hrldcovr_6.jpg (9877 bytes)

THE HERALD

of Christ's Kingdom


VOL. XXXV July 1952 No. 7
Table of Contents

Annual Report of the Institute

Freedom in Christ

Believing and Behaving

The Apostle Paul and "His" Gospel

"Count It All Joy"

"The Four Horses of the Apocalypse"

The Sufferings of Christ and the Glory to Follow

Called to Suffering

Truth

Encouraging Messages


Annual Report of the Institute

THINGS that are sacred forbid even a care­less touch." This we feel is true especially of the Lord's work. As we come to our Annual Report we are reminded of how, when the Apostles Barnabas and Paul returned from one of their missionary tours and had gathered the Church together, "they rehearsed all that God had done with them," "declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them." Read­ing the account of this and a further gathering, from Acts 14:27 to Acts 15:18, emphasizes the lesson of man's insufficiency and nothingness and God's all-sufficiency and almightiness. It was God who "opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles"; He who "visited the Gentiles"; "God who knoweth the hearts bare them witness"; "the Lord who doeth Mall these things."

So now in rendering this report, it is not an ac­count of what we have done, but of what the Lord has done through imperfect instruments. We must confess with sorrow that we are "unprofitable ser­vants." There have been evidences, joyfully noted, that our Heavenly Guide has, however, graciously overruled so that blessings have resulted from our imperfect service.

THE MINISTRY OF THE "HERALD"

In its contact with the Lord's people the world over, we believe the "Herald" is the most prominent and fruitful service of the Institute. That there are those who need and profit by the type of spiritual food the "Herald" has through the years endeavored to supply has been convincingly demonstrated by the maintaining of its subscription list continuously at about the same level in spite of the many who have passed to their reward, as well as by the earnest testi­monials we have received from its readers. Much of the credit for this must go not merely to our Editorial Committee and contributors, but to the brethren who have been on the alert to note among their acquaint­ances those who have not been made aware of the blessings that may be gained from the study of its columns. Many testify that this requires the reading of each article several times; and also, the living of every truth.

PILGRIM SERVICE

This Branch of the service has been devoted largely to the Master's command, "Feed my sheep," and we believe has had his Blessing. Besides the full-time Pilgrims sand those who give week-ends and vacation periods to the ministry, it has been our privilege to have in our midst our dear Brother J. A. Jones of Cardiff, Wales, for several months. We were sorry that even this was not long enough to reach all the groups that would have enjoyed being served by him. The testimonials received of his helpful ministry were very gratifying, and gave evidence of the working of God on the minds and hearts of his people. The many things that could have been said regarding pains­takingly prepared discourses were largely passed by to dwell on the spiritual blessings imparted. The same has been true of reports received regarding the service of other brethren in this ministry. Below we give a brief summary of the year's work:

Miles traveled   102,513
Meetings held        772
Attendance        17,473

OTHER ACTIVITIES

While, as the second page of each issue of our Journal declares, our present mission is, first, the "perfecting of the saints," the world has not been neglected in our servile. Not as many public meet­ings have been possible as in former years, both be­cause of the poor response of the public and insuffic­ient funds in most classes; but a good supply of literature is on hand, and being used freely by many of the friends. Our new edition of Vol. I, "The Divine Plan of the Ages," has met with good response. And just here we might say that the friends of "The Jews in the News" have been doing a good work along this line. Some two hundred volumes have been distributed by them during past months, and it is to be noted that of these volumes a number have been placed in the hands of the Jewish people­ a class that perhaps would not otherwise have been reached. We rejoice to see the Word, the Truth, being circulated and preached to the Jew as well as to the Gentile.

Then too there is always a supply of tracts on hand and furnished freely to all. We continue to recom­mend the use of these on every opportunity. "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that." This is the word of the Lord to us. Let us be faithful in these least privileges as well as in the greater. The truth these tracts con­tain has been a wonderful blessing in our lives, and surely the distressed and sorrowing world needs this comforting message. "Withhold not thine hand."

CORRESPONDENCE

As through the past years, faithful brethren over the world have been used of the Lord to keep us en­couraged in our work, and have inspired all of our departments to vigilance, guarding every activity well against the discouragement that would surely invade if, anything but the will of the Lord were sought, and the oppositions of the Adversary were even considered. This opportunity is taken of thanking those who have held up our hands. It is our regret that time, talent, and assistance are inadequate to reply at once and at length to every one of the much appreciated letters received. Our prayers ascend daily for all who give us this practical cooperation, and for all who love the Lord.

Letters received    3,986
Letters sent out    5,308

We render thanks to the Lord for his blessing upon our mutual efforts. The realization of our own insuf­ficiency properly makes us feel very humble and de­pendent on the great Chief Reaper. Let us continue to wait upon him, looking carefully for his leading, abiding in his love by keeping his commandment, "Love one another, as I have loved you." "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Report of Annual Meeting

The meeting having been opened with hymns and a prayer, Brother Jordan, the Chairman, stated the purpose of the gath­ering, and called in turn for nominations for permanent chair­man and secretary for the meeting. Brothers J. C. Jordan and P. E. Thomson were elected to these positions. The reports of the Chairman, the Treasurer, the Auditors, and the Board, were next read and approved, each expressing evidence of the Lord's blessing and overruling, and the appreciation of the brethren for the privileges of service accorded them.

After the reading of the list of the new and the deceased members, the Chair appointed Brothers L. Newman, J. H. Cumming, and C. M. Glass to act as tellers for the counting of votes and ballots. During their absence for that purpose hymns, testimonies, and solos by Brother J. T. Read very profitably occupied the time. On their return the tellers an­nounced that the voting had continued in office the servants of last year, Brothers F. A. Essler, H. E. Hollister, J. C. Jor­dan, J. T. Read, T. G. Smith, W. J. Siekman, and P. E. Thomson. Having thanked the tellers for their work, the Chair called for a hymn, and the meeting closed with prayer.

The meeting of the new Board which followed shortly, elected as officers, Brothers J. C. Jordan, Chairman; W. J. Siekman, Vice-chairman; J. T. Read, Treasurer; P. E. Thom­son, Secretary. Editorial Committee: A. Gonczewski, H. E. Hollister, G. E. Lodge, P. E. Thomson, J. B. Webster. Full­time Pilgrims: F. W. Petran, J. T. Read, P. E. Thomson.. Part-time Pilgrims: Brothers H. J. Barlow, J. L. Benedict, E. Bown, C. Czohara, J. E. Dawson, F. A. Essler, C. M. Glass, A. Gonczewski, E. W. Hinz, B. F. Hollister, H. E. Hollister, A. Jarmola, J. C. Jordan, C. A. Liomin, G. E. Lodge, C. Loucky; G. Oberg, W. H. Peck, L. Petran, P. L. Read, C. G. Reynolds, CV. C. Roberts, F. Shalleu, W. J. Siekman, T. G. Smith, J. A. Taylor, T. P. Tillema, W. Urban, A. Van Sant, A. L. Vining, H. V. Warren, J. B. Webster, J. Wyndelts.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, FISCAL YEAR ENDED APRIL 30, 1952

Statement of Income and Expense and Analysis of Net Worth
Fiscal Year Ended April 30, 1952

Income

Contributions                                           $7,957.72
Herald Subscriptions                                     1,190.23
Gain on Sale of Books, etc.                                 72.41

Rental Income                                              542.00
Legacies                                                   819.00

Total Income
                                           $10,581.76 
 

Expense

Pilgrim Expense                             $3,635.63 
Herald Expense Including Printing,

  
Mailing and Clerical                      5,209.23
Free Literature                                369.86

Maintenance of Property Including Taxes,

  
Gas, Electricity, Insurance, and Repairs    874.49
Comfort Committee Expense                      201.34
Office Expense                                 398.10
 
Total Operating Expense                                $10,688.65
Net Expense for Fiscal Year Ended April 30, 1952      $    106.89
Net Worth, May 1, 1951                                  27,813.23

Net Worth, April 30, 1952 (as per Balance Sheet above) $27,706.34
 

Statement of Auditors

The books of account and record of the Pastoral Bible In­stitute, Inc., were examined by us, covering the fiscal period from May 1, 1951, to April 30, 1952, and in our opinion and to the best of our knowledge and belief they show the correct historical record of the above stated year. The foregoing financial statements are in agreement with the books of account and record.

