of Christ's Kingdom
XLI April 1958 No. 4
Table of Contents
"Many Infallible Proofs"
Laborers Together with God
Half Hour Meditations on Romans
Signs of the End of the Age
The Song of Songs
Notice to "Herald" Subscribers
Are Wars to Cease?
Notes on Chronology
Things That Alone Count
My Times Are in Thy Hand
The Question Box
Lord is risen indeed." - Luke 24:34.
THE STORY of our
Lord's resurrection is one of exquisite pathos and beauty. His crucifixion
had created despair-had smitten the Shepherd and scattered the sheep. In
loving secrecy and weeping silence the faithful few had removed the
body from the cross and laid it in the new tomb of Joseph. The great feast
came, and while Jerusalem kept holy-day, the disciples had to bear, as
best they might, their bitter shame and ruined hopes. But the women could
not forget the marred visage, now rigid in death, but once so expressive
of holy and beautiful life, and with characteristic devotion, waited to
seize the earliest moment to look upon it once more before the effacing
fingers of decay had swept the lines of its lingering beauty, and in the
little ministrations of tender regretful affection at once express and relieve
the sorrow that burdened their hearts. So, in the dim dawn of the morning
after the sabbath, they stole to the tomb, only to find in it no buried
Lord. The thought of a resurrection did not occur to them; they
thought only that the grave had been rifled. One of them, Mary of Magdala,
fled, in an anguished woman's way, blind to everything but her awful loss,
crying: "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have
laid Him." But the angels within the tomb, and the Lord without, made
the tear-blinded women awake to the strange glad truth: "He is risen,
as He said."
Begotten Again unto a Hope of Life by His Resurrection
Before this truth was
brought home to them they were in despair. Their hopes were buried in His
grave. They had trusted in Jesus, and had entertained high hopes, but now,
since Jesus had died, they were sad, their hopes having withered. How
different with them when the fact of His resurrection was made known to
them! What joy displaced their dejection! It became true of them then, as
it has of us who have believed since-they were, and we have been, begotten
again unto a hope of life, by His resurrection. Because He lives we have
grounds for hoping that we shall live also. In His resurrection lies our
It is an interesting
study to trace in the Gospel narratives and in the Epistles, the harmony
which obtains in the various references to the appearances of our Lord.
Matthew, Mark and Luke, Peter, John and Paul all make mention of His
resurrection. Each account is different, depending upon the point of view
of the writer, but they are unanimous in affirming the fundamental fact
that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. Moreover it is not difficult to
combine all these various appearances now distributed amongst the Gospel
writers and in the Epistles, and arrange them into one complete and
connected picture.. By so doing we perceive that our Lord's first work was
that of consoling and encouraging. To Mary Magdalene and the other women
He first appeared, turning their sorrow into joy. This was early in the
morning on the very day He arose. That same day, in the afternoon, those
two downcast disciples who were on their way to Emmaus found their hearts
burning within them as a Stranger talked with them and finally revealed
Himself as their Lord. Unable to contain themselves, although the hour
was late, they hastened back to Jerusalem to tell the good news. But the
Lord was traveling faster than they knew. Before they got there He had appeared
to another; doubtless before He had appeared to themselves, even. There
was one of His disciples whose heart was breaking-one who in an evil
moment had denied His Lord. What passed 'between our Lord and Peter we do
not know; however, we who are in
any measure acquainted with Jesus
and know something of His grace can well understand the peace and comfort
which possessed Peter after that meeting. At all events, Peter had not been slow to tell the good news, for when the
Emmaus disciples came breathlessly with their story they were told:
"The Lord is risen indeed, and bath appeared unto Simon." Then,
once again, in the late evening of that wonderful resurrection day, while
they were rehearsing their own experiences to the Apostles, and how Jesus
had been known of them by the old familiar habit of His, of first blessing
and then breaking the bread, He once more appeared in their midst, saying,
"Peace be unto you."
That Glad Resurrection Day
the very day of His resurrection, then, first to the women, then to Peter,
next to the Emmaus disciples, lastly to the Eleven -- four times in all --
Jesus appeared, each time bringing a sense of peace and comfort, hope
and joy. What a day to be remembered for all time!
week later He appeared to the disciples again, this time for the special
benefit of Thomas, who had been absent on the previous occasion, and who
time later, just when we may not know precisely, Jesus appeared to more
than five hundred brethren at one time, no doubt taking His last leave
of the collective Church then. His next appearance seems to have been to
James, His "brother," or "kinsman," as the word more
exactly means. This appearance is mentioned by St. Paul in his first
letter to the Corinthians, although it is not mentioned elsewhere in the
Scriptures. St. Paul, we know, had become personally acquainted with James
at Jerusalem, and no doubt learned about this appearance of Jesus from
another appearance to His disciples is recounted 'by the Apostle John,
in the last chapter of his Gospel. Seven of the disciples had gone
fishing. Perhaps they had grown weary with waiting for the Lord to
manifest Himself again. We do not know. At all events they had toiled all
night and caught nothing. And, it will be remembered, Jesus revealed
Himself to them by telling them where to cast their net to secure a big
catch of fish. Finally He took His last leave of them, just before His
ascension, leading them out as far as Bethany, appointing them to be His
witnesses --witnesses not only of all the wondrous things He had done and
taught in their midst during His ministry; witnesses not only of the fact
that He had been crucified and buried; but witnesses especially of His
Have I Not Seen Jesus Christ Our Lord?
yet once more, in order that he, too, might qualify as a witness, Paul was
given a glimpse of the resurrected Lord in that never-to-be-forgotten
journey on the Damascus road.
Paul never forgot this commission. In all his Epistles he speaks of the
resurrection of Christ. And when, at the close of his life, the Apostle
writes to his son in the faith, Timothy, he reiterates the matter in
these words: "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was
raised from the dead, according to my Gospel. But while he mentions the
resurrection in all his Epistles, there is one Epistle in which he
undertakes to expound the matter in great detail. It is his first letter
to the Corinthians. There, in the fifteenth chapter, he unfolds the
subject at length, affirming his faith, first, in the resurrection of
Jesus; second, in that of the world of mankind as a whole; and third
(third in point of mention, though second in order of accomplishment), in
that of the Church. Most of the discussion we hope to present in the
remainder of this series of meditations will be drawn from this
heaven-sent exposition by "our beloved brother" Paul. However,
for this meditation let us content ourselves with reviewing the ground
How Firm a Foundation is Laid for Our Faith!
doctrine of the resurrection is so fundamental to our faith that all
Christians should be thoroughly established therein -- "able to give
a reason" for their own hope, and their hopes on behalf of others.
Junior students of the Scriptures, especially, and all newly consecrated
ones, are urged to become very familiar with all the Bible has to say on
this most important subject; while those who have been long in the way
will, if they join us in these meditations, experience once again the
comfort to be derived from a consideration of "these words." (1
Thess. 4:18.) For example, in the previous paragraphs we have listed all
the recorded appearances of our Lord. Let each ask himself the question:
Do I know how many there were? To whom they were vouchsafed? In what order
they occurred? Where they took place?' What the total period of time was
during which they all happened? -- all, that is to say, except that to
Paul. To get the most out of this first meditation the reader will do
well to trace in his own Bible the ten appearances mentioned, and to prayerfully
ponder the related contexts of each. Those who do so for the first time
will be astonished to find how firm a foundation is laid for their
faith; that to the Apostles our Lord showed Himself alive after His
passion by "many infallible proofs, being seen of them by the space
of forty days, and speaking the things pertaining to the Kingdom of
God." - Acts 1:3.
Our Lord Showed Himself Alive
assist the student to accomplish, with the minimum effort, the searching
of the Scriptures suggested in the previous paragraph we submit the
following brief summary:
whom-Mary Magdalene and the other women.
the sepulcher, Jerusalem.
