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THE HERALD

of Christ's Kingdom


VOL. XXXII May 1949 No. 5
Table of Contents

The Pentecostal Message

Radio Ministry

Annual Meeting of the Pastoral Bible Institute

Lovest Thou Me?

Paul to Philemon

The Question Box

Comments by Various Writers on Theological Disputes

ALONE

With Brethren in Germany

Recently Deceased


The Pentecostal Message

"Received ye the spirit?" - Galatians 3:2.

WAIT for the promise of the Father, which ye heard from me, for John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the holy spirit not many days hence.... Ye shall receive power when the holy spirit is come upon you." It is Jesus who has been speaking to the disciples, having "led them out until they were over against Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven." (Luke 24:50­-53. A. R. V.) A cloud received him out of their sight, and at the bidding of an angel the little company wended its way over the three-quarters of a mile back to Jerusalem, passing Gethsemane, where forty days before, the One they had just now seen ascend into heaven had first been "lifted up from the earth." There is no record left us of the many questions that were raised in that short journey and in the days that followed. But we do read that they "all with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer, with the wo­men, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." "And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder [Margin: parting among them, or distributing themselves], like as of fire; and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the holy spirit." - Acts 2:1-4.

FORETOLD IN TYPES

"In the passover, we have the death of Christ," Brother Mackintosh writes, "in the sheaf of firstfruits, we have the resurrection of Christ; and in the feast of Pentecost, we have the descent of the holy spirit to form the Church. All this is divinely perfect. The death and resurrection of Christ had to be accom­plished, ere the Church could be formed. The sheaf was offered and then the loaves were baked. And, we observe, 'They shall be baken with leaven.' Why was this? Because they were intended to foreshadow those who, though filled with the holy spirit, and adorned with his gifts and graces, had, nevertheless, evil dwell­ing in them," and soon that fact came to light in their association. *

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*For a consideration of the types in this connection see the Memorial article in our issue of May 1948.

The power of the holy spirit did not remove sin, but the blood of the slain Lamb atoned for it, and henceforth there has been before God's view not our sinfulness but Christ's perfection, the perfection of him who was "made sin for us." With the loaves were offered a kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs for peace offerings, making the leavened bread "holy, acceptable." In this arrangement we have a vivid demonstration of true love, the love of Christ and of God, a primary element of the "spirit of holiness." "Be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell." (Eph. 5:1, 2.) Jesus gave one of his parables for the explicit purpose of showing what he and the Father think regarding the conduct of one who willingly ac­cepts mercy for himself, but is not willing to grant it to others, thus demonstrating his lovelessness.­ - Matt. 18:23-35.

The brethren who received the outpouring of the holy spirit at Pentecost were those who had become followers of the Lord Jesus before his sacrifice, and therefore before he had appeared in the presence of God for them, and thus before they could be begot­ten to sonship. John testifies: "The spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 3:39.) While they walked with Jesus he could say to them, "The spirit of truth dwelleth with you"; but could promise additionally, "and shall be in you," not merely "with" and "upon" you, as was the case with the prophets of the previous Age. (Luke 2:25; John 14:17.) What a misfortune for them and for all of us if he had heeded their desire and stayed with them for the establishment of a merely fleshly government. "It is expedient for you that I go away," are his words; "for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you." - John 16:7.

EVIDENCES OF BEING POSSESSED BY THE SPIRIT

The fact that the spirit had been given was made so evident that even the multitude that came together were confounded. Dwellers in many parts of the earth, speaking many languages, heard in their own tongue, and, as Peter pointed out to them, this is properly explained as connected with the prophecy in the second chapter of Joel: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions: and also upon the ser­vants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, be­fore the day of the Lord come, that great and terrible day. And it shall be that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved."

EVIDENCES OF POSSESSING THE SPIRIT

The miracle of Pentecost was intended in part to attract the attention of the people in Jerusalem, and to convince those who were in heart condition to believe, as well as to give confidence to those who were already disciples. Evidently the need for such miracles passed with the passing of the Apostles and those upon whom they bestowed the gifts of the spirit, but the need for "full assurance of faith has never ceased. It is therefore of great importance for us to be able to find a convincing statement as to how we may know whether we have been called, have been begotten (have, received the spirit), and are being developed, all by "the self same spirit" that operated both on and in the early disciples. Is it still true that "the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit withal"? (1 Cor. 12:7, 11.) While we cannot hope to add anything to the material given in the ninth chapter of Volume Five of the "Studies in the Scriptures" on this subject (a re-reading of which we heartily recommend) perhaps it will repay us to look at a few Scriptures bearing on the point.

Brother John writes: "We are of God: he that know­eth God heareth us; he who is not of God heareth us riot. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:6.) Attention to the Word of Truth as it came through the Apostles is then a fundamental test as to whether one is being guided of the holy spirit, "the spirit of truth, which the world cannot receive." We can let our light shine upon them, but we cannot give them our oil.

Long ago it was promised that the spirit would have the effect of obedience to 'the Lord's commands: "I will put my spirit within you. [when the stony hearts are removed], and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them." (Ezek. 36:27.) Not the ways or the thinking of our own flesh or of any other natural man will be our guide, for "as for you, the anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any one teach you [any human intellect, such as the philosophers to whom he refers]; but as his anointing teacheth you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, ye abide in him." (1 John 2:27.) Since the spirit cannot contradict it­self, the "any one" not needed as a teacher must be outside the Body of Christ, for the spirit had revealed that God had set teachers within the Body for its edification. They only can speak according to the spirit, and should speak only according to the spirit, as Paul intimates in 1 Corinthians 2:12 and 13: "We received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." "Ye are not in the flesh [or dependent on the flesh] but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwelleth in you." - Rom. 8:9. See Vol. V, S. S. pages 285-287.

We can know assuredly that his spirit does not dwell in us to use us as his temple if ours is not the spirit of reverence, devotion, holiness; separation from the things of the outside world and the ways of the flesh. "Know ye not that ye are a temple of God, and that 'the spirit of God dwelleth in you?" And that temple will have no "parish house" attached where provision can be made for the flesh to satisfy the desires thereof.

A primary step toward the receipt of the holy spirit is repentance, a regret for our former association with things of the world and the flesh and a turning from them with a positive determination they shall no more be permitted to control our lives. The story Brother Blackburn used to tell illustrating this is a very apt one. It was the definition a small child gave: "Repentance is being so sorry, you will never do it again." The message of the early Church was: "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the holy spirit," (Acts 2:38) "the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Doubtless thousands who had no right, to do so sent up that cry, but in the context the Apostle indicates what are the credentials of those who can legitimately so address him: "The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God." "For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God." (Rom. 8:14-16.) The direction of its leading is "into all the truth." (John 16:13.) That leading should be a continuous process until that which "is perfect is come" beyond the veil. Then we shall know fully even as we are now fully known by the Father. (1 Cor. 13:9-12.) However, conformity to the spirit's leading can this side the veil have the seal­ing of the spirit, the stamp of its approval. Paul calls this being "sealed with the spirit of the promise, the holy spirit which is an earnest of our inheritance un­to the redemption of the acquisition; unto his glor­ious praise." (Eph. 1:13, 14, Rotherham.) It is easy to know this precious promise and to talk fluently about it to every willing ear, and many an unwilling one, too-for this is that promise that takes in "all the families of the earth." But to acquire its spirit is quite a different thing from just talking about it. Having its spirit means to have a love broad enough to take in all the world, our enemies, and all the brethren.

