XXXV April 1952
shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and
What a word! What a power of suggestion it contains! It has the aroma of
spring. It tells us that the winter is gone; the cold snows have melted
away, the time for the singing of birds has come, and the flowers appear
in the land. Resurrection! The trees seem to whisper it, the streams to be
purring it, the sun to be smiling it, and the world to be welcoming
it. Everything appears to be rejoicing in the power of returning life.
need not have made the spring-time, but in his loving kindness he has
given it once a year. We know it is coming. How eagerly we look for the
first robin. Ah, there he is, just as joy-giving as ever. He is
reconnoitering -- just taking a look over the land. Ile will be settling
down to the business of houseJ.keeping ere long. And there is the purple
violet nodding its head. Everywhere nature is waking up from its long
sleep. The world is enjoying its awakening to life. And it is all due to
the fact that the sun is higher in the sky. Its rays are coming more
directly, less obliquely, and they gain power as it mounts still higher.
Trees, grass, flowers, and the brown earth itself, are all bathed in the
ardent, bountiful, life-giving solar light and warmth. Germination is
going on. There is a mighty process of transformation taking place on
every hand. This all preaches the yearly sermon of the world's great need,
for above all else men need the great Sun of Righteousness to arise with
healing in his beams. Nor shall they seek him in vain, for in due time he
will disperse the long night of sin, sorrow, and death, and death shall be
THE EVER-REPEATED QUESTION
a man die, shall he live again?" is a question asked by Job a long
time ago, and has been asked many times since. Science has no answer for
this question. The Platonic philosophy claims that man does not actually
die, but is immortal, and that death is but a semblance of dissolution,
or a something that affects merely the body, while an ethereal part called
the spirit lives on. In the words of the poet it says, "There is no
death; what seems so is transition. This life of mortal breath is but a
portal of the life Elysian, whose portal we call death." Much of the
world's theology runs in this same channel. But God's Word states:
"They are all of the dust. and all return to dust again." It is very important to see death to be what it is, and then
we are prepared to consider the great change that is to come to a dying
Jesus was on earth, Israelites of Pharisaic persuasion believed in a
resurrection. Referring to her brother Lazarus, Martha said, "I know
that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus
said unto her, "I am the resurrection and the life [it is through
me that the resurrection will come]. He that believeth in me, though he
were dead [in the past] yet shall he live [in the future], and whosoever
liveth [at that time] and believeth in me shall never die." Thus
the Master directed attention to the one means of gaining life.
order to secure for the world a resurrection, Jesus had to die and rise
again. His own resurrection was the first great requirement. While his
death seemed to be the greatest possible overthrow of a cause, his
resurrection revealed the greatest triumph. He had promised to rise again,
but in the main this had gone over the heads of the disciples. So he
convinced them by appearing to them. It was an amazing revelation. He was
alive. Death had no more dominion over him, and now he possessed the
power to open the tomb and to release from death; he had the keys. So the
Apostle wrote "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the
firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came
also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in
Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the
firstfruits afterward they that are Christ's at his coming [presence].
Then cometh the end, . . . when he shall have put down all rule and all
authority and power; for he must reign till he hath put all enemies under
his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." (1 Cor.
15:20-26.) In the glorious hope of a resurrection, millions have lived
seek ye the living among the dead?" said the angel at the tomb. Why,
indeed? And as the Master of life is not numbered among the dead, neither
is the doctrine of the resurrection, in its full scope and power, to be
found in the tomb of musty and stale theological treatises, or in creed
graves. Yet it lives in all its strength and beauty in the Word of God.
But the smoke of false creeds has obscured it from the eyes of the great
majority, for they have failed to see that the mighty promises of Holy
Writ apply to all mankind. "I will ran,om them from the power of
the grave; I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues;
O grave, I will be thy destruction." - Hosea 13:14.
it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will
hear the heavens, and they [the heavens] shall hear [have communication
with] the earth [the earthly representatives of the heavenly Kingdom];
and the earth shall bear the corn, and the wine, and the oil [the people
symbolized by corn, wine and oil]; and they shall bear Jezreel [the lowest
part of the world's inhabitants, who so greatly need the uplifting
influences of the Kingdom]." - Hosea 2:21, 22.
IF YE THEN BE RISEN WITH CHRIST
the present Age some have been regarded as already risen with the Master.
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." (Col. 3:1.) To be
risen with Christ means to have an entirely new viewpoint of life and its
affairs. The great struggle for existence on earth encourages the growth
of human ambition. It is a saying that "there is always room at the
top." Young people are encouraged to acquire knowledge that they
may thus rise to the summit; of human achievement, and perchance have
their names on the world's roll of fame. But Christ calls to something
very different, something higher. It is to have our names written in the
Lamb's Book of Life. And so we are to seek the things above. Then on the
other side of the veil we shall have fellowship with God's people
throughout eternity. All the things for which our hearts yearn are stored
up for us in that celestial realm, and some day we stall, if faithful,
share in the first resurrection. - See Phil. 3:10, 11.
ALL IN THEIR GRAVES SHALL ARISE
all in their graves shall arise, then comes the process of the general
resurrection for the mambers of the human race; and what this will mean
for the hundreds of millions who have died, no words can express. It will
be the regaining of life under entirely new conditions. We recall a
great writer's description of the death of a young girl, little Nell,
who was taken from her friends and borne to the cold tomb. Now, because of
the redemption in Christ, we can visualize little Nell alive once more. It
is the great morning of the resurrection. The world's long night is gone.
The effulgent Sun of Peace is risen and his glory is diffused upon human
hearts and minds.
where are those who formerly traveled over life's wintry way? And where
is Nell? She is alive. No mere semblance of life is that, but life itself.
It shows in her sprightly step and in her sparkling eye. The rose has come
back to her cheeks and buoyancy to her form. The grave which held her for
a season, has no more claim upon her. She carries not the slightest
suggestion of death's power. She is the same sweet Nell as of old, but
with added grace and freshness due to recently imparted vigor of life and
joy. Her former companions are there too, and she finds her friends of
former days. Trees, flowers, and grass clothe the earth that was parched,
and the warbling birds sang never so blithly as now.
great congested cities are gone. The hovels of poverty are no more. People
have congenial employment. No one is in want. The earth is bringing
forth its increase, and injurious insects and weeds have been destroyed.
