TABLE OF CONTENTS (details)
KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH NECESSARY
A WORTHY EXAMPLE SET
THE APOSTLES STANDING DURING OUR LORDS MINISTRY REJECTION OF KNOWLEDGE A SERIOUS MATTER answers
THE DIVINE PLAN JOURNAL
Volume 22 * November 1997 * Volume 11
"O give thanks unto the LORD...(the God of gods), (the LORD of lords), (the God of heaven): for his mercy endureth forever."Psalm 136:1-3, 26
The Psalmist wrote that it is a good thing to give
thanks unto the LORD, to sing praises unto his name, and to show his lovingkindness in the morning and his faithfulness every night. (Psalm 92:1,2,4) Each fully consecrated Christian gives thanks to the loving heavenly Father many times each day. Many with a measure of faith likewise give thanks to the Almighty Creator on various occasions. There cannot be too many prayers of thanksgiving. THE NATIONAL DAY OF THANKSGIVING
On November 27, 1997, many people in the United States of America will pause for a brief time to offer thanks. However, this national day of thanksgiving is observed mostly as a holiday from work which gives time for seeking pleasure and entertainment. Thanksgiving Day is also a time when many people eat much food. Christians will feast upon the "meat in due season".Matthew 24:45
The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the church of the Thessalonians, wrote: "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:18) Since it is the will of the heavenly Father for his sons and daughters to give thanks for every experience in their journey to the heavenly kingdom, it would be the part of wisdom to follow this advice.
All things (the pleasant as well as the unpleasant experiences) work together for the highest welfare of new creatures in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:28) Each experience of life is permitted to test and prepare the consecrated for a place in the heavenly kingdom. Therefore, the Christian will give thanks to the heavenly Father for the privilege of suffering with Christ, realizing that it is only those who now suffer with the dear Redeemer who will eventually reign with him.II Timothy 2:11,12
The thankful Christian is content with whatever the heavenly Father has supplied for his needs as a new creature. One who is giving thanks will neither murmur nor repine at what the Fathers providences may permit.
Those who are fulfilling their consecration vows will seek to bring praise to their heavenly Father in all experiences of life. Jesus exhorted us to let the light of truth shine before men. Following the instructions by the Master teacher glorifies the heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:15) When one renders thanks to the Almighty God for privileges of declaring the message of "present" truth, other opportunities will be given to show forth the praises of the Father who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. There will be no end to opportunities given to those who are using their means, their talents, and their influence in the service of our heavenly Father and his dear son, King Jesus.
Soon the privilege of giving thanks to the heavenly Father at the "incense altar" in the Holy will come to an end. If one has faithfully crumbled the incense (the prayers of thanksgiving) on the coals of fire (the fiery trials of life), the fragrance resulting will precede his passing under the "second veil". An abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is promised to the more than overcomers. II Peter 1:11
Shortly after the bride of Christ has made herself ready, the Christ (Head and body members) will begin the work of individually blessing all the families of the earth. (Revelation 22:17; Genesis 22:17,18) All who respond to the blessings will, in due time, offer thanks to the heavenly Creator. Every obedient being who has breath will praise the Almighty God for all eternity.Psalm 150:6
"Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks."1 Thessalonians 5:17,18
IN THE beginning, when Adam was in harmony
Later on, God entered into covenant relationship with Abraham, because of his great faith and obedience; and afterwards with his son Isaac; then with his grandson Jacob. Still later, God entered into relationship with the seed of Jacob, under the Law Covenant at Sinai. The Lord had changed the name of Jacob to Israel"a prince with God" (Genesis 32:24-30); and the whole nation of Israel, the descendants of Jacob, were received as Gods people, and were treated as if without sin. They had the privilege of going to Him in prayer. But the sins of the Jewish nation were only typically blotted out from year to year. The blood of bulls and goats could never really take away sin, and the Jews held only the relationship of servants to God.
The Gentiles were altogether without God. They had no privilege of prayer. We come down to the beginning of the Gospel Age and to the case of Cornelius. We read that he was a just man, who gave much alms to the people and prayed always. But his prayers could not be accepted, even after Jesus died. The death of Jesus did not bring Cornelius into covenant relationship with God. But when the seventy symbolic weeks of Jewish favor had been fulfilled, the due time had come for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles. God was then ready to receive him, and He sent an angel to him, who gave him this message from the Lord: "Cornelius, thy prayers and thine alms have come up for a memorial before God." The prayers and the alms of Cornelius had risen up as an incense before the Lord.
Had God not accepted these offerings before? No. They had been noted of God, but had not been received. Gods way of receivingexcept in a limited or typical way previous to the Gospel Ageis by certain definite means which He has appointedthrough an Advocate in this Age, and through a Mediator in the next. "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me," says Jesus. Even when the due time had arrived, Cornelius could not come until God sent him word how to proceed.
The angel of the Lord said to Cornelius: "Send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter, who shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." (Acts 11:13,14) Those words were necessary to his savingto the bringing of him into covenant relationship with God. Cornelius, being obedient, sent for Simon Peter, who gave him the necessary instruction for drawing nigh unto God through Jesus. And unless we come to the Father through Christ, our prayers would not be received any more than those of Cornelius had been.
What St. Peter told Cornelius was to the effect that God had provided a great Sin-Offering; that Jesus had tasted death for every man; that now, in advance of dealing with the world, God is taking out a Little Flock, to be joined with Christ in the blessing of the world. When Cornelius heard the good Message, he believed with all his heart; and likewise those who were with him. Doubtless he had heard of Jesus before, but now he understood the matter. He had been in the right condition of heart all along. He had been praying and fasting. But even so he could not be accepted of God except through Jesus. He must have Christ as his Advocate.
But what does it mean to have Jesus as our Advocate? It means that first, we must accept Him as our Ransom from sin and death. Next, He tells us, "If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." By merely believing that Jesus died, and that He was holy, etc., no one can become His disciple. "The devils also believe, and tremble." But justification to life comes when we receive the Lord on His terms. Then He becomes our Advocate.