BEGINNING A NEW LIFE

The story of man's creation is simply told: "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [wind, spirit] of life; and man became a living soul." (Gen. 2:7.) Did the spirit inspire this record so that it would fitly represent how lifeless humans, dead in trespasses and sins, are given life by putting his spirit within them? "Of his own will begat he us with the Word of truth." The result is a spiritual new creature, for "Thy words are spirit and they are life." Such creatures need have no fear of the second death, if they are entirely dependent on that Word as their source of strength, for they have been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth." (1 Peter 1:23.) Having been begotten "through the Gospel" (1 Cor. 4:15), "the Gospel preached beforehand unto Abraham," if its work is permitted to continue in us, we will daily have more of its spirit until, marked with its sealing power, the image of our heavenly Father will be indelibly impressed upon this new creation of his. Our Pentecost then will have "fully come" and passed.

PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD NECESSARY

As God created a son "in his own likeness, after his image, so the new creation "which after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth," "is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him." (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10.) Knowledge that does not work to that end will be detrimental, puffing up instead of building up.

This all makes it very clear why the Bible lays its great stress on knowing God, and how irreparable the loss to those who are content just to know about him and his Plan. Also it is clear that the distinction between the two classes will be that the one will be sealed with his spirit, while the other company are those who are marked with Babylon's method of thinking, following the guidance of the intellect in­stead of the spirit, and contented to rely upon works instead of growth into his likeness.

Jesus finished his course at the cross. We begin ours there. Before the cross our condition was "dead in sin since the cross, "dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 6:11.) Babylon and its, spirit hopes for life because of penances, book selling, and other substitutes for the cross on which Christ died for our sins and on which the world is crucified unto us and we unto the world. But this is not ac­complished without the guidance and assistance of the spirit. "If ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Rom. 8:13.) "Walk in the spirit and ye shall not fulfill the desires of the flesh." That is the "law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus that hath made us free from the law of sin and death." - Rom. 8:2.

"The God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved en­tire without blame at the coming [Literally: in the presence] of our Lord. Jesus Christ," 'to "present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceed­ing joy." - 1 Thess. 5:23; Jude 24.

- P. E. Thomson


Radio Ministry

The Cicero, Illinois Ecclesia has embarked upon a "Kingdom witness" radio broadcast over a local station, WHFC (1450 kc). The broadcast consists of a fifteen minute program, introduced and closed with the theme hymn, "Search the Scriptures," sung by Brother John T. Read. The program is entitled, "Scripture Studies." The message is a short lecture of ten to twelve minutes in duration given by Brother Wm. J. Siekman. The stress of the message is given to the heralding of Christ's Kingdom. "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." "Weep­ing may endure for a night but joy cometh in the Morn­ing." These are some of the texts used in the broadcasts.

Friends within 100 miles, of Chicago may be able to receive the broadcast which comes on at 2:15 p.m. every Sunday. The Cicero Ecclesia asks an interest in your prayers on behalf of this radio ministry.


Annual Meeting of the Pastoral Bible Institute

All lovers of our Lord Jesus and friends of the truth are welcome to attend the Annual Meeting of the Insti­tute to be held at 2 p.m. in the office of the Institute at 177 Prospect Place, Brooklyn 17, N. Y., Saturday, June 4, 1949, as announced in our April issue. In addition to the primary business of the election of directors, oppor­tunity will be given for consideration of such other mat­ters as may properly come before the meeting.

Members of the Institute who are not receiving the "Herald" in their own name, or the name of a member of the immediate family, but who are readers of the "Herald," should so inform the office at once so the­ proxy forms may be sent them.

In addition to the present directors the following has been placed as a nominee:

T. G. SMITH, Gardiner, Me.


Lovest Thou Me?

John 21:15-17


"Thus faith and hope and love last on, these three, but the greatest of all is love." - 1 Cor. 13:13.

A SURFACE reading might cause one to think that all there is to be said about the text could be said in a few moments of time, but actual­ly 'it is a very large text, nor could its wealth of spir­itual meaning and power be exhausted in this dis­cussion. We as humans are given to much verbiage, we multiply our words to explain what we mean; but the Word of God is wondrously laconic, it gives us very much in very little. One single grain of the pre­cious gold of Scripture might be beaten out into acres of gold leaf and spread far and wide.

There are subtle meanings hidden away in the Greek text which are worthy of our very careful and prayerful consideration, and there are allusions which ought to be followed to their logical end. This dis­cussion however will be confined to one point only, but we do well to give it our prayerful consideration. May the holy spirit rest richly upon us as we medi­tate upon our theme, and may it indelibly impress upon our hearts and minds the profound significance of the memorable words addressed by Jesus to Simon.

The one point is this: Our dear Lord asked Peter if he had a love to his own person, a. personal love for a personal living Savior. The inquiry does not concern his love for the Kingdom of God, nor for the Truth, nor yet for the people of God. It begins and ends with his personal love for the personal, Son of God. Notice, he does not begin by upbraiding Peter like we might have done: he does not say to him, Simon do you now perceive my warning and its pru­dence when I told you to watch and pray? . Will you henceforth cease from your own self-confidence and pay heed to my admonitions? He does not even say, Do you believe my doctrines? Do you trust in the One whom the other day you denied? Neither is it asked of him, Are you pleased with my precepts, and are you a believer in my claims? Will you still confess me as the Son of the Highest? No! none of these matters are brought under review, but the one in­quiry is, "Lowest thou me?" Have you a personal at­tachment to my own very self?

He calls him by his old unconverted name, as if to remind him of what grace had already accom­plished on his behalf, and then he asks him about his love. Observe that our gracious and tender Sa­vior questioned Peter in plain, set terms. There was no beating about the bush; he went straight to the point, for it was not a matter upon which am­biguity and doubt could for one moment be en­dured. Just as the physician feels the patient's pulse in order to judge the condition of his heart, so Jesus tested at once the pulse of Peter's soul. He might have said, Simon, do you repent of your folly? for repentance is a very necessary and blessed require­ment: "God hath commanded all men everywhere to repent"; but it was better to inquire at once into Peter's heart condition, for it is self-evident that if he still loved the Master he would most certainly grieve for having denied him.

Jesus did not even ask about his faith, which might., quite easily have been called into question, for he had with oaths declared: "I know not the man." The question concerning his faith was answered the mo­ment he avowed his love; for he who loves believes, and no man can love a Savior in whom he does not believe. The Lord left every other point out of con­sideration or, perhaps we should say, concentrated every other point in the one personal inquiry.

ONE THING IS NEEDFUL

"Lovest thou me?" Let us learn from this fact that one thing is needful; that the chief, the vital point, is personal love for a personal living Christ. The question is asked three times, as if to show that it comprised all else and therefore he would insist upon it again, again, and again, even as orators dwell with repetition and emphasis upon topics which they wish to drive home. Our Savior evidently attached great weight to Peter's heart attitude toward himself, and when we examine and judge ourselves, let us look mainly to the heart and make a thorough in­quisition into our love. Is Jesus really loved by us? Have we a deep attachment to his own person? What­ever else we trifle with, let us be earnest here.

