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A Calling


I have often said that one does not need a visit from an angel to tell you that you should forsake all and live by faith.  There is plenty of evidence in the Bible that forsaking all and living by faith is what God expects from every follower of Jesus.  That passage from Luke 14:33 is enough in itself to let us know that being a Christian and "forsaking all" in one way or another are much the same thing.
"Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath cannot be my disciple."

But there does seem to be another ingredient in the overall decision to follow Christ which goes above and beyond responding to a passage of scripture.

In the early chapters of the Book of Acts a story is told of Ananias and Sapphira, a couple who tried to join the early Christians.  While others were giving up all that they owned to become part of this explosive new movement, Ananias and Sapphira decided to play it safe and hide part of their wealth, just in case it did not work out.
Somehow God revealed this to Peter, and he told them that they had not lied to God, but to the Holy Spirit, and he stated that God was going to strike them dead, which is exactly what happened.  News of this shocking event spread around Jerusalem, and the Bible says, "After that, no one dared to join themselves to the church."  One would think so!  Who wants to join such a "death cult"?
Surely what happened there was on a par with any bad press that we Jesus Christians have ever received today.  Except that in their case, the bad press was telling the truth.
So did it mark the end of the church?  Not at all.  For the story goes on to say that the Holy Spirit continued to add to the church daily as many as were saved.  Get the picture?  People stopped "joining themselves" to the church, but it did not stop the Holy Spirit from joining them.  There we have the picture of God "calling" people.

We recently had an experience where a woman with an apparent multiple personality disorder (and a hatred for ourselves) managed to take on the personality (via the Internet) of a young man who was intensely interested in joining our community.  Everything this young man said impressed us.  He was deeply interested in our teachings.  He posted feverishly on our forum, and welcomed everyone who came there.  He asked all the right questions, offered constructive suggestions, and responded to truths that were being put forward in each of the articles that he had read.
The only problem, of course, was that he did not exist, and that he was, in fact, just another personality in the mind of a woman who actually possessed a deep, almost satanic, hatred for what we stand for.  She had been able to totally sweep us off our feet through saying all the right things.  Nevertheless, there seemed to be one thing missing, and it was not easy for me to put a name to it.  With hindsight, I would say that it was that he/she lacked a "calling".

What I did was write to her (him) and question whether she was experiencing any inner spiritual battle going on with regard to the issues that were being discussed.  She seemed incapable of understanding what it was that I was describing.  Until it became clear that this new "recruit" had given a false address, and did not exist, I assumed it was just something lacking in me, that I was not able to put into words what I felt it was that he was missing.  So I will try again here to describe it.

What matters most of all when it comes to doing what we are doing, is that a person be actually following God, and the promptings of his Holy Spirit, more so that any person or teaching in our organisation.  The people and the teachings are fallible, whereas God's Spirit is not.  Even if someone is following God's Spirit when they first join us, if they let the organisation or its teachings/activities take the place of that vital relationship with God himself, nothing that we can do or say will save them.

We have a saying, "You cannot offend a sheep."  I tried to share that with this imaginary "recruit".  What it means is that nothing we can do or say is going to make much difference (one way or the other) to someone who is really following the "True Shepherd" (Jesus), and the reason is that we ourselves are secondary to what is really happening in their relationship with God.

Once that relationship is broken, everything starts to revolve around personalities and organisations.  We have seen it in so many of those who have left the community.  They came full of faith in God and what he wanted them to do, but they left bitter at anything that "the group" wanted them to do.  When we have met many of them over the years since they have left the community, we have often asked them how their relationship with God is going.  Over and over we have found amongst those who have turned bitter that such a relationship has ceased to exist.  God rarely gets a mention.  The "calling" has left.

Without that calling, each one of us is lost.  We can blame it on someone else, but that is not good enough.  The mental contortions one must go through to justify this loss of contact with God, and to blame it on someone else, is never going to fool Him.
He is still calling you, me, and even these people who have turned against us; but are we still listening?  The Bible says, "Many are called; but few are chosen."  These are such sad words.
Please take the time to listen to that still small voice and respond to what God's Spirit is trying to say to you today.


