Christian Treasury: Volume 1

Table of Contents

1. Christian Treasury: Volume 1 (1986)
2. Out of the Treasury
3. A Treasury
4. Cleaving
5. Sitting
6. True Happiness
7. Perfection
8. The Ministry of Suffering
9. God's Purpose and Rest
10. Bible Challenger: The Lady of Kingdoms
11. Teach Them
12. Remnant Testimony
13. Post Christian Era
14. Practical Remarks on Prayer the Expression of Dependence
15. He Loves Us!
16. The Journey
17. Our Wonderful Bible
18. The Coming Kingdom
19. Philippians 3:13
20. A Certain Man
21. Bethany
22. Youth-Cleanse-Way
23. What Love!
24. Do You Have Questions?
25. Purpose of Heart
26. Bible Challenger: The Apostle Paul Greatly Valued
27. Babylon
28. The Lord Jesus: A Man of Prayer
29. Election
30. What Do You Believe?
31. Sharing His Joy
32. The Sanctuary of God: Psalm 73; Psalm 77
33. He Cares
34. Pleading for Others
35. Advice to an Evangelist
36. The Source
37. Mementos
38. Only a Loaf
39. Give Ye Them to Eat: Mark 6
40. Thy Words
41. Bible Challenger: The Land of Israel in the Millenium
42. Presence
43. Fullness of Joy
44. Occupied
45. An Answer to a Question About Children at the Lord's Coming
46. One Day at a Time
47. The Prayer Meeting
48. Hezekiah
49. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Results in An Infamous Death Sentence Often Brought on by Added Immoral Degrading Sins
50. Judgment Seat of Christ
51. A Wild Bull
52. Comforter
53. Death and Taxes
54. Forty Years Ago
55. Notes on Psalms 22
56. Bible Challenger: The Type of Sins David Prayed to Be Kept From
57. The Lamplighter
58. What Is Independency?
59. Individual Prayer
60. Reciprocal Affection
61. The Family
62. Apothegms and Aphorisms
63. Kept From the Vortex of Evil
64. The Law Was Our Schoolmaster to Bring Us Unto Christ: Galatians 3:24
65. Faith Healing
66. Giving and Yet Having
67. He Got the Job
68. The Holy Spirit in Relation to Prayer
69. The Fruit of the Spirit
70. Usefulness
71. The Remnant of Israel
72. Love
73. Bible Challenger: The Word Which Gives Confidence to Believers in Afflictions
74. Others
75. Faith Tested
76. Christian Household
77. Paul With the Romans and at Rome
78. Cares
79. Cleaving
80. Elijah the Prophet
81. No Second Causes
82. Caught Up
83. A Present Hope
84. Bible Challenger: The Word Proclaiming the Universality of God's Invitation
85. Apothegms and Aphorisms
86. The First Resurrection
87. Faith Healing: Part 2
88. Nehushtan
89. Prayer
90. Life and Communion
91. Restoration After a Fall
92. The Christian Era
93. Prayer and Dependance
94. Deposed Dictators
95. Things Seen and Things Unseen
96. Values: Persons, Things, Christ
97. The Lord Jesus Christ (John's Gospel)
98. The Message
99. Should the Church Teach?
100. The Kingdoms
101. Honor
102. True Living
103. Secret Prayer
104. Practical Remarks on Prayer Hindrances
105. The Pastor’s Heart
106. Bible Challenger: The Degree of Mercy Found in God Toward Those Who Call on Him
107. Points to Ponder
108. Children
109. Church Composition
110. A More Excellent Way: 1 Corinthians 13
111. He Was Moved With Compassion
112. Syria
113. Noah-Daniel-Job
114. Faith
115. Bible Challenger: The Worldly ASpect Christians Should Be on Their Guard Against
116. More Shove
117. With You Always
118. Self-Occupation and Self-Judgment
119. The Invisible Powers of Evil
120. Prayer Hindrances and Helps
121. Questions
122. Presence of the Holy Spirit on Earth
123. To Obey
124. A Magnificent Palace
125. God's Ways
126. Guidance
127. Decision With Lowliness
128. Learning Through Mistakes
129. Return to School
130. The Training of the Children of Believers
131. Plain Talks to the Young
132. Questions and Answers: Celebrating Christmas/Easter; LUK 18:19; EXO 33:20-23
133. God's Precious Things
134. Bible Challenger: A Secondary Characteristic of Heavenly Wisdom
135. Points to Ponder
136. Practical Remarks on Prayer: Promises to Prayer
137. Peacemakers
138. James
139. Headship in the Home
140. Unrestrained
141. Trial Proved to Be a Blessing
142. Jonah and His Experiences
143. The Businessman
144. The Vine
145. Some Notes on the Vine: Luke 13:6; Isaiah 5:1; Luke 20:9
146. Bible Challenger: Something Great Many Neglect to Their Destruction
147. Fragments: Humility; His Ways; A Careless Walk; Afar Off
148. Practical Remarks on Prayer the Book of James
149. Oxen
150. The Lord of Peace
151. To Keep Rank and Have Understanding
152. Talking to Yourself
153. God Is My Father
154. Lessons From an Orchard
155. Our Heritage
156. Questions and Answers: Work Out Salvation vs. Not by Works
157. Who Are the "Spiritual" in Galatians 6:1?
158. The Two Sons
159. Practical Remarks on Prayer: Prayer in the Name of Christ
160. Prayer
161. Bible Challenger: Those in the Valley of Decision as the Day of the Lord Approaches
162. Highly Favored
163. The Voice and the Ear: Psalm 16 and John 10
164. How Do You Worship? John 12:1-11
165. God's Precious Things
166. A Wise and Safe Thing to Do
167. In the Fish's Belly
168. Bible Challenger: Our Every Thought Should Be Held Captive To
169. Faith
170. Pause
171. Responsibility - Salvation
172. Kingdom of God - Kingdom of Heaven
173. The Undated Period of Time - Ezek. 33:23 to Ezek. 39:29
174. Question and Answers: Baptism Saving Us
175. What Is His Name, and What Is His Son's Name?
176. Isaiah 53
177. Practical Remarks on Prayer: Should Prayer Be Addressed to Christ?

Christian Treasury: Volume 1 (1986)

"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Jude 20.21.

Out of the Treasury

"These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as He taught in the temple. John 8:20
Every man had his own home and went to it at the close of John 7. Jesus, however, having no home in this world, went to the mount of Olives. Early the next morning, He came again into the temple. Why did He come there? He came to teach all the people who came to Him.
As he sat and taught, He was interrupted by the Pharisees who came to tempt Him. They were seeking to find something "that they might accuse Him," and what better thing to use than the law of Moses. How easily and beautifully Jesus dispenses with all, leaving the law intact and at the same time using it to convict the consciences of all before Him. Now He can go on in His teaching which was for all the people.
"Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Mc shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. Oh, what marvelous teaching! Here was the Son of God come down in grace. God was manifest in the flesh and brought light, for God is light and that the light of life. This light reveals the grace of God and His wonderful plan of salvation for sinners. The law could only condemn the guilty and make sin exceeding sinful but the grace of God brought salvation freely, giving to man instead of seeking from him.
Jesus says to them, "If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also." John 8:19. Where was Jesus when He was teaching these things? John 8:20 tells us, "These words spoke Jesus in the treasury, as He taught in the temple." He had come to His own house and there He was the Treasure in the treasury and teaching.
Likewise today, it is our desire that the true teaching of Jesus Christ, who is the real Treasure, may be brought out clearly from this monthly periodical called the CHRISTIAN TREASURY. We ask for your prayers that it may be so. Ed.

A Treasury

Although we have a change of name
Our purpose still remains the same,
To print the truth well as we can
Continues on to be our plan.
May God Himself, by Spirit guide
And for our souls now light provide
By printed word, inscribed by men;
May He protect right from the pen.
A treasury the treasure holds;
May this one now its joys unfold
By making Christ more precious still,
Finding that He our hearts can fill.
Ed.

Cleaving

“Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and cheweth the cud...that shall ye eat." Lev. 11:3.
“That with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord." Acts 11:23.
Cleave is one of two words in English which is its own antonym. (Can you think of the other one?) We can learn a lesson from this.
The young man in love leaves father and mother and cleaves to his wife. (Gen. 2) The Hebrews left Egypt and its leeks and garlic, embracing Canaan with its milk and honey. The sinner, converted, ceases to do evil, learning to do well. (Isa. 1:16, 17.) The pilgrim separates from the world, unto Christ. The call to depart from evil is affirmed by a positive call to blessing.
CLEAVING FROM
The first cleaving is separation from: the winnowing of wheat from chaff, the laying aside of every weight (Heb. 12), the putting away of childish things at maturity. (1 Cor. 13:11.) Nearly every worthwhile accomplishment in life involves first a clean-up, a bench clearing, a hoeing of weeds, a shedding of pounds before the race. The discipline to do this calls for a review of priorities, and, perhaps, a brief backward look at the laziness and cowardice that led to the present sorry state of affairs.
Some of the past is not to be deplored—it was prologue. Chaff was important during development of the kernel. Now, no longer needed, let it fall.
The Jew, called to a holy walk, was to eat only of cloven-hoofed cud-chewers. Typically, it is a separated walk and a meditative (ruminant) conscience, both marking "the people of the Book.”
CLEAVING TO
The second cleaving is to: of Ruth the alien to her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:16), of the 400 in the cave of Adullam to David (1 Sam. 22), of the twelve disciples to their rejected Christ (John 6:68).
The believer is called to more than a sterile asceticism he is invited into the presence and companionship of Christ Himself. The growing child reaches out, grasping for a shiny button, a butterfly, a new bike, a car, a wife. Alas, while some of these, God-given, are good and necessary, the world and all that is in it, are too small to fill my reaching heart. Or is my heart too large?
Trading one pebble for a shinier one, after 20-30-60 years, the heart cries out, "Lord, is this all there is?" Indeed not!
A PERFECT MAN
Christ Jesus, presented in the Old Testament as the desire of women, the coming Prince, the Messiah, is presented in the New Testament as a real, yet perfect, man. The humble son of the carpenter, the prophet out of Galilee, the root out of a dry ground, has come down to do the will of the Father, to put away sin and to call out a people to share the Father's house.
He is the Redeemer, and more than that, He is the embodiment of everything the Creator had in mind when He said, "Let us make man in Our image." Gen. 1:26. Suppose yourself fallen off some ferryboat on a dark night and about to drown. A late-night carouser on a pleasure craft sees your plight, steers an inebriated course to your location and hauls you out, soaked but alive. Naturally you are deeply grateful, and even years later you may send a letter or make a phone call of thanks to mark the anniversary of your salvation. However, gratitude is not admiration. Your rescuer is, after all, somewhat less than a prince of a man. Note the contrast! God, seeing our lost condition, sent an able rescuer, more than that, a perfect man. His call to us is not merely to shed weight and hoe weeds, nor even a positive adherence to a worthy cause, but a clarion to follow a perfect man the only one to walk this earth.
Let us cleave then cleave the true from the false, but best of all, cleave unto Jesus with purpose of heart.
D. Lunden
He Clave to the Lord
The story of Hezekiah, king of Judah. is precious to many for his pious zeal in the reformation of his people at the beginning of his reign. We see in him how true it is that God honors those who honor Him and that those who despise Him shall be lightly esteemed. (1 Sam. 2:30.) Of Hezekiah it is written that, "He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the Lord, and departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments." 2 Kings 18:5, 6. Next it says, "The Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went.” 2 Kings 18:7.
How very encouraging such an example is to Christians today when we see how God rewarded Hezekiah for honoring and cleaving to Him. Ed.

Sitting

I never met with any one making service prominent who knew what it was to sit at His feet, but, thank God, I know indefatigable workers who enjoy sitting at His feet above any service, and it is clear that they who sit most at His feet must be most competent to serve, and most in His confidence, which, after all, is the clue to all efficient service.

True Happiness

True happiness is to be found only in the Lord Jesus Christ, feeding upon Him through the Word, and a Christian is the only one who has the right to be happy. And surely he should be happy.
Why do we find so many Christians with sad faces? Because Christ is not the object of their hearts, and they are not casting all their care upon Him, relying on the assurance that He cares for them.
There are some people who think that Christians must be very somber that what they call religion is to be always associated with gloom so they go about looking sad, as if they hadn't a friend, when Jesus is their friend and He has shown such wonderful love in giving His life for them, and is concerned about their smallest trials, and will carry all for them if they will let Him.
By word and action we are called upon to make known the good news of God concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord to weary, sin-burdened hearts. By feeding in our own souls upon the love of God, the beauties and glories of Christ and the wonderful blessings which have been bestowed upon us, our faces will not look sad, but a deep peace, a calm joy will possess our souls, and our countenances will show that which will be to His glory. We shall not be self-occupied but think of the good and needs of others to visit the sick and poor, to inquire into their wants and minister to them, to seek out the desolate and oppressed and tell them of the consolations of Christ, and to show that precious sympathy for others which the blessed Lord Jesus so delights in and so deeply proved when He was here upon earth among men.
Dear young Christians, you may be very sure that those who are most like Him in this, as well as in other respects, do more to commend the gospel of the grace of God than all who speak of it while they act as if there were no happiness connected with accepting Christ as Savior.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." Phil. 4:4.

Perfection

He who is perfected forever as to his conscience cleansed from all his guilt, and saved from wrath to come by the blood of Jesus should cleanse himself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. Surely, for him whose sins are put away by the sacrifice of Jesus, it is only his reasonable service that he should present his body a living sacrifice, in order that in him might be seen the reflection of the glory of Christ on high, produced by the Spirit of God which dwells in him.

