Disclaimer: Statements in this book concerning Sound Doctrine Church and Mr. William’s wife are not relevant. Sound Doctrine Church is no longer in existence and the wife of Timothy Williams passed away over a decade ago.
Intro: The following is a special edition of the Consider Podcast. The New Testament Church, the model church was slanderously called a sect, or in modern terms, “a cult”. People everywhere talked against the leaders, churches and disciples of Jesus labeling them a cult. The same is true today. Any church that is loving God and others by the power of the Holy Spirit will be defamed in the same manner. Let us consider a portion of the events recorded in Acts. When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier to guard him. Three days later, he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them, “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the cusPauls of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.”
They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. But when the Jews I was compelled to appeal to Caesar. Not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. For this reason, I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain. They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear what your views are. For we know that people everywhere are talking against this cult.”
They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening, he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the law of Moses and from the prophets. Some were convinced by what he said but others would not believe. (Acts 28:16-24).
The audio book is entitled “Eu De Cult”, and delves into the matter of what causes true Christianity to be labelled a cult. Eu De Cult is the French word for “perfume”. As Paul declared, “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing, to the one we are the smell of death, to the other the fragrance of life.” (Second Corinthians chapter two verses 15-16). Every true Christian church will be labeled a cult but every church that is called a cult is not necessarily of Jesus.
So, a word of caution: Do not attempt to live this in your church unless the full complete gospel message has been laid down as a solid foundation. Take serious note of what Paul wrote in first Corinthians three ten. By the grace God has given me. I laid a foundation as an expert builder and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. The Consider Podcast Examining today’s wisdom, folly and madness. www.consider.info.
Speaker: Eu de Cult, Love in the First Church by Timothy Williams. For more information, stop by the Consider Podcast at www.consider.info. Ecclesiastes 1:17, “Examining today’s wisdom, folly, and madness.” Unless otherwise noted, all scriptures are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society.
Dedicated To all who seek more of the love of Christ in the church. I pray that out of his glorious riches, he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:16-18. “For most of my adult life, I considered myself a Christian. However, I was a distinctly odorless kind of Christian. I didn’t provoke a strong reaction in anyone. People didn’t hate me as Jesus said they would. At best, they found me mildly irritating at times. Nor did they really fall in love with me. For the most part, they thought I was a nice guy or a good friend. I was like a piece of rather uninteresting furniture. Solid, reliable, functional, good to have around if you wanted something comfortable to sit on, but nothing to really get excited about”.
During the course of eight years, I became a member of several different churches and denominations. I started out in a Pentecostal church. Moved to an independent fellowship then ended up in a Baptist church and visited a lot of others along the way. All the people seemed very friendly and loving and there was always a nice, comfortable atmosphere. I even went to Bible College for few years and managed to acquire some theological qualifications. I ended up with a full-time job at the college working with their computer systems. I didn’t really care much for theology. I just wanted to find a body of believers who truly loved God enough to obey his word. What I actually found were Christians whose idea of love was obviously designed to be manageable and comfortable, to be acceptable and appealing to anyone and everyone. It didn’t smell of Christ. It was bland odorless, just like me. So, despite being totally unsatisfied, I fit right in, like a good piece of furniture.
At church, I usually became quickly involved in worship leading, in use Bible studies, and later in adult Bible studies. Though I would often challenge the pastor or the leadership about issues within the fellowship that I saw as being contrary to the Bible, but I was reasonable enough about it to be easily ignored. Of course, even a non-Christian can read the Bible and point out areas where the scriptures and the church don’t match up. But I considered myself quite a fundamentalist and followed all the discernment ministries in standing firm against all the error in the church. During this time, I met many people who seemed to have love and passion. Yet it wasn’t the love of God or the power of the Holy Spirit. I even encountered some people who were rude and offensive but it wasn’t the offense of the cross. I had yet to any Christians who had that missing something, the fragrance of Jesus Christ.