THOMAS P. TILLEMA 
STEPHEN
H. JONES 
FRANK SHALLIEU


Freedom in Christ

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,
and, be not entangled again with any yoke bf bondage." -- Gal. 5:1.

THE MEANING of the word freedom is better understood when it is compared with its op­posite, namely, slavery or servitude. Freedom and slavery can be of two kinds-personal and spir­itual. When the Bible speaks of the bondage or slavery of the Jews in Egypt, Babylon, etc., we un­derstand that it means the physical bondage of the nation. The children of Israel were in bondage many times after entering the Land of Promise, in punishment for their transgressions against their covenant with Jehovah God, who, during the period of their judges, was their King and judge, supervis­ing their affairs, and chastening them for their trans­gressions. . This arrangement necessitated the raising up of Judges, from time to time, who performed the Lord's will in delivering them from bondage to their enemies. These judges were often raised, years after the death of the previous judge, and were not his descendants. The Jews thought this accounted for their frequent bondage and demanded a change in their form of government. They asked for a king to judge them, and to go before them to fight their battles, that they might be like the other nations.­ - 1 Sam. 8:20.

The Lord considered this demand to be a rejec­tion of himself as their King, and, through Samuel, warned them of taxation and other demands that the kings would require of them; but they insisted, and received a change in their constitution. This, however, did not insure them against punishment from slavery, for the reign of their kings ended in bondage to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, resulting in their scattering and enslavement to all nations. They were still in bondage to Rome when Jesus, their Messiah, came upon the scene with his message of the Kingdom at hand. This message no doubt would have been gladly accepted if it had come according to expectation, and with the worldly means of overthrowing the Roman yoke.

SPIRITUAL SLAVERY

The Jews could not appreciate Jesus' offer of him­self as their king, for he lacked the necessary worldly power, which was the only thing they could appre­ciate. Hence they did not understand his message: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"; and again: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:32, 36.) Their claim that they "were Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man" (John 8:33) was false, and indicated their national pride, for they had been in bondage often in the past, and were at the time under the Roman yoke. Furthermore they were "servants of sin" which was worse than national or personal bondage, for "Of whom [or what] a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bond­age." - 2 Pet. 2:19; John 8:34.

Before one comes in contact with the truth of God and the' Gospel of Jesus Christ, he is in bondage to sin, and serves sin in is various forms. St. Paul de­scribes this as follows: "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another." (Titus 3:3.) Mani­festly the world is still enslaved to these divers lusts and desires of the flesh. Aside from such sins as John calls "sins unto death," we still see people en­slaved to "much wine," smoking, and the lusts of the flesh and mind that range all the way from envy, malice and hatred, to vainglory, world opinion, and sectarianism.

We, the followers of the Lord, were also enslaved by many of these lusts of the flesh, "But when the kindness of God . . . toward men appeared, ... he saved us." (Titus 3:4 5.) He saved us by the anti­typical washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy spirit, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; and to those in Israel who believed on him, he said: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32.) It s a knowledge of the truth of God concerning his plan for the human race, and the park we have in it, that delivers us from the bond­age of corruption of knowledge alone, however; there must also be obedience to the truth if the soul would be free from enslaving sin. St. Peter says (1 Pet. 1:22.): "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obey­ing the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." Even with the knowledge of the truth, we still need the help of God in the exercise of his power and influence through the holy spirit, to enable us to obey the truth. True obedience must emanate from the heart.

No bad habit or sinful tendency is too great to over­come if in obedience to the truth we rely upon the Lord's help and guidance. St. Paul says: "But God be thanked that [though] ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doc­trine [teaching] which was delivered you." (Rom. 6:17.) That "form of doctrine" (teaching) was the truth of God concerning his purpose for the human race, and his will for his people at this time. This teaching, when obeyed from the heart, brings deliv­erance from sin and makes one the "servant of right­eousness." - Rom. 6:18.

SLAVERY AFTER KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH

The Servant of the Truth must know the truth; and to serve God, one must know God. If we know only the desires of the flesh, then those are the desires we will instinctively serve. It is hard to understand how one who has come to a knowledge of the truth, and claims to be known of God through adoption into his family, can turn again "to the weak and beggarly elements," and desire to be in bondage to them again. (Gal. 4:8-10.) Then, too, the fact that the Apostles found it necessary to write to the various churches of their day concerning lusts of the flesh that have a tendency to overcome us after we have come to a knowledge of the truth, indicates that un­ending vigilance is necessary.

In his letter to the Ephesian brethren Paul says: "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the spirit." (Eph. 5:18.) This admoni­tion did not apply to the Ephesians alone, but to all saints from then till now. Neither should it be un­derstood as referring to wine-bibbers alone, because whiskey, beer, and other things tending to over-in­dulgence are not mentioned. His admonition con­stitutes a principle of conduct for all.

Again in a further admonition to the Galatians (Gal. 5:26) Paul says "Let us not be desirous of vain­glory, provoking one another, envying one another." Vainglory is the desire to do things for temporary renown; a seeking after the glory of men rather than the glory of God; a seeking to exalt self. When the two disciples, John and James, abetted by their mother, requested for themselves the most honorable positions in the Kingdom, they aroused the envy of the others, "and there was strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest." (Luke 22:24.) Although like little children, they had been instructed by the wisest of teachers for three and a half years, yet this was not enough to change the, de­sires of the fallen human nature, and bring them into conformity to the will of God; they needed the influence of the holy spirit, and a willing submission to it. Their action brought the reproof of the Master who enjoined them not to exercise lordship over one another, "but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that cloth serve." - Luke 22:26.

If the disciples had learned this lesson and had washed one another's feet at the Last Supper, they would not have caused strife and discontent, but would have promoted love and mutual interest for one another. But the Master had again to give them a lesson in humility by washing their feet, thus setting before them an example that they should follow, and saying: "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do- them." (John 13:17.) "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."­ - Phil. 2:3.

The Enemy of God and of all those who try to escape his slavery, will not leave the Lord's people alone after they come to a knowledge of the truth; on the contrary they are his special targets, and if one temptation fails, he will bring another of a different nature. Mammon (worldly riches) was a god that almost every one served before coming to know the Lord. However the influence that mammon exerts upon all is so great that it requires great devotion and obedience to the truth, from the heart, to enable us to overcome its slavery. Paul tells us that some followers of the Master, still covetous of riches, "have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows," "for the love of money is the root of all evil," and "they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition." (1 Tim. 6:9, 10.) Jesus likened mammon unto a god, who demands the service of men, and he laid down the rule that "No man can serve two mas­ters-God and mammon. Mammon constitutes an idol just as truly as did the calf the children of Israel set up in the desert to represent their God.