The Ministry of Suffering

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in [or to] us." Rom. 8:18.
The present dispensation, between the first and second coming of Christ, is peculiar in its wealth of spiritual blessing. There is nothing like it in the past and, as far as earth is concerned, there will be nothing like it in the millennium. The work of the cross has laid open to faith the treasures of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit here and Christ in heaven for us. Finished redemption, the completed scriptures, the unfolding of the mystery of the Church-all give present joy, while the future promises eternal glory through the rapture of the Church.
But, side by side with this display of unfathomable love and grace, stands the dark fact that for the people of God this is also peculiarly an age of suffering. That faith should have so much laid up in heaven and yet be unable to remove present grief or sadness has brought many a saint to the brink of despair, and been the weapon of the scoffer.
In past dispensations it was not so. When spiritual blessings were less, and God's love and grace not revealed as now, His people were often miraculously delivered or healed. It will also be so for His earthly people in the millennium. But in the days of the martyrs great persecution and suffering were experienced by God's people and often brought wonderful displays of the highest spiritual uplifting in the trials, comforted with the Savior's own words: "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven." Matt. 5:11,12. And now in our present day, though martyrdom be seldom experienced, yet sickness, loss of sustenance, famine and other distresses often come upon the saints and many suffer who are neither weak in faith nor careless in walk, with no relief until the ransomed spirit is freed from the body.
In this connection consider Paul, the chosen apostle and pattern saint of our dispensation. Along with his conversion there were intimations of suffering. "For I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake." Acts 9:16. This portion Paul accepted as the new purpose of life God had ordained for him and to be experienced in measure by others as well, contributing to the glory of his service. He speaks of it in every epistle. When proclaiming the sonship of those who believe, he speaks of "heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ." Rom. 8:17. He puts suffering first, as the birthright of every believer "If so be that we suffer with Him.” Our being made children and heirs is for this very purpose, to share His suffering that we may be glorified together.
Then as an example expressed in a mathematical equation, he balances sufferings against the glory of eternity, his divinely-inspired conclusion now serving as the standard of reckoning for thousands of suffering saints. "The sufferings... are not worthy to be compared." Rom. 8:18. Again in 2 Cor. 4:17 we are led further into the knowledge that "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” That weight of glory is beyond our mortal comprehension, but one day will be fully revealed to all who are in Christ.
Paul's sufferings began immediately at Damascus, where the Jews lay in wait for him. The cruel animosity of his own countrymen was apparent in the first mutterings of the gathering storm which never ceased until he suffered a martyr's death at Nero's cruel hands.
Paul suffered privation suffering "the loss of all things." Phil. 3:8. With true greatness, he gives no details. High birth, personal qualities, education, all insured him a high place among the great and noble of earth, but when he confessed Christ, every door was closed against him. He had no certain dwelling place and was treated as the filth of the world and off-scouring of all things. He fell from the pinnacle of fame and acclaim in one day. His store of wealth and heap of earthly honors were touched by the Savior's pierced and loving hand and crumbled into dust.
Paul suffered pain. Brought up in privileged tenderness, he was now to know the suffering of being bound with thongs, beaten with a rod and lash, stoned, imprisoned, etc. He knew hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness. But all this was precious to him, for he was filling up the portion left behind of Christ's sufferings. (Col. 1:24).
Paul was in constant peril. Many suffer without peril, but not so Paul. Robbers lay in wait for him, heathen men tried to kill him and so did his own countrymen. He knew perils among false brethren as well. In old age he was despised and forsaken, Undoubtedly a bright reward is his, but it was not for a reward or honor that he suffered, as he says in Phil. 3:8, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." And again, "The love of Christ constraineth us." 2 Cor. 5:14.
Suffering, especially prolonged suffering or pain, produces a marked effect on the individual in his daily life and relationship with others. This is particularly so for the believer who truly desires to be a testimony in his ordeal. It is comforting to know we are in the hands of One who "hath borne our griefs. and carried our sorrows," Isa. 53:4, and to be reminded "He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust." Psa. 103:14. His closeness to the troubles of the children of Israel, as expressed by the prophet Isaiah, is the same closeness He shares with us today: "In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old." Isa. 63:9. The same inspired writer tells of His promise: "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee." Isa. 43:2.
Never doubt His love and concern for each of His own. He has gone before and has known deeper sorrow than could ever be borne by any of us. "For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted [tested] like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:15.16.
One noticeable aspect of suffering is how it affects us individually and can change the entire focus of our lives. For a believer, suffering brings about a communion between the soul and God which, in turn, procures for the Christian such joy and gladness as transcends all the mirth and pleasures of the world. Psa. 4:7 declares: "Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and wine increased." Jesus was truly the "man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Isa. 53:3. His sorrows, grief and suffering were beyond our comprehension-the foundation by which He enters into every sorrow and trial experienced in the life of every redeemed one. "For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted [tested]. He is able to succor them that are tempted [tested]." Heb. 2:18.
Between the sufferings of the present and the glory of the future, there is a real and vital connection. It is not to be stated as cause and effect, yet the measure and intensity of the sufferings will determine the measure of the glory, with its added overweight, so exceeding and eternal. Those enjoying the richest and greatest response to all the joys of heaven will undoubtedly be those whose capacity to receive and enjoy the fullness of God has been enlarged and perfected down here amid the suffering and sorrow of earth. The chief end of all discipline in our lives here is the forming and enlarging of the human vessel which for all eternity is to display the glory of God.
The sinner who bathed the feet of Jesus with her tears, the dying thief, Saul of Tarsus and all who through grace are made heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, are embraced in the arms of His affection and brought into the sweetness of His love. What a blessed portion! Angels, who have never sinned and never suffered, cannot themselves experience what grace and comfort are, for they have never known the sweetness of God's forgiving love. They serve Him and see the bounties of grace and mercy dispensed to others, but ours is the portion and privilege of knowing Him, and of being more than mere onlookers! He who numbers the hairs of our heads and marks every sparrow that falls, who holds in His hand the balance of the universe, is He who weighs out to each the loss and the gain, the bitter and the sweet, which form the "All things" that "work together for good to them that love God." Rom. 8:28.
Yet the result of suffering, whether profitable or otherwise, is determined by our attitude towards it. It may leave its subject soured and embittered, or it may be received as a refining fire to purge away the dross of worldly-mindedness, and for the enlargement of the heart towards God. We must each make our own decision, and when the choice is to accept what God has sent us and trust His love, then there is "peace which passeth understanding" to sustain us. God sees our tears (2 Kings 20:5) and the day is soon coming when He shall "wipe away all tears." Rev. 21:4. Until that glorious day, let us each seek to see our circumstances as drawing us closer to Him who alone sees all my ways and counts all my steps. (Job 31:4.) J.R. Gill

God's Purpose and Rest

In the revealed purposes and counsels of God we can look into a scene which reminds us of a family at home. We can see the Father's joy in His children, and the children's joy in their Father and in the Son in whom all is made known and bestowed. The Father will have His eternal delight and joy in His children. and in His house. Christ has His own eternal and peculiar delight and joy in the Church. These two truths are brought before us in Eph. 1. The first line of blessing brought out is that of the Father and the children, "that we should be holy and without blame before Him, in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself." God, in His eternal purpose, purposed for Himself and His own delight, a family, and marked us out in Christ for the adoption of sonship. Secondly we find at the end of the same chapter, "gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all," that is, the Church.
“Christ loved the Church" refers to eternity, when the Church was given to Christ in His own eternal counsels. This was when He loved us. When He gave Himself for it was not in eternity, but was in the past. The loving and the giving are both in the past. What is the present? "That He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the Word" is the present. What is the future? "That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”
What a wonderful thing it is then, to see these two truths, the Father and the family, and Christ and the Church. We enjoy the Father's love to and delight in the children, and Christ's love to and delight in the Church. When the Father has His children according to His purpose all will be complete. How long will that last? It will last forever and forever. All had its origin, not in time, but in eternity. All had its origin in the love and wisdom of God.
The Church of God is His dwelling place. In Eph. 2 it is, "builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit," and then in Rev. 21 "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them." The Church's relationship to God is the house character and His dwelling place; with Christ it is His body. These are two distinct lines of truth. One is relationship to God, the other to Christ.
When God rests again, He won't rest in the works and fruits of His creative power. He will rest in the fruits of redemption, a redeemed creation. It is evident His joy will be very much more full in a redeemed creation, for mere creation only tells of the power and goodness of God. But redemption tells of His love and the holiness of His righteousness. In short, it tells of His character. In creation we might say we see the attributes of God, but in redemption we see Himself, His whole character and being-what He is in Himself. It is in this that God will rest eternally.
In Lev. 23, God has told us what He was engaging in. Those feasts begin with rest and creation; they end in the fruits of redemption-a new creation-the eighth day. They began with the Sabbath, and next was the Passover. Because the Sabbath was broken, God began again. How did He begin? He began with the Passover, and that is redemption. All that comes between, until the seventh feast with its eighth day, are the ways of God. W. Potter

Bible Challenger: The Lady of Kingdoms

"And yet show I unto you a more excellent way," the Apostle Paul wrote, a way in which the Spirit of God can be manifested even though we might not possess great gifts. There is a manner in which you and I can be a living witness for Christ to those with whom we are brought into association from day to day. We can be a channel through which the Spirit of God can magnify Christ in His members. When we come to examine it, we find that it is this divine love.
It has often been remarked how inexplicable it seems that the Apostle Paul should interrupt himself here, because the actual subject seems to skip the thirteenth chapter. He passes from the end of the twelfth, where he is considering the gifts, to this subject of love which comes before him. In a way this seems like an interruption. Yet the more we examine it, the more we are brought to the conclusion that not only is the interruption opportune, but it is divine. He shows immediately that if all the most wonderful gifts could be comprised in one gathering, they would be absolutely unprofitable unless they were exercised in this divine way. We can only learn it in communion with Christ. As we walk in communion with the Head of His body, we get His mind concerning His saints, His affections for His people and the thoughts of His heart at the very time when the saints need it. In this way we can be as those who are a witness for Christ, as "an oracle of God," as though God did beseech and utter His word by us.
He begins with that gift which we consider the greatest, that of speaking. We magnify this gift all out of proportion, whether it may be of teaching, preaching or evangelizing. That gift, being one which comes more often before us, we have elevated into a position far too high in the economy of God, to what is needful and what is profitable. He begins, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." 1 Cor. 13:1. I am afraid we have had to find that out. We have to own that a great many, perhaps most of the gifts that God has given to His Church, are scattered at large in this day of weakness and ruin. God has greatly endowed many as preachers and teachers, and yet how often we are conscious of what the Apostle describes here as emptiness and sounding brass. There seems to be a lack of ministry of Christ in such a way as to meet the needs of God's people. It is sad that it should be so, and yet we need to be reminded of it, and also we have to be very careful that the utterances of our mouths would be acceptable in His sight. How often we have to feel and judge ourselves that an utterance to which we have given expression at some meeting or other was mere knowledge. We have not confidently and consciously had contact with the living Head, so that we spoke with assurance as having a word from Him. Let us look to it that what we speak, we get from Christ our Head. He has given us a perfect example of this in John 12:50, "Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.”
The Apostle says if he speak but five words in the power of divine love, and it is fur the edification of the saints, he esteems it more than ten thousand words, though they might be the voice of greatest knowledge and eloquence. We have to be on our guard against that also. One of the characteristics of the last days is that men would have "itching cars." 2 Tim. 4:3. We are easily tainted with the same thing, We are unwilling to hear a person who desires to speak out of real love of heart for Christ. We naturally prefer something which pleases us. The Apostle says we must beware lest it be "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
F. Lavington

Teach Them

“Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children." Deut. 6:7.
What should you teach them? To love the Lord God with all their heart. (Deut. 6:5)
Who should be taught? Your children (Deut. 6:7), and the responsibility doesn't stop there. We are to teach our grandchildren also. (Deut. 4:9). Timothy knew the blessing of learning of "the unfeigned faith" from both his mother and grandmother. (2 Tim. 1:5).
When should it be taught? Why, when sitting at home, when walking by the way, when lying down and rising up-continually. (Deut. 6:7).

