John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
2 Peter 1:4,”Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
1 John 2:29, “If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him.”
1 John 3:9-10, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”
It is a very serious thing to profess to get people born into the family of God, because people either get saved in the very best way or else in the very worst way they get deceived. We need not think that the devil is spending his strength on the outside world–he has come inside and will do all in his power to pull down the testimony of Jesus. The more people he can get into the testimony that are not born of God, the more successful he will be in getting inside, and in his power pull down the testimony of Jesus. The Bible shows different times when God has been able to raise up a testimony and every time the devil was successful in tearing it down. John was one of the oldest apostles, and he saw many who had come inside that were not born of God.
One thing I fear is lest we should educate people to be right outwardly and yet never be born of Him. It is an easy matter to convince people of the truth of God, but it’s another thing to make sure they have fully yielded in their hearts to the truth of God. Some are born of blood because it is natural, and is the same as it is in the world with children following the same kind of religion as their parents; or it may be only of the flesh, in that parents would influence their children to profess simply for their sakes. Then as workers, we could easily influence people with our human ability and persuade them by the will of man to come inside. The devil has been very successful in deceiving people in these three different ways and therefore John says, “Let no man deceive you.” I cannot think of anything crueler than to be deceived in this way. John makes it very clear the little evidences that will manifest themselves in people’s lives and show if they are truly born again of God. One of them is, “Whosoever is born of God overcometh the world.” Peter brings out the same thought, “Becoming partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lusts.”
When we see women who have been professing for years fall victim to the world’s way of dress, or men greedy for gold, we know they are not born of God. Notice how often John says, “We know.” It is an awful thing to bring people into the Testimony that are not born of God. I have made up my mind to tell people to their face that I do not believe they are born again. It would only be a deed of kindness because it is an awful thing to make them believe all was well when they could be deceived in the very worst way. The church of Jesus is built only on what God can reveal to His people’s hearts. After Peter received that revelation in Matthew 16, he received the keys to the kingdom of Heaven to loose and to bind. It is just as necessary to lock some people out as it is to let others in. God was able to reveal in Heaven what Peter did on earth. The devil’s way is to get people inside who will be an attraction for worldly people to step in. If he can get women to dress in low necks and short skirts, the world will say that is not so bad a religion after all, and would like to identify themselves with it also. We need not worry so much about outside sinners if we keep up the standard. The Lord will add to the honest hearts. Acts 2:47, “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Those who are not born of God will not be content but will find room outside. 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us.”
I am afraid there are children of parents in God’s family who will be instruments of the devil in future days, to tear down what we have suffered and labored for so much in building up. The same is also true in natural things–we see parents laboring and suffering to lay up for their children and the children spending it in riotous living. Children must come into the family of God by the same door as their parents and experience labor and sacrifice on behalf of others. It is still the very same. There is no new way of becoming a member of the human family; neither is there any new way to be born again.
The main thing is to have definite dealings with God. That is the hardest price and people are so slow to pay it. There is nothing that costs so much as getting victory in prayer and yet it is my only hope of being able to continue on. Fellowship is what God desires, and I know many times in your life you have had real fellowship with God. Don’t worry about all you have done and can do for God; if you have not true fellowship with Him, it is a curse and an abomination to God. How much would a true husband care for his wife if she cooked the dinner and kept the house but never had a moment of true fellowship with him?
When some brother or sister loses out, do you feel condemned in your heart because you have not prayed for them as you should have? I find it is a comparatively easy matter for me to keep my own head above water, but it is our responsibility to keep other people swimming also.
Three things are necessary to know: 1) to know God, 2) to know ourselves, and 3) to know the devil. Some people in John’s day were deceived by the devil in God’s true way but John could say, “We know…” And Paul said “We are not ignorant of his devices…” Noah’s ark was pitched within and without. With all kinds of animals inside the ark, there was far more influence at work to corrupt the wood from the inside than from without. This would suggest that as long as the wood was preserved inside, there would not be much chance of water from the outside coming in.
You cannot teach what you do not know,
You cannot lead where you will not go;
What you do not have, you cannot give;
You can’t share a life you will not live.
(Wilson Reid died in his 87th year in Africa)