THINK ON THESE THINGS

Br. Henry H. Strickland

‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.’ # Php 4:8

When this verse was written to the Philippians, the apostle Paul could have had in mind the account written in # Pr 4:23,24, ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.’ When the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians he was undoubtedly thinking of these brethren and hoping to keep them as true followers of Christ. This verse shows the great power of thought upon the mind and upon the heart condition. The more we think of things with the loving thoughts of Christ the more they become a part of our everyday life. Jesus stresses the importance of thought and what proper thoughts will be ours if we will but listen to his words. ‘I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.’ {# Joh 16:12,13} When this message was given, the apostle John did not understand just what Jesus was talking about. I feel sure that after John had received the Holy Spirit, the things that Jesus had taught him came back to his mind, or he would not have written it down for us to think about.

This idea of building ourselves up is also brought out in # Mt 18:18, ‘Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ ‘The import of these words clearly is that the persons indicated were assured that they would be specially guided of divine providence in all their efforts—that they would set forth as the divine will amongst men nothing to which heaven would not assent. And, on the other hand, they would declare not binding upon the followers of Jesus only such things as in God’s sight would not be binding.’ (5002, par. 4) The guide that we spoke about in # Joh 16:13 is the writings of the apostles. These writings were given so that the believers all through the Gospel age had a guide post. It is by these writings that we can continue in the narrow way. ‘The heart represents the will, the intentions; the will must be kept true and centered in God.’ This will that we have is the controlling factor in our life; or whatever way we use it, is the way that we will develop.

The text that we cited in the beginning has eight different points that we are to think upon. The first one is ‘Think on things that are true.’ There are several Greek words that are translated true. The Greek word that is translated true in this verse comes from the word alethes (Strong’s Concordance #227). This word used as true seems to have a very definite and unquestionable meaning. It sometimes refers to God; sometimes to Jesus, sometimes to the Word of God in the Bible. This would suggest a much higher meaning than is generally used by the world. The apostle Paul, in # 2Ti 3:16 shows that his word was given to him by inspiration. We are not to question the authority that gave the apostles the understanding by which they wrote the New Testament—because it is ‘true.’ ‘This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.’ {# Joh 21:24} Here the writings of the apostle is shown to be divinely inspired. This word true would exclude all foolish fiction. There is no room for corrupt thoughts, or squandering of time. This would also throw out all theories of men who would ignore the true gospel, or try to draw others over to their way of thinking. To ‘think on things that are true’ would exclude evil surmising or idle gossip.

How richly we are blessed when our minds dwell upon the true word of God! God’s law is always true, and the Psalmist brings this out in # Ps 119:97,98: ‘Oh how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou, through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.’ How great are the prophecies that we have seen fulfilled and are being fulfilled. We should ask ourselves this question—Is it true or is it false? If it is false, no matter how beautiful it seems, we should have nothing to do with it. ‘In love for the truth lies the very foundation of saintship.’ It is during this harvest period that we have to watch; because the Apostle Paul in writing to the Thessalonians stated that there would be rejection and stumbling during this period. ‘And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’ {# 2Th 2:11,12} This is one reason that we should trust in the Lord, because with our imperfect mind there is danger of being misled. There-fore as soon as we learn what is true we should sell it not. If we hold fast to what is true ‘It will mean an increased reverence for whatsoever things are true.’ It will also increase our devotion to others, increase our time for study, and also increase our spirit for the truth in our hearts.

Let us now look into the second step in our thinking and that is to ‘Think on things that are honest.’ Of the seven times that the word ‘honest’ appears in the New Testament, only once is the Greek word ‘sem-nos’ used, and has the meaning of honorable or grave; while in the other six places it means to be good. We can see from this that it is used in a higher degree of meaning than the other six. This word would exclude all deceit and all hypocrisy, all evil schemings, and intrigue, as well as thoughts of deliberate plunder or falsehood or evil speaking. This would make us have honest thoughts.

The apostle Paul brings out another point in which we are to be honest. This is in the first letter to the Thessalonians—’And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.’ (4:11, 12) From these verses we see that we must be honest with ourselves. We should also realize that one of the things required of us is honesty; and honesty will be required when the universal kingdom is set up here on earth. We are again told to walk honestly in # Ro 13:13,14: ‘Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lust thereof.’ We also have to admit that injustice and sin are all about us, and it is much more difficult to walk honestly now than it will be when the kingdom is set up. It will surely be wonderful when honesty of the highest order will be in force.

