“For they have begotten strange children” —Hosea 5:7
“For they are not all Israelites that are of Israel” —Rom 9:6
The true church, the “church of the first born whose names are written in heaven,” are all of the consecrated class, begotten by the word of truth, sons of God possessing the “mind of Christ,” whereas in contrast the “tares” which for the most part comprise the greater part of the church nominal are begotten not of the truth, but of error, the scriptures referring to such as “strange children,” partakers not of the spirit or mind of Christ our head, but of the spirit or disposition of the world.
These, God does not acknowledge as his sons no matter what their professions may be or what church or sect they profess to be associated with. Many of them are well meaning, i.e. honest and kindhearted, lovers of peace much more than they are lovers of the truth with the tribulations, and persecutions, and self-denials, which faithfulness to the truth always brings, things which every son of God begotten of the spirit of the truth appreciates as the foretold witnesses of the spirit to their faithfulness. (2 Tim 3:12) These are as really the “children of this world” as were the popular religionists of the nominal typical church, Israel after the flesh. In the next age such may become children of Christ by faith, and obedience to his just requirements, but they do not become “Sons of God” now, because of one of two reasons: either because, being blinded by the delusions of the god of this world they cannot discern even fundamental truths, (the “milk of the word”, the first principles of the doctrines of Christ) or else because though seeing the fundamentals they do not appreciate the privilege or liberty afforded them of becoming sons, (receiving the grace of God in vain, 2 Cor 6:1) preferring rather lives of ease to lives of self-sacrifice with Christ, preferring the pleasures and ambitions of the present world (age) to what they can see of the honor and glory promised to those who shall become sons.
As the true sons, begotten of the truth, are the “wheat” described in our Lord’s parable, so those nominal children of God, “strange children,” developed by fear and error and by false ideas and theories, are the “tares,” and the “field is the world” which makes no profession of Christ, containing elements which in the next age under the rule of the great Master and King will be accepted and used of him, but which at present un-tilled brings forth noxious weeds.
In the time of separation (the “harvest”) the wheat and tares so long permitted to grow together are to be separated. The “tares,” which constitute the majority in the nominal church or (professed) kingdom, will be separated from the true sons of God, the consecrated, who as joint-heirs with their Lord of the kingdom, will be established, “set up” in power and great glory. The “tares” on the contrary will be consumed as “tares” (as imitations of the true) and will be resolved into the elements of the field again. “He that hath an ear to hear let him hear!” The gathering together of the elect to receive the kingdom is in progress–they are being gathered, not into a place, but into a condition of heart and mind. Those who love the friendship and companionship and communion of the worldly minded, tares, (who refuse to heed the Lord’s admonishment to come out from among them, Rev 18:4) shall suffer loss, and have their portion with them, partaking of their “plagues” in the trouble already beginning. Think not that the “harvest” time is a time of peace and quiet. Nay! the Jewish harvest proves to the contrary that it is a time of commotion and unsettling, a time for breaking up of old associations, for bundling tighter the bundles of the tare classes, and for the gathering of the true wheat into the barn. All this is a part of the test put upon the true wheat, to prove the “overcomers.”
For the joy and refreshment of such, let us suggest here a Bible reading, pointing out our high calling now, our acceptance in the Beloved, our final exaltation and joint-heirship with him, and our glorious work of blessing the world in the coming age.
These promises are indeed a great power of God unto salvation to all them that believe and obey them. Take your Bibles and read– Col. 1:9 to 28; next read 1 Pet. 1:2 to 23; next Eph. 1:3 to 14 and finally, Acts 20:32. (R1009)
“As previously stated not all of the “tare” class are necessarily bad people, in fact many found in all denominations are possessed of very good and noble characters, moral and with religious inclinations. Some are “Good Samaritans,” found helping the sick and indigent, performing many wonderful works. Worldly wisdom admonishes that these (though not consecrated, not actual “wheat”) should nevertheless be recognized as “Israelites indeed.” Many are inclined to upbraid us for refusing the fellowship and cooperation of these. We should appreciate and encourage whatever is good in these, but as oil and water will not mix so likewise there can be no real union between the consecrated and unconsecrated. The spiritually begotten ones would thereby injure themselves by compromising their Covenant with the Lord, and it would deceive the Worldly Church Class into thinking they could be joint-heirs with Christ without having first entered into covenant arrangement with the Father through a full consecration; thus be injurious to both classes. (Z.’05-345; R.3664)
“The Reformers made this mistake and accepted the service of the worldly and to their cost, for it soon filled the church with “strangers.” The tendency in every case is to bring in an unsanctified influence and to do great injury to the true Israelites. Nominal Zion is full of “strange children” and their voice and influence predominates in the business affairs of the Churches and in their doctrines (this because of two reasons, 1) as stated the tares far outnumber the wheat, and 2) because the majority of the mature wheat has heeded to the Lord’s word to “come out of her my people”, come out of Babylon).
“The Christian in the world is like a ship in the ocean; the ship is safe as long as the ocean is not in the ship.” One of the great difficulties with Christianity today is that it has admitted the “strangers,” “the people of the land,” and recognized them as Christians. It does injury not only to Christians by lowering their standards (for the average will be considered the standard), but it also injures the “strangers,” by causing many of them to think themselves Christians, thoroughly safe and needing no conversions because they are outwardly respectable and frequent attendants at public worship. It lowers the standard of doctrine also, for the minister who realizes that three-fourths of his congregation (not spirit begotten, and therefore incapable of receiving the deep things of the Word of God) were he to attempt to preach such, withholds it and permits those who need the strong meat and who could appreciate and use it to advantage, to grow weak and starve.
Many of these strangers have been attracted to the ministry itself and not actually knowing the Lord nor His Word, (the Truth) are thus thoroughly unprepared to feed the sheep, the Lord’s little ones even were they so well disposed. The lesson for us is that worldly people, worldly aid and wisdom are not productive to the Lord’s true followers and as such should be rejected. (Z.’99-204; R.2512) Hosea 8:8-10