of Christ's Kingdom
XXXV December 1952
Table of Contents
The Proclamation of Peace
The Sufferings of God, of Christ,
and of the Church in Giving Us the Truth
The Crucified Life
"Able Ministers of the New Testament"
Early Pioneers for Truth
Take Time to Be Holy
Words of Encouragement
The Temple of God is Holy
proclaim the year of Jehovah's Favor."-Isaiah 61:2,
THERE were shepherds in the same country abiding in the geld, and keeping
watch by night over their flock. And an angel of the Lord stood by them,
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore
afraid. And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring
you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there
is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the
Lord. And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with
the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
to God in the highest,
"And on earth Peace to men of good will. Luke 2:8-14, ASV., Marg.,
was the most extraordinary proclamation ever directed to mankind.
was truly ecumenical-worldwide -- in its application -- "To all
was completely unselfish. There was in it nothing whatever of solicitation,
or return consideration, or of demand or threat. It was all of kindness,
of helpfulness; of bestowal, of good will. "Good tidings of great joy."
promised a Savior -- a savior without limitation, from whatever mankind
suffered or feared. "Fear not."
bore its own evidence of its authenticity. The obvious superiority of
its herald to earthly beings or methods stamped it immediately and
indubitably as genuine. The herald angel offered a further sign of his
prophetic authority: "Ye
shall find a, babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a
is difficult for a Gentile to realize the shock to Jewish minds and
expectations that such an announcement would bring. The Messiah, the
anointed Lord sent by Jehovah, to come as a babe born in a stable, cradled
in a manger! Impossible! It is so incongruous that the very thought has
been "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense" to the vast
majority of the Babe's own Jewish kinsmen, for nearly two thousand years.
it was a sign that the simple Judean shepherds could understand and
verify, which they promptly did. Nothing apparently was said to them about
the much greater sign -- the birth of the Babe to a virgin, without human
father; thus setting aside by divine fiat a previously immutable law of
as incredible to a modern, scientific and "rationalistic"
world, as were the extraordinary outward signs which accompanied his
birth, to his contemporaries.
Proclamation was concluded by a display of "the heavenly host"
such as earth had never seen. The language of the Record is such as to
place no limit upon the imagination in picturing it. What regiments, what
brigades, what armies, what cohorts of angelic calvary were on parade!
What iridescent showers of light from their bright uniforms and weapons
and decorations! What exquisite music accompanied their assembly
this brilliant display came to hail Peace and the Prince of Peace; to
offer a truce in the age-lasting warfare against Evil which had cost all
men their lives; to announce an "acceptable year of Jehovah's Favor"
to all "men of good will" (as the three most ancient MSS. record
it). "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked"-but for
"men of good will,"
publishes that he has "devised means that he that is banished be not
an outcast from him."
all men of Good Will celebrate at Christmas the annual Festival of God's
Amnesty -- with songs and praise to God and to his Son, and with gifts as
each is able in imitation of the Great Gift, particularly where no
obligation lies and where no return may be expected.-2 Corinthians
9:15; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 25:34-40.
Tears before yon Minster Gate,
Ye blind, ye aged, and ye sore?
This is your festival of statel
So get ye in the open door,
And join my cry until it roar
By every field and mountain-side:
For such as ye my Savior died!"
H. E. Hollister.
SAID, "It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing; the words I have spoken unto to
you are spirit and they are life." (John 6:63.) John tells us,
"The spirit is the
truth" (1 John 5:6) while Paul terms it the "Truth as,; it is
in Jesus." (Eph. 4:21.) That is to say, the declarations of Jesus
and the Apostles are an expression of the spirit, which, if we discern
and appreciate as we ought and rejoice in sufficiently, will finally get
into our hearts and we will, from choice, be
actuated by it -- "anointed" and "changed into the
same image by the spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor. 3:18.) Then we will
it is the spirit that giveth life.
is offering us his spirit; it is tendered to us in this Truth, which is a
complete expression of it. That is the Truth for which God and Christ and
the Church have gladly suffered even unto blood to bring to us. God sets
forth his spirit
himself; as that which represents himself. If we do not find it, we do not find him; if we do not
dwell in it, we are not dwelling in him; if we do not love it, how can we
say we love him?
the dark ages the Christian world seemed to have lost all conception of
the fact that the infinite, almighty God could suffer. Their leaders
taught Plato's immortality of the soul, and Calvin's predestination that
some men and some angels were predestined before the foundation of the
world to everlasting life and some to eternal torment; and they heard such
sermons as Jonathan Edwards', "Sinners in the hands of an angry
God," and the "First half hour in Hell." However, many of
them had better thoughts concerning Jesus, that he
had sympathy, he cared, and "he flew to our
relief." This is all indeed very true, as Leeser
Proverbs 8:22, 30, 31: "Jehovah created me in the beginning of his
way; the first of his works of old. Then was I near him as one brought up
with him [a workman], and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before
him: rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth and my delights were
with the sons of men."
Apostle Paul expresses this beautifully in his letter to the Philippians:
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in
the form of God, meditated not a usurpation to be equal with God, but
made himself of no reputation and took upon himself the form of a
slave and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as
a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death
of the cross", thus becoming "sin for us, . . . that we might be
made the righteousness of God in him." (Phil. 2:5-8; 2 Cor. 5:21.)
But the fact is, the Logos was in preparation for his work from the
foundation of the world -- "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the
world." - Rev. 13:8.
upholds the humble" is stated in Proverbs. So the Logos was highly
honored, for "without him was not anything made that was made."
He was kept preoccupied with responsibilities; for God's Plan required a
Redeemer. He commissioned him, sent him into the world, held his hand. (Isa.
gave him his words, selected each of his Apostles. But when he was nailed
to the accursed tree, God was obliged to do that which he knew would break
the heart of his only begotten Son -- forsake him in his agony, causing
him to cry out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" But
after three days and three nights he raised him from the dead and highly
exalted him above all who are in the heavenlies, that he might fill or
complete them all. - Eph. 4:10.
of God's dealings with man, the outline"' of which is given in the
Bible, placing him under the law, of sin and death, the permission of sin
and evil, using the Patriarchs and the twelve tribes of Israel for
demonstration purposes, the Ransom,
the call and discipline of the Church, restitution --all are for the sole
purpose of revealing divine love, love as it is in God to all his
intelligent creatures, with the end in view that all by beholding the
transcendent glory of God may be transformed into his image, having his
law within their hearts. To this end man and all intelligent creatures were created in the likeness
of God, with moral faculties capable of appreciating all the graces of his
love when manifested before them. - Gen. 5:1.
since we were not eye-witnesses of our Lord's experiences, all
this information must come to us through testimony from credible
witnesses. The sincerity of the witness is demonstrated by his willingness
to suffer for the Truth. If the witnesses of -the resurrection of Christ
had been highly rewarded in this life for giving
their testimony, who could have believed such a marvelous thing as they
reported? But when, on the contrary, those twelve men could expect only
suffering and death, which they all did receive, how can we doubt them?