Forces of nature no longer run riot, and the air is balmy and
invigorating. Men and women -- thousands of them -- have already come back
from the tomb and millions more will return in due time as the redeemed
earth is made ready to receive them. Social inequalities have melted
away, for the only aristocracy is that of character. There are no extremes
of riches and poverty; money is a thing of the past. There is no racial
friction or strife, no war in all the world. The people are characterized
by a wonderful simplicity of manner and of dress; their faces bear the
stamp of honesty of purpose. Everything speaks of life and testifies to
the operation of a power hitherto unknown.
is the evening hour. The declining sun tints the cloud-flecked sky with
a glory past description, and a few birds are giving out their farewell
notes to the departing day. Here we sit in a kind of natural amphitheatre,
formed by gigantic trees. It is a goodly place, affording a grand,
panoramic view of earth and sky. All is quiet, and the gentle murmuring of
some meandering stream is a delight to the ear. It is a ,spot that invites
us to tarry, while the magic of approaching darkness weaves deeper shadows
under the umbrageous branches of the monarchs of the wood. And while the
silken fingers of the softly vagrant breeze fondles our cheek, we listen
to the "stilly sounds that come with eve" that whisper of a
world at peace.
were God's first temples," and men and women are coming to join
in the evening hour of worship. Joy is on every countenance. And over
there where a strata of protruding rock forms a natural rostrum, one
of venerable aspect speaks to the assembled participants. He
discourses on the goodness of God, and tells us that he lived on earth a
long time ago, and we learn that his name is Daniel, the beloved Prophet
to whom the promise was made that in the end of the days, he would come
forth to stand among his people; and we remember him as one who was
faithful to the Lord in a wicked and idolatrous world.
listen as Daniel reminds his hearers that their presence there evidences
the fact that the promises of God are sure. It has all come to pass
because God so loved the world that he sent his Son from heavenly glory to
a sin-cursed earth to die on man's behalf. By the resurrection of Jesus he
gave assurance that some day the power of death would be broken, and now
that glorious time has come at last. He further reminds them that their
present blessings are but a foretaste of the blessings held out in the
prospect of everlasting life, promised to those who learn to know their
God. And having concluded his discourse, he mingles with the throng.
the shades of night gather round, and the great stars come out one by one
in the firmament above, let us also listen to our old friend, little Nell,
as she sings:
closing hymn is announced, and the mighty throng sing as one person a
great "Jubilate Deo," to the Everlasting Father in Heaven, from
whom all blessings flow.
wonderful resurrection work goes on. The Son of love gives the fulness of
his splendor to mankind. And the divine music of peace, joy, kindness and
good-will, coming down to earth from above, will flow on and on in a
mighty tide of benediction to the hearts and minds of uncounted
millions of the human race. So let it be, O, Lord: Thy Kingdom come, and
thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.
the disciples had been informed concerning our Lord’s resurrection, they
seem to have but imperfectly comprehended his words. At all events, they
evidently were not expecting him to rise from the dead, and hence, when he
appeared in their midst, they were greatly affrighted and troubled. Our
Lord foreknew how they would regard the matter and had chosen the most
favorable manner for manifesting himself, and communicating to them the
wonderful fact of his resurrection. He could have appeared to them as the
angel appeared to Moses in the burning bush. They would then have seen a
flame, as Moses did, and could have heard his voice, and could have been
impressed with the dignity of his presence by being commanded, as Moses
was commanded, to take off their shoes because the ground was holy. This
would have made a deep impression upon their minds, but it would not have
made the kind of impression the Lord desired to make. It would not have
convinced them that their Master, whom they had seen crucified and buried
three days before, was no longer dead, but risen and alive.
Lord could have chosen another method. He could have appeared as a
glorious angel and have manifested something of his spiritual glory, as he
did later to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:13-18) and as
he did to Saul of Tarsus on the way to Damascus. He was just as truly a
glorious spirit being at this time as he was afterward, and as he will be
to all eternity. He had been put to death in the flesh but, as the Apostle
assures us, he had also been quickened (made alive) in spirit. (1 Pet.
3:18.) This change had come to him in his resurrection, just as it is
promised that a similar change will come to his faithful Church, --
"sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in
power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body." (1 Cor.
15:43,44.) But had he appeared to the disciples a glorious, shining being,
as he appeared to Saul, the effect upon them no doubt would have been
similar to the effect upon Saul. They would have fallen before him, and
perhaps also have lost their sight as Saul lost his. This might have
impressed them powerfully, but it would not have led their inexperienced
judgments to accurately connect this glorious being with the man Christ
Jesus whom they had followed for three years.
manner chosen by our Lord for revealing himself was much more favorable
for the disciples. He wished to gain their attention, and to avoid
anything that would unnecessarily excite them, and hinder them from
learning the lessons which he wished to impart. Hence he appeared as a man
on several occasions, -- once as a gardener to Mary, again as a stranger
to the two who went to Emmaus, and on another occasion and in each case,
he revealed his identity by his conversation or by his manner so that they
recognized him as their crucified Master, -- Jesus. But on the occasion
mentioned in this lesson he appeared in a body of flesh and bones, similar
to that which had been crucified. The body which they saw was not he for
he had been "changed" in his resurrection and was now a spirit
being with a glorious body such as John and Saul saw. But he appeared to
them in a body of flesh and in ordinary garments specially prepared for
the occasion just as angels (using the same power) had appeared as men
previously. Just as our Lord (centuries before he became a man) appeared
as a man to Abraham, and ate and talked with him, so now, after he had
ceased to be a man, and had been changed and was a spirit being highly
exalted, far above angels, he again appeared as a man because this was the
best means of communicating to the disciples the grand truths which he
wished to communicate. Hence also he assured them to allay their fears,
that what they saw was not a spirit. He at that time was a spirit (1 Cor.
15:45; 1 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17) , but they did not see him but merely the
body of flesh which veiled yet represented him; and which, as he intended,
helped their imperfect faith and knowledge to grasp the important lesson
that he was no longer dead but alive for evermore.
he reminded them of his own previous utterances on the subject of his
resurrection; he quoted to them and expounded the prophecies which bore
the same testimony, and showed them the necessity for the great
transaction which he had accomplished, saying "Thus it is written,
and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third
day." All of this discourse probably is not given, but we may
presume, reasonably, that he explained to them particularly the necessity
for the ransom-sacrifice, and something concerning the wonderful results
which must yet flow therefrom to all the families of the earth.
was present with them for forty days before his ascension, yet was
invisible to the "brethren," except during the few times of his
manifestation; and these manifestations were but brief; during all this
period of forty days none except the "brethren" saw him; and, as
we have seen, they saw him only by reason of the miracle which he
performed, appearing in their sight as a man; because human beings cannot
see spirit beings. In this our Lord fulfilled his statement made before
his death -- "Yet a little while and the world seeth me no
more." -- John 14:19.
who hold the view that the flesh of our dear Redeemer given for us (John
6:51) was resumed by him, and constitutes his resurrection body, miss the
real lesson taught the disciples during those forty days preceding his
ascension. The lesson of the occasional appearances, and then in different
forms or bodily appearances and of his vanishing after each manifestation
was (1) that he was no longer dead but risen (2) that his resurrection
conditions were totally different from those of the man Christ Jesus.
imagine the care-worn, thorn-marked features and the wounded hands and
feet, of "flesh and bone," to be Christ’s resurrection body
would be thoroughly inconsistent every way. If his marred, fleshly body is
his resurrection body, why did the Apostle so carefully explain that
"there is an animal body and there is a spiritual body"? (1 Cor.