No one has a right to expect an answer to prayer except one who has become a disciple of Christ through full consecration. And whosoever cometh to the Father by Him shall in no wise be cast out. (John 6:37) There is but one exception to this rule, and this is a class of minors, children lacking the full age of responsibility and of comprehension of these matters, one or both of whose parents are disciples of Christ. That age of responsibility would varyin some it might be from twelve to fifteen years of age, and in some even later. But whoever reaches the point of full comprehension and responsibility, and does not consecrate himself to the Lord, would lose the privilege of prayer. In the case, then, of a minor child, either of whose parents is consecrated, he would have a right to look for answers to his prayers to God.
The Lord does not hinder any one from bowing the knee. Savages do so right along, but their prayers do not ascend up to God. The Jews were at one time an exception as regards prayer, but they were a typical people. That arrangement, however, was temporary, and has passed away. But soon they will again have the privilege of prayer, through the great Mediator; and all the world may join them in this privilege. Jesus will not be the Advocate for the world. This arrangement is only for the Church of the present Age.OUR LIVES TO BE A PRAYER
Prayer seems to be the natural attitude of the human mind toward the Almighty. Even the heathens have a disposition to pray. Their fears, their hopes, all lead them to appeal to some great Power beyond themselves. But the people of God, who know of His Wisdom, Power and Love, and who have met the conditions of acceptable prayer, are alone authorized to come to the Throne of Grace. We realize what a blessing it is to have access to God, access to His presenceto have the ear of the Almighty Ruler of the Universe. We know that with the emperors and kings of earth it is very difficult to gain a hearing; and that with people of great prominence it is not easy to secure an audience. Yet the great God has made provision that His people may come to Him and make their petitions known.
The unrepentant sinner cannot come to God. But Divine Wisdom has made arrangement by which the sinner can get rid of his sin, and can then come to Him in prayer and communion. The Jews had typical sacrifices, a typical Atonement Day, and a typical forgiveness of sins. But the forgiveness of our sins, through the merit of Christs sacrifice, is actual, and brings us to the place of acceptableness with the Father. He is pleased to have His children come to Him in prayer. And it is our glad privilege to offer Him worship and praisethe homage of our hearts.
We would make a distinction between worship and prayer. Worship is a bowing down, an acknowledgment of the majesty of God, an act of reverence, of adoration. But prayer is the offering of a petition. So when the Lords people are encouraged in His Word to come to Him in prayer, it is with the understanding that they are informed before they come as to what is pleasing to God for them to request. We have an example given of what a proper prayer would be in the one which our Lord taught His disciples.
The Holy Spirit is the blessing most to be sought. This Spirit of God may be possessed in a greater or a lesser measure. We are given a measure of the Spirit when we are accepted as the disciples of Christ; and that flame of love there started is to become a consuming power in our lives. It is to burn out everything contrary to God, that our life may be a burning and shining light. In proportion as we recognize that we are deficient in the Spirit of righteousness, the Spirit of Truth, in that same proportion we should be importunate in prayer. Whoever realizes his need, and knows the Source from which he can obtain the needed supply, will come to the Throne of Heavenly Favor. We are not to neglect the duties and responsibilities of life in order to spend much time each day upon our knees, but our entire life is to be a ceaseless prayer.
From the time we become the Lords children, we should strive more and more to attain the character-likeness to Christ, and we should continue in prayer and not faint. We should seek for more and more of the Spirit of the Lord, and should see that we fulfil the conditions by which we may obtain the filling of the Spirit. In this sense of the word, we should pray without ceasing, continuing to present the petition until we receive what we desire. But we shall not obtain the fullness of our desire until we are changed into the higher life, into the perfection of the new nature, in the resurrection. Then we shall pray no more. Then we shall be fully satisfied. Prayer will be swallowed up of praise.
In the prayer taught us by our Lord, we first give honor to God, recognizing Him as our Father, acknowledging His greatness, and expressing the desire that His Name be hallowed. We remember the Kingdom that is promised; and we tell Him of our desire of heart for that Kingdom to come. We pray that His will may be fully done on earth. This implies that we have given up our own will, that we wish to have Gods will wholly done in our mortal bodies. In this prayer there is a brief mention of our daily temporal needs: "Give us this day our daily bread"no stipulation of fruits and vegetables, of delicacies, etc.but simply our necessities for the day. We ask no morewe wish no more. Then we pray that our trespasses may be forgiven, even as we forgive. Finally comes the petition for our protection from evil influences. This expresses the appreciation of the fact that there are temptations from those with whom we have contact, and from the powers of evilthe powers of the airand from our own flesh; and that we need Divine aid. The petitions of this prayer, however, are very brief.BECOMING MODESTY IN PRAYER
It would seem as though many have a wrong conception of prayer. We hear some people trying to tell the Lord things that He knows better than they. It is always improper, even in our intercourse with men, to tell a person better educated than ourselves anything about that which he knows far better than we. Jesus and the Apostles never undertook to give any instructions to the Father regarding His Plan, so far as we know. And when any one attempts to give the Lord instructions, he deceives neither the Lord nor others who hear; for He knows and they know that such a one is not addressing God, but the people. We have before mentioned an announcement in a Boston paper that on a certain occasion "Rev. So-and-so delivered the most beautiful prayer ever offered to a Boston audience."
Undoubtedly if we had the right conception of prayerthe Bible conceptionour prayers in public would be very brief. The Scriptures are the only criterion, the only guide. They give us no account of any instance where the Lords saints offered lengthy prayers in public. Praying in an unknown tongue would also be valueless, the Apostle Paul tells us, unless some one present interpret the same; and if one prays in an incoherent manner, so that he cannot be understood by those who hear, prayer might as well be offered in an unknown tongue. "How shall any say, Amen, at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? While this shows that the Lord wishes us to take into consideration the hearers, we are not to pray to them, but are to turn the thoughts of all toward God, to an appreciation of His Goodness, of His Wisdom, Love and Mercy.
Leaving out all thought of teaching the people at that time, we should seek to direct all in a reverent manner to the Throne of Heavenly Grace, in thought, that they may humble themselves before God. That which Christian people sometimes attempt to do in prayer should be done in preaching. According to the declaration of the Word, it has not pleased God to save by prayer those who believe, but by preaching. (Romans 10:14; 1 Corinthians 1:21) This does not mean necessarily public speaking, but includes also more private proclamation of the Truth and also preaching by the printed page. We are to follow the direction of the Word in all ways.
