Present Truth Articles Online
“Unto the church… which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:1) I pray that you are doing well. The month of February will be a busy one for my family and me, as we are going to be away from home visiting people. Read our list of “Upcoming Meetings”on page 11 for more details about this trip. We hope to see you at one of these meetings. Please keep us in your prayers. The March issue may be a little late to enable us to share with you some of our experiences on the road.
In this Issue
by Alonzo T. Jones
by Curtis Kline
by Lynnford Beachy
by Ellet J. Waggoner
by Lynnford Beachy
by David Sims
The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection (Part 1)
by Alonzo T. Jones
(We are beginning a series of studies on the Gods plan of salvation as revealed in the sanctuary. We pray they will be a blessing to you. Editor)
In the manifestation of Christ the Saviour it is revealed that He must appear in the three offices of prophet, priest, and king.
Of Him as prophet it was written in the days of Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18, 19) And this thought was continued in the succeeding scriptures until His coming.
Of Him as priest it was written in the days of David: “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4) This thought was also continued in the Scriptures, not only until His coming, but after His coming.
Of Him as king it was written in the days of David: Yet have I set [‘anointed,’ margin] my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” (Psalm 2:6) And this thought, likewise, was continued in all the scriptures afterward unto His coming, after His coming, and unto the end of the Book.
Thus the Scriptures abundantly present Him in the three offices of prophet, priest, and king.
This threefold truth is generally recognized by all who have acquaintance with the Scriptures, but above this there is the truth which seems to be not so well known—that He is not all three of these at the same time. The three offices are successive. He is prophet first, then after that He is priest, and after that He is king.
He was “that Prophet” when He came into the world, as that “Teacher come from God,” the Word made flesh and dwelling among us, “full of grace and truth.” (Acts 3:19-23) But He was not then a priest, nor would He be a priest if He were even yet on earth, for it is written, “If He were on earth, He should not be a priest.” (Hebrews 8:4) But, having finished His work in His prophetic office on earth, and having ascended to heaven at the right hand of the throne of God, He is now and there our “great High Priest” who “ever liveth to make intercession for us” (Hebrews 4:14; 7:25), as it is written: “He shall be a priest upon His [Father’s] throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zechariah 6:13)
As He was not that Priest when He was on earth as that Prophet, so now He is not that King when He is in heaven as that Priest. True, He is king in the sense and in the fact that He is upon His Father’s throne, and thus He is the kingly priest and the priestly king after the order of Melchizedek, who, though priest of the Most High God, was also King of Salem, which is King of peace. (He- brews 7:1, 2) But this is not the kingly office and throne that is referred to and that is contemplated in the prophecy and the promise of His specific office as king.
The kingly office of the promise and the prophecy is that He shall be King upon “the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:32), in perpetuation of the kingdom of God upon this earth. This kingly office is the restoration and the perpetuation, in Him, of the diadem, the crown, and the throne of David, which was discontinued when, because of the profanity and wickedness of the king and the people of Judah and Israel, they were taken captive to Babylon, when it was declared: “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.” (Ezekiel 21:25-27)
Thus and at that time the throne, the diadem, and the crown of the kingdom of David was discontinued “until He come whose right it is,” when it will be given Him. And He whose right it is, is only Christ, “the Son of David.” And this “coming” was not His first coming when He came in His humiliation, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; but it is His second coming, when He comes in His glory as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16), when His kingdom shall break in pieces and consume all the kingdoms of earth and shall occupy the whole earth and shall stand forever.
It is true that when He was born into the world, a babe in Bethlehem, He was born King and was then and has been ever since King by right. But it is equally true that this kingly office, diadem, crown, and throne of the prophecy and promise, He did not then take and has not yet taken and will not take until He comes again. Then it will be that He will take to Himself His great power upon this earth, and will reign fully and truly in all the splendor of His kingly office and glory. For in the Scripture it is portrayed that after “the judgment was set, and the books were opened,” one like the Son of man came to the Ancient of days, “and there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13, 14) Then it is that He shall indeed take “the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:32, 33)
Thus it is plain that in the contemplation of the scripture, in the contemplation of the promise and the prophecy, as to His three offices of prophet, priest, and king, these offices are successive, and not all nor even any two of them at the same time. He came first as “that Prophet;” He is now that Priest, and will be that King when He comes again. He finished His work as “that Prophet” before He became that Priest; and He finishes His work as that Priest before He will become that King.
And as He was, and as He is, and as He is to be, so our consideration of Him must be.
That is to say: When He was in the world as that Prophet, that is what the people were then to consider Him; and, as concerning that time, that is what we are now to consider Him. But they at that time could not consider Him as that Priest, nor, as concerning Him in that time, can we consider Him as that Priest; for when He was on earth, He was not a priest.