Day, early morning.
28:9; Mark 16:9; John 20:1-18.
Day, during daytime.
24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5.
whom-Cleopas and another.
road to Emmaus.
Day, towards evening.
16:12; Luke 24:13-35.
whom-Ten Apostles and others (Thomas absent).
16:14; Luke 24:36; John 20:19; 1 Cor. 15:5.
whom-Thomas and the rest.
(most probably the same place and circumstances as in appearance No. 4).
first day of the next week.
the Sea of Tiberias.
(This was the third appearance to the "disciples"-the
previous two being appearances Nos. 4 and 5).
whom-The Eleven in the midst of five hundred brethren.
Note: Matthew mentions only those
who were receiving the apostolic commission.
28:16; Mark 16:7; 1 Cor. 15:6.
(Paul probably learned about this appearance from James himself).
Day (at the close of forty days).
24:50-53; Acts 1:6-9; 1 Cor. 15:7.
Appearance No. 10.
whom-Saul (afterwards called Paul).
the Damascus road.
time after the Ascension.
9:5; 1 Cor. 15:8.
"This Jesus Hath God Raised Up"
is strengthening, too, to faith and consecration, to trace in the Acts
of the Apostles how our Lord's chosen "witnesses," -- witnesses
of His resurrection -- (John 15:27; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8, 22) --
proceeded to carry out their commission. Our Lord had said: "Ye shall
be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth." But first they were to
receive "power." "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,"
was His word, "until ye be endued with power from on High."
(Luke 24:49.) Accordingly we find them waiting at Jerusalem in prayer
and supplication (Acts 1:14), until they had received the promise of the
Father. Then commenced the work of witnessing, as the Spirit gave them
utterance. (Acts 2:4.) One cannot but be impressed with the prominence
given to the "resurrection of Jesus" in this, their first
witness given under the guidance and in the power of the Holy Spirit:
men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth . . . by wicked hands
have crucified .and slain; whom God
raised up, having loosed the pains ["grip," Fenton] of
death; because it was not possible that He should be holden of it." -
Jesus hath God raised up, whereof
we all are witnesses." - Acts 2:32.
taught the people, and preached
through Jesus the resurrection from the dead." - Acts 4:2.
it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name
of Jesus of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom
God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before
you whole." - Acts 4:10.
God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew." - Acts 5:30.
it was that at Jerusalem "with great power gave the Apostles
witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon
them all." - Acts 4:33.
"I know that my Redeemer lives;
What joy the blest assurance gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my everlasting Head!
"He lives, to bless me with His love;
He lives, who bought me with His blood;
He lives, my hungry soul to feed;
He lives, my help in time of need.
"He lives, and grants me daily strength;
Through Him I soon shall conquer death;
Then all His glories I'll declare,
That all the world His life may share."
P. L. Read
- From the Herald, April, 1947
were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges:
there they dwelt with the king for his work. - 1 Chron. 4:23.
infinite care and forethought God has chosen the place in which you can do
your best work for the world. You may be lonely, but you have no more
right to complain than the lamp has, which has been placed in a niche to
illumine a dark landing or a flight of dangerous stone steps. The master
of the house may have put you in a very small corner and on a very humble
stand; but it is enough if it be his blessed will. Some day he will pass
by, and you shall light his steps as he goes forth to seek and save that
which is lost; or you shall kindle some great light that shall shine like
a beacon over the storm swept ocean. Thus the obscure Andrew was the
means of igniting his brother Peter, when he brought him to Jesus.
lesson seems twofold, First, that anywhere and everywhere we too may dwell
with the King for his work. We may be in a very unlikely or unfavorable
place for this-it may be in a literal country life, with little enough to
be seen of the goings of the King around us; it may be among hedges of all
sorts, hindrances in all directions; it may be, furthermore, with our
hands full of all manner of pottery for our daily task.
matter! The King who placed us there will come and dwell there with us;
the hedges are all right, or he would soon do away with them, and it does
not follow that what seems to hinder our way may not be for its
very protection; and as for the pottery, why, that is just exactly what
he has seen fit to put into our hands, and therefore it is, for the
present, his work.
that the dwelling and the working must go together. If we are indeed
dwelling with the King, we shall be working for him too, as we have opportunity.
The working will be as the dwelling-a settled, regular thing, whatever
form it may take at his appointment. Nor will his work ever be done when
we are not dwelling with him. It will be our own work then, not his, and
it will not abide. We shall come under the condemnation of the vine which
was pronounced empty, because he bringeth forth fruit unto himself.
are to dwell with the King for his work; but he will see to it that it
shall be for a great deal besides-for a great continual reward according
to his own heart and out of his royal bounty -for peace, for power, for
love, for gladness, for likeness to himself.
together with God! workers together with him! the Lord working with us!
admitted into divine fellowship of work! -- will not this thought
ennoble everything he gives us to do today, even if it is among plants and
hedges! Even the pottery will be grand!
F. R. Havergal.
the Master of all the workmen
Called me into the field,
I went for him light and happy,
The tools of his service to wield;
Expectant of high position,
As suited my lofty taste --
When Lo! He set me weeding
And watering down in the waste.
Such puttering down in the hedges!
A task so thankless and small!
Yet I stifled my vain discomfort
And wrought for the Lord of all,
grown, as nightly
I sank to my hard-won rest
I cared but to hear in my dreaming,
"This one has done his best."
The years have leveled distinctions,
There is no more "great" nor "small";
Only faithful service counts
With the Lord of all;
And I know that, tilled with patience,
The dreariest waste of clod
Shall yield the perfect ideal
Planned in the heart of God.
Being justified (declared righteous --
Rotherham) freely by His grace through the redemption (deliverance --
Weymouth) that is in Christ Jesus. -- Rom. 3:24
In the March HERALD we noted that the word apolutrosis
here translated "redemption" appears only ten times in the New
Testament and that in each case it signifies deliverance. (See page
40.) But what is the deliverance to which the Apostle refers? I answer:
The context must in each case decide. In Luke 21:28; Rom. 8:23, and Eph
4:30 the reference is undoubtedly to the final deliverance of the church.
In Eph 1:14 the reference is to the final deliverance not only of the
church but also of the whole of mankind, including the earth, mans home.
In Heb 9:15 the reference is to the deliverance granted believing Jews
from trans- gressions which took place under their old Law Covenant. In
yet another place (Heb 11:35), the reference is to a deliverance the
Ancient Worthies refused, preferring death. In 1 Cor. 1:30, another
instance, the word would seem to apply both to the final deliverance of
the church and also to their present justification by faith. We will
briefly examine these ten texts in which apolutrosis occurs.
(1) Luke 21:28: And when these things begin to come to pass, then look
up, and lift up your heads; for your redemp tion (deliverance) draweth
nigh. When the deliverance here spoken of "draweth night"
then the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand" (Luke 21:31). "There is
no reference here to the ransom or to the conditions precedent to the
Churchs deliverance, but merely to the deliverance itself," namely
the final deliverance of the Church.
(2) Rom. 8:23: Even we ourselves (the faithful church) groan
within ourselves waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption
(deliverance) of our Body [the Church, the Body of Christ, which is
to be glorified with the Head, in due time]. "Nothing in this
statement has the slightest reference to the redemption accomplished at
Calvary, the purchase price; it refers purely and solely to the
deliverance of the Church, which is to be a part of the result of
the redemption finished at Calvary -- the ransom." Again the
reference is seen to be to the final deliverance of the Church.
