Br. Ted Jennings

I have taken as my text # He 12:1,2 and it goes thus: ‘Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’

As we all know dear friends, compromise is one of the most effective weapons in the hands of the enemy. Probably none of us will escape the attack of the enemy along this line. We know how insidiously it comes. The man of the world will say: ‘Why do you set yourself to follow after this one thing? It is such madness. Why don’t you let your moderation be known unto all men?’ Others will say: ‘Have we not had other good books in the world beside the Bible? Have we not had grand characters living in our midst besides Jesus Christ?’ We are bound to admit that there are many good books and many good and grand characters have been raised up by God. Thus we are tempted to compromise. We need to be very wise lest we be led aside from the hope of our calling.

Let us remember the wonderful privilege which is ours in being permitted to live in the day when so much light is due to shine from God’s Holy word. What a privilege it is to live in this day when our Lord has returned to feed those who are sitting at his table. Surely, if ever there was a time of feasting it is today!! We are receiving the meat in due season for the household of faith. Men who were prepared to suffer and sacrifice rather than compromise the truth, good and wonderful characters, men and woman of faith, who for the joy that was set before them, willingly suffered. The book of Hebrews gives us a record of some of them. We will read a few verses from the 11th chapter of Hebrews just to remind ourselves, dear friends how in the days of old when less light was due to be known from God’s word, there were good characters even in that day who were prepared to suffer and sacrifice for such light and truth as they had rather than compromise the truth. We will read from ## He 11:37-39: ‘They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheep-skins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.’

So we can see that there have been those who anxiously sought to do the will of God even though they could not hope to receive any reward in this life. They were faithful servants of God and they, one after the other, fell asleep, awaiting their reward. During the time since the last of these ‘Ancient Worthies’ feel asleep, God has had another class of true followers who were also prepared to suffer and sacrifice rather than compromise God’s holy word and truth. Through their life time their great desire was the return of the Lord. And HE is here since 1874. He began to set up His Kingdom in 1878 with the resurrection of the sleeping saints. Then later will follow the reward of those ancient faithful ones mentioned in # Heb 11.

Daniel prophesied that the God in Heaven will set up a kingdom during the days of the kingdoms of the earth intimating that the kingdoms of the earth would know nothing about the new kingdom which would suddenly smite and break them in pieces. Let us read the Scripture on this: # Da 2:14, ‘And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.’

We can read the daily newspapers and just see what trouble there is in the world today. We see the leaders of the earth taking every precaution in an endeavor to put off that evil day. They bind themselves together so that they may strengthen one another against the great catastrophe. They will not be able to go against God’s purposes who has said that the present evil system must end. The Gentile Times ended in 1914, the Jews are no longer downtrodden and they have since 1948 returned to their own land and even at this very hour the flag of Zion is flying.

The Scriptures show us that our Lord was present to supervise the Jewish ‘Harvest’ time when at His first advent he gathered out from among the Jewish Nation his own faithful remnant to whom He gave power to become the Sons of God. The Scriptures also show that we are living in the harvest time during the Lord’s second presence. He is taking out from all nations a people for His name, a people that shall bring honor and glory unto the Lord and to our God. The Lord told us that the harvest would be at the end of the age. A great change is to take place. All the powers that be will be brought low, while those who have been oppressed and downtrodden through selfishness and greed for wealth shall have rights and privileges given them by the hand of the gracious Lord. As we look about us and behold the whole world groaning and travailing in pain, we cannot but pray, ‘Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’