But when that time was past, He became Priest. He is now Priest. He is now just as truly Priest as, when He was on earth, He was that Prophet. And in His office and work of priest we are now to consider Him just as truly, just as thoroughly, and just as constantly that Priest, as when He was on earth; they and we must consider Him as that Prophet.
And when He comes again in His glory and in the majesty of His kingdom, and upon the throne of His father David, then we shall consider Him as that King, which He will then indeed be. But not until then can we truly consider Him in His kingly office, as He in that kingship and kingly office will be.
In His kingly office we can now truly contemplate Him as only that which He is yet to be. In His prophetic office we can now contemplate Him only as that which He has been. But in His priesthood we must now consider Him as that which He now is, for only that is what He now is. That is the office in which alone He is now manifested, and that is the office in which alone we can now actually consider Him in His own person and procedure.
Not only are His three offices of prophet, priest, and king successive, but they are successive for a purpose. And they are successive for a purpose in the exact order of the succession as given—prophet, priest, and king. His office as prophet was preparatory and essential to His office as priest; and His offices of prophet and priest, in order, are preparatory to His office as king.
And to us the consideration of Him in these offices in their order is essential.
We must consider Him in His office as prophet, not only in order that we may be taught by Him who spake as never man spake, but also that we shall be able properly to consider Him in His office as priest.
And we must consider Him in His office as priest, not only that we may have the infinite benefit of His priesthood, but also that we shall be prepared for what we are to be. For it is written: “They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)
And having considered Him in His office of prophet as preparatory to our properly considering Him in His office as priest, it is essential that we consider Him in His office as priest in order that we shall be able to consider Him in His office as king; that is, in order that we shall be with Him there and reign with Him there. For even of us it is written: “The saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever,” and “they shall reign forever and ever.” (Daniel 7:18; Revelation 22:5)
His priesthood being the present office and work of Christ, this having been His office and work ever since His ascension to heaven, Christ in His priesthood is the all-important study for all Christians, as well as for all other people.
Chapter 1—“Such an High Priest”
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Hebrews 8:1, 2)
This is the summing up of the evidence of the high priesthood of Christ presented in the first seven chapters of Hebrews. The “sum” thus presented is not particularly that we have an High Priest but that “we have such an High Priest.” “Such” signifies “of that kind; of a like kind or degree,”—“the same as previously mentioned or specified; not another or different.”
That is to say: In the preceding part (the first seven chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrews) there have been specified certain things concerning Christ as High Priest, certain qualifications by which He became High Priest, or certain things which are becoming to Him as an High Priest, which are summed up in this text: “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an High Priest.”
It is necessary, therefore, to an understanding of this scripture that the previous portion of this epistle shall be reviewed to see what is the true weight and import of this word, “such an High Priest.” The whole of the seventh chapter is devoted to the discussion of this priesthood. The sixth chapter closes with the thought of this priesthood. The fifth chapter is almost wholly devoted to the same thought. The fourth chapter closes with it, and the fourth chapter is but a continuation of the third chapter, which begins with an exhortation to “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;” and this as the conclusion from what had already been presented. The second chapter closes with the thought of His being “a merciful and faithful High Priest” and this also as the conclusion from what has preceded in the first and second chapters, for though they are two chapters the subject is but one.
This sketch shows plainly that in the first seven chapters of Hebrews the one great thought over all is the priesthood of Christ and that the truths presented, whatever the thought or the form may be, are all simply the presentation in different ways of the great truth of this priesthood, all of which is finally summed up in the words: “We have such an High Priest.”
Therefore, in discovering the true weight and import of this expression, “such an High Priest,” it is necessary to begin with the very first words of the book of Hebrews and follow the thought straight through to the summing up, bearing constantly in mind that the one transcendent thought in all that is presented is “such an High Priest” and that in all that is said the one great purpose is to show to mankind that we have “such an High Priest.” However rich and full may be the truths in themselves, concerning Christ, which are contained in the successive statements, it must be constantly borne in mind that these truths— however rich, however full—are all expressed with the one great aim of showing that we have “such an High Priest.” And in studying these truths as they are presented in the epistle, they must be held as subordinate and tributary to the great truth over all that is the “sum,”—“we have such an High Priest.”
In the second chapter of Hebrews, as the conclusion of the argument there presented, it is written: “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God.” (Hebrews 2:17) In this it is declared that Christ’s condescension, His likeness to mankind, His being made flesh and dwelling amongst men, was necessary to His becoming “a merciful and faithful High Priest.” But in order to know the measure of His condescension and what is the real meaning of His place in the flesh as the Son of man and man, it is necessary to know what was first the measure of His exaltation as the Son of God and God, and this is the subject of the first chapter.