(3) 1 Cor. 1:30: Of him are ye in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto
us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption
[deliverance]. "Nothing here has any reference to the redemption
price paid at Calvary. The Apostle is speaking, not of what our Lord
did for us, but of what he is yet to do for us. . . . He will,
in due time, deliver from the bondage of corruption, death, the Church
which he purchased with his own blood. The deliverance, not the purchase,
is here referred to," and again it is seen to refer to the final
deliverance of the Church, although it may here "very properly be
applied also to the intermediate and incidental deliverances of the
faithful all along the narrow way, culminating in salvation to the
uttermost in the glory, honor and immortality of the First
(4) Eph 1:7: He hath made us accepted in the Beloved, in whom we have
redemption [deliverance] through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace." Here the word
"deliverance" is explained for us. It is the forgiveness of
sins, not, . . . the sin or sins of Adam but our own.
"Thy sins be forgiven thee (Matt. 9:2). Deliverance here, then,
refers not to the sacrifice at Calvary but to the reckoning as righteous
those who were in fact sinners, or in other words it refers to the
justification by faith of the ungodly.
Thus seen, the word does not refer to the final but to a present
(5) Eph 1:14: Ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the
earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption [deliverance] of the
purchased possession. "The possession which Christ purchased by the
sacrifice for sins as mans substitute includes mankind in gen eral, or so
many as will accept the favor on the Gospel conditions, as well as the
Church, the Bride. The time for the deliverance is in the Millennial
Kingdom and the Church is to be delivered first -- early in the morning.
But the earth was part of mans original estate and was purchased by the
same sacrifice once for all: hence it too is to be delivered from its
share of the curse and shall become as the garden of the Lord -- Paradise.
The purchase is accomplished but the deliverance waits for Gods due time.
"The word, then, has reference to the final deliverance of both the
Church and the rest of the world of mankind, including the earth, mans
(6) Eph 4:30 :"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are
sealed unto the day of redemp- tion [deliverance]" "There is no
reference here to the redemption sacrifice finished at Calvary. Yet not
until that sacrifice was finished, and its merits presented in the holy of
holies, and accepted by the Father, did the Holy Spirit come upon any and
seal them as sons of God. But now these who have been sealed are to
maintain this spirit of sonship, this begetting of the Divine nature, not
to lose it. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is the first- fruit of the
Spirit, and is all that is communicated during this present life, for the
full measure of the blessing of the Divine nature we must wait until the
time appointed of the Father, the ‘day of deliverance ,’ the
Millennial Day, in which day the Scriptures declare, concerning the
Church, the Bride of Christ, ‘God shall help her early in the morning.
‘"(Psa. 46:5.) Whoever loses the Holy Spirit and its seal will have
neither part nor lot in the First Resurrection, in the morning of the
‘day of [complete] deliverance’ from the power of sin and death. In
this passage the context again discloses a reference to the final deliv-
erance of the Church.
(7) Col. 1:14: In whom we have redemption [de liverance] through his
blood even the forgiveness of sins. This will be readily seen in a
parallel passage in Eph 1:7, "We believers already have
deliverance, that is, the forgiveness of our sins, and hence harmony
with the Father. The word ‘redemption’ here has no reference to the
sacrifice for sins, but merely to its effect upon us, setting us free
from our sins. The Apostle, however, does not ignore the sacrifice, but
declares that our deliverance from the bondage and control of sin is
through the efficacy of our Lord’s blood -- his death, his sacrifice for
sins, the ransom paid." The word then relates, as in Eph 1:7, not to
the final but to a present deliverance .
(8) Heb 9:15 :"For this cause he is the Mediator of the New
Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption [deliverance] of the
transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called
might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."
"Once more a faulty rendering partly obscures the meaning; but when
the thought is seen to be deliverance all is clear." The
evident reference is to the deliverance already experienced by the
believing Jew from transgressions which had taken place under the Old Law
(9) Heb 11:35 :"Others were tortured, not ac- cepting
deliverance." "This is the one instance in which the translators
have properly rendered this word." Obviously it has reference to a
deliverance that could have been accepted by the worthy ones of a previous
Age, but in which death was preferred.
(10) Rom. 3:24: "Being justified freely by his grace through the
redemption [deliverance] that is in Christ Jesus." Coming now to
this, our text, it should not be difficult, in the light of the foregoing
discus- sion to see that the deliverance here spoken of is akin to that
mentioned in Eph 1:7 and Col. 1:14. It is a present deliverance,
even the forgiveness of sins. No reference is here made to the great
sacrifice for sins, but merely to the present effect upon believers,
setting them here and now free from their sins; reckoning as righteous
those who in fact are sinners. "The Apostle does not in these words
refer to the ransom but merely to the deliverance which the Lord’s
people have, now reckonedly, and by and by prospectively in the
resurrection. He is treating the matter from God’s standpoint: believers
are freely, unconditionally, justified; aside from any works of merit on
This is accomplished through the deliverance which God has provided
in Christ Jesus our Lord." -- Studies in the Scriptures, Vol.
V, Page E434.
The thought of the Apostle then seems clear. He is discussing, not Adamic
condemnation and death and the way of deliverance therefrom to eternal
life through the ransom sacrifice of Christ, but while not ignoring that
sacrifice, is, for wise reasons, limiting his discussion to personal
willful sins and how by faith, believers may be here and now forgiven
them, delivered from them, justified from them -- how by
faith they may be declared righteous by God. And so far as this faith-
righteousness is concerned, its method is freely [ without cause in
us (see March "Herald," page 39)], its origin is in God, and its
all sufficient ground is the deliverance that is in Christ Jesus.
-- P. L. Read
shall be the sign of thy presence (mistranslated "coming") and
of the end
of the Age (mistranslated "world")?" - Matt. 24:3
signs of the full end of the Age are to be looked for in three special
directions or sources. These are:
Signs amongst the Jews.
Signs amongst the Gentiles.
Signs in the Christian Church, both the true and false.
all these directions the signs of the complete end are described. The
Apostle Paul gives what is probably the most significant sign . . . as
indicating the change of the Kingdom class. He says: "Blindness in
part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come
in." (Rom. 11:25.) When it becomes apparent that the truly orthodox
of the Jewish people get their eyes open to see that Jesus Christ is their
Messiah, and come to an understanding of what is referred to in the
Scriptures as the "hidden mystery," that of gathering out the
joint-heirs of the heavenly Kingdom from amongst the Gentiles, which is
clearly stated to be the special purpose of God for this Age, during the
period of Jewish blindness -- then, and not until then, will the Age reach
its full end. Those who will live to witness that may know that the
Kingdom in all its power and glory will be ushered in immediately. We
believe that some Christians may possibly witness some of the events and
developments leading up to and in close proximity to that time.
R. E. Streeter, Rev. Exp. Vol. II, pp.
THE LONG JOURNEY LIES BEHIND
are in the position of travelers, approaching a large and to them unknown
city, at the end of a long railway journey. They are aware of the
distance to be traversed, of the stations to be passed on the way, and of
the time required for the transit. The milestones have long shown them
that they are rapidly nearing their goal; the time the journey was to
occupy has elapsed, and they have observed that the station just passed
was the last but one. Yet the terminus in the strange city may have
several distinct platforms, separated from each other by short distances;
the train may draw up at one or two before it comes to a final stand at
the last: they are ignorant of the exact localities in the great
metropolis, and hardly know at which station they will be met by their
expectant friends. Still they have no hesitation in making their
preparations for leaving the carriage, and in congratulating each other
with a glad "Here we are at last! " They would smile at the man
who should dispute their conviction, though they may be unable to decide
whether it will be five minutes or ten, or only two or three, before they
actually reach their destination. It is a mere question of minutes and
miles; if one platform is not the right one, the next may be; at any rate,
the long journey lies behind, the desired goal is all but reached.
- H. Grattan Guinness, Approaching End of the Age, pp.
