To our much loved friends, both saints and servants of God:
Be not afraid to read this message. There will be no accusing of individuals, no tattling, no exchanging of railing for railing, no effort to draw anyone to our side or any conflict for we believe such is not a mark of the righteous. Psalm 37: It is written because we know there some who have heard twisted or false reports about our attitude, and we want our loved ones to know where we stand. We cannot agree that any worker or saint is abiding in the doctrine of Christ (II Jon. l0) if he or she has part in putting out of fellowship, whom we know and love, who were once put in by Christ, for it is only the place of our Lord and not ours to do any cutting down. Luke 13: 9. Because of this we know that some of our loved ones will misunderstand us and will believe it is because we have not sacrificed enough, or have not been teachable and meek under the workers, or have not attended gospel meetings enough, or haven’t studied the Holy Scripture enough. But that you may know we have had communion with God and Christ our Lord in giving much time to study of His Word, and that our only doctrine is Christ’s teaching, you may be the judge:
Before we go farther, let us make it clear that we believe the complete sacrifice is just as necessary as you believe, but that it must come out of love or it stinks in God’s nostrils. We believe that meekness and teachableness and humility on our part are also necessary in living Christ, but they must not hinder our love toward our brothers and sisters, for Love must come first.
What does the Scripture say? Does it say “God so desired the service of the world for himself that He gave His son to show us how to sacrifice and serve, and to warn us that we will go to Hell if we do not”, or does it say “God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him shall never perish,” (showing God set the example by first loving and then giving, so we might be touched by love and so moved to give.) John 3:16.
Does the scripture say “This is the whole duty of man, to fear the workers who have sacrificed all, and to keep their commandments,” or does it say “This is the whole duty of man, to fear God and keep His commandments”? Ecc. 12:13.
Did Jesus say “The Kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship and authority over them, and ye shall be the same,” or did He say “but ye shall not be so?” Luke 22:25
What then are His commandments that we are to keep? Did Jesus say “This is the first and greatest commandment, that ye serve God with all your life, with all your sacrifice, with all obedience and the second is like unto it that ye serve and obey the ones who have the rule over you,” or did he say ”This is the first and greatest commandment that ye love God ** and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor * and on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”? Mat. 21:38. If all laws and prophecies must first come out of these two commandments, how then can we be sure we first love?
Did Jesus say “Yes, you may be sure you love me if you fully enjoy the fellowship of hearty ones, of the meetings, the conventions, and seek to bring others into it, “but you don’t have to put yourself out to help the certain few who have been brought in, but are weak, partly blind, sickly, – let them alone lest you catch their disease, God will take care of them,” or did He say “As ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me, and shall go away to everlasting punishment”? Mat. 25:45.
Did John say “If a man says he loves God, and seems to love some of his brothers and sisters but not others, he is a true man,” or did he say “If a man say ‘I love God’ and hateth his brother, he is a liar”? I Jon. 4:20.
Did Paul say “Those who love the brethren shall quickly pass on hearsay, even before it is proved true, to warn the others, and shall accuse and judge one another of what appears to be wrong, and shall suspicion one another, at all times,” or did he say “Love worketh no i11 to his neighbor”? Rom. 13:10.
Who then are our neighbors, and who is neighborly to us? Are they the ones who merely look upon us when we are accused, when we’ve been beaten, stripped and left so that others are too embarrassed to notice us? Are they the ones who then pass by on the other side, going on to enjoyable fellowship, forgetting the one who is not able to help himself to get back into that fellowship as a clothed man whose nakedness is covered from accusers? Or would it be the one who before enjoying fellowship himself, stops to do all he can to the very limit of his ability, to bind up the wounds, and clothe, and feed the unfortunate one, so he can again lift up his head without embarrassment among others? Was it the priest who did the kindly thing, or was it just a Samaritan? Luke 10:36
Did Jesus say the disciples will be known by the fact that they worship in groups where the church is in the home and the preacher is without a home, or did he say “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, that ye have love one to another”? Jon. 13:35.
Did Paul say “Even tho’ I love God and love my brethren but have not sacrificed in the way some do, I am nothing”, or did he say “Even tho’ I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and tho’ I give my body to be burned, but have not love, I am nothing”? 1 Cor. 13.
Did Jesus say “Forbid anyone who is not a servant of God making the complete sacrifice as we do, if he dares try to cast out devilish things among us,” Or did He say: “Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is on our part”? Mark 9:39.
Of the servant who was afraid to do anything but bury his talent, for fear he’d not be keeping his right place or making the right move, did his Lord say “Well done! At least you were humble and did not expose my hardness,” or did he say “Thou wicked and slothful servant!”? Mat. 25:26.
Did Jesus choose for the disciple who should lead in feeding His sheep after His departure, a man who had been the most virtuous of the twelve, the most self controlled, gave the best sermons, sacrificed the most as far as never knowing what it was to have a wife or a home, or did He choose Peter, a man who made many mistakes after beginning to walk with Christ, who knew what it meant to be forgiven for foolish blunders, who knew what it was to have a wife, and thereby had learned natural lessons of love and forgiveness, so he could fully understand and show mercy to even the least of the brethren, either saints or servants? Before putting this responsibility upon him, was Jesus most concerned about his qualities of willingness to sacrifice, or of his love? Did He not ask even three times “Lovest thou me?” John. 21:15, 16, 17.