Remnant Testimony

We should consider prayerfully these two verses: Rev. 3:8, "Thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name." and 2 Cor. 12:10, "For when I am weak, then am I strong.”
We would like to consider the remnant testimony in God's Word briefly for our encouragement. We never need to be afraid of conscious weakness. The Apostle Paul says, "When I am weak, then am I strong." I believe that an affected piety is even more dangerous than recognized weakness among us.
HEZEKIAH
In 2 Chron. 30:15 we read, "Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord." Then notice 2 Chron. 30:18-20: "For a multitude of the people even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God the Lord God of his fathers; though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people." In this we find a picture of divine grace. However, it evoked scorn on the part of the enemy.
You find that in 2 Chron 30:10, 11: "So the posts passed from city to city, through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless, divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem." They came to the divine center. So at the very beginning we find here a remnant testimony. Beloved, we are weak and we confess it. We own it-we are part of the ruin. Even in the time of the Apostle Paul, in Acts 20, it would seem that he could not commend those few disciples gathered around him to any one but, "to God, and to the Word of His Grace.”
JOSIAH
Now notice Josiah. 2 Chron. 35:1, 2: "Moreover, Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord." The happy result is in 2 Chron. 35:17 and 18: "And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites." I suppose some would say, "What presumption there; this man was despised, too." What characterized the testimony of Josiah? When we read carefully through this portion we find in the testing of Josiah the value of the authority of God's Word. Of course, with that went faith, for, "Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
There is a prophetess who comes in here by the name of Huldah. "And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum." 2 Chron. 34:22. And what did she say? This seems a weak affair, but there is a mighty truth enshrined in what she has to say in 2 Chron. 34:27: "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest His words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humblest thyself before Me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before Me; 1 have even heard thee also, saith the Lord.”
As one moves among God's beloved people, wherever they may be, we find a general weakening a- general rejection of fundamental things. Beloved, it is a picture of the closing moments of this age and we want to encourage our hearts. Here is a prophetess and she speaks wonderfully to him. She noticed that he humbled himself and that tears were being shed. Josiah shines brightly here, not because of any special accomplishment, but because of his tears, because of his humility and because of his nothingness.
DANIEL
Now look at the case of Daniel. Dan. 2:17-19: "Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven." Where did Daniel get his power? From the God of heaven. There was faith there, and trust. "Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: and He changeth the time and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things.... But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living." Dan. 2:30, 20-22. Isn't that lovely? God got the glory for this. So we find in the testimony of Daniel that he got his power from the living God.
We may beat around the bush in our service for Christ. I had been guilty of it in South America until one day the Lord came to me-just as if He put His hand on me and said, "Is this work yours or Mine?" I said, "Lord Jesus, it is Thine."-"Whose power is it?" I said, "Thine."-"And whose glory is it?" I said, "It is Thine, Lord." That was the beginning of the testimony in the Southeast of Bolivia. That was when God came in, and cruel men bent low at the feet of the Lord Jesus.
NEHEMIAH
Let us consider the testimony of Nehemiah as regards the building of the wall. The enemy said in Neh. 4:3, "If a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall." A strong wall it was indeed. It was a wall of separation. Then when they saw that it was not possible to deceive Nehemiah, they proposed a meeting there on the plains of One. (Neh. 6:2.) Beloved, let us be careful about compromising on the plains of One, and just say, "O, no!" The testimony of Nehemiah is just that-"O, no!" It was a lone testimony, shall we say, but God was with him.
MALACHI
In Malachi we find another remnant testimony. It is interesting to read the whole book when you have time. Here is a testimony that is rather remarkable. Mal. 2:17: "Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?" Now Mal. 3:5-7: "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers... and against those that... fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?”
There is one bright light indeed in the darkness, in the midst of the confusion. Notice that there is a remnant in Mal. 3:16: "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name." A book was written. Even in Solomon's time, no book was ever written like that.
Who was the writer of that book? God was the writer! God had a book of remembrance written here concerning this little weak testimony, a remnant testimony. "And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not." Mal. 3:17, 18. And so there is a remnant testimony.
SIMEON AND ANNA
When we turn over to the New Testament, we see a little group in Luke 2, Simeon and Anna, waiting for that blessed One to come. It was a remnant testimony. If we turn to Rev. 3:8, we have a little group, a little remnant. "A little strength." Just a little strength, beloved. We have nothing to boast of. May we keep His Word, and not deny His name!
Paul said to Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:1, "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." How can we be strong if we never read God's Word, and then get on our knees and pray, and walk in separation from this world, its sin and its system, in obedience to God's Word? How can we be strong if we never feed on it? "The Word of God, that liveth and abideth forever!" Walter Scott, that dear old man, used to hold it up and say, "Brethren, this is open in our hands tonight and it will be open in heaven forever; it shall never pass away!" How blessed it is to believe it. "Forever, Oh Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven." Psa. 119:89. It is the privilege and the responsibility of this little remnant to keep His Word. E.F. Smith

Post Christian Era

Twice this past year I have heard this statement, "post Christian era." It was used in reference to this time in which we are now living. The first time I heard it, I could scarcely believe my ears. What did it mean? Then I heard it again.
Let us consider this statement in two ways. No. 1: is it true? No. 2: what gave rise to such a statement? First, let us consider No. 1; is it true? No, it is not. Rather, this is the Christian era. Statistics quickly prove this. The population of the world today is approximately five billion and nominal Christians are by far the largest of any group (about one billion).
No. 2: what gave rise to such a statement? This question we cannot answer with much certainty but surely it does indicate that modern atheistic thinking desires to be done with Christianity.
We further state that the Christian era will go on until Christ comes and takes all true Christians to glory to be forever with Himself. Then the Christian era will end and judgment will fall upon those who are left on the earth. This will begin the post Christian era.
“The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Acts 11:26. From that time on, there have been Christians here to represent Christ. Christ came the first time and was rejected and cast out by the world. He will come again to take His rightful place as King of kings and Lord of lords. In between those two comings, the world has Christians. Ed.

Practical Remarks on Prayer the Expression of Dependence

How blessed is the subject of prayer! And if scripture study can assist the tried and buffeted saint to a better understanding of its principles, and how to utilize it more fully in daily difficulties, how welcome such a result would be. Let us, then, seek to learn some of the teachings of scripture on this subject.
First-prayer is the language of request addressed to God. It is important to distinguish between prayer and worship, though they may both be found together in the same address to God. In worship, we give something to God-our thanksgiving, praise, or adoration. "Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." Heb. 13:15. Praise, then, is an offering, but prayer is a request. The common phrase "offering a prayer" is therefore a mistake. We may offer worship, praise, adoration, thanksgiving. Prayer, however, is not an offering to God, but a request of something from Him.
Secondly-prayer is the expression of dependence. Dependence is the due attitude of the creature towards the Creator. God alone is sufficient to Himself. Every creature, whether he know it or not, is really dependent, and prayer, in its foundation principle, is the expression of this dependence. To acknowledge it, is to live in truth; to deny it-to live the prayerless life-is to walk in darkness. Man in rebellion has lost the sense of dependence upon his Creator. He has gotten away from moral connection with the blessed Center of the universe, and, wandering in sin and darkness, thinks it the finest and grandest thing to be independent. This, the very principle of his life, is a falsity; he "maketh a lie" Rev. 21:27.
It was to a new feature, therefore, in the life of Saul of Tarsus that the Lord directed the attention of Ananias, when, sending him to Saul, He said, "Arise, and go... and inquire... for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth." Acts 9:11. Here was a remarkable thing. Yesterday he was breathing out threatenings and slaughter; now he is upon his knees. Man, in this instance, had reversed his course; the creature was humbled before, and reconciled to, his Creator. Thus, prayer is one of the earliest, truest instincts of divine life in man, and in this view it may be said that the first genuine breathing of the soul to God is the beginning of an eternal communion. A stream has started which will flow, and flow forever- like the water which Christ gives the soul, and which is in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Not that this communion will always have the character of prayer-that is the form which it takes from the nature of the scene where it occurs-a world of sin and of necessities. In the future scene the language of dependence will not be that of request, for satisfaction will have taken the place of need, and every vessel will be full. As is often sung,
“Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.”
But in the present time, and in the place where we are, dependence, really felt, expresses itself in prayer. To be dependent on one who is capricious, or ill-willed, is misery, but to be dependent upon God, whose nature is love, and whose power is limitless-this is happiness! E. Thomas

He Loves Us!

Let us never forget that God has made us His children, not simply that we might not perish, but that we might know the affections of His heart and enjoy them. Is that not lovely? In 1 John 4:10 it says, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." He loves us, not because of what we are, but for what He is. The Spirit of God does not turn the eye inward except when it is necessary to judge self, for the Spirit of God occupies the believer with Christ.

The Journey

When I take a trip I like to have a good road map to tell me just what road to take to reach my destination, but my happiness on the journey will depend upon two things: the company I keep while on the journey, and anticipating joy at the end of the journey. God has given you and me a life that enables us to have communion with God as His children so that His own heart might find its joy in us and that we might find our joy in Him.

Our Wonderful Bible

The following details may fittingly be added to the short history of our English Bible.
The learned Prince of Granada, heir to the Spanish throne, imprisoned by the order of the Crown for fear he should aspire to the throne, was kept in solitary confinement in the old prison at the Place of Skulls. Madrid. After thirty-three years in this living tomb death came to his release, and the following remarkable researches. taken from the Bible and marked with an old nail on the walls of his cell, told how his brain sought employment through the weary years of his imprisonment.
•In the Bible, the word "Lord" is found 1,853 times.
•The word "Jehovah" 6,855 times.
•The word "reverend" once, in Psa. 111:9.
•The eighth verse of the 118th Psalm is the middle verse in the Bible.
•The ninth verse of the eighth chapter of Esther is the longest.
•The thirty-fifth verse of John 11 is the shortest.
•In Psa. 107, four verses are alike, the eighth, fifteenth, twenty-first and the thirty-first.
•Each verse of Psa. 136 ends alike.
•No names or words with more than six syllables are found in the Bible.
•The thirty-seventh chapter of Isaiah and the nineteenth chapter of 2 Kings are alike.
•The word "girl" occurs but once in the Bible-Joel 3, verse 3.
•There are in both parts of the Bible, 3,538,483 letters; 773,693 words; 31,373 verses; 1,189 chapters and 66 books.
•The twenty-sixth chapter of the Acts is the finest to read.
•The most beautiful chapter is Psa. 23.
• The four most inspiring promises are John. 14:2, 7, 37; Matt. 9:28 and Psa. 37:4.
•The first verse of Isa. 55 is the one for the new convert.
•All who flatter themselves with vain boastings should read Matt. 6.
•All humanity should learn the sixth chapter of Luke, from verse twenty to its ending.
We conclude, by the references to Acts 26, Psa. 23, John 14:2 and 7:37, that the Prince not only found the Bible an interesting book during those thirty-three years, but that his weary soul found peace in believing. How the love of Christ would sustain his spirit, and the blessed promise of John 14:2-which he quoted-would fix his heart upon a brighter crown than the Spanish throne could offer, and upon a heavenly kingdom.
What is the Word of God to you? Think for a moment. If you knew you were about to spend thirty-three years in solitary confinement and were allowed one book, what would you choose? Would it be the latest novel? Think of spending thirty-three years alone, with only a novel to fill up your time. Or would a book of science or philosophy be what you would choose to the exclusion of any other? I think not. Little as you may care for the Bible, you know right well that it alone could fill a vacuum, if every earthly thing were suddenly snatched from you.
Its words of comfort and cheer are as healing balm to the broken heart and when the light of life goes out, where the heart has taken in its blessed message, and found in Christ Jesus a Savior, the eventide is lighted with eternal hope.
It is indeed the Book of books, and will abide when every other book has passed into eternal oblivion. Its Author is God. Its theme is Christ. It is capable of satisfying every craving of the human heart, and opens up to the wondering gaze visions of the eternal. Well might the Prophet Jeremiah write: "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart." Jer. 15:16. Reader, can you say this?

The Coming Kingdom

The personal reign of the Lord over the earth and the heavens is a grand and magnificent outlook. The saints of Old and New Testament times share in the glorious reign, and have their part in the riches, wealth, and splendor of the vast dominion of our Lord. The Church is the nearest and dearest to Christ now and evermore and occupies a very special place in His kingdom and glory.
The coming kingdom great and glorious, is in its conception, administration, and extent, absolutely without a parallel in history. The kingdom shall display the perfection of human government. It is the goal long hoped for. The Hebrew prophets wrote of it in glowing terms. Its glories and grandeur occupy more than a third of the Old Testament. Creation groans but in hope, as the glad story of His coming and reign thrills its soul. Herein is a study of profound interest. Herein lies a field of research open to all. The kingdom as a subject is only equaled by the story of the cross itself. To this latter we gladly yield the honor, and bow in lowliest homage to its surpassing greatness. But the kingdom of our Lord, unlimited in extent, righteous and good in its character, more enduring than sun and moon, and stable as the throne of the Eternal, is a theme which should occupy the attention of all, especially as the effect of vision and prophecy is about to be realized.
Speculation as to time or manner of accomplishment, imagination and guesswork, all mere word-painting, and conjectural work of every sort, must be sternly checked and effectually kept under control. God's description of the kingdom is circumstantially told in the pages of the prophets, and these testimonies unfold a marvelous story. All that is needful to know has been revealed, but how limited is our range of vision. Apply the telescope of faith to the prophetic future as it culminates in the glories of the kingdom, and its comprehensiveness and vastness may surprise you. Use the microscope to the thousands of details which lie scattered like gold dust through both the Old and New Testaments, and the result will astonish you.
The comprehensiveness of Isaiah, and the literal details in Zechariah are examples of telescopic and microscopic examination of the coming prophetic situation. The morning without clouds is about to break. The glories of the millennial kingdom are even now gilding our sky. The rainbow of prophetic promise shines with light. He is coming, and Oh, how soon our hopes may be lost in full and happy accomplishment. W. Scott

Philippians 3:13

Can we honestly say, with glory before us, with Christ before us, "One thing I do"? Phil. 3:13. Which way does your eye turn? Which way are you going? God has only one object-Christ. The 4th chapter of Philippians takes up the entire superiority to circumstances that should characterize each believer. Such was the experience of Paul. It is a great thing to see that the power of Christ in us can set us entirely above everything here. The thing that hinders our rejoicing is not trouble, but our failing to look heavenward.

A Certain Man

What certain man? Who is he? Let us look and see. Luke writes about him and says, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return." Luke 19:12. The clear answer is that the certain man is Jesus, the very Man who spoke those words that day as He marched toward Jerusalem.
Did He receive His kingdom then and there? No; instead He was cast out, rejected, and crucified. Then what? He arose from the dead, victorious, as a man. He is the firstfruits of them that slept. Where is He now? He has gone into the far country. That certain nobleman has ascended into heaven. What for? Clearly, the answer is: "To receive for Himself a kingdom.”
When will He receive the kingdom? Sometime very soon. Meanwhile, He has His place at "the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 1:2:2. In Acts 2, Peter refers to David's words in Psa. 110. "The Lord said unto My Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thy foes Thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:34-36.
Surely the time is near when the Lord God will put down Christ's enemies. Then the prophecy of Psa. 110:2 will be fulfilled: "The Lord shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion: rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.”
His return in power is gloriously described in Rev. 19. When the certain nobleman returns He is called: "Faithful and True," Rev. 19:2. "The Word of God." Rev. 19:13, and His name is written: "King of Kings, and Lord of Lords." Rev. 19:16. Ed.

