Pure and Undefiled Religion
The "pure and undefiled religion" of God has no present temporalities, or worldly interests. It has no "lands, tenements and hereditaments;" nor "states," colleges, or "sacred edifices." It is like the Son of God in the days of his flesh; homeless, houseless, and poverty-stricken among the sons of men. It has great riches, and good things in store for the poor in this world who are rich in faith; it promises them the possession of the world with all honour, and glory, and riches of it, with endless life for the enjoyment of them; but it requires faith in God with filial obedience to His law, in a time of tribulation as the condition of the inheritance.
It is perfectly absurd to imagine, that men who are revelling in all the luxuries, conveniences, and comforts of life; enjoying the honour, glory, and friendship of the world, as do the ecclesiastics of antichristendom in their several ranks, orders, and degrees; to suppose, I say, that such can inherit the Kingdom of God with Jesus, and that "cloud of witnesses," of whom Paul says "the world was not worthy," is preposterous. If men would reign with Christ they must believe his doctrine, and suffer with him, in enduring persecution for the words sake. They must separate themselves from "the churches," both State and Nonconformist, which have a name to live, but are dead in trespasses and sins. The whole system is rotten; and awaits only the manifestation of the Lords presence to be abolished with signal marks of his displeasure. Therefore, let all honest men, lay and clerical, who shall believe the truth, come out from among them, and be separate. Better stand alone for the Kingdom of Gods sake, than be numbered with the multitude in the day of Christ, who will be denied permission to "eat of the tree of life and live for ever."
John Thomas Elpis Israel.
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