There is an old saying: “Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread”. Such will be said of any who seek to do anything about the lack of love among us, but it is a comfort to know that Jesus quickly forgave Peter when he rushed in and cut off an ear, but Jesus said if we do not do what we can even for the least of the brethren that is what we will go to eternal punishment for, – we can be forgiven for trying and blundering but not forgiven for not trying. “As ye did it not-” Matt. 25:45.
Now are we to treat a person who appears to be a true shepherd by the sheep’s clothing, – the outward evidence of sacrifice, but is not proving his or her love as an example of the right fruit, the right doctrine of Christ? Are we to bid him God speed, or are we not even to allow him in our house? II Jon. 10. Jesus said Mat. 7:15, beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. The wool is typical of sacrifice to others, as we can see by outward marks, but did Jesus say they’d be known by that? He said they’d be known by their fruits, that which comes from the heart and shows only in deeds. Where is sacrifice mentioned as a fruit of the spirit, as listed in Gal. 5:22? Is not love listed first?
We may quickly tell whether we are on the side of truth or on the side that leads to death by asking ourselves the questions in I John 3:17, 18, 19. When sheep must be corrected we will know the true shepherd by the way he does it, as in II Tim. 2:24, Gal. 6:1. If anything else but love is our first and greatest purpose in all we do or do not do, then Christ died for us in vain and we stand among the Pharisees who crucified Him because they preferred to give a loveless sacrifice. If anything else but love is our first and greatest purpose in all we do or do not do, then Christ died for us in vain and we stand among the Pharisees who crucified Him because they preferred to give a loveless sacrifice.
Does it say in John 4:25 that our worship should be measured by the number of extra meetings we attend other than the regular breaking of bread on Sunday mornings, or does it say the Father seeketh such as worship Him in spirit and in truth? Is it not possible that the real sincere communion with God in spirit can be neglected while attending all the meetings far and wide? Are not our fruits, such as mentioned in Gal. 5:19, – 22, evidence of which kind of worship is really taking place? How then can we judge one another by the number of gospel or midweek meetings we attend? And even where two or three are met together in an informal way, is this not taking care of “Neglect not the assembling of yourselves together”, if it is done in Christ’s name?
Jesus said, “I am the door”. If God is love, and God and His son are one, then Christ is love. If Christ is love then the door is love. If we entered into the fold by the door of love, – by being first touched by His love, and so moved to love in return, then we are true sheep. But if we entered in by feeling that if we sacrificed personal gain in some ways, we would gain more personal gain in other ways (such as feeling we are on our way to heaven, or such as the prestige of being looked up to as a worker,) then we entered in not by the door of love and are a thief and a robber. John 10:1. Then is when the trouble enters into the fold. It is these who tattle and whine if somebody else is not sacrificing just as they are, or if someone seems to be getting a better deal than they are. It isn’t the true sheep that tattle and accuse and point out individuals in a complaining way, for their service comes out of love, not out of seeking gain.
What does John 10:12 say about the shepherds when the sheep are scattered and crying for help? Does the true shepherd stay away silent, ignoring letters or verbal pleas for help? “He that is not the shepherd whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and fleeth.” Is not silence the same?
Before a child is born and a mother has not learned to love it, if she were forewarned of all the illness the child would have, of all the sleep she would sacrifice, of all the comforts of her own that would have to be forgotten, she would not want it. But once the child is born and she has learned to love it, she will go to no end of sacrifice of her own sleep, food, comforts, to nurse that child to good health. If the child becomes ill, does she drop it in horror and leave it, thinking only of the shame of having an unwhole child in the family, and of her own danger of catching the disease? No! She will never leave that child until it is either well or dead. All she asks for her reward is the child’s welfare. Does she think the child was selfish to demand so much more attention than the healthy children? Does she love it any less? Why? Because love is its own reward. It is the same with our love for God’s son. His love should be our reward, “We love Him because He first loved us.” Love begets love.
Why then labor for souls if when they are once born into the kingdom, they are to be dropped at the first sign of illness? Would it not be like dropping a baby on the pavement, to let it be born into the family and then let it find out that the love is not there as it was first led to believe it was and then ignore its cries for help from the hurt of that bump, and silent to its pleas in letters or in other ways?
Why should we bring lost souls to hear the workers when they have done these evil things to ones who have already been brought in? Had we not better make sure first that we have a fit place in which to bring them, before exposing them to such unnecessary heartaches?
These questions and their answers should make very clear why we stand where we do, and why we do as we do, so that none need misunderstand, unless they choose to have it so.
Ted & Kay Arvig
Katherine (Kay) Janet Curtis Arvig Downs: July 18, 1912 – July 30, 1993, aged 81.
In 1941, married Theodore (Ted) Amos Arvig: (May 26, 1904 – February 9, 1968, aged 63
Married Thomas Downs Oct. 23, 1970 – Divorced Oct 1971
Their only child, Theodore (Ted) Arvig, died of cancer, a year to the day after Kay passed away
Women’s Appearance by Kay