World opinion can exercise great influence upon the Lord's people and make them hide their light under a bushel, lest they displease the world, their neighbors and relatives by adhering to the side of the Lord and his righteousness. Paul was "not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." (Rom. 1:16.) Yet there are those who have a ten­dency to love the approval and things of the world, otherwise James would not have spoken so strongly: "Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4.) This is strong language, and should be heeded by those who hope to be classed as a friend of God. The beloved disciple, John, a man of kind and sweet words, speaks positively in this matter, when he says: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." - 1 John 2:15-17.

SECTARIANISM IS IDOLATRY

Bible Students have taken pride in the belief that they were unsectarian and undenominational; but as we consider them today, we see them taking sides with one or the other group, of which there are sev­eral, and we are led to wonder if many have not lost much of their freedom in the study of God's Word through loss of the spirit of love for "the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free"? There seems to be a tendency toward affiliation with some organ­ization for strength and protection from error and evil, and to forget that there is no place of protec­tion save the "secret place of the Most High" and "the shadow of the Almighty." - Psa. 91:1.

This tendency to belong to different groups has been fostered and encouraged by some under the pretense that they were the only defenders of "present truth"; this results in the setting up of man-made boundaries, creeds, and rules of faith, based on hu­man concepts rather than Gospel truths; this in turn results in the dividing of the Lord's people, whether done wittingly or otherwise. The "authority" they claim to follow never set such boundaries or rules of faith. On the contrary we find him condemning such practices as follows:

"Unity of faith is desirable; it is to be striven for yet not the kind of unity that is generally aimed at. Unity is to be along the lines of 'the faith once de­livered unto the saints' in its purity and simplicity, and with full liberty to each member to take different views of minor points, and with no instruction what­ever in respect to human speculations, theories, etc. [emphasis is ours]. The Scriptural idea of unity is upon the foundation principles of the Gospel. (1) Our redemption through the precious blood, and our justification by faith therein. (2) Our con­secration, sanctification, setting apart to the Lord, the Truth and their service, including the service of the brethren. (3) Aside from these essentials, upon which unity must be demanded, there can be no Scriptural fellowship-upon 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." - S. S. Vol. V1, page F240.

We repeat the expression: "And with no instruc­tion whatever in respect to human speculations, theories, etc." After the death of this authority, some, adding deductions of their own, set up boundaries which in effect declare: If you do not believe these present truths, you are not in the Truth. The Scriptures should be the only authority for the fol­lowers of Jesus. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17.) They state: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1.) We do well also to note the principle laid down by Paul in Romans 14:1-4: "Him that is weak in his faith re­ceive ye-not for disputing opinions-one indeed hath faith to eat all things, whereas he that is weak eateth herbs: Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not, and let not him that eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him. Who art thou, that judgest another's domestic? To his own master he standeth or falleth; he shall however be made to stand, for his Master is able to make him stand." - Rotherham.

Speculations always tend to divide the Lord's peo­ple. Consider for instance Brother "A," who believes in the speculation that "the Lord came to his Temple in 1918." Any one disbelieving this, re­gardless of what else he may believe, is deemed not worthy of full fellowship. Then consider Brother "B," who with equally strong convictions believes the speculation that the Lord came to his Temple in 1878. Any one disagreeing is likewise considered not worthy of full fellowship as a brother in Christ. The Bible, however, does not clearly state that the Lord came to his Temple on either date and so con­viction is based on speculation and theory.

Speculations are not forbidden in the Word of God, but, on the contrary, we are told to "hasten the presence of the day of the Lord." (2 Pet. 3:12, Diaglott.) While we cannot really hasten the day of the Lord, we should not say, "The Lord delayeth his coming." The Apostles held forth hope of the soon coining of the Lord in all their epistles, and speculation has helped to keep this hope alive all through this Gospel Age. Though one whom we consider to be an authority should speculate and en­deavor to determine the times and seasons which "the Father bath put in his own power," yet, regard­less of how wonderfully he may have been used to en­lighten God's people, his speculations should never be set up as boundaries to which all must subscribe in order to be in good standing, for this would con­stitute a form of, enslavement to creedal idolatry.

Those who set boundaries, bring the redeemed of the Lord tinder bondage, and even though they preach the true Gospel to the world, they do disservice to consecrated ones; for it is idolatry to attempt to serve God through man-made creeds. Such worship is un­acceptable, "in vain." (Matt. 15:9.) Jesus severely con­demned proselyting (sectarianism) because it did not mean heart conviction, but merely outward conform­ity. (Matt. 23:15.) Boundary makers do not seem to realize the seriousness of their disservice to their ad­herents. The inclusion of the spurious word "them­selves" in the Authorized mistranslation of Jude 19, has given basis for boundary makers to blame and discredit those who assert their freedom in Christ. But note the Diaglott interlineary rendering of this version: "These are they marking out boundaries, soulical ones, a spirit, not having." The discredit pertains to the boundary makers.

The same thought is expressed by St. Paul in Romans 16:17, 1.8. It reads: "Now 1 entreat you, brethren, to watch "those who are making factions and laying snares, contrary to the teaching which you have learned, and turn away from them. For such like ones as they, are not in subjection to our Anointed Lord, but to their own appetite [desires]; and, by kind and complimentary words they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting." (Diaglott.) The teach­ing we have learned- is that the Church of God is "one Body," united in love with one another and with the Lord as their head. Any, division, faction, or creed made up of debatable interpretations of author­itative or supposedly authoritative leaders, puts a snare in the path of the brethren. If St. Paul were here, would he be any the less severe with us than he was with the Corinthian brethren when he called them "carnal," "walking as men" (worldly), "For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" (1 Cor. 3:1-6.) Is it not the same when we say, We belong to this group; and, You belong to that group; and, He belongs to that group, etc.? All these groups call themselves Bible Students; all at one time were helped through the service of Pastor Russell, who, as all must agree, was used in these last, days by the Lord to separate us from the various denominations. But have we all heeded his example and instructions? Let us quote again from Vol. VI, page F241 (bottom of page)

"We will, doubtless, surprise many by saying, that instead of having too many divisions or splits of the kind we now see on every hand, the real need of the Church of Christ is still more liberty --until each individual member shall stand free and independent of all human bonds, creeds, confessions, etc. With each individual Christian standing fast in the lib­erty wherewith he was made free by the Lord (Gal. 5:1; John 8:32) and each individual Christian united in loyalty to the Lord and to his Word, very quickly the original unity which the Scriptures in­culcate would be discerned and all true children of God, all members of the New Creation, would find themselves drawn to each other member similarly free, and bound each to the other by the cords of love far more strongly than are men bound in earthly systems and societies. The love of Christ constraineth us [holds us together]. - 2 Cor. 5:14."

