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of Christ's Kingdom

VOL. XXXV January 1952 No. 1
Table of Contents

Thoughts for the New Year

The Everlasting People

Character Development, Conformity to Christ


The Question Box

The Apostle Paul as an Example

Words of Encouragement

Motto for the New Year

Recently Deceased

Thoughts for the New Year

Our Year Text for 1952

Only fear the Lord, and serve hint in truth with all your heart, for consider how, great things he hash done for you." - 1 Samuel 12:24.

THE dawn of another new year is properly a time for solemn reflections, both retrospective and prospective. In the retrospect how abun­dant is the cause for thanksgiving! We who have been blessed with, the richest favors of divine grace in that knowledge of divine truth which reveals to us the high privilege of becoming sons and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for the called and chosen and faithful according to his purpose, have a never failing cause for deepest gratitude. Great indeed was the favor which revealed to us the hope of everlasting life as justified, human sons of God -- of full restitution to the divine favor and likeness, as was at first possessed by our father Adam. And great was our joy when first, by faith, we appropriated this precious promise and realized that legally, through merit of the precious blood of Christ shed for our redemption, we had passed from death unto life, and that in Gods appointed time the everlasting treasure with all its attendant glory and blessing would be ours. But beyond even this are the "exceeding great and precious promises" to those of this justified class who have been called, according to God's purpose, to be­come the bride, and joint-heir of his dear Son.

Then, in addition to all these blessings of hope and promise, was the blessed realization during all the year, and with some of its for many years past; that though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, as the Psalmist aptly represents the present life, our blessed Shepherds rod and staff have been our comfort and our safeguard. How often has the friendly crook of the Shepherds staff stayed us from wandering off into by-paths and kept us in the narrow way; how his chastening rod has from time to time aroused us from dreamy lethargy and urged us on our way And at such tunes we have recalled the comforting words: "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art re­buked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chast­eneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not: But if ye be without chastisement, where­of all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons." -- Heb, 12:5-8.


Spiritually, we, have feasted; on the, bounties, of divine favor; while in things temporal, under what­soever circumstances we have, been placed, having the assurance that all things work together for good to them that love God, we have realized that god­liness with contentment is great gain, having promise of, the life that now is, [so long is God wills to have us remain here], and also of that which is to come. Wherefore, we can and do most heartily "offer unto God thanksgiving." And shall we not render unto him, not only the praise of our lips; but also the incense of truly consecrated lives, throughout the year upon which we are just enter­ing? Dearly beloved, consecrate, yourselves anew to the Lord today -- not in the sense of invalidating the consecration made once for all possibly many years ago, but rather in the sense of reaffirming and em­phasizing, that covenant. Tell the dear Lord that you consider yourselves entirely his, and that it is still your purpose to keep your all upon the altar of sacrifice during this new year and until it is wholly consumed in his service. Then let us proceed with studious care from day to day, to pay these; our vows of full consecration, unto the Most High,

As we look back ant with sorrow view the imper­fections of even our best efforts, and then forward and see the lion like difficulties that seem to obstruct our onward course we will need greatly to reinforce our waiting courage with the special promises of divine grace; to help in every time of need. We have the blessed assurance that "the Lord will give strength unto his people." "Call upon me in the day of trouble," he says, "and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. As soldiers under our great Cap­tain, we have enlisted in no uncertain struggle, ex­cept our own faint heartedness or unfaithfulness should make it so. We are fully supplied with the whole armor of God, and will be amply protected against all the fiery darts of the adversary if we ac­cept it and carefully buckle it on; we are forewarned of all the snares and dangers that beset our onward way, so that we may avoid and overcome them; we are fully informed as to the policy and course of the Captain under whose banner we have enlisted, and of the part we are to take under his leading. We have his constant presence with us, even to the end of our course. His inspiring voice may always be heard above the clash and din of battle -- Fear not, it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the Kingdom! Be of good cheer; I have overcome! Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid! Greater is he that is for you than all they that be against you. If we are weak and incline to faint­heartedness, we: have only to remember the blessed promise, "The Lord will give strength unto his peo­ple"; and by our faithfulness in the service we shall glorify God and he will deliver us gloriously from all our foes, both seen and, unseen.


This is an important question with all the truly consecrated, and one surely of paramount importance. Let us consider, then, that when we consecrated our­selves fully to the Lord, we thereby signified that we would hold nothing back for self. That consecration included all our possessions, our time, our physical energies and our mental attainments. And it im­plied the sacrifice of all our former earthly ambi­tions, hopes, and aims, so that we should no longer pursue them to any extent. This, and nothing less, is what our vow of full consecration signifies. But it signifies, further, that these possessions or personal qualifications, which the Lord terms talents, are not only tot be released from the service of the worldly ambitions, etc but that they are to be so released, not for aimless inactivity, but for: the purpose of be­ing utilized in an opposite direction -- in the service of God, of his" plan, and of his children.

In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) the Lord illustrated very clearly how we are expected to pay our vows of consecration to the Most High. He says: "It is like a man who, intending to travel, called his own servants and delivered unto them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his respective capacity; and straightway took his journey.


This master had important and valuable interests to leave in charge of his servants; and as these servants had all engaged to serve him, he had a right to ex­pect of them a sincere and faithful interest in the work. Yet he did not expect more of them than they were severally able to accomplish. He rightly expected larger returns from the one who had five talents than from those who had one or two talents. And in the reckoning, it will be observed that the servant who had doubled his two talents was just as highly com­mended as the one who had doubled his five. The reply to each was the same -- "Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a. few things; I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." And had the servant with the one talent been similarly faithful he would have received, the very same commenda­tion. Notice also that the parable does not repre­sent the obligations of the world of mankind in the use of their talents, but merely of "his own servants" -- the consecrated believers only. And notice also that no servant was left without some talent of use­fulness and responsibility. Each servant had at least one talent; and for the right use of that one talent he was just as accountable to his master as were those who had more.

But the professed, servant with the one talent was unfaithful to his master, and yet he evidently wanted to be considered a servant still, and probably thought he w as worthy of commendation and reward far not perverting his, Lords, money to other uses. He had taken good care of the talent; he had not turned it in opposition to the Lord, but he had simply buried it -- famed to use it. At the reckoning time, he who had received the one talent said, "Lord, I Knew thee, that thou art an exacting man, reaping where thou hast hot sown, and gathering where thou hast not scattered. And I was afraid and went and hid thy talent in the earth, lo, there thou halt thine own."

"His Lord answered and said unto him. Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou, knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not; scattered; thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers; and then at my coming, I should have received mine own with interest." It will be observed that this servant was not what, men would generally call wicked. He was simply an idler willing, if he could, to draw a servants approval, and com­pensation, but lacking, any real active interest in his masters business. He had no ill will, toward his master; he was probably very glad that, the other servants kept the business from going to wreck, and ruin; he did nothing to hinder them from using their talents, but he did not feel the responsibility he had assumed in becoming a "servant," nor take a proper interest in his master's affairs. Yet, as a faithless, slothful servant, he was really a covenant­ breaker, and therefore "wicked" and certainly unfit to be trusted with still greater responsibilities on the masters return.