The condescension of Christ, the position of Christ, and the nature of Christ as He was in the flesh in the world are given in the second chapter of Hebrews more fully than in any other one place in the Scriptures. But this is in the second chapter. The first chapter precedes it. Therefore the truth and the thought presented in the first chapter are essentially precedent to the second chapter. The first chapter must be fully understood in order to be able to follow the thought and understand the truth in the second chapter.
In the first chapter of Hebrews, the exaltation, the position, and the nature of Christ as He was in heaven before He came to the world are more fully given than in any other single portion of the Scriptures. Therefore it is certain that an understanding of the position and nature of Christ as He was in heaven is essential to a proper understanding of His position and nature as He was on earth. And since it behooved Him to be what He was on earth, in order that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest, it is essential to know what He was in heaven, for this is essential precedent to what He was on earth and is therefore an essential part of the evidence that is summed up in the expression, “We have such an High Priest.”
Chapter 2—Christ as God
What, then, is the thought concerning Christ in the first chapter of Hebrews?
First of all there is introduced “God”—God the Father—as the speaker to men, who “in time past spake unto the fathers by the prophets” and who “hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1, 2)
Thus is introduced Christ the Son of God. Then of Him and the Father it is written: “Whom He [the Father] hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He [the Father] made the worlds.” Thus, as preliminary to His introduction and our consideration of Him as High Priest, Christ the Son of God is introduced as being with God as Creator and as being the active, vivifying Word in the creation—“by whom also He [God] made the worlds.” (Verse 2)
Next, of the Son of God Himself we read: “Who being the brightness of His [God’s] glory, and the express image of His [God’s] person [“the very impress of His substance,” margin R.V.], and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Verse 3)
This tells us that in heaven the nature of Christ was the nature of God, that He in His person, in His substance, is the very impress, the very character, of the substance of God. That is to say that in heaven as He was before He came to the world the nature of Christ was in very substance the nature of God.
Therefore it is further written of Him that He was “made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Verse 4) This more excellent name is the name “God,” which, in the eighth verse, is given by the Father to the Son: “Unto the Son He [God] saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.”
Thus, He is “so much” better than the angels as God is better than the angels. And it is because of this that He has that more excellent name—the name expressing only what He is in His very nature.
And this name “He hath by inheritance.” It is not a name that was bestowed but a name that is inherited.
Now it lies in the nature of things, as an everlasting truth, that the only name any person can possibly inherit is his father’s name. This name, then, of Christ’s, which is more excellent than that of the angels, is the name of His Father, and His Father’s name is God. The Son’s name, therefore, which He has by inheritance, is God. And this name, which is more excellent than that of the angels, is His because he is “so much better than the angels.” That name being God, He is “so much better than the angels” as God is better than the angels.
Next, His position and nature, as better than that of the angels, is dwelt upon: “For unto which of the angels said He [the Father] at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?” (Verse 5) This holds the thought of the more excellent name spoken of in the previous verse. For He, being the Son of God—God being His Father, thus hath “by inheritance” the name of His Father, which is God and which is so much more excellent than the name of the angels as God is better than they.
This is dwelt upon yet further: “And again, when He bringeth in the first begotten into the world, He saith, and let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Verse 6) Thus He is so much better than the angels that He is worshiped by the angels: and this according to the will of God, because He is, in His nature, God.
This thought of the mighty contrast between Christ and the angels is dwelt upon yet further: “Of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever [“from eternity to eternity,” German translation].” (Verse 8)
And again, “A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Verses 8, 9)
And yet again, the Father, in speaking to the Son, says: “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands: they shall perish; but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou are the same, and Thy years shall not fail.” (Verses 10-12)
Note the contrasts here and in them read the nature of Christ. The heavens shall perish, but He remains. The heavens shall wax old, but His years shall not fail. The heavens shall be changed, but He is the same. This shows that He is God, of the nature of God.
Yet more of this contrast between Christ and the angels: “To which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Verses 13, 14)
Thus, in the first chapter of Hebrews Christ is revealed higher than the angels, as God; and as much higher than the angels as is God, because He is God. In the first chapter of Hebrews Christ is revealed as God, of the name of God, because He is of the nature of God. And so entirely is His nature of the nature of God that it is the very impress of the substance of God.
This is Christ the Saviour, Spirit of Spirit, substance of substance, of God.
