P. J. Pazucha
years ago I was blessed to be entrusted with supervising the Institute's
publication efforts from this office. It was an extraordinary blessing,
for which I will always thank God. I and those associated with me made a
good many mistakes, but you were patient, and in the end maybe we all
learned a great deal.
early lesson never diminished in importance. During the first six
months, a great deal of time was forwarding to our dear Br. Will Siekman
an endless flow of correspondence; letters that comprised much of his
active, personal ministry. It was then that I realized how our actions
sometimes have an opposite effect to the one we expected. Our dear
brother tried to minimize attention to himself by passing silently into
the background. But the very quietness of his departure drew more
attention to it than would have occurred had he taken time to say good --
bye. In fairness to those carrying on the Institute's work we'd like to
spare them the burden of dealing with that issue.
is the last Herald which Brs. Jarmola, Knapp, Phillips & Pazucha
have edited. Whether future issues will contain other pieces is the new
committee's choice, as it should be. We wish them God speed in
glorifying God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and in proclaiming
the Gospel that we have received.
departing editors and directors have -- not changed their scriptural views
or their conviction that the Institute's declared purpose is sound.. But,
like Paul and Barnabas, sometimes God's spirit moves individuals into
differing parts of the Lord's work. Such has been the feeling among your
brethren in this instance. We all wait upon God to see what lies ahead for
us. In that instance so long ago the entire church benefited because Paul
and Barnabas disagreed. By His grace the same may result now.
now to some details. The Institute offices will shortly be moved to:
of the production deadline for this issue when that move will take place
is still unclear. Do not address mail to the new address until advised
to do so. By the end of August all materials will be moved from the
Milwaukee office and the Post Office will forward mail to that address.
you wish to contact Brs. Jarmola, Knapp, Phillips, or Pazucha, DO NOT
address correspondence to the PBI. Doing so will only burden our dear
brethren at the Institute at a time when they have many more important
details to care for than forwarding mail to us. If you
wish to continue corresponding with any of the above, please address
them as follows:
will see that your mail reaches them in a timely manner. Please note. The
Suite number is not the same as the Institute's old address. It is 9
(nine), not 2 (two).
the days of our Christian sojourn pass into years, and years age into
decades, one thing becomes increasingly evident. The God whom we
worship, whom we seek to serve in spirit and in truth, is a great God.
These pages have encouraged a spirit of tolerance and goodwill toward all
who engage in the work of preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God uses various instruments -- for his own eternal purposes. We look
forward to seeing the Gospel message preached, unabated,, on the pages
of the Herald. But, your brothers and sisters at the Institute, The Dawn,
or at other individual Bible Ecclesias like Chicago or Fort Worth, are
only a few of God's tools. Being a great God, he has many others whom he
will entrust with varying missions and purposes. It is probable that
none of us will ever truly know [in this life] the grandeur of the works
God's diverse instrumentalities are conducting. His plan is eternal, so
his devices are many.
of the more subtle lessons we can learn is that just because people
don't walk with us does not mean
that God cannot use them. This
is a lesson that those who are leaving and those who remain are conscious
of. Jesus rebuked those who wanted to condemn certain of his
contemporaries because they did miracles in Jesus' name but did not
associate with the disciples or the Master. We, too, need to bring our
life into harmony with the fullness and breadth of our Master's spirit.
May God's name be praised and his Word be glorified,
both now and forevermore. Remember, "Rejoice
in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice!"
What is sin?
1 John 3:4 -- "Whosoever
committeth sin transgresseth also the law --
for sin is the transgression of the law."
What is the origin of sin? Where did it come from?
5:12 -- "Wherefore, as by one
man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon
all men, for that all have sinned."
originated when our ancestor, Adam, disobeyed God. Since that time all
humanity has been under the condemnation of death.
Psalm 14:1-2 -- "The fool hath
said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done
abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from
heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did
understand, and seek God." Just because, personally, you do not
see how you sin does not mean that you do not sin.
Aren't there any exceptions to this rule that all people sin? What about
Enoch and Elijah?
-- "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise
by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."
What is God's punishment for sin?
-- "And l will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for
their iniquity; and I will ca use the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and
will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."
Romans 6:23 -- "For
the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord."
Is there any way for a man to escape death? Isn't there some plan to
recover man from sin and death?
-- "lf his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;
If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will l
visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
Nevertheless my lovingkindness will l not utterly take from him, nor
suffer my faithfulness to fail."
13:8 -- "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose
names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the
foundation of the world."
Can we ever be delivered?
Psalm 39:6-8 --
"Surelyevery man walketh in a vain show: surely they are disquieted
in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. And
now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. Deliver me from all my
transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish."
51:6-8 -- "Behold thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the
hidden part thou shaft make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and
I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow . Make me to
hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may
65:2,3 -- "O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge
What do I do first?
Psalm 32:5 -- "1 acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I
not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LOAD; and thou
forgave vast the iniquity of my sin."
51:1-4 -- "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness:
according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my
transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me
from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever
before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in
thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be
clear when thou judgest"
What does God do when we confess our sins?
Psalm 85:2-4 -- "Thou hast
forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin.
Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from
the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and
cause thine anger toward us to cease."
65:2-3 -- "O thou that hearest
prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Iniquities prevail against me: as
for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away."
Does the New Testament agree with this?
1 John 1:9-2:2
-- "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we
have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little
children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man
sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And
he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for
the sins of the whole world."
Is God pleased that people die?
-- "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure
in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and
live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die..."
Since death is sin's penalty, how can we be freed from death?
-- "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he [Jesus] was bruised
for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with
his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the
iniquity of us all ... And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the
rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit
in his mouth."
2:9 -- "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels
for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor,, that he by the
grace of God should taste death for every man."
2:21 -- "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the
name of the Lord shall be saved."
Is this for sure, that we can really be freed from death?
Romans 5:18, 19, 21
-- "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men
to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift
came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's
disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many
be made righteous .... That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so
might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ
What are God's requirements for release from death?
Acts 20:20,21 --
'And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed
you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Testifying
both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks,  repentance toward God, and
 faith toward our Lord Jesus, Christ."
13:38-39 -- "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through
this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. And by him all that
believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be
justified by the law of Moses."
Is there more than one source of help?
-- 'Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised
from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This
is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become
the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there
is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be
How much must I do to obtain help?
Romans 10:8-11 --
"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth,
and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if
thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shaft believe in
thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shaft be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever
believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
Is there an example of someone followed these instructions?
You can read the account of Paul's jailer in Acts 16:25-33.
Is God really willing to forgive us our sins?
Matt. 12:31 -- "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy
shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
shall not be forgiven unto men."
34:6,7 -- "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD,
The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in
goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and
transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the
children's children, unto the third and fourth generation."
Does Jesus' sacrifice really cover our sins?
