Letter No. 2 by Joseph “Joe” Kerr (Ex-worker)

Circa 1955 to Irvine Weir (Ex-worker)

My dear Irvine (Weir),

I am sure that you will think that I have forgotten you, but I have been on the sick list again, and I finished up with a bad dose of virus flue.  I am still confined to the house and today I thought I was sufficiently well recovered to try my hand at a letter. 

I have had a couple of letters from Sweetland and have replied.  Eddie gave him my address to write to me.  There is no possibility of mending the Testimony???  Its foundations are wrong.  They are not sound on how men are born from above.  Salvation is the work of God, and it is God who must open men’s eyes and turn men from darkness to light.  “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him and no man can come to me except it were given unto him of my Father,” John 6:44, 65.  It was the Lord who opened Lydia’s heart Acts 16:15; it is as many as are ordained to eternal life who believe.  Acts 13:48;  We need to get into the place where we are workers together with God.  2 Cor. 6:1;

Remember that Salvation is in three tenses (this is something the Testimony??? never understood.)

(1) We have been saved. “For by grace have ye been saved.” Eph 2:5 and 8 R.V.  This is the salvation of the Spirit. 1 Cor. 5:5;

(2) We are being saved. “Unto us which are being saved, it is the power of God.” 1 Cor. 1:18; R.V. 2 Cor 2:15; R.V.  This is the salvation of our life which we are working out day by day.  Phil 2:12-16;

(3) Then there is a salvation which is nearer than when we believed. Rom. 13:11;  A salvation ready to be revealed in the last days.  1 Peter 1:5 This is the salvation of your body, which will take place at the revelation of the sons of God.  Rom. 8:19. R.V.  This is the redemption of the body. 8.23; or the redemption of the purchased possession.  Eph. 1:14.

The 1st and the 3rd salvation mentioned is the sovereign work of God.  Called in Eph. “the gift of God.” The 2nd is something that is carried on between the Lord and ourselves.  It is the salvation of our lives.  It is possible for a man to be saved and to lose his life.  Matt. 16:26. R.V.  Some people will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ and will have all their works burnt up, but they themselves will be saved yet so as by fire.  1 Cor. 3:15; That side of truth the Testimony??? have no knowledge of.  “Salvation is not of works lest any man should boast,” but their salvation is definitely of works. Eph. 2:9.

Irvine, it is no good trying to bolster up the old thing—it is better to admit that it is built on a wrong foundation and to put in the right foundation.  None of the people in the Testimony??? have any knowledge of the difference of a man standing in Christ and a man’s state.  What God has made us in Christ and the extent to which we have sought to bring our state into line with our standing. 

You are wrong when you say that we gather together on the Sunday morning to remember Christ’s death.  We gather together to proclaim His death. 1 Cor. 11:26. R.V.  We proclaim that all we are and have has come to us through the death of the Son of God.  When doing this we remember Him in His love and sacrifice and the proof that we are right with God is seen in the effect it has on our lives.  We were crucified with Christ, we are dead with Christ.  Rom. 6:6, 8; The body of sin has to be destroyed or made ineffective. V.6; That is our standing in Christ.  Now how do we measure up to it experimentally?

You said that I was to tell you how they treated me when I left the Testimony??? I am not sure if these things are profitable.  It is about 39 years ago, and to recall some of these things is contrary to the spirit of Him who has put all our sins in the depths of the sea.  We had a loan of beds etc. in the room we had and they sent the saints who owned these things and took them from us and left us the floor to sleep on.  They forbid any of the saints to come near us, and I may tell you something that you may know already that the workers have almost the same power over the so-called saints as the Priests have over their people.  That is their strongest weapon. 

Then I had not any trade and all the unskilled work is done out here by the coloured and native people.  I took a Diploma in Motor Engineering and later a Diploma in Fire Engineering and then a Diploma in Traffic Engineering, but it meant a lot of hard work and that was one of the reasons that I went blind.  However, the Lord looked after us and here we are glad that He saved us and opened our eyes to what we had been led astray by.  And now it is up to us to see that we walk with the Lord in the light of His word.  His word is a light and a lamp.  I will tell you more of this next time.  I’m tired.

Love in Christ Jesus to all.

Joseph Kerr
c/o Norman Kerr
26 Raleigh Road
Mowbray, Cape South Africa