True Christians: How Do You Know Them?

The following is an excerpt from my blog, of the same title, posted on This Was the True Light. good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Why do you call me "Lord, Lord," and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like... (Luke 6: 43-47 RSV)

The Matthew rendition of this portion of scripture states:

Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven... (Matt. 7:21 RSV)

The popular definition of Christian, whether by people in favor of or people in opposition to Christianity, has more to do with calling "Lord, Lord" and little to do with hearing and following the words of Jesus as he reveals to us the Father's will. The popular definition of Christian has mostly to do with whether or not you believe in Jesus.

All manner of atrocities have been and still are done in the name of belief. The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the persecution of various groups, modern day wars; all done in and justified by the name of belief. Yet, looking back, one has a hard time stating that those actions were "Christian."

Many quote John 1:12:

But as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name...

and extol the power of belief without any understanding of what is involved in that scripture. To "believe on his name" is to believe in his authority. You demonstrate your belief in his authority only when you accept his command. You encounter Jesus' command as you encounter the light of Christ within you. (See John 1 and elsewhere.) Thus, John 3:18-21 says:

He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the [authority] of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.

Concerning the light that Christ has enlightened us with, George Fox wrote:

And to you that tempt God, and say, the Lord give us a sight of our sins, priests and people, does not the light, which Christ hath enlightened you with, let you see your sins, that lying and swearing, cursed speaking, theft, murder, and whoredom, and covetousness, and pride, and lust, and pleasures, all these to be the works of flesh, and fruits of darkness? this light within you lets you see it, so you need not tempt God to give you a sight of your sins, for ye know enough; and waiting in the light, power and strength will be given to you; for they that wait upon the Lord, their strength shall be renewed; and living in the light, and walking up to God, it will bring you to true hunger and thirst after righteousness, that you may receive the blessing from God; and give over tempting of God, as if he had not given you a sight of your sins. And to all ye that say, God give us grace, and we shall refrain from our sin, there ye have got a tempting customary word, for the free grace of God hath appeared to all men, and this is the grace of God, which shews thee ungodliness and worldly lusts. Now thou that livest in ungodliness, lying, and swearing, and theft, and murder, and drunkenness, and filthy pleasures, and lusting after the world, thou art he that turnest the free grace of God into wantonness, and casteth his laws behind thy back, and walkest despitefully against the spirit of grace; here the scripture is fulfilled upon thee! oh vain man! yet thou canst say, God is merciful; he is merciful and just, and that shalt thou see, when destruction comes upon thee; for thou canst say, God is merciful, yet liveth in thy wickedness, passing on thy time without the fear of God, sporting thyself in thy wickedness. (Works of Fox, Vol. IV, p.21) [For the full text, see Fox's To All That Would Know The Way To The Kingdom.]

So, let me define a Christian as one who lives in and by this light and believes in the authority of Christ from whom the light comes. Now, if we adopt this definition, won't we be leaving out many who base their claim on "I have repented of my sins, have believed that Jesus suffered and died for me, and have accepted his substitutionary death?" The existence of this question betrays our underlying assumption that it is we, not God, who are in charge of defining who is Christian and who is not.

The Matthew 7 text continues:

On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers." (Matt. 7:22-23)

To act in Jesus' name is to act in his authority. To act in his authority is to first sit in council with God, to know his will, and then to act by his command. Otherwise you are acting in your own name. In and by your own authority you can do nothing but evil, for there is none good but God alone...

....Continue reading this blog on my wordpress site....

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Comment by Ellis Hein on 6th mo. 2, 2017 at 8:35am

No, Keith, the fruits of your actions do not line up with the claim of your words. If your words were honest words, the heart from which they arose would gladly receive the correction of Christ Jesus, who is the only way to the Father.

If your words were not honest words, then the heart from which they arise has some other agenda than hearing and obeying the voice of Jesus, the good shepherd.

