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And John writes to the church of Thyatira, &c. •I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest the woman Jezabel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants,' &c.
Now was not this Jezabel a kind of a christian, which the church of Thyatira did not make use of the authority in the spirit and power of Christ to judge and stop, which they ought to have done, and to do now in the church of Christ, with the power and spirit of Christ; but Christ saith unto the rest of Thyatira that have not known this doctrine, to wit, of Jezabel's, but that which ye have, to wit, the truth, · hold fast until I come; and he that overcomes and keeps my words unto the end, to him I will give power over nations,' saith Christ, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers, even as I received it of my Father, and I will give him the morning star.' Here Christ encourages his church with large promises, to be faithful in his power and spirit, and to keep the authority of it, then, and he is the same now to his church that are faithful in the authority of his power and spirit.
And John writes to the church of Sardis, and encourages to be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die; for I know thy works, thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead; for I have not found thy works perfect before God.' And if they did not repent, and watch, and hold fast that which they had received, Christ would come upon them as a thief, &c.; but thou hast a few names in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they should walk with Christ in white, for they were worthy. Therefore it is good for the church to keep holy, clean, and pure, for Christ saith such shall walk with him, the Holy One. And Christ saith to the church of Sardis, · He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white rai. ment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.' Here is encouragement to the church of Christ to be valiant for his name, and to be faithful in his power and spirit.
And John writes to the church in Philadelphia, and Christ saith, “I know thy works, behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.' Behold,' saith Christ, • I will make them of the synagogue of satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee,' &c. Were not these a kind of christians, which were the sayers they were Jews, and were not, but did lie, that Christ with his power would make them come and worship before the church in Philadelphia ; but Christ bids the church in Philadelphia, • Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy Vol. VI.
crown. Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my new name.'. Now here you may see how Christ encourages his church to be faithful, and to overcome in his power, and Christ will write God's name, and his own new name, and New Jerusalem's name upon them that do overcome, and he will make them pillars in the temple of God. Here the church may see what promises Christ hath promised to them. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches, then and now.
And John writes to the church of the Laodiceans, and Christ saith, • I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert either cold or hot; because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth, because thou sayest, I am rich with the increase of goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.' And was not this church rich in outward profession, but wanted the pos·session, and the fire of God's spirit, and its riches, by which they should have been made rich, and to see and be clothed with Christ's clothing.
And therefore the church of Laodicea, and all such that be rich in outward profession, without possession, are to take counsel of Christ, who is head of his church, and to buy of Christ, • gold tried in the fire, that they may be rich, and white raiment, that they may be clothed, and that the shame of their nakedness do not appear; and anoint their eyes with cyesalve,' that they may see these things Christ's church must have from him. And Christ saith, ó As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock;' I, to wit, Christ; 'if any man hear my voice, and open the door,' to wit, of his heart, by the grace and the light of Christ, • I will come in unto him, and will sup with him, and he with me,' to wit, the heavenly marriage supper. To him that overcomes, I will grant to sit with me in my thronc, even as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.' Here you may see the blessed promises of Christ, that he hath promised to his church; which may encourage all to be faithful, and to walk and live by the faith of Christ, which is the victory by which they have access to God.
The apostle told the Philippians and the Ephesians, “Let no man deceive you with vain words; for many walk, of whom I have told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end will be destruction.'
You may see what care in the spirit of God the apostle had of the church of Christ; and were not these a kind of christians that the apostle warns the church of, that they should not be deceived with their vain words ; and therefore the church of Christ is to beware of such now, and try their spirits whether they be of God, for the true fellowship is in the spirit of God. And had not the apostle a great deal of trouble with the false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ ? and said, no marvel, for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light; and therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works. And are there not too many such, who pretend to be apostles and ministers in this day, and such as boast themselves above their measure, and without the measure of the spirit of God? and were not these the false brethren whom the apostles of Christ had to do withal in their day? And now the servants of Christ have to do with the same, (and have their perils,) who in the power of Christ, that daily comes upon them, have the care of the churches now, as in the apostles' days.
And did not these false apostles, deceitful workers, that transformed themselves as the apostles of Christ, and the ministers of satan transform themselves as the ministers of righteousness? I say, did not these go under the name of christians, and such as were puffed up ? But the apostle saith, “I will come, and I will not know the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power, for the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.' For satan's ministers and false apostles might have the good words and the fair speeches, and speak great swelling words of vanity, having the sheep's clothing and form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; and therefore the church of Christ is not to believe every spirit, but to try their spirits whether they be of God; and not to know their speech, but the power, and to know whether they be in the power of godliness, for the kingdom of God stands not in word but in power. And therefore, it is the safe knowledge to know people not in speeches, but in the power of God, and with the anointing, and the spirit of Christ within, to try spirits whether they be of God or no, for the unity of the church of Christ is in the spirit, which is the bond of peace, and their fellowship, and comfort, and communion, is in the holy ghost, which leads the church of Christ into all truth, which proceeds from the Father and the son.