But let us remember that this was not a real case: it was simply a parable used to illustrate real cases.

And if the illustration fits your individual case, let it not lose its effect upon you. The very object of the parable is to arouse such to a sense of their short­comings, and to recover them from the lethargy into which they have relaxed, by rewinding them of their responsibilities. Activity in the Lords, service to the full extent of our ability or talents is what the Lord has a right to expect of all who profess to be his servants; and it is what he does expect. There­fore, if you have but one talent, do not bury it, but cultivate and use it; do what you can, and all you can, in the great work to which we have already consecrated our lives.


And those who have several talents, let them see to it that they too are faithful to the extent of their abilities, not being content to do merely what the one talented man can do or ought to do. Such a one would not be a good and faithful servant, and could not expect the Masters approving "Well done!" His approval will be given to those only who are faithful to the extent of their opportunity. -- Reprints, R3695, 3R696.

[Some Christian people] consecrate themselves to "work" for Jesus and seem satisfied only when they are in a bustle of exciting activity it matters little to them what kind the work is . . . so that there is plenty of it and they have a prominent place: it is not so much results they seek as work, and hence they are quite content to "beat the air.". . For these to take time to study God's Word and to ascertain the kind of workmen he seeks, and the kind of work he desires to have done, would be to them a violation of their covenant of consecration for they consecrated themselves to work and are satisfied of heart only when they are in a fever of excitement. (S.S. Vol. V, p. E194.) [Hence the importance to every Christian, before beginning at any activity in the Lords service, of making St. Paul's inquiry (Acts 22:10) in all sincerity and earnestness: "What shall I do, Lord?" If such an one waits in simple; faith for the answer it will be sure to come, in Scriptural or other indications, and in no uncertain terms.]

As we thus view our Lords teaching, we see that out only security as sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ is in activity in the service of the truth. Well, says one, I see very few doing that. Very true: only a few will do it. But that precious few are the Lords jewels. Are you one of them? All, that is the point to be considered. No matter how few they are, or whether you ever saw or knew of any such, that does not alter the conditions of our calling. "This is the way: walk ye in it." One, at least, has trodden it be­fore. Look for his foot-prints and follow him, and "He will give strength unto his people," even though they walk atone, as he did, without the cheering companionship of fellow-travelers.


But think not that you are traveling alone in this narrow way. The Lord has now a consecrated peo­ple, a faithful band of servants who, with every talent consecrated, are steadily pursuing their course in the narrow way. We know some of them by name and by, character and by their steady and progressive ac­tivity in the blessed work. Not many of them have five talents, but a good many have two or three, and some only one. Quietly and unobtrusively they go about from day to day preaching the wonderful words of life, and God is with them and is leading them on. Their hearts are full of joy and hope and they are kept securely amidst all the perils of this evil day. None are so clear in their apprehension and appreciation of truth as those who are fully enlisted in its service. Let all who would run the race successful look well to their zeal and activity in the Lords Work. If we bury our one or our many tal­ents under a weight of worldly cares and encumbrances which might be avoided or set aside; if we bury them under worldly ambitions for either self or family -- whether this be by wasting consecrated time upon science, philosophy, music or art; or upon, business, politics or pleasures; or in pampering pride and appetite -- then as unfaithful servants we will sooner or later go into outer darkness, by being caught in some of the snares of this "evil day;" and will be led farther and farther into error and away from truth.

Let us then, dearly beloved, have for our watch­word during the year the word "devotion," and let each of us write upon his heart the gracious promise -- "The Lord will give strength unto his people " Let its be fully "his people, and let us, earnestly desire and faithfully use the strength promised. Faithful is he that hath promised, who also will do it.

So, then, If you lack, the strength to use faithfully your talent, the fault is yours, not Gods. You either have no his service close enough at heart or else do not make use of the strength he provides. "The Lord will give strength unto his people" -- his trusting, faithful servants -- those who are using to his praise the tale is consecrated to their Master, however many or few those talents may be.

-- Reprints, R3695-R3697.

The Everlasting People


"For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without, a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim." - Hosea 3:4.

THE TITLE given to this subject has been taken from Isaiah 44:7, which should be read in conjunction with the previous verse: "Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them."

The Authorized rendering of the words, "the ancient people," is rather misleading and does not convey the real sense of the Hebrew text. The Hebrew word rendered "ancient" is "olam," which accord­ing to Young's Analytical Concordance means: "in­definite time" or "age-abiding. Strong's Concor­dance gives the meaning as: "eternal; continuance; perpetual without end; always." The following Scriptures will convey the real meaning of this word: Genesis 3:22 - "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for [olam] ever." Ecclesiastes 1:4 - "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for [olam] ever." Psalm 145:13 -- "Thy kingdom is an [olam] everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion en dureth throughout all generations. Jeremiah 31:3 - ­"The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an [o lam] everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Hence the title at the head of this article, "The Everlasting People."

As a basis for the thoughts expressed we have taken Hosea 3:4: "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim." Hosea 3:5 continues: "Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days." From this it will be seen that this consideration is mainly concerned with the nation of Israel.


Among Christian people generally there has been a tendency to ignore or minimize the very prominent place which Israel occupies in the plans and pur­poses of God; and even among those who have been blessed with a clearer understanding of the Divine Plan there are many who fail to give natural Israel her rightful place in the outworking of that Plan. It would almost seem that to many of the Lords peo­ple Gods Plan has but two parts, namely, (1) the selection and development of a spiritual company from among men, who are to be associated with Christ on the divine plane, to be followed by (2) the blessing of all mankind and their restoration to human perfection and harmony with the Creator. When speaking, forth the Truth to others, it is right that we should tell of "the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy Prophets since the world began"; hut the impression seems often to be left that this glorious time, as it concerns mankind generally, is "just around the corner," waiting only for the ingathering and glorification of the Church.

The Scriptures, however, are clear that Gods Plan has three parts, each of which, must be fulfilled in its order and accomplished in its "due time. The Apostle presents the matter very definitely and clearly in Acts 15:14-17: "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for this name [Part; 1]. And to this agree the words of the Prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof; and I will set it up [Part 2]: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things [Part 3]." There in four short verses and in language which is clear and unmistakable; we have presented to us the whole Plan of God as it concerns the human family:

Part 1 -- Acts 15:14 -- the calling out of a people for Gods Name.

Part 2 -- Acts 15:16 -- the restoration of Israel.

Part 3 -- Acts 15:17 -- the "residue of men" to seek after the Lord.