-- "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all
men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should
live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for
that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us
from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of
For the wages of sin is death; but the
gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
promised to come again. What an important promise that is to all who look
for the appearing of their Savior and Lord. How to interpret all of those
various scriptures has given all sincere Christians reason for serious
thought. The Greek word parousia
is increasingly understood as having an important bearing upon how, we
understand this keystone teaching. The Common Version generally
translates this word as "coming," but present day scholarship
does not wholeheartedly accept this translation.
scholars have given a great deal of thought and research to determine
how to best interpret the word, consistent with the use of the Greek
language and with improved understanding. We would like to refer you to
various scholars' views upon this subject. We hope that you will search
the scriptures for yourself. We know that the Lord will bless your desire
to understand him, and as he does you will grow in wisdom and knowledge.
of the writers quoted do not share the same depth of understanding. Yet,
their general interpretation coincides. Rather than interpreting parousia as "coming," it is generally better translated
Rotherham was a scrupulous translator. His principal work is The
Emphasized Bible, a well known and respected translation of the
scriptures. He says this about translating parousia,
in the third edition of his work:
word parousia is uniformly
rendered 'presence' ('coming' as a representative of this word, being
set aside). The original term occurs twenty -- four times in the New
Testament. The sense of 'presence' is plainly shown by the contrast with
'absence' (implied in 2 Cor. 10:10, and expressed in Phil. 2:12). The
question naturally arises: Why not always render it the same way? The more
so, inasmuch as there is in 2 Peter 1:16 also, a peculiar fitness in our
English word 'presence.' This passage relates to our Lord's
transformation upon the Mount. The wonderful manifestation made there
was a sample of 'presence' rather than of 'coming.' The Lord was already
there. Being there, he was transformed, and the 'majesty' of his
glorified person was then disclosed. His bodily 'presence' was one that
implied and exerted 'power'; so that 'power and presence' go excellently
well together -- the 'power' befitting such a 'presence.' The three
favored disciples were at one and the same time witnesses of both."
difficulty we expressed in our second edition about uniformly translating
the word 'presence' lay in the seeming incongruity regarding 'presence' as
an event that would happen at a particular time and which would fall into
rank as one of a series of events (c.f., 1 Cor. 15:23) seemed to require.
The translator still feels the force of this objection, but withdraws from
taking this stand any longer. Upon reflection, the difficulty may just
be imaginary. The 'parousia,' in any case, is still in the future and may
therefore be shrouded in a measure of obscurity which only fulfillment
can clear away. We may find that it is both a period -- more or less
extended, during which certain things happen -- and an event, coming on
and passing away as one of a series of divine interpositions."
is raised as a first-fruit -- that is one event. He returns and
vouchsafes his presence, during which he raises his own -- that is
another event, however long and prolonged. Finally, another cluster of
events occurs constituting 'the end.' Hence, after all, 'presence' may be
the most widely and permanently satisfying translation of the looked for 'parousia'
of the son of man."
Strictly Literal Meaning
writer, G.H. Pember, M.A., said this in his work, The Great Prophecies:
Greek word parousia is usually
translated 'coming'; but we render it 'presence' because the latter is
its strict and literal meaning. The former meaning is derived,
subordinate, and never absolutely necessary. For the sense is much the
same whether we say of an absent person -- 'we shall be happy in your
presence,' or 'at your coming.' It is important to retain the literal
significance, because the word is not merely used of the descent of
Christ from the heavens, but of the whole period of his sojourn in the
air. Then his people will be caught up to him; some immediately upon his
descent, others later. All are included in Paul's description, "...they
that are Christ's at his presence'."
Denoting Presence of Fresh Arrival
we quote Joseph Agar Beet. He wrote in The
substantive parousia denotes
the presence of someone standing by. Philippians 2:12 contrasts parousia
with apousia, 'not as in my presence only, but also much more in my absence';
and 2 Corinthians 10:10,
'the presence of the body [i.e., Paul's bodily presence] is
weak'. More frequently parousia denotes
the presence of a fresh arrival. So, 1 Corinthians 16:17 says, 'I Rejoice at the coming [parousia] of Stephanas';
2 Corinthians 7:6,7, 'the
coming of Titus', twice; Philippians 1:26, 'my coming again to you'.
same word is used to describe the coming of Christ for which Christians
at Thessalonica were waiting (1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess.
2:1, 8; 2 Peter 1:16; 3:4; 3:12; 1 John 2:28; Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39).
This use of the same word with the same reference by different writers of
the New Testament proves it to be a technical term of the early
followers of Christ denoting their Master's expected return. Its
suitability is at once apparent. Touching his bodily form, Christ is now
absent in heaven; on that day he will be present on earth. And this
presence will bring in at once the consummation for which his followers
writer, J.W. Brooks, D.D., wrote this in a learned article: "Elements
of Prophetical Interpretation":
word parousia as applied to
persons, always appears to refer to the actual personal presence or
arrival of that person."
was almost forty years later when this thought was called to the
attention of Br. Charles Taze Russell.
last reference is rather lengthy. J.A. Seiss, D.D., wrote a book in 1878
entitled The Last Times.
is now clear that what the scriptures call the Coming of Christ at the end
of this Age is not a single, but a complex event. It stretches through
various periods and administrations, each being sometimes referred to
as the coming. In reality each is only a part, stage, or section of the
whole. In this respect the Second Advent is a counterpart of the First.
Both present the same characteristic distributiveness.
who investigates will find that the prophecies foretelling Christ's first
coming cannot possibly refer to one precise day, hour, year, scene, or
event. They spread themselves out over a period of more than thirty
* Christ came when he was born at Bethlehem.
* He came when he was called out of Egypt.
* He came when John presented him to the people as
* He came when he announced himself at Nazareth.
* He came when he rode into Jerusalem on an ass.
* He came when he reappeared after his death.
these are not a half dozen events, they are all one event, the
prophets comprehended all of these acts under the comprehensive
expression of his 'coming.' Whether the events occur separatelyor together
they still comprise parts of the long anticipated advent of Messiah.
* Micah said that Messiah would come out of Egypt.
* Malachi predicted his sudden coming to his temple.
* Zechariah said that he should present himself to
Zion riding upon an ass, that is, a colt, the foal of an ass.
* Isaiah looked for him in the land of Zebulun and
the land of Naphtali and as a great light.
* Other prophets predicted he would come out of
Nazareth." "Each of these predictions had a literal fulfillment.
Each fulfillment was his Coming. They were so many
"stages," or "scenes," of the one Coming that is
called the "First" Coming. In other words, the advent was
complex, consisting of many diverse facts and presentations, in
different localities, and successively over a period of thirty three
years. These prophecies could not possibly be fulfilled, except by the
intervention of time to give the place for them. As a matter of fact, a
succession of years was covered in the fulfillment.
is the key to explaining (and reconciling) the diverse predictions of
the Second Coming (Advent). It is not a single or simple thing. All of
the predictions cannot occur in one moment of time or in one isolated
event. It is a succession of events, or scenes which are individually
called the Coming. Yet, all of them together comprise the Second Advent.
you will look up the passages which describe the Second Advent you will
see that no man can do justice to the language of inspiration and so
construe them all to apply to one and the same thing -- occurring at one
and the same time. It is in the nature of things impossible that Christ
can both come as a thief in the night and simultaneously be displayed
openly in the clouds of heaven so that every eye can gaze on him. It is
impossible that he both come for his saints and with his saints at the
The one includes the gathering of them from their vocations and their
graves (1 Cor. 15:22,23,51,52; 1 Thess. 4:1517; Luke 17:34-37).
The other affects his doing things together with them, as opposed to
doing things to or for them (Jude 14, 15; Zech. 14:4,5; Rev. 19:11-14). It
is out of the question that the precise coming spoken of in Rev. 16:15
should be the same as that portrayed in Rev. 19:11-16.
scriptures distinguish between a simple parousia
or presence and the epiphania or
appearing. Where there is an appearing there is of necessity a presence.
Appearing, however, goes beyond presence. It implies some manifestation,
some appearing, some cognizance on the part of others that there is now
another party in their midst. Parousia,
however, denotes simply presence. No implication is made about the
manifestation or visibility of the present party.
six times in the New Testament. Five times it is translated 'appearing'
and the other time 'brightness' (in the sense of manifestation). Parousia is translated "coming" (in the KJV) in the
general sense of presence, or personal and local nearness, whether openly
and visibly or not. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 uses both words together,
referring to the final overthrow or annihilation of the great
anti-Christian confederation. This is said to occur by the brightness of
his presence, that is by the epiphania
of his parousia. The implication is that the presence or coming is not
manifested or discernible until then. How simply it is shown that the
Advent involves different phases, stages and times."