While we thus speak of public prayer, and in respect to the propriety of brevity, and of the examples of Scripture concerning this, we would not give the thought that one should be limited in his private devotions. He who was perfect set us an example of private prayer. Our Lord sometimes prayed all night. But we presume that with the most of us it would be better not to do this; for we would be weaker for service the next day. In our weakness and imperfection we are probably not able to appreciate the peculiar position of our Lord. We would have nothing that we could say to the Lord which would keep us all night in prayer, except that which would be repetition. And our Master said: "Use not vain repetition""Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him." We are to ask rather for the condition of heart whereby we may be able to receive whatever He shall see fit to send, that we may get a blessing out of each of the Lords providences.
So, then, summing up the matter, our petitions in public should be modeled considerably after the sample our Lord gave His disciplesa brief expression of earnest desire for the coming of Gods Kingdom, an acknowledgment of sin, a request for Divine forgiveness and help and supply of our needs, and a rendering of worship and praise. We think this should be about the range of our private devotions also, as a rule, respecting ourselves. It is eminently appropriate, however, that we remember one another at the Throne of Grace in private, and in a general way in public. But evidently the instruction of Scripture is that we should not seek to use prayer as a means to gain earthly favors, or tell the Lord what we wish done, or to be heard of men, but that we are to put first the spiritual things, the things for which we have been instructed to pray.
When Jesus said to His disciples, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him," He was setting before them a glorious standard in respect to the Heavenly Father. But later on, this standard was very largely lost. During the Dark Ages the God of Love was made to appear anything but loving and kind, and as having no real interest in the majority of His creatures. It was made to appear that the few in whom He had an interest were those who were relentless, cruel and vicious toward all outside their pale. How terribly our God has been maligned by those who have claimed to be His special representatives!
How differently was He depicted by the Son who knew Him so well! Hear Him: "Be ye like unto your Father which is in Heaven; for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." When the Apostles asked Jesus whether they should call fire to come down from Heaven upon the Samaritans who refused to sell them bread, what was the Masters reply? "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of! The Son of Man came not to destroy mens lives, but to save them." And He was the Image of the Father, and came not to do His own will.
Man is in a sadly fallen condition and needs to be restored to the image of God, to the likeness of God, to the condition of love, mercy and sympathy of which God is the embodiment. Yet, notwithstanding our fallen condition, parents love to give good gifts to their children. What parent, if his child should ask for a fish, would give him a serpent? Or if he should ask for bread, would give him a stone? And as we have received these traits from the Lord, and still have them to a considerable extent even in our blemished condition, we may form some idea of how He who is the Perfect One, the Infinite One, would delight to give good gifts to His children"How much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" And His very best things are the spiritual things.
We are to remember that our Lord when on earth was in the fullest sense the Representative of the Father in the flesh. He was indeed "God manifest in the flesh." And those who were of the right attitude of heart were able to see the character of the Father in the Son. Those who believed on Jesus were accepted and treated in many respects as though they had been already fully received of the Father. The Scriptures, however, declare that the Holy Spirit had not yet come. We see that the Spirit could not be given in begetting power until Jesus had died, and had entered into the presence of God to make reconciliation for the sins of the Church. Forty days after the resurrection of Christ, He ascended to Heaven to present His merit, imputing it on behalf of all who would become His disciples during the Gospel Age, the period of the High Calling.
Even though the Holy Spirit had not yet been bestowed, Jesus told His disciples that they might pray, "Our Father." This was in view of the condition of sonship into which they were so soon to be ushered. God is not the Father of any others than those who come to Him in His appointed waythrough His Son as the Ransom-price, having made a full surrender of themselves and their all to God. While our Lord was still in the flesh, His true followers were sons in a prospective sense. And yet, after the Masters death and resurrection, He told them to tarry at Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on High. The Father would defer the answer to some of their prayers. He would not give them the blessing just at the time it was asked. There might be some good reason for withholding it until some future timeas in the granting of the Holy Spirit in begetting. Yet they were to hold themselves in the proper attitude of faith, that they might be ready for the blessing when it should come from on High.
Their prayer might properly have been: "Heavenly Father, we have learned that at the proper time Thou wilt give us the Holy Spirit. We perceive that Thou hast already given Thy Spirit to Jesus our Master; that at the time of His baptism He received an unction from on High. And so we wait for the Holy Spiritwe wait to receive this unction, this blessing from Thee." And those who tarried in the upper room after the ascension of the Lord, received at Pentecost this very blessing, the Holy Spiritin its due time.
If we come down to the present, and inquire what we may pray for, the Lord answers through His Word that we may not pray except upon these same terms; namely, faith in His Son as our Redeemer, and a full dedication, devotion, of ourselves to walk in the footsteps of the Masterour blessed Exemplar. No man can come to the Father but by Him. All such will be accepted, up to the required number of the Elect. It would, therefore, not be right to encourage any to come to the Father in prayer until they have become members of His family by a full consecration.
In the case of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, which we have cited in this article, we have seen that he was a just man, a good man. But he did not belong to the Jewish nation, to whom God had given His Law. The only way in which Cornelius could have come into Gods favor prior to His appointed timethree and a half years after the crosswas to have become a Jewish proselyte. But when it became chronologically due time for the Gospel to go to the Gentiles, this good man was notified, and gladly accepted the conditions and became a son of God, through faith in Christ. He received the begetting and anointing of the Holy Spirit, just as the Jews had previously received them. All this shows us that God has a particular course marked out by which any may become His children. Unless they come in the appropriate way and in the appropriate time, none will be accepted as sons of the Highest.
Gods dealing with Cornelius would indicate that in the case of any who now come to God, and pray to Him, not knowing the appointed way, their prayers would, like those of Cornelius, come up as a memorial before God. As the Lord took notice of the prayers of Cornelius and the desires of his heart to worship and serve God, so we may suppose that He would take notice now of prayers and desires to come close to Him. He might not send some one like Peter to give them instruction at this time. That would depend upon His decision as to whether this would be the course of wisdom, as to whether such a one was suited to His present purpose. But any prayers offered in sincerity would not pass unnoticed, but would receive reward in due time, whether now or later.