Bethany

Near the Mount of Olives stood a humble home in a hamlet which, for the most part was unnoticed by the casual passer-by and it might have been entirely unknown had the Son of God not passed that way. Nearby was a temple, adorned and impressive, yet it had no warmth to attract the Son of God on His earthly visit. The market of merchandise had replaced what was intended for a place of prayer for all nations, only adding to its cold, repulsive character.
Eventide had come, and the weary Son of God as Man, with no place to lay His blessed head, craved companionship with His creature. He had, in grace, acquired the physical likeness of His creature, truly human, yet truly divine. He learned practically, on earth, what men were passing through; His needs and theirs were the same. His great heart of love desired a willing ear to hear the message which He was sent from the Father to deliver. His mission was not one of rebuke but of grace and truth fur man's hope.
KINDRED FEELINGS
Looking round about upon all things, the Lord Jesus went out of the; temple and wended His way to Bethany, about two miles away. There He entered the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, where He was welcomed for who He was, and it was evident from the start that He must have the first place. How the hearts of those three, with kindred feelings in tune with His, must have thrilled as He came to talk, eat, teach and rest. He was a Guest from heaven there in Bethany, as with Abraham of old. No doubt there were other true hearts, but, they were still wrapped in tradition, engaging in forms, ritual, and service, not yet knowing the One who came down from heaven to commune with them, the One who in Himself replaced all ritual.
In Bethany He was with those who found their joy in hearing His Word, while He had His joy in their response to Him. The marvel to them was that He was there. Created worlds could not satisfy Him- repentant hearts could. Learning deep lessons was to be the occupation of the three as the Son of God would transport the souls of His listeners from earthly to heavenly realities. "Who can teach like God?" As they sat at His feet, feeling the warmth of His heart, He communicated to them the Father's love which He knew well. All came so naturally, for new birth is capacity.
Martha was serving, but did He notice the efforts of this true heart? Was it right for Mary to sit at Jesus' feet while Martha worked to prepare the meal? The thoughts of the heart escape from the lips quickly, "Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me." Here a needful lesson was taught graciously and effectively, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
The better outweighs all other considerations; attention to His Person comes before service.
BOUND TOGETHER
Sorrow visited this home while Jesus was away, and torn, aching hearts, anxious for their brother, had sent a message to Jesus saying, "He whom thou lovest is sick." How did they know that He loved Lazarus? Jesus had become a part of that home, and there was the consciousness of being bound together in the same bundle of life with the Lord their God. These are the precious things of God that relate to His nature and His Spirit. There was not as yet the Spirit of God dwelling in the believer, but the work of the Holy Spirit had been wrought in the souls of these three with whom Jesus was so closely associated.
Death had come in, all for the glory of God. The Lord Jesus groaned at the grave in sympathy, as well as feeling, as none other, the depths to which man was subjected to the power of the enemy, seeing the havoc that sin had wrought. He called Lazarus forth again to have living fellowship with Him.
DISCOVERY
The discovery of Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life came home in demonstrated power at the raising of Lazarus from among the dead. All of these realizations led to worship as seen in John 12, where Mary had her ointment, Martha served from the heart, and Lazarus, a resurrected man, sat in fellowship at the table with Jesus.
Whatever we draw from this for Israel, it does not take away from the blessed picture of what our heavenly occupation will be. Jesus Himself, coming forth to serve His people at the table, will provide not the least part of the atmosphere of heaven as the Father lavishes His love upon His children.
Mary said little, but many of the Jews who came to Mary and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him. This is the result when Christ is the Object. What a lesson for some of us whose ways are so much like Martha's rather than Mary's! How meditation on occasions like this leads to the restoration of our souls, if perhaps we have grown cold, even while serving Him! The Holy Spirit had not yet come, yet there was a response from the hearts of these three in fellowship, service, and worship.
UP INTO HEAVEN
After Christ's death and resurrection He met the little company of believers and led them out as far as to Bethany, from whence He was carried up into heaven. How touching to see Him blessing them as He rose into the bosom of the Father, with one hand on His people and the other on the throne of God beside His Father. To be seated, a Man, beside the Father was the joy set before Him in Heb. 12:2. Soon this joy will be ours when seated beside Jesus on His throne.
May I suggest that the little hamlet of Bethany and the persons who have occupied us, present a picture of the assembly of God on earth-the heavenly family drawn to Jesus by His love and grace. May our hearts be weaned from all in this world that does not have the character of Bethany.
C. Lunden

Youth-Cleanse-Way

We want to notice these three things: youth, cleanse, and way. They are found in Psa. 119 verse 9. "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according Thy Word.”
In our translating work we find that, "young man" here means youth, so the feminine gender is not excused from this tremendous obligation before God. "Wherewithal shall youth cleanse its way?" Perhaps you will be surprised, but I trust that you will not be offended when I tell you the meaning of youth. Did you ever see a lion in a rage, with that fierce look on his face and his mane up? That is one meaning of youth. If you were to read Jeremiah you would find that twice over, youth means to yell. Did you ever see children running out of school? Indeed we have, yelling as they rush out. We have seen them and we have heard them-youth. But there is still another meaning. Did you ever see a naughty child, when mother corrects it, fall on the floor, bite the table leg and kick? Youth also means a "Fit of passion." Youth, youth. Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before those evil days come upon thee, and rejoice, young man and young woman, in thy youth. But see to it that you know Christ as your Savior before you embark upon this journey so laden with sin and wickedness. See to it that you are His through faith in His precious blood!
Now that word cleanse. Cleanse has two meanings. A father sends his son to clean the windows of his car. He cleans them so that his father can see through. That is one aspect of it. But there is another meaning to the word "cleanse." It is to be cleansed from defilement. Yes, from defilement. Another word for it might be translucent you can see through it. So then, clean has two meanings: first of all to be made clean in the precious blood of Christ, and then to be transparently clean in your testimony here below.
There are also two meanings to way. One is the trampled way which you see along the streets where the feet of men and women of every category have been marching daily. That is the trampled way. There is another way and we have this word in the original here, it is the right way. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6. I got an illustration of this when we came up on an old cargo steamer from South America once. Off the coast of Ecuador it was a stormy night and the steamer was away out from the shore. I said to my wife. "I wonder how that pilot will ever find his way across these stormy waters on such a black night." in the midst of my talking to her, as we watched the waves, the light shone right across the stormy sea. In that light the pilot came safely to the ship. God's Word which we have in our hands, is a light across this hell-going way. Let us not be mistaken, beloved, across this way we have this blessed Book and we have Jesus at the beginning and at the end of the way, for He is the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Him.
E.F. Smith

What Love!

“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love." Will He ever cease loving us? Never! Keep the sense in your soul of how rich and deep that love is.

Do You Have Questions?

If any of our readers would like to send in questions, we will attempt to give an answer. We realize that only with the Lord's help can we do this. Also we want to reserve the right to print in future issues of this magazine, questions submitted as we judge them to be interesting and helpful to others. Names and addresses are confidential.
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Editor of Christian Treasury
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Purpose of Heart

Put your whole heart into whatever you do for the best of masters the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a fine text in 2 Chron. 31:21:
“In every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.”
Now, may it be true of you, dear friends who love the Lord and before Him seek that which is good and right and true, that whatever you do may be done for Him with all your heart. Halfhearted people are poor servants, and we should not be poor servants of our Lord and Savior. It is a happy sight to witness a child serving his mother with all his heart, doing his very best for love's sake. The Lord of all is pleased with such service rendered to Him.
This Generation
David served his own generation by the will of God. (Acts 13:36.) As David served his generation by the will of God, so you and I are called upon to serve our generation by the will of God. There are certain things, however, which are characteristic of this generation in which we live, this very day in which our lot is cast. These things are peculiar to this generation and they should have a marked effect on how we conduct ourselves, as brought before us in 2 Peter 3. What a privilege it is for those of us who belong to Christ to serve our generation according to the will of God. But what is so very special about our generation? There is one thing very special about it and that is that you and I have been privileged to be here to serve our generation according to the will of God, on the very brink of the Lord's return, and on the very brink of the time when this world is to be judged in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained.
You will notice how in 2 Peter 3:3, 4 it says. "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?" Just recently one of the vice-presidents of the company where I work sent a memorandum over to me, and this memorandum had to do with something that he never expected to see-an event that he thought would never take place in the company. He put a comment on the side of the letter, "This is just like the second corning of the Messiah." When I read that, beloved, I could not help but think of that which we have right here: "In the last days scoffers... saying, Where is the promise of His coming?”
This world likes to think that it is going to be able to go on in its own way without any intervention from God at all, that the Lord is going to allow it to go on (as we read in Matt. 24:38. "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage") completely heedless of the Lord's claims. In 2 Peter 3:5 we read, "For this they willingly arc ignorant of,” They want to be ignorant, to go on their own way and leave God's claims out entirely. This is a picture of our generation. We are living in the very day of scoffers saying, "Where is the promise of His coming?" Your neighbors and friends, your schoolmates and the people you work with, do they want God to intervene? No, they do not! They want the world to be allowed to go on its own way. They arc willingly ignorant they do not want to know what God has in store for this world.
God has told us clearly in His Word what is ahead for the world so that each one of us can understand.
God has seen fit to outline His plans to those of us who belong to Christ, so that we do know. Our neighbors and those with whom we work. have all their plans, hopes and aspirations centered down here. But you and I know, according to God's own Word, that this is all going to disappear: this whole scene around us is going to be burned up. We know it because God has told us in His Word. "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." 2 Peter 3:5-7. The question now is how do we conduct ourselves while we wait for the Lord to take us to glory? How do we conduct ourselves, knowing what is ahead for this poor world? We look for the coming of the Lord Jesus, but the scene around us has no such hope. Those with whom we come in contact day by day have no such hope. They refuse to accept the lesson that God has already recorded about the days of Noah. There was a scene where people were living as if God did not exist. They were conducting themselves without any reference to God at all. God said the flood would come, yet they went on their own way just the same. But the flood did come, according to the word of God.
In this day God has again faithfully warned through His Word that judgment is coming for this world. "He will judge the world in righteousness." Acts 17:31. All this fair scene around us is going to be utterly destroyed. Yet those around us whom we know, the ones that we meet day by day, those very ones are heedless of God's faithful warning in love to their souls. They refuse to accept the solemn truth we have in this chapter, that this scene is all going to pass away. It is true, the scoffers are here; there are those around us who mock and say, "Where is the promise of His coming?" and are heedless of the precious truth that God "is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." It is in this atmosphere that you and I are called upon to serve our generation according to the will of God.
Notice it says in 2 Peter 3:10. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” This is God's solemn declaration. This will come to pass! When considering how we are to speak and to conduct ourselves in this generation with those who are around us, let us remember that this is the truth of God. The Lord Jesus has waited 2,000 years and while that promised judgment has not yet fallen on the world, we have the solemn, authoritative statement of the Word of God that the day of the Lord will come. That day will bring judgment to this poor benighted world, and usher in all the storm of judgment that is going to fall upon this world. God would have you and me know this truth. Believe it and accept it, because God says so. It is the truth of God and will come to pass according to His promise.
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Peter 3:11-13. Do your friends at school, the ones with whom you work, your neighbors and friends, and my neighbors and friends know that we are looking for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness? Satan, the enemy of our souls, is so successful in getting our hearts, ambitions and hopes all centered in something that is going to be dissolved—something that is going to disappear! We get our eyes off Christ and become so occupied with things down here, especially when we are young. We see right from the time children start to school, how everything that the world tells them serves to get their thoughts, hearts, hopes and ambitions centered down here. God says it is all going to be dissolved, to be removed. "We ... look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Is this what you and I are looking for? Or are we looking for something down here like a better house or a better job? This is one of the snares of the Devil if there ever was or one. We look for a better job to be able to make a little more money and have a few more of the luxuries of life, without stopping to weigh how much those luxuries cost in the enjoyment of the Lord and in devotion to Him.
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless." 2 Peter 3:14. Here we have that which speaks to us of our own personal walk. "That we might be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless." We have already been reminded that, in view of what is coming upon this scene, we should be characterized by holy conversation and godliness. And now, since we look for new heavens and a new earth, since we own by our confession that we do not belong to this earth at all, that we belong to Glory and are waiting and longing for the Lord's return, and since we have nothing to be attached to down here because it is all going to be dissolved, may others see in our own personal lives that we are walking to please the Lord. Let us get before the Lord about our own pathway, individually, that we may he "found of Him in peace. without spot, and blameless." J. Brereton

Bible Challenger: The Apostle Paul Greatly Valued

The first letters of each of the following responses will form the name of someone the Apostle Paul greatly valued because he was not ashamed of the Apostle's chain.
1. What was Herod making just before he died an untimely death?
2. What weapon did Jael use against an enemy of Israel?
3. What was the country over which Candace reigned?
4. What group of people say there is no resurrection?
5. What were the Corinthians saying that the Apostle Paul censured them for?
6. What wage did a householder agree to pay his laborers?
7. What proved more effective in battle for Joshua than the sword?
8. Who was David's grandfather?
9. What is as the sin of witchcraft?
10. What characterizes the judgments of God?
11. What was the Lord's promise to Noah while the earth remaineth?
Answers to these questions will be found in next month's issue of Christian Treasury.
Last Month's Answers to the Bible Challenger
1. Caleb (Josh. 14:10)
2. Hagar (Gen. 16:13)
3. Abigail (1 Sam. 25:29)
4. Lazarus (John 11:43)
5. Demas (2 Tim. 4:10)
6. Epaphras (Col. 4:12)
7. Absalom (2 Sam. 15:6)
8. Nun (Josh. 1:1)
9. Sanballat (Neh. 4:1)
“Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness. O daughter of the CHALDEANS: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms." Isa. 47:5.
R. Erisman

Babylon

Babel signifies confusion and in the Hebrew, Babel and Babylon are the same. Ancient Babylon was a city of great size having twenty-five gates on each side. Its walls were said to be seventy-five feet thick and about three hundred feet high. Nebuchadnezzar said, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built?" Dan. 4:30. Its destruction was fully prophesied in Isaiah and Jeremiah and its downfall came unexpectedly in one night. (Dan. 5:30.) The moral features of Babylon were idolatrous corruption and worldliness.
Six times in Revelation, Babylon is mentioned and always it is great. In the New Testament the name Babylon, still meaning confusion, is used again and applied to the false Church. Its moral features are the same as Babylon of the Old Testament. Also her destruction is sudden with the kings of the earth bewailing her and saying. "Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come." Rev. 18:10. In Rev. 17 she is "the great whore that sitteth upon many waters" and "the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." She is the woman that rides the beast that "was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition." What picturesque language to describe false, apostate Christendom. For a short time after the true Church is raptured to heaven, she is in control of the revived Roman empire.
There is a pleading call that applies now to true believers to: "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4.
The recent anxiety and uproar over the hijacking of the cruise liner, Achille Lauro, and then the sudden apprehension of the hijackers, resulted in a downfall in the Italian government. The Prime Minister, Bettino Craxi resigned. First the resignation was accepted but then it only became provisional and a short time later it was rejected. One of the statements about this was that it should not be surprising that a government that disappeared can be reincarnated. Although this is only a small happening, yet its similarity to the coming revival of the Roman empire which ruled the earth when Christ came the first time is very remarkable.
These events, as rays of light, ought to point every true Christian to the coming of Christ as the Bright and Morning Star. After this He will cleanse the earth with judgments and then come as the Sun of righteousness with healing. (Mal. 4:2.) He will be "Kings of Kings, and Lord of Lords." Rev. 19:16. Ed.

