Separating “Wheat” from the chaff…
It is easy to avoid suffering, if you are not called of God. Simply join yourself to almost any of the churches in America and embrace their false concepts of God. Then when problems enter your life you can blame the devil, curse your fellow man, seek human solace, and run from spiritual maturity.
and sold by the modern church as charms against suffering. But success in avoiding suffering is success in preserving your own state of spiritual death. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness. Without “crisis,” there can be no “way of knowing” God. Without travail, there can be no birth. Without a birth, you cannot become a Son. If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Organized Christianity offers you the comforts of self-protection, but the price is a continued existence in your present state of carnal minded death. When affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. The erroneous doctrines of Organized Christianity are not new. They are the doctrines displayed by Job’s four friends. During Job’s suffering he correctly analyzed the personality of God. Job asserted that his calamity and suffering had come directly from the hand of God. But Job’s friends did not correctly assess God’s character, methods, or purpose. My servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
Job’s friends accused and ridiculed him. I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.They could not believe that God is responsible for suffering. Their spiritual concepts were juvenile. They were ignorant of God’s purpose and plan. Instead of pursuing their own spiritual sight, they could only weave doctrines of spiritual death, to salve the blindness of their eyes.
Job’s friends made three fundamental mistakes in their assessment of God.
Mistake #1: Job’s friends believed that God would not bring suffering upon a righteous person.Eliphaz: Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent?
Bildad: Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? … Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers.
Zophar: This is the portion of a wicked man from God.
Elihu: He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: but with kings are they on the throne; yea, he doth establish them for ever, and they are exalted.
This position is incorrect, for Job was a paragon of virtue. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.Job’s suffering did not result from any unseen evil in his life; he knew that he was righteous. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. Job’s friends knew nothing of this sinless suffering. They had never experienced it, and their concept of God was too limited to understand it. Like modern Christianity, they could only deny God’s sovereignty over good & evil, and scoff at those who were actually living-out the divine plan of God. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
After you suffer for evil unto good, then like Job, you must suffer for good unto life. An upright life of virtue and good works will qualify some mortals to suffer for the maturity of Sonship. He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.
Mistake #2: Job’s friends believed that suffering was the evidence of sin. Eliphaz: They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
Bildad: The light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. … For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare.
Zophar: Know that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
Elihu: If they [kings] be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction; then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
This position is incorrect. Suffering is not the evidence of sin; it is the proof of God’s love. It is the evidence that God is working in those processed by it. Suffering, judgment, or retribution for error, is not an automatic occurrence for anyone; it occurs only by the divine selection of God. Those abandoned by God are very likely to have a lovely, peaceful life. They [the wicked] are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. The wicked will suffer only if God desires their repentance. So also, those who are righteous will suffer, only when God desires to complete their maturity into Sonship. For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
All the sufferings of earth will one day be seen as the personal working of God. Suffering is not the evidence of sin; it is a divine treasure. It is the proof that God has chosen you for a greater revelation. Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Mistake #3: Job’s friends believed that the blessing of God is earthly prosperity. Eliphaz: The Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver.
Bildad: Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
Zophar: Thou shalt forget thy misery, … thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. … Thou shalt take thy rest in safety. Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid.
Elihu: If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
This position is incorrect, for the blessing of God is not earthly prosperity. Rather, it is an inner fire of revelation; it is a personal knowledge of God; it is spiritual maturity, and a place in the first resurrection. These things can be obtained by those who are either rich or poor. Earthly prosperity, or the lack thereof, is meaningless. Those who crave the wealth of this world do not know God, nor his plan for mankind. Men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness. Like the Israelites in Babylon, these are they who worship the golden image. Using the doctrines of Organized Christianity they accept the safety of idolatry, in their attempt to avoid the burning fiery furnace.
But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were righteous and cared nothing for the wealth of this world. This qualified them for suffering, direct from the hand of God. These three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. By this suffering they came to see God, and to know him personally. Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
In the furnace of God you will finally see him face to face. There you will enter his realm, and be loosed from your bonds. This is the greatest blessing of God, and far greater than the pathetic treasures of mortals. No doubt Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar all went to the same church, for they elucidate the common teachings of Organized Christianity. These have come to God in a relationship of “Salvation,” based on “hearing.” They have suffered for the riddance of “evil,” but retain their addiction to earthly “good.” They have never suffered for righteousness, and know nothing of it. They cannot perceive the existence of the “seeing” realm of Sonship. Being bound to the created realm, these worship a puny God of carnal good, who is their slave to bring them riches.
Those who are called to become Sons of God will suffer through the hellish nightmares of Gethsemane, while the rest of humanity sleeps. Those in Nominal Christianity must await their turn. And until that time, they are free to employ their doctrinal fables for their comfort and peace. Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.