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him
privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be
the sign of thy coming [parousia], and
of the end of the world?
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the
west; so shall also the coming [parousia]
of the Son of man be.
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming [parousia] of the Son of man be.
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also
the coming [parousia] of the
Son of man be.
Corinthians 15:23: But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward
they that are Christ's at his coming [parousia].
Corinthians 16:17: I am glad of the coming [parousia]
of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking
on your part they have supplied.
Corinthians 7:6-7: Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted
us by the coming [parousia] of
Titus; And not by his coming [parousia]
only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when
he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward
me; so that I rejoiced the more.
Corinthians 10:10: For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily
presence [parousia] is weak, and
his speech contemptible.
That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my
coming [parousia] to you
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence [parousia]
only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation
with fear and trembling.
Thessalonians 2:19: For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye
in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming [parousia]?
Thessalonians 3:13: To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness
before God, even our Father, at the coming [parousia]
of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Thessalonians 4:15: For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are
alive and remain unto the coming [parousia]
of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
Thessalonians 5:23: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your
whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming [parousia]
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thessalonians 2:1: Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together
Thessalonians 2:8-9: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume
with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of
his coming [parousia]: even him,
whose coming [parousia] is after
the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming [parousia] of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the
precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he
receive the early and latter rain.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming [parousia] of the Lord draweth nigh.
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known
unto you the power and coming [parousia]
of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
And saying, Where is the promise of his coming [parousia]? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue
as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Looking for and hasting unto the coming [parousia]
of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be
dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
1 John 2:28: And now, little children, abide in him; that, when
he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him
at his coming [parousia].
shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming
in the clouds of heaven." - Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69
said these words after Judas had betrayed him, when he stood before the
counsel's judgment. There, while conversing with his enemies, he predicted
that at a future time those authorities would see him acting in a
certain way. The three synoptic gospels record this statement,
emphasizing its importance. What did Jesus mean? How is this prophecy to
assurance of Jesus comment is not part of what is called "our
Lord's great prophecy" (Matt. 24). Neither is the activity Jesus
promises in the above text that which Stephen saw at his stoning. He saw
the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Jesus was showing
Stephen, in this way, that he was fully aware of Stephen's pain and that
he was an involved participant with the disciple. Believers suffer with
Jesus; he is always an associate in their persecution, just as when
believers were later persecuted by Saul (Acts 9:4).
our theme text, Jesus is not speaking to his disciples. Jesus is speaking
to his enemies. He tells these authorities that when they would see him,
he would be "sitting." There is an implication here. That is,
he would be seen "sitting" in judgment. Judges sit. Judges are
"seated" on thrones or seats. In the King James version, every
appearance of the words "seat," "seats,"
"throne," and "thrones" in the book of Revelation is
from the same Greek word, thronos.
was an imminent destruction coming upon Israel and Jerusalem in those
days. In that destruction, the Jews would "see" Jesus in the
results of that judgment (Matt. 21:41, 24:2, Luke 23:28-31). 'The clouds of heaven" symbolize the distressing trouble by
which God's judgments are executed. Jesus was saying that he would
accompany those judgments -- "coming in
the clouds of heaven."
is how he was "seen" by his enemies. Some of those authorities
to whom Jesus spoke lived to witness that devastating judgment. They
never visibly saw Jesus with their physical eyes, but Jesus' promise
was kept -- Jesus was seen. The land of Israel was laid waste before
gentile armies, just as he predicted.
way this prophecy was fulfilled may suggest how other prophecies will
be fulfilled. Perhaps there is no biblical prophecy that requires the
glorified Jesus to literally be seen by the physical eyes of humankind.
now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall
be. We know that, if he should appear, we shall be like him, because we
shall see him just as he is" (1 John 3:2, NASB).
does not detract from the promise to Jesus' friends that they would see
him. Of this he assured them. "A
little while, and you will no longer behold Me; and again a little while,
and you will see Me" (John 16:16,
NASB). But that assurance puzzled his disciples. "What
is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see Me:
and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me: and, Because I go to the
Father?" (John 16:17) When did he begin fulfilling this promise?
-- At Pentecost. That was his first blessing -- after He had gone
to the Father. They "saw" him again at Pentecost. How did they
see him? These disciples saw Him with all the power of God at his
command, blessing them with spiritual blessings. What a contrast were
his blessing to his disciples when corn pared with the judgment and
destruction through which His enemies later saw Him!
thoughts for those who labor for Christian unity
Discourse on 1 Corinthians 1:12
from an article by: A. O. Hudson
Bible calls Christians the members of one "body." The Lord
Jesus Christ regulates that body, serving over it as its head. This is one
of the deepest truths of Christian experience. It is also difficult to
grapple with. That is because our understanding is physical and it is
limited. The Lord Jesus used another picture, also, to describe his
relationship to believers. He said that he is the true "vine" of
which every spirit -- united believer is a branch.
pictures have inspired the Christian church since its inception. Men have
had centuries to consider these ideas. Yet, they are poorly understood,
ablest sons have tried to explain what that sacred "oneness"
meant. What have they accomplished? They have never made the visible
organization of the church agree with the deductions drawn from the holy
Word. Some say, "Accept it by faith, if you can." It is quite
another matter, however, to experience this reality.
was a time when Christian believers shared all things. They lived a
communal life in the company of the Apostles. Yet, even then they failed
to realize the fullness of Christian unity. An Ananias was found among
them -- he was a token that other interests had crept in. So also, Hebrew
widows received preferential treatment over widows of Grecian Jews.
Brethren complained about these things and murmured among themselves.
These were trifling matters and the church promptly dealt with them.
They told a sobering tale, however. Foment existed, deep below the
surface of Christian fellowship.
idealistic oneness has not been perfectly demonstrated anywhere during the
past twenty centuries. Like pilgrims, our Christian brothers and sisters
pursued the hope of unity. Like a desert apparition, as soon as they
arrived at the place they thought they sought, they found that all that
remained were the shifting desert sands of partisanship.
Rome and the Reformers
Roman Church long claimed to hold the bond of unity. In order to find
peace, men need only accept the repose of her
cloistered community and as their credo the words she
defined. Here there could be one fold, one flock, and one shepherd.
and Vicar of souls. What happened? As soon as she pushed her claims to
the ultimate, restless and resistant men spoiled the serenity of her
fold. What better proof could there be that they were not united?
followed reform. Many creeds displaced the one. Men read the words first
uttered by their master, "...that
they maybe one, even as we are one" (John 17:11,22), but they
knew not how to fulfill those simplest of words. Truth advanced with the
years; so also did distinctions among men; soon they were defining oneness
in the subtlest of terms. It seemed impossible to join the broken
fragments of the Christian community into one whole stick. So, they
tried another approach. If they could not be "one stick," at
least they could be one "bundle." Amalgamated and associated,
each separate "chip" could lie beside its fellow
"chips." Together, they could lose their identity in the
aggregation of one greater
songs were written to tell the story of their wonderful confederations.
"We are not divided, all one body we," they sang as they
surveyed the bundle of believers. Yet, consistories here, and synods
there, ruled and governed each by its own part -- they did it all
separately. They were not "one," either in form or in purpose.
As things are, they cannot be "one" in the Christian sense.
