Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 28, 1966
NUMBER 12, PAGE 1-2a

Fellowship- No. II.

Roy E. Cogdill

In order to be fellow laborers with God (I Cor. 3:9) we must walk in "the light". John says, If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (I John 1:6-7)

We have suggested that darkness, in the scriptures, represents evil and error. There can be no fellowship between "righteousness and unrighteousness. (II Cor. 6:14) Children of God, if they are to continue to enjoy communion and companionship with God, must walk as "children of the light" and "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Eph. 5:8-11) This passage defines what the "unfruitful works of darkness" are, verses 3-5.

"Light" in the New Testament represents the will of God, as it is made known in His revelation. Jesus said, "Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light." (John 12:35-36) Again the Apostle John wrote, "In the beginning was God In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:1-9) Hence, we know that the Lord is the true light from the Father and through Him was the righteousness of God made known to men. The light - all light spiritually - emanates from the Father.

Paul tells us that this light from the Father was made to shine in the face of Jesus Christ. In Him, the "mystery of godliness manifested in the flesh", who was the "brightness of His glory and the express image of His person", was demonstrated the righteousness of God. The "light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" was made to shine forth out of darkness. (II Cor. 4:3-7)

This "light of the glory of God" Jesus was made to shine forth in His divine revelation, the Gospel of Christ. Paul talks about "the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God" which God would have to "shine in our hearts." So it is through the Gospel of Christ that this light is available to the world. If we would walk in the light and be in fellowship with God, it must be that we must walk in harmony with the Gospel of Christ. When men walk contrary to the Gospel of Christ, no matter how sincere and honest, they do not have fellowship with God. This is an inevitable conclusion.

This treasure, "the glorious light of the Gospel of Christ", was couched in "earthen vessels" or the Apostles of Christ. They were expended and perhaps all died as martyrs that this light might be made to shine forth in our lives and hearts. The Apostle John tells us, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." (I John 1:3) The same apostle said, "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (I John 2:4) Knowing God is not mere acquaintance. It is practical knowledge, that knowledge which enables a man to decide rightly and to act honorably and capably in all circumstances and situations. This knowledge of God a man cannot have, except through a knowledge and practice of truth in his life.

Satan is most interested in deceiving our hearts so that the "light of the glorious gospel of Christ" should not shine therein. For this very reason, he sees to it that our hearts are veiled with prejudice, handles the Word of God deceitfully, walks in craftiness, beguiles us from the simplicity of the Gospel, and causes us to distrust the Word of God and place our trust in human wisdom. Paul said, "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." (II Cor. 4:3-4) False teachers who would keep us in error and misguide us are servants of Satan. He is transformed into an angel of righteousness" in order to beguile and mislead mankind.

The doctrines and commandments of men are no part of the "light of the glorious gospel of Christ" but are contrary to it. They contradict each other and all of them contradict the truth of God. They make void the commandments of God. (Matt. 15:7-9) They are therefore darkness. We cannot walk in the doctrines of man and put our confidence in the ways of man and at the same time have fellowship with God. "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men." (I Con 3:19- 21) Paul declares, "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." (I Cor. 14:37)

Peter tells us that the apostles had a "more sure word of prophecy" in the Gospel revealed through them by the Holy Spirit and that men do well to "take heed thereunto as unto a light in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (II Peter 1:19) Revelation is in New Testament Scriptures. The mystery hidden in the mind of God through ages past has been revealed by the Holy Spirit through the apostles. (Eph. 3:3-5)

David sang, "The entrance of thy words giveth light." (Psalms 119:130) "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalms 119:1-5) "For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?" (Psalms 56:13) Isaiah cried unto the house of Jacob, "0 house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord." (Isaiah 2:5)

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and of the table of devils." (I Cor. 10:20-21) One cannot have fellowship in false worship and acceptably worship God. When one participates in false worship, he loses fellowship with God and there are no circumstances or attitude that will excuse or make it acceptable.

On the same point we read, "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (II Cor. 6:14-18)