That is the order, and, yet there sometimes seems to be a tendency to lightly skip over Part 2 and to assume that "the residue of men will be dealt with immediately after the selection of, "a people for Gods name." Yet haw numerous are the Scripture quotations which speak of the important place that Israel occupies, in the outworking of Gods designs for mankind. How many are the passages which can be quoted, to prove that whatever blessings are in store for the human race can come only through the nation of Israel.


It has been asserted by some that Israel, because of her wickedness And her rejection of Christ at his first Advent, has forfeited the promised blessings. Thus it is that many of the prophecies have been spiritualized and given an exclusive fulfillment in the Church. The general tendency among professing Christians has been to apply the judgments of the Old Testament to natural. Israel and to appropriate the blessings to themselves. Doubtless there was some excuse for this during the centuries when the Divine Plan of the Ages was hidden or misunder­stood. It was believed that "the end of the world" indicated the destruction of this planet, and men therefore thought it necessary to find a "spiritual fulfillment" of the hundreds of prophecies which referred to the glorious future destiny of Israel.

What was it that Israel lost by reason of her un­faithfulness and disobedience? Surely it was not the promises made to "the fathers" that she would in­herit the land "flowing -- with milk and honey"; that she would be secure and prosper there in accord­ance with the words spoken to the patriarchs! No, Israel by her rejection of the Messiah lost the ex­clusive privilege and opportunity of becoming part of the "Anointed," part of the great Mediator and members of Gods spiritual household. Jesus "came to his own [Israel], and his own received him not," and only a few "Israelites indeed" were granted the highest of all privileges -- to become the sons of God on the divine plane. But it is important to remem­ber that nothing can nullify the promises of a faith­ful God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of an earthly seed, dwelling in a "Promised Land as the leading nation of earth through which are to flow the bless­ings to the Gentiles.


For a brief while we desire to dwell upon the history of this wonderful nation. It has been truly said that the history of Israel is "his story" -- Gods story -- and prophecy is "his story" recorded in ad­vance.

Every Bible student, is acquainted with the early history of Israel as recorded in the sacred writings. They tell, how the descendants of Jacob were brought out of Egyptian slavery and were formed into a na­tion through the instrumentality of God's Prophet Moses. That greater leader exhorted the people of Israel to remember that "we were Pharaoh's bond­men in Egypt, and, the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: and the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: and he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers." -- Deut. 6:21-23.

A little later in that same wonderful discourse recorded in Deuteronomy, he reminds them: "Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above alt the people that are on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people, but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with it mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deut. 7:6-8) He then warns them with the words of Deut. 11:16 - "Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods and worship them; and then the Lords wrath be kindled against you. Fre­quently Moses warned the people against forsaking Jehovah their God and turning to serve other gods -- the gods of the surrounding nations -- telling them that God, would punish them for their idolatry.


In Deuteronomy 20:47-68 is a detailed prophecy of the things which finally befell that nation more than 100 years later, in A.D. 70, because of Israel's persistent refusal to obey the commandments of God the through the Prophets. Repeatedly throughout that long period God had made manifest his faith­fulness. He had blessed them "in basket and store" when they had obeyed his commandments: and he had punished them by delivering them to their enemies when they turned from him to serve other gods. The periods of the judges and the Kings reveal one long story of judgments and restorations in accord­ance with Gods Word, but in spite of all that, Israel refused to learn the lesson and finally rejected the greatest Prophet of them all, even their Messiah. The God of Israel is a merciful God, long-suffering and gracious; and how comforting it is for us to remember that this same God is our Father.

Nearly 700 years prior to their, final dispersion in A.D. 70 one of the most severe judgments came upon Israel because of her Persistent relapse into idolatry, and this was the beginning of a new phase in the history of that nation, and indeed in the History of the World. During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, -- the monarchy of Gods chosen peo­ple was brought to an end, and all the people ex­cept the poorest and unlearned were carried away to Babylon as captives. That was the end of their na­tional sovereignty, for although after seventy years of captivity they were permitted to return to their own land which had been desolated, it was as a subject people under the sufferance of the Gentile powers, and such they remained until their final dis­persion in A.D. 70. However; there was one lesson they did learn from that experience in Babylon, for never from that time until the present have they again fallen into the idolatry for which they were then judged. 


This brief review brings us. to the consideration of the text previously quoted in Hosea, chapter 3. The prophet of Hosea is an intensely interesting one, for it records an, actual experience in the life of the Prophet which was intended by God to portray his dealings with Israel and the relationship which they bore toward him. Hosea 3:1 provides the key to the whole story -- a story which is pathetic, but reveals something of Gods great love for his chosen people and his designs for their restoration to harmony with himself. Hosea 3:1 reads: -- "Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman be­loved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine." Leeser renders this verse: "Then said the Lord unto me, Go once more, love a woman beloved of her hus­band yet committing adultery; like the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who turn them­selves after other gods, and love flagons of wine."

Hosea prophesied during the later years of the divided kingdom for about 50 years from 785-725 B.C. and his many references to both Israel and Judah clearly indicate that the prophecy was an application to all the twelve tribes descended from Israel the patriarch. He has been described, as the St. John of the Old Testament, because of his emphasis on the unfailing love of God. Note, for instance; Hosea 11:1: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. Hosea 11:4 (Leeser): "With human cords I ever drew them forward, with leading strings of love"; and then Hoseal 11:8: "How shall I give thee up Ephraim? how shall I surrender thee, Israel? Again in Hosea 14:4 -- "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him." The first verse of chapter 3 (Hos. 3:1) has already been referred to.


God's love is not the weak emotion men sometimes mistake for love; it is reformatory, a love that is in­tended to win a response and the loyalty of his crea­tures. Thus it is with Israel: the chastisements which have come upon that nation during many long cen­turies have resulted from Gods great love, and are intended to win Israel back to himself. How beauti­fully this is shown in the closing words of Hosea's prophecy in Hosea 14:4-9: "I will heal their back­sliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow up as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon hey that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall under­stand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein." Thus is recorded God's purpose -- to restore Israel to his favor.

The first section of Hosea's prophecy which occu­pies chapters 1 to 3 is mainly concerned with the Prophet's own personal experience and its applica­tion. Several times in the Old Testament Jehovah has likened the closeness of his relationship to Israel to that of a husband. In Isaiah 54:4-7 we read: "Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy maker is Thy husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou, wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mer­cies will I gather thee." "Thy Maker is thine hus­band; The Lord of hosts is his name." Again in Jeremiah 3:14: "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: . and. will bring you to Zion."

