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Our Stories - Striving For the Faith Which Works By Love

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Our Stories - Striving For the Faith Which Works By Love:

I was not brought up in the "Message", but I left home at the age of fifteen, due to ongoing domestic issues within my family. It would be fair to say that our family life was anything but healthy and both my sister and I left home, at the same age, to make our own way in the world. Sadly, she met with a lifestyle tainted with drugs, alcohol and further domestic abuse. I, for my part, relocated to Christchurch, a city approximately four hundred kilometres away from where I spent many of my formative years, although we are all English by first birth.

Acutely interested in science, as a young man, I was an atheist, and found all things ‘Christian' repugnant to the mind. Perhaps in part, this was fuelled by having been dragged to an Anglican church, and subjected to weekly ‘rites', where the Vicar appeared to me to be academically dehydrated. I saw religion and ceremony, but nothing thirst quenching and this fuelled my disdain for Christianity.

Upon arriving in Christchurch, I happened to come across an unusual church. I had no real knowledge of Christianity at all, but I found myself, against the odds, in attendance there, initially as a sceptic. The people in that congregation had a reality about them which was rare and refreshing. They seemed to live their Christian life, and they had answers to some of the ‘hard questions' that the Anglican vicar had previously fainted over. They were willing to give an account of the hope that lay within them and they seemed to take what seemed at the time to be the whole counsel of God, and not just the bits that happened to coincide with their culture, social status, personal preferences or bias.

I am unsure if it was the life that these people appeared to live or the message preached from the pulpit which first interested me, to the point that I was able to put my atheism to one side and to consider the reality of there being both a Creator, and a mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, upon whom I have come to rely.

But, It was only shortly after I commenced attending this church, that the seeds of destruction started to germinate from within. For over fifty years, the ever-present Ministry that the church had enjoyed was always polarised, but highly controlled, and the removal of the Pastor of the church gave rise to the emergence of liberty and freedom which until then, had been latent. The "Pentecostal" and "Message" dimensions and sects with the church began to express themselves and the polarisation increased. The one half cried out "We're free, and he who the Son sets' free, is free in-deed!", but this was always balanced with "We don't use our liberty as an occasion to the flesh!" The other group, well, they just seemed to be loud and liberal, and to fall into what I considered to be a ‘carnal free-for-all.' It was like the 1960's all over again.

Very quickly, a schism emerged, and it became apparent that the two halves of the church could no longer co-exist without the dictatorial priesthood to keep the lid on things. A significant section of the church resigned, and ultimately formed a new church, based very much on the teachings of Brother Branham. The Pentecostal ‘remnant' quickly became more and more liberal, forsaking anything of their past, and ultimately becoming a religious business. To me, they seemed to get more main-stream, bigger and brighter, attracting phenomenal wealth and popularity, but were increasingly unrecognisable when compared to their root of origin and melancholic past.

I was bemused. I had experienced such a reality of faith within the church, but now, all was chaos. Women cut their hair, and started to wear trousers. That was the first manifestly obvious sign of the migration to Pentecostalism and liberation. I found it difficult to understand, as a new Christian, how that God's Word hadn't changed, but the people clearly had.

By the age of sixteen, I was renting a house from the church, and they, in their wisdom told me that if I was to leave the church, then would need to move out of my home. I left anyway, disappointed that the very manipulation that the ‘Pentecostals' had hated, was now being perpetrated upon me, by the very ones who claimed to hate it.

In helping out voluntarily at the church school, I had looked in the rubbish dumpster one day, and found some tapes of Brother Branham. One, I recall, was called ‘The Anointed Ones At the End Time." Upon hearing it, it seemed to really explain what was happening in my church, despite having been preached some thirty years earlier. This gave me the confidence to leave the church, and I actively sought fellowship with "Message" believers.

Upon finding a suitable assembly, I started to regularly attend the meetings. This was a big decision, because the church was some thirty kilometres away from my home, and we had services both morning and evening, every Sunday. There were dozens of other ‘main-stream' churches that I could have attended which were located on the way to the one that I chose to attend.