The Lord Jesus: A Man of Prayer

The blessed Son of God when becoming a man, though not Himself a creature, so fully took man's place of dependence that we find He prayed habitually. "Cold mountains and the midnight air witnessed the fervor of His prayer." The prayers of Jesus are beautiful indications of the reality of His manhood He kneels down and prays. Preeminent in all things. He is an example in this. So He entered upon His ministry with prayer (Luke 3:21). And may we not say, as a principle of Christian life, What is begun with prayer will end in praise? It was when praying thus at His baptism that the heavens were opened to Jesus. Prior to choosing apostles He spent the night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12, 13). Again, in Luke 9:18, we find Him "alone praying." It was "as He prayed" on the mount of Transfiguration that the fashion of His countenance was altered, and He received from God the Father honor and glory. He did not go up to the mountain to be glorified; He went up "to pray," and was glorified. The object was prayer, the result was glory (Luke 9:28-36).
The principal recorded instances of the Lord's praying appear to be:
1. At His baptism. Luke 3:21.
2. On the first great spread of His fame. Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15.16.
3. Before choosing the apostles. Luke 6:12.
4. After feeding the five thousand. Matt. 14:23; Mark 6:46.
5. At the virtual crisis of His testimony, when He forbids His being announced as Messiah, and predicts His death. Luke 9:18.
6. At the transfiguration. Luke 9:28.
7. Occasion not mentioned. Luke 9:1.
8. At the raising of Lazarus. John 11:41.
9. In view of His death. John 12:27.
10. His wonderful prayer to the Father, "The hour is come." John 17.
11. Intercession for Peter. Luke 22:32.
12. Gethsemane. Matt. 26:36-44; Mark 14; Luke 22.
13. Intercession for His murderers. Luke 23:34.
14. At death, commending His spirit to the Father. Luke 23:46.
We see then, that when, in the maturity of manhood, having patiently passed thirty years in privacy, He is at last about to enter on the momentous undertaking of His life, He does so with prayer. "And it came to pass, all the people having been baptized, and Jesus having been baptized and praying, that the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove upon Him; and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I have found My delight." Luke 3:21, 22, J.N.D. Trans.
Following this, He is subjected to the temptation-the Spirit, who has just descended upon Him, leading Him into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Emerging victorious, He now, under the testimony of John the Baptist becomes the center of gathering, calling upon men to follow Him (Luke 5:11, 27; John 1:43), and exercising authority in bestowing a name upon one of them (John 1:42). He thus formally begins His work and testimony. So far, however, the work is in His own hands alone; the campaign is opened, but is only in its first stage. The field is white unto harvest. Now an important development takes place. There is a night of prayer.
“And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12. The result of this exercise is seen. When it is day He assembles His disciples, and out of them selects twelve to be apostles. He is already the Center of gathering, now He becomes the Source of mission. The work widens, and He employs others under Him to carry the testimony throughout the land. Thus, in the record of the Lord's life, great occasions are marked or brought about by special prayer. Not only, however, did the Lord pray specially at special crises, but He had a practice. He would go, distinctly and on purpose, to pray. Thus, "And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray." Matt. 14:23. "And it came to pass, as He was alone praying.... And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, He... went up into a mountain to pray" Luke 9:18, 28. "He... went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives.... and kneeled down, and prayed." Luke 22:39, 41. Shall we not be gently led by so sweet an example? He had not where to lay His head but with Him the solitudes of the mountain served for the walls of a closed chamber, and thus, is it not true with regard to prayer, that "Where there is a will, there is a way"?
The Lord is never recorded as praying with His disciples. He taught them to pray. He prayed about them, prayed for them, not with them.* His own position was unique. Our prayers are on the basis of what Christ is for us. He could draw near to God, as qualified in His own person and dignity; we draw near only in His name. This explains a verse which otherwise would seem a contradiction. "As He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him." Luke 9:18. The disciples were there, but He was "alone praying." And in Gethsemane He told the disciples to pray, but He, to pray, withdrew from them about a stone's cast (Luke 22:40, 41). This is important, as everything is which affects our thoughts about Christ. Christians sometimes speak of the Lord as "Our Elder Brother": Scripture never does. "Ye call Me Master and Lord," He says, "and ye say well, for so I am." We cannot exaggerate the grace of Christ towards us. but it has been well said that: "The personal dignity of Christ is never lost in the intensity and tenderness of His love. True saints among the Moravians have called Jesus 'Brother,' and others have borrowed their hymns, or the expression. The Word never says so. He is not ashamed to call us brethren, but it is quite another thing for us to call Him so.”
(* See Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:29; 11:1; 22:40, 41.)
E. Thomas

Election

Election is a family secret. I would not preach election to the world. Election precedes all. I come to a certain door and I find written over it. "Whosoever will may enter in." That is the gospel. I enter and, on the other side of the door, what do I find written? "Whosoever gets in here will never get out!" That is my security, the fruit of election. There is nothing to trouble a soul in election, but, contrariwise, much to comfort. "He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." Eph. 1:4.

What Do You Believe?

To be taken up with the Spirit's guidance apart from the authority of the written Word, may lead to the wildest fanaticism, of which there have been painful examples.
To be taken up with the Word apart from the Spirit's teaching, is rationalism, for it is founded on the false assumption of man's competency to reason about God's truth instead of being judged by it.
To refuse the authority of the Word because we cannot understand it, is infidelity. To look for any persons or ordinances to come between us and God, besides the accomplished work of His beloved Son, is ritualism. To accept any other mediator between God and men but the man Christ Jesus, is to deny the testimony of Holy Scripture as to the "One Mediator," and is popery.
To use means according to God's Word, and trust in God, is faith. To say we trust in God, and use not the means He directs, is presumption. To use means outside of God's Word and to trust in them, is infidelity. H.H. Snell

Sharing His Joy

Eternal life in John's gospel is not simply life that will never perish or come into judgment. It is a life possessed here and now that enables me, as a child of God, to walk in communion and share the very thoughts of God, share His joy, share all His heart delights in. How precious it is, and that is the secret of true Christian happiness and joy. May God give us to enjoy it more.

The Sanctuary of God: Psalm 73; Psalm 77

The great moral truth contained in Psa. 73 is as directly applicable to the Christian as to the Israelite. In the first fourteen verses of Psa. 73 we have the Spirit of God laying bare the soul and detailing the exercises of a pious man who takes his stand on earth and reasons upon what he sees around himself. And what a sight it is! The people of God have a full cup wrung out to them, while, on the other hand, the wicked triumph and prosper. This seems a riddle to the godly soul. Why does God in His good and wise government allow this? Is He taking cognizance of all that is transpiring?
Then, in the bitterness of his soul, he says to himself. "Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency." Psa. 73:13. As if he had said, what is the use, what the value, of practical righteousness? What profit is there in seeking to stem the torrent of wickedness? Such are his thoughts, but there is enough piety left to restrain his feelings, and not to cast a stumbling-block before others by giving expression to these unbelieving thoughts. Such I take to be the meaning of Psa. 73:15. "If I say, I will speak thus: behold, I should offend against the generation of Thy children.”
Now, what is the resource for all this? Change the viewpoint. Now I view things and persons depends very much upon where I view them. Now, the Christian's observatory or viewpoint is the "Sanctuary"- the Lord's immediate presence. There only can a true judgment be formed of all that is passing around us. When we are in God's presence we cannot have false judgments, because if one sees as God sees, then necessarily all is clear. "God is light," and ye are "light in the Lord." 1 John 1:5; Eph. 5:8. Hence, if we take our view in the presence of men and circumstances, and think and speak as we there view things, it must be an utter impossibility to have a divine perception of the value of all that is before us and around us. Here clouds obscure the sun, and mixed motives enter into our thoughts and actions. Beloved, get into the Sanctuary, and then we will learn the eternal and divine issues of good and evil. "Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end." Do you think I can go astray in thought or action if I am in God's sanctuary? Impossible! The presence of God is at once my safety and blessing. Not only do I there learn the solemnly-pronounced judgment of God upon evil and evil men (Psa. 73:17-20), but I learn another lesson, and one of deepening importance in these days. I learn what I and "So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before Thee." Psa. 73:22. That is, the "beast" that I am, and one who has been acting without feeling or conscience.
What a wonderful place God's Sanctuary is; what holy lessons are there learned! Confession and humbling before God are the blessed fruits of divine grace working in the soul, and producing a true and righteous judgment of self. It is when the low place is taken before God that I learn a lesson of matchless grace. "Nevertheless I am continually WITH THEE." Psa. 73:23.
If you turn to Psa. 77, you get the value of the "Sanctuary" in another way. There, it is the blessed refuge of a soul troubled by what is found within (Psa. 77:1-9). Beloved in the Lord, you will find it to be for the everlasting blessing of your souls to abide in the Sanctuary. The remedy for evil without and sorrow within is the presence of the Lord; get into it and abide there. "I call to remembrance my song in the night." Psa. 77:6. The remembrance of past songs won't give present relief. Yesterday's manna won't do for today's feeding; you must gather it fresh every morning (Ex. 16:19-21). Again, you have self-judgment -"And I said, This is my infirmity.” Psa. 77:10. I am sure it is a great mercy that God exercises the hearts of His people. He would have us walk in habitual self-judgment. The more thorough and unsparing we are in this holy and wholesome exercise, although naturally unwelcome, the less fuel there will be for the fire (1 Cor. 3:13), and less work for the judgment-seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10).
Now the soul turns from all that is within to God, "I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember Thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings." Psa. 77:10-12. No remembrance of past favors and of midnight songs is in these beautiful verses. No, God and His works and doings are alone the strength and blessing of the soul.
“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary." Psa. 77:13. Precious truth. But there are also ways not traceable-there are depths we cannot fathom. For example, can you understand why God put His hand upon your suffering child? Or why He stripped you of everything, and left you nothing to lean upon save His blessed self? Even the very gourd which His mercy prepared as a shelter for Jonah from the burning sun of affliction-He prepared His worm to smite, and it also withered. I might say, why all this? Beloved, God wants you all for Himself. There are divine ways and divine dealings which one cannot comprehend. "Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps arc not known." Psa. 77:19. If you cannot see and cannot understand God's ways with you, at least you can have confidence in His unchanging love. Surely there is all the more need for the sorrowing hand to take a Father's hand and trust a Father's heart.
His wisdom ever waketh;
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh,
and I will walk with Him.
Believers Almanac 1877

He Cares

Does God care? He who remembered Abel in blood, Noah in the ark, Hagar in the wilderness, Job in the ash heap, Moses in the basket, David in the cave, Jonah in the whale, Daniel in the lion's den, Lazarus in his rags, Peter in prison, and Paul in the storm, will not forget any who love Him. Oh, yes, He cares! God is the life of every child of His, watching over and caring for those who trust in film, making all things to work together for their good.
Leave God to order all thy ways,
And trust in Him whate'er betide;
Thou’lt find Him, e'en in evil days
Thine all-sufficient Strength and Guide.
Who trusts in God's unchanging love,
Builds on a rock that cannot move.

Pleading for Others

Who likes a selfish person? On the other hand, we are naturally drawn toward someone who is unselfish. There is something more than being unselfish and that is to have a real love for others that will earnestly plead with God For them.
Abraham was like that in connection with his nephew Lot and any others living in the path of the coming judgment. Six times he prayed to the Lord for them. His prayer was for the righteous. In 2 Peter 2:8 Lot is called a "righteous man" although where he lived "vexed his righteous soul from day to day" and the Lord was preparing to take him out of it. Abraham's prayers were effectual. Do you pray to God for deliverance for others from coming judgment?
David also pled for the people when judgment was coming. "Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel." 1 Chron. 21:1. In verse 17, "David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let Thine hand, I pray Thee, O Lord my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on Thy people, that they should be plagued." Surely in David this is much more than unselfishness. It is a love that pleads to God for others.
Solomon also had the interests of others upon his heart when he asked the Lord for an "understanding heart to judge Thy people." 1 Kings 3:9. Then in 1 Kings 3:10 it says, "the speech pleased the Lord." We, too, can be sure that if we pray to the Lord our God for others, He is pleased. Ed.

Advice to an Evangelist

A young brother had begun to preach the gospel and met an old brother who gave him encouragement and some very wise advice. Both of the brothers were named John. When they were introduced to each other the older one said, "So you are preaching the gospel, are you, John?”
“Yes sir," the younger one replied, "I'm trying to preach the gospel.”
“Well, I'll tell you what." the older one said, "you just go ahead and preach as though the saving of every soul in all the world depended entirely upon you, knowing at the same time that you are nothing, and that you can not save one soul, but that all depends completely upon God." Ed.

The Source

“In the last day, that great day or the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." In vain shall we seek to become the means of refreshing and blessing to others, unless we drink, and drink daily and deeply, at the fountainhead for ourselves. Every fresh testimony for Christ should be the result of fresh communion with Him.