The third step on things to think upon is ‘Think on things that are just.’ This comes from the Greek word ‘dik’-ah-gas’ and means just or right. Of all the points that we are to think on, this one is used more than any of the others. If we have just thoughts we will make due allowance for the infirmities of the flesh. When we have justice enthroned in our mind we will always seek to judge justly. When our mind has justice instilled in it, it delights to follow the lines of justice in God’s plan of salvation. With our mind on Jesus we can see the justice of God’s plan, and that Jesus voluntarily shed his blood for the world of mankind. ‘Likewise also the cup after supper. This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.’ ## Lu 22:20.

There is another side to God’s justice at the present time. Only those that are called see God’s justice; the others in the world are blinded. Would our God be just to let those in the world see his justice and plan and not be given a chance to be called?—’In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.’ {# 2Co 4:4} In the next age their eyes shall be opened and they will see how God’s plan works.

Another point that shows God’s justice is that those striving for the prize of the high calling must undergo trials and much polishing. God can not have anyone who does not attain the standard required. (Those who do not quite reach that standard are not lost, but become a part of the great company.) ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ {# 1Pe 4:12} The Lord ‘graciously explains to us how necessary patience will be, that we should not think it strange concerning the fiery trials which must test us, as though some strange thing had happened unto us. On the contrary he points out to us, as we grow in grace and in knowledge and in ability to comprehend—that the glory, honor and immortality to which He has invited the church of this Gospel age, is so high, so grand a position, that those who would share those honors must expect, necessarily, to be severely tried and tested that their absolute loyalty to the Lord and to the principles of his righteousness—justice, truth, love—shall be beyond question.’ (3059, col. 2, par. 3)

The Apostle Paul in speaking to the church is pointing down to the end and fulfillment of the age—’But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.’ {## He 12:22,23} This is the time in the future when everything will be shaken that can be shaken. Only those of the church class will escape this trial because they will all be gathered into their rightful habitation. Not only does it speak of the heavenly kingdom but in the very last part, refers to the ancient worthies. Pastor Russell rewords this as follows, ‘we are coming to the perfect men whose spirits are just.’ These men are just as the bride class is just. The ancient worthies will be perfect human beings. They were just in spirit although they did have earthly imperfections. But they will be perfect men in the beginning of the earthly reign. We can see the justice of God in that all orders of Satan are first to be shaken and then done away with. Man will then have a chance to be just. Another thing that we are to think on is the justice of God during the Millennial Age. This is brought out in ## Isa 35:8, ‘And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.’ How wonderful it will be that those wishing to be just will have no opposition.

The fourth point is ‘Think on things that are pure.’ The Greek word for pure as it is used in # Php 4:8 is ‘hag-nos’’ and means innocent, modest, perfect, or pure. The other two Greek words that are translated pure have a different meaning: ‘tested as genuine’ meaning clean. We can see from this that the word pure used here has to deal with character. The word pure used in # Php 4:8 is used only four times in the New Testament. The idea of pure in character is brought out in # 1Jo 3:3, ‘And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. The word pure as used here describes Jesus. With Jesus as our example we should have pure thoughts, devoid of the slime and sin of this earth. Our thoughts should invigorate and energize our souls in every high and noble work. If we have the proper heart condition, we will shun the contamination that other may have. This would include art and what we read. This type of a mind and heart is above the comprehension of the world in general.

If we have a pure mind and heart we will not wish to associate with any that do not have this attitude. This is probably one of the reasons that we are cautioned in ## Re 18:4—’And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Again we are warned to be on the alert to keep our thoughts pure—’Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.’ {# Ro 16:17,18} This warning is not against those of the world, but to those who profess that they are pure in heart.

Today there is so much impurity in the world that we need to be careful. Therefore we must strain out these impurities. If we do not completely do this, what is left will attack our minds and cause us to receive trials. This is one of the things that probably causes some to leave the truth, and even some may go into second death—‘Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.’ {# Jas 1:15} Is it any wonder that the apostles point out the necessity of guarding our thoughts along pure lines!

