XXXV June 1952
OUR previous study of this affirmation of job the effort was made to show
the desirability of reaching this assured testimony in the matter of our
own relation to the Lord. To this end attention was given to the fact
that our risen Savior in giving those "many infallible proofs"
of His resurrection to His immediate disciples, was at the same time
furnishing us with indubitable proof on which we too could say with
confidence, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." In His manifestations
to Mary in the quietness of the garden alone, and to Peter in some unnamed
place apart, we saw how in like manner, though invisible, Jesus still
comes to us speaking words by which we may certainly know He lives, and
loves, and cares for us also.
propose now to follow on in the same way in considering others of these
post-resurrection appearances, taking them in the order in which they seem
to have taken place. In each of these we shall find unquestionable proof
that our Redeemer lives, and that He is fulfilling to each one of us the
selfsame promise, "I will love him, and will manifest Myself to
him." (John 14:21.) Just because He is the "same Jesus"
yesterday, and today, and forever, we too may share with those
"chosen eye-witnesses" of long ago the evidences whereby every
doubt may be shattered, and every responsive fiber of our inner being
greatly quickened with hope, enabling us also to return to our appointed
tasks "with great joy, even as it is said of those favored ones who
saw their Savior, and ours, ascend from them out at Bethany. - See Luke
Expounding Scriptures Concerning Himself Made Hearts Burn
disciples, one unnamed, are the next to be favored with an experience
whereby they can affirm with assurance that their Redeemer lives again.
And once more we may see that same surprising distribution of God's
favors by which our own ways are reversed so strikingly. That there is a
possibility neither of these two disciples were of the Twelve could be
gathered from Luke. In chapter 24:33 he tells us that immediately after
they discovered they had seen Jesus, they "rose up the same hour, and
returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together." This
again was no accidental arrangement by which two disciples may have taken
precedence over chosen Apostles. This was the Lord's own doings, and
marvelous it is in our eyes, yea, full of lesson for us. By His granting
this precedence first to Mary, then to Peter, and now to these two
brethren, how clearly Jesus is bringing the lesson home to each one of us
that we are Wholly incompetent to decide whom the Lord will select for
special recognition. Are we not by these very significant incidents made
to wonder how many of our judgments regarding fitness for His presence
will be reversed when the number of His elect Church has been completed.
More important still, are we not led to wonder if we will experience any
disappointing reversal of a too lenient or partial judgment of ourselves?
This possibility is surely written plainly for us in these actions of
Jesus, and to make sure of avoiding such a disappointment when the Lord
makes manifest the secrets of all hearts, how important it is that we
take to ourselves all such lessons now.
story of the evening walk to Emmaus is full of lessons of which our hearts
should never tire. The name of only one of these two disciple; is given
us. Why not the other? Is the omission of the other's name in any way
suggestive that we may think of that one as ourself? Are the identification
marks not clear enough to most of us for thinking of ourselves as needing
and receiving some similar corrections because so slow to learn all that
the Scriptures should teach us. Let us note a few of these. But first let
us note that these two brethren were occupied with a theme well calculated
to bring Jesus to them. It was because they were absorbed in the strange
nature of His death, and so perplexed with regard to its significance that
such words as these could be written concerning them: "Jesus Himself
drew near, and went with them." No occupation of mind will ever bring
the Savior so near to one's spirit as that which has to do with the
meaning to onesel of His death. And no one can make the mean ing of that
sacrifice so clear, so heart-satisfying, and precious as He, who,
"beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, expounded to them in all
the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
has been well said, "Many of the loveliest songs of peace and trust
and hope which God's children sing in this world have been taught in the
hushed chambers of sorrow. . . . Afflictions, sanctified, soften the
asperities of life. They tame the wildness of nature. They temper human
ambitions. They reveal to men their own hearts, their own weakness,
faults, blemishes, and perils. They teach patience and submission. They
deepen and enrich our experience." And in all such "chambers of
sorrow" through which we pass, no greater word of comfort can we find
than the assurance the Apostle gives us that the Jesus of the Emmaus story
is "this same Jesus" who can "be touched with the feeling
of our infirmities," because of having been "tempted in all
points like as we are."
like Jesus it was to come to these two discouraged followers on the very
day of His triumph over death. To Him it was a delight to walk with them
on that Sabbath-day journey, and by revealing Himself to them cause
their hearts to burn with His unfolding of Scripture, and revive their
hope by the simple but significant act of breaking bread with them. Out of
similar experiences of shattered hopes and unexpected trials how many of
us have been led to know "what a Friend we have in Jesus." When
through fiery trials our pathway has lain, what encouragement has come to
us as we have heard Him say, "It is I; be not afraid." When made
to feel the loneliness of the way, when none seem able to understand us,
have we not known Jesus to draw near and go with us, and in recollecting
His own lonely hours of earthly life we are given fresh courage, and led
to find in Him and His words a satisfying heart's-ease. Have we not found
it true, as a writer of note has said:
was in the character, not of reproof, but of a sympathizing friend that He
spoke to these disciples, so let me think of Him as ready to sympathize
with and comfort me, when I walk sad. If often does my sore heart no good
to tell its sorrow to any earthly friend. To talk over all. the
incidents, all the hopes, all the disappointments, all the 'might-have-beens'
connected with it, only deepens the gloom. 'I need a wiser friend than any
just like myself can be, a friend who understands what perplexes me, a
friend who himself sees and can show me 'the bright light that is within
the cloud,' a friend who has not merely the love to sympathize with me,
but the power to help. Just such a friend is this great Christ, who
sometimes seems a stranger, but, coming to me and chasing my gloom away,
reveals Himself as the very Lord who said, 'Ye shall weep and lament while
the world rejoices, but I will see you again, and your sorrow shall be
turned into joy!'
is just His love to me that brings Him to my side. He comes unrecognized
at first; for to me, as to these sorrowing ones, He wears 'another form'
than that in which I have known Him before. My eyes, like theirs, are
sealed with grief, are so 'holden' that I cannot recognize Him in this new
form to be the same as ever. He walks beside me, and talks with me, and
makes my heart 'burn within me,' and yet, for a time, there is no 'lifting
up,' till, in a moment, somehow, the scales fall from my eyes; I know Him;
and ere He goes, He leaves with me His own deep, wonderful, satisfying,
and unending peace. I am sure many of my darkest hours have been the
birthplace of my highest songs. It is often just when the water in my
bottle was completely spent, and. Hagar-like, I felt that I could only lay
myself down to die, that my eyes were opened to see the flowing spring
that had been close beside me all the time, although I knew it not. When I
go mourning without the sun, a few words from the risen Lord can easily
put everything right; but I often need the darkness in order to
appreciate the light."
then it is that like one whose ears have heard the joyful sound, our
hearts exclaim, "I know
that my Redeemer liveth."