has suffered most of all; "In
all our afflictions he is afflicted." - Isa. 63:9; Rom. 5:7.
story of Abraham offering as a burnt
sacrifice his son Isaac, the son of his love, the center of all his hopes and the promises,
vivid picture of God's suffering for us. Abraham suffered only three days
offering up his son; but God suffered not
days or three years, but more than three ages in preparing and carrying out his gracious Plan for
us. However, he could not show, all the riches of his wonderful love in
his dealings with Jesus, for he was without sin, and there was no
opportunity to manifest mercy, nor, forgiveness, nor forbearance, nor many
other elements of that love that suffers long and is
'in providing Christ, the second Adam, with a bride, an helpmeet, the
second Eve, otherwise called his Body (144,000, which were to be made up
of 12,000 selected from each of the twelve tribes of Israel; but because
of unbelief many of the branches of the olive tree were broken off and
wild olive branches from the Gentiles -- we, a cross-section of fallen
humanity! -- were grafted in to complete the quota of each of the twelve
tribes, in completing each of us an image of his Son and seating us together with
Christ in the heavenlies), he will have manifested the exceeding riches of
his wonderful love. -Rev. 7:4; Rom. 11:17.
an encouragement all this will be
to the billions who in future ages will be groping their way toward an
exact knowledge of God and eternal life! "For this is life eternal,
to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast
sent." (John 17:3.) In thus blessing the Church outstandingly, he
is preparing an instrument, an agency for blessing all. - Isa. 49:18, Leeser; Eph. 2:6.
think of this: A God who is eight times holy! (The Sinaitic MS. and
several others in recording Revelation 4:8 repeat the word
"holy" eight times to express the degree of his holiness.) Think
of his giving over into the hands of sinful men the Son
of his love
to be spit upon, mocked with a crown
of thorns, beaten, and nailed to the accursed tree, made a curse for us!
For what purpose? So he could be just and the justifier of him that
believeth in Christ Jesus, and so he
can humble himself yet
such vile creatures as we were, piling blessings on top of
blessings, that the eyes of our understanding may be opened as we behold
his marvelous goodness, and we finally open our hearts, until he can give
us the choicest
the infinite God can bestow, his spirit,
"Thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures." "In thy presence
there is fulness of joy; at
thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
true confessors have been imitators. of God, gladly willing to suffer for
the Truth. Jesus said: "My soul is
exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." "And being in agony he
prayed more earnestly, and his sweat
became as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
Apostles, Prophets, and many others sealed their testimony with their
blood. Tertullian, of the Fourth Century, wrote: "The blood of the
martyrs is the seed of the Church."
it is graciously given on behalf of Christ, not only to believe into him,
but also to
on his behalf." (Phil. 1:29.); Jesus said: "He who would save
his life will lose it." We save our life, in the sense which Jesus
means here, when we
deny ourselves and submit our will to God, and die to our own opinions,
plans, and ways.
Amos 5:18 we read: "Ho! to you who desire the day, of the Lord!"
Now I would
ask: Who desires the day of the Lord more than Bible Students? Now,
listen! "What good to you is the day of the Lord? ... The day of the
Lord is darkness and not light; as
if one did
flee from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned against the wall
serpent bit him." (Amos 5:18.) We flee from the lion when I we do not die in the Lord; but the bear, the same requirement for life,
will meet us, and in
that day we
will find ourselves, relegated to the Great Company. (Rev. 7.) And if we
should not then discern God's spirit, appreciate it, and rejoice in it
until it gets into our hearts and we, from choice, be actuated by it, we
indeed lose our lives, as Jesus has said; the dear, the serpent (mind of
flesh, enmity to God - Rom. 8:6, 7) would destroy us.
is evident that this awful cost of life and suffering borne by God, by
Christ, and by confessors, is a matter
that will affect the entire universe of intelligent creatures. "We
are made a spectacle to angels and to men." (1 Cor. 4:9.) The
complete history of all this will be accessible to all throughout the ages
of eternity, or Jesus said: "There is nothing covered but shall be
revealed, nor hid that shall not be made known."- Luke 12:2.
these 6,000 years, sin and evil have been permitted to completely exploit
themselves, and by using that as a foil, a background, all the graces of divine
been fully demonstrated. This little planet, the earth, is being used as a
demonstration field, and sin and evil will not be allowed to arise a
burnt sacrifice is a clear picture of the sufferings of Christ and the
Church. Most other sacrifices were obligatory, but the burnt sacrifice was
a voluntary offering. (Lev. 1:3.) The head, representing Jesus, was the
first placed upon the altar; then, after washing the inward and legs,
they, with all other parts, representing the Church, were also placed upon
the altar just so, Christ and the Church have been willing sacrifices.
Jesus said: "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is
within my heart." So also the Church: "For the love of Christ
constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all,
then we all
dead, and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth
live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose
again." (2 Cor. 5:14.) This was called a burnt sacrifice because of
its burning all night. - Lev. 6:9.
Christ and his Church suffered from the time of their anointing until
their death, for we who live are always delivered) up unto death
Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in
our mortal flesh. (2 Cor. 4:11.) Therefore, be ye also imitators of God as
dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself
up for us an offering and a sweet smelling sacrifice unto God. - Eph. 5:1.
The burnt sacrifice is always described as a sweet
smelling odor unto God. Now unto him who is able to do exceeding
abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power of his glory,
that worketh in us, even to filling us with all the fulness of God;
unto him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all
the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.
J. L. Emery - (Aged 93.)
following address is published, believing it ill be of much blessing to,
2 Corinthians 4:1-10.
THE preparation of the address for this afternoon, we have felt that a
foreword may well be
thereby preparing the mind for the reception of that which is to follow.
In the history of the Church, there never has been a time in which the man
of God has required "the whole armor of God" more than he does
today. In all countries there is a general code of conduct which is far
from the Scriptural code. Lack of reverence for God; selfishness and
greed; egotism; the breakdown of home life, with its consequent
delinquency in not only youth, but also in a generation which has forsaken
the code of morals in which it was brought up; the indifference to
spiritual things; the weakness of the marriage tie -these and many other
things point to a decadence of the moral status of social conditions.
effect which is produced by this condition is widespread. It has even
worked its way into the lives of some who are professedly followers of him
who said, "He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is
not worthy of me." To these the "old things" are not
"passed away"; all things are not become new. To these the words
of John are of more than passing interest: "The world passeth away,
and the lust thereof: bust he that doeth the will of God abideth for
forever! Surely the Epistles of Paul, Peter, and John indicate clearly
to us the requirements which must be met if we are to abide "for
THE RESULTS OF BEING "IN CHRIST"
the Apostle Paul says that "If any man be in Christ, he is a
new creature." To be "in Christ" means to live in him; 'to
have his spirit; to live as he lived, in meekness and humility and
obedience to, the Father's will
commandments; to seek his counsel and guidance in all things; to seek
his help for every burden; to find, in the riches of his grace, that he,
and he alone, can "supply all our need." By so living one gets a
new vision, a new outlook, a new faith, a new hope, a new fortitude, a new
fervor, and yes, a new peace, the "peace that passeth all understanding."
path is no easy one. But through valleys of uncertainty, through the
waters of affliction and trial, through the mists of fears and
doubts-through all these things there shines the glory of God's unfailing
promise, "Fear not, for I am with thee." And so, as we go in
faith and confidence, "seeking those things which are above," as
in a larger faith and fuller vision
we set aside every besetment and hindrance to the things which count, may
we do so with glad and thankful hearts for all the love and grace revealed
in and through him who gave all, all, for us.
