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Refined Wickedness

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18.

Yes, heaven is the source of wrath. It is a place of peace and joy, but these exist only on the basis of righteousness, which opposes all ungodliness. This wrath is directed against holding segments of “truth” (which is really error due to segmentation) in a setting of unrighteousness. This applied to the pagans the apostle is writing about, but the principal is also applicable to professing Christians who deny the power of godliness today. For a very practical example, so-called holiness movements preach and re-preach entire sanctification as an indispensable work of grace–within the context of flirtatious dating and multiple marriages. Baptist churches hold the doctrine of the Trinity against a deceptive backdrop of sin-you-must teaching (and living). “Church of God” groups teach the unity of believers in an environment of racism, carnality, and worldliness. This is what enrages God. This is spiritual wickedness in HIGH places (Eph. 6:12), or, as Adam Clarke writes on this verse, “highly refined and sublimed evil.” It is not more benign than the bar or nightclub, only more refined. Similarly, it is noteworthy that each item in Paul’s list of abuses in second Timothy chapter three is ascribed to those with a form of godliness, i.e. professing Christians. In fact, it is safe to say that the majority of the population of today’s churches is not Christian.

Sectism itself is sinful by nature and condemned by the scriptures. In listing the works of the flesh in the fifth chapter of Galatians, the apostle includes “heresies” (Greek haíresis). According to Strong’s Dictionary this word means “a choice,” and according to Adam Clarke comes from a Greek word meaning “I choose.” Haíresis also has the meaning of “sect” (because sect membership is a matter of selection) and is translated “sect” in most other places in the New Testament. Thus sect religion is clearly identified as a work of the flesh, as an unbiased investigation of the motives for every “church” split will confirm.

The exhortation to “attend the church of your choice” rings with carnal initiative to take selective action (remember the definition of haíresis) in a matter in which God has given us no choice. The one physically and spiritually unified body of Christ (Who is the Elect) is the only legitimate choice. This one church is the object of God’s immutable election, which John Calvin erroneously applied to a limited number of individuals. God has already made an irrevocable choice. To choose otherwise challenges God and identifies Him with the unsightly figure called His mystical body–two words that can only be joined nonsensically. God is calling His children out of sectism, and those who spurn the Spirit’s pleading and refuse to walk in the Light will make themselves transgressors on this account, even if blameless in every other way. Those who presumptuously cling to their sect instead of embracing God’s church, “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21). This is fact because sectism defies the burden of Calvary, upon which no bone of our Saviour was broken. Christ died to save from all forms of sin, including the sin of separation amongst Christians, for He died to “gather together into one” the children of God that were scattered abroad (John 11:52).

Sin is sin, no matter what the setting or form. In singing the judgments of God, Moses identified reprobate Israelites with the “vine of Sodom” and the “fields of Gomorrah” (Deut. 32:32). It is plausible that most or all of these Israelites would have decried homosexuality. Besides, Sodom had been destroyed about 450 years before. Yet Moses recognized a spiritual interconnectedness of untoward hearts which transcends time, space, and specific categories of committed sins.

Thus it is that sinning “Christians” who loudly condemn homosexuality are enveloped in the sinfulness they are decrying, because the sap of the vine of Sodom is shared by all who subscribe to unrighteousness. Hindus and Mennonites are connected because both belong to a manmade religious organization. The Hindu reveres Krishna, and many Mennonites their sect. There are “Christian” men who guard their marital fidelity, but are adulterers on account of their illicit fellowshipping of an extra-biblical institution–the denomination of their choice–over the “general assembly” of the children of God. There is a difference between ignorantly subscribing to a human organization and deliberately refusing to honor God’s demands of unity and holiness. The latter is sin.

The apostle John described the awful woman in graphic imagery–a drunken, bloodthirsty harlot. So-called churches overrun by worldliness, deadness, lukewarmness, and strife embody this woman. Her description is not an exaggeration. This imagery was inspired by the Holy Ghost to convince unsuspecting souls of their danger. Such a woman is not fit to be a mother. In light of this description, who would not identify with God’s urgent, heartfelt cry, “Come out of her, my people”? It is a command, but it is also a plea! The only relevant message for honest souls abiding where the above-mentioned conditions exist is to come to Jerusalem “the mother of us all.” Who can fail to recognize that there is zero antagonism towards God’s children in this message? Why are we persecuted for rescuing people from such conditions?

God’s wrath is revealed, and we share His feelings. He is making war, and is not doing so alone, for “they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” We are disgusted with the impotence and resulting uselessness of false Christianity.

Our mission is one of liberation, for we are the emancipating friends of every true child of God. Our love for our brethren compels us to warn them of the evils of systems of religion not created by God. We commend ourselves to every truth-loving heart in the sight of God and invite them to trade deadness, strife, and division for “the joy of the whole earth.”

Benjamin Tovstiga

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