Suppose that one were living in a heathen land where Christ was not known, and suppose such a one was feeling after God and praying according to his light. The Lord could not accept him as His child under those conditions; but He might, if His Wisdom approved, guide that honest seeker to a knowledge of Christ, whether it would come through tracts in the mail, through a sermon, or through meeting one of the Lords ambassadors who could communicate with him in his own tongue. We are sure that every hungry soul will receive the light and the knowledge necessary to his salvation in the Lords own good time. After hearing of God, and of the manifestation of His love in Christ, it remains for each individual to accept or to reject the Message. If he fails or refuses to make consecration to God when he receives the light, no prayer he would offer would be accepted.
We read that the Heavenly Father will give good gifts to those who ask Him; that is, He will give that which would be good for them. We are not to dictate to Him what His blessings are to be. We are not to ask for all manner of earthly things. In the case of the Jews, they asked chiefly for the earthly blessings; because Heavenly blessings were not promised them. But we who come into the relationship of sons of God are to pray for what He has specifically promised usthe Holy Spirit. And our Father in Heaven will give us those things which are best to fit and prepare us for the Heavenly Kingdom.
The Lord will give whatever temporal blessings are to the best interests of the New Creature. Everything that He would give will be a good gift. We do not always know what would be best for us. A parent dealing with a child might find it necessary at certain times to give medicine instead of food. The parent gives this for the good of the child. So with our Heavenly Father. Sometimes He gives us tests of faith, tests of loyalty, tests of love. All these experiences are designed to develop in us strength of character, and to thereby fit us for further and more advanced blessings.
The Father deals with us as New Creatures in Christ. If, for instance, some of His children are becoming overcharged with the blessings or cares of this life, God might give to such some kind of a purgative as respects earthly things. Such a one might break a leg or have some other earthly calamitysomething that would work out for his good as a New Creature. If the Lords consecrated people would all come to the point where their chief desire, their highest aspiration, the burden of all their prayers, would be that they might be filled with the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of a sound mind, that they might know and do His will, what a great blessing it would bring! It is the will of the Lord that His children should have in large measure this chiefest of all blessings, but He grants it only on certain conditions. He withholds it until they learn to appreciate its value and to so earnestly desire it that they will apply themselves diligently to meet these conditions, and will continue in supplication until their importunity shall bring down the answer.
The Apostle Paul exhorts the saints that they "pray always, with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, watching thereunto with all perseverance." These words do not signify that we should be always upon our knees or continually uttering a prayer. But we should never cease to pray, and our prayers should be in the spiritearnest, sincere. The children of God are not to "say prayers," they are to pray. There is much formal prayer much saying of prayerswhich do not get higher than the head of the one who repeats the words. The Scriptures speak of this as drawing near to God with the lips when the heart is far from Him. It would be better that we should not approach the Lord at all than that we should do so in an improper manner.
It is a most wonderful privilege to draw near the great Creator and Lord of Heaven and earth; and we should come in the spirit of reverence and devotion. Our Lord declared that the Father seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in Truth. We must come only in the name of Christ. He is the only Way of approach. And we must come thoughtfully and earnestly. We should not think of uttering a single word that we do not mean and have not thought upon. We believe a great many have done themselves injury by going through a form of words in a mere formalistic manner. This is not prayer. True prayer is the language of the heart. Therefore the greater our earnestness, the more acceptable the prayer will be, and the greater blessing shall we receive.
We are not to come to God without faith and without an earnest desire for His blessing. We are to enter into the spirit of our petition, that the Lord may see the earnestness of our heart in the matter. There seems to be a difference between the thought of prayer and that of thanksgiving. Prayer, as we have said, is the offering of petition. None may come to the Lord with recognition, except those who have come into Christ. Others are strangers and aliens. But any one may express thanks to God or render worship, adoration, homage.
There is a difference also between prayer and supplication. Prayer would be any petition, great or small; whereas supplication would mean a special desire for a thingan earnest entreaty. Whether it be ordinary prayer or be supplicationan intense form of prayerwe should always come in the spirit, with appreciation of the fact that we are coming into the presence of the great Jehovah, and that it is a privilege accorded to only a very few at this time.
And we are to "watch thereunto, with all perseverance." If we really believe that the Lord has indicated that we should pray, and that it is His will to give us the things we need, and above all His Holy Spirit, then we should be alert to note when we receive the answer to our petitions. If we pay no attention to our prayers after they are uttered, never look to see whether they are being answered, this would indicate that we have not really appreciated our need. It would seem that this is the reason why God does not answer many of our prayers more quickly. We should learn to watch for the answers to our prayers, and thus learn the lesson of appreciation and gratitude to Him as we realize that He has granted us our request.
We are, then, to pray with perseverance, not watching merely for a few hours for the fulfilment, nor merely for a day or a week. The Lord might see best to defer the fulfilment of our petition, either to test our faith or to bring us into a better condition to receive the blessing. Perhaps we have all had these experiences, and were thus more hungry for the answer when it came. We are to be sure that the Lord is never indifferent to the pleading of His children, and will pursue the course which is best for us, just as would a faithful teacher with his pupil, and as would a loving parent with his child. Our Father in Heaven wishes to give us His best things, and will not withhold anything that is really good. (Psalm 84:11) But He requires sometimes that we shall wait for a considerable time. At other times, there may be a speedy answer to our petitions.