As a sixteen year old, who was supporting myself financially with no help from anyone, I had very limited means, but despite this, I went to most services. Sometimes, rarely, I would not attend, because I had to sell plants at the local market. At that time, I had no other form of income. It was then that the pressure started. Various ‘Elders' would speak to me about ‘priorities', and how that attending meetings should be my first priority. They ‘recommended' that I stay with the church group for the whole day, as opposed to go to back in to town, because this would save me fuel money. To my opinion, they were partially correct; It would have that effect, but would also preclude me from the opportunity that I had of selling plants at the local market and paying for my costs of living.

Sometimes, I missed the odd service, but always, I obtained tapes of the services, for $2 each, and listened to every word, week after week. Generally I attended at least one service on a Sunday, but I increasingly felt that I was alienated from the church, because of my personal circumstances, but nobody ever asked me about them and nobody ever helped.

My personality also seemed to ruffle feathers. I had so many questions and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and the "Message" really had captivated my interest. I decided to read everything that I could find, including the Seven Seals and the Church Age book and dozens of other sermons. I probably became quite zealous, but humility and submission was more valued in the church than an enquiring mind. Books also cost money, and again, my choice was to purchase these and to study them, ahead of meeting my essential needs. My diet during this time mostly consisted of porridge, toast, potatoes, and ‘flour and water', cooked in a frying pan to make what we colloquially called ‘damper'. I would sweeten it and make it edible by pouring golden syrup over it.

That was my bread, my breakfast, lunch and dinner. This went on for several years. My weekly grocery bill was always less than $10, but I considered my ‘sacrifice' to be for the benefit of my soul. Unfortunately however, I also chose to ask questions stemming from what I had read, and this was almost always frowned upon, and discouraged. Or so it felt.

Throughout all of this time, I constantly struggled with feeling marginalised from the group as none of them had any experience of life outside of the church, or of supporting themselves at such a young age. They all came from happy, financial families. I was alone.

I had no friendship with the world, and only tenuous connection with the church. In my heart, I just wanted a family. My original church had been that family for a short time, but that had quickly ended. I felt so alone in this new church, and as though I just did not measure up to their rules and standards and expectations. It felt like my giving ‘making money to live' greater priority than spending time between meetings socialising was not popular.

Eventually, I decided to leave that assembly, and I went back to the "Message" church which had come out from my original church. To me, it was like an oasis. I thoroughly loved that church, and the Ministry that the people there enjoyed. The Pastor preached a rich message of deliverance, but very quickly this started to change into a ministry that seemed to dismiss everyone outside of our immediate congregation as somehow ‘lacking'. I was a party to this; it felt very comfortable to be with the elect, and to know that ‘nobody has what we have', and that those who left ‘went from us, because they were not of us.' Yes, for a time, it was very reassuring and comfortable, and felt very safe, until I realised that when people left, they were never spoken of, nor mourned, at least not obviously. No, they were traitors. Gone.

Despite my love of the church it became increasingly apparent that all was not well. I was, by now, studying full time in a tertiary institute, and this was not encouraged either by clergy nor congregation. "If a man does not work, he should not eat." I was working, selling plants, but this did not tick their boxes for the same reasons as at the previous church. Despite it never being asked for directly, I was also trying hard to tithe, but again, earning just a few dollars per week rendered me essentially broke after paying my board. I felt like a leach.

When the church members with whom I was boarding asked me to find alternative accommodation due to them having another baby on the way, things became unbelievably tight financially. The mostly unspoken pressure to tithe felt intense, perhaps due to the fact that the offerings were collected in-service and receipts were provided to those who had given. One day, tithing was specifically preached about, and as a result, my self-condemnation became intense. I went to see the Trustee, to explain that I wanted to tithe, but had no money. His response was that I should give my first 10%, not my last, and that if I was wanting him to release me from the obligation of tithing, then he could not, because it was God's law, but that God would reward my faith if I honoured Him.

I so badly wanted to honour God, and so I tithed. And I starved. I recall literally having no food of any kind for days at a time. My power had been disconnected, and my old vehicle had no registration, warrant of fitness or fuel. I was reduced to walking to and from College which was several kilometres away. I had no means of cooking my food and in any event, I regularly had no food to cook. I was desperate for "God's blessing", but it did not come, although I did check the post box every day in the hope that some charitable soul would help me, or that God Himself would. If ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for', then the substance of my faith was clearly lacking.

Some considerable time into my ‘forced fast', someone at the church noticed that I was looking a bit gaunt and that person gave me a home grown marrow to eat. I still had no power, and so I ate it raw. I was hungry, but still attended church, now on a bicycle and I arrived in weathered condition. Once in a blue moon, someone would invite me for dinner.