Mementos

Can the Lord indeed set a table in the wilderness?*
Faith accepts it, our experience affirms it, but Scripture has a way of both raising and answering its own questions. The two meals at the end of Luke (**, ***) give, I think, both substance and affirmation to the question. "In this moral and spiritual wilderness is there, can there be, a table set according to God's mind?"
(*Psa. 78:19: "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?”)
(**Luke 22:19: "And He took bread, and gave thanks.”)
(***Luke 24:30: "As He sat at meat with them, He took bread.”)
Luke 24:30, 31 connects the breaking of bread with the eyes being opened. Both are gifts involving, in some sense, a breaking or an opening. Now does sitting in His presence open my eyes to understand all Scripture? to be a Bible scholar? Hardly, Energy and diligence still have their reward, and the midnight lamp its recompense. But this opening-the revelation of who He is-transcends mere scholarship. Throw open the curtains, shrug off the night and greet the new day. You don't have to be an astrophysicist to appreciate and, in measure, to understand the warmth of it.
In Luke 24 the revelation was retrospective, "Did not our heart burn within us?" He's gone, but the savor lingers. "Given" and "remembrance" (Luke 22:19) add the thought of sacrifice and memento. "Given" is gratuitous, reminding us that in life, as at His death, His every thought and move was (with the Father) for us.
And what of mementos? We treasure a rock, a scrap of paper, an old photo that recalls our own past, and perhaps, our lost youth. In the Olympic Mountains once, 30 years ago, my packsack was invaded by a night creature which devoured my cereal supply for the rest of the trip. Now, when I strap on my old pack, the recollection comes alive, and my footsteps quicken. But mementos of people move us as those of mere places and things cannot. I dress in the morning on a braided rug my mother made half a century ago. Standing on it, barefoot like a boy, my thoughts recall those nimble fingers of hers.
Mementos. What should be given to Peter and Andrew or to John and James? Wasn't this man Jesus the Christ, Son of King David? We expect a gift worthy of the character and dignity of the giver. And so He gives a fitting memento, a loaf of bread. Having known Him as a poor preacher from Nazareth, the disciples received a poor man's gratuity. Loaves in later years must often have turned their thoughts back to those three golden years of their comradeship.
Consider how fitting the legacy was. (If your great aunt-the one with the Rolls Royce-left this scene, with your bequest clearly spelled out-one loaf-you wouldn't know whether to laugh or to cry!) Yet somehow this simple gift suited both giver and receiver exactly. Consider:
•Joseph's mountains of golden grain,
•The manna, (what is it?),
•The Pentecostal sheaves and loaf,
•The prophet's raven-borne food express,
•The 200 loaves that averted a civil war,
•The feeding of 5,000 (with the help of a boy),
•The upper-room ministry.
In all these we see pre-figured God's provision for our needs-all of them-for time and for eternity.
And so He gives this loaf, this homely everyday loaf, for a memento to His friends. "Think of Me," says He, "when it shall be well with thee." Not a locked-away keepsake, mind you, but life-sustaining bread for real men.
“This is My body" how grand! How simple to faith. Where Martin Luther, steadfast in his iron resolve, insisted on "the real presence" in the loaf, simpler souls find reality in the symbols of Scripture. Faith throws open the curtains, shrugs off the darkness, and revels in the real Presence of the new day.
Whether eating our daily bread (Luke 11:3), or at the Lord's-day bread breaking, the thoughts disciples linger still in the presence of that One, "'The bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die." John 6:50,
D. Lunden

Only a Loaf

It's only a loaf on the table spread,
But oh! what it means to me;
'Tis the body beloved that was crucified
On the hill of Calvary.
It's only a loaf, the manna from God
To nourish His people here;
“What is it?" they said, in astonished voice,
"Our bread in the desert drear?”
It's only a loaf, it's Abigail's work,
Kneaded and baked with care.
The many made one in the bundle of life
With the Lord's anointed to share.
It's only a loaf, discarded and lost
By a world of its need unaware;
'Til He come we show forth, by the broken bread
How His body was given there.
It's only a loaf, but the broken shards
In baskets we'll gather and keep,
For Israel, convicted in a coming day
When for Jesus shall sorrow and weep.
It's only a loaf, but someday I'll gaze
At His face, when we meet in the air,
And I'll eat and I'll drink in the Father's house
And rejoice with Mephibosheth there.
D. Lunden

Give Ye Them to Eat: Mark 6

The Savior's voice was hushed. Jesus had ceased teaching the "many things," and the rays of the setting sun were falling upon the faces of that awed and softened multitude. A strange thrill subdued those eager, restless hearts. Time had sped by unnoticed, and nature's wants were all unfelt, when the still silence was broken by words strangely in contrast with the sweet scene where divine love was making poor, weary hearts feel its potent sway. "This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: send them away," the disciples urge, "that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.”
They little thought that the One they thus addressed, whose lowly grace made such intrusion possible, was He who long before, in His own divine fullness, had said, "I will satisfy her poor with bread." Psa. 132:15. "Give ye them to eat," was His gracious rejoinder.
Uncongenial servants as they were, He could associate them with Himself in the service of His love. Certainly they were not up to the privilege conferred on them. They had little heart for the weary, hungry multitude around them, and they had less knowledge of the heart of the One who gave them this command. Completely taken aback, they look at the hungry crowd; they scan the desert; they think of themselves, and the difficulties appear insurmountable. They do not see His glory, and their faith falls entirely short of the task imposed upon them. The old evil heart of unbelief that long before had questioned, "Can the Lord provide a table in the wilderness?" was still there, and to the "Give ye them to eat," they oppose, "Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?”
It is very wonderful to see the Lord thus communicating to His disciples His own power, all unwilling and unworthy as they were to share it. It is more touching still to watch the grace that, rising above their ignorance and unbelief, presses them into a service they were so slow to enter upon. But "the poor" must be fed, and they should feed them.
“How many loaves have ye? go and see," He says. Quickly returning, they reply, "Five, and two fishes," adding, as we learn elsewhere, "but what are they among so many?" The helplessness of unbelief could go no further, nor does the Lord parley longer with it, so, without reply, "He commanded" them to make the multitude sit down, on the green grass "in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties." Then blessing the loaves and fishes, He breaks them and gives them to the disciples to distribute.
One can imagine the feelings of wonder and doubt with which the disciples began their distribution of those recently-despised "five loaves and two fishes." What must the eager, impulsive Peter have felt as, in silent awe, he took from the Savior's hands that small portion of bread that was to feed those five thousand hungry people, "besides women and children." How doubt must have given place to amazement, and awe to adoration, as he broke and gave a piece to this one and that one, here to the strong man, now to a timid woman, then to a lighthearted child, till every mouth was satisfied. Yet the store was undiminished, and more remained after all had eaten and were filled, than there had been at the beginning!
What an acquaintance with Himself, and what an education for a future ministry was the Lord here giving to His disciples! True the impression then was not deep, and not long after, when again called upon to feed the multitude, they were as unequal to the occasion as before. But when the Holy Ghost had endued them with power from on high, with what force and encouragement these scenes recurred to their memories as they went forth to minister for Him, who "the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever," assured them that not only was "all power given unto Him in heaven and on earth," but that He would be with them "alway, even unto the end of the world." Matt. 28:20.
And surely they are left on record for our encouragement and instruction too. As servants we have to draw upon the resources of that same Jesus now at the right hand of God, "head over all things to the Church, which is His body," who, having led captivity captive, has given "gifts to men" for the blessing of souls, and the edifying of the body.
Only nearness to Christ in His present place of exaltation can make these lessons good in our souls, so as to enable us practically to meet the need of sinners and to feed the Church of God. Only as those who have tasted mercy for ourselves, shall we "faint not" under the ministry committed to us. Above all we must look away from ourselves entirely to Him who still says, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." All grace and power are in Him, and the greater the need, and the more difficult the circumstances, only so much the more is the opportunity His to meet the wants of His own in spite of everything. As servants, simply subject to Him, we require to be in living and abiding association with that heart ever "moved with compassion" towards the needy, and that hand whose power and resource know no limit.
Enlarged and deep acquaintance with truth alone will not suffice, valuable as that is in its place. Knowledge, of itself, "puffeth up," but "love edifieth." It alone never fails. Our apparent resources may be small, and our knowledge of the Scriptures relatively slight, not even equal to "five loaves and two fishes." Yet even a small portion of them with the love that simply seeks to edify, and the faith that counts on Christ alone, will meet any and every need that comes in our way, while acting under the guidance of Him whose command still is, "Give ye them to eat.”
Oh! to be more alive to the marvelous grace of such a command, to the wondrous privilege of serving His people, and of magnifying His blessed name by drawing manifestly on His strength in such a way, that it shall be seen that He, and He alone, is the spring and power of our ministry.
The scene we have been considering simply makes Him manifest. Christ Himself fills the vision of the soul as we contemplate it. The desert place, the absence of resource, the slowness and hardness of heart of the disciples as it were, form the background that throws Him into relief. It "manifested forth His glory," and so should all our service while waiting for Himself. C. Wolston

Thy Words

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart." Jer. 15:16.
We are too apt to take what others think about the Word—to take it adulterated. If we are going to be happy, we must get the Word for ourselves. If we give it up, we shall certainly lose everything else. If the sap of a tree is gone, so is the health and fruitbearing. Do we then buy up the opportunities that are given to us for the study of the Word? We may not be able to give hours to it at one time, but do we use up our minutes?
W. T. P. Woiston

Bible Challenger: The Land of Israel in the Millenium

The first letters of each of the following responses will form the word Scripture uses to describe the land of Israel in the millennium.
1. A sad message to some who will knock at the door of heaven.
2. An urgent message to four people before the destruction of their city.
3. A dying man's request concerning his tormentors.
4. The response of a servant on being led to the house of his master's brethren.
5. The Lord's command to His disciples after many had dined on barley loaves and fishes.
6. What a mighty man said to a kinsman in the gate of a city.
7. A command to an aged father concerning his only son.
8. What a young lad said in the dark of night when his name was called out.
9. A prophet's command to a nervous king with bow and arrows in his hand.
10. A comment to a ruler of the Jews who had thought the way of salvation was a strange process.
11. A message to any who would praise the Lord acceptably.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next month's issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman
Last Month's Answers to the Bible Challenger
Oration (Acts 12:21)
Nail (Judg. 4:21)
Ethiopia (Acts 8:27)
Sadducees (Acts 23:8)
I am of Paul (1 Cor. 1:12)
Penny a day (Matt. 20:2)
Hailstones (Josh. 10:11)
Obed (Ruth 4:17)
Rebellion (1 Sam. 15:23)
Unsearchable (Rom. 11:33)
Seedtime and harvest (Gen. 8:22)
“The Lord give mercy unto the house of ONESIPHORUS; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain." 2 Tim. 1:16

Presence

The presence of God never makes us proud. He is too great for us to be anything before Him. It was not when Paul was in the third heaven that he was in danger of being exalted above measure but when he came down to earth again, (2 Cor. 12.)

Fullness of Joy

In John 15 it is fullness of joy through obedience. John 15:9-11.
In John 16 it is fullness of joy through answered prayer. John 16:24.
In John 17 it is fullness of joy through communion. John 17:11-13.

Occupied

To know that God in His grace is occupied with us is a wonderful check on the will.

An Answer to a Question About Children at the Lord's Coming

We believe that Matt. 18:10-14 furnishes the foundation of the precious truth of the salvation of infants. Do you not believe this? Are you not fully persuaded that all who die in infancy are saved? Do you not believe that inasmuch as their little bodies undergo the penalty of Adam's sin, their precious souls partake of the benefit of Christ's atonement? Well, if you believe this, why should your heart be troubled as to the destiny of your little child in the event of the Lord's coming? Can you not fully trust that blessed One who in the days of His flesh said with such touching tenderness, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God"? Can your heart entertain for a moment the unworthy thought that your gracious Lord, when He comes for His people, could take the mother to be with Himself and leave her babe behind to perish?
You ask if we "can tell you of any scripture which shows what becomes of the infant children of believers when the Lord has taken His Church to Himself." We reply at once, Matt. 18:10-14.
"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you. That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.* How think ye? if a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”
(*In Luke 19:10, where it is not a question of infants, we read. "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”)
Now, dear friend, is not this a precious answer to your question? Is it not divinely calculated to hush all your anxiety in reference to your precious babe in the event of the Lord's coming? Will the loving Savior who uttered these words ignore them when He comes for His Church? No, beloved, our loving Lord will be fully glorified in receiving to His bosom and taking to His home the little children of His people as well as the parents. It is not His will now, and it cannot be His will then, that one of these little ones should perish. May your heart find settled rest as to this question in the eternal truth of God and in the rich and precious grace which shines so brightly and blessedly in Matt. 18:10-14. C.H. Mackintosh

One Day at a Time

One secret of a sweet and happy Christian life is learning to live by the day. It is the long stretches that tire us. We cannot carry the load until we are three score and ten. We cannot fight the battle continually for half a century. But really there are no long stretches. Life does not come to us all at one time; it comes only a day at a time. Even tomorrow is never ours until it becomes today, and we have nothing whatever to do with it but to pass down to it a fair and good inheritance in today's work well done.