This clear statement is disregarded by those who set up boundaries of non-essential interpretations, such as chronological deductions and the things that depend upon such deductions, thus putting snares in the path of the Lord's people, that cause them to di­vide and disfellowship those who question the neces­sity of such boundaries. And even where there is not outright disfellowship, there is the cold-shoulder treatment, which by example and insinuation im­pedes the progress of the Lord's people in their love for the brethren, without which no one shall see the Lord. Obviously, creed worship is idolatry, and makes us violate the only commandment that our Master gave us, namely, to "love one another as I have loved you." Do we not see, brethren, that un­less we obey this commandment of the Lord, we can­not be his friends? (John 15:14, 17.) Let us break down these barriers and unite together as we are united with the Lord, and the Lord's blessing will be with us.

Human authorities are not perfect, and their in­terpretations are not infallible, hence they are to be followed only when they agree with the true and un­failing authority -- the Bible. It is to be expected that human interpretations will sometimes prove erro­neous, regardless of how much the Lord may have honored the interpreters in using their service. The Chief-priests and the Scribes were authorities to the children of Israel in so far as the Law and the Prophets were concerned; and when the three wise men from the East came to Jerusalem to inquire as to where the newborn King of the Jews was to be found, Herod called for the authorities -- the Chief-priests and Scribes -- and learned of them as to where "the Christ should be born." (Matt. 2:1-12.) Yet these same Scriptural authorities were very much mistaken in their in­terpretation of what constituted blasphemy to God. When Jesus said that he was the Son of God, "The High Priest rent his clothes, saying, He has spoken blasphemy; . . . he is guilty of death." (Matt. 26:63­66.) But Jesus, who really knew the Scriptures and what constituted blasphemy, disagreed with them on the subject. - See John 10:33-36.

These same authorities made other mistakes in their persecutions and judgment of the disciples of the Lord; and especially in their stoning of Stephen, because he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:56-60.) Associated with these authori­ties was a young man, Saul of Tarsus, who was zealous in carrying out their erroneous judgments. It re­quired a special miracle to straighten out Paul, who, in writing of Jesus later on said, "He was designated the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead." - Rom. 1:4.

"HIS SERVANTS YE ARE TO WHOM YE OBEY"

Our Savior is Jesus who gave himself for us. He tells us to love one another with the same sacrificial love he manifested toward us. Any pretense, or any cause that tends to nullify this new commandment, cannot be from him, but is of the Adversary, and is designed to enslave us again into the worship of God through some idol. All idol worship is sin, and will surely lead to punishment. We were freed from sin when we believed with all our heart in the Lord. Let us, therefore, maintain this freedom as servants of the Lord, by obeying his Word and his command­ments. Everybody in this world is serving something or some one. If it is not the Lord, it could be mammon, or self, or vainglory, or hatred, or leaders, or wife, or husband, or children, or organizations, or ideas, etc. But let us serve the One to whom service ,and worship is befitting-the One who has redeemed us by laying down his life for us. Let us take his yoke upon us, "for his yoke is easy and his burden is light," and thus we shall find rest to our souls. The reward for this course is greater than we can know or imagine. Only by obeying the Lord's command­ment can our sacrifice be "holy and acceptable unto God." May the grace and guidance of the Lord be with us continually.

- N. T. Constant.



Believing and Behaving

Larry Ward in "World' Crisis"

... Nothing could be more explicit than the Scrip­tural admonition for the children of God to "be doers of the Word, and not hearers only." The Pauline epistles are packed with such exhortations. Unfortunately, as a famous Bible teacher has reminded us, "We have had a feast of Bible interpretation and a famine of Bible application."

The United Press sometime ago reported how maintenance men at the University of California discovered that termites had eaten through a large stack of pamphlets in the mailing room. The title of the pamphlets was "Control of Termites." It was one thing to explain the theory of termite con­trol in a pamphlet and quite another to put the theory into practice!

The thinking Christian is not only aware of the truths contained in God's Word but is faithful in applying them in his own experience. His entire personality is permeated by his conception of God. He is careful to heed the instruction of God's Word to be the "servant of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart," and to be "blameless and harm­less, the son of God ... holding forth the Word of life."

... We need the reminder of Horace Mann, who is reported to have said: "I have never heard anything about the resolutions of the Apostles, bust a good deal about the Acts of the Apostles!"

God wonderfully designed the blueprint for Chris­tian living. He has promised to make his will clear to the earnest seeker and places at our disposal all that we need to execute his purpose in our lives. Jesus said, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine." (John 7:17.) Again, "We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. . . . Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may ob­tain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." - Heb. 4:15, 16.

Missionaries entering a district, where they believed the Gospel had never gone, sought to impress the na­tives with the infinite holiness of Christ. To their amazement, the natives cried, "We know him! We know him! He used to live here!"

Patiently the missionaries explained that the One of whom they spoke had lived centuries before in a different part of the world. Still the villagers in­sisted: "We know him! He used to live here!"

Questioning the natives, they soon solved the mys­tery. Years before, a single soldier of the cross had entered the village. His ministry seemed to bear little fruit, but the ineffable sweetness of his person­ality had been so Christ-like that it had made an in­delible impression upon the minds of his hearers.

Could that be said of you? Would that be the testimony of your friends, of the members of your family? "The fragrance of Christ is the perfume of his people." Is your life sweetened by his indwelling presence so that others really see him in you?

May God give us the burning urgency in our hearts to love Christ and to live Christ! May we remember that to win some, we must be winsome, and that though we are saved by grace, we cannot live in dis­grace. May we praise him with our lives as well as with our lips as we believe the Gospel and behave the Gospel.

- Restitution Herald, Oregon, Ill.



The Apostle Paul and "His" Gospel

"According to my gospel." - 2 Timothy 2:8.

IF ANY one word could be used to describe St. Paul's influence in the Church, it would be the word "progress," and we shall not do wrong if we think of him as the "Apostle of Progress." Indeed our Lord himself indicated this at the time of his selection to the Apostolic office, when he said: "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." - Acts 9:15.

To him was allotted not only the stupendous task of freeing the Church of Christ from the Jewish wrapping which had served as its cradle, but of extending the witness to the uttermost parts of the earth. Through his preaching men turned not only from Moses to Christ, but from Pagan idolatry to the worship of the one true God. As another has said: "He was the traveled am­bassador of Christ, who snatched Christianity from the hands of a local faction and turned it into a universal faith, whose powerful word shook all the gods from Cyprus to Gibraltar, who turned the tide of history and thought."

THE EPISTLES ARE OUR SOURCE OF INFORMATION

It is to his Epistles we must turn if we would really know St. Paul. While we might, from other sources, especially the Book of Acts, have learned what he did and suffered, yet apart from his Epistles we should have very little idea of what he was. But in them we meet the man himself.

This is most important, for, as is well known, while abstract truth, discussed from an academic standpoint, might result in very exact theology, it is only what has been termed "truth through personali­ty," that is to say, truth which has become part of the very life of the one presenting it, that gets very far in the remolding of other people's lives. One whose life is not in har­mony with his teachings, even though his theology might be ex­cellent, is apt to remind us of sounding brass or a tinkling cym­bal; so also will another who, speaking beyond his depth, talks parrot-fashion of things of which he little knows the meaning. But when one has had written into his own life and experience the truths the Apostle brings to our attention in his letters, he suggests to us the spirit and power of God. Thus it is that while truth which is written with pen and ink merely, may mean much, truth which is written in the lives of men and women, means much more. Once it was that God wrote his law on tables of stone; in a day not far distant, if we understand the signs of the times correctly, the writing is to be done in the hearts of the people, with gloriously different results (Exod. 32:15, 16; 34:1; 2 Cor. 3:3; Heb. 8:10; 10:26). Jesus himself not only preached important truths, he per­sonified truth. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." - John 14:6.