"I am of Rome," said one; "I am of Calvin," said
another; "I am of Luther," a third cried out, and so on without
end. "Christianity" had -- and still has -- its varying party
Unhappy Conditions at Corinth
Corinth offers us a microscopic pattern of the Gospel Age church. It,
too, had not reached the ultimate unity of Christ.
l have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people,
that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you
is saying, '1 am of Paul', and 'l am of Apollos', and 'I of Cephas', and
'I of Christ'" (1 Cor. 1:11,12 NAS).
were these persons? What were the divisions? This information can be
gathered from Paul's epistles to his Corinthian friends. Throughout the
letters there are phrases here, whole paragraphs there, that describe
specific peculiarities of the various factions. It is possible to weave
together the warp and the woof of these hostile elements and to see why
Christianity's fabric tore under the pretense of fellowship.
hostile and incompatible elements composed the churches contemporary
with Paul. Who were they? The Jews and the gentiles. Converts from both
sides were called upon to forget their hereditary animosities. As long
as the church did not fall under the influence of external agitators,
those animosities were largely controlled and the church grew. Both
factions, under the spirit of their Lord, saw that they shared one thing:
they all obtained salvation through his blood!
first divisive influence came from the church at Jerusalem. There were
many in Corinth who had some measure of belief. The city had a
reputation for unholiness, but these believers were still zealous.
What were they zealous for? The Law. They argued with Paul to maintain
their Mosaic ceremonies. When the church at Jerusalem heard that many
gentiles were joining the outlying churches, James sent emissaries around
to the various cities after Paul had left. These emissaries persuaded
brothers to be circumcised, saying "Except
ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved"(Acts
15:1). So, in Paul's absence, these officials sowed seeds of disturbance
wherever his labor had gathered a nucleus of believing souls. These well
meaning believers rent the perplexed and novice companies.
I am of Peter
baneful influence was felt in Corinth, as it was in other churches. Two or
more divisions had occurred as a result. Some brothers professed to follow
Christ alone. Those of both groups held themselves apart from the
uncircumcised gentile converts. Where the Jerusalem influence was
strongest, these sects even refused to eat with their gentile brethren (as
at Antioch, c.f., Gal. 2:11-13). This separation among. the Jewish
believers had a counter effect upon gentile converts. Many of these were
familiar with the Greek philosophies, notorious for their speculations.
Entire communities (as at Athens, c.f., Acts 17:21) were devoted to
finding new things to say, new ideas to promulgate.
Jerusalem, overzealous souls sought to blend the Gospel into the Law. At
Corinth, enthusiastic tutors blended the Gospel with native
philosophies. They taught ideas that the Jewish faction could not
accept. Such men as these aligned themselves behind Apollos, who came
from Alexandria, the principal stronghold of oriental, philosophy.. It was
these who denied the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15). Others
misinterpreted Christian liberty. They took liberty in Paul's statement
that the true believer in Christ was free from the Law. This they
stretched to mean that they were under absolutely no laws of any kind;
no act was sinful or censurable. Gross immorality crept in among
believers. Their practices were condemnable even in the unbelieving
gentile world (1 Cor. 5).
others understood exactly what Paul really taught, and they tried to live
holy and upright lives just as Paul had instructed. Some of these were
Jews who found the Law's burdens unbearable; other gentiles rejoiced in
the sacrifice of Jesus that brought salvation into their lives. What a
hodgepodge of ideas were gathered together in the one Corinthian ecclesia!
was taught in the Corinthian church? First, the pure Gospel of Grace and
of the Cross of Jesus. The Mosaic Law was explained. So, also, oriental
mysteries were propagated in the church, interspersed with the impudent
clamor of brazen people excusing the blackest of sins. How diverse this
group was! Is there any surprise that there was division? Had it been
possible to blend the Gospel and the Law, Christianity would have
degenerated into a Jewish sect. Instead, oriental philosophy
successfully merged with Christianity (later) and produced the papacy!
Of Your Own Selves Shall Men Arise
section of the Corinthian church could offer justifications for its own
attitude and for its separateness. If the answers were not
satisfactory to other parts of the church, they were at least
satisfactory to itself. Each group had some passable reason for blaming
the other group(s) for the wrangling, disparate state of the church. Paul,
Peter, and Apollos were not residents of Corinth. So it is evident that
each faction had some local leadership around whose dominant personality
the members of each party ranged. Apostles and evangelists paid no more
than flying visits and went on their way. Resident elders remained to
carry on from where the Apostles left off.
is the point at which trouble began. The apostolic visitor did not
sanction division. Yet, he would no sooner have left than comparisons
would be drawn and preferences expressed concerning the nature of the
brethren who became the most articulate at expressing these differences
were exactly the same brethren who should have rebuked such preferences.
The pre -- eminent brothers expressed their preferences for one style or
another and for this view of the Divine Plan or that. The rank and file
among the church heard their leaders doing this. They then aligned
themselves with whichever of the leading elders supported the apostle or
evangelist they liked best. They also followed the pattern of attacking
the other visiting ministers.
not judge those brethren in the rank and file too harshly. They were
following the lead of the older and supposedly more mature leaders of the
church. Who was responsible? It was the supposed "shepherds" of
the flock. They forgot the sacred charge their Lord laid upon them. They
turned from ministering to discuss personalities, along with their
personal merits and relative demerits. Ah, yes, each group could justify
its attitude and present a good case for its position.
couldn't Paul be more like Peter? Why did he have to open the door to
gentile dogs? Had he been a little more patient, surely more of his
kinsmen would have accepted the Gospel truth. Paul does not seem to
realize that what he gains from the gentile lands he more than repels from
among his own people. If only he was content to be like Peter and James.
Why, those men really saw the Lord, and they heard the Gospel from his own
mouth. There would be thousands more who, even if they were zealous of the
Law, would accept Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. This is how Paul's
detractors would have spoken.
I am of Christ
dangerous than either of these were the "holier-than-thou,"
"go-to-the-fountain-head," zealots who said they were "of
Christ." Is it assumed that here, at least, was one party beyond
reproach? Did these Christians know where to place their allegiance?
Don't believe a word of it! They were presumably headed by some venerable
patriarch who visited Jerusalem in the Master's earthly days. Yes, this
patriarch may have heard the sermons of him who spake with authority. He
may have -- accepted and believed his testimony directly from the
Master's mouth. Yet, he then carried it away to this foreign soil, there
to forget much and mistake more of what the Blessed One said. Now it was
a travesty of what it should have been.
refers to this group when he writes again (2 Cor. 10:7, ASV). "If
any man trusteth in himself, that...even as he is Christ's, so also are
Paul, this faction had not one good word to say. They challenged his
apostleship, first because he never saw the Lord in the flesh, and next,
because he did not presume to live upon the brethren, but labored with his
own hands. Though admitting that his letters were weighty and strong, they
held in ridicule both his personal presence and his speech. Here was
"straight laced," "not as these other men," Pharisaism
masquerading in Christian garb and justifying it all in the name of him
who accepted all.
was wrong here? Why were these Christians so fleshly minded? They did not
understand the purpose of the Gospel call. The Gospel was new in the
world. Judaism had been divided into rival schools. Heathenism, too, had
its myriad cults.
Christians in Corinth simply could not understand that the Gospel calling
was of an entirely different nature. Every leader lives for and fosters
the interests of his own following. Each one is partisan; each is
sectarian. The Corinthians knew no leader who had ever labored for the
good of all. Not one among them could say or would say, "We are all
of Christ," or viewing the broken ranks, could say, "Let us all
together strive to be of Christ." That was their fault! They were
suspicious, and unloving, it never dawned upon them to stop indicting,
slandering and defaming those for whom Christ died and who went forward
in the power of Jesus' name. They just didn't understand that the Gospel
TRUTH, But Not the Whole Truth
group; had some truth, or something that passed as truth., They were
blind to the possibility that the "rival" groups also might
have some truth. This is where they failed. They could not imagine that
they saw only "in part." They could not imagine that they did
not have the whole truth. Neither did they see that truth progressed,
growing from branch to bud to blossom. Each thought they had the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth. None would conceive for a moment that
any, rivals subscribed to the truth at all. The rival leaders thought,
individually, that each of them had all the truth and ministered what he
had for his own following. One group thought Cephas possessed the
hallmark of truth, another thought Apollos fulfilled' the criterion, still
another looked' to Paul, and the most stringent of all thought only of the
has been the pattern of Christianity throughout the, Gospel Age. No wonder
the glorious ideal of Christian unity has been at once both mirage and
morass-a mirage to attract and a morass to engulf!
saints may have existed among every faction of the Corinthian church. No
single elder or leader could effectively minister to all such saints.