The fifth point is ‘Think on things that are lovely.’ The word lovely appears only once in the New Testament. The Greek word translated lovely, means friendly towards or acceptable. Whenever we think about various viewpoints, then is when we show if our minds are filled with things that are pure and lovely. Not only should we think on these, but we should have thoughts that are true, honorable, just and right. We might say that we are in a school to train our minds to think continually on things approved by God. By doing this we will find that we can improve day by day. ‘For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.’ {# 2Co 4:16} We should not wait to be chastened in order to make these corrections, but should continue to do our best. When we come to a place where we need extra polishing, then the Lord will see to it that we receive whatever is necessary for our development. We should always think about what we are doing and how to train our thoughts along proper lines.

Our thoughts should be so pure that we will not cause anyone else to have impure thoughts. In other words, we should not let our minds dwell upon things that are not lovely, and that are not praiseworthy. We can have thoughts that are pure and lovely, they can be honorable; but our minds can be so tied up in our everyday life that there is no room to improve the new creature.

When we speak of thoughts on lovely things, this not only includes flowers, trees, grass, animals, fruits and things of nature, but should also include chiefly those things pertaining to character development. The fruits of grace and of the holy spirit should include meekness, gentleness, patience, long suffering, brotherly kindness and love. We cannot over estimate the power of the mind over the body. We should develop to such a level that those things which are not pure or lovely will become painful and distressing. This should cause us to drop undesirable things from our memories. If we can come to the condition that we think only on the purest of things, we will think of the perfect character of God and of Jesus. We will follow as closely as we can in Christ’s footsteps. We then can remind ourselves of # Php 4:8 where it says, ‘Think on things that are lovely.’

In addition to the one time that lovely appears in the New Testament, it appears three times in the Old Testament. In # Eze 33:32,33 the thought is brought out about God’s character and also shows how the hearts of men can not see the lovely things of God: ‘And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy word, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass (lo, it will come), then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.’ In order to develop a lovely mind we should not think on thoughts that generate anger, hatred, strife, vexation or quarrels. Those who so live will be as a mirror, so that the world can not help but notice.

The sixth point we are to think on is ‘Think on things of good report.’ Here again the Greek word is used only once and means well spoken of, or reputable. Probably one of the finest examples of one of good report is the Apostle Paul. As he said in # 2Co 6:3,7, ‘Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed... by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness, on the right hand and on the left.’ The Apostle Paul here shows us that we have to think on those things that are beneficial to the kingdom. It is through our various experiences that we are able to think on things of good report. Well spoken of means honorable, and honor among the brethren is very important. We should not think of earthly honor. We should make great effort to receive honor from God. The Apostle Paul also received dishonor. The Jewish people created false reports about Paul, trying to bring dishonor to him. Never once, after he accepted Jesus, did Paul bring dishonor to the name of God or of Jesus. Jesus also spoke about his Father in such a way that we know he felt that nothing should be spoken, but a good report. ‘For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.’ # Joh 12:49.

The Jewish people turned against Paul after he was called of the Father. Jesus’ statement to the apostle John {# Joh 15:18,19} applied to Paul and also to us: ‘If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.’ From the teaching of Jesus we learn that we must take a firm stand for the truth in order to have a good report to the heavenly Father. The religious leaders opposed Jesus and Paul. They also oppose us today and will go to any length to oppose the truth. If we have a sound mind and a true heart, the Lord will accept our report as good or reputable.

The creeds of the churches act as barriers to the word of God. Some of us who have been in the nominal system know that if we were to stay in church organizations, we would have to accept their ideas or get out.

As Pastor Russell says on reprint page 5173: ‘The persecutions of today are different from those of any other period of history. Many faithful followers of the Lord are reproved and slandered for their loyalty to the Word of God. Our Lord’s word, however, warrants us in expecting that those who are faithful to him will be evil spoken of, even as he was. With his words before our minds, we should not be surprised at false charges and false insinuations made against his true followers in proportion to their prominence as his servants.’ From this we see that our attitude should be such that we think on those things that are reputable or of good report, and forget what the world says about us.

The seventh point mentioned in # Php 4:8 is ‘Think on things if there be any virtue.’ The Greek word for virtue is ‘ar-et’ay’ and means manliness (valor) or excellence and appears but four times in the New Testament. If we endeavor to lead a virtuous life it means much more than abstaining from evil. It implies living truthfully. In # 2Pe 1:15 we read, ‘And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.’ When we acquire true excellence of character, we will be marked as separate from the world. In other words we should so live that the world can see these moral qualities. The world may not approve of our faith, but cannot help but see the object of our faith. Virtue is one of the strongest in character development and is probably one of the hardest to acquire.

