ELDER BEEBE: – Permit me to make a few more remarks upon the subject of union between the church and world, and then refer all who professedly belong to the one, to the word of God from the 1 Chap. of Gen. to the end of Rev., for authority to unite with the other in matters of religion; at the same time looking to God for a right understanding of the subject. – In the great controversy there is but two parties, for Christ has said, “He that is not for me is against me,” there is no middle ground – and how are we to decide who are for, or who against, except by the word of truth? Christ has given an infallible test, for he says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” and “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey.” Rom. vi. 16. – Therefore it must be taken for granted that whoever disobeys God’s commands, loves him not, or at least manifests no love for Him, and are engaged against Him and His cause. I know of no instance recorded in the Bible, where God has not made known His displeasure at any disobedience of his commands, notwithstanding the good motives the creature may have had in disobeying. Saul’s is a very striking instance for he conscientiously believed he was doing God service by saving the best of the flocks. We are also told that “Whosoever therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom,” Math. v, 19. Yet still the plea is, the great benefits to mankind that are to result from it; doing all in the name of the Lord – they contend that God works by means, but make no distinction between such means as are revealed in His word, and such as are not. Abraham believed in God’s means, but “he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb,” but “being fully persuaded, that what he had promised he was able to perform.” God has promised that all his chosen ones shall be brought in, and “He is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness,” – they cannot wait God’s time to accomplish His ends, but must make us of their own means, such as never have been hinted at in His word; and directly at variance with His commands. God commanded national Istrael, which was a type of the Gospel church, to “make no covenant with them” (the Canaanites, which represented the world) “neither shalt thou make marriages with them,” Deut. vii, 2,3. Have no union with them, but “be ye separate” and distinct from them. Paul, writing to the gospel church says “we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God,” &c., 1 Cor. ii, 12,13. The order of the present day is for the professed Disciples of Christ to receive the spirit of the world; the world gives a tone to all that is done for God’s cause.
Although the command is, in civil matters, ye are to obey Magistrates and such authority as your lot may be cast under; yet Paul in his direction to the church at Corinth forbids any appeal to the world even to obtain justice. “Dare any of you (says he) having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the Saints?” vi. Chap. 1st. verse.
Dec. 21, 1833
Signs of the Times
Volume 2, No. 3
January 8, 1834