Then the preaching against my personal ‘circumstances' really started. Several sermons, in quick succession, where the merits of work was preached and the sin of study and pursuit of worldly wisdom was alluded to. The message was clear. It was also clear to me that my ability to study was already compromised by my lack of transportation, resources and even essential supplies, and the message personally delivered to me in ‘private' meetings with my Pastor was that this was likely to be a result of God's displeasure in my academic pursuit and that I should take the more humble road of working at a petrol station. No help was forthcoming from the church but on occasion, I was allowed to work delivering furniture for a church member who had a furniture removal business, for which I was paid far less than the legal minimum wage.

Eventually, after much consideration, I decided to sell the limited assets that I still had remaining and to go and live in England, where I was born. I had a desire to meet my remaining natural family before they died, from whom my family had been estranged for ten years. Unfortunately, this also was a disaster; things went from bad to worse. I did get a job, but the company for whom I worked quickly went into receivership and I ended up completely homeless. Weeks went by and I was not paid, despite having worked. My meagre and remaining resources quickly evaporated.

Were it not for the kindness of a complete stranger, who I met whilst trying to find somewhere to sleep in Worcester, I have no idea where I would have ended up. This person, a non-Christian, give me a room in a vacant flat to sleep. There was no furniture, no power, no gas, no hot water, no telephone and no food. But there was a roof over my head, and this was a vastly superior position to what I had been in.

Moreover, there was an old apple tree at the end of the garden, covered in apples infested with codling moth. It was these which formed my diet for the next couple of months, the moths no doubt providing added protein in a similar way to which the hole in Brother Branham's shoe provided means for the water to escape when it rained; or so I told myself. Social services were unable to help, because I was technically in employment and the choice was clear – get another job, and forfeit my unpaid wages, or continue to work, and be paid out with the creditors. I decided to choose the latter and braced myself for more months of poverty.

During this time, I was not only financially desperate. I felt spiritually empty as well. But the church in New Zealand, despite never helping me in any practical way, had sent me some tapes, which I had been paying for, prior to my lapse into total poverty. And so I had a box of tapes of Brother Branham and a box of tapes of my Pastor ministering. I dearly loved them both, but I had no means of hearing the tapes. I quite literally had nothing else in the house, except for a piece of foam, which was my bed, a guitar and the clothes that I stood up in.

One day, the firm by whom I was employed, received a box of cassette players from their head office, to give away to customers. One elderly customer did not want one, and so I asked him if I could please have it to listen to my tapes. He willingly agreed, but still I had no means of powering it.

Upon finding some old batteries in the bin, I removed the zinc and found some bits of copper in a shed at the back of the place where I was living. With these bits of metal, a bit of dodgy engineering and some rather manky, very old vegetables out of the garden (the planting of which pre-dated my tenure at the house), I was able to wire up an elementary circuit, and was able to run that little cassette player, although ‘The Voice' did slur at times. I could have eaten the raw potatoes, but I felt that hearing the Word was of greater reward than natural food. The need to steal was real, and the temptation so very strong, but I never did, not even when someone accidently left a wad of twenty pound notes hanging out of an automatic teller bank machine.

Whilst many reading this may think it to be an exaggerated tale, it is every inch the truth. Were it not for five pounds that I found in a puddle of water, I would most likely have starved. I lost so much weight that my kidney began to fail. The five pound note that I found, allowed me to purchase 48 cans of cheap, watery, baked beans and 12 cans of disgusting rice pudding. I had to carry these for miles, because the local supermarket was so expensive, whereas the wholesale supermarket was cheap, but further way. Baked beans were priced at just eight pence per can.

I had no means of heating the baked beans or of properly opening the can, and so I did so with an old pocket knife and had them cold, one can per day, for six weeks and twice per week, a can of cold rice pudding. Each night, I had the benefit of listing to Brother Branham or my Pastor in the dark for a few minutes, albeit with the tape player continuing to slur because of the inconsistent voltage provided by the rotting spuds.

One day, my kidney started to develop symptoms and my manager gave me two pounds to take the bus home, because it was raining and because I was in pain. I chose to walk, and to spend the money at the ‘Pound Shop', where I purchased a set of mini-speakers for my cassette player. I felt like the richest man alive now… I could hear Brother Branham, and my Pastor. Both gave me a sense of home and comfort.