Why? Shallow, fleshly "insights" obscured the deep things, of
Christ. True saints effectively transcend the boundaries around them. They
touch the heart of other saints, from other groups until the boundaries
themselves are dissolved! Here we see one of the great truths of
fellowship is never hampered, even though one's senses be dull and
impaired: and their performance be poor, because the oneness exists in
the heavenly courts. Our oneness in Christ is actual, and it is spiritual.
We are one in God's sight, whether or not we choose .to acknowledge that
oneness. This is a mystic union of kindred hearts who are joined to the
Lord and who die with him in his sacrificial death. These are raised with
him in his resurrection, they are considered alive because he- lives
even though they run their course separated by centuries, continents and
oceans. There may be one found here and another found there: one-found
then and another now- whatever handicaps may afflict them they are
nevertheless linked, joined; together with their Lord and Head. The
heavenly shepherd knows all his sheep and no man can pluck them from his
hands-not even other believers. No matter how men sow weeds in the pasture
or foul the flowing streams of truth, the true shepherd cares for his
sheep. He keeps them safe and he feeds and nourishes them.
Keep the Unity of the Spirit
is not easy to maintain the sense of unity today. The great shepherd
controls the affairs of all his sheep, but elders sometimes dull and
blur the sense of calling that belongs to each sheep. Excessive attention
to secondary things can upset the mental balance the flock should
enjoy. If we are kept busy with trivialities we cannot attend to the
essential relationships. By insisting on trivialities, men gain a
following, but they will not minister to the need of the whole flock.
Thus men build new Corinth's today: what, passes for truth is applied to
only a part of the church, and the tragic cycle starts all over again!
mistakes may indeed need to be corrected, It may be necessary to take a
strong stand for truth! Christians cannot live, however, on negative
ideals or on the denials of other men's theology. The believer must
positively affirm the Word of God as his own food. Even more than that is
must be defended and proclaimed, but truth is not the greatest treasure
in the Christian economy. As we proclaim the truth, we are merely wending
our way to a more important end, and that end is greater even than the
means we employ to get there. The revelation of divine' truth is aimed at
procuring for God 'a godly family; God reveals himself so that we might
choose him as our Lord, our God, and acknowledge him as our Creator.
Having thus accepted him, each person who approaches God is then
forever more important than the means used to win him to God. Spoken words
are wonderful, but they are dead. The human heart uplifted to God is a
living glory to him!
the child is more precious to God than even the most correct definition
of truth. Let us never forget that. Those
who bring others to God, even if they accomplish their work with
stammering lips or incorrect definitions, are pleasing to God because
they seek the same end that he seeks.
is the inevitable conclusion. Some truths separate the flock and divide
its interests. Others unite the flock and deepen our present unity.
Insisting upon secondary truths can injure sensitive hearts and can erect
barriers among believers. Those who do this separate saint from kindred
saint. Moreover, it is only when the spirit has been dulled by being
deprived of the essentials of divine truth that they reach the point where
they begin to say "I am of..."
there a duty here for one and for all? Every Christian can raise their pen
and their voice in the interest of the entire flock! We can each start
seeking the welfare of all our brethren, those known to us and those
unknown, those inside our fellowship and those outside. You and every
other Christian brother and sister can learn to care for the needs and
feeding of all the other weary sheep. We can learn to sit down with them
in fields of wholesome pasture, provided by our Great Shepherd.
Feeding together, walking together, drinking together, we will learn to
treasure the oneness he provides. If we learn this lesson,, then God can
use today's "Paul's to plant, and he can use today's "Apollos"'
to water. Just as it was in the early days of the church, God will give
by: William Law
history of the Gospel is chiefly the history of Christ's conquest over the
spirit of the world. The number of true Christians is only the number of
those who, following the spirit of Christ, have lived contrary to the
spirit of the world. "If any
man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Again, "Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world." "Set
your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are
dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." This is the
language of the New Testament. This is the mark of Christianity. You
must die to the spirit and the temper of the world and live a new life in
the spirit of Jesus Christ.
many people swell with vanity and pride for things that they do not know
how to value at all, just because those things are admired by the world.
How often people would have preferred to passively yield to the pride or
arrogance of others, but do not do so because they fear that others will
think less of them if they do not use the same spirit they loathe in
others. How many would live temperate lives of sobriety were it not that
the world censures such as do. This is how the impressions we receive
from living in the world enslave our mind. We dare not be eminent in the
sight of God for fear of being little in the eyes of the world.
lies a great impediment to humility. It cannot exist in the mind unless
the mind is dead to the world, putting aside all its desires for glory and
honor. If you want to be humble, you have to unlearn all the ideas you
have been learning from the corrupt spirit of the world.
world has great power, but it is all based upon blind obedience. We need
only open our eyes to be loose from its power. Ask whomever you will what
this world is made of. Everyone seems to know that the spirit of the world
is nothing more than humor, folly and extravagance.
you want to lessen this world's power over you, try this. Ask yourself,
"How soon will the world forget you when you die?" Your family
and friends will bury you with dignity if they can. There will probably be
a monument to let posterity see where your dust lies, but when that is
done, all is done. Your place is filled up by another. The world is just
the same as it ever was. You are blotted out of sight, and as much
forgotten by the world as if you had never belonged to it. Now ask
yourself another question. "Is it worth your while to lose the
slightest degree of virtue for the sake of so bad a master, so false a
friend, as the world is?"
is Christian behavior? What distinguishes you as a believer from the
world? These questions are clearly expressed by scripture: "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this
present evil world." To be a Christian, a believer, implies being
delivered from this world. He who professes a Christian faith also
professes to live contrary to everything that is peculiar to this evil
Lord Jesus Christ defined this point exactly: "They are not of this world, even as / am not of the world." This is Christianity's true relationship to this world. If you are not
"out" of this world and contrary to it, you lack the
distinguishing mark of Christianity. You do not belong to Christ except
by being out of the world as he was out of it. We may deceive ourselves
with vain and softening comments upon these words, but they are
understood in their simplicity and plainness by everyone who reads them
in the spirit in which our Lord spoke them.