He Lives to Bring His Peace into Our Hearts
next appearance of Jesus seems to have been in the upper room where most
of the eleven were gathered behind locked doors. How significant His first
words to them, "Peace be unto you." He had not said these words
to the women whom He met at the grave. They had not deserted Him in His
hour of trial and crucifixion and therefore needed no word suggestive of
forgiveness for unfaithfulness to Him. But how different it was with
most of those He found gathered in that upper room. Yet there was no
rebuke, nothing to call to mind their shameful desertion, not even a
suggestive pause as He appeared in their midst, but "Peace be unto
you," immediately spoken. He had only His loving interest in them to
speak. God had "brought again from the dead that great Shepherd of
the sheep," and the first thing He did was to comfort His flock with
His word of peace.
a wealth of meaning, of comfort and strength, is bound up in this promise
of Jesus, "These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might
have peace." (John 16:33.) In bequeathing His peace to us Jesus
surely meant this legacy to be one of our best witnesses of His abiding
presence with us, and those who enjoy it can testify out of a personal
experience, "In Thy presence, is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand
there are pleasures for evermore." (Psa. 16:11.) What peace we may
enjoy when we take Him at His word. But with us, as with those disciples
in the upper room, there is often a need that He should say to us-yes,
even after His word of peace has been spoken in our cars-"Why are ye
troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?" Why are we so
slow to take Him at His word? Because of the pleasing presentation of
the lesson we need here, we quote again from the same writer as before:
rid me of all my misgivings, He tells me, first, that He is no longer a
dead, but a living, Christ; and He tells me, next, that though He has
entered into His glory, He is the 'same Jesus' as of old -the same in
tenderness and the same in grace. I would be a brighter Christian than I
am, if I thought of Him more as the living Christ. I sing with joy
perhaps I think, not too much -- I cannot do that -- but too exclusively
of the Christ that died, and not sufficiently of the Christ who lives and
reigns, and is now my living Advocate and Friend forever. At least, Paul
seems to have thought so when he spoke of the consolation of knowing the
'Christ that died, yea rather is risen again, who is even at the right
hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.' The life of my Lord,
did not end nineteen hundred years ago! Just that He might not be a local
Christ, or a Christ for one age alone, He rose into that unchanging life
that knows no periods, no epochs, no time, but is an Eternal Now; and He
is with me today. I would seek to live upon a present Christ, and find my
comfort and my sanctity in that; and all the. more when I remember that
the past, the present, and the future are all in the one great Lord who is
'the same yesterday, and today, and forever,' so that my faith can cling
to the -Christ who died, my love rest satisfied in the Christ who is
risen, and my hope expect with joy the Christ who comes again; for, to the
heart that knows Him, He is really 'all,' not merely the alpha and the
omega, but all the letters between. My faith in the Christ of history is
confirmed and intensified when I see that He is the Christ of experience
often has He said to trembling and dispirited ones just what He said in
the upper room, 'Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your
hearts?' All down the age His voice has been heard speaking peace, and His
presence bestowing it. Have I not myself had experiences of His grace I
cannot dispute, experiences I would not part with for a thousand worlds? I
recognize His words of old in the very tone in which He has spoken to my
own heart many a time. To me the Christ of history and the Christ of
experience are one-'that same Jesus'; and I see that instead of its being
difficult for me to trust this Christ whom I have never seen, because His
earthly life now lies so far back in the past, it is becoming every day
easier to do it. He stands before me now in a glory He never had before, a
Savior whose grace has been tested and experienced." Therefore,
"I know that my Redeemer liveth."
"My Lord, and My God"
we come to the same upper room. Thomas, not being present when Jesus
appeared here before, and having declared the only condition on which he
could believe that Jesus was alive again, is now to have the proof he had
demanded. There is no need for believing that Thomas critically tested the
evidence he had asked for, but rather that he spontaneously exclaimed,
"My Lord, and my God." All his doubts had vanished now, and he
is satisfied that the "same Jesus" is alive for evermore. In
thinking of Thomas demanding this evidence before he could believe, we
have become accustomed to speak of him as the "doubting Thomas,"
and to think of him only in that manner. But from another viewpoint his
insisting on seeing the evidence by which he could know that the
crucified Jesus was risen again, has much in it that we may well consider.
What he beheld drew from him a statement which embodied both assurance and
complete dedication. "My Lord, and my God." And "this same
Jesus" who "once to loving doubt showed hands, and feet, and
riven side," and thereby gave permanence to a disciple's faith,
continues to do the same today. And in what way can He more effectively
produce in our hearts an abiding faith in His being our personal, living
Redeemer, than by opening our vision to see Him crucified for us? What
vision will cause us to cry, "O Lamb of God, my Sacrifice," like
a clear, unclouded view of the wounds He bore for us? We turn to the
Gospels and read the story of the buffeting and the mocking, of His
long-lingering agonies on the cross; or perchance we turn to something
like Dean Farrar's "Life of Christ," and with tears in our eyes
reread a vivid account of the horrors of His death by crucifixion, and
from our deepest powers of response we say, "He bore, He bore it all
for me!" "My- Lord, and my God!" The tie by which we are
bound to Him never seems stronger than when we meditate on the fact that
"He bore our sins in His own body on the tree." That sacrifice
is the answer to all our doubts concerning His acceptance of us, and we
cling- to Him in the-assurance that
us, then, be not faithless but believing. "If while we were yet
sinners Christ died for us," now that we have been accepted in the
Beloved One, and He stands in God's presence for us, is it not ours to
rejoice in a love 'that will not let us go? Only let ours be the complete
assurance and dedication so well expressed in the words of Thomas, and
our testimony will then be one of blessed conviction, "I know
that my Redeemer liveth."
He Careth for All His Own
next appearance is a seashore morning meal prepared by the hand of Jesus.
His disciples had been toiling all night without results. How very, often
in after days, indeed, how often through all the days of the Church's
toiling, it has seemed as though they had "caught nothing."
Times innumerable it has seemed an utterly fruitless toiling, or one of
very meager results. But perhaps when many a weary toiler has reached
a watching Savior will astonish him with a far greater measure of success
than was ever dreamed of. Meanwhile, this appearance on the seashore has
its encouraging lesson for us. In it we may find other proofs that ours is
indeed a living Savior, One whose constant care is always assured us.
Had He not taught these men that the God who cared for the sparrow, would
likewise care for them? In how many ways He had illustrated His intimate
care for all their needs, and given them His word of promise that they
would never be forsaken. And now He comes to them in a time of their need,
filling their net to gladden their spirits, and inviting them to a
prepared feast with His gracious, "Come and dine."
promised that He would come to us and manifest Himself to us, can we not
say of a truth, "And so we walk together, my Lord and I"? Surely
one of the lessons He wanted to teach in this seashore appearance is that
He cares for us in all that concerns us. "His loving thoughtfulness
shows Him to be my brotherly Christ, who is deeply interested in the
common business of my life, and who sits down beside me as I eat what His
own bounty has provided, and what His presence sanctifies and cheers.