15:44) And why tell the saints that "it doth not yet appear what we
shall be" in the resurrection? (1 John 3:2.) If we shall be like as
we are now, with all of our present blemishes and scars then it doth
appear and surely would be very disappointing to those who have believed
the Lord’s word that flesh and blood (human nature) cannot inherit or
enter the Kingdom of God, and that therefore we, who are alive and remain
unto the second coming of our Lord must be "changed" -- that we
may "be like him and see him as he is." Originally a spirit
being, our Lord humbled himself and was changed to our nature and was
"made flesh" "for the suffering of death" as our
ransom price. He then was "made like unto his brethren:" but
now, having redeemed us, he has been glorified with the glory which he had
with the Father before the world was created, and now his promise is that
the "brethren" shall be "changed" and made like unto
him and share his glory. -- 1 John 3:2 1 Cor. 15:41-46,51-53.
ARE living in momentous days-days to which the words of the poet most
fittingly apply: "Change and decay in all around I see." Many
are those, descrying the breakdown of present civilization and warning of
impending disaster. Seeing these days from afar, Isaiah wrote: "The
earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, . . . and the transgression
thereof' shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise
again." - Isa. 24:20.
watchword "get back to normalcy' is' a thing of the past. The old order is at best but a hollow shell; and those
trying to uphold it are forced to retreat before the onrushing change. So
true is this that a compromise which seemingly offers a temporary reprieve
is heralded as a stride toward stability.
once mighty and flourishing British Empire is experiencing this
dissolution. The glory that was hers has greatly departed; her powerful
influence is rapidly waning; and many are the sorrows that afflict
her-Britain, for years the bulwark of western civilization!
a significant testimony to the truth of God's Word, and a revelation as to
how sick the present order really is, we present the following by Stewart
Alsop, writing from Bagdad, as reported in the December 8, 1951 issue of
the Dayton, Ohio Journal
"MATTERS OF FACT"
IRAN, BIRTHPLACE OF CIVILIZATION;
where civilization was born, it is quite easy to see how civilization may
die. For here it is possible to watch painlessly, as through dark glasses,
all the forces at work which are causing the Middle East to go the way of
of course, there is the progressive decay of the British technique of
exercising power. In essence, this technique has been to create a small
ruling class of rich, venal or ambitious men, dependent on British
support, and then to exercise
through these men. But no one really believes this system, which has
collapsed already in Iran and Egypt, will work very much longer.
this atmosphere of unreason, Iraq, like Iran, is quite likely to cut off
its own nose-its oil revenues-to spite the British face. The same men who
somewhat unbrilliantly managed the fortunes of Iran's Anglo-Iranian Oil
Company have been managing the almost equally vital Iraq Petroleum
learned a belated lesson in Iran, the British oil managers now have
offered a reasonably generous contract to Iraq. Iraq Premier Nuri Said, an
aging monument to the British technique of power, has accepted the new
agreement. It is expected to pass through parliament, to the accompaniment
of Communist-organized street riots. But sooner or later, in the universal
opinion here, some ambitious politician will seize the torch from
Mossadegh's trembling hands and the days of the Iraq Petroleum company
will be numbered.
the Iranian oil crisis has its pale counterpart here, so does the Egyptian
crisis. The British have, by treaty, the right to station certain troops
in Iraq. Actually, they have only a
corporal's guard, mostly Royal Air Force men. Although less vital than
the Suez base, the British installations in Iraq would be an important
forward defense and staging area in case of war.
as everywhere in the Middle East, there is mass misery. And here there Is
also the fear and hatred of Israel found in every Arab state. Partly because the United States is credited with
responsibility for creating Israel, partly because to' seem to challenge
our British ally would be disastrous, and partly through sheer inertia,
American policy in Iraq, as elsewhere in the Middle East, is paralyzed.
Even the, ablest Americans in this area tend to become resigned to, disaster.
They ask, reasonably enough, 'But what can you do?' Only the engineers, pouring over their maps, their eyes gleaming
as they point to their natural water basins and watersheds which surround
this parched land, retain something of their native optimism. And this is
the last twist of the knife. For so much could be done so easily and even so
at least, the desert could indeed be made to bloom like the rose. Here all
the Arab refugees from Palestine could be absorbed. Here the standard of
living could be made to rise miraculously. With expert help, this could
almost all be done with the $150,000,000 which will soon be Iraq's annual
share of its oil revenue.
yet, with a corrupt and irresponsible ruling class, the established power
system in decay, a violent xenophobia [hatred of foreigners], an obsession about Israel and the odd
sort of death which seems to' exist everywhere in the Arab states, 'What
can you do.'
question is not easily answerable. As a practical matter, it seems a
reasonable guess that Iran will go first, then the rest of the Middle
East, and then the rest of us, including the unfortunate Russians. But
at least it is past time for the British and American to consider a really
serious attempt to avert this fatal succession of events. For if the Middle,
the way of China, this will surely mean a third world war, which will
destroy civilization as we have known it.
following, written in 1916, is even more true today of the world and its
of the nations realize that they are impoverishing-themselves of their
best blood and virility and of their
wealth placing the grievous burden of debt upon generations yet unborn
-- unless their debts should be repudiated, which would mean revolution
and anarchy, such as the Bible seems to foretell. No Wonder there is a
movement for peace in all these countries.
It is a sad spectacle. How strange it must appear to them as well as to
ourselves! The greatest nations are bleeding to death, severely wounded .
. . .
the Lord is preparing the world to acclaim Messiah's Kingdom 'the desire
of all nations'! -Haggai 2:7."
F. A. Essler.
Comfort Ye My
extemporaneous remarks of Brother W. J. Siekman as the final discourse of
the Second Unity Convention, Lakeside, Ohio, August 1951. Published by
request of many who heard the discourse.)
ARE selecting for
some thoughts from the 40th chapter of Isaiah: "Comfort ye, comfort
ye my people, saith your God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every
mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made
straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be
revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord
hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All
flesh is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of
our God shall stand forever. Behold, the Lord God will come with strong
hand, and his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and
his work before 'him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, he shall
gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall
gently lead those that are with young."
recognize here much that has reference to the natural seed of Abraham,
Israel after the flesh. But you and I
who trust to be part of the spiritual seed can also find comfort in these
beautiful words. Do we need comfort? I think we do.
did you come to this convention? Why did I? I know I did not come to
persuade others to see everything my way, because I do not understand
everything correctly. Neither did I come in anticipation of hearing
marvelous new things from God's Word; nor to make disciples unto myself;
nor from idle curiosity. But there was one thing that I hoped to find
here (and thank God I did find it, just as I did at the First Unity
Convention last year) and that is fellowship with those of kindred spirit,
albeit of diverse mind.
was not disturbed because a few of my brethren expressed views from this
platform different from my own. 'They have the right to their beliefs.