Through the same Prophet, in chapter 31, which speaks of the New Covenant that is to be made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, God says in Jeremiah 31:31, 32: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that t will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord." Even to this day Israel has refused to recognize that close relationship, and has been allied with other gods; but Gods love for her is steadfast and, unchanging, and in Hosea 2:16 it is recorded: "And at that day, saith the Lord, thou shalt call me Ishi," or as the margin of the Author­ized Version readers it, "My husband," "and shall call me no more Baali," or "my lord." Israel has been in age long rebellion against God, as is sug­gested by, the figure of Hosea's wife, Gomer. Her adulterous conduct has expressed the conduct of a nation during the period from the Exodus to the overthrow and captivity of Judah by Nebuchad­nezzar. As Gomer, the wife of Hosea, who forsook him and was unfaithful to her husband, so Israel refused to esteem her relationship to Jehovah and committed spiritual adultery with idols;, they turned to other gods instead of enjoying their rightful fel­lowship with the Lord, who had chosen them from among the nations. "You only have I known of all the nations of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities," is the word of the Lord to Israel. (Amos 3:2) Yet in spite of her grievous sins the Prophet still loved Gomer; and so God has con­tinued to love Israel, for although he had, given; her "into the hand of her enemies," he speaks, of her as "the dearly beloved of his soul." -- Jer. 12:7.

Having redeemed his wife for a price which indicated her worthlessness and the depths into which she had fallen, Hosea then charges her with these words in Hosea 3:3 - "Many days shalt thou tarry for me, thou shalt not be unchaste, neither shalt thou become another mans moreover also I will tarry for thee." (Rotherham.) From this it is seen that although, freed from her adulterous alliances, Gomer did not immediately enter into her wifely privileges, but was to "abide" or "tarry many days: During this interval she would be under the watch­ful care of the Prophet, to whom she would ulti­mately be fully restored.

The significance of all this is indicated in Hosea 3:4, 5: "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and with­out an ephod, and without teraphim." Notice the use of the same expression that occurs in Hosea 3:3, "the children of Israel shall abide many days." The Masoretic text renders this: "The children of Israel shall sit solitary many days," etc. Rotherham and Leeser have placed the order of the words more correctly than the -- Authorized Version: "For many days shall the children of Israel abide." Applying the fig­ure of Gomer's experience, we see that the prophecy indicates a period of time -- "many days" -- which would elapse after Israel had ceased from her spiritual adultery, before her complete restora­tion to the favor of God. To what period of time can we apply the "many days" during which Israel is "to abide"? . In answer to this question, we quote from the writings of a leading on Christian Jewish commentator, Rabbi Kimchi who lived during the 12th and, 13th centuries. Commenting upon this ex­pression "many days" in Hoses 3:4, he writes:

"These are, the days of this present captivity, in which we are in, the power of the Gentiles, and in the power; of their kings and princes, and we are without a sacrifice and without pan image, i.e. with­out a sacrifice to God, and without an image, to false gods; and without an ephod, and without tera­phim, i.e without an ephod to God, by means, of which we could, foretell the future, as with the Urim and Thummim; and without teraphim to false" gods. And this is the present condition of all the children, of Israel in this present captivity.

Many Jewish commentators have agreed that these "many days" refer to the period of Israel's subjection to the Gentile powers. In the New Testament this period is referred to by our Lord as "the times of the Gentiles" -- spanning the long years, the "many days" covered by the great image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream recorded in Daniel 2. It was during the reign of this king -- the "head of gold" -- that the last king of Judah was overthrown, the nation taken captive to Babylon, and -- the Temple of Solomon destroyed. For seventy years Judah remained in captivity -- a result of the judgment which came upon her because of her, unfaithfulness and idolatry -- after which a remnant together with representatives from the ten tribes which had previously been carried into captivity by the. Assyrians, returned to their own land. From that time onward -- "for many days" -- the continued existence of Israel is summed up in the few words of the prophecy in Hosea 3:4, "without a king, and without a prince, without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without tera­phim. How strengthening it is to the faith of Gods people at the present time to remember that this ac­curate description of Israel's condition was given so many years prior to its fulfillment. These things are written for our learning and edification.

Concerning the expression, "thou shalt abide," the suggestion is that of continued existence. Although Israel as no longer to enjoy the special favor of God; yet she would still be under his care and protection, and in power in heaven or on earth would succeed in exterminating her. The Prophet Zechariah tells of this overruling watch-care for Israel even during the period of her judgment: "Thus saith Yahweh of hosts, I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great jealousy and with a great displeasure am I displeased with the careless nations -- in that when was displeased for a little [i.e with Israel] then they helped forward the calamity." (Zech. 1:14, 15, Rotherham.) Hear the words of the Lord to Israel in Jeremiah 3:11: "For, I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither have scattered thee, yet will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. The great Jewish statesman, Benjamin Disraeli, one-time Prime Minister of England, spoke these words:

"The world has by this time discovered that it is impossible to destroy the Jews. The attempt to extirpate them has been made under the most favor able auspices and on the largest scale; the most con­siderable means that men could command have been pertinaciously applied to this object for the longest period of recorded time. Egyptian Pharaohs, Assyr­ian kings, Roman emperors, Scandinavian crusaders, Gothic princes, and holy inquisitors [perhaps we might now add -- German Hitlers] have alike devoted their energies to the fulfillment of this common pur­pose. Expatriation, exile, captivity, confiscation, torture of the most ingenious and massacre on the most extensive scale [think of the more recent concentration camps and furnaces of the Hitler regime], a curious system of degrading customs and debasing laws which would have broken the heart of another people have been tried, and in vain. The Jews after all this havoc, probably more numerous at this date [9th century] than they were during the reign of Solomon the wise, are found in all lands, and prospering in most."

Yes indeed, "Israel shall abide many days"; nothing can destroy them from the earth. No wonder God has called them "the everlasting people"! How truly it has been said that the greatest proof of the inspiration of the Bible is the Jew, and the events of the next few years will underline that, for the benefit of all mankind!

-- Edwin Allbon, Eng.

Character Development, Conformity to Christ

Romans 8:29; Ephesians 4:22-24

"This is the will of God, even your sanctification." - 1 Thess. 5:23.  

[Christian writers of the past have been in error regarding some of the items of truth on which clear light has been shed in the harvest time of this Age; but some of these writers were unusual in their perception of sanctification and submis­sion to the Divine will. The following extracts from Fenelon are good examples of such an insight. - Ed. Com.]

DEPRIVATIONS are meat for strong men. What may such deprivations be? Various as the characters of men; each suffers accord­ing to his necessity or the designs of God.

How is it possible to know what is to be taken off if we know not what we have on? (Psa. 19:12-14.) We cling to an infinity of things which we should never suspect; we only come to realize that they were a part of us when they are snatched away. Since you have felt the blow, it' is evident that it fell upon the sore spot in your heart. - Col. 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17.

External objects are not now so much the subject of the Spirit's spoliations; God would remove from us the "I" which is the center of self love; he pur­sues it without cessation. - 1 Thess. 5:24.

To deprive a man of his clothing would seem harsh enough treatment, but that is nothing compared with the discipline which should strip off his skin and muscles and reduce him to a skeleton of bones. Cut-off the branches of a tree and, far from killing it, you add to its vigor; it shoots out on every side; but attack the root and it languishes and dies. Thus the Grace of God makes us die to self. All is to be taken away within us but the will to retain nothing and let God work without reservation. - Phil 2:13.