I have often said that one does not need a visit from an angel to tell you that you should forsake all and live by faith.  There is plenty of evidence in the Bible that forsaking all and living by faith is what God expects from every follower of Jesus.  That passage from Luke 14:33 is enough in itself to let us know that being a Christian and "forsaking all" in one way or another are much the same thing.
"Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath cannot be my disciple."

But there does seem to be another ingredient in the overall decision to follow Christ which goes above and beyond responding to a passage of scripture.

In the early chapters of the Book of Acts a story is told of Ananias and Sapphira, a couple who tried to join the early Christians.  While others were giving up all that they owned to become part of this explosive new movement, Ananias and Sapphira decided to play it safe and hide part of their wealth, just in case it did not work out.
Somehow God revealed this to Peter, and he told them that they had not lied to God, but to the Holy Spirit, and he stated that God was going to strike them dead, which is exactly what happened.  News of this shocking event spread around Jerusalem, and the Bible says, "After that, no one dared to join themselves to the church."  One would think so!  Who wants to join such a "death cult"?
Surely what happened there was on a par with any bad press that we Jesus Christians have ever received today.  Except that in their case, the bad press was telling the truth.
So did it mark the end of the church?  Not at all.  For the story goes on to say that the Holy Spirit continued to add to the church daily as many as were saved.  Get the picture?  People stopped "joining themselves" to the church, but it did not stop the Holy Spirit from joining them.  There we have the picture of God "calling" people.

We recently had an experience where a woman with an apparent multiple personality disorder (and a hatred for ourselves) managed to take on the personality (via the Internet) of a young man who was intensely interested in joining our community.  Everything this young man said impressed us.  He was deeply interested in our teachings.  He posted feverishly on our forum, and welcomed everyone who came there.  He asked all the right questions, offered constructive suggestions, and responded to truths that were being put forward in each of the articles that he had read.
The only problem, of course, was that he did not exist, and that he was, in fact, just another personality in the mind of a woman who actually possessed a deep, almost satanic, hatred for what we stand for.  She had been able to totally sweep us off our feet through saying all the right things.  Nevertheless, there seemed to be one thing missing, and it was not easy for me to put a name to it.  With hindsight, I would say that it was that he/she lacked a "calling".

What I did was write to her (him) and question whether she was experiencing any inner spiritual battle going on with regard to the issues that were being discussed.  She seemed incapable of understanding what it was that I was describing.  Until it became clear that this new "recruit" had given a false address, and did not exist, I assumed it was just something lacking in me, that I was not able to put into words what I felt it was that he was missing.  So I will try again here to describe it.

What matters most of all when it comes to doing what we are doing, is that a person be actually following God, and the promptings of his Holy Spirit, more so that any person or teaching in our organisation.  The people and the teachings are fallible, whereas God's Spirit is not.  Even if someone is following God's Spirit when they first join us, if they let the organisation or its teachings/activities take the place of that vital relationship with God himself, nothing that we can do or say will save them.

We have a saying, "You cannot offend a sheep."  I tried to share that with this imaginary "recruit".  What it means is that nothing we can do or say is going to make much difference (one way or the other) to someone who is really following the "True Shepherd" (Jesus), and the reason is that we ourselves are secondary to what is really happening in their relationship with God.

Once that relationship is broken, everything starts to revolve around personalities and organisations.  We have seen it in so many of those who have left the community.  They came full of faith in God and what he wanted them to do, but they left bitter at anything that "the group" wanted them to do.  When we have met many of them over the years since they have left the community, we have often asked them how their relationship with God is going.  Over and over we have found amongst those who have turned bitter that such a relationship has ceased to exist.  God rarely gets a mention.  The "calling" has left.

Without that calling, each one of us is lost.  We can blame it on someone else, but that is not good enough.  The mental contortions one must go through to justify this loss of contact with God, and to blame it on someone else, is never going to fool Him.
He is still calling you, me, and even these people who have turned against us; but are we still listening?  The Bible says, "Many are called; but few are chosen."  These are such sad words.
Please take the time to listen to that still small voice and respond to what God's Spirit is trying to say to you today.


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