So, in lesser measure, was it with the Apostle Paul. When he appeared before men, he narrated the outward facts of his conversion. He told them of the light which he had seen, above the brightness of the noonday sun; he mentioned the voice which he had heard speaking with him: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" (Acts 9:4; 22:7; 26:14). But in his letters we find his inner life laid bare-lived over again for us, and brought before our mind's eye in a word­picture. We have in them not merely instructions on how to live the Christ-life; we have what is of still more value to us -- a cross sec­tion of that life as he lived it.

It is not possible, of course, but if, without violating confidence, we could "listen-in" to the private prayers of one who walks close to the Lord, it would mean infinitely more to us than any discourse such an one might give us on the sub­ject, "How to pray." But in his Epistles we may actually "listen-in" to the heart struggles of the Apos­tle, as he grapples for himself with the problems that for ages had baffled mankind. Here we see this great seeker after righteousness discovering through personal ex­perience how God could be just and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus (Rom. 3:26). We are given an opportunity to see how the Apostle became a New Creature (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15), and how that New Creature grew. Here we have his thought processes and may see, not alone the happy conclusions he reached, but what is of equal importance, how he reached them.

For example: when he bears Israel witness, as he does, that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:2), the mere statement of this fact might leave us measurably unmoved. When we realize, however, that he is speaking of the zeal he himself used to have, we begin to understand his earnestness, and his words take on a new significance. When he discusses the believer's baptism, and likens it to a burial of the old life now to be reckoned dead (Rom. 6:4), we find ourselves admitting that the picture is well drawn, and the doctrine sound; but as the thought comes to us that the writer is one who has given proof after proof that he himself had died, and that his life since then had been hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3); that he himself had been crucified with Christ, and that what life he lived henceforth was as though Christ lived in his stead (Gal. 2:20) -- when this thought comes home to us, we find ourselves occupied more with him than with his argument, masterly though it be. His words, backed by his life, catch fire in our hearts, causing us to long to share his rich experiences of fellowship with the Master, and to determine that by God's grace we will so do, cost what it may. We find in his epistles the proof, not only that he was in the truth, but what was of far greater importance, the truth was in him, and it is this, which makes his letters pulsate with the throb of life.

"HIS" GOSPEL

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, a divinely commissioned Apostle, was, he tells us, separated unto the Gospel (Rom. 1:1). With him the Gospel was not incidental to other matters more important. It was not even one important thing among others that held place in his life. No! it was the business of his life, to which all else was incidental, to which all else was subservient­ -- was held subservient. And in this, in the complete, whole-hearted abandonment to the Gospel, which, from his conversion and call he devoted his life, his strength lay.

To see the Gospel in all the fullness that St. Paul preached it one must read, and not only read but study, the Epistle to the Romans. Here we must content ourselves with very brief obser­vations on the twofold work of Christ his Gospel unfolds, namely, first, Christ's work for us, or the ground of our justification; and, second, Christ's work in us, or our sanctification by his spirit.

CHRIST'S WORK FOR US

From first to last the Gospel of St. Paul has to do with a Person. The sum and substance of "his" Gospel is Jesus. The one purpose of his preaching, never at any time lost sight of, even in the midst of his most involved doctrinal dis­cussions, is to put the individual hearer and believer of his message in personal and vital touch with his own risen and living Lord.

How shall he do this most effec­tively? His own experience tells him. He who had spent the years prior to his conversion seeking to establish his own righteousness, well knows that the first essential to salvation is a righteousness which may be possible for man to secure as a gift, for to merit same, he has found from his own ex­perience, is an impossibility. Ah! no wonder he is not ashamed of the Gospel, for therein is revealed a righteousness which may be procured by faith, a righteousness which has its origin and which is, therefore, entirely acceptable, with God. - Romans 1:17.

Any sincere seeker after righteousness -- all who hunger and thirst after it -- will undoubted­ly be intensely interested in his message, and since the offer (of this righteousness as a free gift to all who will accept it) is made possible, by the redemptive work of Christ, small wonder that he says: "I delivered unto you first of all that which [in my own personal experience] I also received first of all, how that Christ died for our sins." - 1 Cor. 15:3.

CHRIST'S WORK IN US

But if by his death on Calvary's cross our Lord performed a work for us, which constitutes the basis of our righteousness or justifica­tion, he is today, in his risen and glorified condition, carrying on by his spirit, a no less important work in us. "For," says the Apostle, "if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more, being recon­ciled, we shall be saved by his life" -- his resurrection life, of course. - Romans 5:10.

It is a blessed experience to have the peace with God which comes from being justified by faith in the precious blood of Christ (Rom. 5:1), but a true lover of righ­teousness could never be satisfied with an imputed righteousness only. His ardent desire is to be saved, not only from the guilt and punishment of sin, but from its power. The words of the Psalmist express the sentiment of the true believer's heart: "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" (Ps. 17:15). And he will not be satisfied until then.

By faith in Christ's work for us righteousness is imputed, or reckoned to us; and when, by his spirit, Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, righteousness begins to be, praise be to God, imparted to us. Christ in us, therefore, that is to say, the Christ -- spirit or the Christ -- ­mind in us, is indeed, as the Apos­tle says, the hope of glory. - Eph. 3:17; Col. 1:27.

Though, therefore, our outward man perish, the inward man is renewed. "When?" does one ask. "Daily," replies the Apostle. "Give us day by day," we pray, "not our temporal food only, but the Living Bread from heaven" (Luke 11:3). "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me," said our Lord (Luke 9:23). In harmony therewith the Apostle writes: "Though, therefore, our outward man perish, the inward man is renewed, day by day" (2 Cor. 4:16). Under the gracious influence of the spirit of Christ, that blessed promise of the Father, we are to be no longer conformed to the spirit of this Age, but are to be, gradual­ly, day by day transformed by the renewing of our minds. - Acts 1:4; 2:33.

Concerning Christ's work for us, the all-sufficient ground of our acceptance with God, our Lord cried from the cross, "It is fin­ished" (John 19:30). In regard to Christ's work in us, the Apostle writes: "Being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." - Phil. 1:6.

A FAITHFUL MINISTER

Such, briefly told, is the Gospel according to Paul. Let us now turn to some of the lessons his life has for us. Out of many we will men­tion only two.

First -- his faithfulness. He who taught others "It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful" (1 Cor. 4:2), had learned this lesson well himself. Oh! surely if his practice kept pace with his preaching anywhere it did so here. He was entrusted by God and by Jesus with the Gospel, and he guarded it, dear brethren, for you and for us. He kept watch over it as of a sacred treasure, as the keeper of a holy fire, which must never be allowed to die out.

His faithfulness is easily seen in his fearless defense of the truth before the Jews, before Festus and Agrippa and numerous others in high places (Acts 24:25; 25:9; 26:28), but to our mind it is still better demonstrated when he withstood Peter to the face (Gal. 2:11); when, lest the glorious Gospel which had been committed to his trust should be jeopardized, he separated from such a friend as Barnabas had proved himself to be (Acts 15:36-40; Gal. 2:13). Our Lord had said: "I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake" (Acts 9:16), and of all the things he suffered none could have cost him more. To defend the truth against its enemies! -- that were easy -- but what agony must it have been to his heart of gold when his loyalty to Christ compelled him to take issue with his friends!