Hebrews 12:14 we read, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no
man shall see the Lord. It is a sad fact that many who profess to know the
Lord are far from accepting the Gospel truth of "holiness." Some
will quote Romans 7:19: "The good that I would, I do not: but the
evil which I would not, that I do." They do not move up into the, 8th
chapter, here we read, "There is, therefore, now no condemnation to
them which are in Christ Jesus, . . . who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit."
our eyes se fully opened to the fact that the prize is to the overcomer.
We read: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, . . . " One
has written: "If a man is going to be a Christian he should be a
strong one. The Church has suffered more from weak Christians than from
wicked ones." In peril God's forces begin to melt. These Christians
grow fearful or self-indulgent. What is he saying to us today? He tells us
that the battles are to be won by the few. Let us make up our minds that
we shall be of
victorious few. Yes, by God's grace and at all costs we will.
all the great Christian letter writers, the Apostle Pail holds the place
of supremacy. Second to none in the intensity of love and desire
concerning those to whom he wrote, he displays in his epistles a depth of
understanding and an unshakable purpose in his regard
for his brethren, many of whom were opposed to him and sought by various
means to minimize his labors. Among these were some attached to the
Church at Corinth; and one notes that in Paul's letters, there are
none in which he reveals so much pain and sorrow as he does in the
two which he sent to the brethren at that city. Those two letters held a
measure of commendation; they held warnings to the unwary; they held words
of admonition and exhortation which ere wrung from a heart of love, a
heat that was eager to see the reasonable fruits of his labors on their
the depths of grief to the heights of an unutterably sublime confidence
and joy, this man of God speaks as his heart dictates, all
purpose: "I Seek not yours, but you." He wants to see "victorious
Christians." He wants to see a "practical Christianity," one in which the spirit
of love is the controlling factor or element. And so he says, "We
use great plainness of speech." Now, plainness of speech in which
there has been a measure of condemnation, has never been, nor is it likely
to be, very acceptable. It is liable to touch a sore spot. In other words,
it may cause an unpleasant reaction. The doctor, however, does not
hesitate to use unpalatable means whereby to
cure; and so it is in the spiritual realm: the cure will justify the means. All through those two
presence of a
anxiety, and a hope that those to whom he wrote would realize what the
result would be if his words fell on deaf ears; a hope that as a body of
believers they would "set their house in order" and concentrate
on the one essential thing, the "bringing into captivity every
thought to the obedience of Christ."
a man like Paul, only a man with a conviction as deep as it was sincere,
could have dared to speak as he did. What effect his words may have had,
we do not know. But we do know that the faults which he desired to correct
are not peculiar to the early Church. We note in our day an increasing
call (even from the nominal Church pulpits) for a "Christian
life" untrammeled by compromise with the world, the flesh, and
the Adversary. lit is realized by many that a "Christianity without
a cross" is not of Christ or of his Apostles; and it is good to see
that even at this late hour there are men and women who do not hesitate to
put first things first, and in so doing warn others, lest they fall short
of the promised "reward." In Hebrews 2:1-3 we read:
"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which
we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word
spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience
received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect
so great salvation?"
years or so previous to Paul's first letter to the Church at Corinth, he
had been named a "chosen vessel." We read that "straightway
he preached Christ." Through the long years of toil and care,
the record of his labors proves to us much of that which is possible when
one's heart and mind are fully bent toward a
"Christ-filled" life. In his letter to Timothy he tells of a
time "when they will not endure sound doctrine," and the aged
Apostle is writing his last letter, a letter in which he appears to sense
the end of his work here. In that short letter the
Jesus Christ is noted 15 or 16 times. This would be to him a joy, for that
is the Name Which to Paul was above every other name.
"IF I HAD ONLY ONE DISCOURSE TO GIVE"
the religious section of many libraries we may find a book of sermons and
addresses bearing the title, "If I Had Only One Sermon to
ago a certain publisher got the idea of writing to about twenty-five
outstanding preachers, asking each of them to write just one sermon, and
to write it with the idea that they would preach about what they
considered the most important text and message for their congregations to
hear. In other words, they were to imagine that they would have only one
opportunity to preach just one sermon, and they were to use it to speak on
the most important of all messages which they might ever be called upon to
proclaim. Naturally, such a
of sermons contains quite a number of different ideas as to what
constitutes the most important message of all, and incidentally, there are,
many and somewhat confusing deductions therein. It is not our thought to
enter here into a criticism of the various seasonings and conclusions
arrived at in the book of sermons. No doubt, on the whole, these would
serve some good purpose; hence would not be useless.
feel that for a little while this afternoon I would like to borrow and use
the title of the book, and to try, by the aid and blessing of the divine
spirit, to speak to you (and to myself) as if I had but one address to
give. And I sense at once that this topic presents quite a problem, for
there are many things, all of which are important and inseparable to the
Christian life, things of unspeakable, relative value to the one who,
seeking to obey the Master's words, "Follow thou me," is
fighting the good fight of faith. And as one sees the scope of the
illimitable themes on which an address or sermon can be based, it seems
nearly impossible for one to put into just one message all that he would
like to put into it if that were to be the last one. Yet, to the one who
has this privilege, to the one who, with a God-given conviction, speaks
"the truth in love," to the one who can say with the Apostle, --
"I seek not yours, but you"-the matter may not, after all, be
as we have taken the many essential things appertaining to our
consecration and sanctification into consideration, we may well
concentrate them all into one sentence, just a few words used by the
Apostle Paul. We find these words in 1 Corinthians 2:2: "1 determined
not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him
crucified." That might well have been Paul's text if he had been
asked to preach but once. As a matter of fact, this subject seems to have
been the theme of every sermon and Epistle that this man of God ever spoke
or wrote. As we dwell upon it for a little while, let us silently ask the
guidance and the blessing of the holy spirit upon our meditations of this
most important, all-embracing theme.
THE ONE END OF A CRUCIFIED LIFE
average conception of a "Crucified Christ" appears to be that
which took place at Calvary. But it is not unreasonable to claim that, in
a sense, Calvary was the climax of a crucified life which by its very
intensity, by its faithfulness, could have but one end, death. And no man
has ever realized more fully than the Apostle Paul that if the followers
of our Lord are to follow him "all the way," if they are to
share in his glory, they, too, must share in his sufferings; they must, as
Peter says, "follow in his steps." He says, "For hereunto
were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps."