This is when the great work of setting up the kingdom on the earth is fully established. We have at this present time the joy of the Lord, which is the joy of faith. It reminds us dear friends, of the manna text of August the 24th. Our Lord prays that those who believe in Him may be one, even as He and the Father are one. {# Joh 17:11} When was this oneness to be? In the future only? Was there to be no oneness between the Lord and His disciples now? Oh, yes, surely. There is the oneness of anticipation, the oneness of purpose manifested in all the Lord’s dear people, the oneness of suffering joyfully because of the great joy which was set before us. The great joy is of course for those who are found faithful unto death, who carry out their covenant of sacrifice with the Lord. It should remind us of the parable of the ruler who went away to a far country, then returned and called his servants to give an account of the things He had given into their charge. This is taken from ## Mt 25:14-30. How wonderfully this pictures our Lord Himself. He came to the earth and gathered out servants, those whom He entrusted with His goods; then He want away into a far country, Heaven itself. Our Lord has returned and is calling His servants and reckoning with them. And this is our experience, dear friends at the present time, for the Lord is calling us be revealing to us the truth, by opening our eyes to understand that wonderful plan; and we are being reckoned with by the Lord to see whether we shall be faithful to that call. The parable says that the verdict was: ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful in a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.’ We are to have power and dominion later but we also enter into the joy of the Lord during the present time. Who are they that enter into the joy of the Lord at the present time? Just those who are faithful, who are loyal to the Lord. We are to share in this joy of the Lord before we enter into our dominion—yes, before the enemy has been fully bound. What are the joys of the Lord into which we enter at this time? One joy is the great, indeed the very great privilege we have in understanding God’s glorious ‘Plan of the Ages.’ Was there ever a time when God’s faithful ones had such a privilege as we have in this regard? We are living in a time when more light and more knowledge is thrown upon God’s Word than was ever permitted at any previous time. Surely it has brought joy into our hearts, a joy for which we cannot help but thank God all our days

You remember our Lord a special intimation to his disciples, ‘Fear not little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ {## Lu 12:32} It is the Father’s good pleasure to have a kingdom of heaven, it must be established and it is. What can stop God’s pleasure? If it is His pleasure to gather out of the world some who will share in that glory: why not you and I? We know full well that God is passing by angels those glorious beings in heaven and turned to the earth to select Christ’s joint-heirs. And even in the earth He is passing by the rich and noble, and He is stooping to the poor and humble, whom He is lifting up from degradation, and is exalting them to His own right hand of favor. Are we not amongst that number, the poor and needy, the meek and teachable? If we are, then we have every prospect of entering that Kingdom; for we realize, dear friends, that to enter the Kingdom does not imply power of our own, but merely faith in the power of God. This is one of the great joys into which we are permitted to enter at this time, the anticipated joy of the Kingdom. We alone have faith and & hope for the world because we have faith in the word of the Lord. Should not this bring great joy to our hearts? Does it not bring great joy to our hearts as we remember that the time of pain, sorrow and dying is near its end, and God very soon will uplift the poor fallen race, and bring them back to that perfection in which He originally created Adam? Surely it does, dear friends. That is one of the joys which is ours, because we are the Lord’s; and desire to be faithful followers of Him. He has revealed this joy to us that it might encourage us in the narrow way. As we gaze in prospect upon all the glory that God has set before the Church class, and for the world too, our hearts rejoice in this wonderful plan of God. What a wonderful thing is this great and wonderful Plan! How it does alter our outlook upon the world! Life is worth living now! And what a different Bible it gives us! We can rejoice all the day, knowing that ‘everything is working together for good to those who love God, and are called according to this purpose.’ What fullness of joy the truth of God brings to our hearts! Truly He hath put a new song into our mouth, even the loving praise of our God! And now, as never before, we can join in that great angelic chorus: ‘Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.’ {## Lu 2:10} Praise the Lord!

The greatest witness that God ever had in this world was our Lord Jesus. Jesus declared to Pilate, ‘To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world that I should bear witness unto the truth.’ {# Joh 18:37} What did it cost Him? It cost Him His life. The shame of the cross. What did it gain Him? It gained Him a crown and also immortality. The gain certainly was worth the cost. The world has no knowledge that by suffering now some may be exalted to joint-heirship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Such a way was never previously opened to the world in previous ages. Those noble characters of which we read in Hebrews, chapter 11, had no prospect of this kind. It was a new and living way, which our Lord ‘consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say his flesh.’ We are glad to know dear friends, that God has his witnesses in the world today, who desire to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Master, being faithful in that thing whereunto they are called.