A BELOVED BROTHER

Then too, he was a beloved brother, as well as a faithful minister. Such a combination of qualities is rare. (Eph. 6:21). We wonder if all realize fully just how difficult it is to attain this combina­tion of character quality and development. It is so easy to be beloved; -- to be lovable, easygoing, gentle, agreeable, at the expense of faithfulness. On the other hand, to be faithful is little more than an attainment of the flesh, when faithful adherence to and defense of the truth of the Gospel is main­tained in a rough, uncouth, unloving, contentious spirit of strife. It is possible for a brother to be a very faithful minister; he may be able to pick out our faults to a "T," but we would hardly call him a beloved brother, would we? But if the Apostle John was one who taught us to love in truth (1 John 3:18), it is not less certain that it was the Apostle Paul who taught us to speak the truth in love. - Eph. 4:15.

In concluding these brief remarks on our beloved Brother Paul (2 Pet. 3:15), perhaps we can­not do better than refer to a pic­ture in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress:

You will remember that early in his journey to the Celestial City, Christian was taken into the Interpreter's house, and there shown a number of things which were designed to be of value to him along the way. One of the things Christian was shown was the pic­ture of a man. "And this" says Bunyan, "was the fashion of it: It had eyes lifted up to heaven; the best of books was in its hand; the law of truth was written on its lips; the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men; and a crown of gold did hang over its head."

Then said Christian: "What meaneth this?" The Interpreter replied: "The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand. He can say in the words of the Apostle: 'Though ye have ten thousand in­structors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel."' - 1 Cor. 4:15.

In another place, the Apostle, in defending himself against false teachers, urges the brethren to remember, not merely what he had taught them, but how he had con­ducted himself in their midst, and says: "In our relations to you we showed ourselves as gentle as a mother is when she tenderly nurses her own children. Seeing that we were thus drawn affec­tionately towards you, it would have been a joy to us to have im­parted to you not only God's good news, but to have given our very lives also, because you had become very dear to us." - 1 Thess. 2:17, Weymouth.

Thank God for Paul, and for all those noble men and women who, though commissioned to a lesser place in the ministry, have shared his fatherly and motherly spirit -- ­for those who have resolutely refused to permit their names to be added to the already too long list of mere instructors, or would-be in­structors, in Christ, but have earnestly coveted a place amongst the few-the "not many" fathers and mothers in spiritual Israel. And may we be blessed with a suf­ficient measure of the holy spirit to be able to recognize any of those who, by the good favor of God, may chance to be laboring in our midst today, and, viewing atten­tively the result of their conduct, as the Apostle, in the Diaglott translation of Hebrews 13:7 suggests, imitate their faith and their lives. Thus may it be, for Jesus sake. Amen.

-P. L Read


"Count It All Joy"

Because I hold it sinful to despond,
And will not let the bitterness of life
Blind me with burning tears, but look beyond
Its tumult and its strife,

 
Because I lift my head above the mist,
Where the sun shines and the broad breezes blow, 
By every ray and every raindrop kissed
That God's love doth bestow;
 
Think you I find no bitterness at all,
No burden to be borne, like Christian's pack? 
Think you there are no ready tears to fall,
Because I keep them back?
 
Why should I hug life's ills with cold reserve,
To curse myself and all who love me? Nay! 
A thousand times more good than I deserve
God gives me every day.
 
And in each one of these rebellious tears
Kept bravely back, He makes a rainbow shine; 
Grateful, I take His choicest gifts; no fears
Nor any doubt is mine.
 
Dark skies must clear and when the clouds are past
One golden day redeems a weary year; 
Patient I listen, sure that sweet at last
Will sound His voice of cheer.
 

- Celia Thaxter

 


"The Four Horses of the Apocalypse"

This booklet, "The Four Horses and Horsemen of the Apocalypse," is available "at mailing cost-five cents each, three for ten cents. Readers in Europe may obtain the booklet from our English Cor­respondent, Brother A. O. Hudson, 24 Darwin Road, Welling, Kent, England, at mailing cost.


The Sufferings of Christ and the Glory to Follow

1 Peter 1:10-12

(Continued from last issue)

THE question is asked, How can we who are sinners according to our earthly nature follow in the steps of Jesus, who was perfect, "holy harmless, undefiled"? Our reply is that the New Creation, by God's own decree and through their faith in him, and in the merit of Jesus' sacrifice, are justified, constituted- righteous. (Rom. 5:1; 8:1.) Therefore, as they suffer with Jesus, in the same manner as he did (wrongfully), it follows that such suf­ferings too, being unmerited, undeserved, of the same kind and nature as those of Jesus, have merit. This wondrous arrangement and the enjoyment of such a privilege is according to God's will and because he has wrought and designed its purpose. In referring to the fact of suffering, the Scriptures make it plain that it is God's design and intention. In Hebrews 2:10 we read: "For it became him [in other words as we might say, it pleased God] of whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering. It was necessary for both Jesus and his followers that they should suffer. Jesus recognized the Father's will and direction in and of his sufferings and experiences. This emphasizes the fact that sufferings in themselves, no matter how vir­tuous and meritorious, are not the sole criterion. Only the sufferings of the Anointed, Christ, Head and Body, which have been foreordained and ap­pointed of the Father, of whom and by whom are all things, come within the scope of the Divine purpose.

Further, as to the requisite nature of these, the same Apostle states in 1 Peter 3:14-18, that such suf­ferings must be (1 Pet. 3:14) "for righteousness" (for doing right); (1 Pet. 3:17) for "doing well (for doing good); (1 Pet. 3:18) for Christ also hath once, (thus) suffered, the "just for the unjust." Then in 1 Pet. 4:12-19 these must be "according to the will of God" and "as a Christian." This being the experience, then, let one "glorify God" for (on this account) "the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you." Herein is one of the evidences that you have been called, a witness of your sonship.

IN DIVERSE MANNER

But the question might arise as to what form such sufferings take. How do the members of the New Creation individually suffer? Are these sufferings in each case and at all times, necessarily of a physical kind? The Apostle in writing to the Hebrews indi­cates that some were suffering actual loss, while others suffered not directly in the same manner but as "com­panions of them that were so used." In other words, here is an illustration of the truth elsewhere men­tioned that "when one member suffers, all suffer with it." It is an evidence of, the unity of the spirit and the oneness of the Body of Christ.

Quite apparently all do not suffer in the same way or to the same degree. Very few, comparatively speaking, have persecution or experience violence of a physical nature. And viewed generally, the mem­bers of the true Church living in these latter days, experience much less of suffering or persecution of a physical kind, than did those of the middle and early centuries of the Gospel Age.

Likewise, in the case of the Apostles themselves, while Peter, James and Paul and perhaps others, finished their earthly course in untimely, violent death, the Apostle John, the seer of Patmos, died a relatively quiet, peaceful, and, natural death at an advanced age. Of the other immediate followers of the Lord, the remaining Apostles, we have little or no record. Thus it is seen, that the Father appoints certain experiences for one that are different from those he apportions for another. Before Paul ever commenced his ministry, the Lord said unto Ananias concerning his "chosen vessel" -- "I will lot him un­derstand how many [great] things he must needs for my name suffer." - Acts 9:16, Rotherham.