Then I heard that a pastor from America was flying over to Scotland to visit with one of my friends. I didn’t really know anything about this Pastor. I had however listened to two of his sermon tapes and found them to be very biblical and very challenging. So, as I was trying to get out more at the time, I thought it would be worthwhile going around to meet him. That’s when I met Tim. There was obviously something very different about them. It’s pointless trying to explain or describe what it was other than to say that they were far from odorless. They had a unique fragrance. They smelled of holiness, of humility, of a crucified life, and above all, the love of God. Within a month of discovering this fragrance and starting to fellowship with others at Sound Doctrine Church from halfway around the world, it became clear I would have to leave my local church and my job at the Bible College. People around me started to smell death and didn’t want to be associated with it. I and Sound Doctrine Church became the subject of all kinds of nasty rumors and gossip as people tried to justify themselves rather than seeking out the truth. Phrases like bad exegesis, judgmental, bad hermeneutics, and cultic were often used. Some people were even petty enough to always refer to sound doctrine as a group, because they refuse to acknowledge it as a real church.
People were apparently concerned about my involvement with these people but they preferred to be concerned from a distance where things looked blurred enough to be mistaken for whatever their sin and fear conjured up. Such doubts and accusations seemed utterly ridiculous to me and I have to admit to being very surprised and disappointed at the reaction of many people I had thought of as brothers and sisters. However, while most others were busy getting a bad feeling about Sound Doctrine, I was rejoicing and struggling with finding a fellowship that not only preached the truth from the word of God, but actively lived it out by the power of the Holy Spirit. The struggle came, because I had to begin allowing God to crucify my flesh.
For a start, I had to humble myself as God revealed the reason, I was odorless and didn’t smell like Christ. It was because I had never really been a Christian. This came as quite a shock to me in self-righteousness and self-confidence, but it was blatantly obvious as soon as I allowed the light of God to illuminate my life. Rather than cause me to turn hostile and defensive though, by the grace of God it led to an even greater desire to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. So, I decided to take the step of faith and visit the church and almost literally leaving everything I went. Almost as soon as I arrived, I knew that I didn’t want to leave. The love of God was evident in the fellowship right from the start. The smell of it was something very different from anything I’d experienced before. Not just in what was spoken and taught, certainly not in following any legalistic rules, but in a real and active obedience to God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is a love that simply smells of Jesus Christ. Not a dead Jesus on the pages of a book. Not a man-made Jesus packed neatly into a box. Not a comfortable, controllable, entertaining Jesus who just smiles and nods at our sin, but a living Jesus who calls us to lose our very lives for him that he might live in us. Since I have been part of the Sound Doctrine Church, I have gone through many hard struggles as the cross has come to bear on my life. And many times, I have wept and wrestled with God and with my sin as he seeks to crucify my flesh. I trust that I will do so many more times in the future. But more than that, I have wept tears of joy at what God in his grace has allowed me to be part of. I can only pray that by reading this book, God will be able to give you a small sample of the fragrance that comes from his incomparable love, as it is worked out in the fellowship of his people. I pray that it will smell like life to you. For that is what I can testify it truly is. Sound Doctrine Church is no longer meeting. For more information www.consider.info.
Chapter 1, “break the jar”:
“Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.” Mark 14:10. It was all Judas could take watching this woman anoint Jesus with perfume. Many an individual is driven to reveal themselves as Judas by the presence of eau de cult, the fragrance of love for Christ. Indeed, many who claim faith in Jesus proved by their lives that they just cannot tolerate this fragrance. It was the final straw that broke the camel’s back and drove Judas over the edge of the spiritual cliff into the botPaulless pit. He would soon hang himself and the woman with a jar of perfume moved him faster to his doom. Those who whine that this love we have for one another appears like a cult, run like Judas to the church leaders to persecute it. While others claim it comes from the devil and therefore commit the unforgivable sin. Such church leaders and chief priests provide the power to enable others to do their dirty work. And those who oppose this type of fellowship, will also instruct others in how to refute its love.
We must always stand guard against them and watch ourselves very carefully that we do not act like Judas. Opposing those who bless Jesus with the purest of selfless love. In our eyes, their doctrine may not look respectable or they do not appear as wise as we think we are. But we had best be certain, they are not true lovers of God before we speak a word of criticism.
