Trials from False Brethren

Nov 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Special Features (click on Article name)

Trials from False Brethren

The Scriptures plainly teach that special trials may be expected in the Church, amongst the brethren. And we find it to be true that our severest trials come not from without, but, as the Apostle in substance says, “From among yourselves shall arise false brethren,” to injure the flock in general through personal ambition. (Acts 20:30.) This becomes a test not only to the Church, but to all those who are in contact with us, for if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it.–I Cor. 12:26.

We are not, therefore, to think it strange if there are trials and difficulties, and if more or less dispute arise in the Church. We are to cultivate gentleness, meekness, patience, loving-kindness toward all. Nevertheless, if a dispute arise amongst the Lord’s people, we are to recognize that such things are unavoidable amongst those who have the Truth. Our heads are imperfect, and consequently it requires some time to come into line with the teachings of the Lord’s Word. Even disputation makes life an activity, and is better than a dead condition–not to care what is spoken or not spoken. Nevertheless, those who have zeal should be careful that they manifest the Spirit of the Lord, as above indicated–gentleness, patience, meekness, brotherly kindness, love, humility.

Think it not strange that there are fiery trials amongst yourselves, arising from one cause or another, that will make it particularly severe for you. Those among whom you are thrown in contact will cause you suffering, because of your zeal and their misunderstanding, their imperfection, etc. Similarly, you may be a cause of trial to others. All of these fiery trials will work out good for you. It is far better to be amongst those who are fervent in spirit than to take a place amongst those who are lukewarm and thus lose the privilege of being one of those who are footstep followers of Christ. Perhaps those who are lukewarm will, in the Time of Trouble, learn a lesson. But the Little Flock are to learn their lesson in the present time–allowing the experiences of life to work out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.–2 Cor. 4:17.

Our knowledge of God is limited; yet it is only what we should expect of the Heavenly Father, that any whom He accepts as His children will have Divine love and care in the supervision of their affairs, which will make all things work for good to them. Since the Lord is our Shepherd, no one is able to pluck us out of His hands. (John 10:28,29.) We are as dear to Him as the apple of His eye. He that began a good work in us is able to complete it in the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6.) So the more faith we have the more we appreciate the text, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28.) This includes even the things that seem to be very contrary, very evil, very disadvantageous.

Our Lord said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.” (John 17:3.) To know the Father means to be in fellowship with Him, to have an intimate acquaintance with Him. Experience corroborates this fact. The more obedient we are as children the more intimate is our acquaintance with Him. And if we are unfaithful, even for a little space, we shall fail to make development along spiritual lines. But in proportion as we are seeking to walk in His ways, we become intimate with Him in the particular sense in which a child knows his father. This knowledge gives us the trust that He cares for us as His children, and makes all things work together for good to us.–Rom. 8:28; I John 1:6,7.

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