And this it is essential to know in the first chapter of Hebrews, in order
to know what is His nature revealed in the second chapter of Hebrews as
(To be continued)
(This article was taken from pages 3-16 of the book, The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, by Alonzo T. Jones. Some editing has been done for this publication. Editor)
Starvation in Kenya
by Lynnford Beachy
A severe famine has hit Kenya, and parts of Tanzania and Uganda, where many people are dying of starvation. Pastor Maurice Anyango, who operates an orphanage in Kenya, visited us here in West Virginia, and some of you met him at our camp meeting in June 2005.
On December 28, Pastor Maurice wrote the following letter to the sponsors of his orphanage:
“Please remove the names of the following children from the waiting list because they are all dead. They have died of starvation.
1) Loyce Auma No. 202 in the waiting list 2) Onesmus Okoth No. 199 in the waiting list. 3) Wycliffe Otieno No. 190 in the waiting list. 4) Austine Oduor No. 203 in the waiting list. [The next day we received word that two more had also died. Editor]
“Right now I am in Kisii waiting for Pastor Nyamora to help me conduct burial services. He will bury one child and I will bury two tomorrow. I hope you are still reading the newspapers. Already the death toll is twenty-seven in northeastern Kenya.
“The food distribution by the government is too political. Some areas are ignored and people are dying. It is so painful. Some of our children have decided to forfeit their lunch meal and for the last two days we have been inviting about eighty- seven children to come for lunch. It is terrible this time. Only God knows how many more will die from starvation.
“I do not know if at all there is anybody who can help save some. I just don’t know.
“God bless you abundantly.
The drought this year is said to be the worst since 1984, according to Joseph Mukabana, director of Kenya’s Meteorological Department. The BBC headlines read: “Hunger leads to deaths in Kenya” (December 22, 2005); “Food crisis ‘worsens’ in Kenya” (January 5, 2006); “Hunger and misery ravage Kenya” (January 10, 2006); More Kenyans face food shortages.” (January 17, 2006— These articles can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk.)
Thousands of Kenyans are pastoralists, who depend on their cattle, goats and sheep for survival. Some are trying to drive their animals into Uganda to graze, where the drought has not been as severe. Thousands of animals are dying daily, and Pastor reported even dogs dying from thirst in the streets.
Since there are so few wells, those that are available have either dried up, or have been compromised by the many people who are trying to access them. As well, crops are withering in the fields.
If you have access to the internet, please access www.allafrica.com and read some of the horrible predictions of what is to come. Should the spring rainy season be sparse, the famine could continue through 2006. They are certainly going to need our help in order to survive.
Unfortunately, much of the funds donated to help these people is used to support charity organizations, and some is diverted to crooked government officials in these other countries, so only a small percentage of the help actually reaches the people on the streets who need it.
By God’s grace, there is a way to assure that 100% of the funds donated can be used to feed these starving people in Kenya. We can send funds directly to Pastor Maurice, who can purchase food and distribute it to the needy all around him. If you would like to help these people, contact Esther McDaniel, PO Box 647, Pineville, WV 24801, phone: 304-294-8424, e-mail: email@example.com.
Waggoner on Romans The Gospel in Pauls Great Letter (Part 7) by Ellet J. Waggoner
(We are continuing a series of articles commenting on Pauls epistle to the Romans. We pray that they will be a blessing to you. Editor)
“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:12-16)
Without Law, and in the Law—Although it is quite certain that when the Lord comes the second time there will be no people on the earth who have not heard the preaching of the word, it is a fact that thousands and millions have died without ever having seen or heard of the Bible. They are the ones to whom the apostle refers as “without law.” Yet it is plainly set forth that they are not absolutely without law, but only without the written law. The fact that they have some knowledge of the law is stated in the verses following, and is proved by the fact that they are counted sinners; but “sin is not imputed where there is no law.” (Romans 5:13)
All Sin Punished—Whether we have had the written law or not, all are alike counted sinners. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” (Romans 1:18) The heathen are declared to be without excuse; and if they who have not the written law are without excuse, they who have the law in their hands are of course far more inexcusable. God is just. “We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.” (Romans 2:2) Yet all who sin, whether in the law or without the law, are to be punished.
This is sufficient to show that “without law” does not mean without any knowledge of God. The first chapter settles that. The trouble with too many who read this statement that all shall be punished, and who think that it does not seem just, is that they forget, or are ignorant of, what is contained in the first chapter. It is a great mistake to take any single verse of the Bible and separate it from its connection.
