The Path in a Day of Difficulty

Hebrews 13:13; 2 Timothy 2:19‑22
A Letter
“Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." Heb. 13:1313Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. (Hebrews 13:13).
Just as the last four addresses in Rev. 2, 3 describe the last states of Christendom, you will learn there what the Lord approves. The church has failed; but He has not failed, and He never will fail. Yes, the church has utterly failed as a testimony to Christ, as Israel, and indeed everything before failed; and there is not the slightest intimation that the church will be restored on earth. We must not let our thoughts run on where Scripture is silent.
Now, for instance, you speak of the church beginning when Jesus called Peter, Andrew, etc. There is no such thought in the Scriptures. Jesus, some time after this, spoke only of the church as a future thing:
“On this rock I will build My assembly," or, as it is translated, "church.”
In the word of God that assembly is never spoken of as existing on earth until formed by the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost; indeed, how could it exist before as a heavenly body joined to the Head, Christ, as Man in heaven? Believers could not be baptized into one body by the Spirit, before the Spirit came (see 1 Cor. 12:12, 1312For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:12‑13)). It would be so much better to give up your theology, and cleave only to Scripture. Have you ever really searched the Scriptures to know what the church is? This is a subject of deep importance.
You say, "Peter being president in the church is an undoubted fact.”
I search in vain in Scripture for such a thought. The truth of the church, the body of Christ, does not seem to have been given to him to minister. Does Peter ever name the church? Did he ever speak of Christ as Head of the church? The keys of the kingdom were committed to him; never the keys, so to speak, of the church.
Look carefully over his preaching in the Acts, and you will find he, as the apostle of the circumcision, preached the coming kingdom on earth. If the nation of Israel would repent, God would send Christ, their Messiah, from heaven to earth again.
There is not one word about the church or its ascension to heaven; all as to the church was committed to Paul. So far from Peter being the president of the church, if we had only his Epistles, we should not know one word about the church. Peter baptized by water; but the baptism into Christ, forming the one body, is by the Holy Ghost, as we have seen in 1 Cor. 12.
You will find it of great help to your soul to search the Scriptures, as to the contrast between the kingdom and the church-it is very little understood-it would give you light on many subjects. If you turn to the words of Jesus, you hear Him say:
“Suffer little children and forbid them not, to come unto Me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:1414But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14)). He did not say, of such, is the church. And why not?
Read in Matt. 13 the seven parables. The church is the building of Christ, and stands impregnable; but in the kingdom of heaven there is the distinct work of the devil-tares and leaven and birds of the air. There is the outward kingdom-as we say, baptized Christendom-and there is the true church of God.
And one word further: even when the millennial kingdom is set up on this earth, it will have earthly "glory"; but not the glory and privileges of the church. We never read that they will be blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ, which is our portion (Eph. 1). The veil is now rent, and we have holy liberty in the holiest (Heb. 10).
If you turn to the millennial temple with its worshipers, you will find that even the prince of Israel in the days of the millennial kingdom, will not enter the holiest; but shall stand by the post of the gate- "and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate." Likewise the people of the land "shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord," etc. (Ezek. 46:2, 32And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord in the sabbaths and in the new moons. (Ezekiel 46:2‑3)). What a contrast is this to the present privilege of the saints of God (see Heb. 10).
Christendom has lost the knowledge of the church, and all its present privileges, and future heavenly glory, as the bride of Christ. Hence they put Peter in the place of Christ, as head or president of the church.
The church is heavenly, and its ministry was direct from heaven to Paul (Acts 26). He had no human authority or ordination (see Gal. 1), but was separated to a special mission by the Holy Ghost (see Acts 13:22As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2)).
Who ordained the laborers at Thessalonica? Who told you that Linus was bishop of Rome? or Timothy, bishop of Ephesus? or Titus, of Crete? This is all mere human history, and utterly contrary to Scripture. Paul sent not for the bishop of Ephesus, but for the elders. Search the Epistle to the Romans; Paul never names the bishop. There is no such a person named in Scripture, unless it be Diotrephes (3 John).
You will find no such church as you are seeking: all is in ruin and confusion. As to our bodies, we are in Christendom, but we have distinct instructions for our path in these last days: "from such turn away." And until He comes there will be a few calling on the Lord out of a pure heart. Nay, if it even comes to this, that you find Christ knocking at the door, outside all that professes to be His, even there He will sup with you (Rev. 3). And if He knocks at the door, let us open to Him, and seek to bring all we can to Him.
I only desire to be helped, and to help all that are His: until we see His blessed face.