You remember what our Lord said about this matter: ‘If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ {## Lu 9:23} This is the greatest thing with God; it determines who shall share in the honor and glory of our Lord later on. ‘Deny himself.’ What does it mean, dear friends? It means, of course to give up our own wills and to take the will of the Heavenly Father. It means to give up all that the world has to offer, and to set our affections on things above. It means to have one purpose in life and set all our determination and energy to accomplish that one purpose. This is what the world calls madness. It is the only way to win the cross and reign with the Lord in Heaven. Yes, dear friends this is the only way to attain this goal.

The great test which comes upon the Church is loyalty. The world would like nothing better than to see us give up the race, the one great purpose of our lives; and the test fast coming upon the Church at the end of the harvest is the great test of loyalty. Are we prepared to suffer with our Lord and take up our cross daily? What does it mean to take up our cross daily? What does it mean to take up our cross? The cross is a symbol of death. It means that we are prepared to lay down our lives for the brethren, and to do good unto all as we have opportunity, especially to the Household of Faith—that we are prepared to carry on this good work in line with our Master’s example until our journey is ended. Therefore, our Lord said, ‘Let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ What did it cost our Lord? It cost him his life. Will it cost us the shame of the cross? If faithful it will. It will cost us our human life, all that we have, yes, all that the Lord has set before us in this life. We are willing to give it all up, and not merely give it up in the sense of presenting it to the Father and then walking more or less in the world, but giving up all hope of the human life, and all the world has to offer—presenting our sacrifice and keeping it bound hard and fast to the altar, each day being faithful to our covenant. It is then that it will cost us the shame of the cross. Yes, dear friends it will. Is it popular to own your faith in the Blood of Christ and confess that it cleanses away our sin? We don’t find it so. Something of the shame of the cross has fallen upon us, but when we realize how this is sharing the shame of the Lord, that we are suffering with him in the disgrace of the cross, it should give us the greatest joy that our hearts could have enjoyed, for if we suffer with him we shall reign with him. Let us follow the Master even unto the end of our course, and then our joy will be complete. What more joy have we than this? I think that our life is full of joy. At least it should be. It is intended that it should be. We have the joy of telling. others about the TRUTH. We are entrusted with all the great secrets of life, and have the joy of telling out to the people the great loving character of our Heavenly Father. We know that Christian people, those who call themselves the Christian people of the world, ‘have made God’s love too narrow by false limits of their own.’ It is for us to try to correct this misunderstanding and to clear away from God’s holy character the mark cast upon Him by well meaning, but woefully mistaken people. We have the joy, then, of telling to others the true character of our God.

We can do this verbally, we can take the opportunity of speaking a word for Jesus, and for the truth, on all occasions ‘in season and out of season’ so far as it concerns ourselves, but always endeavoring to choose the right season for the person or persons to whom we speak. We also have the joy telling others through tracts, the volumes, etc. There are those of course who are too nervous to speak. Well the Lord is very gracious; He granted us the printed page, the pages of the books and we all should be able to give out a tract. The Lord knows about our weaknesses, that we cannot do the things we would, because of our fallen bodies having become so weak. He has, therefore, provided the printed page, just as much as we care to make good use of it. The Lord has provided this means without charge to those who cannot pay, because He loves us and wants us to be a blessing to others. Can we not, also, all be witnessing by our daily lives? Cannot we show something of the loving spirit of the Master in the situation where He has placed us? Cannot we in the home show something of the character of the Lord—the gentleness, the meekness, tenderness, love? Surely we can, and cannot we in the place of work, and in the street, show something of the character of our gracious Lord? I think we can. Men shall see our good works, and one day they shall glorify our Heavenly Father. Why will they glorify Him? Because they will know full well that we could not do those Christ-like things in our own strength, or by our own wisdom. They know, although they will not admit it, that there is some spirit working in us, changing our character, helping us to keep our own wills in subjection, helping us to subdue our tempers, and to overcome evil and the test of the enemy, the temptations of the world. They know it; and although they will not admit it now, they will yet learn to glorify our Father when they think of the marvelous work He was doing as we daily told others of the truth.