That fire on the coals and that abundant haul must have seemed to these
disciples to say-and they say it to me 'With Me to care for you, you will
never want: be sure henceforth, that when you go forth to serve Me, I will
look after the supplies.' His interposition often comes just when human
effort has completely failed. Indeed, He lets the failure become
absolutely disheartening, on very purpose to prepare the way for manifesting
His power. His ways of grace have the same inscription as His ways in
Providence, 'past finding out.'
is no wonder, surely, in view of this, that God's command to me is 'In all
thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.' But if He
promises to guide me not only in the broad highways of my life, but in its
smallest and obscurest paths, because even in the smallest I need to be
led, it is the least He can expect that I should ask Him to do it. Let me
so honor my Master all along; and then, when the long night is past, and
in the early Morning of the Eternal Day He provides for me a feast upon
that Shore, I shall not doubt whose voice it is I hear, whose love it is I
taste. I shall know in a moment that 'It is the Lord' -- for none but He
could do so gracious a thing as that-my Lord and Master thus fulfilling to
me His promise, 'I will sup with him, and he with Me,' and saying on the
shore of heaven, just what He said on the shore of the Syrian lake, 'Come
we thus learned to know Jesus? Can we not by looking back over the years
of His faithfulness bear testimony to this peculiar personal care and
guidance? Then once again it is our blessed privilege to affirm, "I
know that my Redeemer liveth."
last manifestation of-the risen Jesus to be witnessed by His disciples is
more fully reported by Luke than by the other Gospel writers. Both in his
Gospel narrative and in the first chapter of Acts, Luke has given us some
details we may well prize very highly. And Luke is the one who preserved
these heart-cheering words for us, "This same Jesus, which is taken
up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him
go into heaven." (Acts 1:11.) Jesus left His beloved followers
looking "steadfastly toward heaven" as He departed from them,
and He it is who has told us that He wishes to find us with the upward
look in the day of His return. Speaking of the things we see about us
today, He said, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look
up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
(Luke 21:28.) This was no intimation that His waiting ones would be
looking up into the sky overhead, but rather that theirs would be the
spirit of abounding joy as the evidences of their near deliverance
increased. And everywhere in Scripture this attitude of heart is urged as
being the only consistent reaction in keeping with a prospect so
glorious. If early disciples returned from the mount of ascension
"with great joy" to take up their appointed tasks, that of
carrying the message of salvation into all, the world, what an overflow
of joy should characterize us today, when all the evidence provided us in
prophetic fulfillments seems to clearly show that soon, yes, very soon.
"Reapers and sowers will together come" in the glad Harvest Home
remember that Jesus told those early disciples that if they properly
understood the reason why He should leave them, they would rejoice. They
would be glad over the coming of the Spirit and the work it would do in
preparing them for the place He said He went back to God to prepare for
them. Are we then failing to rejoice consistently? Is there anything in
our vision obscuring in some measure the joy-producing reactions we should
be experiencing today? With what earnestness and devotion we should in all
of our deportment be "looking for and hastening unto
the coming of the Lord," even as the Apostle admonishes us,
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the
great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." "How can I keep the
longing back" should he our habitual attitude and spirit in times
like these. Holding such a hope, consistently held and encouraged by the
very signs Jesus urged us to note, should be doing a marked work- of
purification in each expectant heart. Thus will God's Spirit witness
with our spirit a blessed assurance that when the silver cord of present
life shall break, we shall then see face to face our blessed Lord,
"in whom, though now we see Him not, yet believing, we rejoice with
joy unspeakable and full of 'glory." Blessed possibility, since it is
ours to say, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, . . . whom I shall see
for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another."
by J. J. Blackburn.
hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." - 1
WOULD seem a hopeless task that we have set for ourselves -- to get a
vision of the things that have never been seen or even heard about, the
things that we would not understand if we did hear about them or see them.
The following verse, however, gives us courage, for it assures us,
"God hath revealed them unto us by his spirit. Or is it God's wisdom,
1 Cor. 2:7, that is revealed to us, as the margin of the American
Revision indicates may be the meaning. "Unto us God revealed it
by his spirit. Not to man is the revelation made, but unto the
"new creature in Christ Jesus." Paul's use of this very text,
for some of us, illustrates how impossible it is for; man unaided to grasp
the things of the spirit, for they understand he is quoting Isaiah 64:4.
No human mind would have gleaned from it such a thought. The verse reads:
"For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor
perceived by the, ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what
he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." Without the guidance
of the spirit, its inspiration would have been eternally lost.
there is no better method of deciding the nature of the things prepared
for us than to review for a few moments the things that have come into our
lives since we consecrated our all 'to the Lord. 1f the first thought is,
"Oh, if I had dreamed how great the trials would be through which I
was to pass, I am sure I would never have had the courage to make a
consecration," perhaps the flesh is not quite dead yet. If the
fleshly' mind were completely gotten rid of, would not the first thought
be of the blessings that have come out of those trials? After being stoned
at Lystra, and left for dead, Paul departed for a time to Derbe, but
returned with the message from the brethren at Lystra: "Through much
tribulation 'we must enter into the Kingdom of God." A fleshly mind
would have brooded over the intensity of his sufferings and the injustice
of the treatment he had received, until there would be little else of
which 'he could talk.
no time does inspiration hint of our arriving at the condition where
unpleasant experiences will of themselves become enjoyable. Instead we are
assured that "Discipline always seems for the time to be a' thing of
pain, not of joy; but those who are trained by it reap the fruit of
it afterwards." (Heb. 12:11, Moffatt.) It is impossible for
one who does not fully appreciate the kind of fruit thus developed
to accept the Apostle's advice and "rejoice in tribulation."
But after a few experiences with tribulation, properly profited by, one
can by faith accept each new one as further evidence of the Father's love.
' To complain is to say, "I wish he did not love me so." To
rejoice is to acknowledge our needs and the wisdom of his dealings. The
after-fruitage the trials yield is too precious to forego just to save the
flesh a little discomfort.
of murmuring because of our testings, we should lather be concerned that
we who have so much to be corrected should have so little evidence of corrective
providences. "Suffering produces fortitude; fortitude, ripeness of
character; and ripeness of character, hope; and his hope- never
disappoints, because God's love for us floods our hearts through the
holy spirit that , as been given to us." (Rom. 5:3-5, Weymouth and
Young's Literal Translation.) No wonder Paul begins this passage,
"We exult in our sufferings." The Arnold-Ford Commentary
testifies on the basis of Paul's statement: "We not only rejoice in
hope of future good, but we also rejoice or make our boast in present
troubles; not merely in
and in spite of them, but actually in them,
them, as the context implies; and this is in accordance both with
Scripture precept and, with recorded Christian experience."
BECOMING ACQUAINTED WITH OUR FATHER
following well illustrates the Christian's growth in the supreme kind bf
knowledge. A lad is taking his first walk with his father. Since they
lived on the edge of a village, their stroll led into the near-by
pastures. They soon came to a little stream, a mere trickle, but an
insurmountable obstacle to the young mind that had never seen such a thing
before. Without the father's hand that grasped his, he would never have
attempted it. But what a thrill it was to find himself safely I on the
other side., Soon they came to one two feet wide. Surely no one
could get, over that! But how easily his wonderful father lifted him over
it. The next one, four feet wide -- well of course even his father could
not get over that, he thought, But he found himself clasped to his
father's breast, and with one jump they were safely on the other side and
he was beginning to understand what, a wonderful father e had. Finally
they came to one twice, as wide. N, father in all this, world could pass
over that. big thing, he thought. But, even here the father had a way that
fitted the need.. He -took the little fellow on his back and had him clasp
his arms 'about his neck, and then, leaping from stone to stone, soon set
the little one down on the other side, to look up into his fade with the
assurance that there was not another father in all this world like his. He
could not have found that out if there had been no rivers to cross.