Apostle Paul has no doubts as to the implications of the words
"Christ and him crucified"; and so it may be profitable to speak
a little on the fuller significance of his words, "I am determined
not to know anything among you-, save Jesus Christ, and him
crucified." When he speaks of the relationship which exists between
our Lord and his followers, and refers to the same in the words, "I
am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ
says, "If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his
resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that
the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve
sin." And yet again, he says, "I die daily," and "They
that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and
lusts"; in other words, they are no longer under the sway or
influence of the flesh, but, being submissive to the will of God, led and
enabled by his spirit, they are no longer subject to the rudiments of this
world in so far as they conflict in any way with the purpose and desires
of the spirit.
"EXAMINE YOURSELVES, WHETHER YE BE IN THE FAITH"
do well, therefore, to examine ourselves in regard to our daily words
and doings. Many things are, perhaps, not unlawful, not seemingly sinful,
and yet, it may be that even in these the pure simplicity of the
"life that is hid in Christ" may suffer loss, to some extent at
least. For instance: What do we read? Where are our thoughts in unoccupied
moments? What is our demeanor toward others in regard to the application
of the various elements of love, as we see them in our Lord and also in
the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians? How do the ever-changing innovations,
fads, fashions, and the questionable indulgences of our modern life,
affect us? For in these things the appeal to the flesh is, and will be,
never ceasing. Paul knew the experience; as do we. And he says, in
reference to such things, "All things are lawful unto me, but all
things are not expedient: I will not be brought under the power of
would seem that present-day trends are toward a "worship"
(consciously or unconsciously) of various things which rightly come under
the head of "idols." And in this, the law of obedience to the
first commandment is broken. How perfectly are our
day conditions described in 2 Timothy 3:1-6 and Revelation 3:14-18:
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
What an indictment could be preached from those words! For as we look over
Christendom, we cannot fail to see that the simplicity of the early
'Church, its singleness of purpose, and its refusal to compromise,
as is evidenced in the lives of the Lord and his Apostles-these things are
now largely outdated. Many are saying of this or that, "What's the
harm in it," rather than, "What's the good in
it?" "Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God"; and
this is not confined to the ones "outside the camp."
Word of God leaves no loophole for a life which compromises with the
world. Its implications are definite and plain. The words of the Lord,
as we read them in Deuteronomy 6:5, 6, and corroborated by the Master in
Luke 10:27, are, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all
thy heart, and with all
soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and
neighbor as thyself."
for compromise in those words; and yet, what do we see today? Professing
Christians, men and women, falling down in many of the things which mark
the fact that the flesh still holds a swaying power.
says, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest hat by any means,
when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." Yet,
men and women are compromising with the world in many things, habits and
comportments. Dear friends, it isn't a happy thing to dwell upon, but how
often do we see the "beauty of holiness sacrificed to that of the
"beauty parlor"? Isn't it so? Peter
says, "Let your adorning be that of the hidden man of the heart, even
the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in God's sight of great
price." In words like
these and the words of Paul, 1 Timothy 2:9, 10, there is much food for
thought as we put them side by side with the commandment just referred
to, the one which has reference to "other gods," or
like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with
shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls,
or costly array; but which becometh women professing godliness with good
works." - 1 Tim. 2:9, 10.
shalt have no other gods before Me. - Exod. 20:1,3.
shall not go after other gods, of the gods of
the people which are round about you." - Deut. 6:14.
children, keep yourselves from idols." - 1 John 5:21.
cannot imagine our Lord or his Apostles indulging in many of the things
which today are accepted by Christendom as right and proper. A few of
these are, smoking, drinking, gambling, the movies, the tempting
advertising devices over the radio, etc. To, the feminine mind there are
the subtle appeals of pride or vanity. Merchandising is an art which is
increasingly adding to the temptations of the unwary. More cigarettes are
smoked by women now than by men. They have assumed men's attire: a direct
contravention to divine law. (Deut. 22:5.) The sale and usage
cosmetics is appalling. And while we may not find any direct reference
condemning their usage, we note that in no place is the use of artificial
beautifying commended but rather is it condemned or associated with
questionable ends. There is a beauty which neither cosmetics nor
superficial adornment can produce, that which is
reflected from the hearts and minds of these who in the fulness of
humility and a sanctified life, have learned that the "beauty of
holiness" is indescribably more precious in God's sight than that
which, at most, pleases the eye. Of this the poet has said,
beauty, armed with virtue, bows the soul
a commanding, but a sweet control.
grace, such a possession, is priceless and far beyond all else. We read
that, "Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain." Our God is not
looking for outward beauty; but he
for the inner beauty, in
other words, the fruits and graces of the spirit, and happy are they to
whom the words apply, "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God
bath shined." - Psa. 50:2.
is not possible to deal with all the interlocking phases of a crucified
life in the time at our disposal. And so, we pass on to other thoughts,
the crux of which is inseparably entailed in Paul's words, "I am
crucified with Christ." In speaking of a crucified Christ in the
fuller sense, our thought would not be one of something new, or yet,
something with which we are not already acquainted. Rather, would we point
to a Christ, "despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and
acquainted with grief: . . . wounded for our transgressions, and bruised
for our iniquities: oppressed and afflicted"; one who for three and
one-half years trod the path of self-abasement; one who sought in all
things to do the will of his heavenly Father and, in so doing, learned
that this involved a
process of crucifixion, the
successful overcoming of all things which could mar his purpose
"It is finished," and his resurrection, are the climax of a life
that in its measure of sanctification is unique in all history.
then, is briefly the copy, the example, that is set before Christ's
followers. And Paul says, "If we have been planted together [with
him] in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of
his resurrection." "In
the likeness of his death." Well
might Jesus say, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which
leadeth unto life, and few
there be that find it." Yes, the path of consecration has ever been one of testing and trial,
one in which there must be much of self-denial, self-abasement, and
was tested: three times he denied his Lord and Master, and, later on, the
Master asked him, "Lowest thou me? Three times was the question
asked, and three times Peter affirmed his declaration of love. Then came
the words, "Follow me." Little did Peter know what that
entailed. Not long before this had he not boldly said, "I will lay
down my life for thy sake." And yet, before the cock crowed he had
denied his Master thrice! Does this record of Peter stir up within us any
realization of semblance of fact? any
duplication of a lapse of vigilance or faithfulness? Have we not often sung -- oh, so often,
for Jesus! all for Jesus!
All my being's
All my thoughts and
words and doings,
All my days
and all my
Jesus! all for Jesus!
All my days
and all my
"Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus,
I've lost sight of all beside
So enchained my spirit's
Looking at the crucified.
This has been our song, but how often have we failed
to make this a
we risen from these defeats and denials, and, like Peter and Paul, caught
the vision of the Christ, his life of crucified fleshly desire and
unswerving purpose and effort? Have we realized that as we were baptized
into Christ, even so were we baptized into
his death? "Know
ye not, that so: many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into his death?" (Rom. 6:3.) Do these words mean any more to us than they do to
the unbeliever? Do we realize what is the depth of a consecration that is beyond the reach
of the Adversary, or does it mean merely a self-satisfied measure of
sanctification which, by reason of its shallowness, is rendered
vulnerable to the subtle attacks of the Evil One? These are questions
which we do well to consider, and we may well find encouragement in the
fact that the Peter who denied his Lord, and the Paul who acknowledged his
own imperfections-these men of
giants in the faith, being made so by a measure of the spirit which in
their later years swept
crucified Christ and
desire to be made like him. (Phil.