And then the witnessing brings us the great happiness of bringing consolation to others. Surely, dear friends, we realize that in the world today are many meek, many humble ones, who are ‘feeling after God if haply they might find Him.’ We don’t think all the Lord’s people have received the truth. No, our experiences every day make it evident to us that God yet has people in the world. Has it ever brought you any joy, as we see the face light up and hope come into the heart? Surely, what a great privilege is ours as we tell of the true character of God, and the hope for the world in general. So this telling of the ‘Good news’ is also doing a separating work. The meek are being taught of God even as He has promised, the proud are being ‘turned empty away.’ It is bringing consolation even to those who are not the Lord’s own people. When we realize that we can bring comfort to those who have lost dear ones, what a joy and privilege is ours! We can tell them that the Lord will call the little ones from their graves, and will feed them and bring them up in the ways of the Lord, revealing to them His Truth, so that the little ones shall one day praise God and be in harmony with Him.

And then, too, we know that though more than one-half of the population of the world has never heard that ‘only name given’ whereby men can be saved, this gospel shall yet cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and there shall be no need to say to your neighbor ‘know the Lord’ for ‘all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest.’ {# Jer 31:34} What a joy and satisfaction it brings to ourselves and others as we tell out these glad tidings which shall be for all people, how that God has no pleasure in the death of the unjust, but that He is a God of compassion upon those who are ‘ignorant and out of the way.’ God takes pleasure in the death of His Saints, but has no pleasure in the death of the unjust. Surely He has put a New Song in our mouths. Oh, the joy of telling these great tidings to the Lord’s own people. The words of the prophet are being fulfilled in a wonderful way.

He spoke of a time of famine in the land. We are in that famine, not a famine of bread and water but for the hearing of the Word of God to those who are in famine, those who are hungering, those who have ears to hear; to tell them of God’s closer union, that God has allowed the whole universe to stand and wait whilst He condescends to our low estate, and He is taking from the world the poor and needy and weak and fallen ones, the meek and teachable ones. And then to tell them of the marvelous and glorious promises that God has set before such, and that all God’s promises are ‘yea and amen’ in Christ Jesus. That God promised Abraham many years ago that He would have a seed, and that in His seed all the families of the earth will be blessed; that God is gathering out this seed. But some may say that Christ was the Seed, not to seeds as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, ‘which is Christ.’ {# Ga 3:16} Perfectly true—our Lord is the Seed, but then the same writer says a little further on in the same chapter of Galatians, V. 29, ‘And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham a seed and heirs according to the promise.’ The great question is: ‘Are we Christ’s?’ If we are truly Christ’s, if we have been baptized into His death, then are we the promised seed and heirs according to the promise. It is not a question of whether we have great knowledge, or whether we are well born or have much wealth. But are we Christ’s followers in all His great example? if so, then we are the promised seed, and heirs according to the promise.

To tell this message to those who are hungering, surely that is a great joy as we see the effect upon their faces and lives! Truly, we have a great joy, as feet members, in reaping for the Lord, gathering the ‘wheat into the barn’ and in this way we are giving the Kingdom Message this side of the Veil. The message makes us glad as we tell it, we are constantly reminded of the effect it had on us, when we were famished and longing for some truth that we might feed upon and build our faith and hope upon. We cannot tell about the Lord’s Truth, the Kingdom Message at all without receiving a great blessing; and not only so, dear friends, but as we give out the message we are in God’s hands, tools you might say, of blessing for others. It makes our Bible a New Book to us, it makes our life new. That reminds me of the dear brother and sister who brought the truth to me—they told me of these great and precious promises of God, what a blessing that must have been to them, knowing that God’s word had reached out to someone. I was stubborn for a long time, but eventually it came to me through the blessings of the Heavenly Father. For many years I was a Roman Catholic and like the rest of the Romanists I was stubborn to anything new, especially when it was the truth; of course I did not know that it was the truth, but now what a difference! I thank my Heavenly Father for opening my eyes to the fact that the Bible does become a New Book.