There are many things that we have to think about if there be virtue in us. First, in our business dealings, we must have sterling honesty and be truthful and be fair in all of our dealings. Second, we must have moral integrity in all social relations. Third, we must have clean hands, a pure heart and must bridle our tongue. Those who are moral, and also those that are good, have a right to expect this of us, or any who call themselves Christians. These are all indispensable features of a virtuous character, which will add to our faith. If our hands are clean they will have nothing to do with unrighteous schemes or unsavory projects in business. If we have a pure heart we will not devise evil things or harbor evil thoughts. If we bridle our tongues we will not give over to evil speaking. I would like to quote from Pastor Russell from reprint page 1627: ‘That the promptings of virtue go further than merely these negative features which refuse to do anything which would work ill to a neighbor; they incite not only to passive, but also to active goodness... in benevolent charity which seeks to alleviate suffering; to sympathize with sorrow; to comfort those in distress and to elevate and bless others; to assist all men as I have opportunity.’

The last of the eight points mentioned in # Php 4:8 is ‘Think on these things, if there be any praise.’ The word praise appears many times in the Bible. The Greek word ‘epo-ahee-now’ appears ten times and in every case refers to praise to God, praise to Jesus, and praise to His Words. This would seem to indicate that the praise on which we are to think is of or to our heavenly Father, and does not apply to praise of earthly or worldly things. If we look about us in the world and the conditions that are in it, we wonder how any praise can be shown for it on our part.

Just think what Daniel said in chapter 12, verses 1 and 4: ‘And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the word and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.’ We should think about the ‘running to and fro,’ about the ‘increase of knowledge,’ which has led to the inventions we have today—radios, T.V., the printing press, telephones and books (which are working toward the fall of the human race). Let us read what the psalmist says in # Ps 76:10: ‘Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.’ This is speaking of the final reign here on earth, when men’s minds will be turned so they will praise God, and praises of the governments of the world will cease. We should therefore lift our voices in praise for the blessings received—in our songs and in our prayers.

There is another thought that we should consider when we say ‘think on these things if there be any praise.’ We are not to seek praise for our efforts or for what we do, but we should seek to be praiseworthy. We should think of things that are gentle, faithful and meek. We should not think about the small things that other fail in, but should seek for those things in which we can thank God, especially for those things or experiences we receive for our Christian development. Let us go back and see just what the Greek word ‘ep’-ahee-nos’ means—’commendable things’ —so we can say ‘Think on those things that are commendable.’ A good example of praise to God was by Hezekiah when he had been sick as told in # Isa 38:9-20. This is a wonderful lesson but is too long to read all of it, so let us read the 19th and 20th verses: ‘The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: The father to the children shall make known thy truth. The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.’ I would like to read a short poem from reprint page 3589:

‘Unanswered yet!—the prayers your lips have pleaded

In agony of heart these many years; —

Does faith begin to fail? Is hope departing?

And think you all in vain those falling tears?

Say not the Father hath not heard your prayers:

He’ll answer yet your right desire—sometime, somewhere.’

We have been studying about the eight points in # Php 4:8. But there are other important things that affect our thinking. One of these is our mind—’Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.’ {# Php 1:27} In this verse we see that the mind must be free from slander. We are not to tune our conversation to the same pitch as that of the world. The spirit of the world is to take pleasure in repeating some gossip—not all do this; and we know that as Christians this is not the proper way to think. What a difference in the conversation of the church class and in the conversation of the world. If we wish to repeat scandal we are working with Satan. ‘O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’ {## Mt 12:34} Some might say, ‘Oh, I don’t repeat anything that is not true—what I say is true, so I cannot help it.’ But this is not supposed to be the Christian attitude. Even if some-thing is true, the Christian will not relate it if someone would be injured by so doing, by repeating the slander.