What I cannot accept I disregard, though asking the Lord to bless the
brother and myself (whichever one is wrong) with a clearer understanding
of his Word. I regret that some subjects were chosen which could have been
something else in view of our "mixed" congregation. I would have
preferred -- of course that's
man's preference -- that such subjects had been reserved for the separate
discussion meetings provided. Where we have, as some one has called it, a
"captive audience," I believe (and I say this not by way of
criticism, but as a suggestion for next year) that each speaker be
considerate of his audience and not take advantage of their presence. No
matter how earnest and sincere we be (and I believe all
speakers were earnest and sincere), we should not force our views, our "strong
meat" upon any one. We must not -- expressing it crudely -- give pork
chops to a little child.
lambs that our Lord is pictured as carrying in his bosom may represent
those who are newly come into the Truth, but perhaps also some who have
now grown gray headed in this "Way." Not always does age
(whether it be our natural years or those in which we count the Lord's favor) serve as a criterion of our ability to understand the "deep
God." There are "lambs" who are 60, 70, 80 and more years
of age. We have one back in our home town who numbers 92. I would dearly
love to talk with her of many things in God's Word, but we must still,
when together, feed on the "milk of the word" -- but milk is
good. You have seen the large advertisements, "Strong Men Drink
Milk." I like milk in its place. Let us all be very solicitous for the Master's lambs and
"consider one another to provoke unto love," not strife.
I came here to see if we who love God, who love his Son, who have believed in the precious
"blood" and in gratitude' have consecrated our lives to our
heavenly Father, could leave behind the things upon which we differ, and,
concentrating upon the "things that are more excellent," find
sweet fellowship together for one week -- just one week out of 52.
Despite its imperfections and there have been a few -- I feel that this
Convention has received God's blessing.
wish to again quote, as I did at the conclusion of last year's Convention,
words which are so familiar to many of us that we can almost quote them from memory. Need I mention the name of the
man who wrote them some 45 years ago -- one whom I respect very much, yes,
respect for whom increases with the passing of time? Through his writings
the Lord graciously opened my eyes
to the wonders of 'his Truth, and I sincerely believe that this great man
was God's servant. Of course I shall not insist that you call him
"that servant;" but I hope you do consider him "God's servant." 'You also are God's servants. The
recorded facts prove he was God's servant, but never in the sense that his
utterances were infallible. I believe he would have appreciated this
convention and would have found here more of the true spirit of Christian
unity than (perhaps I had better not say it, but I was going to say) than
any place else. And this is not meant to reflect on the various
gatherings, God bless them, that are trying so hard to have this same
spirit manifest in their midst. I believe this servant would have strongly
approved the driving motive -- Unity of the spirit -- behind this
convention, and the words I now quote justify me in my belief:
Scriptural idea of unity is upon the foundation principles of the
our redemption through the precious blood, and our justification by demonstrated faith therein.
our sanctification, setting apart to the Lord, the Truth, and their
service-including 'the service of the brethren."
assembled here for a week upon these two essentials. Every one present, including the speakers, was united upon
them. True, I heard some expositions with which I disagree, but the one
who expressed them was none the less my brother. Continuing the quotation:
from these two essentials upon which unity must be demanded, there can be
no Scriptural fellowship."
the implication of these words is that if we be united on the two
essentials, we can
fellowship. There are thousands of people who know their Bibles well who
tell us the opposite, that we are wrong, that this is not sufficient. This
great man believed otherwise and we will not permit human sophistry to
wrest the meaning of his words. But let us
every other point fullest liberty is to be accorded, with,
however, a desire to see, and to help others to see, the divine plan in
its every feature and detail."
of that! Liberty under the control of Love! We haven't yet attained to
such liberty even at this convention. That is why we have suggested that
those privileged to speak, endeavor with all their might and main, with
earnest entreaty to our Father, that the utterances of their lips
edifying to every one present. I feel so strongly on this point that if no
other solution be found, I urge our brethren of Cicero (to whom you have
so kindly entrusted, the arrangements for next year's convention) to constrain
each speaker to limit himself to one subject only the Lord Jesus Christ. But I don't believe such coercion will be necessary,
though the all-sufficiency of such a "subject" would indeed fill
our cup with blessing.
addition to the regular program, provision can be made for the free
mingling of brethren to discuss controversial subjects. These gatherings
will be attended by those interested. Others will not be forced to
day, by God's grace, each speaker will be able to
freely express himself and no one will be distressed. Instead, each
hearer, having calmly considered the words and accepted or rejected as
understanding dictates, will spend the intermissions in edifying
conversation with his brethren and not troubling one another about- the
"dreadful" things the speaker has just uttered. That was his
opinion, he honestly believes it, and God will straighten him out in due
time if his heart is right.
might be likened to a dozen neighbors who cannot get
together. A new neighbor moves in, realizes the situation, and coming to
each individual invites him, saying: "Friend, come meet in my home.
Bring something for a joint meal and we will see what happens." And
so we dozen neighbors gather, each with his contribution for the table,
and we sit down to eat of all before us. Now I may not like the dill
pickles some one brought, nor he my salad. As guests in our new neighbor's
'home, we may not force our food upon others, nor they on us. Rather it is
for us to partake of what we wish, with gratitude that we are together
again through the kindness of our mutual friend. That is the lesson for us
to learn in these Unity Conventions; the lesson of how to get along
together. God has not given us this convention week for the purpose of
bringing our interpretations and the idea tat we must make others see as
we do. We have 51 other weeks in the year for that. This one week is to be devoted to
concentrating on the many things (and there are many) we have in common,
and so shall we enjoy true Christian fellowship together.
often have I heard quoted (as if to excuse our attitude toward a brother
who "disturbs" us) this
Scripture: "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" The
obvious answer is, No. But our mistake is that we leave assumed the
authority for determining the points of agreement and (how human is this
failing!) gone far beyond the two essentials so well expressed by
"God's servant." He was indeed, a profound Bible student, and
with all respect for your ability, every one of us in comparison to him is
just an amateur theologian. He is still far in advance of us. I am not
asking you to read his writings or
do earnestly exhort you to carefully consider his quoted words. What you
and I are hungering for is Christian fellowship. For 35 years we have tried other ways to attain this Unity. We have, setup
exclusive organizations. We have drawn up our own reasoned out lists of
essentials. We have gotten nowhere. Our brethren are still everywhere
scattered: It is time we agreed on the two and only two essentials.
that is necessary. That was not only just this man's opinion, who was but flesh, finished his work, and passed on to his
reward. A far higher Authority, in fewer and more expressive words has forever laid down
the basis for our fellowship:
terrible things have resulted from over zealous human additions to these
is a great religious organization which 'numbers 250 million adherents.