The Christian's greatest conquest over the world is
the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross was the glory of Christians because
the cross called them to the same suffering spirit, the same self --
sacrifice, the same self -- renunciation, humility and meekness, the same
patient endurance of injury, reproach, and contempt. The cross called
them to die to greatness, honor and happiness. The true idea of
Christianity is not only Christ suffering on our behalf, it is also Christ
acting as our representative. He is our representative, acting, with
such merit as to make our joining with him acceptable to God. This is
conformity to Christ. "If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him."
be Thy Name." - Matthew 6:9 / Luke 11:2
our Lord taught his disciples, he rarely used phrases completely new or
alien to them. He spoke in terms they were familiar with but gave them
enlarged meaning. This is particularly true of the Lord's prayer.
is nothing un-Jewish in it. In fact, some rabbis have said that this great
central prayer of Christendom is the most Jewish utterance that came
from the lips of Jesus. Now, after two thousand years, these sacred words
are recited daily in hundreds of languages.
though the beauty of the words is felt, their intensity has largely been
lost. It is one of the many instances where Christianity has cut itself
from its mother ground, Judaism, and cannot, alone, provide the full
meaning of certain spiritual terms.
substantiate this assertion, let us consider the first phrase of the
Lord's Prayer: "Hallowed be thy
name." It's Hebrew equivalent is Kiddush
Ha-Shem. It is generally taught that this phrase is a revered bow
before the Father in heaven, an acknowledgment of his ruling.
different it is in Hebrew! Kiddush
Ha-Shem is an awe-inspiring phrase, something by which the Jew is
reminded of the tremendous power of God, his unfailing judgment, his
unfathomable perfection; but it speaks no less of his goodness, constant
help in the trials of his people and his faithfulness.
of all these implications Kiddush
Ha-Shem, the hallowing of the Name, the unspeakable Name of God, also
has an active meaning. It is the phrase which describes the death of
martyrs. The Jew's duty is to hallow God's Name by dying for it, to give
everything and hold back nothing to the praise of God's name.
the greatest demand on the believing Jew and the greatest joy which is his
in fulfilling it. Thus, when our Lord taught his disciples, he began with
words which his hearers understood. The Holy One was making a demand for
their entire being. He alone had a right to make such demands.
we place this interpretation upon it, what enormous power and weight the
Lord's prayer receives! It will constantly remind us to consider who we
are, that we should raise our voices to the Lord of heaven and earth.
Jewish meaning of Kiddush Ha-Shem, when
accepted for the Christian prayer, throws its might on the requests which
follow: "Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done..." This kingdom will come, but we must die for
it. We are bound to the kingdom and its king by a loyalty that must prove
itself by a preparedness for death.
as we see soldiers ready to give their lives for their king and country,
so we learn from Kiddush Ha-Shem that
the kingdom we hope and pray for needs our complete surrender to the One
who rules it.
will alone be done. No more ours for we have made the great sacrifice
that is demanded by Kiddush Ha-Shem.
We can see now, that the Lord's prayer suggests not just cooperation
with God, but a cooperation that is defined by the word
"sacrifice." We must decrease and Christ will increase as John
the Baptist said. Only those who no longer exist for themselves are
invited to lay their requests before God: requests for their daily bread,
for forgiveness of sins, for not being led into temptation, but
delivered from evil.
we have died for him, he will raise us to a new life in the spirit. Our
prayers for our own needs will no longer be requests that may or may not
be granted because in the prayer itself is carried the assurance of
fulfillment. Of that we may all be enabled to hallow the Name of God, as
countless Jewish and Christian martyrs have already done!
a wonderful journey, and I am traveling light. I pity those who strain and
bend beneath the weight of burdens. Here and there I see them, and such
loads they bear! Some are loads of unjustified ambitions that cause
sleepless nights and weary days. Others are laden by fear for other's good
opinion of them. Yet again, there are loads of earthly goods which exceed
one's needs and loads of apprehension over what the future may bring. Poor
souls, I pity them indeed, for they do not know the great Burden bearer
and his incomparable solace.
our way, on either side, are flowers that shed their fragrance in the air.
Pansies bring thoughts of sweet experiences of the past under the gracious
guidance of one who is "too wise to err, too good to be
unkind." There are roses, red as the heart of love. There are
lilies, white as truth itself, and they tell us that the wisdom from above
is first pure. Yonder, the purple iris lifts its head and speaks of
royalty, the reward and blessing of him who staunchly makes the journey in
spite of the hardships it costs. There are forget-me-nots, which fondly
tell of you, my brother and sister fair, who also press along this way.
have traveled light. One of these was Moses. Faith so lightened his
burden of worldly cares that he did not try to carry the court of Egypt
with him, or the honor of being called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, or
his prestige and power as a leader of armies. He simply cast aside the old
life and traveled on without it. Thus unburdened with troublesome and
useless impediments, he was eligible for honorable service and became
typical of the world's Great Deliverer, who is to free the sin-cursed,
death smitten world of all its woes.
Abraham traveled light.
Ur of the Chaldees, he journeyed forth, dwelling in tents at night, in
solitude with God under the benign, glorious stars. By day he marked a
pathway of faith through the long wilderness. What did he seek? He
traveled in pursuit of a city that hath foundations, whose founder and
maker was God.
The Apostle Paul traveled light
let it be known that he would know nothing among believers but, Jesus
Christ and him crucified. He urged us to lay aside weights and sins that
easily beset us to run patiently the race set before us. How can we do
this? By looking at Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. So much
so should we concentrate on Jesus that we might "forget" those
things that lie behind us and anticipate those things that lie ahead,
pressing forward towards the mark for the prize of the upward calling of
God in Christ Jesus.
Jesus, too, traveled light.
had no place even to lay his head. He carried no titles, no honors, nor
physical wealth. He was born in the humblest of places and lived a life
that was "lowly of heart." What was his aim? "To this end
was I born and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear
witness to the truth." Jesus counseled disciples to travel light. He
warned against anxiety about the future because God would care for them.
Oh, the peace and power of his words, "Seek ye first the kingdom of
God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto
travel light today. They do not live for the world or its possessions.
Realizing that the consummation of this age lies ahead they have set
their treasures above. No moths nor rust can corrupt their treasure store.
the way lies ever ahead. The great sun reaches down to me with golden
light that shines upon the path with burnished facts that spur resolve and
hope and faith. The warblers of the grove speak to me with their voice
of song and one bright bird calls, "come away, come away." So,
on I go and tarry not. Truth is worthwhile. Love is worthwhile. Faith's.
morning is worthwhile. The efforts along the road will seem nothing
someday soon -- to those who catch love's vision and follow its gleam --
those who stand the test and prove victorious. Oh, blessed thought! For
these are the heirs of all things, all things that shall ultimately and
I feel a tender softness from the breath of peace; the breeze has died
away; the evening quiet steals upon my heart, and love's fragrance is in
it is a wonderful journey, and I am traveling light.
at the January 1992 issue of the HERALD was quite a shock! Those little
words: Volume 75. It's easy to intellectualize the fact that we have been
around for three quarters of a century. It's quite another to know whether
we have been as faithful to the Lord of the Harvest as we could be. This
year's annual report will focus on the year past, but with a sense of
history and of the future.
in 1985, we consolidated our offices from St. Louis and Batavia we brought
with us a greasy, ink covered addressing machine that had been purchased
shortly after our incorporation in 1918. The hand cranked model was
built for long service, and long service it had. Sometimes the Institute
shares more in common with that reliable old friend than we might think.
is a day of mass everything: merchandising, transit, communication, and so
on. How does an organization dedicated to nurturing individual Christians
through one-on-one contact survive in a world that ignores individuals?
It hasn't been easy. More than once we have surprised people simply by
being here after all this time.
are we here? What are we doing? What is the prospect for the future? They
are good questions.
Why are we still here?
question can best be answered in the words of Scripture. Anyone
anticipating the appearing of the Son of Man must recall the Parable of
the Talents. In 1918 the Master gave us a talent: a wonderful fellowship
of consecrated Christians. It is still our prayer to use each day's
strength to bless those who seek the Lord Jesus Christ and his kingdom; to
be examples of believers and to believers.
What are we doing?
year the Institute sort of remakes itself. The annual election of
directors motivates us to re -- examine our stewardship, and last June we
set some new wheels in motion.
modernization of our production facilities has dramatically changed the
time spent on the mechanics of Herald and booklet production. The editors
have more time for ministry oriented activities. We hope to provide you
better tools for sharing God's gifts.
took a couple years to realize the need for more fundamental teaching in our own backyard. Sometimes we forget that
all Herald readers don't have access to Bible study groups. Obviously,
this should effect our publications. We are stressing some of the simplest
beauties of those wonderful latter day truths that stir us. That's a
real challenge in a small journal like ours. Meeting the deeper spiritual
expectations of long time readers and the more superficial longings of
newer readers exercises the communication powers of this small
organization. Sometimes we don't know whether a certain tactic will work.