The Prayer Meeting

Christian, you perhaps think little of your prayers. God does not. Cornelius was a devout and prayerful man. He "prayed to God always." but, while praying on in patience, probably little thought that one day an angel would be sent to tell him, "Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God." Acts 10:2-4. But if you wish God's estimate of His people's prayers, see Rev. 5:8. "The four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials frill of odors, which are the prayers of saints." That is what they are. Golden vials contain them; they are as the Fragrance of incense before the throne of God. Think of a prayer meeting! Could the exercises of the saints be made visible, you would see the odors ascending to God's presence. The room and the surroundings may be mean, but if the hearts are full of Christ, St. Peter's at Rome with all its grandeur can present nothing so fine. Those humblings of soul in prayer, those addresses of faith to God, the workings of hearts wrought by the Spirit Himself, though invisible, are momentous; they are fraught with consequences which reach forth into eternity. Such is real prayer. Who that could be present would be absent from such a scene, and lose the privilege of a part in its activities?
It is possible that some, and that even amongst instructed Christians, have not quite a correct sense of the rank of the prayer meeting, regarding it as rather subordinate. Many who would feel condemned in their conscience at absence from the Lord's supper look upon attendance at the prayer meeting as optional. But they have not noticed that the promise to be with two or three gathered to His name is, in Scripture, specifically attached to prayer. Often as that promise is quoted, its connection with prayer and the prayer meeting is almost overlooked. But verse 20 of Matt. 18 is really the validating principle of verses 18 and 19. "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt. 18:18-20.
(1) First let us notice that the promise about agreeing in prayer is linked by the conjunction "for" with the presence of Christ in the midst of two or three. It therefore does not relate, as often supposed, to an agreement of two isolated Christians to pray about a mutual subject when apart from each other. The common application really diverts the scripture from its specific object, which is to show the special honor and efficacy which are attached to united prayer. It applies to two or three gathered together to Christ's name, and if they, though only two, are in real spiritual agreement in which they approach the Father, their prayer is successful. (Matt. 18:19.)
(2) The Lord, therefore, is in the midst at the prayer meeting as well as at the breaking of bread. Important fact! Possibly some have not looked at the prayer meeting in this light. Many esteem it as merely a means of spiritual comfort and communion, one of many ways of gaining profit to our souls, and therefore omit attending it or not, according as they are disposed. But the Lord is there! Were the Prince of Wales announced to be at a meeting in London, what activity would be displayed, what effort to be present! The subject matter would, by the very fact of his attendance, acquire a new importance. Persons who would not have troubled about attending, are now found quite zealous, and see a significance in the subject which they never saw before. But what is prince or king compared to the King of kings and Lord of lords, who is present with the gathering to His name?
(3) We see that the Lord being present, the prayer meeting ranks as an assembly meeting of the first order, second only to the Lord's supper. So it is placed, in the divine record of what characterized the first company of the Church. "They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Acts 2:42. At a lecture, a gospel preaching, etc., the Lord may be with His servant who speaks His word, and all present may share the blessing, but He is not with the company, even if consisting of saints, in exactly the sense in which He is with an assembly of only two or three simply gathered together unto His name.
(4) This presence of the Lord both in the prayer meeting as well as other meetings, is a matter about which many are obscure. Some confuse it with the presence of the Holy Ghost-but that is a different thing. The Holy Ghost does dwell in the assembly, as well as in the body of each individual believer. He does so permanently. But what is stated in Matt. 18:20 is not a permanent indwelling. It is a presence under conditions, namely, two or three being there, and they being gathered to His name. Further, it is the presence of the Lord Himself that is guaranteed.
“But," it will be said, "Jesus is in heaven." Yes, corporally He is there-blessed be His name!-but divinely He is with us here. He is the One who could say even in His days upon earth, "The Son of man which is in heaven." John 3:13. And if He was divinely in heaven while corporally on earth, so now He is divinely with the two or three on earth, though corporally in heaven.
(5) The presence of the Lord in the midst draws out the specific affections of the saints for Himself. For as there are distinct persons in the Godhead, so the new nature in us has feelings and affections appropriate to each. When we think of the Father, we think of the infinite, uncaused, love in which He gave the Son for us. We think of the One who has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father! who Himself loveth us because we have loved Jesus, and have believed that He came out from God. And when we think of Christ in our midst, it is of that Person in the Godhead who became incarnate, who so loved us as to give Himself for us, and who loved us unto death. The Holy Ghost present with us indeed gives us the spiritual apprehension of all this. He brings before our souls the things of Christ (John 16:13-15), but the Person in our midst is the One who died for us. He, though waiting on the Father's throne, still so yearns over those whom He purchased with His blood, that where, in any quarter or corner of the globe, two or three are gathered to His name, there He is in the midst. Would the Christian willingly be absent when the Lord is present? In this matter have we not sinned through lack of thought, or non-apprehension of what the prayer meeting really is? E. Thomas

Hezekiah

I have it on my heart to select some parts of the life of King Hezekiah which I trust will be helpful and practical for our souls. So if you will turn with me first to 2 Chron. 28, we will have a little of the background or condition of things into which Hezekiah was brought when he became king over God's earthly people Israel. The father of Hezekiah was named Ahaz.
“And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus. which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the Lord God of his fathers. Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel." 2 Chron. 28:22-26.
Is it not solemn that God has a record of your whole life? He is taking a record of it right now. What kind of a record will it be? Some day it is going to be read and your whole life's history looked into! What a solemn record of this man of whom it says, "This is that king Ahaz." He died with that record left behind him!
“And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchers of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead. Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah." 2 Chron. 28:27; 29:1.
His mother's name was Abijah. Maybe that explains why he was so different from his father—he had a mother whose name the Spirit of God has recorded. Remember, mothers, the Lord has given you a great responsibility in connection with your little ones and the families you are raising! Although this king had a father who was no example, the Spirit of God gives the name of his mother.
“And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, and said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites; sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place." 2 Chron. 29:2-5.
What a very sad condition the nation of Israel was in when Hezekiah began to reign. There were altars to false gods in every corner of the land and the doors of the house of the Lord had been closed. There was no worship of Jehovah in Jerusalem at all! This young king, only twenty-five years old, had to face this solemn situation. What is the first thing recorded of him? "He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done.”
David was a man after God's own heart. What characterized David and why he was a man after God's own heart, was that he was always ready to own when he had sinned or when he had made a mistake. He never justified himself when he was in the wrong. "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise." Psa. 51:17. When we are willing to be broken because of any mistakes we have made, to take a humble place, then there is mercy and grace from God.
Another thing that characterized David was his love for the place where the Lord had put His name, where the presence of the Lord was found. Turn to Psa. 26:8, "Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth." That was characteristic of the whole life of David-a desire for the place where the Lord's honor dwelt. Then, in Psa. 27:4, "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord.”
Do we prize the presence of the Lord more than any gain there is in this life? How easy it is to allow things to come in that break our communion so that we cannot enjoy the presence of the Lord. That is an irrevocable loss. You cannot estimate what a loss that is to your soul! May God in His infinite grace keep you in such a way that you will always be in a state where you can go immediately into the presence of the Lord like David and learn more of His beauty. Then when trouble comes, for it will come, the Lord will hide you in His pavilion.
The first act of Hezekiah that is recorded was to repair the doors of the house of the Lord. The first concern in connection with his reign was the entrance into that place where he knew the honor of the Lord dwelt. The house of the Lord in our day is not the same kind of a house that we are reading about in Hezekiah's time. The house of the Lord then was built of great, costly stones and overlaid with pure gold.
It was there the Lord put His name and that was the center for worship for all the people of God. In fact, people came from all over the world to the temple which Solomon had built to worship the God of Israel. God maintained His testimony in connection with Jerusalem until one time when the blessed Lord was here and He was rejected by that very nation. He walked out of the temple and said these words: "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." Matt. 23:38, 39. When the Lord walked out of the temple-that place which had been set up as a center for His people-it was disowned. It was no longer His center for His people.
God does have a temple, or house, today. Notice what Paul says in writing to Timothy in 1 Tim. 3:15, "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." The house of God today is the Church of the living God. Timothy was told that if Paul were to tarry he must know how to behave himself in that house. It is very important for you and me to be concerned about our behavior in the house of God. We are told how this house is built.
“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men. but chosen of God, and precious. ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." l Pet. 2:4, 5.
The house of God today, instead of being built with great costly stones that were quarried from the bowels of the earth, is being built with living stones—believers in the Lord Jesus. Are you saved and trusting Christ as your Savior? It is not a matter of age or maturity; it is not because a brother has a distinct gift that he is a stone in that house. Peter tells us that those who come to Christ are the living stones in that spiritual house.
The house of God in this world today is composed of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. The house of God is built for a very definite and special purpose, for in that house there is a holy priesthood.
Thank God that everyone who is trusting in Christ is not only a living stone, but he is also a holy priest to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ! How wonderful it is that young brothers and sisters are just as much priests as the older brothers who do the praying in the meetings. You can be present, gathered in the Lord's name, and be just as much a holy priest, just as much offering up a spiritual sacrifice, as the brother who may eloquently express praise to the Lord. If your heart is full of Christ and you are enjoying that blessed One in your soul, you are sending up what is most acceptable to the heart of God the Father, and that is worship. You are a worshiper.
One might say, "That sounds very good, but how can you give expression to what you are talking about when we find on Lord's day that Christians are going in all directions? They are turning to the four winds. How can we worship the Lord according to His mind and in obedience to His precious Word?" One reason why I had this account of Hezekiah before me was because he lived in a day very similar to that in which you and I are living. The people of God are all divided up. So it was in the days of Israel; ten tribes had gone off to golden calves at Bethel and Dan. There was a mixed worship. The true place had been given up and the doors were closed. But you can be sure that God will never disappoint one of His own who desires to be in subjection to His precious Word. If you are seeking with a whole heart to please the Lord according to His Word, you can be sure that the Lord will not deceive or disappoint you.
“He [Hezekiah] in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them." 2 Chron. 29:3. Hezekiah was exercised about the entrance to that which he knew was the place where the Lord's presence was to be found. He wanted those doors in a condition so that he and others could freely enter there for the blessings which were connected with that place. That verse in Heb. 13 which says, "Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God," does not mean just on Lord's day. One might get a wrong thought, that the only time we can offer praise to the Lord is when we meet to remember Him in His death. We should have our hearts so filled with Christ, so in the enjoyment of His love, that they would be bubbling over with praise every day of the week! If that is our state of soul, I am sure that when we come together, there will be real power and blessing in our meetings.
So Hezekiah repaired the doors of the house of the Lord. That is important because it marks out the beginning of a long life of faithfulness and obedience. He was one of the best kings that ever ruled in Jerusalem. A. Barry

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Results in An Infamous Death Sentence Often Brought on by Added Immoral Degrading Sins

This now-dreaded disease, or rather lack of ability to resist diseases, is surely the judgment of God upon those who have given themselves over to practice all manner of "uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves." Rom. 1:24. Another sad consequence is that those who contract AIDS can transmit it to others through blood or body fluids. Even children have been affected in this way.
To God's earthly people, Israel, both solemn warnings and precious promises were given. One of the curses for disobedience was, "The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed." Deut. 28:27. In contrast to this the Lord had promised in Ex. 15:26, "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
Egypt in Scripture is a type of the world. God is sovereign over all and can and does bring judgment upon the world when and how His righteousness demands that it should come. Surely it is evident today that God is acting in judgment to restrain the gross evil of licentious sinners. However, we know that God is gracious and longsuffering that not every sickness in a person's life is the direct result of a specific sin for which judgment comes quickly. Nevertheless, we see clearly in these things that, "God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Gal. 6:7, 8. Also it is evident that man is not evolving upward but rather degrading himself downward. Sin's wages are always downward unto death. (Rom. 6:23.)
There is a very precious promise given today for godliness. It is this: "Godliness is profitable unto all
things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Tim. 4:8. Also in chapter 5:22 it says, "Neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." May we as true Christians follow carefully this good, wholesome and holy instruction. Ed.

Judgment Seat of Christ

"We must all appear [be manifest] before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10. "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Rom. 14:10.
These are deeply solemn words, which our hearts would do well to ponder. The same Savior who makes Himself known as the loving friend gone to prepare a place for us, and waiting to come again and receive us unto Himself, also reveals Himself as the Judge walking among the candlesticks with "His eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet like unto fine brass.”
“Every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Rom. 14:12. The lost will give account when He comes to judge the dead out of the things written in the books, and the saved also, when He reckons with His servants and dispenses rewards.
There is not a word about the two classes standing together, or for the same purpose. In the parable of the talents, recorded in Luke, besides the difference between the diligent and slothful servants, there is also a difference between the diligent servants in proportion to their merit. This shows that the saved are variously rewarded according to the measure of their faithfulness. The same principle, of the manifestation of the saved according to their works, is taught by Paul.
"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." 1 Cor. 3:12-15.
This is the manifestation of believers according to their works. It is certainly a solemn thing and a deep reality as true as the judgment of the lost, but at the same time it is altogether distinct from it, both as to the time and the circumstances of its occurrence.
The word translated "judgment seat" means only a step or raised platform, such as a person exercising any authority, or pronouncing a speech might occupy. It will include "the great white throne" before which the dead are summoned for their final sentence. It is a word of much wider import, and by no means necessarily (or indeed, primarily) signifies the seat occupied by a judge at a criminal trial. It is used of the dais on which Herod sat when he received the embassy from Tire and Sidon (Acts 12:21), and is there rendered "throne" by our translators. The word would be just as applicable to the seat occupied by a judge in a civil suit or by an assessor awarding compensation, as to the seat of a judge trying a case of life and death. These are really the two different actions described. The lost will appear before the tribunal to be tried on the question of life and death "out of those things which were written in the books." Rev. 20:12.
How is this possible with the believer? Can the penitent thief be taken out of paradise to be put on trial as to whether he shall be saved or lost? Can Paul, after being with Jesus more than eighteen centuries, be summoned before His bar to be tried for his life? Impossible!
No, the appearance before the judgment seat in the case of believers is of a different kind, for a different purpose, and at a different time. It is before the reign of Christ, instead of at the end of the world. It is for the purpose of determining, not whether they shall be saved or lost-a question which can never be raised again for those whom God has justified, but to what reward they are entitled by the measure of their faithfulness here below. It will be determined whether they have built the "gold, silver, and precious stones," which can endure the searching fire of the Divine scrutiny, or the "wood, hay, and stubble," which will perish before the judicial test, and leave them to be saved "so as by fire." It will also be revealed whether in the apportionment of dominion among the "fellow-heirs" they should be made ruler over ten cities or over five.
Here we would note in confirmation of what has been already said, the perfect and Divine accuracy of the language used by the Spirit of God. It is said that all shall "appear" before the judgment seat [or throne] of Christ, the real meaning being that all shall be manifested. In this all are included, saved and lost. The word used therefore, is merely that they shall "stand" or "be manifested" not that they shall be "judged." On the other hand, where it speaks only of the unbelieving dead, raised before the great white throne, the expression employed is that they shall be "judged." This is no fanciful or refined distinction. Our Lord Himself, while here on earth, says, "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [judgment]." John 5:24. Almost immediately afterward He speaks of two resurrections, a "resurrection of life" and a "resurrection of damnation." John 5:29. T. Baines

A Wild Bull

Is the Bible dull and uninteresting to you? Surely you have not read it consistently, if so. When we read straight through by chapter and verse and notice each sentence and phrase, we find many interesting things. Some are rather unusual, like this one: "as a wild bull in a net." Do you remember reading this in the Bible?
My father had a wild bull that ran the hired man up a tree and we had to go out with the dog to rescue the man. Bulls are afraid of dogs.
Can you picture in your mind a wild bull in a net? He would be absolutely furious to be caught up in a net and that is exactly the picture that we find in Isa. 51:20. Jerusalem is here likened to a wild bull in a net. "They are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God." We wonder if perhaps the time is drawing near when this city will be caught in this manner. What do you think will happen to Jerusalem and also to the West Bank of the Jordan now under the Israeli's control but populated by about a million Arabs? Besides this, there is the persistent problem with the Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean where the displaced Palestinians live.
In Isa. 11:14 it says, "They shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west." The Palestineans are in place for this. Around Israel now are descendants of Edom, Moab and Ammon who are mentioned in this same verse. At this very time Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon along with the Palestinians are like a net to enclose Jerusalem.
When Jesus approached Jerusalem as He was going there to offer Himself up, He wept over the city and said, "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now are they hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:42-44. This has had a partial fulfillment but more is to come and Isa. 51 speaks of this. In verse 17 of Isa. 51 Jerusalem "hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of His fury." In Isa. 51:22 the Lord removes it from them and puts it in the hand of those who afflict them.
These things are coming to pass in the near future, we believe, and then the Lord will come for His millennial reign of blessedness and all twelve tribes of Israel will be the center of His kingdom. Isa. 11 gives this prophecy.
Are you interested in all this? Truly the Bible is interesting, and from it we can learn of the present and the future. Ed.