A short series of devotional meditations - No. 1
beloved is mine and I am His." - Song of Solomon 2:16.
readers will recall, with much satisfaction, "Leaves from a Christian
Diary," by F. A. Shuttleworth, published in February. Consequently,
they will need no further assurance from us that in "The Song of
Songs," by the same author, they may confidently anticipate another
us, our author is well aware of the difficulties which have confronted
expositors in their attempts to interpret this "Song"; aware,
too, of the impossibility of reconciling their various interpretations.
But exact analysis is no part of our author's purpose. The aim,
throughout, is practical rather than expository. As more than one
eminent scholar has observed, regardless of differing interpretations,
the application of this Biblical Lyric Idyl, as R. G. Moulton, in the
Modern Reader's Bible, describes it, can be only "an incentive to
loyalty and fidelity to the 'One who loved us and gave himself for us';
and to stand fast, in our love and loyalty to him, in the face of the
fiercest temptations and severest trials."-Companion Bible.
it may be proper also to remark here, that these meditations were not
submitted to us, originally, for publication, but were sent by the
author as a gift to two friends in the United States, for their
disposition. In the author's letter transmitting the manuscript to them,
the hope was expressed that from it might arise "that incense' of
the-heart distilled from those essences culled from the Garden of God and
from no other source." It mentioned also, somewhat wistfully it
seemed to us, that while written some years ago, it might yet be found
"to contain something which could inspire a flagging energy or a
wavering faith to the final spurt which attains the goal." In the
belief that it will be thus blessed of the Lord, we take pleasure in
sharing it with our readers.
the least beautiful of the sacred writings is that known as the Song of
Solomon or the Song which is Solomon's, often truly spoken of as the Song
of Songs. The latter title is justly deserved, for it is a most excellent
song upon an evergreen topic, dear to human hearts and beloved of all
poets, but superior to any produced by uninspired writers.
royal author of this splendid and lovely poem appears to have written it
in the gladness of his heart, to celebrate his marriage with a very
beautiful woman known as the Shulamite, supposed by some to have been
the daughter of a Pharaoh. It is considered by many able students to be
an allegory of the kind which infers a deeper subject, a hidden meaning,
and so produces a sublimer sense upon the historical truth with which it
is primarily concerned.
sacred writers of old were, by God's condescension, authorized to illustrate
the intimate relation of Christ and the Church by the figure of marriage,
and the emblem must have been strikingly becoming and expressive as
carried out by the Jewish race, since their conception of the marriage
union led them to perform many peculiar ceremonies and great solemnities
at their nuptial celebrations.
as a king, was doubtless led to celebrate his marriage by a contemplation
of the spiritual union which marriage is often used to symbolize. The idea
must have been forcibly presented to his mind by the holy spirit of God,
for at that time he was preparing to build the Temple of God in Jerusalem,
thereby furnishing a visible representation of the Church of Christ
under another figure also much used later by the Apostles of the early
a glow of inspired fancy, Solomon describes Christ, the King of Kings, and
the Church, his glorious companion, with their respective and various
graces, under colorings agreeable to our minds and in terms familiar to us
all, exhibiting their ardent and mutual affection under the authorized
figures of earthly love.
indeed, could be chosen to convey to us so clearly the intimate
relationship of this spiritual alliance as the marriage union, especially
if that union be considered in all its chaste simplicity as first
established by the Creator. The poem is pastoral and exceedingly tender
and exquisite in all its passages where the kingly bridegroom and his
bride express their deep love one for the other. As one poet has written
of this unique and lovely song:
is a song all songs above,
Longer, deeper, fuller, higher,
Sweeter than the Psalmist's lyre,
The breathing of nought but love;
Love that is strong with strength Divine,
Meet for thy depths, O soul of mine! ...
"All the sweets that strew the song,
Prince of Peace, to Thee belong,
Moves its kindling, melting fire
From Thy heart, O King Messiah!"
is because no higher form of love can be found to fittingly illustrate the
affection and relation of Christ to the Church, that the Apostle Paul uses
the figure of marriage and the love of husband and wife in his letter to
the Ephesians. There are many human ties which are wonderfully strong and
tender; filial ties, bonds of friendship; but none so capable of depth,
strength, endurance, joy, satisfaction, and selfless interest, as that
which binds together in complete oneness a man and a woman who have found
the secret and spring of a
this hallowed bond, this holy union of beings, is used in the inspired
text to illustrate that wonderful closeness of relationship which exists
between the Lord Christ and all who have become truly his by solemn vows
of consecration. The attraction between Master and disciple is not one
of outward form but of inward grace. The eye of faith looks at the Savior
in his humiliation and sorrow and beholds a king and a lover. Here is
One who emptied himself of his glory, who was rich and for the sake of
sinners became poor, who loved the Church while she was yet ignorant of
him, of her own unworthiness, and who gave himself for her that he might
fit her to be a glorious companion for all eternity, his equal, sharer of
his throne, joint-ruler of his Kingdom, heir of heaven, without blemish,
does not stop to weigh up in cold logic the reasons why. There is, in
fact, a sweet unreasonableness about true love which is half its
attraction and happiness. Its response is instant to the mysterious power;
a warm, unselfish giving away of all it has to give. This quality of
love has attracted men and women to Christ with the most ardent devotion.
Young men and young women have given themselves to him willingly and
gladly in the fair morning of life, have lived for him, served him, and
suffered hardship, loss, even imprisonment and death for his sake. They
have forfeited fame, denied natural ambitions, toiled hard and long in
uncongenial conditions, often friendless, ostracized and forsaken, but
conscious of a love that passes knowledge, of a friendship unwavering,
and of a Name like sweet perfume poured out, inspiring, encouraging, and
drawing on towards the ultimate consummation, that of faith becoming
sight, of seeing him who is invisible, and being at last like him.
love of Jesus, what it is, none but his loved ones know." And those
loved ones have replied in the rarest terms and responded with the truest
the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all!"
such words as these, warm with the heart's choicest affection, the songs
of saints have strewn the world of literature with some of its finest
gems. They sparkle with hope and glow with love. They adorn with beauty
and inspire with their fervent luster. They comfort the mourner, console
the sorrowing, and carry the dying through the dark valley on wings of
faith and victory, into the safe shelter of the arms of the ever-living
Jesus Christ, the Savior, Friend, and Lover of those who put their trust
some of the specially tender allusions in the Song of Songs the
Christian may well look with profit in these closing days of the era which
has been specially set apart for the calling, testing, and choosing of
the Church of
sometimes referred to in the inspired Word as "The Bride --The
THE BRIDE DECLARES THAT SHE IS ONLY A LILY OF THE VALLEYS
first verse of chapter two refers not to the bridegroom, as is sometimes
erroneously supposed, but to the bride. While it would be quite fitting
for the fragrance and fairness of the whitest lily and the beauty of the
choicest rose to be used to symbolize the purity and beauty of the mind
and love of Jesus, that is not the thought here. The Bible is an Eastern
book, written about Eastern lands, life, and customs. Its symbols can be
understood properly only when seen in their correct setting. Whereas in
the Western world the lily of the valleys is white, and the rose
many-colored and queen of the garden, this is not true in the East. There
the lily of the valleys is that flower known in the West as the anemone
with its rich petals of red and purple. Moreover the rose of Sharon is
white; the flower we call narcissus. Both grow in wild profusion in
is the bride, then, who is here declaring that she is as one of these
common or ordinary flowers of which there were so many. She says, in
effect, "I am no different and no better than my companions, my
sisters, in this great floral throng."
