"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
TO LOVE THE LORD THY GOD - Spiritually, Part 26 quotes
1) Problems Between Brothers or Sisters That Cannot Be Settled By Themselves
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:15-20.
Jesus Christ declares there to be 4 different steps which He commands all of His true Remnant people to follow in dealing with sin:
Step #1: “tell him his fault between thee and him alone”. But “if he will not hear thee” then
Step #2: “take with thee one or two more”. But “if he shall neglect to hear them” then
Step #3: “tell it to the church”. But “if he neglect to hear the church” then
Step #4: “let him be unto thee as a heathen”.
2) Step #1: “tell him his fault between thee and him alone”
Christ commands that if a brother or a sister of the faith should commit sin against us, that their sin is to remain contained between us two alone to settle. Now it is proper to seek general counsel from others on how to go about pointing out sin in a proper loving manner in order to bring another to repentance. But in seeking this counsel we are not to say anything that will in any way lead them to possibly figure out who the guilty party is that we are really seeking counsel about.
But if during this first step we should say anything to any one else about this guilty party, then we would have directly disobeyed this explicit command of our Lord God Jesus Christ. Thus we would now be guilty of sinning against them in this issue, and then we would need to repent to them for our sin! Let us ever be watchful, and not give in to the temptation to tell others what so and so did to us.
“I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” Psalms 39:1.
We must give sufficient time to allow our guilty brother or sister to honestly see their wrong and then to fully repent of it. There needs to be ample time given in order to allow the Holy Spirit to work on softening their heart and bringing them to repentance, which means that you may have to lovingly talk with them several times before the issue can be fully seen by them and then hopefully resolved. But you must approach the guilty party in the proper Christian way.
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1.
Only those who are spiritually minded are given permission from God to follow this first step in pointing out the sins and faults of another against them. If you have not yet fully crucified self and are still carnal, then do not follow this first step until you are converted and are now spiritually minded! What possible good is it to try and bring a guilty brother or sister to repentance, while you yourself are guilty of sinning against them from selfish motives?
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.” Luke 6:41-42.
After you have repeatedly tried in the right spiritual mind to lovingly lead the guilty party towards recognizing, confessing and repenting of their sin against you, and yet they consistently refuse to do so, then and only then can you move on to following Step #2.
3) Step #2: “take with thee one or two more”
Christ states that you are to contact one or two other brothers or sisters and reveal just to these the factual sin which the guilty party has committed against you. But these extra few people are not to automatically believe everything you tell them, or immediately join with you in this second step without any questions. Their work involves 3 things:
1) - Determining if the guilty party has in fact committed sin against you.
2) - Determining if you have in fact followed the first step properly and in the right spiritual manner.
3) - Based upon their findings, they are to work to bring the guilty party, including yourself if you are shown to have done wrong, to repentance, so that peace can again be achieved between you two as well as in God’s church and movement.
These extra few need to know without a doubt whether or not you are correct that sin has indeed been committed against you by this guilty party, and they also need to know without a doubt whether or not you have properly and lovingly followed the first step. Their own reputation and spiritual life is at stake, because they may have to testify before the church regarding this guilty party. So if they are not convinced beyond a doubt themselves that sin has indeed been committed, and yet they testify before the church body that the guilty party has indeed committed sin, then they themselves will be guilty of bearing false witness before the church as well as before God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, and would thereby become a commandment-breaking sinner themselves and thus be in danger of losing eternal life!
To help these extra individuals to properly fulfill their responsibilities, you are to provide them with any factual evidence and documentation you have proving that sin has indeed been committed against you. But if you only have just your own personal testimony that the guilty party sinned against you, then these extra few will be forced to accept your testimony by faith until they can obtain further evidence through following this second step with the guilty party. This means that at times there will be the necessity of these extra few individuals needing to prayerfully trust your testimony and join with you in following this second step, because the truth as well as more evidence will come out when discussing the matter with the guilty party, and will make it easier to make a proper determination of guilt.
The plain command of Christ was to “take with thee one or two more”, meaning that you are all together as a group. So all two or three of you are to go and meet together with the guilty party preferably in person, but it can also occur over the phone, or in an internet chat room. This way the issue can become established and verified “in the mouth of two or three witnesses” because all of you together saw and heard what took place when meeting with the guilty party at the same time.
But even though this private matter has now involved one or two more, yet it is still to be kept contained among just these few individuals, and is not to be shared with others. Sufficient time must be given for proper investigation, prayerful contemplation of the evidence, and also to allow the Holy Spirit to work on convicting and softening the heart or hearts of the guilty in order to bring them to repentance. This means that you all may have to lovingly talk and even plead with them several times before the issue can be fully seen by them and then resolved, or before you know that all your efforts have failed, and then Step #3 can be followed.