So also in the Christian life. Though one by one our experiences
have become more severe, with each, our comprehension of the Father's love
and wisdom and power has grown. Who could regret the experience that
teaches so much?
little story illustrates facts with which all mature Christians are familiar; but it is not
the Scriptural illustration. That is a "narrow way, so narrow that
"few there be that find it." None of us would safely reach its
end were it not that Jesus is with us, as he assured his disciples:
"Lo, I am with you." We who walk that narrow way today started
2,000 years farther down the broad road of sin and depravity than those to
whom he gave that assurance. Oh, that we too might have some such promise
of his assistance. . But listen, -we have interrupted him before he
finished-as the flesh is prone to do: "Lo, I am with you alway,
even" to 1952. Yes, 2,000 years ago, when he gave that, promise, he
had us in mind. He did not say it quite that way; "even to the end of
the Age," were his words; and that grants even us a share in the
blessing of his presence.
walking the way of consecration find it so narrow that the only safety is
in keeping in the middle; and for each traveler there is just room enough
for "My Lord and I." When we entered on this journey, we were
weak in faith, and it was hard to realize always the presence of this
unseen Traveler. Graciously, therefore, the Lord provided the comfort of
brethren to walk with us, some ahead and some behind;
but brethren we could see; not brethren to lean upon, however. Our Lord is
by our side for that purpose.
who walk this way do not always find it easy to get along amicably with
their companions; in fact could, and often do, make suggestions of more
stringent limitations to the One who "bath set the members in the
Body as it hath pleased him." How long-suffering he is that he
permits our meddling in things that are strictly in his own power. There
is a duty devolving on every member of the Body. It is not that of
choosing who shall walk with him, but instead, that of accepting all whom
the Lord invites to that privilege. Then, having graciously accepted them,
"let us consider one another to provoke," not by arguments on
our differences, but "to love and good works." In spite of all
our best efforts, we find some of them hard to get along with peaceably;
but the Apostle continues, leaving no opening for the flesh: "forsake
not the assembling of yourselves together." The verse that follows
makes one's heart ache for those who invent excuses for limiting their
fellowships -- it is a warning of the second death, and evidently for
those who perpetrate this very crime against the One who planned that
fellowship. - Heb. 10:24-27:
ARE WE IN DANGER OF STILL ANOTHER SIN OF PRESUMPTION?
our .hand placed confidently in that of our faithful Father, life can
include a long-series of conquests, many rivers successfully crossed.
But may not this lead to over-confidence, to the attempting of some
river-too big for us? Fortunately we have an inspired answer to that,
telling us exactly how big that last river may safely be.
"Strengthened with all might," is the assurance of
Colossians 1:11. Brother Paul, do you mean all there is in the world? He
knew we would have difficulty in. accepting a promise so sweeping as this
one, so he continues to make the matter absolutely clear:
"Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious
power"; literally, "the power of his glory." Is not
that the purpose of all of the experiences of the Christian life, in part
at least, that we may begin to comprehend how glorious he is and that that
knowledge may become a sustaining power, a never-failing inspiration in
our lives? That answer then is that when we come to that biggest river,
that hardest experience, we need to ask ourselves only, "Could my
heavenly Father cross that?" If he can, strengthened with all might
according to his glorious power (according to the power of his glory) we
are safe to press on; and it will be to victory if we look to him instead
of at the waters crossed.
one wonders if he might be risking too much on he assurance of just one
text, not one, but many texts come to mind: "As thy days, so shall
thy strength be," "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom
shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of who shall I be
afraid?" and such like. (Deut. 33:25; Psa. 27:1.) There are many weak
and trembling travelers of the narrow way, since "not many
mighty" have been called, and we hear these" say: "Those
promises will work for those who are not as weak as I am." For all
these our thoughtful heavenly Father as provided assurance suitable only
for those who have discovered that they are weak and who are humble enough
to "lean not to their own understanding": "My, grace is
sufficient for you, for my strength comes to perfection where there is
weakness." (2 Cor. 19:9, Berkeley Version.) Could
and believe this truly reek not have peace? -- "the peace of
God"? The reek language, like others, except our own, has no
apostrophe "s" ('s) , so its possessive is expressed by the
preposition "of." The Moffatt translation is therefore
justified in its rendering of this verse. Those who have the faith to
accept it must confess, "God has revealed it unto us by his
spirit." Only those who have experienced this peace can testify as to
the quality of the peace he gives. Moffatt reads: "Never be anxious,
but always make your requests known to God in prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving; so shall God's peace, that surpasses all our
dreams [lit. thought], keep guard over your hearts and mind in Christ
Jesus." - Phil. 4:6, 7.
precious Redeemer, in leaving his disciples, knew how great could be the
dangers besetting the Christian, how the weakness of the flesh would make
it the easy victim of Satan's attacks if the heart were not garrisoned by
this peace. Included in his parting, gift, therefore, was this gem:
"Peace I leave with you." But could he leave it? Might not that
could answer, "Yes,
peace. Food and clothing, even taxes have been provided, and our Teacher
has been able to answer every argument the opposers have raised. Remember
the 5,000 fed, the fish with the coin in its mouth, the doctors of the law
confused in our Master's presence. Who would not have peace under such
care?" But this does not complete the Master's promise: "Peace
I leave with you; my
peace I give unto you." Was
the Lord making a mistake giving peace to those who already had it? No,
it is not the peace of having something to eat and wear, of having taxes
paid. It is his
the peace of sonship, the peace they were soon to experience for the
first time. Until begotten to sonship they could not know "God's
peace." This peace is the heritage of those "begotten again to a
living hope, . . . to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and
unfading, reserved in heaven for you."-1 Pet. 1:3-5, Young's
man of, the world can be rich enough not to prefer such .treasures ,to his
own-if he could but have the faith to believe the promise. This is not the
only thing that is already ours. All things are ours. No wonder the
Apostle instructs us not to "glory in men," since all things are
ours. Creesus nor Midas, nor any one else, nor all combined could add anything
to our-wealth. They might add to our tribulation, might, even take from
us our peace, but they would have nothing to add to our blessedness. Nor
would the heart of faith have even a faint desire for them to attempt it;
for, already, "all things are ours" by faith.
THE MOST REMARKABLE OF ALL INHERITANCES
we have not waited to hear the Apostle to the end of his statement of our
wealth. Continuing, he names some of these things: "All things are
yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas." "Cephas"!'
that is one of Peter's names. This means that Paul and Peter are both
ours, not to be apportioned one here and one there, one to the Jews and
one to the Gentiles-both are ours whether we be Jew or Gentile. No one
can take them from us. We are very thankful for that because of the
valuable truths each has taught us. But why is Apollos in the list? He
made some mistakes in doctrine; and he did not write .a word to leave for
us to study. As he was a member of the Body of Christ, necessary,
therefore, that it might be harmoniously fitted together and closely
united by every contributing ligament, with proportionate power for each
single part to
effect the development of the Body for its upbuilding in love." (Eph.
too, he is included so that we will remember that every saint down through
the Age that we can contact may lend us some assistance in our supreme
the spirit of the Lord. These
saints of the dark ages perhaps cannot help us in doctrines, but they
and Apollos were "in Christ Jesus," and so they partook of his
spirit and thus can function for us in "the development of the Body
for its upbuilding in love." To forget what is the real purpose of
the Christian life --development into Christ's likeness -- is to risk the
loss of the precious heritage of their saintly lives.
Yet have we heard Paul's list to the end. The next in the list is the
world" -- the "kosmos," this present evil order of things,
with its corrupt governments, deceitful advertising of grasping, unscrupulous
organizations. Do we desire that thing in our list? Perhaps we would
never find a place in the completed Body if we did not learn patience with
places, learn not to "speak evil" of dignitaries. Could the Lord
have provided anything that would have furnished a more searching test
of our faith than this, that these were "ordained of God," and
that it is his will that we should be in subjection to the powers that be?