It claims to be the Mother Church. As a babe I was baptized in
church. I was safe and my salvation was sure. But at the age of 16 when
God opened my eyes to the wonders of his Plan, I completely and finally
separated from it. Do you know what the penalty shall be for my
"heresy"? I am doomed to eternal suffering. Think of it! When
this short life of mine ends, for millions, billions, trillions,
quadrillions of years I shall undergo sufferings I cannot possibly
imagine! How horrible is this extreme of human nonsense. You and I put
away such teachings long ago, but
hundreds of millions using this same
Bible still believe them. Are we sure we are' right when so many say we
I became Associated with another organization, much smaller but still
quite large. Our conventions number a pitiful few hundreds-theirs, tens
of thousands. Twenty-seven years ago, once again I turned
"heretic" and left "God's Organization." I went
"into outer darkness," and the penalty that now awaits me is
"second death," eternal destruction. Not for me will be the
privilege of seeing humanity restored upon this earth; not for me will
be the privilege of seeing God wipe away all tears from their eyes! I
shall never see my loved ones again! I am lost forever! And so are you,
for you have taken the same course. However, you do not appear concerned
any more than. I do, for we recognize such teachings as more human
nonsense. But are we sure we are right when so many tens of thousands of
diligent students of the Bible say we are wrong?
circle of fellowship has indeed narrowed, but the end is not yet. First I
left God's Church," and then "God's Organization," and now
I find that I am spoken of as one who has left the faith, "our most
holy faith" -- I have left "God's Truth"! Yes, there are
many brethren whom I love, with whom I am in doctrinal agreement, who will
not fellowship further with me. Why? Simply because I welcome into my
fellowship those who differ with them and with me. Brethren! If I
recognize in an individual my Father's child, until God says he is not his child, until then he is my brother. The same precious blood of
Christ flows, as it were, through our veins --and we are brethren! For
this third "heresy" I know not the penalty, but again I am not
disturbed, though 'hundreds of my beloved brethren say I am wrong. For all
of them I have the strong assurance that they will yet
attain to "higher
ground." It is my sincere prayer that God will cause the motivating
spirit of this Unity Convention to reach far and wide among our
brethren. And let us comfort God's people by courageous and active
co-operation in the first positive movement of this late day, for yearly
convention fellowship on the sole basis of our relationship to our mutual
Master. And though we have been stumbling around, feeling our way, making
mistakes and hurting one another, for which God forgive us all, I am
certain we are undertaking the most important work, the work upon which
he smiles in approval, the work of gathering the sheep which have been
scattered. I am very happy that once again you voted for another Unity
gathering. Let's get together next year if we have to walk there. Let's
forget how much it is going to cost. We wish we had millions of dollars
and could provide free transportation for all, and a free place to stay,
and the best food in the world. This we are unable to do for one another.
But we can all pray our Father, that he will permit us to meet again; this
time for sweeter fellowship, perhaps the sweetest fellowship we have ever
known. We who hope to spend eternity together can surely meet in the bonds
of Christ for one week now.
the book table I purchased a. new translation, Phillips' "Letters to
Young Churches" and would like to read to you from Ephesians 4, beginning with the verse which is really the theme text
of this Convention:
it your aim to be at one in the spirit, and you will inevitably be at peace with one
to one Body, of which there is one spirit, just .as you experienced one
calling to one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God,
one Father of us all, who is the One over all, the One working through all
and the One living in all."
might almost think St. Paul was writing especially to us here at
Lakeside. What wonderful words! No more looking about to see what
"label" the other brother wears, what ecclesia he attends, or
what magazine he reads. Instead, recognizing in one another the spirit of
the Lord Jesus Christ and of mutual love for him, our Head.)
there are different gifts and functions; individually grace is given to us
ways out of the rich diversity of Christ's giving. . . . His gifts unto
men were varied. Some she made special messengers, some prophets, some
preachers of the Gospel; to some he gave power to guide
and teach his people. His gifts were made, that Christians might be properly
equipped for their service, that the whole
be built up until the time comes when, in the unity of common faith -- and
common knowledge of the Son of God, we arrive
at real maturity -- that measure of development which is meant by 'the
fulness of Christ.'"
brethren, let us note especially in these words the Apostle's emphasis
of the spirit
while presenting unity
of the faith
are not meant to remain as children at the mercy of every chance wind of teaching and the jockeying of
men who are expert in the crafty presentation of lies. But we
to hold firmly to the truth in love, and to
grow up in every way into Christ, the Head. For it is from the Head that
the whole Body, as
harmonious structure knit together by the joints with which it is
provided, grows by the proper functioning; of individual parts to its full
maturity in love."
maturity in love! What a wonderful goal! And just who are we
beings who dare believe divine power is being especially exercised in us to so mighty an objective. Has not the Prophet said,
all flesh is
Perhaps it will do us good to ponder again first things and get our feet
well on solid ground. Consider with me Verses 25 and 26 in this same 40th
chapter of Isaiah (Isa. 40:25-26):
whom then; will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift
up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things,
bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by thee
greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth."
seems inevitable when I speak, that sooner or later I must touch upon one
of the most wonderful things that these eyes of mine have seen and this
mind of mine has contemplated, and that is the glorious spectacle of the
heavens at night. We all know something of the
significance of these twinkling lights. Each like our sun is a massive
star in the great "Milky Way," which we see as a thin wisp of cloud
at least 20 billion stars. So vast is this system that our sun with its
attendant planets has traveled within it 400 millions of miles a year for
two billion years without encountering a fellow star. Such is the
emptiness of space within the immensity of our Galactic System! And yet
if we could travel outside its boundary until it resolved into a pinpoint
of light and through immense voids of space approached another distant
point of light, we would find that also resolve into a galaxy with its
thousands of millions of stars, perhaps each with a system of planets.
And there are countless millions of such galaxies. Today, with the large
200-inch telescope at Palomar Mountain, man's vision has been extended to
20 thousand million light years. Such figures lose their meaning. Light
traveling at a rate of 186,000 miles per second can circle this earth
seven times in one second. What an incomprehensible distance is measured
by one light
year, not to mention 20 thousand million! And what do astronomers see at
this greatest distance? The same almost monotonous spectacle of spiral
nebulae -- "island universes" -- each a galaxy like our own
Milky Way, each numbering countless millions of stars. The mind is
numbed at the appalling awesomeness of the visible world! And this is not
the greater invisible
of which natural man knows nothing, but only the visible world, the
world of three dimensions, created for material beings such as man. There
are non-material beings, such as angels, and we know above them is a
divine nature. The greatness of the God of the Universe is only dimly
perceivable by our finite minds!
this wonderful chapter of Isaiah, in the 15th verse, the Lord tells us
some things to give us a proper perspective of ourselves-just what you and
I are as human beings in the scale of the universe. It is a humbling
picture-a tremendously humbling picture, with its never-to-be forgotten
lesson of our non-importance and insufficiency. Let the Lord speak:
the nations are as a drop of a bucket." No one troubles to
empty a bucket of its last drop of water of which the oceans are full. Yet
here the Lord likens all the nations of the earth to this inconsequentialness!