Remember, it was our dear Lord who asked the question, and he asked it until he grieved Peter. Be­ing a disciple, Peter must have felt ready to receive a very severe rebuke and consider himself lightly done thereby; therefore it was not so easy to grieve him. Of our dear Lord it was prophetically declared,, a bruised reed he would not 'break, and smoking flax he would not quench. He was slow at all times to cause pain to any torn heart, yet on this occasion for wise reasons, he reiterated the inquiry until he touched the unhealed wounds of Peter and made them smart. Had Peter not made his Lord's heart to bleed? and was it not meet that he should receive heart wounds himself? A threefold denial called for a threefold confession, and the grief he had caused was now very realistically 'brought home to him by the grief which he now endured.

To comfort is a good work, yet at times it might be better to cause grief. Not always is sweet food the best: bitter medicine is sometimes more needful for our immediate requirements. True love has more or less pain connected with it. Only the pretender passes through the world without any heartache. Better to grieve today and be right at last, than to spend all our days in presumptuous security only to prove deceivers at the end.

A SOLILOQUY

Imagine yourself some day, after having left a happy assembly of the Lord's people in which you took an active part, as wandering out to some lonely spot where you unexpectedly meet your Lord and Master; and he says to you: Brother ----, Good evening! I perceive that you have had a very won­derful and blessed time at the convention. How nice to meet so many of the friends, and some you have not seen for a long time. How sincere the prayers, how fervent the praises, and how helpful the talks; and I perceive you have been serving me a little yourself in ministering to the friends. I have been present with you and have observed and marked it all. Yes, a very blessed occasion indeed; but see, before you go away, there is a little question that I want to ask you. You may think it very strange that 1 should ask you this, especially after such a season of fellowship, but it is imperative that I do so. As it is a very personal question, it does not relate to Bible prophecy, and has nothing whatever to do with doctrine; nor does it concern the ecclesia with which you are associated or any member of the Body of Christ anywhere. It concerns no one in all this vast universe except you, yourself. Listen and I will whisper it very gently in your car: Do you love me?

You are a little startled at that, and are about to reply when, placing a reassuring hand upon your shoulder he says, Now don't be alarmed, keep quite calm and I will repeat the question. Are you sure that you really love me? You are about to break forth in great protestations of your love and proof of the same when he speaks once more and says, Please, just a moment: I am going to repeat my question for the third and last time. I want you to look deep down into the motives of your heart and make a thorough examination of all that goes on there. Are you quite sure that in all this activity, zeal, and ser­vice, this study, these many good works, that there is no ulterior motive in your life, that you are ac­tuated and animated by pure and unadulterated love of myself? Do You REALLY Love M? I trust we shall all be able to say like Peter from the bottom of our hearts and in spite of failures: "Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee." Our Lord of course knows the answer, but asks the ques­tion to make us search our own hearts.

Why do we attend the meetings? Is it because Brother or Sister so and so will be there and we en­joy their company? or are we leaning up on some arm of flesh and allowing it to do all our thinking for us? If we are, what will we do when that support is taken away? Shall we find ourselves in the position of Lot, who leaned upon Abraham, or in the favored position of Abraham him­self who was leaning upon God? Do we go to the meeting because leaning upon the Lord, we love him? or is it because we desire to hear some particu­lar speaker? If our devotion is due to anything other than love for the Lord, we will not be able to stand in the days that lie ahead. II we have idols that we set up, he will remove the idols, and we will suffer loss; but if the Lord is the one that draws us, then our cup will overflow."

In attending meetings, we should realize that we can be a blessing as well as receive one. We can be a blessing to the speaker in giving him our support by prayer and close attention. If he be of stammer­ing tongue and conscious of his shortcomings, he needs our support more than the one gifted with the tongue of a Demosthenes or a Cicero, and so we should endeavor to keep awake and attentive and al­ways remember that it is the Lord we have come to meet and fellowship with.

"SIMON, SON OF JONAS, LOVEST THOU ME?"

Let us make this a personal question from Jesus to each one of us. Forget that it is taken by man as a text, and hear it only as if spoken by Jesus direct to your own heart and mind; not Nathaniel nor Thomas nor the two sons of Zebedee, but to you: "LOVEST THOU ME" Many people are attentive to externals; hun­dreds of thousands go to church every Sabbath day, but the question arises, Do they really love Christ?

Multitudes are wrapped up in forms and ceremo­nies. So long as the service pleases the ear and the eye they are content. Love to the person of Christ does not seem to concern them. To others the end and the all of Christian life and experience amounts to an orthodox statement of doctrine. Instead of an exercise of the heart, our experience can become merely an exercise of the brain. What we must know is the experience of a living heart going out to a liv­ing Person: a 'bleeding heart knit to another bleed­ing Heart-a life subsisting on another Life and enamored of it. There are solve who, if you cannot sound all their shibboleths and toe the line to every­thing they say, cannot hear you any more or desire your company.

FOUNDATION STONES TESTED AS OTHERS

Peter was an Apostle, not one whit behind the rest. Indeed in some respects he was a foundation stone, yet it was needful to ask about his love. Peter, James, and John witnessed miracles wrought by Jesus in se­cret which no other eye ever saw. They beheld him upon the Mount of Transfiguration in all his glory, and they saw him in the Garden of Gethsemane in all his agony, and yet although thus favored, it was necessary to say to their leader, "Lovest thou me?"

We may have traversed the mountain-top with Christ, and walked with him in the valley; we may know much of inward conflict and the joy of victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil; we may have' shared in the sufferings of Christ, going unto him without the camp sharing his reproach, and as his own familiar friends, sat down with him to meat; yet let us never forget that it was one so familiar who lifted up his heel against him. Therefore it is most necessary to say to us whoever we may be, "Lovest thou me?"

It is easy to invent a remarkable experience, but it is another thing to have a loving heart. Are we sure of the condition of our heart? Peter was a "red hot" disciple; how ready he was to do and dare for his Master; how impetuously he cried upon the Lake of Galilee: "Lord, if it be thou, bid me to come to thee upon the water." What daring-what faith -what vehement zeal; and here too in the narrative before us when beside that selfsame sea of Tiberias, Peter in his headlong zeal could not wait until the boat touched the shore, but girding on his, fisherman's ,coat, for he was naked in the ship, he plunges into the sea to swim out to meet the Lord. But with all this headlong zeal before him, Jesus still inquires about his love.

We may be very regular and attentive at the Throne of Grace, we may be earnest in our studies and zealous in our prayers, diligent in our service and most generous in our practical ministrations; and yet the question of -our text comes in all its searching force, "Lovest thou me?" There is a zeal which feeds on regard to the opinions of others and is sustained by a desire (to be considered earnest and useful. It is possible to have a zeal which is more akin to the warmth of nature than the Holy Fire of Grace. Such a zeal has enabled multitudes to do marvelous things, yet it can find us as the "sounding brass or the tinkling cymbal."

The most zealous actions are not positive proof of pure unadulterated love of Christ; hence the ques­tion must still be pressed home, "Lovest thou me?" Even the greatest self-denial does not prove it. Peter could say, "We have left all and followed thee." It was not much, but it was all that Peter had; he had left all for the good cause. He had frequently been abused for the Master's sake and expected to be more so. He was loyal and willing to suffer to the end; yet Jesus knowing all this, inquired as to Peter's love. Love is essential, nothing can compensate for its absence.

REASON'S RIGHTFUL PLACE

There are other aspects of Christian life as well as the emotional. Man is not all heart; he also has a brain with which to reason, and this too must be consecrated and sanctified. It is right and proper that we should study the Word earnestly and prayer­fully, becoming well instructed scribes in the King­dom of Heaven. Peter went to college for three and a half years with Jesus as tutor, and must have learned much; and who would not with such a teacher. Yet, before sending him on his life's mission, Jesus in­quired as to his love.