3:8-14; I Peter 1:2-9.) Those'' are the words of two of the early
Christians, and their words are evidence as to the possibilities and
potentialities to which a fully consecrated life may attain. To them the
theme of a life which had one
with the all-absorbing,
precious theme of a crucified and risen Christ, and the privilege of sharing with him in a life in
which self is now no more-these things were to them, as they may be to us,
an incentive to a fuller, a richer, and more abundant' life. This is
proved by their records. What will ours be?
also hath, made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter,
but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth
life." - 2 Cor. 3:6.
the great Apostle of the Lamb was referring to himself and the other
Apostles who were associated with him in the work of the Gospel of Christ.
Concerning himself, the Apostle relates that when on the road to Damascus
the Lord of glory appeared unto him and revealed to him the fact that he
was risen from the dead. After assuring Paul of that fact, the risen
Lord said unto him, "Rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared
unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of
these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will
appear unto thee." - Acts 26:16.
Paul herein reveals that our sufficiency is of God through Jesus Christ
our Lord and, therefore, God hath made us able ministers of the new testament-of
the Gospel, a preacher of the good news of Jesus Christ.
Smith's Dictionary of the Bible we read- that the term
"minister" is used in the Authorized Version to describe various
officials of a religious and civil character. In the Old Testament it is
applied to an attendant upon a person of high rank. For example, we read in Exodus 24:13, "And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua; and
Moses went up into the Mount of God." It is also applied to the
attaché of a royal court, where it may be observed he is distinguished
from the servant or official of higher rank. This was shown in the case of
being of high rank, the Queen of Sheba heard of his fame concerning the
name of the Lord and she came to prove him with hard questions, but when
she had seen all of Solomon's wisdom and the house that he had built and
the meat of his table and the sitting of his servants and the attendance
of his ministers and their apparel and his cupbearers and his ascent by
which he went up into the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in
her and she said, behold the half was not told me: thy wisdom and
prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard." (1 Kings 10:1-7.)
Glorious is the record of the reign of that monarch until the chilling
words, "But Solomon- loved many strange women." Thus his heart
was turned aside, and the cup of delight which had been raised to his lips
was dashed to the ground, and the disappointed heart cried out, "I
have seen all the works that are done under the sun; 'and, behold, all is
vanity and vexation of spirit." - Eccles. 1:2, 14.
we note in Isaiah 61:6 the term minister is applied to the priest:
named the priests of
Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God." The name Aaron
means "very high." He
high priest, very high above his
as well as exalted above the people, and he ministered unto them.
over to the New Testament we find three terms, each with its distinctive
meaning. "The first term answers most nearly to the Hebrew (Sharath)
usually employed in the Septuagint as its equivalent." It signifies a
subordinate public administrator and is so employed by St. Paul in Romans 13:6": "For this cause pay
also: for they are God's minister attending continually upon this very,
second term differs from the two others in that it contains the idea of
actual and personal attendance upon a superior minister. This is revealed
to us in Luke 5:20: "And he [Jesus] closed the book, and gave it
again to the minister, and sat down. And the yes of all the that were in
the synagogue were fastened on him." How truly superior was this Son
of God to him whose duty it was to open and close the building, to produce
and replace the books employed in the service, and to wait on the officiating
priest or teacher.
JESUS THE GREAT INSTRUCTOR
a ruler of the Jews.... came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi,
we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these
miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." - John 3:2.
Colossians 1:15-19 St. Paul clearly reveals to us the even superiorities
of this high ranking minister or teacher of God. This glorious High Priest
"came not to be ministered unto, but to minister."
we give the seven superiorities of this Son of God, as set forth by the
Apostle of the Lord:
He is the "image of the invisible God."
2., He is the firstborn of every creature."
"By him were all things created."
"All things were created for Him."
"He is the head of the Body, the Church."
He is the "firstborn from the dead."
"That in all things he might have the preeminence, for it pleased
the Father that in him should all fulness dwell."
third term is the one usually employed in relation to the ministry of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we note it is so used by the Apostle in
our foundation text. Its application is twofold --in a general sense to
indicate ministers of any order, whether superior or inferior, but in a
special sense to indicate, an order of inferior ministers, and that is true when we consider the Church of God this side the veil! In other words;
"sub-rowers, who row under the command of a steersman." (Wm.
Smith.) Paul reveals this very clearly in
Romans 15:15, 16, saying,
"Because of the grace that is
me of God,
that I should be the minister of
to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God, that the offering up [or
sacrificing] of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the
holy spirit." "O, how great is the abundance of Thy goodness, O
God, which Thou
up for them that put their trust in Thee."
marvelous and matchless grace is here! The just One bruised for the
unjust; yea, bruised by the hand of infinite justice, in order that we
might be brought into the position of sub-rowers or under-priests. Let
us who live under this most gracious dispensation of the Gospel of God,
"count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of
Christ Jesus our Lord," and not suffer ourselves to be moved away
from the hope of the Gospel, demonstrating that we truly believe in the
superior excellency of this spirit dispensation by depending on Christ
as the superior minister and conforming to his precepts.
is the position and unalterable standing of the believer in Christ. To
this most glorious and liberating truth let us show that we are
Christians, able ministers in deed and in truth, not by endless disputes
about trifles and the transport of a blind zeal, but by abounding in those
fruits of righteousness which are through Christ, to the praise and
glory of God, remembering that we are not sufficient of ourselves, but
that our sufficiency is of God. The spirit of God never leads any one to
build upon his work as the ground of peace, but only upon the finished
work of Christ and the unchangeable Word of God.
may rest assured that the more simply we rest in these, the more shall we
attain unto spiritual enrichment, progressive purification of heart, a
steady lifting of ideals, and an increasing measure of the holy spirit,
with an ever-expanding cooperation with God and our High Ranking Minister,
perfecting unselfishness in all our relations; for "if one member
suffer, all the members suffer with it." Hence the effort to
sympathize and bless others will react in blessings upon ourselves. In the
counsel of God this is his purpose, to give us a part in the Plan of
Redemption, which Paul revealed to be as able ministers of his Gospel.
work of loving ministry he might have committed to others, but in his
infinite love he chose to make us under-ministers with Christ, that we
might share the blessing, the joy, the spiritual uplifting which results
from this unselfish ministry. Every act of self-sacrifice for the blessing
of others strengthens and fits us for the higher work and the unshadowed
joy to come. This means on our part a definite consecration to the
revealed will of God, "not of the letter but of the spirit; for the
letter killeth but the spirit giveth life." In other words, if
faithfully followed, it becomes the road to victory and the "crown
is the source of life, light, and joy to the believer in Christ and he
bestows grace upon all who seek it of him.