But the comparison is yet too great. The nations:
we think any one measuring with the old balance scales would trouble to
remove a few specks of dust lest there be an error in weight? And how much
smaller is a speck of dust than a drop of water! How small are the nations
in God's sight, and you and I are but individuals in this aggregate! But
lest some one consider a speck of dust as an entity, of some value, the
will agree that is quite small -- "nothing." Yet, amazingly, as
if determined to impress to the nth degree the lesson, God continues to
"shrink the nations' in this final word:
then all nations !are thus likened to nonentity, what of
are, but insignificant individuals among them! Perhaps our opinions, our
not so important after all. Perhaps the Lord is quite able to defend his
Truth against error without any assistance on our part. Perhaps we can
safely entrust to him the work of these latter days and leave to him only,
the judgment of ourselves and our brethren. Have we really learned this
lesson? I think
some of us have, praise God!
from this Old
Scripture which humbles and "puts us' in our
place," we read in the New of a Love which reached out from the
greater invisible world, far beyond the limits of Man's Universe, and
was manifested in the Coming of One "out of the Ivory Palaces into a
world of woe." For "God so loved" this "less than
nothing" "that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." What
a wondrous story -- the story of redeeming love! It shall always be told.
It is my belief that upon this planet have been created the first material
beings, and that in the permission of evil and the eventual glorious
outcome, there is a first manifestation of the Divine Character in all
its fulness -- Justice, Wisdom, Power, and Love. We count ourselves
among the few who are beginning to understand the Plan of the Ages -- the
sweetest story ever told. All the nations shall heir and rejoice in the
coming Restitution Age when all shall have their tears wiped away, and
shall enter into eternal life upon God's footstool then made glorious.
this is only tote beginning of God's work. When the ministers of
Millennial Day,. the Lord Jesus Christ and his Joint-heirs, the Seed of
Abraham, have blessed all the families of earth, will their work be
finished? Are they to be confined to activity on this sphere, a dozen oil
which if thrown into one sunspot would disappear yin an instant? Oh, no,
Ephesians 2 we read: "You hath He quickened, who were dead in
trespasses and sins."
this, dear brethren. We were not only "less than nothing" but
also "dead." But the measureless love of God readied out and
did something for us. He justified us, he raised us from our
"dead" condition, he honored us (who, in St. Paul's words, were
the "foolish and weak and base and non-existent things of this
world") with a high calling to his own glory. And ' for what purpose?
Ephesians 2:7 answers:
in the ages! [note the plural] to come he might show the exceeding riches
of his ' grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Creation of the Church, the "raising of beggars from the dunghill
to be set with princes," the perfecting of jewels for a royal diadem
for the display of his own perfection of attributes, is destined of the
Creator as the; means of manifesting himself to all mankind in the coming
Age and throughout all eternity to beings yet to be created. The theme is vast and our imagination staggers! To think
that you and I have such an amazing hope (a monstrous egotism the world
would say) and that we believe divine power is transforming our minds into
the mindedness of the Lord to the end we may be presented
"faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy"!
You and I really believe this? Why, this pent-up hope should make us feel
ready to burst! How little do we appreciate what the Lord is doing in us.
We should tremble to think that we have such a hope, for if it were not
divinely inspired, we would be emulating Lucifer of old. But we do have
this hope-God has begotten us to it and we are now "God's husbandry
and God's building." The gratitude of our hearts for his kindness to
us who were "dead" and "less than nothing" has welled
up in a devotion to his will and an eternal desire to glorify his name.
What work can we do for him to manifest this gratitude more tangibly?
in some marvelous way, I was able to attain fluency in all the thousand
dialects of men, yes and in the tongues of angels. Just think how the
world would listen to my voice. But suppose I was able also to understand
all mysteries and all knowledge. Any possible question on any subject I
could answer perfectly. Wouldn't I be a wonderful person in the world's
If now I turned to the Lord and said: "Once I
was 'nothing' but now I have attained to perfect speech and perfect wisdom
which I desire to use to glorify thee. Am I not now 'something'?"
I then attained to a faith that could move mountains. Suppose I could just
make this glass of water on the speaker's stand move through the air at my
word. Some of you, would probably faint. What power! How soon before the
newspapers would be full of it, and how soon before people would be
trooping to my door!
an individual with such attainments would be king over all the earth,.
acclaimed by all people, but in God's sight he woud be nothing. So teaches
St. Paul, by inspiration, in 1 Corinthians 13.
let's shut first things first. We need more of this "love," no'
matter how we define it. (Strange how a child understands what grown-ups
have so much difficulty with.) And we are mutually dependent on One who,
alone can transform us from our fallen condition into his own glorious
likeness "according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all
things unto himself." Remember that beautiful poem:
"The Touch of the Master's Hand"
battered, scarred, and the auctioneer
is our beloved Master, and thus is he working in each of us. Not one
speaker, including myself, chose the Master as his subject. I almost felt
as if he had stood there at the side, watching and listening as each'
addressed you. We were so busy with our own ideas, weren't we. But he has
with us, and noting the hunger of our hearts. Without him our labors are
in vain, but with him
will stop the spreading of the spirit of this convention. Just a few
hundred of us gathered here, but its
its lessons, its spirit may reach thousands. May the Lord move us mightily
to help our brethren everywhere to grow in appreciation and love for each
other. The world is against us; the devil is against us; our bodies are
against us; let us help one another. Let's throw away those hammers and
get a horn. Let each remain persuaded in his own mind but let brotherly love
In the words of the old hymn:
they received not the love of the truth, that they might he saved . . .
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that
they all might be damned." - 2 Thess. 2:10-12.
a startling thought that God would delude or deceive
anyone. He is "the God of Truth," He "cannot lie."
What, then, does the Apostle mean by this statement?
puzzled by a seemingly inconsistent statement of Scripture as rendered
in the version authorized by the royal James, we learn to seek its meaning
in the original text by making use of the various critical translations
available, and the Hebrew and Greek lexicons of Young and Strong.
examining this text we find that its first assertion "God
shall send" is correctly
translated, and indicates a deliberate and unequivocal purpose. We pause
to ask, How does God "send" his message to, men? and reply,
Through his Word, sole "channel" of his revelation to mankind.
we then to conclude that there is "strong delusion" in the Word of God? By
no means! The critical translations give us the solution of the mystery.
The original Greek words do not mean "strong delusion."
translates these words "an inward working of error." The
Emphatic Diaglott word-for-word reads, "strong working of deceit"; in the arranged translation, "an
energy of delusion." A free rendering of this passage in harmony with the Greek original and
the general teachings of the Scriptures might be as follows: "They
shall receive a mistaken zeal, based on their own understanding of the
Word of God."
Scriptures themselves offer numerous examples of people so deceived.
Fleshly Israel was deceived: "I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but
not according to knowledge." - Romans 9:30-10:3.
Paul was deceived: "As touching zeal, persecuting the Church." (Phil. 3:6.) "1 ...
am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of
God." - 1
Persecutors of Christians deceived: "The hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you
shall think that he offereth service unto God." - John 16:2.
Honestly deceived: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof
are the ways o f death." - Prov. 16:125.
Judas deceived: The betrayal of -our Lord by Judas Iscariot is one of the
simplest and clearest illustrations of our text. "Then
entered Satan into him [Judas]',.
therefore saith unto him, What thou doest, do quickly."