The wise man in Proverbs says: "Much study is a weariness of the flesh, and of the making of books there is no end." We may pour over our books, di­gesting doctrine after doctrine; we may take up theo­logical problems, laboring to answer this problem and to expound that text, and indeed unfurl the complete scroll of divine revelation until we become so tired and weary that our hearts grow dry like the pages we con. Hence it may be a grand and blessed experience once in a while for our Savior to enter our study, close up all our books, and say to us: Now look at me and listen to what I am saying. I am better than all the books, I am better than the study; I want to know, Do you really love me?

To know is good, but to love is better. If we study sufficiently we may be able to answer all the problems, but if we lack love, we fail to approach the mystery of mysteries or to know the most excel­lent of all the sciences. Knowledge puffeth up -- Love buildeth up.

We are to be up and doing. If there was work to be done, then Peter was the one to do it. He had gone forth to preach the Gospel, and even the devils had been subject unto him. Peter had wrought mar­vels in Jesus' name, and was destined to work still greater wonders. But even though his feet had walked the sea, a thing no human feet had ever done before, yet it was necessary to ask about his love.

He had just drawn to shore that huge net contain­ing one hundred and fifty-three fish, and by a mighty effort and much skill he had landed it; yet this did not prove his love. It is as if -the Lord would say: Put lip that net and cease counting your fish; come apart and rest a while; there is something I want to say to you. Simon, you are a very remarkable man, very impetuous, very self-confident and bold, and I love you very much. You have preached the Gospel in my name; you have cast out devils in my name; yon walked the sea in my power; at my command you cast your net into the sea again and gathered that huge shoal of fish; yes, you are a very remark­able character indeed. But there is one thing still more necessary: Do you love me?

We may stake supreme delight in contending for the truth, and in battling with the King's enemies on the right hand and on the left; and surely we live at a time when men and women are required to speak the truth plainly and with vigor. We may have settled it in our hearts that we will have neither part nor lot with error. And yet it is to this very type of person perhaps, as no other, that the words of our text come with searching force: "Lovest thou me?"

ZEAL NOT NECESSARILY LOVE

For instance, if a brother belonging to some denominational system, a complete stranger to us, comes into our midst, how glad we are to see him, and what a royal welcome we give him. We want to lend him this book or to give him that tract. We are willing to visit his home, and to go to any length in the sac­rifice of time and means to assist him to a clearer knowledge of the truth and of God's character and purpose, and this is just as it should be., this is the spirit of the Master and reflects his love, joy and zeal in service.

But see, another day you are out having a stroll, and on the other side of the street you see a well known brother in Christ, one with whom you have walked in the house of God and held sweet converse on spiritual things. You know his manner of life, his faith, his service, his love for the Word and his desire to know and do God's will. But as the years have passed, lie has changed his viewpoint with re­gard to certain teachings you held in common; or it may be that you have altered your view while he still sees matters as formerly. What is your attitude toward him? What are your reactions under these circumstances? Do you hurry over to greet him and shake his hand: Are you anxious to inquire of his spiritual welfare, or do you ignore him and pretend that you never saw him? Is that the way you treat your brother for whom Christ died? This is a question that you must answer for yourself. But if this is your attitude, you need to be warned that you are not yet ready for the Kingdom, for you will have to grow much bigger than this.

You may recall that Peter differed very sharply with our dear Lord on more than one occasion, and finally denied him altogether. Yet in all this our Lord's attitude toward Peter did not change. Peter, he said, I have prayed for you that your faith fail not. "And having loved his own, he loved them to the end." Have you ever been hurt by what a broth­er or sister has said about you, or by the way they have treated you? Well here is balm for your spirit, this will heal your wounds-+pray for your brother, pray for your sister, for thereby you overcome the sting.

When you attend a convention, it is to fellowship with those present as brothers and sisters in Christ, although you know not what they may believe respect­ing some of the lesser important doctrines. But your recognition of them is not based on a formula, a dog­ma, or a creed and set of ideas, but upon a Life and a particular and peculiar relationship to that Life. John does not say, "In him was light, and the light was the life of men," but "In him was life, and the life was the light of men." We may have much light, but it is the life that we need. Jesus said, "He that hath the Son hath life." Are we sure that we have the Son?

LIGHT, LOVE, LIFE

In Colossians (2:6-8, 11, 12) Paul says: "As there­fore you have received the Christ, even Jesus our Lord, LIVE AND ACT IN VITAL UNION WITH HIM; having the roots of your being FIRMLY PLANTED IN Him, and continually building your­selves up in him, and always being increasingly con­firmed in the faith as you were taught it, and abound­ing in it with thanksgiving.... In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not performed by hand, when you threw off your sinful nature in true Christian circumcision; having been buried with him in your baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith produced within you by God who raised him from among the dead." - Weymouth.

It is therefore our relationship with Christ, and our daily attitude toward him that matters, regardless of how eminent or distinguished we may be in service, or how learned in the mysteries of the. King­dom. Is he our "all in all" -- do we love him supreme­ly? It is not possible to be a Christian if we do not love Christ in this manner. Take the heart away and life is impossible.

Love is the great inspiring force. Hand in hand with faith it is almost if not altogether omnipotent. If we lack love, our energy is gone, the force which nerves us and subdues our foes is wanting. With­out love we lack the transforming power, for we be­come like that which we love. Love for Christ is the means by which we are made like him. The eyes of love, like windows, let in the divine image, whilst the heart of love receives it as upon a sensitive plate until our whole nature is transformed and we bear the divine impress.

"We all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into that same image from one degree of radiant holiness to another, even as by the spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor. 3:18, Wey­mouth.) May God grant us all the open face. And let us reflect that without love we lack the perfecting element. Love is the comprehensive grace. It is the crown and sum-total of every other virtue. For just as every radiant hue is light, so every grace is love. Love will surmount all experiences.

The story of how George Mathison was moved to write one of our most loved hymns, is one of deep pathos. As a young man he was engaged to be mar­ried, but before that happily anticipated event could be consummated, his eyesight began to fail, and with the waning of sight, there came also the waning of his loved one's affections. Finally he went blind and the young lady broke off the engagement and re­turned his ring. Truly this was a very trying exper­ience for a young minister starting out in his life's work.

The Psalmist says, "Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy bil­lows are gone over me." (Psa. 42:7.) It was a great deep of physical and heart anguish into which this young man had fallen, yet out of it all he arose stronger and purer than ever. His spiritual sight was more clear, his, love more profound; he found more than a corresponding "deep" in the ocean of God's love. Thus he was able to write the words of that lovely and unforgettable hymn that has blessed the heart of many a tried soul:

"Oh love that will not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in thee;

I give thee back the life I owe

That in thine ocean depths its flow

May richer, fuller be."

Notice the wealth and profundity of experience disclosed in each verse. He found "life" in the cross, "light" in the darkness, "joy" in the pain, and "love" in the loss.

In conclusion we remind you of the joy of the "Spouse" as recorded in the Songs of Solomon, so indicative of the profound love of the true Church to her beloved Bridegroom and Lord:

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine." Then the response of the Bridegroom revealing the tenderness and affec­tion of his being-"Thou art fair my love, thou art fair." And the joy of the Spouse once more in reply:­ "Thou art the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley." May he be that to each one of us throughout all time.

- H. Crimes, Eng.


