter in righteousness and help resolve the dispute.
If someone is obviously not overcoming the problem when it is obviously able
to be resolved and a matter of simple forgiveness or less, they will most likely
need professional help. Get them a counselor either in, or if necessary out
of, the Church and have them walk them through this problem. Often people have
scars that run deep from other church congregations. Often those problems were
caused by the churches of God themselves. Abuse is a problem not simply confined
to the world and its systems or the apostate churches of the Trinitarian system.
We can all commit hurt to our brothers, and sisters, through unthinking action.
Look at the text and the paper The Basis of Christian Living (No. 85)
This simple text shows us what Love is about in the church of God.
"If we speak with the tongues of men and angels and do not have love we are as noisy gongs or clanging symbols."
This following text is clear and places us all in perspective:
"If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love I am nothing."
How many of us truly believe and follow this view. How many of us are puffed
up in our self-righteousness and see ourselves as better than others?
So also if we give away all we have and give our body to be burned but have not love we are also as nothing.
This text shows us that even if we make a show of giving all away we are as nothing if it is not done in love.
Love is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful. Love does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.
Love never ends. That means that whilst prophecy will pass away, as it is merely the unfolding of the plan of God over time, love is the end result of the faith and will never end. Tongues will cease because we will be given one pure speech but love will never end. Knowledge will pass away because all of us will have the knowledge and power of the Holy Spirit in newness of life, but love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and can never end.
What we have now is imperfect. Even in these last days with the Holy Spirit revealing the end through us we still are reliant on its revelations to us in love. When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. The faith and hope of our salvation will be reached but love will reside in us through that salvation in faith.
When we were children we thought, spoke and reasoned as children. Now we are adults and expected to behave as adults and give up childish ways. Now we see through a mirror dimly but later it will be face to face. Now we know in part, then we will understand fully even as we are known fully. So faith, hope and love abide but the greatest of these is love.
How can we love one another if we make a record of our resentments and do not forgive? How is that enduring all things and loving all things, forgiving all things. How is the love of God in us when we do not forgive each other as he forgives us? How can we keep a record of the supposed wrongs of our brothers and slander them and those in authority over us? Is it not given to us to forgive the trespass of others as He forgives us? If we do not forgive others how can we expect God to forgive us?
We should be now preparing for the Passover in a few months time. None of us is to go before God without forgiving one another and developing the love of God in each other and ourselves. Why do you think that we wash one another's feet? Is it not symbolic of forgiveness because judgment is handed to us in the name of Jesus Christ, and we wash one another's feet in place of Christ? Look at the papers on the Passover; Preparing for the Passover (No. 190); The Passover (No. 98); The Significance of the Footwashing (No. 99); The Significance of the Bread and Wine (No. 100) and the Lord's Supper (No. 103).
Study the Seven Great Passovers of the Bible (No.107). This sequence shows you the plan of God in operation among Israel.
Commence the Preparation and study the papers listed in #190. Work towards the Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241) which temple you are. Help in the process of the Sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous (No. 290) as we are commanded.
Love one another. This commandment is the Second Great Commandment. See the Law and the Second Great Commandment (No. 257).
I cannot stress this point enough. If you have not love you are nothing in the Kingdom of God. How shameful is it to us that anger and accusations are found among us. If we accuse it is to be done in righteous judgment with the power of God and the support of the Church. That is for God's servants in His due time as we are given to act. Whatever we do, it is to be in love of our fellow man.
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