You have stated you are "not informed by the life I profess but are come into a different way." There is no other way and there is no other life. All who try to enter the sheepfold some other way are the thieves and murderers. They will neither find the sheep nor enjoy the protection and care of the shepherd. They will neither come to feed in the pastures of life nor drink at the springs of living water because they refuse to enter by Jesus who is the door, the shepherd, the life, and the way.

Comment by Keith Saylor on 6th mo. 2, 2017 at 11:30am
Hello Ellis. I know I’ve stated this before, however, I appreciate you taking the time to express, by way of mediation, the Word in your conscience concerning me and my conscience. Such mediation has been a blessing to me even in the face of the Word visiting upon my conscience a different understanding than your understanding of the Word’s intent upon my conscious and conscience by way of his mediation through you.

By the direct and immediate power of the Word itself in my conscious and conscience I am come out of a Life that looks upon and is affected by the mediations of the Brethren as the Brethren interprets such mediation. It is discovered unto me a Life in the mystery of a conscious anchored in and conscience informed by the inward Seed and Word itself in itself wherein the conscience is not informed by the outward lines of other people and my conscious is not affected by other’s interpretations of such mediations. In the Word itself in itself, I stand and hold without regard for the outward mediations of others. I acknowledge, that to you, my not being affected by your mediation in the way you have interpreted the intent of the Word’s mediation through you, it naturally follows I am outside the Life. We are not in unity on that specific matter. Although it is not my intent to suggest you should turn from your interpretation. I am the Life itself in itself and I am in the Life and that Life is sufficient in itself to guide, inform, and correct, without being affected by the interpretations of those who profess themselves as mediators between the Word itself and the conscious and conscience of others.

I stand before you Ellis and in the Word and immanent Presence itself affirming I am the Life and the Life is in me and, in that new and different Life, it is discovered unto me an independency from the Brethren and the governance of the outward Church. Ellis, by the power of the inward Light I know such joy and peace in the Grace of immanent Presence that even outward judgements, denigrations, criticisms, and interpretations of other people, even those who profess to be mediators between the Life and the conscience of others, are of no affect. I know the liberty of the life of the immanent Presence of Jesus Christ, for I am of that Life. The most wonderful experience of the Life’s affect upon me is that I can state, affirm, and lay down my conscience, and at the same time, not to seek to impose my conscience on another. I accept that, in your conscience, I am deceived and dark and that I am out of obedience. And even more wonderful and awesome, by the power of the Life itself, I am come out of the way of recrimination. I embrace the tension and disunity that we have shared. Our discussion has been a source of encouragement and edification and a real time witness to the power of watchfulness against immanent Presence itself in itself being overshadowed by a spirit of recrimination.
Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 6th mo. 3, 2017 at 7:39am

It is the function of every human conscience to lead one to honor the God of Truth. A lie dishonors God. There is, Keith, no "Life itself in itself"; there is only Life in Christ. "Life itself in itself" would be the antithesis of Life in Christ; it is death to the soul. So when you say you've come into "Life itself in itself," you admit to being in an autonomous/alienated state, apart from God, and that, Keith, is death in the soul.

We don't need to hear anymore about your coming "out of the way of recrimination" etc. You've shown yourself impervious to admonishment, but you are not impervious to truth. Your conflation of darkness and light has been exposed;  your conflation of your distortions and the tradition's language has been exposed. No one expects you to change, Keith, but when they read your repetitive words, they'll remember: these words have been exposed for what they are.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 6th mo. 3, 2017 at 7:44am

Keith, you cannot put this off as a contention between you and me. The disunity is between your profession and the deeds you have shown during this discussion. You cannot stand in the life and presence of Jesus Christ and refuse to feed on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. You cannot stand in the love of Jesus Christ and denigrate his servants and make fun of and ridicule those who speak to you in His authority. That is niether love of brothers nor love of enemies. You cannot stand in the life of Jesus Christ and proclaim that you are of a different life and a different way. If you stood in His life, you would know He is the only life and the only way because He is the only source of life. You cannot know the governance of Christ and state your intentions to misbehave. These are the things that declare your fundamental disunity.