Throughout that entire period, nobody from my home church helped, or tried to make contact, other than the people with whom I had lived in New Zealand and the Pastor, who wrote to me. His letter simply thanked me for my donation that I had made prior to my situation becoming so dire, told me of how God was blessing them and the church, and referred to the new tapes, which were enclosed. I tried to find a local "Message" church, and did so, but it was 30 miles away, and it was impossible to get there.

There was one somewhat local brother who showed true Christian love. His name was Roger, and he resided with his wife, in Wales. He had no idea of my situation, but despite this, when a work-related turn-of-fate resulted in me being able to visit him for a whole week, he made his home mine, and he gave me food and fellowship. I never forgot that man, although perhaps because of my pain from that era, I have rarely made contact with him since. One day, I will. He also regularly sent me more tapes of Brother Branham without charge, and he and his wife were the finest of Christian people. When I left his home, I gave him my one resource of Christian music, in appreciation of his hospitality. I think that Brother Roger has a mansion waiting for him, over the hill-top. I hope that he does. He may not have entertained an angel unawares, but he did help a derelict.

Eventually, I did get paid from work, and I received significant back pay. By then, my kidney function was really bad and I'd been hospitalised again after collapsing at work. I used my newly acquired funds to pay for my return to New Zealand, upon which I immediately began attending the church again, glad to have survived the ordeal.

The first message that I heard, seemed to be completely critical of me, and without identifying me personally, seemed to point to my personal circumstances as being a direct result of coming out from under ‘The Ministry' for the period that I was away from New Zealand. Ironically, when I went to apply for an Unemployment Benefit, (which was again ill-respected by the church), I was successful in persuading the Employment Service to give me a job themselves! I was appointed as an Employment Advisor, and for the first time ever, I had a regular salary, from which which I proceeded to tithe, anonymously.

As my interest in Social Services increased, I became aware of what seemed to be domestic abuses within the church and so eventually, I choose to discuss these with the Pastor. He did not respond well, and told me that I had no business having an opinion on such matters and that I should mind my own business. About that time, I was also accused of ‘encouraging a young woman' to visit from a "Message" Church in Canada, and the assertion was made, that I had done so for ungentlemanly reasons. I had invited her to visit New Zealand, but had made arrangements for her to stay with a family as opposed to asking her to stay with me. Ultimately, the pressure and condemnation became too great and I left the church, very hurt and angry despite ‘proving' my innocence.

Now aged twenty-one, I met a young local "Message" ‘Believer', and we got engaged, but both she and her church put pressure upon me to attend their church, to acknowledge that her pastor was ‘The Word to Christchurch'. They also considered me to be a thief, because I had stopped tithing, but her church was ready to help me in that regard. I refused to comply with their ‘demands' on all levels, and the engagement quickly ended, but not before she became pregnant, for which I also got the unwarranted blame. I never went back to the church, and neither did she, but for very different reasons.

My reputation went through the floor and many "Message" Believers would literally walk to the other side of the street in order to avoid me or if more kind, would simply keep our discourse to the absolute minimum. I was in the wrong; that was clear from every view point, except my own. But to be honest, I still dearly loved those people in my original church, and perhaps it was for this reason that their actions, condemnation and lack of contact really hurt me. Until then, before God, I had done nothing wrong and every one of the allegations against my reputation was completely untrue.

But things changed, when, through work, I met a beautiful married woman, with whom I fell in love. She gave me friendship and warmth, and for the first time ever, I felt the power of human affection, albeit illegitimately. My family life had ended when I was fifteen, after years of domestic hell. My church life had ended shortly after that. I'd been homeless and itinerant for another couple of years, and now I was out of fellowship and suffering the disdain of the church. My sister was a drug addict and alcoholic; my parents divorced and contact with them was rare. But this woman cared. And so I fell. Much to the churches vindication, I fell, albeit briefly, and from then on, I regularly heard snippets from my ‘friends' within the church condemning my conduct and pointing to it being proof of who I really was, and of what I really was.