are the souls
thirst for grace,
They shall be well supplied and fed
With living streams and living bread."
that our ministry of the new testament is spiritual and glorious, not
carnal. Therefore, we
sufficient of ourselves, "but our sufficiency", is of
God." - 2 Cor. 3:5.
word "sufficiency" embraces the thought of being remade equal to
the end proposed, able to meet obligations and requirements. As mere
individuals we of ourselves are not competent, by reason of the just
condemnation resting upon us, to meet and overcome our problems. We have
no power of our own toll exercise this God-given privilege; but God, who
is rich in mercy; hath made us fit or sufficient to be finder-ministers of
the Gospel of his dear Son.
we consider that magnificent word, "sufficiency," do we fully
realize that every need has been supplied through the, power of the
Almighty God, by Christ Jesus our Lord and Superior Minister? St. Paul
says, "Our God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye,
always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good
work." (2 Cor. 9:8.) When we realize this truth, we see that our one
task and responsibility is to open up our whole being to him, that the
fulness of his life may flood us, and I make us more and more like our
Redeemer and Head. Thus believing that God lives and works in us and
through us, we can by the power of his grace meet every emergency,
overcome evil, with good, and render more and more service to our brethren
as able under-ministers of Jesus Christ. In order to do this we need to
intensify our thought upon the fact that this power is our only ability to
live a life that aims not to be "ministered unto, but to minister"
in the midst of a selfish and sensual world.
"MINISTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT"
the Great High Minister of God, knew that the Father was, according to the
counsel of his own will, working to a great objective, and it was this
knowledge and love which motivated his life on earth from beginning to
end. He said unto his disciples, "I am among you as he that serveth."
(Luke 22:27.) The spirit which will enable one to live such a life of
loving service can be imbibed from his example. By constantly beholding
him, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as
by the spirit of the Lord." - 2 Cor. 3:18.
desires his children to exercise their reasoning powers. "Come now,
and let us reason together, saith the Lord." (Isa. 1: 18.) The study
of the Bible will strengthen and elevate the mind as no other study can,
but we must beware of deifying reason which is subject to weakness and infirmity; therefore, without the guidance of the holy
spirit we shall be liable to wrest the Scriptures or to misinterpret them.
When we come to the Bible, we must acknowledge an Authority superior to
our intellect, and bow to the Great "I Am," who will make it
plain if we come in simplicity and the faith of a
child. By the enlightenment of the holy spirit we gain an understanding
of the truths that will make us wise unto salvation.
are many things that are obscure or difficult of understanding. This is
true of the declaration of St. Paul that we have been made "able ministers of the new testament; not of the
letter but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth
life," or, as the margin reads, "quickeneth." In seeking
to attain unto the full import or meaning of the Apostle's declaration,
Scripture must be compared with Scripture. There must be careful research
and prayerful reflection, and such a study will be richly repaid. Upon
examination of the context (2 Cor. 3:5) we note that Paul's declaration
has no direct application to the world in general now or in the future.
He was speaking primarily of himself and fellow Apostles, who were no
longer in bondage to the Law but under grace. Speaking representatively,
he said, "The commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be
unto death." (Rom. 7:10.) Paul was a godly Jew, and he had
"lived in all good conscience." With his conversion came new
light upon the Law. Then he saw that so far from having kept it, he was
condemned by it. "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus
hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 8:2.) And
"because of the grace that is given to me of God, that I should be
the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of
God, -that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being
sanctified by the holy spirit." - Rom. 15:15, 16.
house derives sanctification from its Head and Superior Minister,
"for he who sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one,
for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (Heb.
2:11.) They are made partakers of that wondrous call of which Christ is
the High Priest or Minister, a priestly family, a spiritual house, builded
by God and belonging to the Son
Word, the Bible, is one Book, and it bears witness to one God from
beginning to end. It testifies to one redemption, and its one great
theme is the Person and work of the only begotten Son of God. The Bible
falls into two main groups under the caption of the Old and New
Testaments. The Old Testament tells the human story; it testifies of God's
love for the world, and it reveals his will for his chosen people, Israel,
to be a witness for him in the midst of an idolatrous world; it tells of a
covenant he made with them which was to be a
unto them, and it reveals their failure in keeping their part of the
covenant. It testifies of the will of God that the true Seed of promise
should come forth from that chosen nation to be the Savior of his people.
New Testament records the appearance within the Hebrew nation of that
promised Messiah; it tells the wonderful story of his manifestation to
Israel, his rejection, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension; it
tells of Christ's love and will for his Body, the Church, and their
glorification with him as "heirs of God and joint-heirs with
him"; it testifies of the restoration and blessing of the entire human
our research, we note that according to Professor Young the word,
testament, is derived from the, Greek word "Diatheke," meaning
dispensation or full arrangement; in other words, a dispensation that will
bring better results because of having a better
foundation. Faithful acceptance of a share in this arrangement will
quicken to a new hope of life through Christ Jesus our Lord; and it is
this full arrangement of the spirit dispensation that Paul refers to
when he declares, "God bath made us able ministers of the new
the Son of God kept the last Passover with his I disciples, he closed the
door of the law dispensation and opened up
a new and
living way -- a way to spirit life. The law had effected no deliverance.
Instead of proving a remedy for sin, it became its strength, for
all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away the stain.
"But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away,
A sacrifice of nobler name
And richer blood than they."
Strong gives the meaning of the word, testament, as "a devisory
will," or in other words, a bequest or testamentary disposition of
something. When Jesus was on earth, he expressly declared to his disciples
that he would leave many things unrevealed, and he promised this
revelation should be complete after the spirit should come. "It shall
take things of mine and reveal them unto you." Then when his hour
drew near, he breathed upon them his bequest, "Peace I leave with
you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you;
let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John
1:27.) Thus shall our hearts and minds be kept in perfect peace and we
shall be enabled to move on from day to day with firm, steady steps in
the path indicated for us by our divine and ever-present Guide.
Bible students know that there are different interpretations of words by
the translators and commentators of the Bible, and this is true of the
word testament. Professor Young says that the Greek word "Diatheke"
is frequently though by no means uniformly translated testament in
the Authorized Version. In its Biblical meaning of a compact or agreement
between two parties, the word is used improperly of a covenant between
God and man. The phrase
is evidently used by way of accommodation." To this Dr. William Smith
is true that Professor Young reveals that the word covenant is also
derived from the same Greek word, "Diatheke," meaning
arrangement or covenant. Does this militate in any way against Paul's
expression in our foundation text, "able ministers of the new
testament?" Not at all. When the Word of God is rightly understood,
there will be no tendency for truth to operate against truth. When we read
and study the Scriptures that Professor Young has listed under the word covenant,
it is self-evident that it is an arrangement, or covenant, between two
parties -- between God and Israel.
the Hebrew, 'Berith' means primarily 'a cutting' with reference
to the custom of cutting or dividing of animals in two and passing
between the parts in ratifying a covenant." Read Genesis 15:10-18 and
Jeremiah 34:18, 19.
to the prophecies and promises of God made to his chosen people Israel and
to the Church, the Bride of Christ, the division of the meaning of this
Greek word is proper and reasonable. We find in the Greek as well as in
the English language, words having more than one meaning; for instance,
consider our English words, fast and box, which have several meanings.