The Spirit's spoliations are not often such as could have been anticipated; that which we expect finds us prepared, but God surprises us in the most un­looked for quarters. - Job 23:10-12; Gal. 5:24; 2 Cor. 4:16-18.

Happy indeed is he who esteeming himself noth­ing, puts God to no necessity of sparing him. (Heb. 12:7.) Happy is he who never hesitates, who fears only that he follows with too little readiness. Blessed is he who, when asked for a sample of self denial and devotion, boldly presents his entire stock and suffers God to out from the whole cloth; this indeed is true Victory. Thou only, O my Heavenly Father, canst give such liberty and peace of mind as is then en­joyed.

God never leaves the willing soul of his truly con­secrated child until he has rendered it supple and pliable, by putting it to every needed test. (1 Peter 4:12, 13.) At one time the person is to speak frankly, at another be still; he must be praised, then blamed, then forgotten, then examined anew; he must be low, he must be high; he must suffer condemnation without uttering a word in self defense. He must be willing to find himself weak, restless, irresolute, in the merest trifles, not surprised or discouraged at the discovery of his own weakness.

Blessed is he who thus gives himself to God; he is delivered from his passions, from the opinions of men, from their malice, their hatred, their maxims, from himself. He has obtained a simple, pliable will, which is no longer divided between God and any earthly thing; a pliable state of the will which desires what God desires, rejects nothing but what he rejects. In this state of mind- all things are lawful for me and his commandments are not grievous.

"Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee." - Psa. 63:3.

"Thus I will bless, thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in thy name." - Psa. 63:4; Phil. 3:8-11, 15-17.

- Extracts from Fenelon -- 17th Century.


"So he bringeth them unto their desired haven." - Psalm 107:30.

WHAT A strange enigmatical world this is unless we have received divine illumina­tion concerning it! Itself a tiny molecule rotating in an uncharted ocean of space, subject to some mighty Force which imposes law, regularity, and cohesion upon its multifarious parts, yet bear­ing on its bosom a reign of chaos, illegality, and dis­integration. Seated at its telescope' the scientific mind will bow in awe before some mysterious un­known ordaining Cause, and confess vague belief in, the intuitive wisdom and omnipotence of the creative God. Turning from his telescope our scientist will deplore the lack of step between the sidereal and the moral worlds. Does the same God rule here as there? Does the same Authority stretch its, empire to this chaos as to that ordered regularity?

Men have parceled out the bosom of this sad old earth, saying for a moment "this is mine," "that is thine," and the other part belongs to number three. In some mad moment he will jump the fence, smite his fellow to the ground, appropriate his land and wealth, exalt his throne, and strut in regal colors through the earth. Of such have been the "... Czars," the "Shahs," the "Caesars, the "Tsars," and "Kaisers," since the unlawful riot began. Each in its turn,, or in its sphere, has claimed some sacrosanct but undefinable prerogative known as "Sovereignty," to tread on which has been tantamount to' treading on most royal "corns," Coincident therewith the orb, the sceptre, and, the purple caused; the notion to be spread around that the non-royal was subject to its power and must obey its imperial behest.

"Knowest thou not that I have power . . ". was the condescending query of the representative of one such Imperatorship to the mute and holy lips, that stood before it unabashed and unashamed! Greater mistake was never made, for though in some secon­dary sense, there is no power but derives from God, absolute and primary power they surely have not! God has foreseen and foretold the rise and fall of empires over long centuries, but their coming and going are but pro-tem arrangements until He shall come whose right it is.

The absolute and unforfeitable is still in God's hands, and here, sometimes, among the chaos and the change those hands reach down to make a place of shelter above one of his own. Unmindful though he was to defend his own good Name, the rejected Man of Sorrows was instant and alert to defend Di­vine prerogative. "Thou couldest have no power against me, except it were given thee" -- from whom, Caesar? -- No! "from above"! The seat of all-author­ity is still "above," and Omnipotence can still reach down when time and circumstance require, and make the ". . . Czar" eat grass till its lesson has been learned.

In quiet and measured 'tones that truth profound was reiterated again to the disdainful prefect's ear, and changed the situation out of recognition. Was Jesus standing at Pilate's bar? Yes, in a way -- but more immediately Pilate was standing at Heaven's bar, of which situation lie was duly informed by the despised and rejected Prisoner there.

To Jesus this was the Cup which his Father had given him -- nothing more nothing less. He over looked the Roman, and the Jew, and, saw himself beneath his Father's Hand! Second causes may be in other hands; primary objectives were in his Father's care. All the steps of a good man were being, ordered of the Lord ... His times were in God's hands!

That was enough to keep that settled heart at peace and rest, even though Satanic malice fanned Pharisaic passion to cyclonic force. "Thou canst have no power" over me except ..." is still a truth to be warmly embraced by all who have made terms of full surrender to the Most High! Irrespective of what the outcome might be the truth still stands, four-square and unmoved. Jesus went to death, but it was his Father's choice, not Pilate's, nor "the Phari­sees'! The reason for that sacrifice was in the Great Supervisor's keeping he knew and understood what that fateful hour would yield.

So again, when strange and evil forces converge upon our little lives, the Divine Supervisor can see and understand the outcome of every buffeting", experience, and when the second causes, are allowed to operate, the primary objective is still in his own care, and the issue will be directed to his praise and to our, good. There is some ordering and directiveness in this chaotic world -- there is indeed, a Divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them though we may.

Child of the Most High, will you not learn to say with every passing day­ --

"My times are in Thy hand
My God, I wish them there;
My life,
my friends, my all I leave
Entirely to. Thy care.

"My times are in Thy hands
Whatever that may be,
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best nay seem to Thee.

times are in Thy hands.
Why should I doubt or fear?"
My Father's hand will never cause
His child a needless tear."

Will we not learn to believe and then to give daily thanks that even now the steps of good men are ordered of the Lord -- when guided by his eye? This is still a truth most j profound and still a source of peace and rest. Holy sweetly the poet expresses it:

"God holds the key of all unknown, and I am glad;
If other hands should hold the key,
Or if He trusted it to me,
I might be sad.

"What if tomorrow's cares were here, without its rest!
I'd rather He unlocked the day,
And, as the hours swing open say,
'My will is best.'
"The very dimness of my sight, makes me secure;
For, groping in my misty way,
I feel His hand, I hear Him say,
'My help is sure.'
"I cannot read His future plans, but this I know,
I have the smiling of His face
And all the refuge of His grace,
While here below.
"Enough! this covers all my wants, and so I rest.
For what I cannot, He can see,
And in His care I safe shall be,
Forever blest."

- Bible Students Monthly, Eng.

The Question Box

"And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations." - Luke 16:9.