THE BRIDEGROOM'S GRACIOUS RESPONSE
the royal lover instantly denies, insisting, in the second verse, that the
bride so far surpasses the general beauty and grace of the others as to be
as a lily compared with thorns. What an exquisitely delicate tribute is
this of the Lord Christ for his espoused, his beloved!
lovely little red and purple lily of the fields to which, in his earthly
ministry, he called special attention, as toiling not, yet being more
grandly arrayed than the glorious Solomon, who wrote beforehand this love
song of the Messiah, is in itself a blossom of rich beauty. Seen under a
microscope, the color and texture of the petals are exquisite. Thousands
of them growing together on the slopes of some sheltered valley, would
form a dazzling sight. The beholder would find it
to choose from such a glowing mass a dozen or more which excelled in
beauty all the rest. To choose one as fairest above all others would be
impossible. Yet, in the eyes of the kingly lover, his beloved is so fair,
she not only surpasses all her sisters, but compared with them she is as a
lily among thorns."
THE BRIDE RESPONDS
by the emotion which this glowing tribute stirs in her, the bride in turn
likens her lover to an orange tree. - Song of Solomon 2:3.* Beneath his
shade she gladly sits to rest, to refresh herself, to delight herself in
his close companionship. His fruit is sweet to her taste. His arms support
her, and she is blissfully happy, contented, and in peace.
is an Eastern custom to scatter orange blossom upon the bride on the day
of her marriage, that she may be revived by its sweet, invigorating
perfume when overcome by the joy and preparations of the ceremonies. We
are not surprised, therefore, to find the bride, almost faint with
gladness, next calling upon her virgin companions to "strew me with
orange for I am overcome with love." - Song of Solomon 2:5.
F. A. Shuttleworth, Scot.
translation reads "apple tree." However, the reference is
probably to the orange tree. The apple tree does not thrive in the East,
but the orange tree grows almost to perfection.
of you have written us for a word of explanation as to why you have
received, from St. Louis, duplicate copies of the January, February, and
March issues of the "Herald."
by this time you have learned that in recent weeks, we mailed three
months trial "Herald" subscriptions to a list of names and
addresses secured from various sources, including responses to our
magazine and newspaper advertisements. It was to be expected that a list,
thus compiled, might include the names of a few persons who were already
"Herald" subscribers. However, the cost of checking would have
been prohibitive. Of course, as soon as any "Herald" subscriber
wrote us, we removed his or her name from our "trial" list.
any event, it was good to hear from those of you who wrote us. Your kind,
good wishes were
appreciated. We know you will rejoice with us, to learn that as a result
of this mailing, our regular subscription list has been noticeably
Fellowship Through the Mails
shall speak of the glory of Thy Kingdom, and talk of Thy power." - Psalm 145:11.
This morning comes [the January
"Herald" with] the letter [concerning our Lord's Second Advent]
to the pastor of a Middle West church. I have read it and it certainly is
excellent. I hope
a copy of it
sent to all such pastors. The New Testament references which close the
letter are unanswerable.
Christabel Pankhurst, Calif.
(Less than a month after writing the foregoing to her long-time friend
-- our Sister Grace M. Harris -- the newspapers reported the death, at 77,
of "Christabel, last of the Pankhursts." She was one of the
first British women to pass the bar examination when in her 20's, but England
did not then permit women to practice law. More than 50 years ago she
began accompanying her mother, Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst, on speechmaking
tours in England in behalf of suffrage for women. When, in 1918, victory
was achieved, Christabel, for her work, received from King George V the
honor of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Dame
Christabel Pankhurst came to the United States in the 1930's and lectured
widely at Bible conferences. Among the books she wrote were "Seeing
the future" and "The World's Unrest: Visions of the
Dawn." - Ed. Com.)
received the January "Herald." How timely the wonderful article
by Brother Allbon, and we always enjoy and are richly blessed by Brother
Kirkwood's articles. "Fellowship Through the Mails" was like
attending a real good testimony meeting.
Mrs. Minnie Gardner, Calif.
weeks before she wrote these lines Sister Gardner had suffered the
bereavement of her life partner, Brother Wiley C. Gardner. "Married
by Bro. Russell in 1914, we traveled hand in hand for 43 years.
has been good to me. 'I will not murmur nor repine, for faith can firmly
what may." - Ed. Com. )
rate of population has increased considerably since you wrote in the
"Herald" in 1950.
Robert C. Cook, D. C.
Cook is the Director of the Population Reference Bureau, Inc., a
non-profit scientific educational organization located in Washington, D.
C., founded in 1929 for the purposes of gathering, correlating, and
distributing population data. Ed. Com.)
have enjoyed the sample copies of the "Herald" which you have so
kindly sent to me, and should like to continue to have the magazine.
Mrs. Jane E. Trewin, Can.
present we are studying the Epistle to the Romans. I know this will strike
a chord with you, in view of your "Half Hour Meditations" in the
"Herald." All the Class wish to be remembered to you both.
William and May Neil, Eng.
Lord who opened the blind eyes, the deaf ears, and the mouth of the dumb,
also opens the understanding of the heart. But those whose heart the Lord
opens, must open their hand in loving service. How we do this will depend
on our personality, our opportunities, and our
Amos Van Sant, N.
order has been forwarded to cover 1958 Herald subscriptions for the
following named brethren. The "Herald" continues to be a source
of profitable reading and a link with brethren of U.S.A. and other
countries. We pray that 1958 may prove to be a year of much
fruitful service and joy in the Lord for you all.
from a Christian Diary," in this [February] issue, was particularly
Mrs. Jessie Lee Jones, Va.
are two questions which came up in our Class studies recently. We should
be glad if you could deal with them in the Question Box. And here is a
poem for Sister Read [which Sister Read wishes to share with our readers]
Only a stone in
And one of the smallest there
But the Builder needed such an one
As He reared the Temple fair.
'The clambering vines may hide me
The shadows across me fall
But still there's One expects me to stay
Firm in the massive wall.
Within there are gifted voices
Caught by the passing breeze
And fingers thrilled by His mighty love
Are passing the organ keys.
But all through the splendid music
The Builder thinks of me
A little gray stone in the outer wall
Placed just where he wants me to be.
W. P. & J. M. Poole, Eng.
for the copy of the "Herald." I have read every word of it and
found so much that we know and believe about God's Word. The article,
"When Ye Come Together" was much help. "Redeeming the
Time" gave us a new goal for 1958 -- that we would redeem it
by his grace. Do you have any back numbers of the "Herald"?
$1.00 enclosed for subscription.
Mrs. J. W. Pilant, Colorado.
read your pamphlet "The Place of Israel in the Plan of God"-also
the Report on Israel by Mortimer May. I enjoyed both.
David Bronstein, Chicago.
Rev. David Bronstein is the pastor of a Hebrew Christian Church in
Chicago. -- See "The Herald" for February, page 25. Ed.
you for sending me the introductory copies of "The Herald of
Christ's Kingdom." I have enjoyed reading them and have sent in my
Mrs. Beulah B. Tabor, Virginia.
the kindness of some one, I received a copy of the January issue of
"The Herald of Christ's Kingdom," and I hasten to enclose the
subscription price. I am so thankful for the food for the soul which I
found in the articles. It is hard in these days to find real spiritual
nourishment. May I have a copy of "The Place of Israel in the Plan of
God"? I will be very glad to meet any charge.Thank you so much and
may the Spirit continue to inspire your work.
received, with a great deal of pleasure, the January issue of "The
Herald," and would very much like to receive future issues.
R. C. Hidar, Australia.
you please send me Brother John Read's Album -- Ministry in Song. I heard
him sing in England, at Manchester and Warrington, and will be so
pleased to have the records.
articles in the "Herald" I find very helpful.
Mrs. C. E. Hind, New
you for sending me sample copies of "The Herald." Will you
please enter my subscription. Also please send me copies of the books on
Daniel, The Revelation, and The Lord's Return. The rest of the enclosed
check is for 25 each of the free booklets which I wish to give to friends.
Mrs. Delta Jordan, Texas.
received a copy of the ABC of Bible Prophecy and enjoyed it very much. If
it's not asking too much, could I have six more copies please?