Whether we are on our knees or in the busy walks of life our hearts should go out continually to the Lord for His guidance in all our affairs and experiences, that we may serve Him in a manner that will be pleasing and acceptable to Him, that we may be shielded from temptations that without His aid would be beyond our endurance, and that He will in His own due time deliver us from all evil and imperfection and grant us a place in His Heavenly Kingdom. Dear brethren, let us constantly put into practise the injunction of our Master, "Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."Mark 14:38
But although the Scriptures enjoin upon us persistency in prayer, and the parable of The Importunate Widow also teaches this, nothing in the Word of God, in our judgment, warrants us in doing what some people call "wrestling with God in prayer." We believe that our God is willing to give us the things that are best for us, and anything that God is not willing to give us we should not desire. We should not strive to induce the Lord to do anything that He is unwilling to do, but should wish that only His will be done. At the time when Jacob wrestled with the angel, we would understand that he did the right and proper thing. Any of us in the same position would have done well if we had followed his course. That was a rare occasion. Jacob was returning to his home for the first time since he had fled to Padan-Aram from his brother Esau, and he feared that Esau might still seek his life. And now the Lord had manifested Himself to Jacob in the form of this angel. The angel could have broken away, but he permitted Jacob to get into that earnest attitude where he said: "I will not let thee go unless thou bless me!"
But we do not need to wrestle with God for His special blessing. We already have this blessing. We are not servants crying for a crumb. The Lord has put upon us His best robe; He has given us His Holy Spirit. But He has promised us certain things conditional upon our asking, and He wishes us to continue to come to Him in faith, in simple, earnest prayernot wrestling in prayer.
The world is full of woe and wretchedness because of sin. And our hearts cry out, How long, O Lord, how long until Thou wilt deliver Thy people and establish righteousness in the earth? So we pray day by day, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth!" Should we grow tired of this? No; for the Lord has bidden us to continue to wish for it, to pray for it.
The Kingdom will come! And the Lord wishes us to have this thoughtThy Kingdom is coming! To give up praying would be to give up our faith. Continue to hope, continue to believe, continue to pray without ceasing! Continue to say: "Thy Kingdom come!" Continue to long for the time when that Kingdom will bless all the families of the earth. This is very different from wrestling, according to our view of the meaning of that word. This is importunity, this is persistency, this is continuance. And in everything we are to give thanks. But we would not want to hasten the Lords time one minute. Even though we pray, "Thy Kingdom come," this does not mean that we wish to have the Kingdom come before the Fathers time. But we whose eyes are anointed know that the time will not tarry long, but that it is nigh.
Whatever may be our natural inclinations as regards constancy and definiteness in prayer, we must take our instructions from the Word of God. We must overcome our natural tendencies along this line. Let us as true, obedient children conform our views and our conduct to the words of counsel which our Father has given us. Let us remember the promise of the Master, "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."John 16:24 [R5832]
"No man can serve two masters...Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."Matthew 6:24
THE THOUGHT which our Lord apparently
One of the deplorable conditions of the present time is that from birth selfishness is almost forced upon one. Man learns to give his time, his influence, for selfish purposes and projects. He fails to see that God is the One who should be served at any cost. But men were born and shapen in iniquity. They are servants of Sin, slaves of Sin. But our Lord Jesus pointed out that through the knowledge of Himself and compliance with His terms of discipleship, there came a release from this slavery, an opportunity to pass over to the side of righteousness.
However, an opportunity to take a stand for right came before our Lords day. As a knowledge of God was granted to any people, they had an opportunity to assert themselves on the side of right. At the time when the Law Covenant was given, God set forth the principles of righteousness in that Law. The whole nation of Israel accepted God as their Savior, and entered into a Covenant with Him that they would be His loyal people. Yet after they had done this, the influences of evil in their flesh became manifest. They sought to be the servants of God and at the same time of self, dividing their interests between Gods affairs and the affairs of self.
Jesus pointed out this particular fact, and told the people of His day that it was impossible to perform this half-hearted servicethey could not serve two masters, for nobody would be pleased. If they were to serve Mammon, serve the Present Order of things, then they could not be pleasing to God. If they wished to serve God, serve righteousness, to whatever extent they did this they would be displeasing to the world; they must be servants of either the one or the other; the two services combined would be impossible.
The example of our Lord Jesus when He came to earth, was in harmony with this position; for He fully renounced the world and made absolute consecration of His life to God and His service. Thus He set us an example. All who have the same spirit should walk in His steps. This was in accordance with the Jewish Law: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy being, with all thy strength." Any one who kept this Law would not be serving self; for his service would be all for God.
Those who are following in the Masters footsteps are all for God, or, as we sometimes sing, "All for Jesus." As we follow the example of Jesus, and walk as He walked, we are rendering whole-hearted service to God. The result of serving this Master will be a great reward. "Him hath God highly exalted, and given Him a name above every name." And the Church has been invited to follow Him. So we should serve God in everything, with all our heart, mind, soul, strength. This is our commission. This we are to do to the point of sacrificing all earthly interests and of laying down our lives for the brethren. This course, followed faithfully to the end, will bring us to the same reward that Jesus receivedglory, honor, immortality.
It may be asked how this text comports with the Apostles suggestion that one who was bound when he received the Truth should not seek to be free. (1 Corinthians 7:20-22) These words of St. Paul express the thought that when the Truth finds us it does not necessarily change our earthly relationships; that if a man were a slave, for instance, and the Truth of God reached him, he should not rebel against his earthly master. He is not to think of this new relationship to God as changing the color of his skin or his earthly relationship. The Apostle is speaking of the body and not the heart when he says, "Seek not to be loosed." Our bodies may be enslaved for one reason or another. It might be a bondage like that of olden timescaptured service. Or it might be that we had become the servants of those who were willing to pay for our services. While we are not to do anything contrary to the Divine Law or to our consciences, yet we are to serve our earthly masters faithfully. They have purchased our time, or a large measure of it; and we must render to them conscientiously y all that is theirs by contract. If one is a servant in a military way, or in any other way, he should be faithful.
This will not interfere with ones service to God; for our Lord has instructed us to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars." Whoever is faithful in this is doing the will of his Heavenly Master. There would be no conflict, but full harmony. The only conflict would be if the master on earth should wish us to do something contrary to the commands of our Master in Heaven. We are to suffer anything rather than do what our Heavenly Lord would not approve, and thus defile our consciences.
Looking into the future, we see that the present master, ruler, of this Old Order is soon to be bound,... and that the new Ruler, the new Master of the world, is to be The ChristJesus and His Church. We ask ourselves how this principle will apply then. The answer is that there will be only the one Master to obey. There will be no rendering unto Caesar then. All will be made fully aware that this Master is the only one who has the power, the right to command. The knowledge of Gods glory shall fill the whole earth the knowledge of Gods Righteousness, the knowledge of Gods Power, the knowledge of Gods Wisdom, the knowledge of Gods Love. Whatever He commands is the right thing, as every one will then learn and fully understand.