(Rom. 13:1; Titus 3:1.) Not this world alone, but the world to come is
also ours, for the next thing in the list is "life."
sin shall again bring its wages upon one, that life is eternal.
Paul, we cannot ask for more; we could not have dreamed that this much
could be ours. But, "wait a minute,"
says, "I have one more thing for you. All things are yours, God-given teachers, the world, and life and death."
that horrible thing! Why, Paul, we do not want that. Give that to our enemies."
"Oh, you do not understand," he says. "I have put that in
as the very climax of your 'blessings. If faithful unto death you
receive the crown
-- the very highest form of life the Father has to give. If you are dead
with our Lord, you
with him, crowned for the most glorious of kingships, that reigning of
righteousness that will teach righteousness, obedience to all the
willing, land thus give life to all that under' your guidance go to the
very end of the highway of holiness. To leave death out of your list would
be to leave out joint-heirship, would be to fail of, being of the seed of
Abraham for the blessing of all the families of the earth." "Ye,
brethren, as Isaac was,
children of promise." But he was only a type, and not in every
detail, for there will be no angel hand to stay the knife if we go as
willingly as he to' the altar of sacrifice. How much easier, however,
the Lord has trade it for us, in that we "die daily.''' For many this
is the precious daily privilege of serving the brethren, laying down their
lives for those that are nearest and dearest to them, new creatures in
Christ Jesus. Truly, "all things are yours, whether Paul, or
Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, for ye are Christ's, and Christ is
wars; governments, radio, television, printing presses, all are ours, but
they are the property not of the flesh but
of the new creature, to be used
for the development of the new creature; and, apparently from the way they
often work, we may assume that what we are most in need of is patience,
charity, and such like. It is much easier to develop a "holier than
thou" attitude than to develop charity; a reformer complex, instead
of patience. It is ours neither to fight, each, other or the world, but to
"fight the good fight of faith" and find "henceforth laid up"
"crown of righteousness" that is "for all those that love His appearing." The marginal reading of Isaiah
8:20 seems to indicate that those who have so little reverence for the
inspired Word that they would be willing to change this verse, 2 Timothy
4:8, to make it shut out of the Kingdom some who evidently have just as
consuming a "love for his appearing" as they, have not
themselves made even a good start toward getting the light that Word is intended
to shed. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not
according to this word it is because there is no morning in them. Blessed
is he who patiently endures trials; for when he has stood the test, he
will gain the victor's crown -- even the crown of life -- which the Lord
has promised to those who love him." - James 1:12, Weymouth.
who has had the experience of looking into the things that no human eye
can see, clearly understands why it is not possible to put into human
words the things that God hath revealed unto him "by his spirit.
Without that spirit, to apply unto himself the promises of the home Jesus
went to prepare, would be the worst of presumption; childish to dream that
he could by these promises be made "partaker of the divine
nature"; "reign with him"! such weaklings as we? When the
flesh reads such promises it must show its ingenuity by working out some
interpretation that will do away with, them.
those led of the spirit, how different is the reaction. The one whose
heart is opened to receive
without reservation or alteration every revelation of the Father's love,
instead of closing the eyes, opens wide the eye of faith and trains it to
see into the far distances of "ages to come," and sees there
God's hand still working to "show the exceeding riches of his grace
in his kindness toward us"-the children of Abraham who "hold
fast the profession of their faith without wavering, though all fleshly
tongues strive unceasingly to change every promise into something weak
faith can grasp.
MOUNTAIN TOP AMBITIONS
struggles and the joys of the Christian's narrow way were illustrated
some years ago by the experience of a group of colporteurs working in
Cripple Creek, Colorado. This was during the months of June and July, and
therefore included- the "Fourth," when no work could be done.
They planned a day in the country, so that while the world was celebrating
their Declaration of Independence they could celebrate the liberty
wherewith Christ had made them free. The group was of one mind as to where
to spend the day, for nearby was a mountain they -had been daily admiring,
and that partly because it had to them a spiritual significance. It
presented the appearance of a cone; and thus reminded them of the pyramid
and its significance. They planned a Bible study that day, and their
desire was to have it on the top of the mountain, for to them the top
represented Jesus, the One whose every characteristic is a model for the
whole. No one can be in that picture unless he conforms to the lines of
the Head stone. "Judgment will I lay to the line," is a divine
rule, and to be 'built-up into Him" every stone must fit under the
line drawn on Him..
dusty walk, suitably representing the lives of those "born in
sin," brought them in time to a pleasant pasture land. Flowers were
growing there and cows browsing on its gentle slope; and they thought of
how lovely everything had been when they, first began to walk the upward
way, even the brethren seemed perfect then. Ahead was a dense belt of
trees so thick that if another step was to be taken, a pathway must be
found. Soon one was discovered, and they started joyfully toward the top;
but suddenly it ended against the solid mountain wall. Now every step must
be retraced. This same" thing happened several times, and with the
same result. Then they thought: This is of strange, for we have known of
people who have traveled the way of several sects before they really
found the One who is "The Way, the Truth, the Life." They knew,
however, that some path led to the top, for others had reached it. So
undiscouraged they searched until they found one they were sure was the
right one. And how did they knot? By the feet that had gone before. This
way was clear and distinct. There was real cause for joy now as they
resumed the climb.
it soon ended. They had come out into the open where there as not a tree
or a shrub, nor even a blade of grass -- nothing but great rocks, three,
four, and five feet high. From there to the top the weary climbers would
have to pull themselves from one rock to another. Here was the time to
become discouraged and turn back. But no, they knew that these rocks
meant hey were near the top. Nothing could induce them to turn back now.
"In the last days perilous times shall come." But now, for the
first time, they gave thought to the fact that one of their number was
lame. If they were to go to the top, she would have to be helped over
every rock. Did they say, "Sister, you should have stayed home. You
knew you were lame when you started out"? Of course not. One of the greatest joys of the trip was reaching down the hand to help that
sister over the rocks. "Lift up the hands which hang down, and the
feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet; lest that which is
lame be turned out of the way." (Heb. 12:12 13.) How foolishly many
such precious privileges have been wasted by most of us, preferring to
spend our time with those who need the least of our assistance,
fifteen minutes of this climbing, there was a stop for rest, after a look
to see how far away the top as. It was apparently
just as far away as when they started. They had gotten where they could,
see farther. How soon our heavenly Father is to keep us encouraged by
letting us always feel we are near the end.
climbers were so busy with the rocks they were not mindful of the fact
that one of them
would be the last. Suddenly they stepped over that last one, and there
spread out before them was the most wonderful panorama they had ever seen.
Doubtless many of our readers would enjoy a description of the view. These
colporteurs found the only thing to say to their friends was, "If you
wish to know what it is like, you will have to climb the mountain yourselves."