Jesus intimated this difference in the experiences of his followers again when concerning John he said to Peter: "And if I will that he [John] tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" Herein also we see the fact emphasized that it is God's work-his prerogative to order and direct the lives of those whom he calls in order that his will in and through them might be accomplished. Reproach, scorn, ridicule and persecu­tion is suffered by each faithful disciple but in vary­ing degrees.

What is so very clearly stated in the Word as to the conditions precedent to the inheritance of divine life and glory that awaits the Church, is that they must "suffer with him." There is no other way than "with him" -- as he suffered. How, then, is this experience of suffering, as being applicable and true of every member of the Body of Christ, to be understood?

THE EXAMPLE AND ITS OUTWORKING

Notice in this connection the words of the Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 4:1: "Forasmuch then as Christ bath suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh has ceased from sins." And in verse 2 the Apostle ex­plains how this is worked out: "To the end that you no longer live the remaining time in the flesh to fulfill human desires [legitimate and good withal] but to fulfill a divine purpose." - Rotherham, Ferrar Fen­ton, Diaglott.

How is the truth expressed in these words to be understood? It can best be illustrated in the experience of Jesus, and it is to be noted that he is the example the Apostle sets before our minds: "Forasmuch then as Jesus hath suffered ... arm yourselves."

When Jesus came to the banks of Jordan he was perfect and had the full and undeniable right to continued life in perfection. He was without sin. All the powers of a perfect man and their enjoyment to the full were inherent, although latent, in him. But Jesus voluntarily renounced all of that. Con­cerning him it is written: "A body hast thou prepared me ... lo, I cone to do thy will, O God." - Heb. 10:5-9.

As he rose from the baptismal waters, the holy spirit descended upon him. From that point of time he became alive as a new creature. He was raised in "newness of life." Jesus' baptism at Jordan symbolized his death, the cessation for him of all that apper­tained to his human life. There he died to the flesh, to the natural, yet perfect human life, which was his by right. And not a sin tainted life, but one in all the glory of perfection -- "full of grace and truth."

But just as surely as Jesus died to all the rights and privileges of the perfect human life, so he, at the same time became a new creature; to walk in new­ness of life -- a spiritual life -- "to fulfill the divine pur­pose." Thus, as Peter declares, "Jesus suffered." This course in itself must have meant for Jesus an experience of suffering, trial, and even pain, quite apart from the physical persecution he was called upon to endure at the hands of wicked men. "For­asmuch then as Christ hath suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind."

In this experience and all that it entailed, Jesus suffered, and we are exhorted to follow a like course. It is to be noted that the two words "for us" after "suffered" are not in the original text. Thus it can be seen that this experience, the death and complete renunciation of all that appertains to the human life (in our case, a justified human life), is equally true and vital with every member of the Little Flock, the Body of Christ.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 6:3 states the same truth in other words: "Know ye not, -that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized, into his death? That like as Christ . . . we also should walk in newness of life." This change im­plies in our case-because by nature according to the flesh we are prone to sin, "Children of wrath we were, even as others; sinners by nature -- that we have done with sin. That is, we have fully and finally renounced the old; we no longer serve sin but are alive unto God, to righteousness and to the will of God. This agrees with Peter's words that such "hath ceased from sin." - 1 Pet. 4:1.

TO FULFILL A DIVINE PURPOSE

With our Lord the subjection, and from this stand­point, the crucifixion, of his perfect human life with all its desires and aspirations, entailed suffering for him. And this continued all the time, regardless of what hatred and persecution he endured from out­side, from his visible enemies. In the context of Peter's words in 1 Pet. 4:1, 2, it would seem to be the former and not the latter kind of suffering that is intended to be understood. For here let us notice that 1 Pet. 4:2 gives the reason and is the explanation of the preceding statement in 1 Pet. 4:1. This is ap­parent, not only in our Authorized Version but more so in the critical renderings of the passage. The suf­fering exemplified in Jesus and concerning which the writer exhorts the Church to be resolute in following, is something which has to do with and affects the direction and course of life. The combined evidence of the various translations of 1 Pet. 4:2 could be para­phrased as follows: To the end that he should no longer live to gratify human desires, the will of the flesh, but henceforth to live for a divine purpose­ to fulfill; the will of God.

Thus the suffering of Christ, as by the holy spirit. As Peter here sets it forth, it is seen, from this par­ticular standpoint, to involve the complete surrender of the human life to God; a resolve no longer to serve and pursue the will of the flesh, its legitimate claims and rights, but, on the contrary, to keep it under full control and in subjection. Paul writes: "I keep my body under and lead it away captive." (1 Cor. 9:27.) Instead of living for and to the flesh, such an one lives for a divine purpose -- to do the will of the Father in heaven absolutely and always. This process means suffering in the flesh, and it must necessarily be true also that such have ceased to be the servants of sin; they have done with sin. In this experience every member of the Body shares.

Paul's words, "I keep my body under and bring it into subjection" to the will of Christ, and again, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live" to­gether with many other passages, contain a similar thought. They refer to a radical change which takes place, brought about and made possible by the exer­cise of God's sovereign will and the operation of his power. (James 1:18; John 1:14; 3:4-8.) A change which must be both factual and real, from an earthly mode of life to a spiritual one. Peter says: "No longer to fulfill the desires of the flesh [although natural and legitimate withal] but to live to fulfill a divine purpose."

This involves the yielding up of ourselves com­pletely to God, to do his will. It means that the will of the flesh has died and is kept continually buried, subdued. Such have been made alive unto God and to righteousness. The human body and its faculties which in times past fulfilled the will. of the Gentiles, being the servant thereof and of sin, is now used in righteousness, to fulfill the will of God. (Rom. 6:13.) The Apostle refers to this in Romans, chapter 6, as "Walking in newness of life." And notice his words in Col. 2:12: "buried with him by baptism into his death, wherein [in this fact and experience of being dead with him] we are risen with him."

THE COMPREHENSIVE EFFECT

When the Father's purpose in and through the earthly experiences of the Christ is completed -- and that time, we believe is now very near at hand -- the work of restoring, blessing and healing mankind will go into effect. This, as the Scriptures quoted mani­festly show, is the great philosophy of suffering and its purpose in and relation to the broad outworking of the divine purpose. Thereby, the burden of pun­ishment for all the sins committed by human-kind consequent upon inborn Adamic frailty and weak­ness, will have been borne and the work of healing, restoring, and blessing mankind, purchased by the precious blood of Jesus, will proceed. Then through the mediatorial work of The Christ, the race of man­kind will stand free. The condemnation of death will have been removed by the shed blood of Jesus. Further, the punishment for all past sins due to an inherited sinful nature, will have been borne. There­after, an individual will be punished for his own sin, and if he persists in iniquity, he will be cut off forever in death. - Ezek. 18:2-4.

The words of the Apostle in Hebrews 2:10-11, make it clear that it was necessary for Jesus to suffer. From this same Scripture and others it is likewise plain that it is necessary for his brethren to suffer. There is no other way, and. since our all-wise, loving Father has decreed this, then it is not only necessary, but there is a definite design and purpose in such. Through the Prophet Isaiah, already mentioned, that purpose is set forth.