Let me warn the reader again that you will be shocked at what comes leaping out of a man when you begin to anoint Jesus with eau de cult. Just as the apostles thought that Judas loved Jesus until it was too late, so too you will be amazed at who rejects this fragrance. Indeed, from the chief priest to the apostles themselves they remain jealous of the love others had for Jesus. Because of their guilty consciences, the disciples rebuked her harshly. They, like us, justify our lukewarm expressions of love to Jesus with spiritual sounding words like being concerned for the poor. A church anointed with eau de cult does not appear reasonable in its expressions of love for Jesus. Until you have broken the jar of self and poured it out on Jesus, you cannot speak of wearing eau de cult or being fully in love with him.
If this reaction occurred when one woman anointed Jesus with this perfume, can you imagine the reaction, gossip and slander? If a whole church acted this way, if the best of Jesus followers indignantly talk to one another about this, what will those in the community or other lukewarm churches do? Jesus had to personally step in and tell them, “Leave her alone.” Many oppose eau de cult not because it is wrong but because it shames their lack of love for Jesus. The church should rather than persecute, break self with all of its reserve and anoint Jesus with love. “While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor”. And they her harshly. “Leave her alone”, said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you and you can help them anytime you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14:3-9).
As this woman broke the jar, it filled the whole room with its fragrance. It was a sermon without words and its smell penetrated to the soul. Many today take upon their lips the name of Jesus, but few smell of this perfume of love. Whenever I listen to men, women, pastors and leaders speak of Jesus, I recall few who speak his name as perfume poured out. “Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes. Your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you”. Song of Songs 1:3.
This woman anointed Jesus on the way to the cross. As we pick up our daily cross to follow Jesus, there we are also privileged to anoint Jesus again and again with the fragrance of our sacrifice of love. It was a simple act what this woman did. She did not work at a grant ministry, fulfill a special calling, or seek a blessing from Jesus. She sought nothing for herself. Without a word or any fanfare, she broke a jar of perfume and anointed Jesus. It was an act of selfless love poured out to the one she loved. He was not first on her priority list, but her only love. It was the pure gospel because it was pure love poured out. No wonder Jesus said that, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her. Jesus died that we might fall in love with him, not that we might grab blessings.
Those who forsake all, give all, letting self be broken or rather break self for God by the power of the Holy Spirit are filled with the good news. Those who give everything like this woman breaking open all for Jesus will smell of Jesus. This anointing is the same thing he did for us. He gave up all of self for our sakes and so we are like him, smelling of heaven. This is why he is not ashamed to call us “brothers”. Church is a place to prepare for heaven and if your church does not have eau de cult love, how can you honestly declare that it loves as heaven loves? Every church every Christian has a choice every day to allow the cross to break self or to hang on to self. A man either hangs on the cross or he hangs on to himself. Pray and long for a church where everyone hangs on the cross with Jesus. For there, you will experience a church that smells of the resurrected life. Be willing to travel, test and search out this buried treasure. To throw in your jar with others who fellowship and anoint Jesus this way.
People whose lives smell of a love for Jesus, before they speak a single word, be ready at an instant to obey and join a church like this. For there you will discover true abundant life, but you must give up all. All pride, money, time, talent, doctrines, traditions, way of doing things, desires, goals, blessings, all of self, all. And once dead to self, you will be filled with the love of heaven that loves God with all and able to love others in spirit and truth. This is the essence of eau de cult.
Chapter 2, “Eau de cult”:
“A new command I give you, love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35). All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another, Jesus told his disciples. Love from heaven the church is the one test by which all doctrines and ministry work should be measured. But what does the love of Jesus look like in a church? It certainly cannot look like the love the world shows for that is merely sin expressed in kindness. It must be a love so radical that the world persecutes it and the remnant of God are drawn to it. This special love which comes from the Holy Spirit is seldom seen in the church today. Love from a crucified life has been replaced with socializing and what men call logical doctrine. Lukewarmness, because it is warm and comfortable is considered safe and normal in Jesus. Of course, lukewarm churches are the ones that receive all the rewards from Satan and worldly Christians. They receive the money, help, and support.