They Shall Perish—That is declared to be the fate of the wicked. The apostle Peter tells us that the world is “reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:7) What is meant by “perish?” It means just the opposite of living forever. On one occasion some people told Jesus of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices, and Jesus replied, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-3) Again we read, “The wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs; they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.” (Psalm 37:20) Therefore the statement that those who sin shall perish means that they shall die, that they shall be utterly extinct, that “they shall be as though they had not been.” (Obadiah 1:16)
Strict Impartiality—That means strict justice. Sinners will be punished, whether they live in heathen lands or in so-called Christian lands. But no one will be judged by that of which he knew nothing. God does not punish men for violation of a law of which they knew nothing, nor does he hold them accountable for light that they have not had. It is very plain that those who have the law must know many things that are not known to those who do not have it in written form. All men have light enough to know that they are sinners; but the written word gives those who have it a knowledge of many particulars of which those are ignorant who do not have it.
Therefore God in his justice does not hold the latter accountable for many things for which the former will be judged. “As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.” (Romans 2:12) The man who has rejected light, whether it be little or much, is obviously guilty.
The Root of Sin—To some it seems unjust that those who have had but comparatively little light should suffer death for their sins, the same as those who have sinned against the greatest light. Their difficulty arises from the fact that they do not consider what sin really is. God alone is good. (Luke 18:19) He is the source of goodness. Whatever goodness ever appears in man is only the working of God in him.
But he is also the source of life. With him is the fountain of life. (Psalm 36:9) God’s life is righteousness; therefore there can be no righteousness apart from the life of God. Now it is evident that if a man rejects God, he effectually cuts himself off from life. It matters not that he has had but comparatively little knowledge of God, if he rejects that light he rejects God, and thus rejects life. And by rejecting the little that he has seen of God, he shows that he would reject God in any case. Sin separates us from God; and that means death. (Isaiah 59:2)
“Thou Art the Man”—Romans 2:17-24
“Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.” (Romans 2:17-24)
A Professed Jew—Are professed Christians to throw away this portion of the book of Romans as not applicable to them, since it is addressed to a professed Jew? By no means. Professed Christians are the very ones who are meant by the apostle. Read the description: Thou “restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.”
Whom does he address? Every one who professes to know the Lord, no matter by what name he is called; every one who thinks himself fully qualified to instruct others in the way of the Lord.
Called a Jew—It should not be overlooked as a trifling matter that the apostle does not say, “Behold, thou art a Jew,” but, “Behold, thou art called a Jew.” People are not always what they are called, nor what they call themselves. Beginning with the seventeenth verse the apostle settles the question of who are Jews. Before we have finished the chapter it will seem that by using the word “called” he meant to intimate that the one addressed and described in the following verses is not really a Jew, and is not considered so by the Lord.
Claiming to Be Jews—In Revelation 2:9 we read, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” And again, “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” (Revelation 3:9) From this we see that to be a Jew indeed is so high an honor that many will falsely claim it. Yet the people called Jews have been held in contempt by the greater part of the world, for many hundred years.
At no time and in no part of the world, since the New Testament was written, has it ever been an object for anybody to claim that he was a Jew, in the common acceptation of the term. The Jews as a class have never been in such honor that it would benefit one’s prospects to be called one. But it has been and is very often an advantage for a man to be known as a Christian, and very many have falsely made the claim, in order to better their business prospects.
Jew and Christian—It is not straining the text at all to say that when “Jew” is used in these verses, it means what is now known as “Christian.” This will be apparent if we consider what a real Jew is. We may quote enough to show that from the beginning a true Jew was one who believed in Christ. Of the head of the race the Lord Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56) He believed in the Lord, and it was counted to him for righteousness; but righteousness comes only through the Lord Jesus. Moses, the leader of the Jews, esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” (Hebrews 11:26) The rebellious Jews in the wilderness tempted and rejected Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:9) When Christ came in the flesh, it was “his own” that received him not. (John 1:11) And to crown all, Christ said that no one could believe the writings of Moses unless he believed on him. (John 5:46, 47) Therefore it is evident that no one is or ever has been a real Jew unless he believes in Christ. He who is not a Jew indeed is of “the synagogue of Satan.”
