|Totally In or Totally Out of Fellowship
By Joseph Prescia
To understand the problem we must understand how we got to the problem. When a person is born again, saved, they get sonship into the family of God.
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (KJV)
Just because a person has a new creation on the inside, holy spirit, doesn’t mean that they will walk perfectly before God. My son is still my child even though he doesn’t always do his father’s will. He may do things outside of my will, some call that out of fellowship, but he is still my son.
The way things are supposed to work is that God moves and then we move. If God moves and we don’t follow right away, doesn’t mean that God forsakes us. At the burning bush, God moved in the burning bush and then Moses noticed it and then he moved. Next God moved again and told Moses his request and then Moses moved. Even though Moses wasn’t totally convinced of what God told him, God still worked with him.
Exodus 4:1-17 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. 2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. 6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. 8 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.
10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. 13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. 14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. 17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs. (KJV)
Moses refused to believe that he could speak for God and God still worked with him. Aaron was given that responsibility. Was Moses “totally out of fellowship?”
In some Christian circles there is a phrase used to describe whether a person is in the will of God or not. Some call it “in fellowship” with God or “out of fellowship” with God.
To be totally in fellowship says that everything works for you.
To be totally out of fellowship means nothing works for you.
When we go to the Scriptures we find that this phrase does not appear in the Word of God nor does it fit with the overall theme of how God works with those whom He loves.
If God shuts off His abundance to you when you are so-called, “out of fellowship” how can you explain the record of Paul in the book of Acts?
Paul was on the way to Jerusalem, which we saw was not the will of God. Several people told via holy spirit to not go to Jerusalem. If Paul was totally out of fellowship how can the following have happened?
Acts 20:9-12 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. 12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted. (KJV)
This is the same chapter that Paul said he goes “bound in the spirit” to Jerusalem. If he was so outside of the will of God how did he manifest the power of God so easily to a dead man?
Additionally, after Paul was taken prisoner for stirring things up in Jerusalem, he was on a ship that got caught in a terrible storm. If Paul was so “out of fellowship” with God why did God tell Paul by revelation that no life would be lost of those on that ship. Paul then told this to the captain and others and that’s exactly what came to pass. When Paul’s boat was shipwrecked on an island and they were gathered around a fire and a viper bite Paul, how did he get healed from that?
In the book of Numbers God told the prophet Balaam not to go to a certain place. Balaam went anyway.
Numbers 22:26-31 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? 29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. 30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. (KJV)
God still worked with Balaam even though he was so-called “out of fellowship.”
The children of Israel were constantly murmuring against God and yet He blessed them.
Psalm 106:6-12 We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. 7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. 8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. 9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. 10 And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. 11 And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left. 12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. (KJV)
God still blesses even after we blow it. We can’t earn the right for God to bless us. He does it because He loves us.
Hebrews 13:5b-6 ...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (KJV)
God is good to us because of His righteousness, not ours. I can never earn His goodness. Why do we sometimes think that God will only be there working with us when we are perfect? God is only a thought away in any instance.
Psalm 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (KJV)
If I make my bed in hell God is there. God still wants us to do His will. When we don’t we miss the mark. That’s what “sin” is, missing the mark. I confess the wrong and tell God I want to do right. When I blow it God can still help me where I am. Wherever I’m at, God can help me from that spot. There may be areas of my life that are not lining up with the will of God, but I am not totally out of fellowship. If you really think about it, for a born again son or daughter of God to be totally out of fellowship with God they would need to be dead.
Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV)
Can ANYTHING separate us from the love that God has for you and me? Since all agape love is giving, will God stop giving? No, because it’s His nature to just keep loving and giving to His people.
The absolute best is to do exactly what God wants when He wants it done. How many of us can say that we did that all last month? All last week? Yesterday? An hour ago?
Don’t you see how self-condemning that is to set a goal so high, to be totally in fellowship and not ever be able to reach it?
The Apostle Paul killed Christians and God still worked with him. We haven’t done anything so bad as that. There is no shame, no guilt, nothing so bad that God can’t forgive us believers for. Jesus Christ cleanses again and again.
God remembers our frame. He knows that we are dust. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He loves us right now. He will love us tomorrow and next week. I am clothed with the righteousness of Christ right now and every day for all eternity. If I make my bed in hell, God is there with me. Nothing I do can separate me from that love of God, or else that thing I did is bigger than God. God is bigger than that.
Yes, God expects us to do His will, but none of us can be so “totally out of fellowship” that God’s love cannot reach us. We are forever sons and daughters of the Most High God.
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