Satan will not get in the way of such churches. In fact, he will get out of the way so that it appears God answers their prayers. Waves of events and new movements in the church have replaced the true love of Jesus. The church has refused the efforts of Jesus to nail them down on the cross, resulting in a whirlwind of activity in the church with no depths of serious love. Because of this spiritual climate, any love for Jesus hotter than lukewarm is regarded as evil and cultic. But as we shall see, any church that is not falsely accused of being a cult has lost its first love. The essence of a cult or as they say in France, “Eau de Cut” came to mind one day as I walked to the Christian bookstore run by our church as a service to the community. At the bookstore, we seek to stock the old writings of saints who understood and lived the offensive message of the cross.
On this walk, was born the idea of putting a bottle of fragrance in the store that would remind individuals we need to smell like Jesus. Soon we had bottles of eau de cult sitting on the shelves. Actually, the story goes back almost 30 years prior when I preached the sermon entitled “Holy Perfume”. Over my many years of pastoring people had frequently accused me of being a cult leader. At my first job, it didn’t take long before I was being labeled as such. Jim Jones, who had led his group down to the jungles of South America and ended up with everyone drinking poisoned Kool-Aid, remained fresh on everyone’s mind. I hadn’t preached 3 months when one of the most supportive ladies in the church came up behind me and pushed me saying, “Your name is Jim? Jim Jones?” This was back in 1978, and I was very green when it came to preaching.
My crime, preaching the message of the cross to a very comfortable church. Their charges were many and varied and grew in emotion and lengths until I was fired. Accusations such as my sermons were too good for a young preacher so I must get them from someone else or trying to alienate the children from their parents were thrown at my wife and me. We had made the mistake of having a meeting at our trailer one evening to talk about the Lord. At this meeting we served Kool-Aid. One can see that such innocent events turn into false accusations when people must listen to what they do not want to hear. After all, I had told them we should love our Baptist neighbors and that some of these people might even be saved.
This and many other aspects of the gospel rattled their dead spiritual lives and rather than repent, they became hostile. I didn’t know it then, but I later discovered by God’s grace that there is a fragrance in Christ that all true disciples received by the Holy Spirit. This fragrant follows us everywhere the Holy Spirit sends us to preach. A God has sought to give this scent to every church I have pastored with my helpmate and beloved wife. To some, the fragrance smells like death. To others, it is life. If it smells of death, it means you are on your way to hell. But if it smells like life, then eternal hope will produce eternal joy. Many others, however, are not sure what the fragrance is. They just know it smells unusual. “To the one we are the smell of death, to the other the fragrance of life, and who is equal to such a task”. (2 Corinthians 2:16).
This fragrance shows itself long before we open our mouths or even arrive in someone’s life. It is a fragrance that causes a strong spiritual reaction. Many times, someone will say, ‘I don’t like them before we even have a chance to say or do anything in the Lord’. Or others will say something like, ‘there is something different about them.’ But they have no evidence to support either statement.
Many times, after people have talked with us, their friends or relatives’ comment, I have never seen him open up to anyone so much and so quickly as he did to you. Because people sense something different in our lives, they feel safe to speak from the heart. Anyone willing to wear this perfume at all times, even when others sense death, the closest of fellowship with Jesus will be theirs. Take for example Paul. He smelt strongly of Jesus. So strong was the scent that people everywhere were talking against him. Indeed, they referred to Paul’s church as a sect, or in our modern-day language a cult. Paul definitely wore eau de cult. They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear your views are. For we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect. They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening, he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God. And tried to convince them about Jesus from the law of Moses and from the prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe”. (Acts 28:21-24).
Because none of the brothers reported or said anything bad about Paul, they couldn’t figure out why so many spoke with such malice about him. Again, we see the battle between those who interpret the smell as death and those who smell life. They met with Paul to discuss this matter. With great care and fine logic, Paul explained to them about Jesus, Moses and the prophets. In spite of Paul’s efforts to present the gospel, the Bible tells us that some of those who heard simply would not believe. No doubt one reason they refuse to believe was that they too would have had to wear eau de cult. How many in Paul’s time and still today feel ashamed of the words of Christ and refuse to wear the fragrance.