The meaning is brought out by the context, and we must rightly divide and
make the proper application.
us briefly consider some of the Scriptures that have been classified under
the word covenant. Every Bible student well knows that the old arrangement
or covenant made with Israel could not be termed a full arrangement or
covenant. Why not? Because one of the contracting parties promised
something that they were not able to carry out. Did they do all that God
commanded, all that they vowed to do? Nay -- witness the golden calf, the
broken tables, desecrated Sabbaths, the despised and neglected ordinances,
the stoned messengers, the rejected and crucified Messiah. These are the
evidences of their inability to carry out the righteous demands of a
perfect law. Nevertheless, Israel stands forth as the witness of Jehovah's
faithfulness, his mercy and his power, not only in the bygone Age, but
now, and in the Age to come, when he will make a New Covenant with them
based upon a better sacrifice than the blood of bulls
Word is unchangeable and what he has spoken he will do. Full kingdom
regathered Israel and Judah, for "Behold the days come saith the Lord
that . . . I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be
pulled up, out, of their land which I have given them, saith
the Lord thy God." (Amos 9:13-15:) In the old covenant, God said, "If ye will," but in the new he says,
" I will
make a new covenant . . . for this is the covenant that I will make with
the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws
into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to there a
God, and they shall be to me a people." -Hebrews 8:8-10.
relation of Christ to this covenant is as follows: He lived holy, sinless, under the old covenant, and bore
for Israel its curse. He was obedient as an Israelite in the land of
promise, and will yet perform its gracious promises; for he is the seed of
promise, Son of Man, son of Abraham, and son of David, to whom the
promises were made. Thus, his sacrifice is the foundation for this New
Covenant that God is going to make with the house of Israel when their
sins have been taken away. It is termed in the Word of God, "a better
covenant," because it is
unconditional, sealed by the precious blood of the Lamb of God. Obedience
to the new law covenant will spring from a willing heart and mind. See
glorious commission of the Church of God is not a question of great
service rendered, nor of might works performed. It is something far more
precious to the heart of our Savior. There is nothing in the saints that appeals more to the heart of Christ, than their
affectionate subjection to him as their head. Did he not say in John
14:21: "He that hath my commandments,
and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be
loved of my
I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." This is not the command of law which only convinces of sin, but it is a new
'', of love that is established upon better promises. Our blessed Lord, in closing his
commission to his disciples, said, "Ye are witnesses of these things.
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in
Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on
This promise was fulfilled, this power was communicated on the day of
when the holy spirit came down from the ascended and glorified Savior to
qualify his servants for the glorious work for which he had called them.
the God of all grace make us conscious of our privileges and obligations to him, and to our great Head, and to our
brethren, helping us always to act, think, and speak as Christians. There
is much need of this ministry of comfort and the bearing of one another's
burdens. Paul, the under-minister of Jesus Christ, says, "Be ye
kind one to
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's
sake hath forgiven you." (Eph. 4:32.) May
give us grace
to apply our hearts seriously and earnestly to these things as
ministers of his Gospel.
task Thy wisdom bath assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfill;
In all my works Thy presence find,
And prove Thy good and perfect will."
T. G. Smith.
The Emphatic Diaglott Translation
from "Our Gospel Pioneers" by W. H. Wilson, "Restitution
Herald," May 22, 1951.]
early pioneers who so "earnestly contended for the faith which was
once delivered to the saints" now sleep in Jesus, awaiting the coming
King. I thought it may be of interest to many of like precious faith to
learn the history of its introduction into the Western States so long
I will go back and show how the truth first began to illuminate the minds
of those who afterwards introduced it. Let your minds follow me across
the mighty ocean to Halifax, England. About the year 1839 or 1840, certain
ones were enduring a
struggle, in order that they might emerge out of the gross darkness of old
Babylon and back in the full sunlight of God's saving message of life.
Among that number was my father, Joseph Wilson and his brothers, Benjamin,
John, and James, also Benjamin's boys, and Richard and William Appleyard.
that time, they were all members of the same Baptist Church at Halifax.
About this time, Alexander Campbell began preaching what he called the
"Reformation," urging people to get back to the primitive faith
and practice. He started well but stopped short of ascertaining the
primitive faith. He introduced baptism for the remission of sins, ignored
all human creeds, and established weekly Communion.
congregation was organized on this partial reformation called "The
Disciples of Christ" at Halifax, England. The group mentioned left
the Baptist Church and united with this organization. The little light
which they had received made them anxious for more light. The congregation
then formed itself into an investigating class, with a firm determination
to search carefully the Holy Scriptures. They resolved to begin with the
first chapter of Genesis and go through the entire Word of God. They had
not progressed very far in the study of Genesis before they came across
the covenants of promise made unto Abraham and repeated to Isaac and
Jacob. An inquiry was made as to whether those promises had been fulfilled
or not. You can imagine how like a golden cord they discovered that those
promises permeated and ran through both the Old and New Testament and
constituted the basis of the Gospel of the Kingdom. It was at this point
that the true light began to shine, and as
investigation progressed, the light shone brighter and brighter until they
were led into obedience of the one true faith and hope of the Gospel.
the investigation was in progress, my Uncles James and Benjamin Wilson,
and Benjamin's boys emigrated to America in 1844, bringing with them what,
light they possessed. Later in 1849, my father, Joseph Wilson, his
brother, John Wilson, William and Richard Appleyard, also sailed for
Geneva, Illinois, where my
Benjamin had previously located and entered the printing business. Uncle
James had bought a farm a few miles west of Geneva. Later still came
Joseph Cockroft, who became a partner with Uncle Benjamin in the printing
business. Later still, George Westgarth and family became located in
a boy, my father put me into the Gospel Banner office to learn the printing business. It was during
this time that the Emphatic Diaglott was translated and printed.
my mind's eye, I still see my Uncle Benjamin sitting at his desk making a
literal word-for-word translation of the New Testament. I remember seeing
the Greek type arrive from England. Many readers of the Diaglott
be aware that my Uncle not only translated the Diaglott but took charge of the mechanical work as well. He
electrotyped the entire book himself.
each page of the Diaglott was put into type, he took an impression of the page of type in wax. This
wax mold was then black-leaded with very fine black lead dust. He had a
vat containing acid. In this acid, he hung a copper plate and also the
wax mold before he went home at night. In the morning, he would find the
wax mold covered with a thin sheet of copper. The acid dissolved the
copper and the black-lead attracted it to the wax mold. He then made metal
plates, out of melted metal and fastened the copper upon it. He printed
the first edition of the book from these plates on a hand press. I used to
ink the plate by a soft roller while he worked the press. Thus from
Geneva, as the early gospel center, issued one of the most useful aids for
Bible study that ever issued from the press, in any section of this
'Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse
ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness
in the fear of God.'