In the Scriptures Satan is represented as the deceiver of mankind. He puts light for darkness and darkness for light. Gods proposition through Christ is that during the thousand years of the Millennial Reign, the whole world will be brought to the true knowledge of God, an accurate knowledge. Deception will be no longer permitted. The world will see what righteousness really is, what its rewards really are, and how desirable it is. As a consequence, the majority will then, we think, be glad to give heed to the one Master. The exceptions are represented as having the same disposition as Satan; and whoever will have that disposition will be destroyed. When a person comes to know the right and when the right is made reasonable, and possible for him, and he then prefers to do wrong rather than right, let him die the death. This will be the sentence. Such will be counted "the wicked," the incorrigible.
The word "wicked" from the Scriptural standpoint, means those who do wrong intentionally. So all the wicked, knowing the wrong to be wrong, and doing it wilfully and purposely, shall die the Second Death. In due time none shall be left alive except those who serve the one true Master. The difficulty with mankind at present is ignorance, which God has not yet lifted from the world. He has permitted the ignorance and darkness of the present time that the world may learn its lesson of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and be the better prepared for the lessons that are to follow. "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine unto them." But these blinded minds shall soon have the obstructions removed that they may see.
Those who have become children of the light, who have accepted the Lord Jesus and become His disciples, and who now see clearly the Divine will and Plan, have much more responsibility than those who have never seen. We also have greater prospects of blessing not only the present joy, comfort, peace and knowledge, but additionally the hope of making our "calling and election sure," of attaining to joint-heirship with the Master. God will leave the scattering of the darkness for Christ to do. God has let the world go on its way, meantime providing the Savior, the DelivererThe Christwho will soon take control of the whole world. He will cause the light, the Truth, to shine out, to flood the earth with knowledge and blessing. Then with the true light shining everywhere, there will be no excuse for anybody who will not walk in it; each one must then choose finally whether or not he will serve the true Master.[R5667]
A LITTLE TALK BY THE WAY
"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."Philippians 2:2-5
THE CHURCH at Philippi, as is well known,
was the first Ecclesia established in Europe. It had a very small and humble beginning. Philippi was one of the principal cities of Macedonia. (Acts 16:9-14,20,21) In seeking an opportunity for service for the Lord in this place, the Apostle went on the Sabbath day down to a river bank, where a few women habitually resorted for prayer; and he spoke to them the Word of God. Dr. McLaren, commenting upon the small beginning of the Church at Philippi, says: "Not blowing of trumpets, not beating of drums of any sort; a few women and some worn-out travelers talking together by the banks of the rushing river. How scornfully the great folk of Philippi would have smiled, if they had been told that the chief title of their city to be remembered at all would be the presence in it of that one insignificant Jew, and his letter to the Church founded on that morning!"
The general character of the Philippian Church is revealed in St. Pauls Epistle, written to them at a later period. We find in it nothing like correction or reproof, as we note in most of the Epistles written by the Apostle to other Churches. His Philippian letter is a particularly beautiful and loving one, and indicates a very close bond of sympathy between him and this Church. On four different occasions that are recorded, this Church rendered practical sympathy and service to St. Paul, by financial assistance, as well as by words of comfort and cheer. Twice he received gifts from them for his support while he was at Thessalonica. Again, while he was at Corinth, they ministered to him. When he was a prisoner at Rome this loving Church did not forget the Apostle. It was their messenger, Epaphroditus, who brought to him the last touching memorial of their love.
Epaphroditus, it will be remembered, was the brother who was brought "nigh unto death," for the Gospels sakebecause of his faithful service in the assistance of the Apostle in the work of the Lord when there seemed little help coming from other sources. Upon his recovery from this severe illness, the Apostle Paul sent by him to the Church at Philippi this beautiful letter known to us as the Epistle to the Philippians. See Philippians 2:25-28; 4:14-19; 2 Corinthians 11:9.THE APOSTLES LOVING COUNSEL
The other Churches may possibly have ministered to the Apostle also; and we know that this was true in the case of certain individuals, among whom were Aquila and Priscilla. But we have no record of any Church that ministered to St. Paul as did the Church at Philippi. Apparently other Churches missed a great opportunity. We may be sure that while the Apostle urged the Churches to contribute to the relief of the poor saints at Jerusalem, etc., he made no request for personal assistance, however much he may have been in need, or however much he might have appreciated any small manifestation of their love for him and the cause of the Lord whom he served.
The lesson respecting love and humility which we find in the passage of Scripture under consideration does not intimate that these graces were lacking among the Philippians; but it indicates that the Apostle recognized the great importance of these fruits of the Spirit, and the need for their continual cultivation, in order to a continued growth in the likeness of Christ. The opening words of the chapter are an exhortation to brotherly love and affection among themselves. He says, "If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any bowels and mercies." The bowels were formerly considered the seat of the tender emotions, pity, compassion of heart. It would seem that the Apostle would put the Church at Philippi to the test, would let them answer as to whether these graces appertain to all who are New Creatures in Christas if he would say, "If you have found these blessed fruits to be a part of the character-likeness of Christ, let these be more and more developed in you all."
Then, as though they had assented to this proposition, had conceded that there is comfort, love, fellowship, sympathy, consolation, in Christ toward one another, he adds: You can fill my joy to the full by being thus minded toward each other, by having love one toward another, by having one mind, or purpose, or will, as a Churchthe Lords will. How grand an expression this is! His joy would be full; not by knowing of their mere professions, but by knowing that they loved, sympathized with, and consoled one another, that they had the proper fellowship as members of the Body of Christ. These things filled his joy more full than anything else that he could know concerning them. And he knew that these conditions would be most pleasing in the sight of their Lord and Master. The Apostle John emphasizes the same thought saying, "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"1 John 4:20
To this endthat such a spirit of perfect unity and fellowship might obtain amongst the disciples at Philippithe Apostle exhorts that each one cultivate the grace of humility; that in every matter each shall take heed that "nothing be done through strife or vainglory," that self-laudation and strivings for preeminence be thoroughly put away as the greatest enemies to the Spirit of the Lord and to the attainment of His blessing. He urged that each should have that lowliness of mind which could see the good qualities and talents of the fellow members of the Body; and that they should appreciate these qualities as, in some respects at least, superior to their own.