John Nothstine, Mo.
have received two copies of the "Herald," which I have greatly
enjoyed. $1.00 enclosed for subscription.
Mrs. J. W. Sneed, Ark.
was a pleasure to receive a copy of your January "Herald," which
I have read with interest. As a retired journalist as well as a keen
Bible student, I would very much appreciate a monthly copy.
am also much interested in Israel. May I have copies of your booklets and
tracts on this and related subjects? Will you please include your booklet
on "The Lord's Return" when you reply.
H. Brown, Eng.
I received your magazine, "The Herald of Christ's Kingdom." I
have already some articles read with great interest and especially the
article by Brother Edwin Allbon, "Redeeming the Time." When you
redeem the time for prayer, please do not forget me, but pray for me, that
I may speak the evangel of the Apostle Paul. - Ephes. 6:19.
R. Beintema, Holland.
received a copy of the January "Herald" from an unknown source
and have enjoyed its contents immensely, especially the article to be
continued entitled, "The Upper Room." This was beautiful in its
devotional aspects. Enclosed please find P.O.M.O. for one dollar. Please
enter my subscription for the "Herald" for 1958 -- "If the
C. H. Styles, Can.
ten days ago I received for the first time a copy of "The Herald of
Christ's Kingdom," from St. Louis, Mo. My wife and I have been
Kingdom believers for about forty-five years. Am enclosing $1.00 for
subscription for year 1958, and would be pleased to have a few of your
Howard H. Hawkins, Ohio.
remembrances of you over the years, are indeed fragrant, and it is with
much gratitude that I hold fast these stimulating memory impressions-up
to, and including, those formed last August, when you addressed us on
"Clear Vision brings Strength," basing your remarks on the
sixth chapter of Isaiah.
J. H. Murray, Eng.
attached news clipping was placed on my desk with the following note:
"Not how small but how large is the Lord's Prayer in our life today."
F. A. Watts, Mo.
WORLD'S SMALLEST BOOK?
Library of Congress will put on display soon a copy of the Lord's prayer
in English in an 11-page bound book about one-twentieth of an inch square.
The letters are fourteen-hundredths of a millimeter high. The book, bound
in black morocco with a gold cross tooled on the front, was published in
Amsterdam, Holland. It was bound in Munich, Germany.
St. Louis Post Dispatch.
certainly are momentous days. Surely the Kingdom must be near.
Harvey and Nellie Nosby, Minn.
joyful was I, when I received your "Herald of Christ's Kingdom"
in an envelop with very interesting postage stamps, "Religious
Freedom in America." The Catholic Superior Sister asked me to give
her those 4 stamps for her collection which, of course, I was pleased to
you know I am in a hospital, or home, for the aged. There are between
750 and 800 of us, mostly Catholic:, however, some (about 80) are
Protestants who have their church services in a building nearby.
is a great pleasure to read in the January "Herald the names of the
Editors, In March I shall be 85 and my memory is defective, but the
names of most of the Editors I remember -- also those of H. E. Hollister,
J. T. Read, P. E. Thomson, B. F. Hollister, and W. J. Siekman.
go now to read the January "Herald," and I know a blessing
awaits me. My prayers continue with you. Pray too for me.
want you to know how much we appreciated and how blest we were to have
Brother John Read with us the last three days of January. Sister Charlotte
Magnuson was such a great help in calling up different ones of the Class
that she knew would like to hear him. We had two meetings in homes
arranged for him to speak.... After the second song he sang, there wasn't
a dry eye.... Thursday we had a study meeting on Tabernacle Shadows.
Friday we saw pictures of the Holy Land at the home of Brother and Sister
Soper. He has some very fine colored slides taken on his visits there. We
get a great blessing from the "Herald," and pray God's continued
blessing on your labors.
Peter and Carrie Fugelseth, Calif.
article "Leaves from a Christian's Diary" was a great blessing
to me, beyond words to express.
Elizabeth Hall, R.
know that it would be too expensive to distribute such fine booklets
from door to door, because there are so many people who, for various
reasons, would not appreciate them. However, if you would send me five
hundred each of these three, (1) "Has Judgment Day Begun?" (2)
"The Place of Israel in the Plan of God" and (3) "Is Israel
Emerging from Hell?" I will see that they are carefully placed.
you also please send ten each of the others listed in the March Herald.
you know, Sister and I have been subscribers to the Herald since 1918.
Victor Randour, Ill.
I have a dozen more copies of the booklet "Has Judgment Day Begun?"
I wish to send these to friends who are interested in the "times and
Mrs. Alice J. Roane, Pa.
you for the booklet "ABC of Bible Prophecy" and the March
Herald. I like them very much, and am enclosing $1.00 for a 1958
subscription to your magazine.
Mrs. Alfred Borges, Neb.
been especially blessed by some of the Herald articles recently. One such
was "The Upper Room" by Brother Kirkwood. The Pilgrim visits of
Brothers J. T. Read and P. E. Thomson, too, were much enjoyed. Tape
recordings were made of -several of their messages for our use in visiting
Dick and Pauline Robinson, Calif.
sample Herald you sent me was much enjoyed. Enclosed is $1.00 for
am very much interested in the series of articles by P. L. Read on
"Half Hour Meditations on Romans." Would it be possible for me
to obtain the entire series?
Aude Plew, Ind.
December Herald reached me here and I have enjoyed it as usual. It
is given exclusively to Scripture interpretation and discussion ... a
line consistently pursued and much appreciated.
W. J. Hollister, Fla.
nearly eighty years young and have found that our Father gives all good
things to those who love him, including spiritual food in The Herald.
Mrs. Clara Weaver, N.
sample Herald you kindly sent me was greatly enjoyed. It puts in words the
very thoughts I have in my mind and heart. I am enclosing $1.00 for a
Annie Mills, S. C.
remember the comments of Brother Muir at Welling concerning the events in
the Middle East. How true they seemed then and how much more so now. Much
Christian love to yourselves and all the brethren. We remember especially
the helpful visits of Brothers P. E. Thomson and J. T. Read.
you for the Herald you sent
me recently. I read it from cover to cover and surely did enjoy it.
Enclosed is $2.00. Please enter a 1958 subscription in my name. Also
kindly send me the booklet on our Lord's Return and "The Divine Plan
of the Ages." Please send also one copy each of your free booklets
Mrs. B. Stephenson, Neb.
surely is a wry paradox that the arms of the world's nations are heard
clashing louder and louder while the peoples of the world are more and
more insistent that peace be established. We do well to turn to the
Scriptures for assurance that the time is near when wars will no longer
Old and New Testaments provide such assurance. Nevertheless there is a
school of thought which holds the belief that "there will be wars and
rumors of wars to the end of time," and the further opinion that
"the New Testament has given us no hope that all men will eventually
come to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ."
people are to be credited with sincerity and Christian motives. However,
we can, and do, take exception to some of their interpretations of pertinent
Scriptural passages, examples being 1 Timothy 2:4 and Matthew 24:14.
differing viewpoints indicated are the reason for publication of a new
"Institute" booklet titled, Are WARS to Cease? It
corresponds in size and style to others of recent issue, as listed on the
back page of this journal. Each Herald subscriber will
automatically receive a copy, by first class mail, without charge, later
this month. Additional copies will be supplied free on request.
Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. II, chapter 2, page C39, the following sentence appears:
"Though the. Bible contains no direct statement that the seventh
thousand [years] will be the epoch of Christ's reign, the great Sabbath
Day of restitution to the world, yet the venerable tradition is not
without a reasonable foundation." A question is raised as to whether
or not we know the source of this "venerable tradition."
the author gave no citation, it is not possible to speak with certainty,
but in all probability his reference was to the N. T. Apocrypha. Note the following quotation from the Book of
which could well have been before him, when he penned that sentence:
in the beginning of the creation he makes mention of the Sabbath. And
God made in six days the works of his hands; and he finished them on the
seventh day, and he rested the seventh day, and sanctified it.
my children, what that signifies, he finished them in six days. The
meaning of it is this; that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring
all things to an end.
with him one day is a thousand years; as himself testifieth, saying, Behold
this day shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days,
that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished.
what is that he saith, And he rested the seventh day:
meaneth this; that when his Son shall come, and abolish the season of the
Wicked One, and judge the ungodly; and shall change the sun and the moon,
and the stars; then he shall gloriously rest in that seventh day."
from last issue)
therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of
the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness,
with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep
the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. - Ephes. 4:1-3.
having announced that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand, the Master sought
to impress upon the hearts of his disciples the principles of that
Kingdom. He revealed one important aspect of it in the words:
"Except ye become as little children ye cannot enter the Kingdom of
heaven." (Matt. 18:3.) How great the value of this counsel! And how
important that we hold it in our hearts, and learn of him, who was
"meek and lowly in heart." It teaches us what will be the nature
and distinction of the heavenly Kingdom, for "whosoever shall humble
himself as this little child shall be exalted." (Matt. 18:3.) Thus
Jesus, the meek and lowly One, calls us to learn of him the path to God
and the heavenly Kingdom. There is no other way. Self-abasement alone will
the Beatitudes, with which the Sermon on the Mount opens, especially Matt.
5:3-11, the Lord Jesus clearly and definitely reveals what the believers
of his Gospel are to be in themselves. He points out that the Christian
life consists in being poor in spirit, in mourning, in being meek, in
hungering and thirsting after righteousness, in being merciful, pure in
heart, in being peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness' sake, when they
shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.
laying the emphasis on "for my sake," the Lord Jesus proceeds to
describe the effect of such living upon the world, saying, "Ye are
the salt of the earth," and "Ye are the light of the
world." (Matt. 5:13-16.) History shows that real Christian character
has been indeed "the salt of the earth" and "light of the
world." Keeping this end in view, do not be unthinking Christians,
but try to comprehend what is the Lord's will. In other words, keep in
mind that a Christian believer by his new life in Christ Jesus is light,
and as such he must order his life, for the fruit of light appears in every form of goodness, righteousness,
and truth. Did not the Great Teacher say, "Let your light so shine
before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which
is in heaven." (Matt. 5:16.) The Son of God gives all honor to the
wise Master-Teacher gathers up and emphasizes the outstanding things,
things that count, saying, "He that endureth to the end shall be
saved." (Matt. 10:22.) This is coupled with the assurance that
theirs shall be an appropriate reward. But, on the other hand,
"Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the
Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of
heaven." (Matt. 5:20.) Thus, the Master points to the fact that
entrance into the Kingdom of heaven will not be upon the basis of legal
righteousness, but upon that which far exceeds it-a love of
righteousness. We must go beyond the outward form, or we will not enter
that Kingdom of love in which we "love our enemies and do good to
them that despitefully use us." God has called his people through
Christ Jesus to wage a new warfare, on a new plane, and with new weapons.
He calls us to the overcoming of evil, of hate, of the world, and the only
way this is possible is by using the higher weapons of love, restraint,
good will, and the spirit of forgiveness. If we fail here in the things
that alone count, we fail as Christians.
viewed in the Sermon on the Mount, first, what the believers are to be in
themselves; second, what they are to be to the world-we now come to the
third thing which is of great importance, namely, what they are to be in
RELATIONSHIP TO GOD:
ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
(Matt. 5:48.) This word perfect implies full development, growth into
maturity of godliness. St. Paul expressed it in these words: "Till we
all come into the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of
Christ." (Eph. 4:13.) That work will not be complete until the image
of Christ is engraved upon the heart and we are changed by the work of the
Spirit, transformed into the image of his Son. What we are in ourselves,
what we are to the world, and what we are in our relationship to God,
determines life for us. They determine what we are to be in the future.
Unless we seek and strive after the things that alone count, we shall not
hear that "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been
faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over mane things: enter
thou into the joy of thy Lord." - Matt. 25:21.
us, therefore, regard each passing moment as having a specific character
and definite purpose. Let us realize to the utmost, the solemnity of each
moment of our Christian life as a whole, for we are to utilize the time
because "the days are evil." Let us bring intellect and
conscience to bear upon all our ways. Let us seek to know God's will, and
be willing to pay the price.
is true there are many minor purposes, but the great end is to form ourselves,
with the help of God, "according to the pattern showed" to us in
the Sermon on the Mount, in order that it may lead us on to the higher
purpose of being changed from the image of the earthly into the image of
first three beatitudes uncover the aggressive attitudes of life. They show
God's invasion of us, taking away our self-sufficiency, our very
self-life, getting us ready for the most amazing offensive of love that
the world has ever seen. For we read: "For God so loved the world
that he gave his only begotten Son" in order that every one
exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting
life. (John 3:16.) "That tender love is timeless,"
having no beginning, because he is God, therefore, no end and no decay.
surely as the magnet when applied to a dish of sand into which some metal
filings have been thrown will draw every little bit of these filings out,
so surely will the magnet of his love draw out of earth's humanity the
ones who feel its impulse and its preciousness. It first means we must be
knit to God by the Son of his love, separated from evilseparated by the
power of his received love; for the root idea of holiness is not moral
character, goodness, and of action, but it is separation from the world
and consecration to God. Yielding and answering that love, so that it
separates us for himself, is that which alone counts, for it gives
calmness, peace of mind, security, and leads to happy submission, and he
assures us that never will he "forget" any of our works.
Gospel of Jesus Christ begins with the demand of self-renunciation -- "poor
in spirit" -- and ends in the fulness of the "new life."
He who walks amidst the candlesticks will see that each little lamp is fed
according to its capacity and need. We must hold up our emptiness and
nothingness to him, and he will fill it with all of his fulness. Thus by
his grace, out of this nothingness we will grow strong in faith, giving
God all the praise and glory.
let us remember at the same time that the highest glory of the creature is
in being only a vessel to receive and enjoy and show forth the glory of
God, by simple reliance upon Christ, conscious of our deep need, and
believingly waiting upon him. Yes, it is the displacement of self by the
enthronement of God. Where God is all, self becomes nothing. This fact is
revealed by the very first words of the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord
Jesus therein revealed to his early disciples and to us the open gate
through which alone we enter the Kingdom of heaven, saying, "Blessed
are the poor in spirit." Moffatt
"Blessed are those who feel poor in spirit"-not in material
things, but rather, recognizing that we have nothing in ourselves and
being conscious of our spiritual need. It is simply the sense of entire
nothingness which comes when we see how truly God is all in all. It is not
something which we bring to him, but the nothingness that makes room for
God to work in us his good pleasure.
was God's good pleasure to give a set of new commands (laws) unto the
children of Israel, "for the law came by Moses." To them it
contained the things that alone counted to them-things which made for
peace, happiness, and life. Love of ease and unbelief kept them from
marching on and obtaining the heights of the fulness of God's promised
blessings. Israel failed sadly failed under law and government -- hence,
instead of life and blessing, there has been judgment and dispersion.
be to our God, in spite of Israel's unfaithfulness, all Israel shall be
saved and restored and blessed on the ground of God's oath-bound covenant
to Abraham and his seed.
their failure, "grace and truth came by Jesus" to us Gentiles.
So let us cherish our opportunities and seek the things of the Spirit. It
is for us to determine that we shall make our trials, whether little or
great, a means to draw us nearer to God.
must let Christ, "the wisdom of God," choose our path, and at
last we shall lift our praises to "him that is able to keep us from
stumbling and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy."
