Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Nature of the Church of Christ and the Christian Witness

Tis well remembered, that that one Man G.F. went some years past into many parts of this Nation, advising Friends to hold such Meetings, viz. Monthly, and Quarterly; and in many places his Counsel was readily embraced: but for our parts, we understood not at that day, that it was designed by him, or any else, that those Meetings should not only be accounted the Church, but also such as professed the Truth, ought to believe as this Church believes; had he so expressed himself, Testimonies would have arisen as a Flood against {First Part 12} such Darkness; for this would have plainly appeared to us, to have opened a Door, whereby that Babylonish Rubbish, which we had been long testifying against, might have been exalted in one day. And to be very plain, we cannot but now declare, that we are fully satisfied in our Consciences, that by this very Door, a Body of Strife, Contention, Emulation, Malice, and Envy, together with a Rending, Dividing Separate Spirit from the Truth, is entred amongst many hundreds, who before walked together with us in an Heavenly Union and Fellowship, in the Life of Righteousness; which doubtless may (if it hath not already) occasion many Honest Simple-hearted Friends this in their Hearts to say; [Where are the People whom we shall now follow?] But if such retire into the Sanctuary of the Lord, there in stillness to wait what God will say, they will undoubtedly have this answer; [You have a Teacher with you, which cannot be removed into a Corner; follow that Teacher, lest peradventure your Feet do slip, by going from your Inward Guide, and following the Footsteps and Dictates of Man.]

But to return, ‘Tis now our Concern, as to the second Position thus further to declare, That whosoever hath or shall testifie, that all those Meetings (as usually held) were the Church of God, hath and will appear to be such, as know not whereof they affirm: for such a Testimony carries with it neither inward, nor outward Evidence (though we dare not conclude, that none in those Meetings were Members of the Church) for the1 Church of God consists properly of such as are by one Spirit baptized into one Body; and so are in the Possession as well as Profession of Truth: But yet whoever they were, that did not but so much as profess the Truth, were admitted to be Members of such Meetings, whilst they appeared in the outward Form thereof, and were not then of Scandalous Conversations: All which might appear in such as were far remote from witnessing the Circumcision of the Heart, and the Answer of a good {First Part 13} Conscience towards God, which must be witnessed as the proper Product of the Baptism of the Spirit, before a Possession of the Truth be known: And whether Mens Meetings have not often consisted of such Members, and are like so to do, whilst the Door is open for any under the aforesaid Qualifications to sit there (as it yet is) we recommend to the Serious Consideration of the Impartial Readers; and if so, we desire them further to weigh and Consider:

First, Whether it can be agreeable to the Truth, to account every thing acted and done by every such Meeting, to be the Product of the Church of Christ, and accordingly to be submitted to.

Secondly, Whether the Judging of some (conscientiously refusing to submit) to be dark, leavened, rending dividing or separate Spirits, because they refuse, be not the fruit of that Spirit that would remove us from that Teacher that cannot be removed into a Corner, to follow the Dictates of Fallible Men.

Thirdly, Whether a Plea for Obedience to the Orders of such Meetings, from Persons Conscientiously Refusing to Obey, hath not a tendency to Justify Usurpation; since they have never evidenced to the Consciences of those, from whom they have seemed to expect Obedience, any other Call to that Service, than their own.  

Fourthly, Whether a Plea for such Meetings, to Govern in matters relating to Conscience, hath not a tendency to Justify Confusion; since according to the reputed Order of such Meetings, None that are to be Ruled, are excluded from being Rulers?

Let those who cannot believe this our last Assertion, peruse Robert Barclay’s Book of Government, approved by such as have been accounted Ministring Friends, at the second Days Meeting in London, wherein ‘tis said, Page. 33. “We are not so foolish, as to concern our selves with those who are not of us:” none of which are (according to the Import of the said Book of Government, as we take it) excluded from {First Part 14} such Meetings, nor yet to give Judgement therein (witness Page 79, and 82. of the said book) and since we are not treating of those Meetings, we are not without a sense, but that some may be ready thus to query, viz.

Commentary on the observations of William Rogers Rough Draft 10-12-2020 Incomplete
Paragraph One

Sec1. George Fox Recommends the establishment of Monthly and Quarterly Meeting
Sec2. Some, in the Quaker Gathering, embraced the establishment of Institutions.
Sec3. Some people in the gathering, who orignally embrace Fox's recommendation, became concerned with the institutionalization measures because the institutions became the Church itself and it became the practice that all institutionalized Quakers must conform to the beliefs of the Church.
Sec4. Had Fox explained that his recommendation for the institutionalization of the gathering meant the institution ruled over the conscience, there would have been many Quakers unwilling to participate because they had long been testifying against institutionalized religion.
Sec5. People were against the institutionalization of the gathering because the very process was the cause of contention and strife where there was none.
Sec6. To resolve contention and strife in human relations people should retire from the institutional structure and come into and wait upon the presence of God in the conscience as their Teacher in itself without regard for the institutionalized Church, dictates, and agency of people.