Salvation Is of the Jews—Jesus said to the woman of Samaria at the well of Jacob, “Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22) Christ himself was “made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3), and was therefore a Jew; and there is no other name than his “under heaven… whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
No other people on earth, besides the Jews, have ever had so high a name. No other people have been so highly favored of God. “For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” (Deuteronomy 4:7, 8)
Resting in the Law—As stated in the verse last quoted, the Jews had committed to them the most perfect law in the universe, God’s own. It was called “the testimony,” because it was for a witness against them. They were not taught that they could get righteousness out of it, although it was perfect, but the contrary. Because it was so perfect, and they were sinners, it could have nothing but condemnation for them. It was designed to drive them to Christ, in whom alone they could find the perfect righteousness that the law requires. “The law worketh wrath” (Romans 4:15), and Christ alone saves from wrath. But they “rested in the law,” and therefore rested in sin. They “trusted in themselves that they were righteous.” (Luke 18:9) They found no righteousness, “because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.” (Romans 9:31, 32)
Boasting of God—This is something different from making one’s boast in the Lord. (Psalm 34:2) Instead of rejoicing in the Lord’s salvation, the Jews boasted over their superior knowledge of God. They did indeed have more than others, but they had nothing that they had not received, yet they boasted as though they had not received it. They glorified themselves, rather than God, for the knowledge that they had; and therefore they put themselves in the condition of the heathen who “when they knew God, glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations.” Whatever reader is inclined to censure the ancient Jews for their vain boasting, let him remember how he himself has often felt on comparing himself with the inhabitants of heathen countries, and with the “lowest class” in his own land.
Gods Will His Law—The apostle says that the Jew knows the will of God, because he is instructed out of the law. This is sufficient to show that the law of God is his will. Indeed, no argument should be needed on this point. The will of any government is expressed in its law. Where there is an absolute ruler, his will is always law. God is an absolute ruler, although not an arbitrary one, and as his will is the sole rule of right, it follows that his will is law. But his law is summed up in the Ten Commandments; therefore the Ten Commandments contain a summary statement of the will of God.
The Form of Knowledge and Truth—Although the Ten Commandments contain a statement of the will of God, which is the perfection of wisdom and truth, they are only a statement, and not the thing itself, just the same as a picture of a house is not a house, although it may be a perfect picture. Mere words written in a book or graven in stone have no life; but we know that the law of God is life everlasting. Only in Christ can the living law be found, since he is the only manifestation of the Godhead to man.
Whoever has the life of Christ dwelling in him, has the perfect law of God manifest in his life. But he who has only the letter of the law, and not Christ, has only the form of knowledge and of truth. Thus, the law is often rightly said to be a photograph of the character of God. But a photograph or other picture is only the shadow of the reality; it is not the very substance. He who has Christ has both the form and the substance, since one can not have a thing without also possessing its form. But he who has only the statement of the truth, without Christ who alone is the Truth has the form of godliness without the power thereof.
(To be continued)
(This article was taken from a series of articles printed in The Signs of the Times from October, 1895 through September, 1896. Some editing has been done for this publication. Editor)
Listens to the Preacher
You know Lizy, I went to church today.
The preacher said, no need to work just pray.
And he said God will do it all for you.
“Believe” he said as I sat in the pew.
I was truly amazed you see Lizy,
He made it seem so simple and easy,
One day I am a sinner so dirty,
and the next day I am a saint so pirtty,
Just be in Christ and thats all that matters,
All things else are just given on a platter,
You think it can be that easy dear wife?
A sinner can be a saint with no strife,
The kingdom of heaven is like a field,
In which the harvest of the crop did yield.
And many other illustrations like.
He showed the farm and the Christian just like.
Now my dear wife just what Ill do I know,
I will no more work and sweat, dig and hoe,
no I shall never more the field to plow,
Plant the seed nor even water the cow,
And come harvest time my beautiful crop,
Ill not with sickle even need to chop,
For God will do all from start to finish,
I’ll rest in Christ, He’ll all the work finish.
Note: David Sims will be holding meetings in central Arkansas, along with Fred Skucy, on Sabbath, March 4, 2006. If you are interested in attending, please contact Fred, 501-745-5659, or John Mark Brown, 501-681-8370.
Fundamental Principles of Health
by Curtis Kline
Exercise (Part 1)
I’ve been receiving much correspondence and I would like to clarify a few issues. Physical healing and spiritual healing have many similarities. When we look at spiritual healing please notice that the born-again experience isn’t a modification of the old man or nature. It is a new birth or a re-creation, if you will, of the spiritual nature. God is not only the Creator. He is also the Re-Creator. If He didn’t have re-creative ability there would be no hope for man to bear the perfect image of His Maker again. The reason I bring this point out is that many who are sick often look to modify or adjust their lifestyle while continuing to violate some of the laws of health, and they expect to be healed.