- John 13:21-30.
had sold out to the High Priests. He had agreed to betray his Master.
Satan "entered into his heart." But still he hesitated to commit
the overt act of treason. Jesus, the living
Word of God, spoke: "What thou doest, do quickly." It was the
"zeal of error" Judas needed: to spur him on. Without relieving
him of responsibility, Jesus gave him the "mistaken zeal" to
accomplish his nefarious purpose -because his heart -was not right-he had
not "received the truth in the love of it."
every one who concerns himself with holy things-the Scriptures, the Church, the ministry, without
a dominant, a governing love of the truth, will inevitably draw mistaken
zeal from the Scriptures, "that they may be judged" or
distinguished. By the suggestion from Jesus, Judas was prompted to act; by
the activating energizing power of God's Word, we are urged to do what we
most desire to do quickly, that our true heart condition may be manifested
and the decision in our case be made, and be approved by all the righteous
in heaven and earth.
be perfectly sincere, and sure we are acting on the Word of God, and yet
be wrong and by our actions be justifying our condemnation, it behooves
us every one to obey the Apostle's injunction to "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves." (2 Cor. 13:5.) Dare any of us say we are certain we are right -- in
no danger of judgment -- we have no need of caution or self-examination; and that all
who disagree with us either in doctrine or practice are wrong? "Let
him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall."
is often extremely difficult to discriminate between good and evil, or
to decide whether a course of conduct opened before us would be pleasing
to the Lord or not.
may be inclined to question this statement; but the writer of the Epistle
to the Hebrews declares it to be true. He says (Heb. 5:7-14), "When
by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that
some one teach you the rudiments of
of God; and ... have need of milk ["for babes"] and not of solid
food . . . [which is] for full grown men ... who by reason of use have
their senses exercised to discern good and evil."
emphasizes his point here by a play on words -- paronomasia,
is the use of two words of similar sound in juxtaposition, commonly for
emphasizing antithesis, or contrary meaning. Out of more than a dozen
Greek words meaning "good," and eight meaning "evil,"
the writer selects two which look and sound almost exactly alike -- "Kalos"
and "Kakos." It requires good eyesight to: "discern"
between Kalos and Kakos, and equally good and experienced spiritual
eyesight always to discern between good and evil, in our conclusions
drawn from the Word of God. A neat turn of language to impress a great
-- discrimination -- is a rare and advanced fruit of true Wisdom.
or evil! The fundamental error is in expecting that the Church will
reign in the flesh, and that its ministers have earthly authority. The
Scriptures are so written that the erroneous conclusion may be drawn by
those who do not love the truth concerning the Church in the flesh -- that
her course is to be one of humility, poverty, self sacrifice, suffering;
her exaltation to be consequent upon her death in following her Lord.
This is distasteful to those who love power, place, pride, authority. God
sends a "zeal of error" to such -- that their hearts may be
manifested, their condemnation justified.
it is that Bible students can see clearly how wrong was the course of some
who made these great and swelling claims in past centuries, yet fail to
recognize the same claims of over-lordship and authority when advanced
by others today. Plausible arguments based upon texts and interpretations
of God's Word are presented in support of these claims; but the
Apostle's solemn and portentous words apply today as ever: "God shall
send them a zeal of error-because they loved not the truth -- that they
may be judged."
particular self-deception is the most serious and dangerous of any into
which we may fall. It is denounced by the risen Christ in his Revelation
(Rev. 2:6, 15) as "the
doctrine and works of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate." Nicolaus
means "he who overcomes the people"; it is a cryptic reference
to those who seek to become "lords over God's heritage" -who are
"not holding the Head." "The vicegerent of Christ on
earth"; "the Channel of the Truth"; these and similar
claims are all direct offenses against him who has been appointed by God
the Father to be "head
over all things unto his body, which is the Church" (Eph. 1:22), and inevitably will bring on the
condemnation forewarned, if persisted in.
in heinousness to the offense against the Head is the offense against his
Body, the Church, in fomenting divisions among her members. The Apostle
must be schisms among you that they that are approved may be made manifest
among you" (1
the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; . . . enmities,
strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties . . . which I
forewarn you, even as I did in time past, that they which do such things
shall not inherit the Kingdom of God" (Gal.
5:19-21). The divisions must come, in order that those who love and
practice divisions may be manifested and condemned.
the contrary, the same Apostle as clearly declares that those who practice
unity shall inherit the Kingdom. He gives us a basis for the unity of
the Church so clear, simple, and yet comprehensive as to leave no room for
question, no danger of being either too exclusive or too inclusive if
we adhere to it. It is indeed an authoritative "Apostles' Creed"
for the Church. It is found in Ephesians 4:1-16, which may be paraphrased
with some freedom as follows (note the play on the word
urge you to live worthy of the Call that you have received; always humble
and gentle, patient, loving one another, and striving to maintain in the
bond of peace the one-ness given by the Spirit [for there are seven
"one" things upon which this "oneness" is built]
this unified Body God has given gifts -- Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists,
Pastors, and Teachers, to fit his people for the work of the ministry, for
the building up of the Body of Christ. And [provided unity is maintained]
this shall continue until we all attain unto --
Apostle's extreme care in choosing words exactly to express his meaning is
notable in the fact that in referring to five of the seven essential
things he uses the cardinal "one"; in the cases of the other
two, he uses the ordinal "first." The five cardinal
"ones" are given to us-complete, perfect, the plan and
workmanship of the Father and the Son, in which our part is only to
receive, to occupy, to share, or
recognize and obey. These are: One Body, One Spirit, One Lord, One
Baptism, One God and Father." The other two are: "First Hope of
Our Calling, First Faith." These are our contributions to the
fellowship of the Body; while both are gifts from God in a sense, because
the things which call them forth or incite them are from him, yet in
another sense they originate and grow in our minds in response to God's
invitation and gracious promises.
in stating these two requirements for membership in the Body he implies
that we are not to expect or demand a fully developed hope or faith in
those seeking our fellowship. This he puts in so many words in Romans
that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful
as a result of the unity and fellowship of the Body, his faith will grow, "until
we all attain unto the unity [perfection] of the faith."
beautifully this platform covers every point-justification, consecration,
sanctification, holy living, a sacrificial death! Anyone who professes
these Seven Things, and gives no contrary evidence (such as living in open
sin -- 1 Cor. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:6) is accepted and fellowshipped as a
brother in Christ.
says one, any sectarian would accept this platform -provided he is allowed
to define the "One Faith"! To this we reply, the Apostle does
not leave this requirement to our individual opinions and preferences,
but himself defines in unmistakable simplicity and completeness, the
"Faith once delivered unto the saints": "Now faith is the
assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen."
"The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the
word of faith which we preach: because if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in thy heart that God raised him from the
dead, thou shalt be saved" (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 10:8, 9). Is that all?