Paul to Philemon

A MODEL LETTER EXAMINED

PART III

Wherefore, though I have all boldness in Christ to enjoin thee that which is befitting, yet for love's sake I rather­ beseech, being such a one (as Paul the aged, and now a prisoner also of Christ Jesus: I beseech thee for my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus, who once was unprofitable to thee, but now is profit­able to thee and to me. - Philemon 8-11.

ALREADY WE realize that Luther's recommenda­tion of this lovely letter is not overdrawn. He wrote of it: "This Epistle showeth a right noble, lovely example of Christian love. Here we see how St. Paul layeth himself out for poor Onesimus, and with all his means pleadeth his cause with his master; and so setteth himself as if he were Onesimus, and had himself done wrong to Philemon. Yet this he doth not with force nor constraint, as if he had full right. Nay, he putteth himself out of his rights; whereby he constraineth Philemon (to perceive) that he also must strip himself of his rights. Even as Christ did for us with God the Father, thus also doth St. Paul for Onesimus with Philemon. For Christ also hath put himself out of his rights, and with love and humble­ness hath prevailed with his Father that he should lay aside his wrath and his rights, and receive us to grace, for Christ's sake, who so earnestly intercedeth for us, and layeth himself out so tenderly for us. For we are all his Onesimi, if we will believe it." This passage is not to be taken as a statement of doubt on Luther's part as to the Father's love. "It is his pictorial way of putting the work of atonement and intercession."

Professor Franke Halle, of the eighteenth century, wrote: "The Epistle to Philemon far surpasses all the wisdom of the world." The better we understand the history of the time, the more outstanding is Paul's wisdom in his approach to a very delicate matter. Slaves were only living tools, private property just as much as the machinery in a factory today, whose only purpose for most masters was to provide a luxurious living. They too were "not their own, but bought with a price" (1 Cor. 6:19), so that the master thought and the slave acted. The flesh is apt to think that this is very bad for the slaves and good for the Master, whereas the facts are that all Christian slaves, as the Apostles indicate, were by their very condition given wonderful opportunities of learning the submission necessary, and absolutely necessary, to every one un­der the headship of our heavenly Master. The lesson is of such extreme importance that the Apostle even advises slaves to abide in the state where they find themselves upon becoming Christians (unless definitely delivered by the Lord's hand); and, cruel  though he might be, accept their master as having been placed over them by the Lord himself. - 1 Cor. 7:21, 22.

Under the Roman law a slave had practically no protection against 'the cruelty of his master. Even death by crucifixion might be imposed for the most trifling offense, such as filching something from the table. During the reign of Augustus it was even re­quired that if a slave killed his master, not only he but every fellow slave must be put to death. It iss recorded that Vedius Pollis, a friend of Emperor Augustus, chose as his method of inflicting death up­on slaves the throwing of them into his fish pond as food for his huge electric eels. One day when he was entertaining the emperor, a cup-bearer broke a crystal goblet. That sentence was immediately passed upon him. The poor fellow threw himself at the prince's feet, begging not for forgiveness, but that he might be killed by some more humane method. Augustus ordered the man's emancipation.

SLAVES A MENACE TO LIFE

As part of the system of protection against slaves the government furnished fugitivarii, the truant of­ficers of the time. Their business was to trace run­away slaves, bringing them back often to the death penalty. Doubtless this severity was largely because of the fear of a slave population that outnumbered the, free. In the year 300 B.C., 21,000 free in Athens lived in daily fear of the 400,000 slaves. Conditions were much the same in Philemon's day; and the bearer of this letter to him- could only by faith have known that the master from whom he had escaped, had been developing a loving and merciful heart like un­to that of the one who "humbled himself and took the form of a slave." That One completed his pe­riod of servitude by taking upon himself one of the most menial of tasks. Girding a towel about him (the emblem of servitude), he kneeled at the feet of his own messengers to wash from them travel's stains.

It was only by faith in the transforming power of God's love, and faith in Philemon as one devoted to the Lord and his Word, that the Apostle could have the courage to start Onesimus on his return journey with this letter. But even so, it is not surprising to note the delicacy of the scales in which he weighs every word used to prepare Philemon's heart for the test this great ordeal will put upon his Christianity, the "love and faith which he has toward the Lord Jesus and unto all his saints." His plea is strength­ened by the introduction of two touches of senti­ment, appealing to Philemon to be sympathetic with himself as "a prisoner of Jesus Christ," and "as Paul the aged" - not as we today would usually call aged in years, but probably aged before his time by the severity of the many experiences of which he tells in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28: "In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in per­ils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Be­sides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the Churches." "In Christ" one who had endured so much for him could 'be "bold," but outside that relationship he had nothing he would think of using to place any obliga­tion upon Philemon. Love is the only appropriate means of securing from a brother of Philemon's de­velopment "that which is fitting" to a Christian.

There must have been a great bond of love be­tween the -two brothers, but it is not this personal love to which the Apostle appeals.' He beseeches "for love's sake," for the sake of the standard of Christian love, that its reputation may be maintained among the brethren and before the heathen and angels, remembering at all times that "we are a spectacle unto men and to angels."

Paul could have said, I enjoin you to do what I am about to request because I am the Apostle Paul, or he could have said, You know that I have a better brain than the average and I therefore urge you to take and follow willingly the advice I am about to give; and Philemon might have accepted his instruc­tions on that basis: but we are glad for that brother's sake and for the sake of every one who has profited by this letter that the vastly weightier argument of "for love's sake" is the one used. Self-love says, There is no excuse for your not seeing it my way; Christian love says, I beseech you therefore by the tender mer­cies of Jesus Christ, by the love he has implanted in the hearts of every true Christian. Outward authority there must be at times, but love seeks not compli­ance, but a oneness in resignation to the will of God. The lightest wish of mutual love is stronger than the sternest word of authority. The light touch of a finger will start the rocking stones in motion, though howling tempests have failed to move them. The secret is in knowing where to touch. Earthquakes and spirit trumpet blasts left Israel disobedient. Even the perfect humanity of Jesus failed to bring refor­mation to that stiff-necked, hard hearted generation. The Lord has planned something more effective than the sight of a perfect human body to bring them to their knees, and teach them to "confess with their tongues." "The goodness of God leadeth to repen­tance." The gentleness of an entreating voice halted the threatenings and slaughter of the young zealot. Hear the tender, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" and learn the lesson of love's power. Appar­ently Paul needed only that one lesson to convince him that love is more effective than authority. The latter, however, is still the usual method of the weak or the selfish man. A lazy teacher prefers temporary obedience to the permanency that love secures. It alone writes in indelible letters upon the tablets of the heart.

WISDOM THAT COMES ONLY FROM ABOVE

Many Christian precepts may be found in heathen religions; but in none of them is its motivating love to be discovered. Paul knows that it is a thing op­erative at all times in the faithful Christian, and con­siders it appropriate that he should remind Philemon that an exercise of that love in doing .the thing he is about to request will give relief to the aching bones of his aged, wearied body, acting as it were as a little silk to be put under the manacles that gall the flesh of the "prisoner of Jesus Christ."

At last, with verse ten, Paul has sufficiently pre­pared the ground so that now he can plainly tell Philemon the thing that has been trembling on his lips all this time: "I beseech thee for my son Onesi­mus, whom I have begotten in my bonds." There is a touch of tenderness here in the Greek that our Eng­lish does not show, a touch used elsewhere by the Apostle. It is accomplished by reserving the name until the very close of his petition. This he follows in verse eleven with a little play on words (Onesimus meaning profitable), to add the softening influence of humor to the situation. (For a few other instances of Paul's tenderness notice his discourse at Miletus to the Ephesian elders, his speech before Agrippa, Acts 26:2-29; all of Romans; Gal. 4:11-20; Phil. 1:29-2:2; 2 Cor. 6:1-13.)