Our Membership Newsletter is an example. Be patient when we try new
tools which we hope will bless.
the editors and directors are putting renewed emphasis on fundamentals.
The greatest Christian privilege is to share the message of Jesus and of
the upward calling of God. The speaker's service goes on visibly as usual.
Other efforts aren't visible. For example, two directors recently visited
a large, cosmopolitan church to share the message with a minister
willing to listen.
easy to say that no one wants to listen to the Gospel -- when we aren't
trying to share it. If you really want to be a fisher of men, you'll be
amazed what doors the Lord will open to you. The results may not be what
you expect, but the Lord gives an increase according to his will. What
Directors can do, you can do. Keep your ears open for questions or
comments from your friends, coworkers, or anyone who crosses your path.
The Lord put you in their path. Use that to share the good news. Invest
yourself in one person at a time. Give them your full attention and
listen to their needs. Then, share yourself with them and share the
Lord with them.
What About the Future?
till I come" (Luke
19:13). Our goal is to use each
day and every contact possible to share with others the grace God gives us
and the fire of enthusiasm that he has lit in our lives. We'll do that
together in a group or alone in our prayer closet, individually or as an
organization. We'll be as innovative as we can to reach those who have not
heard, and as interested as we can be to listen to the work God has done
in other lives. Won't you join us?
Notice: The Minutes of the Annual Meeting
At press time the minutes of the annual
meeting still had not been received by the office for publication in this
issue of the Herald. The minutes of the Annual meeting will be published
in the next issue. of the Herald. Our apologies for any inconvenience this
has caused to those who are eagerly awaiting the results of the meeting.
YEAR ENDED APRIL 30, 1992
Cash on hand
Berean Bible Institute, Australia $180.00
(2) Statement of Income and Expense and Analysis of Net
|The Vision||The Immediate Significance||Future Fulfillment|
|First (Zech. 1:7-17)||Encouragement because of built. Gentile domination -- the Temple will be built||Release from gentile domination.|
|Second (Zech. 1:18-21)||Nations now having dominion will be overthrown.
|Messiah terminates Gentile Times -- Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome|
|Third (Zech. 2:1-13)||Jerusalem will be restored and rebuilt in their day.||
Prosperity and blessing of Jerusalem in the Millennium.
|Fourth (Zech. 3:1-10)||Joshua, representing nation, cleansed, enabling nation to serve God.||Messiah cleanses the nation, enabling Israel to be a light to the nations.|
|Fifth (Zech. 4:1-14)||God's power enabling them to complete the Temple (Zech. 4:6-7) -- power ministered through Joshua and Zerubbabel||God's power enabling the nation to be light to the world -- power ministered through Messiah.|
|Sixth (Zech. 5:1-4)||God will quickly judge individual sin in the restored nation||
God will judge sin at the end of the "Times of the Gentiles."
|Seventh (Zech. 5:5-11)||God will judge the commercial exploiters during the restoration (Neh. 5:1-13).||Wicked commercial exploitation by the nations will be permanently judged and removed (Rev. 18).|
|Eighth (Zech. 6:1-8)||God stands ready to judge Israel's enemies||God will judge the nations: North--Assyria, Babylon, Rome; South-- Egypt.|
is an integral part of learning. When a student thinks their teacher will
not evaluate them, learning slows down.
can often teach us just as much as success. Defeat can reveal faults in
our way of thinking, or errors in our life. When we that we fail we may
try to change. If we see no failure we may not want to change.
Christian walk is much like the process of learning, in fact, it is partly
a process of learning. We grow more like Jesus when we see ourselves as
accountable to God. When we submit to him, he produces those good results
that the scriptures say he wishes to achieve in us.
involves understood goals. Here are some examples of Christian
accountability that you might find helpful. Ask yourself these
questions. Ask them of your children. Ask your children to ask them of
did I learn from my Bible reading this morning?
Scripture did I meditate on as I went to sleep last night?
Scripture am I memorizing?
there anyone I need to ask forgiveness from, Is there anyone I need to
opportunities have I had this week to stand alone?
I successful in resisting the last temptation I experienced?
I consistently victorious in the thoughts I think?
friend do I want to lead to Christ?
personal plans have I committed to the Lord for the next few weeks?
prayers have you seen God answer in the last week?
The Gospels seem like tired reruns.
Your mind and your mouth switch to automatic pilot during hymns and praise
The last time God answered a specific prayer is a dim memory.
You feel guilty when you hear someone telling you what they learned in
their quiet time -- and hope they don't ask how yours was.
You wonder where the joy went.
You don't go to Bible study because you've "heard it all
You avoid reading books by other Christians that challenge your living
witness. 8.) You read your Bible and pray because you should, not because
you want to.
You're more excited about your favorite sports team or your hobby than you
are about Jesus.
find yourself criticizing the sermon rather than searching for what you
can learn from it.
doesn't seem like your growing spiritually anymore.
You're not really sure that you love God, or that he loves you.
just plain tired of the sometimes empty routine of Bible study, devotions,
smiling, happy Christians get on your nerves.
fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us." - Hebrews
knows we make mistakes. When a Jewish person accidentally killed another,
under the Law of Moses, God had made allowances for protecting them until
justice could be done. Let's see what believers in Jesus can learn about
this feature of the Law and what it tells us about our relationship with
cities were set aside by God's command as cities of refuge. They were
centrally located so that people could reach them from any point in Israel
in a minimal period of time (Deut. 19:11-13; Num. 35:30-34).
were rough and tumble days, several thousand years ago in Israel.
Vengeance was important to people then. The family of a slain person was
often more interested in repaying eye for eye than in carefully examining
the circumstances to see whether the offending party deserved the
severity of the punishment that anger and grief dictated.
murderers obtained no shelter in those days. These six cities were set
aside so that someone who accidentally killed another might be preserved
long enough so that a fair hearing of the case could be obtained. If the
person was guilty of punishment they were then turned over to be punished.
If the slaying proved to be accidental then the careless party was
guaranteed safety in that city. The accidental murderer was not free to
wander around Israel, or to go back to their own life. No, not at all.
They were to remain in the city of refuge until the current high priest
died. This was a very real restraint upon their liberty, but it was
their penalty for carelessness, and it assured that they would not make
the same mistake again.
much like our own refuge in Christ Jesus that refuge city arrangement
was! Jesus is our shield and hiding place against the penalty of all of
our sins -- except those that are willful. Jesus is no shelter for the
obstinate, nor for the unrepentant sinner, but he is
a shelter for everyone born in sin and shaped by iniquity. We are all
sinners through the accident of birth or heredity. If we desire refuge
we must flee our old life and its practices, finding the only refuge God
has offered -- forgiveness and life in Christ Jesus. Fleeing to the city
of refuge is like our own repentance and conversion from sin. We
honestly and earnestly desire to stop sinning with our body, our mind, and
our affections. We seek him, like the ancient Hebrew sought the city of
refuge, by faith. We know that there we will find protection. We accept
that promise of protection and hurry to it so that we can continue to
live. We know that anywhere else we are subject to the wrath of sin.
we are all under the sentence of death. Justice is God's avenger, just as
the family of the slain in Israel might gallop off in pursuit of the
accidental killer. Only in Christ can we find protection, just as only
in the refuge city could the careless, foolish, or lax citizen save his
however, that the sinner was a captive of the city so long as the high
priest lived. You and I share something else in common with those sinners.