Fortunately, my conscience got the better of me, and I repented, because I could not continue in sin. I went back to the church, once more, but was not warmly received, or received at all, and so I swiftly left. It was ten years before I found another "Message" church to attend, and that was fine until my reputation re-surfaced, and again, despite my good conduct, I was essentially expelled without trial, on the basis of supposition and innuendo. This was the second time that a church had turned on me, for absolutely no reason, but this time, it was reportedly because I was considered to be too friendly with some of the young people. At the time, there were only two families in our church, and a total of twelve people, including myself. Of the remaining eleven, seven were under the age of sixteen. We met in the Pastor's home. He was unemployed, the house was derelict, and a resident rat would regularly eat the food from off the of the kitchen bench during the ‘service'.

Whilst flatting, I had previously chosen a male flatmate, in order to avoid the appearance of evil, but in doing so, had persuaded my church- neighbours that I was gay. Now I was not to strike friendships with young people, male or female. The rules were increasingly obvious: I was unable to have friendship with people in the world, because they were lost. As a single man, I was not allowed to have friendships with married couples or single women, because, heck, what was my motive? There were no single men in my church, and even if there were, striking up a friendship with them would further fuel erroneous speculation about my orientation as I had previously discovered! There were a couple of single men in a rival church, but similar speculation had been made by some about them, and they were often the subject of mockery and jibe. In any event, we really had nothing in common and our churches did not mix. The only option was to become reclusive, or to leave.

I never did go back to a "Message" Church in New Zealand, until we had the major earthquakes, when I attended one and contacted several, just to see if any of the brothers or sisters needed help. The public prayer at the church that I attended seemed to be somehow self-congratulatory, and solely related to how that God had kept everyone in their church safe. Of the 185 people who died, or their families, there was no real mention.

The Pastor preached a sermon pointing out that ‘some people' only come to church after a disaster. I was the only person in the room who appeared to be in that boat, so again, it was hard not to feel singled out. He also took the opportunity to preach against getting tempted to tune in your television to the news channel, in an emergency. He even went so far as to say that he had done so himself, repented, and then chopped the cable, to prevent himself from doing so again. Of note, the authorities were encouraging people to stay tuned for information relating to quakes and survival.

You may ask why I am writing this discourse. Well, I have read some of the stories from people coming out of the "Message", with real interest. Most were born in the "Message". Most talk about the perceived inaccuracies in Brother Branham's claims or ministry. Some talk about the abuses that they suffered at the hands of the church. Some talk about the lies from the pulpit and the gross manipulation that they have suffered, and the loss of childhood.

My experience within the "Message" in New Zealand has probably been different to that of many and the words only express my personal story. I am hopeful that at least some of the more ‘established' families' within the "Message" will have experienced significantly less false accusation, slander, pastoral dominance and elitism, than I, and perhaps they may have been granted more charity, acceptance and care.

Perhaps some have been more successful than I in securing enduring friendships and support from the leaders and members of the church, or having their own faith appreciated and accepted by others. But sadly, I have found that neither individuality nor independent thought are well received and people are largely defensive. Discussion is generally only valued when it agrees with the central dogma of the church. To me, all of these things conspire to promote ignorance, to socially isolate or break a person, to encourage submission, or in the alternative, to cause them to assert themselves against the ‘system' and to ultimately fall into sin, or leave the church. Whilst not justifying sin, these issues do almost tend to predicate it. To me, it always felt that whilst the ‘elite' within the church could do no wrong, personally, I could do no right.

I could probably count on one hand, the number of telephone calls that I have received from active members of the "Message" Churches of New Zealand, despite having been in constant contact with them for well over twenty-five years and in attendance at their meetings for about ten of those years. There were constant and perpetual barriers and the maxims lived and propagated by the church reinforced this continually.

"A Christian does not have any fellowship with the world."

"What concord hath Christ with Belial?"

"We don't wear tracks to our neighbours house."

"We must avoid the appearance of evil." (boy-girl friendships but also male flatting situations, obviously!)

"Familiarity breeds contempt"

"Discretion is the better part of valour."

"Obey those who have the rule over you, and subject yourself!"

"Oh brother, those poor people (everyone else outside of the church)… yes, poor poor people…they just haven't quite got what we have got. I think God is wanting something a little more from Brother…..."

"They went from us, because they were not of us."

"Dear Brother, just humble yourself, stay humble, under the mighty hand of God…."

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away"

Those simple statements, some of them misapplied Scripture, describe the culture to which I was subject and to which I subjected myself for most of my youth and adult life, on the basis that I honestly believed that it was the right way to live. The result was a life of complete isolation and loneliness.