Now, please remember that we are dealing with eight laws of health. (See the last few issues of Present Truth for more details.) Although each one of these laws are powerful in and of themselves, let us understand that it takes compliance with all eight in order to be made and kept physically whole. Just as James says that if you break one of the Ten Commandments, which deal with spiritual laws, you have broken them all, so it is the same with health laws. (James 2:10) A violation of any one will eventually and surely work its woeful results. Many who contact me are sick, but they want to take an herb or maybe make a little change and try to somehow reap the results that only come by total submission to Gods eight laws of health. In doing this we show that we truly dont have an understanding of Gods health laws or maybe even the plan of salvation, for that matter. For the Bible says, If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Having said that, let’s move on to health law #2, which is exercise. Exercise is very important to the health and well being of us all. Optimal health is dependant on exercise and motion. If you tie your arm in a sling and do not use it for a month, it will come out much weaker than before. There are millions of chemical reactions constantly taking place in the body and they are all dependant in one way or another on movement. Exercise is beneficial in many ways. It allows you to breathe deeper than normal, thus filling the lungs to a greater capacity and saturating the whole system with life-giving oxygen. It increases the heart rate, allowing the blood to circulate more rapidly through the system, which clears out the arteries and brings greater supplies of oxygen and nutrition to the cells. It burns energy which allows the cells to become “hungry,” if you will. This is important especially for those with blood sugar level problems such as diabetes. If the cells are not hungry for glucose they will not have as many receptor sites on the cell membrane. If these sites are not present the cell becomes what is called insulin resistant. The insulin can only escort the glucose into the cell through these receptor sites. If they are not present on the membrane of the cell, the glucose doesn’t get into the cell and the blood sugar levels go higher and also fluctuate more rapidly. The theory behind the problem is simply that the body is not using enough glucose to support what it is making.
The right kind of exercise is also very important for the lymphatic system. Without exercise the lymphatic system can become sluggish and the proper fluids and hormones are not transported as they should be, which, in turn, can cause many health problems.
Exercise is also extremely important in the healing process. When the body is in a state of disease or sickness, it needs the constant ability to bring nutrients to the cells and also to eliminate waste from the system. Without exercise every day these processes take place more slowly in the body and make it either difficult or impossible for the healing threshold to be broken.
These are just a few examples of the importance of quality exercise. You could fill books and books with information on the benefits and responsibility for all to exercise. The bottom line is that God made us to be active. God saw it necessary after man’s fall to increase our labor for the health of the body and to slow down the degenerative processes that take place in the body on a day to day basis as a result of us living in a fallen world. This is one of the reasons why He cursed the ground for man’s sake. It was in order to increase our labor and level of exercise. Next month we will look at what types of exercise we should be doing and we will try and clear up some myths in this area. Until then, may God bless you all with abundant health. (3 John 1:2)
(The above article was provided by Curtis Kline, Director of Ministry of Healing and Restoration, Canvas, WV. For more in-depth information he can be contacted at (304) 872-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. While we believe the principles in this article can be helpful, we are not responsible for any negative effects resulting from the use of remedies or recommendations herein. Use them at your own risk. Editor)
Something for the Young at Heart
This month we are continuing a series of crossword Bible studies that are based on the “These Last Days” Bible Lessons. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sections—Across or Down is indicated at the end of each line.
God is the author of peace, not of ____. 1 Corinthians 14:3310 Down
There is only one Lord, one ____ and one baptism. Ephesians 4:4, 5 7 Down
Christ is the head of His body on earth, called the ____. Colossians 1:189 Across
God daily added people to His church. On one occasion 3,000 souls were ____ in a single day. Acts 2:41, 478 Across
The church of the living God is the pillar and ground of ____. 1 Timothy 3:155 Down
Note: As we begin this lesson, notice should be given to three specific characteristics of God’s church in its early days. 1. A respect for God’s law. (Acts 24:14; 1 John 3:22) 2. The presence of the gift of prophecy. (Acts 11:27, 28) 3. Recognition of a world-wide mission. (Matthew 28:19; Colos- sians 1:23)
Note: “Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” (Song of Solomon 6:10)
There appeared a great ____ in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and twelve stars as a crown. Revelation 12:120 Across
God likens his people to a ____. Jeremiah 6:23 Down
Note: In the Bible, the church is often symbolically represented as a woman.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Paul said he had espoused (betrothed) the woman (church) to one ____ (Christ). 2 Corinthians 11:2 11 Across
Another wonder appeared in heaven, a seven headed ____. Revelation 12:317 Down
The dragon is called the ____. Revelation 12:924 Across
The woman brought forth a man child, who would rule all ____. Revelation 12:523 Across
The dragon waited to ____ the man child as soon as He was born. Revelation 12:418 Down
Note: Matthew 2:13-16 tells the story of how Satan tried to kill Jesus as a baby.