Formerly a slave, a thief, Onesimus is now, "my son Onesimus." Some lesser lights might be accused of "darkening counsel" by speaking of him as his son, but this is a favorite figure with the Apostle as indicated in 1 Cor. 4:15; Gal. 3:25, 26; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; 2:1; Titus 1:4 -- a favorite way of indi­cating his love and trust in a brother.

We are told that the name Philemon, derived from a word that means friendly, has the significance of "one who is loving or kindly." The fact our brother bore this name does not necessarily imply that this was his disposition before Christianity brought its influence to bear upon him. The indication is mere­ly that this is what his parents desired of him, and with that ambition for their son, in all probability he was above the average, a real gentleman.

Classical literature brands slaves as generally "liars, thieves, idle, treacherous, master haters, ever watchful for opportunities of retribution." The name Onesimus, however, was frequently borne by slaves. Its meaning is "helpful, profitable." Such descrip­tive words were often used as slave names. Verse eleven indicates that Onesimus had not lived up to his name, but Paul who had "begotten" him in his bonds does not doubt that he will now be as "profit­able" to Philemon as he had proved to be to himself, serving the Apostle faithfully in his imprisonment. Paul's faith was not in Philemon or Onesimus per­sonally, but in the grace of God working in their hearts, and he was confident it would keep them faithful even in a trial such as this would be for both. Evidently both of them had indicated stead­fastness; not spasmodically, but continually applying for the "grace sufficient." The writer once had oc­casion to ride twenty five miles on an electric car when the whole countryside including the electric wires was heavily coated with ice. Only after the comparatively warm trolley wheel had been on the wire long enough to melt the ice could any contact be made. A flash resulted, sending the car a few feet and lighting up the countryside, producing a fairy­land of sparkling ice-but it did not get the passen­gers far on their way toward their destination. There are Christians whom that illustrates. Apparently their interest in truth is not because of its sanctifying power, that steady, daily striving for more of His likeness; but their enthusiasm, often of the super ­variety, deflects their zeal to speculative interpreta­tion, nourishment for the fleshly mind. Of such, A. Maclaren writes: "If a Christian does not show that his religion is changing him into the fair likeness of his Master, and fitting him for all relations of life, the reason is simply that he has so little of it, and that little so mechanical and tepid."

The order of the Apostle's expression, "Now profit able to thee and to me," is one that sounds very proper in our modern ears. It however is not accord­ing to the Greek usage. Their customary order was, "to me and to thee." Paul by his reversal places an emphasis on the pronouns: "You yourself will find him helpful even as I myself have done."

By the failure of Onesimus we are reminded that we too are "unprofitable servants." There is not the hope for us that there was for Onesimus. Even though we should do "all that is commanded us to do," and who does? we still can be no more than un­profitable servants. The price that was paid to in­duct us into our heavenly Father's service is too great a one to make possible our returning anything that could be called profit. However, when we have reached our heavenly home, things will be different for us as they were for Onesimus on reaching Colosse. As runaway vagabonds, those who have robbed our Master of that which was his due, we come pleading admittance, confidently expecting acceptance as those "now profitable." Our Father has the love that "suffereth long, and is kind," the love that "hopeth all things." His eldest Son has the love that can say, "If he hath wronged thee at all, or oweth thee aught, put that to mine account."

"I stand all astonished with wonder,
And gaze on the ocean of love;
And over its waves to my spirit
Comes peace, like a heavenly dove."

- P. E. Thomson.


The Question Box

Question:

Will you please discuss 1 Cor. 10:16, 17, where we read: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread."

Answer:

These two verses appear in a context which, in a paragraph Bible, such as the Revised Version, be­gins with verse 14 and ends with verse 22.

The design of the Apostle in this paragraph seems to be to lead the brethren at Corinth away from that temptation to which, it 'would appear, they were pe­culiarly liable, namely, that of idolatry. Earlier in this Epistle he had already given considerable atten­tion to this subject. Chapter VIII is devoted to it. Again, in drawing lessons from the history of their fathers in the first thirteen verses of Chapter X he admonished them: "Neither be ye idolaters as were some of them." (1 Cor. 10:7.) Then, in the opening verse of our paragraph he reiterates: "Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry."

Now, there might be no defilement of conscience for a well-informed brother to attend a feast and partake of meat which had previously been offered in sacrifice to the idol, for, with the Apostle, such a brother might "know that no idol is anything in the world." (1 Cor. 8:4.) But his participation in such affairs would be likely to be injurious from two stand­points: (1) it might stumble a weak brother (1 Cor. 8:9-13) ; and (2), it would inevitably result in his own defilement sooner or later, for the associations of an idol temple and of the feasts in connection with idol worship were not such as to elevate him to the ex­alted plane of close fellowship with our Lord, but the reverse.

It would, however, seriously affect the Christian's secular business if he abstained from all participation in idol worship, and those only who place the "King's business" first, and who count all else but loss and dross, would be able to forego this temptation. Others would doubtless attend such feasts with "mental reservations" as to their import, but the weak brother, knowing nothing of such mental reservations would be "stumbled," and it would not be long ere the "mental reservations" would give way to a more com­plete participation.

To make this point, and to press it home to the brethren in Corinth, the Apostle instances two parallel examples, or illustrations: (1) The Lord's Sup­per and (2) Jewish sacrifices. His point in each il­lustration is the same. In the first illustration it is evident that those who join together in the Lord's Supper thereby give evidence that they are Chris­tians, that they have fellowship with each other and with Christ. Similarly they who join in idol wor­ship, those who share in idol festivals, who eat things which have been offered to idols, give evidence there­by that they are in fellowship with the idolaters, and with the demons they worship. Or, again, to make use of the second illustration, those Israelites who offer sacrifices and partake thereof, thereby manifest themselves as being in fellowship with the purpose of such sacrifice and with the object of their worship; so also those who participate in idol festivals fur­nish proof as to their communion. The whole, or at least the main, point to which the Apostle is lead­ing his readers is, that to partake ceremonially of the thing sacrificed is to become a sharer in the sacri­ficial act, and all that it involves, and that, there­fore, they should flee idolatry.

Now, assuming that the foregoing will be admitted as the design of the Apostle' in the passage before us, it seems to us that we must not press into our inter­pretation of the Christian illustration an idea which can have no counterpart in the Jewish or Idolatrous ceremonies. The Israelitish worshiper is not repre­sented as participating in the sufferings of the animal slain, but merely in the benefits which accrue as a result of the victim's death. The Idolater in no way shares in the sufferings of, or the death of the ani­mals sacrificed in their idol worship. While, there­fore, it may be true-indeed, we know from other Scriptures that it is true, that we are invited to be "dead with Him," to know the "fellowship of His sufferings" it is difficult to believe that this is the les­son to be learned from this passage.