Last year, in our issues of March and December, we discussed the Parable of the Unjust Steward. In the March issue we summarized our understanding of its lesson, as being the Christian use of earthly goods, while in December we considered six related questions. Below we examine a seventh question.

Question No. 7:

In Luke 16:9, instead of the words given in the Authorized Version, "when ye fail," some translations read: "when it fails." Has this difference any significance and, further, which translation is correct?


There is good manuscript authority for either translation. Moreover, while on the surface they may appear to be mutually exclusive, they need not be so understood. In this connec­tion it is interesting to compare the two given in the Diaglott. There the word for word translation reads: "when you may fail," while in the right-hand column, the emphatic version reads: "when it fails." Other translations supporting the emphatic version include:

Rotherham, "as soon as it shall fail."

Revised, "when it shall fail."

Fenton, "when it departs."

Trench, "when it fails."

No matter which translation is pre­ferred, most scholars understand the passage to apply at the time of death. Moffatt, indeed, translates: "when ye die."

Most of us, no doubt, understand that the good we do with our "goods" will receive an appropriate reward after death. But this understanding does not exhaust the meaning of the passage. For, while it is true that our Lord promises us an "eternal" reward, on the other side the grave, the word eternity covers the past and present, as well as the future. And while it is true that when we fail (in death) it (mammon) will fail (us), is it not also true that mammon may fail' us before we die? May we not, even while we remain in this life, lose our money, or find that there are other losses for which no money can com­pensate us? We know very well that we may; some of us know it only too sadly. Riches have wings for use; not merely for ornaments. It is not only the grim face of Death that scares them to flight; they flee before a thousand other alarms. The changes and accidents in which they fail us are innumerable; there are countless wounds which gold will not heal, end­less cravings which it will not satisfy. And perhaps the point of our Lord's words may be this: "Whenever mam­mon fails us, in life and its changes and sorrows, no less than in death, if we have previously made friends by our wise use of it, these friends will open their tabernacles to us, taber­nacles inn which our stricken spirits may find refuge and consolation. It is this present, this constant, this eternal reward, of the Christian use of our temporal possessions, on which we need most of all to fix our thoughts.

And remember we all need to do this; the lesson is for the poor no less than the rich. For we all have some acquaintance with mammon, though for some of us, fortunately it is a very distant acquaintance. We all have a little money, or money's worth, at our control, and may take one of two courses. We may either crave more money so ardently as to pursue it unremittingly, and to subordinate all other aims to this aim; or, while candidly recognizing its, worth for certain purposes, and trying to get as much of it as we need, we may resolve that it shall never be our master, that we will not give our whole life, or the best part of our life, to its service, that we will keep other and higher aims constantly before us.

Not only our Lord, but St. Paul has much to say on this matter. Per­haps his fullest expression' is to be found in his first letter to Timothy, chapter 6. There he affirms that god­liness with contentment is the true gain; that then only are we rich, when we want nothing and long for nothing we do not possess, when our minds and hearts are settled in a sacred content, undisturbed by lusts and cravings for things beyond our reach. The love of money, he affirms, is a root, from which all forms of evil spring. Impelled by this base lust, many have wandered from the Faith, he tells us, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. The desire to be rich, he warns, is a snare in which many feet have been caught; those who cherish it plunge into many foolish and hurtful lusts. Timothy, the man of God, will flee this love, this craving, this desire. Having food and raiment, he will therewith be content. Discarding the pursuit of riches, he will follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, -- meekness. He knows that as he brought nothing into the world, so neither can he carry anything out. Why, then, should he neglect that in himself which is spiritual, in order to amass a. burden which is only too likely to make his life anxious and painful to him, and of which death will certainly relieve him. The gains that can be carried into the next world, these, and these alone, should engage his heart. In short, St. Paul, in this chapter, speaks of wealth and of those who pursue it, in a large tone of contempt and moral reproof.

That wealth should never stand first with us and that it should be valued only for the good uses to which it may be put - these are not only Christian principles to which our attention is drawn by our Lord in Luke 16 and by St. Paul in 1 Tim. 6, but they are principles which commend themselves to every man's reason and conscience in the sight of God. And therefore, we shall be condemned by reason and conscience, as well as by Christ, if gain is more to us than godliness; if we dread poverty more than we dread sin, or sorrow more over a bad debt than over a bad action, over a loss of money than over a loss of temper; or if we do not seek to make a wise and generous use of our money, rather than to secure a selfish enjoyment of it.

Consider: Here is a man, let us suppose, sincerely anxious to take the right course and to make the best use he can of his life. All around him he sees neighbors who are pushing on with the utmost eagerness in the pur­suit of fortune, who are sacrificing ease, culture, pleasure, health, and at times conscience itself, in their love for that, the love of which St. Paul pronounces' to be a root of all evil, a temptation and a snare, and which our Lord himself says makes it very hard for a man to enter the Kingdom of God. He has to determine whether or not he will join in this headlong pursuit-whether he, too, will risk health of body, culture of mind, and sensitive purity of conscience, in the endeavor to grow rich, or richer than he is. He sees that the dignity and comfort and peace of human life de­pend largely on his being able to earn a sufficient income to supply a large circle of wants, without being in con­stant anxiety and care; but he also feels that he has many wants, and these the deepest, which mere wealth cannot supply. Accordingly, he re­solves to work diligently and as wisely as he can, in order to secure an ade­quate provision for his physical neces­sities, and to guard his independence; to provide things honest and decent in the sight of all men; but he resolves also that he will not sacrifice himself, or all that is best and purest and most refined in himself, to the pursuit of money and what it will buy. Hence, so far as he can, he limits his wants; he keeps his tastes simple and pure; and by labors that do not absorb his whole time and energies he provides for the due gratification of these tastes and wants. Hence also he gives a good deal of his time and energy to read­ing good books, let us say, or to mas­tering some natural science, or to de­veloping a taste for music and ac­quiring skill in it. He expects his neighbor, who had no better start nor opportunities than he, to grow far richer than he himself has done, if his neighbor think only of getting and investing money. And, therefore, he does not grudge him his greater wealth, nor look on it with envious eye; he rather rejoices that he himself has given up some wealth in order to acquire a higher culture, and to develop his literary or artistic tastes.

Here, then, we have two men, two neighbors before us. The one has grown very rich, has far more money than he can enjoy, more even, per­haps, than he quite knows how to spend or invest, but he has hardly anything except what his money will procure for him. The other has only a modest provision for his wants, but he has a mind stored with the best thoughts of ancient and modern wis­dom, an eye which finds a thousand, miracles of beauty in every scene of nature, and an ear that trembles under the ecstasy of sweet harmonious sounds. By some sudden turn of fortune, mammon fails them both they are both reduced to poverty; both, so soon as they recover from the shock, have to make a fresh start in life. Which of the two is better off now? Which of them has made real friends for himself out of the mam­mon while he had it? Not the wealthier of the two, certainly; for, now that he has lost his wealth, he has lost all that he had; he has lived only to get rich; when his riches went, all went. But the other man, the man who read and thought and cultivated his mental faculties, he has not lost all. His money has gone, but it has not taken from him the wise thoughts he had gathered from books, or his insight into the secrets and beauties of nature, or the power to charm from the concord of sweet sounds. He is simply thrown more absolutely on these inward and in­separable possessions for occupation and enjoyment. While he had it, he made friends for himself out of the mammon of unrighteousness; and, now that it has failed him, these friends receive him into tabernacles which are always open, and in which he has long learned to find pleasure and to take rest.