If our friends notice our faces transfigured with the vision that opens
before us, do not think to describe to them the things human "eye
hath not seen, nor ear heard; neither hath it entered into the heart of
can reveal these things.
climb had taken so much time, the party could have only a hurried lunch, a
short Bible study, and then must start down. When they began the descent,
the sun was sinking, and for the first time their picture went wrong; but
that did not disturb them; they reversed it, and made it the "rising
Sun of Righteousness." As the sun captures the mountain tops one by
one, so faith can see our Lord eventually made Lord of lords and King of
kings, all the kingdoms of earth having become the Kingdom, of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Even clouds of trouble are made glorious, tinted
all the hues of the rainbow by the presence of Our rising Sun of Righteousness
in them. Knowing these facts, one can "in everything give
thanks," but who would have a right to "rejoice in tribulation"
if He were not in it, working "all
together for good"?
interesting feature of the mountain-top experience was locating a green
spot, seeming to the company to be about half the size of a man's hand.
They had been told to look for it, the peach orchards around Canon City,
their next colporteur territory, their "promised land." And the
mountain was named Mt. Pisgah. In the opposite direction and about twice
as far away, fifty miles, was the Sangre de Christo range, looking like a
fairy land, their snowcapped peaks being all that could be seen at that
company could not tarry to enjoy these beauties. "They hurried down
the mountain; and only to find they had risked their lives in delaying so
long, for on the lower slopes were many holes left by prospectors
searching for gold, the love of which is the root of all evil. Some holes
were only four or five feet deep, but others were twenty-five or even one
hundred. A false step might mean instant death. As one remarked, they were
going through "the valley of the shadow of death." Every inch of
the way was tested with the greatest of care as they went deeper and
deeper into its darkness. But suddenly they began to ascend. Of course
there are always two sides to a valley. And just as it should have been to
properly complete the picture, they came out in Cripple Creek's
graveyard; and lying just at their feet were the lights of Cripple Creek
welcoming them back home again, the bearers of more blessings for those
ready to receive them.
cannot wonder that the Apostle Paul, with his vision of the things God
hath prepared for them that love him, should with one, word dismiss all
earthy things, counting them
but loss, vile refuse, for the supreme excellency of the knowledge of
Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:7- 1.) "Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great) mercy hath begotten us
again unto a living hope j by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead,; unto an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled, and that
fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for
by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be
revealed in the last time."
P. E. Thomson.
1 Peter 1:10-12
from last issue)
philosophy of suffering is often raised. The Scriptures leave no doubt
that for the fulfillment of God's purpose in and through The Christ,
suffering is necessary. Our Lord's experiences from Jordan to [Calvary,
foretold by the Prophets, particularly by Isaiah, were characterized by
suffering, sorrow, pathos. He was seen as one "smitten of God,"
"despised and rejected of men," as a "man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief."
then, did Jesus suffer? Was it necessary that he should? Did his
sufferings have any value? Did they serve a defined
and intended purpose? First of all, it would suffice the believer to know
that since God decreed such sufferings, and there can be no
that he did,, they must have been necessary. Jesus said, "The cup
Father hath given me, shall
I not drink it?" (John 18:11.) The cup-not from the hateful
Pharisees, nor the blinded Jews, neither the ignorant Roman rulers,
but-"The cup which my
addition to the wider and more comprehensive effect of the sufferings
which God appointed for his Son
called to, be joint-heirs with him, there was the personal beneficial
effect upon Jesus as
stated by the Apostle in Hebrews 5:7, 8: "Who ... though he were a
Son yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." Jesus
was always obedient to
and 'so we should understand the meaning of these words to be that Jesus,
here on earth, demonstrated his perfect obedience, his love and loyalty,
under evil, sinful conditions which brought about the suffering he
endured. Notwithstanding these, he still remained obedient. Then again
in Hebrews 2:11 we
Jesus was made perfect, complete, and fully equipped for the priestly work
to which he was called, by suffering. It is needful to keep both aspects in mind.
THE RANSOM IN JESUS' DEATH
came to this earth, in part, to redeem man from death and from the power
of sin. The Ransom purchased back the right to life for
all of his
posterity, which all the willing and obedient of mankind will ultimately
enjoy to the full. To effect this, Jesus died;
this could have been accomplished at any time after Jordan quite apart
from the experience of suffering. His death, only, was necessary, for
"the wages of sin is death." Jesus by surrendering his perfect
life paid the penalty in full a "life for a life." He is man's Redeemer, and provided
the ransom sufficient to release man from the captivity of death.
have been enlightened concerning the ways and wisdom of God have come to
see that there is a further need to be met in the work of atonement.
death of Jesus provided the value wherewith the right to life was
for all under the condemnation of death through the transgression of
Adam. This further work is the need for man to be made whole again; the
sins committed by mankind must suffer due punishment.
The bruises left by sin need to be healed, cured, made whole. Thus it is
seen that the work of atonement is not one single act. It is a scheme, a series
of acts, and a process which finally secures the regeneration of the condemned
race. And this will be completed when the race is brought back to
righteousness, perfection, and thus into perfect harmony with God. To
effect this latter aspect of atonement work, Jesus suffered for three; and
years. - Heb. 13:10-13.
death of Jesus
as the ransom for man, brought back, redeemed, that which was lost, namely
to life, forfeited through the transgression of Adam. Jesus by his death a death on he cross-purchased for both Jew and Gentile the right to
life. In harmony with this Jesus on one occasion very concisely stated why
he hid come: "I am come that they might have life
'have it more abundantly." This is why the Apostle so definitely
declared: "There shall
be a resurrection from
the dead." But the Scriptures reveal this principle, further to and
yet a corollary of the truth of the ransom of mankind, that all wrong,
offenses committed, and all
must be punished. This stands whether done with knowledge or ignorantly,
deserving of many or few stripes. Jesus through his sufferings, stripes,
bore theses for men. The words in Luke 12:47, 48, although referring to
a specific class during the present dispensation and of to the world of
mankind generally set forth this principle. It is as a
confirmation of this divine rule only, that the words are cited in this connection.
SUFFERINGS ADDITIONAL TO JESUS' DEATH
us notice the language of Scripture confirming this same truth
hath borne our
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he,
[humbled, oppressed] for our
[wrongdoing] -- the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes [pain, suffering] we are healed [made whole]." (Isa. 53:4-5.) He suffered, endured
chastisement for us for our transgressions.
punishment for man's perversity, wrong-doing, was laid upon him.
(lifted, removed the burden of) our griefs. He carried
Jesus, who knew no sin, who was perfect, "holy, harmless, undefiled
any separate from sinners," suffered
the sins of others. Thus writes the Apostle Peter -"Who our sins
himself bare up in his body unto [not "on," as in the A. V.] the
tree." (1 Pet. 2:24,
Jordan, therefore, unto
in the cruel death of the cross, he suffered the punishment for our sins
-- unto the
cross (tree). This is the clear meaning of the words- of Isaiah; and Peter
further affirms: He "suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." (1
Pet. 3:18.) See further, 1 Peter 2:20-25, where this prophecy of Isaiah is
quoted, and its truth applied.
is the view held by some that the passage in Isaiah 53 is to be understood
as applicable only to the house of Israel, under the bondage and penalty
of the Law; that it is not to be viewed as comprehending the broad and
far-reaching effect of the "Suffering Servant's" work and
experiences upon all of sin cursed humanity. But when all aspects of the
Divine Plan are taken into consideration, and more especially as we note
the use and application of the truths of these prophetic words by the
inspired writers of the New Testament, there can be little doubt that
the broad, comprehensive picture is to be seen and applied.