And doth not John say, concerning the antichrists and false prophets, • They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, to wit, the church of Christ; * but they went out from us, that they might be made manifest, that they were not all of us.' And so now many such have gone out from the church of Christ, that they might be made manifest that they were not of us; but the church of Christ, in the apostles' days and now, have an
unction and anointing from the Holy One in them, which proceeds from the Father and the son; and the church of Christ need not any man to teach them, but as the same anointing teaches them; and as it doth teach them, they shall continue in the son, and in the Father, from whence this anointing comes, by which the church of Christ knows all things; yea, those that would seduce them from this anointing ; yea, the antichrists, and deceivers, and false prophets that go out from the church, which are not of the church, though they may have the form of godliness, fair speeches, and good words, but deny the power thereof; from such the church of Christ is to turn away, which know the power of words with the unction, and the spirit of Christ can try their spirits, that have the spirit of discerning whether they be of God, and so they are not to believe nor follow every spirit, but try them first what they believe in, and what they follow. This was the practice of the church of Christ in the apostles' days, which ought to be the same now in the church of Christ; by which anointing they continue in the Father and the son, as before said, and in .it they have fellowship with the Father and his son Jesus Christ. Amen.
And in the old testament Christ was preached and held forth by promises, and by figures, types, and shadows, and by the prophets, and by the prophecies. And when Christ was come, the apostles proved, out of the law, and the prophets, and the Old Testament, that Jesus was the Christ to the Jews that had the law and the promises, Moses and the prophets; so, out of the scriptures, Moses, and the prophets, they proved that Jesus was the true Christ.
And they were noble that did search the scriptures to see if these things were so as the apostles preached concerning Christ. And Christ did manifest himself to be the true Christ, by his preaching and doctrine, miracles, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension, and in sending the holy ghost, and appearing in his people, to be the true Christ, and the son of God. And after Christ was risen, and preached both to the Jews and Gentiles, and many believed in him, the apostle bids them examine themselves, and prove their own selves, how that Jesus Christ was in them, except they were reprobates. So you may see, here are two proofs. First to prove that Jesus was the Christ by Moses, and the law, and the prophets.
And the second proof was, after the Jews and Gentiles did believe in Christ, they were to prove and examine themselves, whether or no Jesus Christ was within them; if not, they were reprobates. And again he saith, Christ in you the hope of glory.' And again he saith. That we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; and let Christ rule in your hearts by faith; and he that hath the son of God hath life; and he that hath not the son of God, hath not life; and Christ was manifest in the flesh to condemn sin in the flesh, that we through him might be come the righteousness of God in Christ; and such sat together in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.
And so the church, the saints now, with the unction within them, and the spirit of Christ, are to try who are in the power of godliness, and who not, and to try the power of words, and who make a profession of Christ without life; and if Christ the life is not in them they are reprobates. Therefore we are not to believe every spirit, though they have a form of godliness and good words, and fair speeches, with the sheep's clothing, but we are to try their spirits whether they be of God, yea or nay. That was and is to be the practice of the church of Christ with the anointing within, which they have from the Father and the son, which is sufficient for the church of Christ to try withal. For the apostle saith, · By it they know all things;' then all things were created by Jesus Christ. Ephes. iii. And all things were made by Christ the word.' John i. So he was before all things, and by him all things do consist. Col. i. And Christ is . heir of all things; by whom God made the worlds, and so he upholdeth all things by the word of his power.' Heb. i. Who hath all power in heaven and in the earth given to him.
And .if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, and all things are passed away and all things are become new; and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ; and God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself,' &c. 2 Cor. v. Christ by whom the world was made; I say, reconciling all things to himself, whether they be things in heaven, or in the earth,' by Jesus Christ, by whom God made all things both in heaven and in the earth, that he might reconcile all things to God, who hath reconciled us to God; Col. i. who bruises the serpent's head, and slayeth the enemy, and destroys the devil and his works; that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, God might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in the earth, even in him by whom they were made. Ephes. i.
So Jew, Gentile, male, female, bond or free, are all one in Christ Jesus. And the apostle Paul saith, he was to make all men to see what is the • fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.' Ephes. iii. So this fellowship hath been a mystery hid from the beginning of the world, and their fellowship in the world, but now is made manifest in Christ,' by whom the worlds were made, to wit, to his church. And God who is faithful hath called us to the fellowship of his son Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Cor. i. as he did the church in the apostles' days. And John in his General Epistle to the church of Christ, saith, That ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ. And if we walk in the light, as he is in the