The foregoing illustration may suffice to make our Lord's words clear. And it is one that the writer does not fail to use when young people seek his vocational counsel and guidance, even though they do not profess to be followers of the Master. But it is not a perfect illustration, for there are losses in which even science and art, even nature and culture, can give us but cold comfort. It does, however, point to a still better way -the way of wholehearted conse­cration to God. For, obviously, if a man give a good part of the time he might otherwise devote to the acquisi­tion of wealth, to the cultivation of godliness, instead of to merely intellectual culture; if he take thought and spend time in acquiring habits of prayer and worship and obedience and trust; in acquainting himself with the will of God and doing it; if he expend money, and time which is worth money to him, in helping to further the glorious Gospel, and in ministering comfort in the ecclesia in which he is a member, and to his other associates in Christ, throughout the country in which he lives, and indeed throughout the world; he, too, has made to himself friends out of the mammon of unrighteousness, friends that will not fail him when mammon fails him, but will receive him into tabernacles of rest. How­ever poor he may be, he may still pray, and read the Bible, and put his trust in God, and comfort all that mourn in Zion who may come his way; he may continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of God and of his Son our Lord; and, by his cheerful contentment, and unswerving confidence in the goodness of God, and in the ultimate triumph of that goodness over evil (notwithstanding all surface indications to the contrary), he may now bear witness, with an eloquence far beyond that of mere words, to the reality and grandeur of a truly consecrated life. Faith, hope, and love, righteousness and godliness, patience and meekness, these will not close their doors against him, because mammon has slammed his door in his face. These are eternal friends, who pitch their tabernacles beside us wher­ever our path may lead, and who wel­come us to the rest and shelter they afford when the cold north winds of adversity blow upon us, as well as when the south warm winds of prosperity come (Song of Solomon 4:16).

In short, it is not merely a future reward which Christ promises to as many as make a wise use of money and money's worth (although it in­cludes that), but it is a present, a con­stant, an eternal reward. Virtually he says to us: Use your money for wise ends, whether you have little of it or much; make it your servant rather than your master; compel it to minister to your spiritual as well as to your temporal wants; expend thought and time and labor in the effort to become wise and good and kind-to become, indeed, like the Master himself. And then, whenever mammon fails you, your wisdom and goodness and kindness will abide with you; and these will fit you, far more than any wealth, for a noble and happy life, whether in this age or in that which is to come.

- P. L. Read

The Apostle Paul as an Example

"I have all and abound; ... But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:18, 19.

OUR GOD appoints for us a path in which "mountain and valley," "sunshine and shadow" ex­periences are blended. We are learning what Paul means when he says, All things are for your sakes." His, path was one of constant trial and testing, a path by no means calculated to bespeak the faith by which he could say, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." In Paul we have an example of the effectual power and spirit of God when they are given free scope in a fully consecrated heart and mind-a oneness of purpose in the carrying out of the obligations and privileges of a con­secrated life.

To Paul, all was secondary to the one great objective he had in mind: "That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, being made conformable unto his death." Would that the professed Church of the living God had, today, the vision and the intensity of love and purpose which, to Paul, is summed up in his own words: "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me; I do not frustrate the grace of God." - Galatians 2:20, 21.

The experiences of the Church during the past many years appear to have produced opposite results: an intensified zeal, and a lethargy of compromise, just as Jesus said: "neither cold nor hot." A fast changing world has developed many "inventions," and while some of these are a blessing to humanity, there are many which not only are of a questionable nature, but also, by their usage, frustrate the spirit, and thereby hinder the work within. In Paul's day, he also met with things of a negative nature: things which he described as "lawful, but not ex­pedient." And seeing the danger of partaking of them, he says, "I will not be brought under the power of any."

To Paul, "first things" came first, with no place or time for compromise in any sense of the word. In him we see one to whom the Master's words, "Follow thou me," meant just that and no less. Not "afar off" but hand in hand, heart to heart, and "rejoicing always." We marvel at Paul's re­joicing spirit; for his life, after that day on the Damascus road, was not a life which in itself was conductive to a joyous spirit. But his words suggest a faith which could and did override all obstacles, and which is to us in these last days, a means of edification, of encouragement, and of confidence.

Just as out of our own personal experience we dare to recommend a doctor or a friend, even so, out of his own experience, Paul declares, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus." However, with a view to sharing the Apostle's ex­ultation, let us, as it were, pay a short visit to this man of God, as he waits, with an unshakable faith and trust, the nearing climax of the life of one to whom Christ had become "All in all." As we step into his presence, we note at once a man who, while of an un­prepossessing appearance, reveals, even before he speaks, a dignity, a calmness, and a serenity which can be theirs only who can sing or say:

Only Thee whose blood has cleansed me,
Would my raptured vision see;
While my faith is reaching upward,
Ever upward, Lord, to thee.

Our visit must be brief. Therefore, having in mind Philip­pians 4:19, we ask him what his God has done for him? For here we find him penniless and all but friendless, hated and persecuted, in bonds, awaiting a violent death, and yet recommending to any in need "his Lord." How strange this exhortation seems to be, as it is made by a homeless exile, beaten, scourged, stoned, shipwrecked, misunderstood, mobbed and im­prisoned! It would seem that such experiences were anything but a good recommendation for the God in whom he so implicitly trusts! And so we ask the Apostle, "What need of yours has your God supplied? You are utterly stripped of everything." He looks up, and in his face there shines the light of God, the reflection from the face of his Lord and Master. Quietly, but firmly, the words come from his lips, "As having nothing, and yet possessing all things." We ask, "Are you not anxious or worried as to the near future?" "No," he says, "I have the peace of God which passeth all understanding." "But, are you never lonely?" "Never," he replies, "I am never forsaken, for by my side is the angel of the God whose I am, and whom I serve." "Does not your hopeless situation, and the strife-torn condition of the churches make you doubtful or gloomy, at least sometimes?" "Not for a moment: 'Rejoice, and again I say to you, rejoice."'

And finally we say to him, "What a life you have lived since your conversion -- estranged from your family, hounded from place to place, toiling and preaching as led by the spirit in you; in perils everywhere, among strangers and your own countrymen. What a life! And now the shadows are falling, and Nero will surely put you to death." Slowly, and with tears of joy welling from those weak, tired eyes, his face, now almost divine in its radiance, is lifted up; and with an unwavering confidence, triumphant in its hope, the aged Apostle exclaims, "I am ready to be offered up"; I would rather "depart, and be with Christ, which is far better."