Of course, a few founded to be the fragrance of life and were convinced by the Holy Spirit that Paul spoke the truth. In marching forward with the cross in our life, the fragrance of the gospel spreads everywhere. As we become losers for Jesus, we march triumphantly as the Holy Spirit leads and God’s fragrance permeates everything. But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ. “And through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him”. (2 Corinthians 2:14).
This book will seem like either death or life to you. You might feel confused and even a little frightened as to how to live everything written here. This is normal. It is not a scent most people are accusPauled to and nothing on earth smells like it. When we face unfamiliar, we often become frightened. Therefore, many declare they get a bad feeling when they first come into contact with this love. Don’t let your fear immediately label this as legalistic or something to avoid. Rich joy that will start here on earth and never end throughout all of eternity will be yours, if you willingly crucify self. The amount and depths of love God has worked is amazing, but more astounding is that he worked this love in spite of severe opposition.
All the stories persecution would require another book and are not really worth repeating right now. It is the same old tired story of men who persecute the love of God. The methods and reasons for this persecution remain the same, and will be the same until Jesus returns. Satan attacks both outside and inside the church where God works this kind of love. Outwardly, he brings opposition from many sources in various ways from many directions. Inwardly, Satan seeks to weaken us with sin using bitter roots as his main tactic. Read through the Old Testament and note what happened as Moses led the people out of Egypt. The desert or the cross from our viewpoint became a real testing ground to see who had true faith in God.
Therefore, the book of Hebrews warns us to watch out for bitter roots, which can quickly destroy a church. Everyone who attends a church where the cross remains powerful, will feel tempted to have a bitter root from time to time. It is a terrible sin I can testify, ruins the love in a church. If a congregation desires to press on to rich love from Jesus, they must learn to rejoice always, to rejoice even when pride, selfishness, hidden motives and sins are revealed and crucified. If this groundwork is not clearly understood by all, then church leaders will find it impossible to move the body forward as the spirit leads. Satan loves to use evil suspicions. When he roars loudly enough, he can cause many to freeze in fear. Satan also whispers through men and shoots flaming arrows at our hearts to frighten us. He declares, it will all end like a cult, who can themselves against such an accusation of the future? First, the accuser frames the story to fit a mold and then declares that the conclusion will end in the way the story demands. Plus, plenty of failures occur that the evil one and others can point to that will prove their point.
So, please pay careful attention to what you read here. If you attempt to gain this love, every point and more will be needed to survive the trials ahead. Indeed, no man can escape the trap of evil suspicions unless he has true faith in God. A faith in a God who can work the same love that the first church had into our hearts today. But you will have to be willing to wear a fragrance that many will think smells like death. Those who oppose the message of the cross will somehow know it is death. Even when they cannot prove it. They will be convinced you secretly sleep with everyone in the church. They will think you desire to destroy their family and only want everyone’s money. If there is never any evidence to support this knowledge, how can they be so sure? Simple. Such accusers measure things by their own hearts and we know the heart is deceitful above all things. Inside, they know that if they were in our situation, they would fall into such sinful acts. Such people cannot imagine a truly pure heart, because their hearts burn with lust and sin.
They judge themselves when they condemn those who wear the fragrance of Christ, because they refuse to repent of their own sins. Those without the true cross in their life cannot understand that there really is a power that overcomes sins in a person’s life. Simply stated, they are not pure enough by the grace of God to understand the possibility of such purity. A man who has not honestly tasted the sufferings of the cross that brings purity, cannot for a moment believe it is possible. It would be easier to explain light to a blind man than to convince such a person that he was wrong in his false accusations and twisting of facts. As Titus 1:15 declares, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted”.
Over the years, others have repeated the refrain that I am a cult leader and our church is headed toward that kind of corruption. 20 years ago, men declared this evil suspicion over and over. As a result, many people failed to consider joining our church as God called them. Those who made these accusations back in 1979, however, still wait for this cult to fall into the corruption they so confidently predicted. Like those who vowed not to eat or drink until Paul died, those who started this rumor decades ago still wait for our cult to perish in sin. However, fresh new voices always shoot arrows of evil suspicions in order to build up their own self-righteousness.