If our mouths are speaking forth heartfelt praise of God, it has to be that we are thinking on these things. It is a very difficult thing to keep human self in subjection to the new mind. So could we not say what Paul said to the Romans (6:13): ‘Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God?’ We may know for certain that, until the new creature gains a thorough victory over the will of the flesh, we will not be winners of the great prize. Again I would like to quote something that Pastor Russell says about Paul in the reprints page 2446, col. 2, par. 4: ‘The Apostle leaves no doubt respecting his meaning, for he distinctly outlines the course and fruitage of heavenly wisdom, saying: ‘The wisdom that is from above is first pure’ (truthful, honest, sincere, not put on, not used as a garment of light to deceive and to cover up selfishness, malice, hatred, strife; it makes no compromise with sin, impurity, in any shape or form). It is peaceable. (So far from being a quarrelsome, bickering disposition, the ‘new mind’ desires peace—it will content earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the saints, but it will not contend simply from a love of contention, a love of strife; on the contrary, the new mind is peaceably inclined, would prefer, so far as possible to yield a non-essential point in a controversy; it loves its opponents and sympathizes with their difficulties.). It is ‘gentle’ (not rude nor course, not rough, in action or word or tone; and if the earthen vessel through which it speaks have these rudenesses by nature ingrained, the ‘new nature’ regrets them, strives against them, and seeks to conquer them; and where they do injury to others is ready, willing, glad to apologize, and to remove the smart.) It is ‘easy to be entreated’ (easy of approach, not haughty, nor disdainful, not hard or cruel; yet it is firm on matters of principle—principles cannot be bended or modified; they belong to God.’ We see from this that we have a lot of thinking to do.

We might say this is ‘Habit of though.’ The thoughts that our minds return to when we least expect it is habit of thought. I would like to compare our thoughts to a compass—if a magnet is placed near a compass, it will draw it away from the true direction. So it is with us in our everyday work—we must concentrate upon our work, the magnet. In order to do our work as a Christian should, we have to think about it and not do our work mechanically. When our work is done, the magnet is removed, so to speak; and if we are a true compass, our thoughts will return to the original and most important thoughts of God and of Christ, and of the worthy saints of the past and the present. ‘Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.’ # Ps 116:7,8 .

In my own case I have often wondered if I truly appreciated the effect that the mind has upon my whole being. ‘Keep thy heart (mind, will) with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ {# Pr 4:23} If these thoughts are deeply engraved upon our memory they will truly be words of wisdom to us. This same idea is to be carried over also into the future kingdom here on earth. We might ask why consider the matter of thinking on these things? I think we will all agree that it has to do with human behavior. There is a power in thought second to no other power in the universe. Whole nations owe their success or failure to thought. Neighborhoods often owe their happiness or sadness to thoughts of their leaders. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he; eat and drink saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ # Pr 23:7.

Our text {# Php 4:8} is addressed to the saints. All of the eight points mentioned are from Greek words that refer to saintly thoughts. The whole epistle of Philippians is addressed to the saints. # Php 1:1: ‘Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.’ This text is addressed to those that are advanced in the truth. We are told that we must have right habits of thought. The Apostle Paul the spokesman to the Gentiles stresses that those who are called are given instructions. The Apostle John also verifies this: ‘Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.’ {# Joh 16:13} The Apostle John states a very important point’When the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.’ The Lord is guiding the called ones, making the called ones ready for the glorious consummation of our hope. A great deal that the Lord said was in dark sayings and the called out ones were the only ones privileged to think on these things. It becomes a condition of the heart, that represents our will, our intention—to keep the truth, and to keep our thoughts centered on God.

If we continue to give out the truth or preach these things, we are following the Master and the apostles. They had a great deal of hope in spiritual things. They trusted in the Word. They had confidence in God’s words. They loved one another. They had joy and peace in their hearts, and when they had tribulations they rejoiced in them. We should realize that the world has enough sorrows, and tears and fears—we should use our strength, our time, our talents, to try to relieve the world of this stress as much as possible. When we have made our calling and election sure, we can help the world much more than we can now. ‘For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. ## Re 7:17.

In closing, we should take to heart what the Apostle Peter said in # 2Pe 3:11, ‘Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.’ God’s likeness certainly can not include any harmful gossip. Our conversation should be considered carefully, and our thoughts should control our tongues. Whatever we store in our mind is what we think about. If the mind is filled with good thoughts, the Lord receives it because He knows the heart. We are given the Bible, the six Studies in the Scriptures and the reprints, plus many other important things. We are well blessed because at no other time in history have we had so much to fill our minds with good things. So can’t we say, as the Apostle Paul said, ‘Think on these things!’

(Strickland-9)