THE VALUE OF THE SUFFERINGS OF THE ANOINTED
there then merit
sufferings of Jesus, as well as in his death? The meaning of the words of
Scripture cited foregoing leaves no doubt that there was, and that there
must have been., The result of the sufferings and punishment he bore,
reacts to the benefit of those guilty on account of sins committed by them
in consequence of their inherent, sinful condition
before God -- the whole race of mankind. Jesus was righteous and did
righteously. He suffered and bore punishment that properly should have
fallen upon sinful mankind. His suffering, therefore, was of a vicarious
nature in the sinner's place.
is in the writings
of the Apostle Peter particularly that we fin this aspect of Christ's
sufferings explained and set forth. Further, the Apostle clearly points
out the privilege that is given to some - the "elect according to
the foreknowledge of God (1 Pet. 1:2) the true Church of this
of grace -- to follow the Lord Jesus, and in this respect identifies the
experiences of the Church with her Lord. In the second chapter of his
first epistle, 1 Pet. 2:19, he writes: "For this is thankworthy [to
God], if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering
wrongfully.' And again, 1 Pet. 2:21, 22
- "For even hereunto were ye
us an example, that we
should follow in his
did no sin, neither
found in '
his mouth." Then he proceeds to quote frond this very prophecy of
Isaiah 53. That is our example, and sets forth the character, the
nature, and the beneficial effect for others, of these divinely appointed
sufferings.] The Apostle makes it clear that the essence of the sufferings
is that they are undeserved, endured for doing that which is right for
which one should mot suffer at all.
Thus it is shown that the sufferings which God has
for The Christ and for which there is a set purpose and use by him, are undeserved,
this they are thankworthy; these are wellpleasing unto him. Moreover,
the Word states that in this, Jesus left us
Contributed. - Eng.
READING the Diaglott
noticed that the word translated "sick" in James 5:14 was astheneo,
derived from a-sthenes,
without strength (a,
From this is derived asthenia,
much used in medicine. From my knowledge of medicine I knew that a
person might be asthenic without being diseased or sick, so I looked up
the word rendered sick in the 15th verse, and this I found to be kamno, a word which occurs only three times, and means,
"to labor, suffer from fatigue." The two other passages are
Hebrews 12:3 and Revelation 2:3, which Young's translation renders as
follows: "For consider him who endured such gainsaying from the
sinners to himself, that ye may not be wearied [kamno] in your souls-being faint" (Heb. 12:3). "And thou didst bear
and hast endurance and because of my name hast toiled and not been weary [kamno]"
2:3). These passages would indicate that it was the weary and weak in
faith who was told to call for the elders and not the one suffering from
disease. There are other words which mean sick, such as nosos, meaning
sickness, unsoundness, disease; echo kakos, meaning to be ill.
two words are never used to denote moral or spiritual sickness, while asthenos
various forms is so used, and while it is frequently rendered sick in the
common version, it is never rendered sick in Young's translation, and the
Revised Version has the number of times reduced.
are three words rendered "healed," viz., (1) therapeuo, meaning
to attend to, heal, cure; sozo,
make sound or whole; iaomai,
to heal. This last word is the one used by James, and has also the
significance of saved, as the following passage (Matt. 13:15) will show:
"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of
hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see
with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with
their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal [iaomai]
(See also Acts 28:27, 28.) Luke 4:18: "The spirit of the Lord is upon
me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath
sent me to heal [iaomai]
broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight
to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." John 12:40:
"He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart; that they
should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be
converted, and I should heal [iaomai]
Acts 10:38: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost
and with power: who went about doing good, and healing [iaomai]
that were oppressed of the devil." 1 Pet. 2:24: "Who his own
self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to
sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed [iaomai]."
passages can be applied only in a moral or spiritual sense, while therapeuo
applied in such a sense but always relates to a cure of a physical
examples of the use of astheneo, note the following: Matt. 8:17: "That it might be fulfilled which
was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities [astheneia],
bare our sicknesses [nosos]."
26:41: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit
indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak [astheneia]."
4:19: "And being not weak [astheneo] in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about
an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb." Rom.
5:6: "For when we were yet without strength [asthenes], in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
Rom. 6:19: "I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity
your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness
and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants
to righteousness unto holiness." Rom. 8:3: "For what the law
could not do in that it was weak [astheneo]
the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for
sin, condemned sin in the flesh." Rom. 8:26: "Likewise the
Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [astheneia]:
know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh
intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Rom.
14:1, 2: "Him that is weak [astheneo] in faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth
that he may eat all things: another, who is weak [astheneo],
herbs." 1 Cor. 8:11, 12: "And through thy knowledge shall the
perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and
wound their weak [asthenes]
ye sin against Christ." Heb. 4:15: "For we have not an high
priest which cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities [asthenia]; but was in all points tempted like as we are,
yet without sin."
word most commonly used to denote sickness or disease and occurs in the
same verse in contrast to astheneia,
8:17: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias, the
prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities [astheneia], and bare our sicknesses [nosos]."
the foregoing it is concluded that James referred to Christians who had
become weak in faith, or to use a common expression, had "backslidden."
This is indicated in verse 16, the word "faults" being
translated from paraptoma,
a falling away.
following is a more literal translation of James 5:14-16: 'Is
any weak among you, let him call for the elders of the Church; and let
them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and
the prayer of faith shall save the wearied one. And the Lord shall raise
him up, and though he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him.
Confess your fallings away one to another, and pray one for another, that
ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth
Taylor, M.D. (1907)
two different occasions, I have been asked where Benjamin Wilson received
the education that enabled him to write the Emphatic Diaglott. I will tell
it to you as it was told to me.
father's people, the Whiteheads, and my mother's people, the Wilson's
lived in the same neighborhood in Halifax, England. My father's oldest
sister, Aunt Grace, married Uncle John Wilson. John and Benjamin were the
first of the Wilson family to come to the United States; they settled in-
Geneva, Illinois. Another sister of my father, who came much later, lived
with us for several years. It was from her and from my Grandfather Wilson
that I learned these facts.
maternal Great-grandfather Wilson was a well-educated man and scholar.
He was poor and, could not afford to send his sons to private
schools-public schools being unknown. His own education was far superior
to that of many of the instructors in private schools. So, he formed a
school in his own home for his sons, Daniel, John, Joseph, James (my
grandfather), and Benjamin, and for any of the neighborhood children who -
cared to come. This school met every evening because Great-grandfather
worked in the daytime, and the boys were apprenticed to, some trade. I
imagine this school was rather weary work for the little fellows
the boys grew older, the Bible became a part . of their study-Great
grandfather being a Bible student and a Baptist. It was not long before
they studied themselves out' of the Baptist Church into the Christian
Church, on the subject of baptism for the remission of sins. Then the
power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what it meant led to an
understanding of the mortal nature of man and the need for a resurrection.
Christ's return and the establishment of the Kingdom on earth turned
them back to the Abrahamic promises.
Wilson was a remarkable woman, a counselor and advisor to the
neighborhood, and an able helpmate to her husband.
the boys were trained students, and their student habits remained with
them through life; and they, in turn,
passed the same on to their children.