-- (2 Cor. 7:1).
is moral purity; and it is written that 'without holiness no man shall see
the Lord' (Heb.
and again, 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.' (Matt. 5:8). Purity of heart signifies purity of the will or
intention, the main-spring of life. To be perfectly holy or pure in every
sense of the word would signify absolute perfection, which no man can now
claim; but those who by faith are clothed with the righteousness of Christ
are now reckoned 'holy and acceptable unto God' (Rom. 12:1), the righteousness of Christ being imputed to them
by faith. These, whose hearts are fully consecrated and loyal to the Lord,
are 'the pure in heart,' whose privilege it is to see God.
the heart of every accepted child of God must be pure from the very
beginning of his Christian life (otherwise he is not accepted or owned as
a child), yet, as the Apostle suggests above, there must be from that time
onward a gradual work of perfecting holiness in the fear (filial
fear) of God. That is (being graciously reckoned of God as holy
through Christ, from the hour of our entire consecration to his will,
because our will and effort are to be so), we are to go on striving daily
against our natural imperfections, and endeavoring as nearly as possible
to make the reckoned holiness more and more actual. Thus we
should continue to grow in grace and in the actual likeness of the
Christians make the very serious mistake of supposing that they, as merely
passive subjects, may receive instantaneously the blessing of holiness as
a mark of God's special favor. But such a conception is very far from the
Apostle's idea, as expressed above. He represents the attainment of
holiness as a life work, and the individual Christian as the active, and
not as the passive, agent in accomplishing it. From the standpoint of a
reckoned holiness he is to go on, day after day, and year after year, in
the work of actual cleansing of himself from all filthiness of the flesh
and spirit -- of person and of mind -- 'perfecting holiness in the fear of
the exceeding great and precious promises we have abundant incentives to
strive daily to perfect holiness; but these must be held before the mind
that they be not crowded into the background by the cares of this life and
the deceitfulness of its pursuits. The pure in heart -- whose will is only
to serve and please him -- do see God by faith and with the eyes of their
understanding. They see him in his Word and his plan, as he graciously
opens it up to their minds as meat in due season; they see him in his
mighty works -- of creation, and of redemption and salvation; they see him
in nature, whose open book is ever eloquent in his praise to those who
have eyes to read; by faith they see him in the secret closet communions
when there is no eye to see and no ear to hear but God's, where the heart
may freely unburden itself of its load and lay down its cares and feel
that unutterable sense of divine sympathy and love which only those can
understand who have taken the Lord as their personal friend and counselor.
They see him, too, in his providences; for, having entered into their
closets and shut to the door and prayed to their Father in secret, the
open reward of his sure and safe leading always follows, according to his
blessed it is thus to see God -- to realize his presence and power and his
abiding favor in all the vicissitudes of life; to watch him and see how,
as the days and years go by, he makes all things work together for good to
them that love him, and to see also, from the grand standpoint of
observation he gives us, how glorious a destiny he has carved out for us
and for all the willing and obedient subjects of his authority.
we cultivate acquaintance with God and with our Lord Jesus, communing with
them through the divine word and prayer, almost unconsciously to ourselves
the work of perfecting holiness progresses. To be thus in communion with
them is to receive more and more of their mind and disposition. And having
the mind of God thus in us, as the controlling principle of our actions,
to what purifications of the flesh it will also lead!
begins at once to clean up the whole man. Old unclean, as well as sinful,
habits are put away; unseemly conversation is not permitted to pass the
door of the lips, or if, by force of old habit, slips of this kind occur,
they are promptly repented of and rectified; and unholy thoughts are not
entertained. The same spirit of holiness prompts also to the cleansing and
purifying of the body, the clothing, the home, and all with which we have
to do; for the outward man must be in conformity with the pure heart
within, and with the heavenly guests that make their abode with us. -- (John 14:23).
is quite possible, however, that the more we succeed in purifying
ourselves of the old carnal nature, the more we may realize the
imperfections that still remain; for the purifying process is also an
educating one: we learn to appreciate and admire purity, holiness, the
more thoroughly we assimilate it, until 'the beauty of holiness' becomes
the most desirable of all possessions, that which is lacking of its glory
is our deepest concern and the great work of perfecting holiness becomes
the chief business of life. Let the good work go on, dearly beloved, and,
in the end, the Lord himself shall be your exceeding great reward.
Reprints, p. 1739.
time to be holy! The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see."
Lucy Blair, Collins, Ohio - (Feb.)
Br. Roy G. Case, Centralin, Wash. - (Oct.)
Sr. Louisa L. Cumming, Brooklyn, N. Y. - (Nov.)
Sr. Frances Giesey, Houston, Texas - (Oct.)
Sr. Cleve McDaniel, Farmington, Mo. - (Oct.)
year has gone by, and I am happy to enclose my subscription for the
"Herald," now due. Yes, the years go by, and each one holds for
us its measure of experiences -- and we are learning that, in this, the
Potter is molding us to the pattern he desires to be perfected in us. We
find that the process calls for many things which are essential to the
"working out" of our salvation: and these are of a varied
nature. And so it is, that the very things which appear to be of a
negative nature -- pain, sorrows, losses, tribulation -- these things
have a definite place and purpose in the shaping of vessels suited
"for the Master's use." Only when we see this, can we see Paul's
meaning in his words, "All things are for your sakes." And not
until we see this, can we possess the "peace" and
"rest" of which the Master spoke. Blessed indeed are those who
have found this peace and rest, and who can sing or say,
sorrow do its work,
Send grief and pain;
Sweet are thy messengers,
Sweet their refrain."
none feel that this height of Christ-likeness is unattainable! Paul
reached it, and others have done so. May Faith, Hoe, and Love so control
our hearts and minds that, from "glory unto glory," the Christ
filled life shall be ours. We do well to believe that our God does
not ask of us any attainment that, by his grace and spirit,
beyond us. Soon the Church will be complete. Let us not forget the words
of Isaiah 35:3, 4, and work until our work here is done.
With Christian love to you and your
co-workers, I am, by grace,
Your brother in the Lord,
W. W. -- B. C.
temple of God is holy! a temple of God are we, --
This is what God has intended, what He has called us to be;
A shrine indwell by His spirit, where His life is manifest,
Where He can work unhindered, and His spirit is not repressed.
The temple of God is holy! wherein His spirit resides,
Not as a guest who is passing, but a home where He abides --
Where He guides, upholds, enlightens -- the heart that's trusting in
Seeking to follow more closely in the steps that Christ has trod.
The temple of God is
holy! To God a most precious thing,
Christ by is spirit's revealed as -- Prophet, Priest, and King:
Do we realize
measureless love and plan,
To create for Himself a shrine in the renewed heart of man?
The heart renewed by His spirit, with its life borne from above --
'Tis there He has promised to come, and walk in His wondrous love:
measure that all is yielded to Him,
For then we're hungering, thirsting for him more than anything.