Paragraph Two

Sec1. The outward visible Church is not the Church of God. The Church of God is those people who know and experience the direct immediate, self-evident presence of God in their conscience and consciousness (that is, those who are in possession of Truth).
Sec2. There may be people who are come into the direct presence of God and who participate in the visible Church, however, their membership into the fellowship of Christ is through the self-evident presence of God in their conscience and consciousness which is the invisible Church.
Sec3. It happened that, through the establishment and institutionalization of the Quaker gathering into Meetings, a practice of admitting people who, by the narrowest of margin, outwardly and formally professed the concept of the presence of God but did not acknowledge the direct experience of God's presence in their conscience which is the baptism of the Spirit.

Paragraph Three

Sec1. In light of the practice of admitting people who are in the formality of the Meeting and do not acknowledge self-evident possession and witness of the presence of God in their conscience, Rogers asks whether the actions, dictates and recommendations of such a visible Meeting can properly be called the product of the invisible Church of Christ in the conscience and consciousness of people.

  1. 1Cor. 12.13.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

The brain the seat of the Serpent and the conscience the Throne of Christ.

James Naylor, on page one of his Discovery of the First Wisdom from Beneath, and the Second Wisdom from Above (published 1656) writes of the will and the brain which is the Serpents seat View in Source Document. On page five he writes of that light shining into the conscience (the throne of Christ) View in Source Document. These quotes are revealing in context. In the first, Naylor is concerned that people focus on the Lord your guide and not stand in outward things, devised in the will and brain which is the Serpents seat. It is clear here that the Serpent is the process of reflection which drawns human being out to visible things1 (political, religious, and social, formalities, thoughts, insitutions, creeds, etc.) to guide their ways or human relations. In the second, Naylor is also concerned that people who profess Jesus Christ are taught by Christ, however, here he suggests a different way that is not seated in the process of reflection to guide human ways and relations. This different way anchors human relations in that light shining into the conscience (the throne of Christ). Understanding that the word conscience also assumed or carried the meaning consciousness in the seventeenth century (View Here), these words are a powerful testimony to the event of the coming of Jesus Christ into the conscience and consciousness which is human being's moral and conscious life founded upon or established in the Spirit itself. The coming of the light of Christ inshining upon and anchoring human relations through awareness or consciousness of this immanent Presence is literally a spiritual hack of the process of Reflection to guide human relations.

Naylor also writes of the kingdom of God and our faith in our conscience (View in Source Document) . In the same paragraph he hearkens to the seat of the Serpent or the process of reflection which politicians use to tempt us away in any way to deny him and own them in their wills which is the seat of the Serpent. That is, politicians seek to bind people to their own wills by drawing them into the process of reflection to guide and inform human relations.

Issac Penington in his The Authority and Government which Christ Excluded out of his Church writes that the conscience is the seat of faith (View in Source Document).

Secondly, Care must be had that the conscience be kept tender, that nothing be received, but according to the light in the conscience. The conscience is the seat of faith XR3340; and if it be not kept close to the light which God lighteth there, faith is soon made shipwreck of. Christianity is begun in the Spirit, which keepeth out the fleshly part, with all its fleshly wisdom and reasonings about spiritual things; and as the beginning is in the anointing, so must the progress be. As the Spirit begins in the conscience, by convincing that, by persuading that, by setting up his light there, and leading the soul by that light; so that light must still be eyed, and according to its growth and manifestation in the conscience, so must the soul stand still, or go on.

Pennington writes that the Spirit keeps out the fleshly (brain, the seat of the process of reflection?) reasonings. He goes on the Spirit begins in the conscience (and consciousness) through the coming of the Light and that light must be eyed (resting in awareness of) according to it's impulse in the conscience (and consciousness).

These testimonies of Naylor and Pennington place the seat or throne of the Kingdom of God, of Faith, of Christ, in the conscience. That is, faith, Christ, and the Kingdom of God are found in the conscience (and consciousness). The kingdom of God, Faith, and Christ, are found in the conscience and consciousness, through the shining (awareness) of the Light upon human being. This is a complete reorientation of human being. Christ, the kingdom of God and Faith are not established at a distance in the way of reflection or as a place or person apart from who we are. They are not anticipated, they are lived and experienced continuously, literally, and directly on earth; leading the soul by the Light itself in itself.

The process of reflection (manifested through the eating of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil) is overcome or hacked in the coming or presence of the inshining Light and the enthronement and government of Christ in conscience and consciousness; without regard for reflected (political, religious, of social, outward forms) content to rule, guide, and inform, human relations.