Alena Ellis of Waterloo, Iowa, has in her possession an article written by William H. Wilson, Joseph Wilson's
son. As a lad, in his teens, he was apprenticed to Benjamin at the time
that' the Diaglott was being written. He told of the difficulties of the
publishing task, and it is a very interesting article.
folks from Halifax, Englandthe Wilson, Underwoods, Appleyards, Shaws,
Boices, Buttons, Sutcliffs, Shepards, and others-formed two early
churches in Illinois-one at Geneva, and one at Northfield.
The Restitution Herald.
What This Convention "Is Not"
the request of the Cicero Ecclesia the following Open Letter is published,
announcing the June 29th through July 6th Unity Convention. The impression
has gone out that this convention is sponsored by the Pastoral Bible Institute. Instead,
all credit should
who are acting under the direction of the Unity Convention of last year. - Pastoral Bible Institute.]
the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the
children of Israel, that they go forward." - Exodus 14:15.
adverse criticism and anxious fears of many brethren for the welfare of
the 1952 Unity Convention, the words of our text are a comfort to the
Cicero Ecclesia, "Go forward."
the time these words were uttered, the children of Israel were just
beginning to breathe the air of freedom after many years of bondage. But
now they were in a most difficult position -- Pharaoh's army to the
rear, and before them the Red Sea. With fearful hearts they murmured to
Moses. Yet in this seemingly impossible position, the word of Cod
to Moses was, "Go
Cicero Ecclesia stands, as it were, in the same position with the planning
of the 1952 Unity Convention. We cannot go back, and yet past experience
seems to tell us it is impossible to overcome the insurmountable
difficulties that face us in this undertaking.
stand at this point with the firm conviction that we are serving God by
serving our brethren. His words echo in, our hearts, "Go
forward" -- leaving the seemingly impossible problems in God's
are confident that "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is
liberty." This spirit of the Lord, as it enters the heart, purifies
the nature, lingers with him who judges not his brother, inspires him who
tramples egotism under foot, embraces; him who frowns upon the habits of
criticism, condemnation, and the personalizing of evil, and crowns him
with power from on high who loves God and his brother with true affection,
loyalty, and sincerity.
liberty which "the spirit of the Lord" includes and begets
knows no taint of personal ambition for place or power, no enslaving
jealousy, hatred, or resentment, which is but evil for evil, wrong for
wrong, or error sent back in its kind in act or thought, instead of error
destroyed through the sending back of its opposites -- goodness,
kindness, and mercy.
liberal brother accords to all men the, same privileges of thought and
action that he contends for as the essential; liberties and rights of his
own, and is judicious and tolerant, yet clear and sure in the way of
challenge is: Can you, my brother, as an, individual, "go
forward"? Can you share with us the confidence that we can fellowship
with spiritual edification for one week in the bond of the shed blood of
WHAT THIS CONVENTION IS NOT
It is NOT arranged with the idea of uniting dissenting groups. Such a
hope; while it is laudable, is not justified at this time. No
"man" Organization is planned; there are too many now.
It is NOT for the purpose of providing a sounding board for exponents of
diverse views to air them from the platform. The brethren generally are
quite familiar with the respective teachings of various groups.
It is NOT under the auspices of the service organizations. It is solely
under the jurisdiction of the Cicero Ecclesia, a group of young
consecrated brethren, or shall we say, "a new generation of Bible
Students," who are anxious for the prosperity of Zion.
It is NOT for the purpose of espousing one group's particular religious
WHAT THIS CONVENTION IS.
It IS arranged in the sincere conviction that Christians can fellowship
together in the Bond of Jesus Christ alone.
It IS arranged (God willing) to disprove the so generally accepted
teaching that Christians cannot fellowship unless they mutually
subscribe to a list of teachings drawn up by fallible human beings, no
matter how honest and sincere.
It IS arranged to provide a week of fellowship, amid the surroundings of
God's nature, to draw us all closer to Him, as well as to each other.
It IS arranged to prove that we, who call ourselves "truth people,
have more in common that unites us than divides.
It IS arranged to thus visibly manifest to our Heavenly Father and to our
blessed Master our desire to "do good unto all especially unto them
who are of the household of faith."
It IS arranged to demonstrate to one another the real attitude of our
It IS arranged by the Cicero Ecclesia because of their love for God's
people everywhere; a love which constrains them to press courageously on
in any work for the blessing of their brethren in this Way.
have contracted what we believe to be the "ideal" convention
spot: Hotel Macatawa, Macatawa, Michigan (near Holland). It has the
facilities for a restful and comfortable week, thus enabling us to
better gain the spiritual blessing. A full descriptive folder and
reservation card will be sent upon request.
you cannot attend, we earnestly solicit your prayers that the Lord, will
bless His people gathered at Macatawa with a larger measure of the
spirit of His dear Son, to the end that they may all be edified by their
association together, and thus reveal their love for one another. We ask
that you pray for us as we continue in this privilege of service for the
success of this -- YOUR -- convention:
brethren in the bonds of Jesus Christ,
Brethren in Christ:
of Christian love in His Name.
short time ago I wrote you requesting some literature for distribution
among my, neighbors, but do not remember of mentioning the circumstance
that prompted my request. But I find I have one more booklet, "Our
Lord's Return, Comfort for the Bereaved." In it you stated that you
had "The Divine Plan of the Ages." . . . But I don't know the
date of this offer. So if they are still available, please send two
copies. I gave what I bad to a dear little discouraged woman, living in a
cabin next door to me, and she told the friends with whom she meets in a
little church near me. They came out of the Baptist Church some time ago,
and she asked me if I would be willing for some of them to come to my
cabin for a little Bible study, as I have not been able to go any place
since being struck by an auto over a year ago. Naturally I wondered if
it might be a trick of the Adversary to get me to look back to Babylon
from which I had come out 50 years ago. But after much prayerful thought,
asking the Lord's guidance, I told them they would be welcome to study the
Lord's Word here. So they have come (about 6 or 7) two Sunday afternoons,
and we had a lovely study. They seem to have the real spirit of the early
-Christians who met from house to house with the Apostles. They say they
do, not believe in any denomination-much as Pastor Russell taught. Well,
I do not want to be tedious, but I had not told them of present truth and
so felt guilty until last Sunday they asked me to what church I belonged,
which opened an opportunity to witness to the beautiful truth. I told them
I could not tell them in a few words what it had taken me 50 years to
learn, but they said they would come back next Sunday and talk of the
Divine Plan of the Ages. It is with great humility and fear and trembling
that I look forward to this. (1 Cor. 2:1-4; 1:30, Biblical Comments.) It
is a long story and a real test to know and to do God's will. But it seems
of the Lord's leading. Please pray for me that I may give a faithful
witness. (James 1:2-5.) That is why I am anxious for the literature to
give to them. They seem very sincere. The Lord blesses and guide us all.
Christian love and prayers,
have enjoyed another year of the helpful ministry of the
"Herald," and the time has come to renew my subscription so I
enclose herewith one dollar by money order for that purpose.
am deeply thankful for the blessings received over the years through your
ministry of the printed page and I feel that God has indeed guided and
sustained your work in his vineyard.
February issue is of an especially high standard and cannot fail to
commend itself to every spiritual mind.
devotional articles of dear Brother Blackburn never fail to refresh the
heart with renewed, confidence and dependence upon Christ as our hope
and our life -- and all your contributors are, to bel commended for the
ripened thought and diligent study whit a they manifest.
the God of all grace continue to be your Helper and Guide and to bless
your labor to his -glory and the strengthening of his redeemed people.
brother in Christ,