Having left the church, I still struggle to find fellowship, and those who know me from the ‘old days' are quick to point out that I'm a difficult person to like. I can't disagree with that. But I do find myself wondering what I ever did to deserve all of this, except to actively seek the truth, to prove all things and to honestly love God and His Son. But then I realise, I committed the unforgivable sin…. I asked questions. Oh, and I fell. Once. But more importantly, and perhaps apocalyptically, I didn't fear the leadership in the church, nor give them unreserved reverential awe, neither was I a ‘respecter of persons'.

Eight more years have passed since I left my last "Message" church. The pastor of that church, (the one which only had his own family and one other in attendance) is now a contributing editor for a pro-"Message" on-line magazine, where it is reported that all of his family is ‘serving the Lord'. The white-wash of public favour continues to afford him a positive reputation amongst the believers despite the existence of a reality which is never discussed. The Pastor of my original church is now an old man, and his church has constantly reduced in number. People occasionally come, but more go, and if his church really did have ‘something that nobody else had', then the number of the ‘true elect' is now in the single digits. And the first "Message Church" that I attended, well, it continues to be a portal through which people traverse, but few remain for long periods, especially the young, and even less progress in their Christian faith. There are a few exceptions; perhaps they are the few diamonds that emerge out of the tectonic pressure of life and an arsenal of coal, carbon and detritus.

What of me? Well, I never found another church to attend, never married, nor had children. To this day, I find that many Christians really struggle to understand me, or what they perceive to be my ‘baggage' which is to my opinion, paradoxically, an absence of baggage. I don't regret my past; it made me who I am. I wouldn't change it. Neither would I re-live it.

I have spent the last twenty years employed in social services, working within a secular system to help disadvantaged people, by providing structure and support, tempered with opportunity for self improvement and social participation. I still grow plants, but now have a plant nursery focussing on the exotic and bizarre; a range of flora that expresses some the quirks of God's sense of humour and His remarkable design. And I love astronomy, and surveying another dimension of His immense and inspiring handiwork.

The most interesting thing that I have enjoyed, has been helping other people who have come out of religious cults. My goal has been to help to establish them in the community, and to encourage them to find their balance in the Scripture, the true ‘thinking man's filter' and to strive for ‘The Faith', which works by Love. It is a constant battle to not to loose sight of the one True God, who reveals Himself in simplicity, or of the Son of God, who died, and gave Himself for them and for me. The greatest battle ever fought truly is in the mind, but I have found that it is a different battle to what many in the "Message" presume.

I find myself to be an ‘oddball', in the purest sense of the word. To most "Message" Believers, I am lost, despite my ongoing appreciation for aspects of the Branham "message". To the Pentecostals, I'm religious. To the nominal or denominational Christian, I'm weird. To the world, I'm just odd. And to my friends, well, I don't think that they quite know what to think, although most of them still feel the need to apologise about me to their friends, perhaps out of sheer embarrassment of their association with me. Whatever I am, and wherever I fit, I am glad to know that despite my failings, God loved me so much, that He gave His only begotten Son, and that because I believe in Him, I will never perish, but will inherit eternal life.

I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,

But, ah, the waters failed!

E'en as I stooped to drink they fled,

And mocked me as I wailed.

Now none but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me;
There's love and life and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee!

In closing, the Bible speaks of Jesus, the Son of God, of whom it provides vivid description. It says that He was full of ‘Grace and Truth'. If I look back over my Christian life, I see some who pursued grace, perhaps to the exclusion of truth, and others who pursued truth, seemingly to the exclusion of grace. Perhaps both groups pursued their bias to the exclusion of charity, or true Christian love. But what of looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our Faith? That is my exhortation to any who have read this discourse, thus far; Let your moderation be known to all men, and continue to look to Jesus, the lover of our souls. Let us take His yoke upon us, and learn of Him, for He is meek, He is lowly of heart; and in doing so, we find the rest to our souls, just as He promised. Strive for the Faith, which works by Love, because when ‘Divine Love' is projected, then ‘Sovereign Grace' really does take over. Because Divine Love has it's basis in both Divine Truth and Divine Grace, which is personified in Jesus, (the living proof that God loved the world), the first born of many brethren and the head of the Body of Christ.

With love, in Christ,


1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.