The following quote comes from an article published in the fall of 2002 even as we wrote this book. “Notice the wickedness of accusation by association and the complete lack of any evidence. They know that their accusations are true and only a matter of time will prove them right. Therefore, they feel justified in making the accusation now. It is slander of the worst kind. Note also the false love. They pretend to warn rather than accuse, but all the while they imply that bad fruit must be present, even though they cannot actually point to any. The longer-range consequences of such aberrational theology become serious. In some settings, particularly where communal living is the norm, which is not the case with Mister Williams group. Women will look to the leader as their spiritual covering instead of to their husband, and children will look to the leader instead of to their father. Strained marriages and dysfunctional families tend to become a longer-term result. It is also not uncommon for a financial exploitation to begin to surface at some point. And neither is it uncommon for someone holding this kind of sway to engage in immorality further down the line. We wish to emphasize however that we have no evidence that Mister Williams has ever perpetrated such treachery. We simply refer to a pattern we have witnessed time and time again among groups that followed a similar path. We issue a warning, not an accusation. Aberrational groups that deviate from the Bible moreover wind up indicting themselves. We cannot say how many of these trends are already underway within this group. But while we do not know with any certainty how far this particular group has gone down this particular road. We are quite confident to say that this is the road that they certainly appear to be travelling on”.
The article is of course much longer. After doing a thorough job of misrepresentation and insinuation, the writers conclude that they have no evidence to support such claims, and that they cannot say how many of these things happen in our church. One can only wonder how many knots a man can have in his life and still be labelled guilty. Indeed, this discernment ministry mentioned communal living only to weave a lie with the truth in order to make their entire accusation appear true. They still remain, however, quite confident that it is the road we are or at least appear to be heading down. Such unfounded statements, of course, result from total sin and come from wicked hearts. Indeed, if they live the Gospel, the message of the cross, they would understand all of this. If they really preached a true Jesus and not the current wide gate Jesus so often declared, all of this would become abundantly clear. Such people would do well to repent of their errors and doctrine and ask God to fill them with the love of heaven that does not think evil of each other.
Self-righteousness results in evil suspicions, quarrels and fear rather than a building up in the truth. “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to Godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions”. (1 Timothy 6:3-4). The only thing that remains is for people to bring forth false witnesses as they did with Jesus. Which I fully expect to happen someday. Therefore, do not become discouraged because some individuals smell death rather than life and fiercely oppose you because of their own sins. In fact, let it prepare you for the time when all men will hate you. Rejoice and move forward in love and soon you shall through the gates of heaven and fellowship with others who have worn eau de cult. Even now God will give the deepest of love and fellowship with those who desire all of Jesus and his cross.
You will discover a love more important than ministry. A love where people put on no false pretenses and individuals live in fear of the Lord. Where members feel safe in the church because God keeps everything pure. No one is a number on an attendance chart and no one in leadership takes advantage of the flock, where God really remains, the only person sought out and obeyed. For example, if any member of such a church should stumble into sin and leave the church, they would have the means to return to the Lord even without necessarily returning to that particular church. For they have been taught the message and have the tools that allow them to return to a relationship with God. Many who do leave feel tormented because this love cannot be found in the world or alone in their hearts. Only in the context of fellowship is love fully known. Love, the fruit that Jesus said, proof someone is of God is present in a church where they truly carry the cross. A love and joy so overflowing with no bounds that members exclaim with Paul that they would live or die with these brothers and sisters. When a man turns his back on this kind of love, he feels tormented and rails against the church to cover up his guilty conscience.
“I do not say this to condemn you. I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. I have great in you; I take great pride in you; I am greatly encouraged, in all our troubles, my joy knows no bounds”. (2 Corinthians 7:3-4). Although such love is honestly amazing, it is not enough for most individuals. To have eau de cult, you must have the cross. This love of Christ in a church requires crucifixion of self by the Holy Spirit and most remain unwilling to pay the price. Everyone is so being something and being promised they will be something in the church that Jesus has no time to form a church. Therefore, you might find one person in a church known for being the slave of everyone, but seldom a whole church.