Lowliness of mind does not necessarily signify an ignorance of any talents or graces which we may ourselves possess; but so long as the Church is in the present imperfect, or tabernacle, condition, we may never expect to find all the abilities, all the talents, all the graces of the Holy Spirit in their highest development, in any one person. So, then, each may, if he be lowly of mind, see in others of the brethren certain desirable qualities or graces superior to his own; and these he should delight to recognize and to esteem their possessors accordingly.
For each to look merely on his own things, his own interest or welfare or comfort, or his own talents, and to ignore or forget the interests and comfort or talents of others, would be a manifestation of selfishness and a dearth of the Spirit of Christ, which is a spirit of love, consideration and generosity. In proportion as we are filled with the Holy Spirit of love, we shall find ourselves interested in the welfare and happiness of others. This was the mind, the disposition, which was in our dear Redeemer when He walked the earth, a disposition which He so wonderfully manifested; and we are sure that He has not since changed. And if we would be like Him we must develop in our characters these traits. If we are to be ultimately of the Bride class in glory, we must become copies of "Gods dear Son."
The Apostle Paul not only holds up the Lord Jesus before us as the great Example of proper humility, self-abnegation and love, of a forgetfulness of self in the interests of others, but he also holds up before our vision the result, the reward, of our Lord. He reminds us of the high exaltation of the Master by the Father, that we also may be encouraged, and may realize that, if we are faithful in following the footsteps of our Redeemer, in sacrificing the advantages of the present, in crucifying self, in laboring as far as we are able in the advancement of the Cause of God and His Truth, in developing the fruits of the Holy Spirit, we may expect also to be glorified with Him, to share His name and His Throne of glory and His great work throughout the eternal future, as His Body, His Bride, His joint-heir.
In verses 12-17, following our text, the Apostle pays a beautiful tribute to the Church at Philippi, and expresses his great love for them. How he reveals his confidence in their loyalty! And how glad he was to pour out his own life on their behalf (see margin v. 17) that they might attain unto the fulness of the likeness of Christ! He lovingly exhorts, "Do all things without murmurings and disputings." In following the Master in the narrow way, we are not to murmur as we go, finding fault with its difficulties and its narrowness; nor are we to dispute respecting it, nor to seek to have any other way than that which Divine providence marks out before us. On the contrary, we are to realize and believe that the Lord knows exactly what experiences are necessary to our development in the School of Christ; that He is supervising our experiences for our highest good and His glory; that He is not forgetful of His promises to those who are His, but will, as He has promised, cause "all things [that come to us in the line of faithfulness] to work together for good" to us. And even our blunders or stumblings, if properly received, will be overruled for our blessing.
We are glad to see this disposition of trust and loyalty in so many of the Lords dear saints. Thus following the Master, dearly beloved, we shall "be sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of life." Thus shall those who are over you in the Lord "rejoice in the Day of Christ [when our change shall come] that we have not run in vain, neither labored in vain." [R5810]
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INTERESTING QUESTIONS Question: I noticed an article in ... which says that Judas died the Second Death. Can a man die the Second Death until he has passed from death unto life, until he has been spirit-begotten, until he has once been in Christ Jesus and free from condemnation?
Judas and all the other Apostles occupied a peculiar place or position, different from other Jews of their time, because they were in contact with our Lord Jesus, the Great Light. They saw that Light, and were responsible in proportion as they saw it. For any of them to sin as Judas did against that Light, would be a very reprehensible thing. True, Judas had not been begotten again of the Holy Spirit; for spirit-begetting was not possible until Pentecost. But this does not prove that he could not die the Second Death. On the contrary, we know that during the Millennial Age there will be some who will not receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit, but who will die the Second Deaththe death that will be destruction. Their responsibility will lie in the fact that they will be brought to a knowledge of the Truth, with the opportunities which it will give them of coming into full harmony with the Lord. If they respond to those opportunities, they may attain everlasting life; if they do not respond, they will die the Second Death.
Such an opportunity was given to Judas. For a long time he responded favorably; but afterwards he rejected the blessings that were his portion, and ignominiously proved himself a traitor to the One who was his Benefactor. Jesus was to be the Judge in the matter; and we have His words, calling Judas the "son of perdition." (John 17:12) He said that it would have been better for that man if he had never been born. (Matthew 26:24) This would not be true if Judas were to have an opportunity during the Millennial Age. The Scriptures say that he went to his own place. (Acts 1:25) His own place was not Heaven; for it was not open to anybody yet; his own place was not Restitution; for that has not yet come. His own place was the only place then openthe Second Death.PRESENT STANDING OF THE CHURCH
The Ransom-price, the Ransom-sacrifice of Jesus, has not yet even been paid over, or applied, for the whole world of mankind. If it were, the whole world, redeemed by that payment, would be in His hands. The world has not yet been in our Lords hands. The time, however, we believe is near when through the strength of that Sacrifice, He will ask the Father, and the Father will give Him "the heathen for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession." (Psalm 2:8) That will be the time when He shall have paid over the Ransom-price. He laid down the Ransom-price when He died, but did not apply it. The world is still under condemnation. Only the Church has escaped that condemnation thus far. The Church escapes from that condition of condemnation by the imputation of the benefits of that Ransom which is not yet paid over. If the Church could have the merit of Christ imputed to her down through the Gospel Age since Pentecost, the same merit, we believe, could be imputed before Pentecost; for our Lord had made the consecration of Himself, and, so far as the type goes, He had already slain the bullock. That is, the consecration of our Lord at Jordan represented the killing of the bullock in the Atonement Day type; it was the giving up of His earthly life. This was done when He was thirty years of age, before He had called these disciples. It was then that the Father recognized and accepted His Sacrifice; for He gave our Lord the begetting of the Holy Spirit. If that Sacrifice had not been accepted then the Father would not have begotten Him of the Spirit.THE APOSTLES STANDING DURING OUR LORDS MINISTRY
The Holy Spirit was given as an evidence that what Jesus had given to the Father was accepted. What He did at Calvary was merely the finishing of that work which He began at Jordan. Our Lord treats the matter from this standpoint, and in discoursing with His disciples tells them that they might pray to God as their Father. No Jew had ever done this before. The Jews thought that Jesus claim to be the Son of God was blasphemy, and took up stones to stone Him because of this. (John 10:31-33) Whoever said, "Our Father," was making himself to be a son of God. No Jew, so far as we have any record throughout the Scriptures, ever made use of such expressions; they were a House of Servants. Then again, Jesus addressed His followers, His disciples, as though they had been accepted of the Father. He was the Fathers Agent, and He received them in harmony with the Fathers arrangement. He declared that "No man cometh unto Me except the Father draw him"; and, "No man is able to pluck them out of My Fathers hand." He made these statements before they had received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This was treating them as though they had the full initiation into the Divine Family. Our Lord declared that "he that believeth in Me hath everlasting life." (John 6:47) All these disciples had believed on the Son. As long as they would hold Him in the Scriptural mannerhold to Him by faith, according to the terms of this Gospel Age, faith and consecrationthey might count that they had the life promised to His faithful followers. If any would abandon Him, as Judas did, of course he would pass back again from the imputed life to the death condition.