Second, you do not stand before me. I am no judge of these matters, neither am I a rewarder of those who do good nor a caster of recriminations on those who don't. There is one, even Christ Jesus, before whom you stand, who calls for an account of every word, of every deed, and of the heart that produced word and deed. What I have written to you, I have written at the command of Jesus. I had no words to say in response to what you have stated in this discussion.

Comment by Keith Saylor on 6th mo. 3, 2017 at 9:49am
Greetings Ellis and Patricia,

Patricia, your words are encouraging even though you personally do not mean them so. You write and I own: “You've shown yourself impervious to admonishment …” I own, in the inward Light itself in itself, is sole Mediator and there is none before. The Life itself in itself anchoring my conscious and informing my conscience has discovered to me freedom from those who profess themselves mediators between Christ and the conscience of others. In the Life itself in itself neither you, Patricia nor you, Ellis mediate between the Word and my conscience. The Word itself is Mediator. In the Life, I am come out of a conscience mediated through others and into a conscience guided and informed directly by the spirit of Christ as sole Mediator which meditates directly through the conscious and in the conscience. Patricia, yes, I take ownership of being impervious, by the power of the Life itself in itself as sole Mediator in my conscience and conscience, from admonishment from those, including you and Ellis, who profess themselves as mediators between the inward Christ and the conscience and who also profess themselves as keepers of tradition. It is a blessing to know such grace, freedom, and liberty.

Ellis, I have read the words you represent and which you profess as mediator between Christ and myself. The Life itself in itself of which I am and which is sole Mediator has discovered to me a blessing through your words even in the face of all those cannots.

I am the Life and the Life is in me,

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 6th mo. 3, 2017 at 10:13am

Repetition of your claim is not support for your claim; there's a difference, and people can see it. In a previous comment you wrote the following statement below, yet you've given no support for that statement. What are the Scripture passages to which you refer,  and how do they support your claim that you yourself, in yourself, are the Life and Light?

These are your words from a previous comment. Can you support them or not? If you think you can, go ahead. If you know that you can't support these words, then you have nothing to do but repeat yourself, and be seen for your absence.

Keith wrote: Jesus is recorded to have spoken of parable of the seed and James is recorded to have spoken the engrafted word; each of which speak to the mystery of a conscious anchored in and a conscience informed by immanent Presence itself in itself."

Comment by Forrest Curo on 6th mo. 3, 2017 at 10:27am

This guy whose name "Keith Saylor" continues to appear as the human author of certain comments attributed to the Life and 'to the Life in me', whomever that 'me' might be -- this person whom various other people continue to argue with -- I gather he isn't claiming any particular authority for himself, as they seem to think -- but his comments say that the Life in everybody is currently using him as a return address for these various statements -- which I'd translate as: "God is the Life in us, and doesn't need any human pedigree or legal authorization or claim to be repeating teachings derived from any previous humans (although these have certainly influenced this person, among others in this melee.)"

So while I'm curious about this person "Keith Saylor," and whether he can, or would want to, abandon being the sometimes contentious human we've often found frustrating to spar with so verbally -- It doesn't at all seem to me that you're saying what evidently bothers them so, at least not saying it about you-as-a-human. Why, then, are they so bothered?

Comment by Keith Saylor on 6th mo. 3, 2017 at 11:05am
Patricia, I let the references stand in themselves. I learned a couple years ago that engaging with you in biblical interpretation is a fruitless task. We do not agree even on the most basic interpretations.
Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 6th mo. 3, 2017 at 11:18am

Keith, you cannot support your claim because your claim is false. 

Forrest, God's spokepeople, the prophets, do not contradict themselves. When they come across someone who is falsely presenting himself as the Light and Life of Christ, they have a responsibility to expose him (Mt. 7:15-20) by showing his fruits to be lies and/or evasion. (See preceding comment.) 

Comment by Keith Saylor on 6th mo. 3, 2017 at 11:25am
Exactly Patricia. You have already judged my claim as false. Why would I engage you further.


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