Christ is our high priest,
having offered his own blood for our redemption. Until we can stand before
God perfected by Christ we must abide in him (Jude 24). This will also be
true of the world during Jesus' Millennial kingdom. He will be their high
priest until they too have returned to atonement with God under the
redemptive power of the New Covenant. When mankind is restored to its
original status with God then even Christ himself will stand aside so that
God may be all in all (1 Cor. 15:28).
gratitude, the world will never forget its debt to Jesus. After the
Millennial kingdom they will be free before God, and they will be "at
one" with God. Could they forget where it was that they had fled for
refuge? Surely not. Jesus shall forever have a special place in their
lives, in their hearts, and in their devotion. Yet, even he will not usurp
the place that the Creator deserves in each and every heart.
the cities of refuge we can all come to Christ easily. All we have to do
is to seek him. If we are obstinate and refuse to abide in him, we take
our life into our hands. But, if we surrender our pride, if we realize
that by birth and by action we have displeased God, and if we willingly
approach Jesus as the only hope we have of finding God's favor, there is
refuge for all who apply. We will have to live in our city of refuge for
the rest of our life, under the rules and regulations that Christ Jesus
himself laid down for us. He learned obedience by the discipline he
endured, and we, too, will learn to please God in the same way. May the
ancient cities of refuge teach us how to better value and honor our Lord.
Wake my soul, the hour is late,
Hour of darkness and of fate;
Jesus to the Garden goes,
There to taste sin's bitter woes;
Wake my soul, for 'tis for thee
Jesus seeks Gethsemane.
See the Savior prostrate now,
Sweat of blood upon his brow!
Hear my soul the piercing cry,
Cleaving thrice the silent sky!
Sorer anguish cannot be
Than thy pains, Gethsemane.
Gaze, my soul, with wonder gaze,
'Tis thy savior weeps and prays!
Treads the winepress all alone,
Makes us sharers of his throne,
Boundless love, and all for me,
None may tell, for none may know
Why the Savior suffered so;
Depth of agony and pain
None can measure or explain;
But I know they were for me,
Sorrows of Gethsemane!
Lo the fight is fought and won!
"Not my will, but thine be done,"
And the angels swift of wing
To the garden sweep and sing.
Sing my soul, for 'tis for thee,
Dread, but dear Gethsemane!
Unless words mean nothing and unless the scriptures
teach us mere poetical images and illusions, Christ feels our every grief
and every struggle, and sympathizes with us in each one. Remember how his
heart responded when he was on earth to all human need. Sorrow stirred his
compassion; every cry of distress went to the depths of his soul. That
heart is still the same. When angels are thronging about him, and a poor
weary sufferer in some lowly home on earth, or a stricken penitent
crouching in some darkness, reaches out a trembling finger tip of faith
and touches the hem of his garment, he turns about with loving look and
asks, "Who touched me?"
When we have passed through a season of suffering
and stand beyond it, there ought to be a new light in our eye, a new glow
in our face, a new gentleness in our heart, and a new devotion in our
life. We ought not to stay in the shadows of the sorrow, but to come again
out of them, radiant with the light of victory and peace, into the place
of service and duty. The comfort that God gives puts deep new joy into the
heart, and anoints the mourner or sufferer with a new baptism of love and
God many times answers our prayers not by bringing
down his will to ours, but by lifting us up to himself. We grow strong so
as to need no longer to cry out for relief. We can then bear the heavy
load without asking to have it lightened. We can keep the heavy load and
endure it. We can go on in quite peace without the new blessing which we
thought so necessary. We have not been saved from the battle we shrank so
from entering, but we have fought it through and have gained the victory.
Is not victory in conflict better than being freed from the conflict? Is
not peace in the midst of the storm and strife better than to be lifted
altogether over the strife?
The finer one's sensitivity to God's thoughts and
standards the more we will become acquainted with grief and suffering.
O man, reverence thyself! In God's sight thou art
precious, be not vile in thine own!
-- William Arnot,
The Lesser Parables of Our Lord
giving of our bodies is an infinitesimally small thing. The presenting of
our selves is an infinitely great thing.
-- Adam Clarke
one ever graduates from Bible study until he meets the Author face to face
-- E.T. Harris
We fail to give
and to serve and to sacrifice and to minister because we are fearful of
being short changed.
C. Samuel Storms in Discipleship Journal
God, who is
liberal in all his other gifts, shows us, by the wise economy of his
providence, how circumspect we ought to be in the management of our time,
for he never gives us two moments together.
tells us what we ought to do right, but it does not tell us what right is
-- that we are taught by God's word.
people promise anything you ask of them, but make a small matter about
keeping their promises. They enter agreements to do this or that, to meet
you or call on you at a certain time, and fail to fulfill their
engagements. This is a serious matter, even if it grows ever more
to our word is godlikeness, and we ought to carefully guard ourselves to
be more like him. If we are faithful, we will keep our promises, even if
they cost us.
How rare it is to find a man whose promise is
as unfailing as God. Just as the sun rises on schedule each day, a man
whose word is as good as an oath is a delight to all men. God wants the
kind of faithfulness that is marked by punctual and unfailing fidelity.
be built around the Scripture, not the Scripture around the sermon.
are those scary things
we see when we take our eyes
off our goals.
are all of us apt to play Providence in our private minds and to be very
cross when our little decrees don't come off.
doctrine without sensitivity is heartless, and compassion without truth
-- Bob Passantino
is much easier to be critical than to correct.
-- Benjamin Disraeli
have more need of models than of critics.
the fury of a patient man.
our fellowship is with the Father and with the Son, it is also with all
those who are in them.
however, restrict their fellowship by choice. While Christ's church
includes many and reaches far, man's churches are narrow and exclude more
than they invite in. What is the result? Those who seek kindred fellowship
are prohibited, and those who do the excluding are hardened in heart.
in prayer you align yourself to the purposes and power of God, and he is
able to do things that through you he couldn't otherwise do. For this is
an open universe, where some things are left open, contingent upon our
doing them. If we do not do them, they will never be done. So God has left
certain things open to prayer -- things which will never be done except we
-- E. Stanley Jones
Imagine that you were with Moses when he walked
through the Red Sea. You watched as the waters were divided and stood on a
heap on either side. You saw them restrained, held up until you passed
through. Had you really been, there, do you think you would have been
inspired to sing along with Moses, "The Lord is my strength and my
song, and he is become my salvation"? If you are like me, your own
heart tells you that all men must surely be moved to song on. such
Learn from this a lesson. It is the heart that tunes
the voice to sing the praises of God. If you cannot sing the same words
now, with joy, it, is because you have not yet been so affected by the
salvation Jesus Christ offers to all the world now as the Jews were then.
Had you ever yet seen the salvation of God your
heart would cry out in praise and joy-just as did those who were saved
beside the Red Sea.
It is not having that makes men great. A man may
abound with God's gifts-one may have money, intelligence, and power. Yet,
if one selfishly holds and hoards what they have, they are not great.
People are measured by how they use their possessions for the blessing of
others. We are God's stewards, and the gifts we receive are not our own --
they are God's. We are to use them for him as he would use them himself.
When we give the Lord Jesus Christ our all, we, lay all we have before
him. He accepts our gifts; then putting them back into our hands,- he
says, "Go, now, go use them in my name and for my people."
great ministries of love, which you take time out from your busy day to
perform, will reward you with joy in days to come. What your help may mean
to those who receive it you can never know until your own heart is sad and
lonely and one comes to you in turn with the true comfort of love. Train'
yourself to be sympathetic. Be ready, day or night, to speak the full,
rich, 'word of love which can lighten the burden of anyone you meet. You
cannot go anywhere that you will not find hearts that need and hunger for
what you have to give. God has given you love so that you might bless
those whom he sends your way every day.
Dorothy C Harper, CO
Vera Stanislovitis, MI