The heart of the gospel is missing. The following quote comes from a letter by someone unwilling to carry her cross and give all to Jesus. “This person was an average church goer who had experienced much fellowship in other churches, but she wept in the midst of us and said she had never experienced such love before. Later, as she began to reject the requirements of the cross, she wrote a letter stating that, she was still testing the spirits to see if we were from God. As this person wrote tired, old questions, doubts and dodges from sacrifice, she made the following statement. “And the fellowship was what I thought it was. I enjoyed myself so much and felt so welcomed and loved by everyone there. I can see how it be hard for anyone to walk away from that”. When I pointed out that love was the test that proved whether or not a church remained in Jesus and plainly should answer her doubts, we were then slanderously accused of being full of hate””. What a turn around.
If you gain a love from heaven by way of the cross, you will see this kind of thing time and time again. Though this person had wept at what she found, she was unwilling to pay the price to have it. To wear eau de cult requires the surrender of all. As 2 Corinthians 2:16 tells us, “No man is equal to such a task, no man is up to the task of creating this fragrance himself, no man is equal to the calling that permits God to bless us with this fragrance.” It cannot be manufactured by programs, outlines or fancy preaching. It does not come with revival meetings or prayer meetings. It is the Lord’s work that no man can control or influence. A person either has the scent or he doesn’t. Many churches and Christians seek to smell like this with their Bible reading, projects, and goals to love one another, but only live a cheap imitation.
It is the difference between fellowship in the light that the Holy Spirit shines in a church, and one that merely socializes by the light of man. Where men try to mock this fragrance, you will always find something missing. Because of the hypocrisy, pride, cliches, gossip, rules and pleasure seeking. You will sense they lack the cross. For no matter what good points a church may have, leaving a bunch of dead flies floating in the perfume ruins it. To obtain eau de cult from the Lord, each person in church needs to make sure no dead flies float in the badge. They must be ready to repent and give up everything again and again for a little folly outweighs much good. “As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor”. (Ecclesiastes 10:1).
What is eau de cult? Simply the fragrance of love that flows from the throne of heaven? A love that will only happen if we willingly pick up a cross as Jesus did. In order to get this kind of love, we must accept the offensive message of the cross. What is the offensive message of the cross? Rejoicing and obeying a message from the Holy Spirit that we do not want to hear.
This book is not about that message, but about the fruit of that message. Other books previously listed in the front expound on that topic. The fruit of this message is love. A love that comes from the Holy Spirit yet seldom seen in churches today. In fact, it is difficult to find a true Holy Spirit inspired hospitality in the church today, let alone a love where individuals lay down their lives for each other. If you long for your church to be filled with a heavenly love, then the fragrance of eau de cult is for you. The fragrance of eau de cult comes from the love of Jesus in each individual’s heart. Jesus said that, “Such fruit would tell others we belong to him, by this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another”. (John 13:35).
How then shall I describe this love? How does one describe a fragrance to someone who has never smelled flowers or incense? How do we describe a fragrance that has never been produced by any man on earth? There simply is no reference point when it comes to God’s love. For as the heavens are higher than us, so is God’s love different from ours. People will often ask us to tell them how this love manifests itself. We find it difficult to answer such questions because such a fragrance penetrates all we do, but does not always display itself in grandiose gestures.
This love is like the power manifested on the night Jesus was born in a simple manger. That birth would shatter hell, but only a few shepherds experienced its glory. So too the love works in the church is like a weak baby in a manger. It has the power to cause hell to persecute it and heaven to rejoice over it. In short, you will find nothing like it on earth. It comes from heaven and is completely different in every way both in heart and action.
This short book will feebly attempt to share a love that moves individuals who visit us to tears. This book is really a prayer. Only the answer to prayer can open someone’s eyes to the fact that the love of God lived out in this world will look like a cult to the world and the worldly. As Paul prayed that, “Out of his glorious riches God would make the width, depth and height of the love of Christ known to the church.”
We hope that through this book a few will desire this true love. “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you being rooted and established in love. May have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. And to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19).
The fragrance of love in the first church surpasses knowledge. And that should be the case in our churches today. No outline, no study guide and no book including this one can communicate the fullness of God and his love in the church. Only a God who acts with power if he can find surrendered saints, can work heavenly love in a church. This fullness of God filling a church causes the religious to dislike and even persecute those God anoints with eau de cult.
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Examining today’s wisdom, folly and madness with the whole gospel