  1. Reference the biblical story of the Tree of Knowledge of God and evil.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

In the Life itself the need for prophets and prophecies is fulfilled.

In a recent article entitled "Jesus wasn't nice ..." Micah Bales wrote:

And it gets me to wondering: How would Jesus speak to us?
The prophets are those people who hear and proclaim the words of God.

I am thankful that, through the power of the continuous immanent, self-evident, and self-sustaining presence of the spirit of Christ in my conscience and consciousness, I am draw out of the process of reflecting on an outward Jesus and having to engage in wondering or imagining how Jesus might act if he were before me in an outward bodily form ... as if at a distance. Through the indwelling and everlasting presence of the Spirit itself in itself in my heart, I know the voice of Jesus directly and without reflection. The Christ is come again in my conscience and is taken up habitation in my heart and it is discovered to me that inshining Life itself is sufficient in itself to guide and inform human relations without regard for outward political, religious, and social similitudes, imaginations, thoughts, visions, or persuasions of other people about Jesus Christ. Christ is come again inshining and transforming the foundation of being and consciousness. I am the life, and the life is in me, and is all around me.

In this dispensation, the need for prophets and their prophecies and the very process of reflective thought to guide and minister to human social relations is passed away. The living experience of the second coming of the Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit continuously inshining upon the heart and conscience has brought an end to the need for the outward gifts ... the perfect is come and has taken up habitation in the hearts and conscience of human being and is sufficient in itself to administer human relationships and interactions and the partiality of the prophets is faded in the presence of the impartial. There is a different way of being in this world that is not of the nature of the reflections of prophets and prophecies which are of the nature of partiality. The need for the outward voice of the prophets is diminished through the ever living, inshining, and direct self-evident and self sustaining voice of the spirit of Christ.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

When the season of the outward ministration of others is passed and fulfilled in the everliving presence of Christ.

In an article published in The Friends Journal entitled "A Parallel Universe" the author writes:

The Spirit works on us to enable us to give something of what we have received to others, to act as a mirror. So it& is that God works not only directly but through human beings, each upon another.

Through the power of the spirit of Christ continuously present in my conscience, I am drawn out of the process of being guided and informed through the outward or mirrored agency of others. The operation of the spirit of Christ is sole and sufficient guide itself in itself in matters of human relationships and interactions. The time or season of the spirit mediated or mirrored through the ministration or persuasion of others is passed away in the fullness and light of the everliving presence and habitation of Christ in my conscience and consciousness.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Draw out of reflective thought

People's relationships and interactions are generally mediated through the interplay between feelings, will, perceptions, sensations, and thoughts (the functions of the body). The appearance of the immanent and everliving presence of the spirit of Christ in the conscience sometimes draws people out of the process of being or life that is mediated through the reflective function of the body in matters relating to human interaction; they are come into relationships and interactions being guided and informed or mediated by direct awareness of the stirring of Christ's presence in a given interaction. This intuitive stirring or impulse is experienced as an incremental rising, lessening, or stagnation of direct awareness of the immanent presence of the self-sustaining spirit of Christ in the conscience and consciousness. The fluid and multi-directional awareness of Christ's presence in a given interaction or circumstance is literally what guides relationships. The experience of an upsurge in Christ's presence indicates behavior toward another is in align with the government as of Christ. An experience of a lessening of awareness of Christ's Presence indicates a check in behavior that is out of the government and life of Christ's immanent presence. It is this dynamic and living awareness of the stirrings of Christ in the conscience that is the language and communication of the spirit itself in itself. This is living in the face of God.

Monday, March 23, 2020

End of Works and Books

Pr. He calls it a ſubtile deluſion that owns not the Law without in Tables and Books to try the ſpirits within, &c. See page 8.
Anſ. And the ſpirit of Chriſt within is the end of the Tables, Law, and Works, and Books: There fore in this is diſcovered his own White Devill, and correćted by the ſpirit as he speaks of; and the Law is now in the heart, the new Covenant is witneſſed and the Phariſees had the Law in Tables, as thou haſt Scriptures, and stood agqinſt the life, and in the ſubtile deluſion as thou doth, who brings the external to try the eternal, whhich it is the eternal that tryeth the external, as Chriſt did the Phariſees, who told them when they wronged it; And so are you the wrongers of it, who hath not the eternal that led forth the Saints to ſpeak forth Scripture, and with that they are tryed and ſeen who wrongs them, and wrest them to their own delusion; and Peter was one of thoſe tryers who was in the Spirit of God, and could not read letters; and the Phariſees they had the letter without the life, and could not try.
Source: George Fox, The Great Mystery of the Great Whore, (1656) pg. 34.

End of Works and Books

Pr. He calls it a ſubtile deluſion that owns not the Law without in Tables and Books to try the ſpirits within, &c. See page 8. Anſ...