The dragon ____ the woman. Revelation 12:1313 Down
The woman fled into the ____, where she was nourished. Revelation 12:1421 Across
And the woman fled into the wilderness for a thousand two hundred and ____ days. Revelation 12:6 25 Across
Note: The 1260 years of papal supremacy extended from 538 to 1798. (For more information, see our booklet entitled, A Time to Choose.) Due to the corruption of the Roman church and its persecution against dissenters, the true church was forced to go into seclusion during this time. Although not recognized by the world, Christ’s faithful followers, among the rocks of the mountains, maintained their loyalty to the truth. Foremost among those who resisted Rome’s attacks were the Waldenses of the southern European Alps, who for hundreds of years preserved the pure Scriptures and honored the true Sabbath.
The church, however, was not to remain in obscurity for ever. Just as surely as it went into the wilderness, it would come out. Christ’s church, the pillar and ground of the truth, had a mission which was to last even unto the end of the world. Therefore we must look for that church to visibly appear again after 1798 in order to complete its work.
But among the hundreds of religious organizations in existence today, how are we to recognize and identify the true church? Fortunately, we are not left to guess. The word of God has supplied a clear description.
Note: A remnant is Something left over. A leftover piece of fabric, as one remaining after the rest of the bolt has been sold. A small, remaining group of people. The American Heritage Dictionary. The “remnant of her seed” is therefore that which is left of Christ’s true church after the 1260-year period and the general apostasy.
The remnant church will keep the ____ of God. Revelation 12:17 1 Down
To keep the whole law, except for one ____, is to be guilty of all. James 2:104 Across
Whosoever shall do and ____ them, shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:1915 Across
The church will also have the ____ of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17 14 Down
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of ____. Revelation 19:106 Down
Johns ____ have the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 19:102 Down
Johns brethren are those who keep the sayings of this ____ (The Bible). Revelation 22:912 Down
The end will come when the gospel has been preached as a ____ to all nations. Matthew 24:1420 Down
An ____ has the everlasting gospel to preach to all people. Revelation 14:622 Across
Note: Symbolically represented as angels flying in the midst of heaven, God’s remnant people will be seen carrying the gospel to all the world. Thus the characteristics we noted of the church in its early days are presented in Revelation as those which are to identify it in the last days.
Upcoming Meetings in Your Area
by Lynnford Beachy
As noted last month, for several years my wife and I have been considering doing more extensive traveling to visit isolated brethren and encourage them in their walk with the Lord. We have three young children, so there are chaQAWE@Qllenges involved, but apparently some of the apostles brought their families with them on their missionary journeys. (1 Corinthians 9:5) We are praying about purchasing a converted bus to help accommodate our family on these travels. Our goal is to take a month-long trip, approximately every other month, to visit different regions in the United States, encouraging and strengthening the brethren, with West Virginia as our home-base.
We are praying about getting a bus something like this.
If you live in any of the areas listed at the right and are interested in either attending or hosting meetings in your area, please contact me for scheduling. I have a cell phone with Cingular, so I have unlimited calling to other Cingular customers at any time at no additional cost, and I have unlimited calling to all others within the U.S. between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and all day on Sabbath and Sunday. Please call Smyrna Gospel Ministries, (304) 732-9204, to obtain my new cell-phone number.
Here is the currently-planned itinerary for February and May:
January 28 Roan Mountain, TN, contact Malcolm McCrillis, 423-772-3161.
Jan. 31-Feb. 1 Nashville, TN, contact DeeDee Herrman, 615-859-2527.
February 3, 4 Collegedale, TN, contact David Adkins, 423-635-6605.
February 10, 11 Jemison, Alabama, contact Walter Kohler, 334-366-4317.
February 13, 14 Phenix City, AL (near Columbus, GA)
February 17, 18 Pensacola, FL, contact Chaplain Jack VanOrd, 850-458-5549.
February 22-26 Florida Camp Meeting, contact Jim or Jerri Raymond, 407-291-9565.
March 3, 4 Charleston, SC, contact Jerry Zuk, 843-832-2206.
May 5, 6 Southern New Jersey, contact Kevin and Judy Schmidt, 609-390-1574.
May 10-13 Southern Maine, contact Mervin and Rose Marie Shoemaker, 207-892-2338.
May 15-18 Upstate New York, contact Marvin Ford, 315-845-8519.
May 19, 20 Hamilton, Canada (near Toronto), contact Paul Falconbridge, 905-561-4071.
May 26, 27 Northwestern Pennsylvania
June 2, 3 Cleveland, Ohio, contact Willis Smith, 216-271-9045.
June 20-24 WV Camp Meeting, contact us.
Between meetings we will be available to visit people in their homes and have additional meetings. Check upcoming issues of Present Truth (also available at www.presenttruth.info) to keep informed about these meetings and others in your area.
To view or print this issue of Present Truth in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) click here.
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Editor: Lynnford Beachy, PO Box 315, Kansas, OK 74347, USA. Phone: (304) 633-5411, E-mail: email@example.com.