The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
"A neighbor of mine thinks Christ, between the ages of twelve and thirty, was in a foreign nation. Where does the Bible say He lived during those years?"
Jesus' home was in Nazareth until age thirty. After Jesus' birth in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1) and several months in Egypt (verses 19-20), Joseph brought his family to Nazareth so that Jesus would be called a Nazarene — a resident of Nazareth (verse 23). If Jesus had spent most of His childhood years away from Nazareth, He would not have been known as a Nazarene. In Luke 4:16 we read: "And he (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where He HAD BEEN BROUGHT UP... "This scripture could not say He was brought up in Nazareth if He had lived there only until the age of twelve, and had spent His last eighteen years somewhere else.
"I have been listening to your program on the air and reading The PLAIN TRUTH for the past few years, Your recent series on "Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?" and the article "Where Did Jesus Command You to Observe Sunday?" have set me to thinking. I don't believe in denominations, but what about the need for spiritual fellowship? I know of some people in my community who meet on the day God set apart, but they have many strange ideas that don't come from the Bible. What should I do?"
While we are instructed, in Hebrews 10:23-25: "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" — yet, notice carefully, we are not instructed to assemble with deceived people in this world's denominations. The instruction is not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together — that is, true Christians who have the TRUTH, who are filled with God's Holy Spirit, truly converted, and WALKING IN THE LIGHT, living by every Word of God. The fallen "woman" of Rev, 17 is clearly identified as the great false Church, which ruled over the kings of the Roman Empire from 554 until 1814. Her doctrines and practice, falsely called by Christian names, are actually the same identical "Chaldean mysteries" of the ancient Babylonian Baal worship, denounced in the Bible as the most idolatrous of all false worship. Notice, Rev. 17:5, She is called "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS." She is a MOTHER Church. She has daughter churches, They came Out of her, in protest. They, like their mother Church, participate in the governments and politics and affairs of this world. Thus they reject the Government of God! This (verse 2) is the cause of her fall from grace. All these sects and denominations contain a certain mixture of false doctrines which have been handed down from the ancient Babylonian idolatry. They constitute an ORGANIZED SYSTEM. even though divided into hundreds of sectarian organizations. Shall the true Christian JOIN, and thus become a part of this apostate system? Notice, "the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (Rev. 17:2). They are spiritually drunk on her false doctrines, until they are unable to see dearly Bible TRUTH — their spiritual eyesight is blurred. They are spiritually BLIND. The truth is, GOD DID NOT PLANT THESE CHURCHES. And Jesus said, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Mat. 15:13-14). This listener feels, and rightly, he should HAVE FELLOWSHIP with Christians — meet with them, study with them, worship with them. Bur the point is, we must be sure it is with those who are CHRISTIANS — those keeping God's Commandments — those who have the true gospel of the Kingdom of God — those filled with His Spirit, those in whom Christ is living His life. Not those merely professing to be Christians; professing to know God, but in works denying Him (Titus 1:6), being abominable. Not those who give heed to seducing spirits, who refuse to cat meats which God created to be good food. If you are converted and made righteous by the Spirit of God, "what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (II Cor. 6:14.) No, God commands us, "Have NO FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. 5:11). If God has opened your understanding to His TRUTH, it is precious beyond price. "If there come any to you) and bring not this doctrine, receive him nor into your house, neither bid him Godspeed; for he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds" (II John 10). When the disciples asked Jesus if MANY were being saved, He explained that the many rum into the broad way that leads to destruction — but FEW find the straight and narrow way that leads to everlasting life. Those in His true fellowship He called the "Little Flock." Where that "Little Flock" is today is revealed in the free booklet: "The True History of the True Church." Remember, our fellowship is WITH THE FATHER, AND WITH JESUS CHRIST first of all, and with one another only in and thru Christ (I John 1:1-7). You can have communion and fellowship with Him wherever you are. Withdraw at once from all other fellowship) except that of CHRIST, and chose who are IN CHRIST, and Christ IN THEM!