In the Greek it is the same word "Koinonia," or a derivative of the same, that is employed in reference to all three (Christian, Jewish, and Idolatrous) cere­monies. In verse 16 it is twice translated "com­munion"; in verse 18 "partakers"; in verse 20 "fel­lowship." (1 Cor. 10:16, 18)

In verse 16 the reference, to our understanding, is ,to the blood and body of the anointed Jesus, not to that of the Christ followers referred to in verse 17. (1 Cor. 10:17)

Verse 18 (1 Cor. 10:18) refers to the Jewish altar, which repre­sented Jehovah. Evidently the Apostle has in mind the feast which completed the peace-offering. (See Lev. 7.) The sacrifice, once offered, the Jewish wor­shiper, with his family, celebrated a sacred feast in the temple court, in which the part of the victim not consumed on the altar, was eaten in common.

Verse 20 refers to the demons. (1 Cor. 10:20)

As above indicated, we do not deny, but on the contrary affirm, in harmony with Brother Russell's able expositions, that to the Church of this Gospel Age has been extended the inestimable privilege of "being made conformable unto His death." (Phil. 3:10.) The point we make here is that, in our judgment, it is open to serious question if such a mean­ing may be assigned to Koinonia in verse 16 when it quite evidently cannot be so assigned in verses 18 and 20. (1 Cor. 10:18, 1 Cor. 10:20)

Again, the idea that the one loaf composed of many grains is analogous to the one Body composed of many members, is one which has been traced back at least as far as Augustine, but however true in itself, it   would appear to be foreign to this passage. There is not the slightest indication that it was pres­ent to the Apostle's mind when he penned these verses. There is another, a more obvious lesson the Apostle would teach here -- a lesson of oneness. Let us suppose that, instead of the one loaf, our Lord, in instituting the Memorial, had used several loaves. This would have suggested that instead of being one company, one body, one fellowship, Christians might be considered as consisting of several groups, several companies, several bodies, several fellowships. But no such division was contemplated. Because our Lord used only the one loaf, and we each partake of (eat of) that one loaf, therefore, so reasons the Apostle, we are not many bodies, but one body.

- P. L. Read.


Comments by Various Writers on Theological Disputes

"The church has been converted into chaos, of a noc­turnal tempest and hades itself." - Gregory Nazianson, about 370.

The Arian dispute: "The fury and bitterness of the contestants soon proved how far both parties had wan­dered from the spirit of the divine Master. Riots and bloodshed attended the discussions and the whole church was drawn into the dissension. It was even carried to the emperor, who advised unity."

"Bishops on both sides sought to gain the ear of the reigning emperor, whoever he might be. The success­ful ones then had their opponents treated similar to the previous three hundred years of pagan persecution confiscation, banishment, torture, death. " - Dalrymple.

"The bands of civil society were torn asunder by the fury of the religious faction." - Gibbon, Historian.

In the Nicean debate in 325 A.D., a bishop who was present arose and said, "Arguers, we were not sent to debate, but to preach the Gospel." To some present the theological difference was beyond their grasp. Some de­clared it, "an unprofitable question." The earlier "Apostle's Creed was brought forth but when it was found that all would sign it, it was withdrawn. The "Nicean Creed" was substituted, the difference between the two factions being just in two letters of the alphabet in one word, but this was sufficient for a warfare of sev­eral centuries.

"In the fourth century, some 45 councils were called to settle the dispute -- 15 favoring the Arians, 17 de­clared for the Semi-Arians, and 13 opposed to the Arians. Now that the Christians need no more answer, strive against, evade their pagan persecutors, they now turned to fight among themselves. 'The Lutherans and Calvinists hated each other, as usual, in exact propor­tion to the smallness of their difference." - J. White.

"Nearly all denominations give evidence that their founders were feeling after the truth, but quite evident­ly the great adversary had fought against them and had wrongly divided the Word of God, which he could not wholly destroy."

"Should the temptation ever come to you . . . to mag­nify a minor difference, reject the thought as a tempta­tion of the devil, and do the very reverse-minimize dif­ferences."

"There is just one ground of contention authorized and we find it in the words, "Contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." (Jude 3.) Some of excellent heart and noble intention get the thought in Berean studies that there is but one right thought on the sub­ject and we should contend and dispute, if necessary all night until some one gives way."

"There is a tendency at times, as in the Apostle's day, to fight each other rather than to fight the devil, the world, the flesh."

"Our thought is that the adversary is on the alert to ensnare God's people under the guise of duty, love of the truth and righteousness, justice, by making loveless critisms"

"How long should two brothers contend on a differ­ence? Answer: Not until one or both are carried out on a shutter."

"Satan's arts seem to be employed in making unimpor­tant things seem important and that persistence in such a combative course is suffering for righteousness' sake."

- C. T. Russell.

Submitted by E. K. Snyder, Pa.

ALONE

It is human to stand with the crowd, it is divine to stand alone. It is man-like to follow the people, to drift with the tide; it is God-like to follow a principle, to stem the tide.

"No man stood with me, but all men forsook me," wrote the battle scarred Apostle in describing his first appear­ance before Nero to answer for his life, for believing and teaching contrary to the Roman world.

Truth has been out of fashion since man changed his robe of fadeless light for a garment of faded leaves.

NOAH BUILT AND VOYAGED ALONE.

ABRAHAM WANDERED AND WORSHIPED ALONE.

DANIEL DINED AND PRAYED ALONE.

ELIJAH SACRIFICED AND WITNESSED ALONE.

JEREMIAH PROPHESIED AND WEPT ALONE.

JESUS LOVED AND DIED ALONE.

And of the lonely way his disciples should walk he said: "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Of their treatment by the many who walk in the broad way, he said: "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, there­fore the world hateth you."

"The Church in the wilderness," praised Abraham and persecuted Moses. "The Church of the Kings" praised Moses and persecuted the prophets.

"The Church of Caiaphas" praised the prophets and persecuted Jesus. "The Church of the Popes" praised the Savior and persecuted the saints. And multitudes now, both in the Church and the world, applaud the cour­age and fortitude of the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs, but condemn as stubbornness or fool­ishness like faithfulness to truth today.

WANTED

Today, men and women, young and old, who will obey their convictions of truth and duty at the cost of fortunes and friends and life itself.

And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. - Matt. 11:36-39.

- Herald Press, Scottdale, Pa.


With Brethren in Germany

For a considerable time past Brother H. Nadal of the London district, has been active in the interests of brethren in Germany, and a good many offerings of food and clothing from British friends have passed through his hands into that country. The following narrative of his recent visits there will be read with interest by those who have concern for our fellow believers in foreign lands:

My dear Brethren:

Loving greetings to you, to Brother J. T. Read, and the dear ones with whom you fellowship.

You may or may not have heard that I have been privileged to make two visits to our brethren in Germany and it is in connection with that I am writing you. We found the German brethren are deeply spiritually minded, and whilst the object of our visit was to impart a bless­ing, we ourselves received a most helpful and encour­aging uplift. I enclose copy of a little report we sent to the "Bible Student's Monthly," and if you care to use anything there written you are free to do as you wish.

You may remember that it was from you that I first obtained Brother Otto Sadlack's address, since when we have maintained a regular correspondence, sending food and clothing parcels as possible. We were much blessed in meeting the dear brother, and his brother Emil, also Brother Otto's wife and his son and sisters. We had a rich time there, hearing from his own lips something of what he had gone through. Since first I contacted you on the matter, 'brethren all over England have sent clothes to me and we are now sending food parcels and clothing and medicine parcels up to 50 or 60 per month.

As I went about I heard several comments regarding the "Herald" and the blessing brethren receive from it, especially in regard to Brother Holmes' recent articles.