Beloved, what can the Devil, the world, or the carnal self achieve in a life which, in a oneness of pur­pose, stands up and says with Paul: "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." "I have all things and abound." "I have peace with God." "I have joy unspeakable and full of glory." "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." "I have lacked no good thing."

In our own lives, tribulation must have its place: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). But the same power which enabled our Lord and his Apostles to win out is at our disposal. "Fear thou not for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will up­hold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isa. 41:10). No need that any should fail. To many of us, the time is short. To you, the results from your labors may appear small, and a measure of futility be felt. This is by no means a new thing. It has been prevalent since the time of our Lord and his Apostles. Those who are actively engaged in the Master's service, can do no better than recall the words of Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 and Galatians 6:9, 10: "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a por­tion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. He that observeth the wind, shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds, shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore oppor­tunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

In the parable of the talents we read: "He gave to every man ac­cording to his several ability." Many fail to see the significance of these words; hence feel that no responsibility attaches to them. In the Master's service, all who are called may and must have a part, a place. It may be there are those who realize that for one reason or another their measure of service is very limited and small: by way of comparison, like a taper contrasted to a brilliant electric light.

If my light is but a taper, it is nevertheless my duty to keep it trimmed and burning. By God's grace, its light may reach some cor­ner beyond the scope of the larger light, and so, do its part in the divine plan concerning mankind. To us the words are spoken, "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees: say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong; fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you" (Isa. 35:3, 4). We do well to remember that the Christian life is a life in which the indwelling Christ works both in and through us. Let us then go on, doing "with our might what our hands find to do," praying for, and leaving the results in our heavenly Father's hands.

We need not look too eagerly for fruitage in response to our efforts. We are but to go forward in faith and trust, doing that which our God in his providence assigns, and it may be that in the final count, the fruitage unto salvation will be much larger than we had sup­posed. Yes, it is written, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." - Psalm 126:5.

"Behold what manner of love the Father bath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure." - 1 John 3:1-3.

-W. Wainwright

Words of Encouragement

Dear Brethren:

In the summer of 1951 the brethren in Italy manifested a desire to organize their efforts in the ministry and to co­operate with the brethren of America. Desiring to be of help to them I went to Italy last month, and wee had, a special gathering, in the city of Messina of all the elders of the classes. For three days we had fellowship and discussion regarding the work in Italy and how it might .be carried on to the best advantage. Accordingly a committee of six brethren, who bad given proof of their loyalty to the Lord and to his work, were elected to have the oversight of the work. From among these were appointed a secretary, a treasurer, an edi­tor, and two accountants. It was decided to continue the periodical which Brother Baldi had begun, the name of which was to be "The New Creation." An editorial committee of four was appointed to approve the articles.

Pilgrim work was also discussed and two brethren appointed to oversee this part of the work. The six brethren who were appointed as general, overseers were unanimously chosen as Pilgrims. The colporteur work was considered, and' four brethren appointed for that service. The brethren in Italy have been supplying literature including the books, free of charger It was decided that this was not a wise procedure. They had learned of some who had ordered books merely to fill their library with nice looking books; others, who opposed the work, ordered books and burned them, hoping to bring the work to an end. It was therefore decided to sell the books at least at cost to all, except to those who are financially unable to buy. Tracts, etc were to be supplied free.

The brethren convened seemed of the opinion that the friends there in general had made progress in knowledge and zeal, but that "growth in grace," had not been so mani­fest! Many had been feeding, altogether on the "first principles," but had failed to "go on to perfection" as the Apostle admonishes. It was therefore decided that the periodical should contain articles for the spiritual upbuilding of the saints. Three discourses were given at the convention on the following subjects: "The New Creation," "Consecration," and "The Sons of God."

It was, decided to translate the Sixth Volume of "Studies in the Scriptures, publishing the chapters in booklet form, with the thought of later publishing in one book, feeling con­fident that the study of that book, with the assistance of the Pilgrim brethren, will accomplish a sharked improvement.

One serious problem was the expenses of the Pilgrim brethren and the rioting of the booklets taken from the "New Creation." "Realizing the financial limitation of the brethren in Italy, and the load already carried by the Italian brethren in America, the friends rejoiced to know that the amount of this work is under the direction, of the Master. He never fails his children, and he will see that his little ones are enlightened and separated from the Babylonian system.

Another thought n which 'the assembly, joined unanimous­ly was the Association Motto which Brother Celenza presented:

"In fundamental doctrine, Unity;
In interpretation, Liberty;
In all things, Charity."

As Unity, Liberty Love, was the standard that the Brother suggested to the conventioners, some one raised the ques­tion: "What will we do if some brethren ask us to publish some of their studies and interpretations different from our ­general view of the Scriptures?" After much consideration it was decided that the Association could well accept for publication any Scriptural study written and presented in the Christian spirit. This is to be published in our periodical, "New Creation," with the following note: "This subject is the personal view of Brother ------, and the fact that; it is pub­lished in this journal does not mean that our Association accepts it as it is, but, that we give our friends the opportu­nity of reading it, reminding them of the Apostle's admoni­tion, 'Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.'

On the third day we closed the convention, thanking the Heavenly Father for the spirit and guidance given during the period of our fellowship, and with the hope, that he will overrule in the program formed that his name, may, be hon­ored, and that to the land where the "beast" sits enthroned the glorious truth may be brought, And the glad Message of Christ's Kingdom soon to be established on earth.

Yours by His grace,
I. N. Comparato.

Motto for the New Year 

"I asked the New Year for some motto sweet,
Some rule of life by; which: to guide my feet,
I asked and paused, it answered soft and low:
Gods wily to know.
"Will knowledge then suffice, New Year? I cried,
But ere the question into silence died,
The answer came:  No, this remember too,
Gods will to do.
"Once more I asked, Is there still more to tell?
An once again the, answer sweetly fell:
Yes, this one thing, all other things above,
Gods will to love."                       - Anonymous.

Recently Deceased 

Sister Daisy Claytan, St. Louis, Mo. - (Novemher)

Sister F. Hancock Santa Cruz, Calif. - (November)

Sister J. Henaghen, Pittsburgh, Pa. - (November)

Brother Z. J. Jones, Jemison, Ala. - (January, 1951)

Sister Mabel M. Gillis, Memphis, Tenn. - (November)

Brother C. B. Shrull, Columbus, Ohio - (November)

Sister Alice F. Tittle, San Fernando, Calif. - (November)

Brother John, Weida Allentown Pa. - (October)

A Correction

Sister R. L. Norvell, Kingsville, Texas (April).
(Regret it appeared, in last; issue as Brother R. L. Norvell).

1952 Index