By this means, when the work of the Christ and its sufferings are complete, a twofold benefit accruing to mankind will be realized. Firstly, through the death of Jesus and him alone, the race of mankind will have been brought back from the power and domin­ion of death--the penalty which passed upon all men through Adam's sin. The right to an opportunity to attain perfect life will be theirs through what Jesus did. Then secondly, by the sufferings which Jesus, first, and afterwards his brethren, the Church, mem­bers of his mystic Body, have endured in devotion to the will of God, and in doing righteously, the pun­ishment for all the sins of humankind generally, during this reign of sin, except the unforgivable, (Matt. 12:31, 32) will have been met. Thereafter, as already indicated, the Scriptures state, each one will suffer punishment for sins committed and a sinner will have to die for his own willful iniquity.

No wonder the Apostle declares that to suffer thus is a great privilege. In Phil. 1:29, we read-"lit is given unto you, not only to believe, but in behalf of Christ, also to suffer." One rendering says: "It is graciously given." And in another place the same Apostle exclaims: "O! the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How un­searchable are his judgments and his ways past find­ing out." "For of him and through him and to him are all things, to whom be glory forever."

THE GLORY TO FOLLOW

Then more wondrous still-the glory to follow. The Prophets saw only an earthly glory, and that, when realized in the purpose of God, will be won­drous indeed! "Eye path not seen, nor ear heard." But the glory that awaits the Church, into which Jesus has fully entered, is far, far beyond that. It is a glory that excelleth. And it is not merely and only the glory and wonder, the ineffable joy and blessing of a life in heaven. Angels possess that-the angels who, in the prophetic vision given to John on Patmos, are seen ascribing "Blessing and honor and glory and power unto him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

We cannot begin to imagine, much less to describe, what this glory to be revealed in the Church is and comprehends. The exaltation and honor which Jesus received and which the faithful overcomers will like­wise share with him; transcends all. The Apostle writes: "Far above angels, principalities, powers, might, thrones, and dominion." Yes, far away and above all these. The promise to the faithful overcomer contained in Rev. 3:21 states: "To him that over­cometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne." Seated in the throne with Jesus! to inherit immortal life; possess the divine nature -- the life and nature of God. Could anything be higher or more glorious? No wonder the Scriptures speak of this as the "high calling of God in Christ."

And as if this were not so amazing, the Apostle tells us plainly that the Church is called to attain the glory of God. In 1 Peter 5:10, it is written "The God of all grace . . hath called you unto his eternal glory."' And Paul writes: "Who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." (1 Thess. 2:12.) Then from Hebrews 1:3, we learn that Jesus our Lord and Master is the "brightness of his glory and the express image of the Father's" person." When, therefore, we read that the Church is to be made like him and enter into his glory, it surely means that this which we read concerning the all-surpassing glory of our Lord and the exact likeness he now bears to his Father, being the first of the family of Divine sons, "the express 'image of the Father's person," will likewise be true of each individual member of the Church. All the exceeding great powers which inhere in the divine nature, in immortal life, are comprehended in the "Glory to follow." Paul who doubtless had a clearer appreciation and mental grasp of many of these things because special revelations were given to him, refers to it as "the eternal weight of glory." - 2 Cor. 4:17.

WHEN HIS GLORY IS REVEALED

When shall this be? The Scriptures answer-"When his glory is revealed, then shall we also be revealed in glory with him," and again in Col. 3:4: "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Then the Apostle Peter is even more precise when he writes in 1 Peter 5:4, "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear [be manifested], ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." Then -- "The toils of the road will seem nothing, when we get to the end of the way."

We can join with and understand the Apostle when lie writes: "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the [eternal weight of] glory which shall be revealed in us." Afflictions -- light, momentary. The glory -- ­weighty, eternal. How truly great and precious is our privilege; how blessed indeed are we to have seen and understood; but more blessed to have been brought right inside the secret purpose of the Lord. Let us "lay aside all weights and run with patience" for the remaining short time-a little while now. The same Apostle Peter exhorts and encourages us with these words: "But the God of all grace who hath called you unto his eternal glory, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen."

"When on Thine own image in me Thou hast smiled,
Within Thy blest mansion, and when
The arms
of my Father encircle His child,
O! I shall be satisfied then."

With such a hope before us, implanted in our hearts by God; with the great joy of having some share in the restoration and blessing of all the fami­lies of the earth; do we not wish that hour were al­ready here? Shall we not renew our resolve to be faithful to him who has chosen and called us, yield ourselves unreservedly to fulfill his will in and through us day by day? Let us, as we do so, remember also the promise: "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." - 1 Thess. 5:24.

Contributed. - Eng.


Called to Suffering

"Whosoever doth not bear his Cross, and come after Me,
cannot be my disciple."

We who follow the Crucified are not here to make a pleasant thing of life; we are called to suffering for the sake of a suffering, sinful world. The Lord forgive us our shameful evasions and hesitations. His brow was crowned with thorns; do we seek rose-buds for our crowning? His hands were pierced with nails; are our hands ringed with jewels? His feet were bare and bound; do our feet walk delicately? What do we know of travail? of tears that scald before they fall? of heart-break? of being scorned? God forgive us our love of ease. God forgive us that so often we turn our faces from a life that is even remotely like his. Forgive us that we all but worship comfort, the delight of the presence of loved ones, possessions, treasure on earth. Far, far from our prayers too often is any thought of prayer for a love which will lead us to give one whom we love to follow our Lord to Gethsemane, to Calvary -- perhaps because we have never been there ourselves.

Lord, we kneel beside Thee now, with hands folded between Thy hands as a child's are folded in its mother's. We would follow the words of Thy prayer, dimly understanding their meaning, but wanting to understand That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.

- A. Carmichael.


Truth

All truth is calm­ --
Refuge and rock and tower;
The more of truth, the more of calm; 
Its calmness is its power. 
Truth is not strife, 
Nor
is to strife allied; 
It is the error that is bred 
Of storm by rage and pride. 
Calmness is truth,
And truth is still;

Truth lifts its forehead to the storm  
Like some eternal hill.

- H. Bonar.


 

Encouraging Messages

Dear Brethren:

It has occurred to me that my subscription will expire with the next issue, also Sister ------, so I am sending a check to cover hers and my renewal. Hope it is received in time to save you from having to enclose renewal notice in our papers.

With much Christian love,

A. B. S.  -- Me.

(This thoughtful consideration is much appreciated indeed, and as suggested 
means a saving of time in our office. - Ed. Com. )

Dear Brethren:

Sr. S---------- and I are taking keen interest in the Revelation comments in your letter. . .. This interest was at once in­creased by the May "Herald"-Brother H. Hudson's "Study on Revelation." This in some way, brought back the 1906 Asbury Park Convention, where one day I sat at the same table that Brother R. E. Streeter and a few others did. Some one brought up a question on Revelation, and I recall Brother Streeter's opening remark: "Anything on Revelation always interests me."

I am glad to have his two books on Revelation -- his comments, Brother Russell's and those of others. His-50-page "Introduction" is of immeasurable value, reviewing the past methods of interpretation-how the early Church on the threshold of the unfolding of prophecy, could but vaguely grasp it. The arguments that it is of historic interpretation and not futuristic, are mightily convincing.

Yours by His grace,

E. K. S. -- Pa.

1952 Index