Yes, according to Paul; but mistakenly zealous sectarians from the
earliest age of the Church have been expanding and dilating and
doctoring and patching their conceptions of "The Faith," to
include this, that, and the other doctrinal requirements, true or false;
and they are still busy at it!
fact, it has become so much a matter of course to confuse
"faith" with doctrine or belief, that when the facts come to our
attention we are astonished, and sometimes find it difficult to adjust our
minds to their implications.
Greek word "pistis,"
word usually translated "faith," carries no implication of a
creed or system of belief. Strong's Greek Dictionary in his Concordance,
after defining this word, adds: "By extension, the system of religious [Gospel] truth
is truly by an "extension" not authorized by the inspired
writers nor justified by the meaning or usage of the Greek word, that it so extended. And this "extension" has
been the cause of more fanaticism, persecution, hatred, warfare, and
bloodshed, in the name of Christ, than all other fundamental errors
compared to the seven fundamental things stated by the Apostle as
essential to membership in the Church, and the plain statements of
Scripture directly concerning these seven, all other doctrinal statements
of Scripture are of secondary importance. And yet, the things that
Christians dispute -- yea, quarrel, and divide about, are almost
invariably the doctrinal questions of secondary importance.
-- good or evil -- discern, O Israel! The great things should unite
we permit the lesser things to continue to separate us?
places life and death before us -- a theorem in spiritual proportion
Unity : Life :: Divisions : Death.
is to Life as Divisions are to Death.
-- and a
"completing of our course with joy"; an "ascertaining what
is the good and acceptable and complete will of God concerning us";
an "abundant entrance ministered unto us into his Everlasting
-- and loss;
lost time, lost efficiency, lost opportunities, a lost crown and Kingdom.
is this subject of the Unity of the Body of such supreme importance?
Because Jesus came into the world to establish unity (John 11:52).
(2) He commanded and prayed that his followers should be
one (united) (John 15:12, 17; 17:11, 2123).
(3) We lose our liberty in Christ if we practice
says one, "I thought we gained liberty by standing apart?"
most important feature of our liberty in Christ is that spoken of in John 1:12:
many as received him, to them gave he power [margin, the right or
privilege - i.e., liberty] to become the sons of God." "He that
saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he
walked. Hereby perceive we love, because he laid down his life for us;
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren ... Beloved, if God so
loved us, we ought also to, love one another" (1 John 2:6;
can we love and lay down our lives for the brethren if we are divided-if
we do not fellowship with them-assemble ourselves together with them?
Only "with all saints" can we come to know "what is the
breadth and length and height and depth . . . of the love of Christ, which
passeth [individual or human] knowledge" (Eph. 3:14-19).
attain the perfection of this knowledge only when we are finally united
with our Head and the members of his Body beyond the Veil; but our fitness
for that ultimate and perfect unity will certainly be measured and judged
by the earnestness, sincerity, and self-sacrifice we display in seeking
the fullest possible measure of it during this, our trial time.
have considered the great Apostle's solemn admonitions and warnings; it
remains for us only to examine their applicability to ourselves; to
determine our own position and trend in the light of their significance;
for "if we judge ourselves we shall not be judged."
-- good or evil -- life or death!
Laodicean Church has a high and holy mission. In most particulars it is
identical with, in some it differs somewhat from, the mission of previous
stages of the Church. It may be stated thus
To "give diligence to make our own calling and election sure" (2
(2) To "lay down our lives for the brethren" in
assisting them to do likewise (1 John 3:16).
(3) To discharge our ambassadorship to mankind:
"As though God did beseech by us: we pray in Christ's stead, be ye
reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20).
(4) To witness to the world of the end of the Age, and the
nearness of the Kingdom (Matt. 24:14).
Mission can be accomplished only by Unity-or rather, those who practice
unity will achieve personal success in this enterprise.
requires both Faith and Works -- but not specialists in Faith and
specialists in Works, acting separately. We must get together, because
our Head commands it, and because we need each other.
or evil -- discern, O Israel!
we say unity is impossible? Then we do not love sufficiently, for "Love
hopeth ALL things"!
impossible? Then we contradict the Prophet, who declares (Isa. 52:8)
watchmen . . . together shall sing: for they shall see eye to eye when
the Lord shall bring again Zion." Does this mean that if we are of the true watchmen we
will agree on everything? Or, in other words, do we think that those who
do not agree with us are not watchmen?
no, brethren -- let us not be so narrow or so foolish!
we see eye to eye that opinions do not matter-that unity on the basis of
the Apostle's seven great essentials
(upon which we all agree) is the all-important thing-then the prophecy
is fulfilled-we can all get together, forget differences, practice
unity, reap its blessed fruits "unto life eternal," and be ready
to face our Lord and Head without the shame, confusion, and regret we
shall surely experience when we see him if we have "practiced
-- good or evil -- discern, O Israel!
the movement to "gather into unity the children of God who are
scattered abroad," inaugurated by our Lord nineteen hundred years
ago, is one worthy of our most earnest efforts as his followers. Surely it
deserves our careful thought and planning, our time, our talents, the
sacrifice of our human life itself! Surely it is a Holy Crusade to which
we will do well to devote ourselves! Surely such a life and death would be
wellpleasing to the Father and to our Head!
are a spectacle to angels and men." Are we giving a good witness,
dear brethren-of Christian love, of unity, of zeal and devotion, of holy
-- good or evil. Discern, O Israel!
H. E. Hollister
of the Pastoral Bible Institute are hereby reminded of the privilege
which is theirs of nominating in the pages of this journal the brethren
they wish to elect as directors for the fiscal year 1952-53. While the
attention of new members is especially drawn to this matter, we desire to
emphasize in the minds of old members also, not only the privilege, but
also the responsibility which continued association with this ministry
should be aware of the fact that the affairs of this Institute are in
the hands of seven brethren who are elected from the Institute's
membership to serve for a period of one year or until their successors are
elected. The next annual meeting will be held Saturday, June 7, 1952, at 2
p.m., in the parlors
Institute, 177 Prospect Place, Brooklyn, New York.
brethren whose term of service will expire are:
brethren named above are pleased to report that a spirit of Christian love
and harmony exists in their midst; and they have every reason to believe
that the Lord has seen fit to bless their association in this ministry.
They realize, however, that those carrying on any work often fail to see
opportunities for improvement and expansion apparent to others not
charged with such responsibility. For this reason changes in office not
infrequently have beneficial effects. They desire above all things that
the work of the Lord (for the furtherance of which this Institute was
formed) be prosecuted with the greatest possible efficiency, and to this
end are ready cheerfully to step aside for others whom the membership
believe to be fitted for the work. They therefore urge upon all the
members of: our Institute that they make this a special occasion of
prayer, and they also earnestly pray that our Father's will may be
expressed in the vote of the members. If after prayerful meditation any
are led of the Lord to nominate brethren, and will forward the names and
addresses. of such brethren so as to reach this office on or before April
6, 1952, such names will be published in the May issue of the
"Herald," that all members may have an opportunity of voting