If there is any information I can give you I shall be pleased to do so. It is still very difficult to obtain per­mission to enter Germany, although having now somewhat broken the prejudice down I think it will be easier next time, and I hope to make the journey again at Whitsun.

With Christian love to you all, and commending you to the Heavenly Father's care, I am,

Your brother by His grace,

Harry E. Nadal

VISITS TO GERMANY

We are pleased to report that two visits have now been made to the brethren in Germany. In October last, a week- was spent in the American Zone, and in December a fortnight was allotted to the British Zone, many classes and brethren being visited.

On Friday night, October 15th, the first crossing was made from Harwich to Hook of Holland where we were met by Brother Aliblas of the Hague and his daughter-in­law. At Rotterdam contact was also made with Brother G. van Halewijn, a dear brother well known to many English brethren.

Crossing Southern Holland, and entering Germany at Kaldenkirchen, much devastation met the eyes. It truly appeared a country of the dead. Particularly was this noticeable at Cologne and Frankfurt. At the latter place we encountered the first German brethren.

Alighting from the train we were met by Brother Fritz Buck and Paul Legere of Frankfurt, and Brother Rein­hold Lauster of Stuttgart. What a meeting that was! 'They all gripped our hand at once, and we stood in one handshake in what seemed an eternity, but which was obviously the deepest joy to us all. We had an hour and a half before the train continued to Stuttgart. In that time the brethren poured out their hearts, not overrating difficulties, but rather giving grateful testimony of the Father's keeping power. As one appreciates what these brethren went through in the twelve years, 1933 to 1945, one marvels and rejoices at their steadfastness.

'The time passed, we continued on to Stuttgart in com­pany now with Brother Lauster, our host during the stay in. Stuttgart. A sincere, deeply spiritual, Christian broth­er, whose one desire is to discuss the truth, God's Plan, and learn all possible regarding the British and Ameri­can brethren. Stuttgart was reached at four o'clock in the early hours of Sunday morning. The first meeting with the Stuttgart brethren was at 2:30 that afternoon. There we met many friends with whom we had corres­ponded, and to whom food and clothes you had supplied: Words will not describe the richness of fellowship that followed. As one dear sister said, "We speak a different language with the tongue, but we speak the same lan­guage with the eyes."

Having learned something of their sufferings and per­secutions for righteousness sake, we were privileged to address them on "Suffering with Christ." They listened patiently as the interpreter made plain our words to them. The following day a convention was held, brethren attending from long distances, from Munich, from the French Zone, whilst Sister Norma Schneider traveled all the way from Hamburg.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in visiting brethren in their homes. What a pleasure it was! What a Christian welcome we received! Much was learned of their needs, material and spiritual. The great lack of food­fats, meat, milk, sugar, etc.; the shortage of clothes, es­pecially underwear. The need for German Bibles, Volumes I to VI, and opportunities to issue fresh publica­tions. On Wednesday evening a final meeting was held at the home of Brother Staiger, a dear brother of sterling character.

'"Thursday morning saw the return to Frankfurt, where a meeting was held at the home of Brother Legere. Some twenty or thirty brethren who have only re-assembled as a class during the last few months, met in real fellowship.

The return to England commenced on Friday, October 22nd, with a short stay at the Hague, to enjoy the hos­pitality of Brothers Alhlas, Verschuur, and van Halewijn, and to meet the Hague class.

On November 26th the visit to the British Zone com­menced. Crossing Northern Holland, we passed the Ger­man frontier at Bentheim and soon greater damage was apparent than had been seen in South Germany. The German people appear apathetic to everything except fear. Only on the faces of brethren one saw a smile­an expression of deep joy.

At Hamburg we were met by Sister Schneider and her three sons, and went on to their home at Pinneberg. They were mindful of our need. On the Sunday, meetings were held at Hamburg and Pinnetberg. Here again the fellow­ship was as before, sincere and true.

Next day saw us at Luneberg, a very old German town, where dwells Brother Burmester, a Pyramid enthusiast.

Here again an uplifting meeting was enjoyed with the brethren .in the locality. On Tuesday we continued to Uelsen being met by Brothers Otto and Emil Sadlack, whose experiences in the hands of the Russians and in flight from East Prussia are well known to many of us. What these brethren suffered will not be eliminated dur­ing their earthly life. Yet no word of complaint, only gratitude at the Father's overruling care. Here again a rich and sweet fellowship was enjoyed, and endeavors made to learn more of their immediate needs.

The Wednesday we continued to Hannover, a city heav­ily bombed, and in ruins. Here in the loving care of Brother Johann Oltmans, his wife and sons, we rejoiced and again rejoiced. Here also, we met a very live class of brethren who manifested their love for the Lord and their brethren beyond the sea.

On Saturday, December 4th, in company with Brother Fritz Grove of Peine we left for Kirchlengern to meet the largest class of brethren in the British Zone. Brother Wilhelm Trippler, an elder of the class, and his son, met us on arrival and for the next few days poured out their love and care upon us. How much we would like to say of these dear brethren!

In the days that followed many were the sweet con­tacts made. The classes at Bad Oeyn-hausen, at Minden and Herford maintained the warmth that we had experi­enced all along the way, and amongst others the sweet fellowship of Brother and Sister Bleckmenn, Brother and Sister Herbusich and Brother and Sister Altenhans.

On Friday December 11th, we returned to Holland spending a few enjoyable hours with Brother and Sister van Halewijn. We acknowledge our Father's overruling care in all arrangements made, and our gratitude that the object for which the visits were made was achieved.

We realize more than ever, the material needs of our German brethren. With your cooperation we will con­tinue to send them all the available clothes (especially underwear) and medicines. We found much evidence of the work of the "Dawn" and the "Herald" in the supply of food parcels. Parcels from those who prefer to act independently will continue. Having been forbidden to meet from 1933 until the collapse in 1945, the elders of the German brethren have much up-hill work in meeting the spiritual needs of their brethren. Practically no meet Sings were held after the Memorial Supper of 1934, when many brethren were betrayed to the Gestapo, suffering much persecution in consequence.

Young brethren especially need our prayers. Only recently have the glories of the truth been made familiar to them, parents not daring to discuss the subject within their hearing, for fear of betrayal at the hands of teach­ers, or as a result of childish chatter.

We see our Father's hand in the sympathetic interest now shown towards the German brethren by the Relig­ious Affairs branch of the British Military Control, to whom we have been able to make some of their wants known. We believe that the hearts of those who belong to the Lord are receptive to the appeals of those they recognize as brethren. Shall we continue to cooperate and not to be weary of well doing, for as our Lord said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another."


Recently Deceased

Mrs. Olive Ambler, New Britain, Conn. - (March 1944)
Mr. Samuel Cropper, Atlantic City, N. J. - (April).
Mr. W. Edwards, Pontypool, Wales.
Mrs. Mary C. Evans, Taylor, Pa - (September. 1948).
Mrs. Belle B. Grove,. Columbus, Ohio - (March).
Mrs. Mary Honeycutt, Tampa, Fla. - (July 1947).
Mrs. Ida W. James, Dallas, Texas - (April).
Mr. John C. Jeffs, St. Louis, Mo. - (April).
Mrs. S. A. Leuba, St.. Petersburg, Fla. - (March).
Mr. Alexander Leuthi, Lake Mills, Wis. - (March).
Mr. Peter. Liskey, Pomona, Calif. - (January).
Mr. Wm. Pritchard, Pengam, Mon., Wales - (April).
Mr. Theodore
M. Seeck, Arundel, Eng. - (March).


1949 Index