If you stop and think about it for awhile, you wonder why so many are chained up, you might say to this kind of religion. Most of it is done by scaring people to death. We may not always see the results of our labors in this life. It may be better for us that we should not see the results; but the work still must continue. The work is the Lord’s and He will add His blessings as He sees fit. So let us go on in His great work of reaping the wheat, and sharing in His joy. There is some work to be done yet so let us not get tired; we must continue on as a good soldier of Christ and receive blessings from this work. And there is the joy that the work itself brings us. I am not speaking of the reward later on, but what we get now. Dear friends, it brings us sufferings, misunderstandings, our own friends do not understand us at all. They first think us mad or losing control of ourselves, and then they avoid us for they begin to feel that we are dangerous people. They say, ‘well, just see the effect—they have left their church; they are no longer going down into the slums; they are now all the time studying their Bibles; they have got the religious mania, and we need to be careful lest we become infected,’ etc., etc. How true. The cost of telling others about the truth is to lose the friendship of those who were once near and dear to you. It may be our own family who are severed from us on account of our faithfulness to the Lord; but this suffering is an evidence of sonship’whom the Lord loveth He chastened, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.’ {# He 12:6} It is the Lord’s way over us at the present time, to test us to see whether we are worthy of being exalted to His own right hand of glory; not only so, we must remember that God is teaching us through our experiences, valuable lessons—lessons of humility, love, lessons that we do well to study and make our own, because God intends to exalt only those as have the character-likeness of His Dear Son. And what was He like? ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ {# Mt 11:29} We love to learn the lessons of being meek and lowly of heart. It is only such that God intends to exalt. Why, it is only such that God could ever favor with such a great privilege of entrusting to them the uplifting of the human race, and granting to them His own immortal nature, the divine nature.

So, dear brethren, as we suffer the tribulations of our life let us remember our Lord’s words. Let us remember it was to such as we that these words apply—’to him that overcometh,’—not to him that fights; but ‘to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.’ {# Re 3:21} If we are found faithful we shall be ushered into the fuller joy, that grand and glorious joy of reigning with our Lord, and exercising the power and authority of our God, not only in Heaven, but in this world. We are to reign that this world may be full of peace and righteousness. We know not what God has in store for us later on, if we are ‘faithful unto death.’ {# Re 2:10} God has a far superior mind to ours; and God has purposes that have not yet been revealed. If we are faithful unto death we are to be one with the Lord and with the Heavenly Father—one in honor, and one in common possession. Isn’t that wonderful? It surely is.

And so then dear friends, the joy that is set before us we shall never fully know this side of the veil; but we shall know later on if we are faithful even unto death. How we all long for this inheritance, the taking away of sorrow, pain and dying. We do desire to be a blessing to the world, and yet we cannot be such now—sometimes we think, Oh, if only God would give us just one little bit of power, we are to have later, we might help those poor persons and relieve their pain and suffering. Why has He not given us this privilege at the present time? He knows it is not wise. He wants to teach us to be patient. He wants us to learn to be compassionate. He wants us to learn these lessons thoroughly. He wants us to realize, too, our own inability, our own nothingness, that all power and wisdom is in Him; and until He grants it we can do nothing. Without Him we can do nothing, and God wants us to know this. We therefore need to be patient, when we shall be granted the privilege, the power of being a blessing to the world.

Yes, dear friends there are those at the present time who wish to compromise the Lord’s wonderful Truth. They want us to believe that they have a wonderful ‘New Light and New Thought Truth’ and so we would discard the marvelous truth that that ‘Faithful and Wise Servant’ gave us through the media of the Volumes, Tabernacle Shadows, Reprints, Sermon and Question Books, and other of his writings. There are some who would like to discard altogether Volumes 2, 3 and 4 as they do not come into line with their thinking regarding chronology. Let us dear brethren hold fast to what we have and let us not compromise the Truth one little bit—if we compromise, how could we stand in God’s Holy Place? Anyone who offers a compromise to the truth cannot be trusted by the Lord to promulgate the real truth. I thank you for the privilege of being able to say these few words with regards to compromising the glorious truth given to us by our kind Heavenly Father. May the Lord Bless you all.