Judas was a New Creature in the reckoned, or imputed, sense of the word in which all the disciples were said to have passed from death unto life. It was to the new life that they had passed, not to Restitution life; for the Lord said to these same disciples that they who had followed Him would sit upon twelve thrones (Matthew 19:28), thereby implying that they had passed to that life which would be the condition of the enthroned. Speaking of them, then, from the standpoint of the New Creation, this was possible because in our Lords contract unto death, which He entered into by baptism, He really gave up all of His earthly rights. It was possible in the tentative form, the Father purposing that not many days after Jesus ascension they would be endued with power from on High.Luke 24:49.
Hebrews 6:4-8 does indeed refer to the Church, but it does not enumerate the only conditions on which any will die the Second Death. All of the Church are liable to this condemnation. If they would sin wilfully, if they would fall away so as to deny the very Foundation of Gods favorthe Ransom-sacrifice of Jesusthey would die the Second Death. This Scripture does not say that there are no other conditions on which the Second Death will be inflicted. We see that the Second Death will be inflicted on some in the Millennial Age. [R5683]
Question: When is one justified to life?
Answer:Justification to life follows, never precedes, consecration. Consecration is the devotion of ones being to the Lord, the surrender of ones will and all to God. In connection with the Church, it signifies not only the giving of ones self to God, but also His acceptance of the one thus offering himself. As it is written, "Sanctify [consecrate] yourselves, and I will sanctify [consecrate] you." During the Gospel Age it has been our privilege to offer ourselves to God through Christ, who, as the great High Priest, accepts these offerings until the predestinated number is complete. Whoever is thus justified and accepted by Him is acceptable to the Father; and to such a one comes the Holy Spirit of the Father, begetting him to the Divine nature. [R5775]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. The __________________is the torch of civilization and liberty.
2. The ________________is the oldest book in existence.
3. The one prominent character of the Bible is _______________.
4. Some of the writers of the New Testament who were personal acquaintances of Jesus are _____________________, ___________________, ______________ and _________________.
5. The writers of the New Testament had ______________ motives. 2 Timothy 1:3; 3:15
6. The writers of the Old Testament are notable for their fidelity to the ________. Hebrews 11:32,39,40
7. If we have faith that the Bible is a revelation of his will and plan we will ___________ it. Acts 17:11
8. Good men will tell the ____________. Acts 20:27
9. A pure fountain will not give forth __________ waters. James 3:11
10. The Hebrew scriptures contain _________, the __________, and __________________.
WEEKLY MANNA TEXTS
(Thursday Texts from Daily Heavenly Manna)
not only a reasonable thing, but an offering far too small far less than what we would like to render to Him who has manifested such compassion and grace toward us. And we should feel thus, even if there were no rewards attached to such a consecration of ourselves. But inasmuch as God has attached great rewards and blessings, we should feel not only that a refusal to accept would be an indication of non-appreciation of divine mercy but an indication also of weakness of mind, of judgment, which is unable to balance the trifling and transitory pleasures of self-will for a few short years, with an eternity of joy and blessing and glory, in harmony with the Lord. Z. 00-170 R2642:5
OUR petitions, our requests, our cries to the
Lord, therefore, should be for the holiness of heart, for the filling of His Spirit, for the spiritual food, refreshment, strength; and as for the natural things, He knoweth the way we take and what would be to our best interests as New Creatures. We are to leave this to Him: He would not be pleased to see us importuning Him for things which He did not give us, for to do so would not be an exemplification of faith in Him, but the reversean exemplification of doubt, a manifestation of fear that he was forgetting or neglecting His promise to give us the things needful. Z. 04-90 R3338:6
"If ye do these things, ye shall never fall." 2 Peter 1:10
THE contingency is not in the doing of these
things perfectly, and regardless of the righteousness of Christ to cover our transgressions and compensate for our daily shortcomings; but if, added to our faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ, we have cultivated all these graces to the extent of our ability, we shall not fall. When we have done all that we can do, we are still unprofitable servants, not daring to trust in our own righeousness, but in the ample robe which is ours by faith in Christ, while, with consistent "diligence," we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that the righteousness of Christ is only applied to such as desire to forsake sin and pursue that "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." Z. 97-148 R2155:6
WE are to have the spirit of prayer in all that
we say and do: that is to say, our hearts should be going out continually to the lord for guidance in all of lifes affairs, that we may do with our might what our hands find to do, in a manner that will be acceptable to Him, and that we may be shielded by Him from temptation that would otherwise be beyond our endurance, and that we may be ultimately delivered from the evil one and have a place in our Lords Kingdom. Brethren and sisters, let us more and more remember and put in practice these words of our Lord, "Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." Z. 01-80 R2775:5
"BEHOLD, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sonsof God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."I John 3:1-3
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