T. G. Smith.
I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me;
And the changes that are sure to come,
I do not fear to see;
But I ask Thee for a present mind
I ask Thee for the daily strength,
To none that ask denied;
And a mind to blend with outward life,
While keeping at Thy side;
Content to fill a little place,
If Thou be glorified.
A. L. Waring.
Matthew 16:18 our Lord is reported to have said: "Thou art Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church." What is the significance
of this statement? Please also explain the meaning of the words in the
next verse, which read: "I will give unto thee the keys of the
Kingdom of Heaven."
Catholic theologians teach that in the words "upon this rock,"
our Lord has reference to Peter, himself.
will be recalled that when his brother Andrew introduced him to the Lord,
Simon had been greeted by Jesus with the words: "Thou art Simon the
son of John: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation
Peter" (that is, a rock or a stone: John 1:42 margin, A.R.V.). At
that time Simon was anything but a rock, but our Lord's penetrating
glance saw in the hot-headed, impulsive, rash, unstable Simon other
qualities which, in his
and loving hands, could be, and would be, so trained and developed, so
molded and strengthened, as to give him the selfcontrol he lacked; which
would fit him for service, make him stout-hearted and strong where he was
now weak-helpful, no longer unreliable, in the cause which at heart he
indeed, contend for much more than this. It is their position that, after his resurrection, having
previously conferred on Simon the name of Cephas, our Lord made Peter
"Prince of the Apostles"; that when he thrice reinstated him in
the under-shepherd's office (John 21:15-23) our Lord conferred on Peter a
primacy which he began to exercise immediately following our Lord's
expositors readily admit the outstanding leadership of Peter during the
Church. This is clearly in evidence in the events recorded in the Acts
of the Apostles. Some, indeed, share the Catholic view that in the words,
"upon this rock," our Lord had reference to Peter. However, such
Protestant scholars reject the further Catholic claims that this
pre-eminence descended to a line of successors. For this idea Protestants
of all shades of belief find no Scriptural basis.
Protestant scholars, however, do not believe that the words, "upon
this rock," refer to Peter. Such believe that had that been our
Lord's meaning, he would have said: "Thou art Peter and upon thee
build my Church." On this point there is an interesting footnote in
scholars, too, have noted that in Matthew 16:18 the word "Peter"
is a translation of the Greek word petros, which means a (piece of) rock; whereas the word
"rock" is a translation of the Greek word petra,
means a (mass of) rock. On this point see the Greek Dictionary in the back
SG4074 and SG4073. The word petra
the bed-rock out of which pieces of rock or stones are cut; whereas petros
the thought of one of such stones; a large stone, indeed, and perhaps the
first -- certainly one of the first-to be laid upon the great underlying
Rock-foundation on which all the faithful would be built.
of the early Christian Fathers -- indeed some modern Protestant expositors,
have supposed that the rock referred to was not Peter, but Peter's confession
of faith; the faith to which he had just given expression in Matt. 16:16,
namely that Jesus was the long-promised Christ -- the Messiah of Old
Testament prophecy. Against this interpretation, however, there has been
urged, what appears to be a valid objection. The objection is this: In
Scripture, whenever the word "rock" is employed figuratively, it
never to things. Indeed,
the designation "rock" in the Old Testament is applied only
New Testament only to Christ.
example: "He [God] is the rock" (Deut. 32:4); "Who is a
rock, save our God?" (2 Sam. 22:32); "In the Lord Jehovah is a
rock of ages." (Isa. 26:4, margin); "They drank of a spiritual
rock that followed them; and the rock was the Christ." - 1 Cor. 10:4,
then, not Peter, nor yet Peter's confession of faith, but Christ himself
is the rock. And on this
has ever since been building his Church. The bed-rock, the "Rock of
Ages," is here, in Matthew 16:18, as elsewhere in the Scriptures,
God, as revealed in his Son.
harmony with this, the Apostle Paul declares: "Other foundation can
no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." - l Cor. 3:11.
come now to those other words: "And I will give unto thee the keys of
the Kingdom of heaven," What is the meaning here?
these words the Savior varies his presentation. He had spoken of his
Church as an edifice, himself as its bedrock, and Peter as likely to
become an important foundation-stone, to be well and truly laid upon it.
The figure in his mind was evidently that of a temple. Now he likens his
Church to a kingdom. The headquarters of a kingdom is a city; keys would
be needed to open its gates.
in the Scriptures our Lord declares that he, and he alone possesses the
key. This he tells us, in language unmistakable, in his message to the
Church at Philadelphia: "These things saith he that is holy, he that
is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man
shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth." (Rev. 3:7.) The only
one possessing the power to open the door into his Church was and is
Himself. But when he spoke, his earthly course was about to be ended.
Henceforth he would operate through honored agents. Whom shall he use to
open the doors of the Kingdom? The
this question may be seen in the events which followed his ascension. Very
evident it is that to Peter it was granted, in his great discourse on the
day of Pentecost, to open the door of the Kingdom to the Jews. (Acts 2:14,
40.) To him also was assigned the high privilege of opening that door to
the Gentiles, in the case of Cornelius. (Acts 10; 11; 15:7.) In this
privilege of opening the door to both Jews and Gentiles Peter was,
indeed, signally honored; but only in this did he have any preeminence
amongst the Apostles. And of course, such a prominence, granted for a
particular service, could not, in its very nature, be passed on to a
is worthy of note that the power to bind and loose on earth and in heaven,
mentioned in the closing words of verse 19, was granted not only to Peter,
but to all the Apostles. (Matt. 18:18.) These phrases, "whatsoever
thou shalt bind," and "whatsoever thou shalt loose," were
common Hebrew expressions, having a definite and well-known meaning.
"To bind" meant "to forbid," or "to declare
forbidden." "To loose" meant "to allow," or
"to declare allowable." The eminent scholar, Lightfoot, tells
us that one might produce thousands of examples from the writings of the
Jews to prove that such was the meaning of the phrases in question. By our
Lord's employment of them here, then, may be understood, in harmony with
his promise in John 16:12, that after he had been crucified, raised from
the dead, and ascended to God's right hand, the holy spirit of truth would
be sent to them, to guide and direct them in their ministry, so that in
their presentation of the Gospel, and in all related matters, in
connection with the unfolding of God's great plan of salvation, the true
followers of the Master might have confidence that they were having revealed
to them, not merely the thought of the Apostles, but the very mind and
purposes of God.
summarize then, Jesus is, as the hymn writer has suggested:
". . . The great Rock-foundation,
Whereon our feet were set by sovereign grace;
Not life, nor death, with all their agitation,
Can thence remove us, if we see His face."
while we do not worship them, we delight to honor those whom Jesus
honored, namely, the Twelve Apostles, as being, all of them, foundation-stones
indeed. The wall of the City (of the New Jerusalem), we are told by Peter
himself, is built of living stones. (1 Pet. 2:4, 5.) And the Master, in
"the vision glorious," has told us that this wall has twelve
foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.
(Rev. 21:14.) And not only are their names
there; these foundations are seen to be "adorned with all manner of
precious stones." (Verse 19.) Well may we honor them.
close with words well known to us all, we "are being built upon the
foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the
chief corner stone; in whom every building, fitly framed together, groweth
into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a
habitation of God in the spirit." - Eph. 2:20-22, A.R.V., margin.
S. C. Derring, Norfolk, Va. - (April)
Sr. E. Faubush, San Francisco, Cal. - (Dec.)
Bro. A. W. Kuehn, Rutherford, N. J. - (Feb.)
Sr. Myrtle Leighton, S. Portland, Me. - (Oct.)
Sr. Nora Paulsen, Albuquerque, N. M. - (Feb.)
Bro. Paul K. Shepler, Coshocton, O. - (Feb.)
Sr. A. Stevenson, Montreal, Que. - (Mar.)