Comforter

For the Holy Ghost was not yet given because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Everything good that ever was wrought from the creation of the world was done by the power of the Holy Ghost. He moved upon the face of the waters in the Creation. By Him souls were new-born. He inspired the prophets to write or to speak God's mind. Bezaleel was filled with the Spirit of God to prepare the tabernacle, ark, vessels etc. (Ex. 31:3). David was instructed by the Spirit of God in preparing the pattern of the temple for Solomon (1 Chron. 28:12-19). The saints were guided and instructed by Him. David prayed that the Holy Spirit might not thus be taken from him (Psa. 51:11). Noah preached righteousness by the Spirit of Christ. John Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb. To multiply instances is unnecessary. Still all this is far from dwelling in them.
The statement in John 7:39 cuts in a clean line between the saints before the Lord's glorification and since that time. Had the Holy Ghost been given then, God would have been sealing souls in a state short of the consciousness of redemption, thus accrediting such a state. Consciences were unpurged then (although God was known in grace) and the Holy Ghost could not have sealed and accredited such a state. When the work of redemption was accomplished and the soul thus introduced into the liberty of grace, the Spirit of God could then take up His abode and dwell in the body of the believer as a seal of the perfection of Christ's work.
We see this clearly brought out in type in the case of the consecration of the priests. The High Priest was anointed with oil (type of the Holy Ghost), without sacrifice. This was typical of the perfection of Christ's person, the Holy Ghost descending in bodily shape like a dove upon Him. The priests, Aaron's sons, were anointed after sacrifices which were a figure of the perfection of Christ's work in which they stood.
Habits of thought have confounded the state of the saints before the day of Pentecost with those since that time. Many souls today are not free-they are not enjoying the liberty of grace which the Holy Ghost ministers to them now. Consequently they accept a state short of Christian liberty before God. They limit their experience to that of a godly Jew under law before redemption. They have almost come to the state of the men of Ephesus in Acts 19: "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." Nothing can be clearer than the line drawn by the Spirit of God in John 7:39, between believers before the glorification of Christ and since that time. Before that time all that was ever done in or by a saint, prophet, or otherwise, was by the power of the Spirit acting in the vessel for the time. Now He dwells in the body of the believer, as in a temple (1 Cor. 6:19), seals him who has believed (Eph. 1:13,14), until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). He may grieve the Spirit of God, but he never can lose Him.
Besides all this, it was an action of the Holy Ghost, in whatever way it took place, in the Old Testament times. This is a different thing from His descending personally from heaven on the day of Pentecost and dwelling amongst men. His person and presence upon earth are as distinct as that of the Lord Jesus when here, in the believer individually, and in the Church corporately. The Lord's promise of the Comforter-the Holy Ghost, was that He would not only be with them (not for a limited time as Christ had been), but in them as well and that forever. To this end it was expedient that the Lord should go away. if He went not away, the Comforter would not come (John 16:7).
E.G. Patterson

Death and Taxes

“It is as sure as death and taxes" is the common proverb of certainty. Men understand and respect this statement because experience backs it up as being true.
The Word of God says. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb. 9:27. Also the Lord Jesus said, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that arc God's." Matt. 22:21.
Let us consider now the first part of the above proverb: "as sure as death." Only two men that we know of have left this world without dying. They are Enoch and Elijah. Why did God translate them to heaven without dying? We believe that it was especially for the hope of the Christian living upon the earth at this time.
The "blessed hope" that we learn of in Titus 2 is the coming of the Lord Jesus for His redeemed people. His people who are then alive will never die. Jesus made this known clearly as He was approaching the grave of Lazarus to raise him from the dead. He said. "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." John 11:25, 26. Notice these two words liveth and believeth. They apply to the Christian when the Lord comes. Truly this is our blessed hope. Do you enjoy this wonderful truth? Ed.

Forty Years Ago

Taken from "I Was Among The Captives"
by G. C. Willis
A Silent Witness-Chapter 14
We had not been in [the concentration] camp many days before it was apparent that in all this great company of British, there was scarcely a trace of any recognition or acknowledgment of God. The vast majority appeared to have little or no care for their Maker. Amongst those who took upon themselves the Name of Christ, there was a great dividing line, separating a little remnant who believed implicitly in the Word of God, from the large majority who seemed more occupied with what they did not believe than anything else.
Included in that little remnant, who were drawn so closely together, were Mr. and Mrs. P., and their daughter C., about fourteen, but even at that age taller than either of her parents. Mr. P. was an old friend, whom we had known and loved for many years. Then there was Mrs. S., a stranger to us, who was on her way home to retirement, when she was caught by the war; how thankful many were that God had so ordered her pathway! She and her husband had done noble pioneer work in North China. He had died many years before from a heart attack, after baptizing a number of new converts. He had suffered much for Christ's sake, so breaking down his health, and Mrs. S. herself knew what it meant to be beaten for His Name! There were few to whom we were all so greatly drawn as to this dear saint, and one of the joys and compensations for those years in camp was to learn to know her. There were others whom I would gladly name, but from the beginning the few mentioned, met each Saturday evening in our room, and there we poured out our hearts together, telling our Lord of the things about us that grieved us so very much.
In the old days, before the war, one of our interests in the Book Room was to make illuminated Scripture texts. This part of our business had grown to such an extent that our artist was kept busy all the time. When Japan attacked the British and Americans, and we had to let our men go, the artist went to his home in Cashing, a hundred miles or so from Shanghai. We still had a few orders for texts come through, and the work of preparing them fell to me. We had about half a roll of drawing paper on hand, but one day on my way home from work, it seemed as though a Voice said: "Go and buy drawing paper." I was not disobedient to the call and immediately went to the supply shop where I always dealt. I purchased two rolls, twenty yards each, for a little less than $80.00. Not many weeks later the same shop was asking $600.00 a roll. I also was compelled to buy more paints, which rather vexed me, as money was generally short. We only used British-made paints, as they stood the sun better than those made in China. The only British paints available were in large tubes, and cost a lot of money. As these tubes were so hard to sell, the shop kindly gave them to me at a very low figure. A few weeks later they were almost priceless. I bought several slabs of an excellent quality Chinese ink, specially wrapped, and printed "For export." But as there was no export then, these were also being sold at a very low price. I bought a supply of the best Chinese brushes I could get, and so was ready to do the odd text in place of our artist. I did not know that all this was God's provision for life in Camp. But all these things I brought with me, except one roll of paper which I left with a Chinese friend, and had forwarded a year or so later to the Camp.
As we grieved and prayed over the conditions of the Camp, the thought came to me that a text might speak, even though there was no opportunity for our lips to speak for Christ in public, and with an utter lack of privacy anywhere, it was hard to carry on a serious conversation even with an individual. The dining room seemed the best place for such a text to be displayed. There was a large Gothic window in the end of the room, high up off the floor. Just below this window, facing the whole room, seemed the ideal place to put it. I well knew the storm it would raise, and for that reason we made it a special matter of prayer that just the right words might be given us. The text selected read:
OUR FATHER
which art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name
* * * *
Give us this day our daily bread
The text was, as I recall, almost five feet long, and not quite three feet deep. It was done in blue, crimson and gold, with the letters shaded in gray or brown. The letters were Old English, and the capitals Gothic. The only place to work was on my bed, but I had an old drawing board, and that was a great help.
We knew that it was useless to ask permission from the Camp Committee to put up such a text. They would never have granted it. So night by night as the work on the text progressed, done in secret as far as possible, the little company of believers met for prayer that their Lord would undertake and overrule so that the text might go up in the place selected, and that none might be able to move it. And how God abundantly answered those prayers, in a way more than we could ask or think, the rest of the story will tell.
It took a little over three weeks to finish the text. I was anxious that it should first appear on Sunday morning. By Saturday evening, at supper time, there was only two or three hours' work left, so, as our chairman, Mr. Grant, was eating his supper, I asked him what time he got up in the morning. I think he thought me very impertinent, but graciously replied that he was up every morning by six, so I asked him if he could meet me in the dining room the next day a few minutes after six. He agreed, and I hastened back to try and have my text ready in time. The little company gathered as usual to specially commend it to the Lord's own care as it started out on what we knew would be a stormy course. Just as I put the last strokes to the text, suddenly I spilled two great smears of black ink right across one end, on top of quite a few of the letters. It was just roll-call time, and then all lights were out.
I was almost in despair, but knew that my drawing paper was extremely good, and would stand a lot of rubbing. We lit a candle, and for an hour or more worked at it, until the damage was repaired, and the mess could not be detected. We occasionally tried to light a candle for special need at night after that, but always the guards shouted at us, and turned their searchlights into our room. Indeed, one night they came up with their heavy boots and their guns, and I don't know what they would have done to us, only they missed the room, and went to our neighbor's door. They kept their door locked, and were so sound asleep that the guards gave it up as a bad job. There was of course no light then to be seen anywhere. But on the night we had to fix the text, we had no trouble at all, nor indeed did we know we were not supposed to have a light if we needed it.
The next morning about half-past five I was down in the dining room and got the text well pinned up with thumb tacks. Mr. Grant came in shortly afterward, and I watched to see what the verdict would be. I knew he was a fair and honorable man, and I knew I would get a much more sympathetic hearing from him than from the Camp Council. He did not speak for a few minutes, looking with care at it. At last I asked: "May it stay?" He waited again, and then replied: "Why not? Yes, it may stay. It is reverent, and it is well done. It may stay." I decided to strike while the iron was hot, and asked: "May I do one for the other end of the room as well?" "Yes," he replied. "do one for there also. And come into the office where you will have room and a table to work on, and do it there." I could only bow in thanksgiving as Mr. Grant returned to his room.
My duties included cutting the bread for breakfast, which often meant a start at five-thirty, and then pouring water and tea for breakfast. The new text was just over our heads. It was intensely interesting to hear the comments as we poured. "What's this?" "Who's done this?" "Take it down!" "Oh, its only up because today's Sunday, it'll be down tomorrow; don't bother with it." "Who put that up without permission?" "We'll soon see about that." And very occasionally a remark of appreciation by someone who loved or honored the Word of God.
One person said: "You can't have a text like that up in this camp; there's too much swearing." It is true the foul language in every direction was terrible, but I could only remark that I could not see that this was a sound reason for taking down the text. If it was true that the text and the swearing did not go together, why not give up the swearing?
I had asked Mr. Grant not to mention who had done it, and for several days it remained a secret. As anticipated, it caused a great commotion. The Camp Committee discussed it, and disapproved of it because of the offense it would give to the Catholics and the Jews. The Catholics replied by their leader coming to me. He said: "There's just one thing wrong with that text." "What is that?" I asked. "It needs a frame. If you'll find the wood, I'm a carpenter and will make the frame, and then they'll know it's not the Catholics who object to the text." The only wood available was a slice off the frame of my bed, but it was very hard wood and polished quite nicely. The Jews sent over a little committee of three with their prayer book to show that every word in the text is in their prayer book and to say that they liked the text and hoped it might stay. So the "reasons" of the Council faded out. Again the question came up in the committee and very strong words against it were uttered trying to force it to be taken down. Mr. Grant was about to try and defend it when a business lady on the Council took the floor. 1 was not present but was told that by the time she had finished telling the opposers what she thought of them there was not one who dared to say another word. And once again we bowed in thanksgiving. But a text for the other end of the room was prohibited.
It might have been several months after this, and everybody had grown used to the text, when it was decided to have a play. This was held in the dining room with the tables from the bakery (good heavy ones) arranged as a stage just under the text. Somehow they felt this did not fit in very well with the play, so they took it down and stuck it in a corner of the room. Next morning the room was cleared up, the tables taken back to the bakery, but the text was left in the corner of the room. When I came to cut the morning bread that day, the sad reply was: "No bread ration today; the bakery's failed us." (I think the flour had failed.) The bread was truly our staff of life, and with nothing as a substitute, we were hungry indeed. Many a night even before that I had waked with hunger and was unable to get to sleep for hours, but now it was worse. Everybody felt it, and the next day was the same. When the third day came and still no bread, the murmurings broke out, and all over the camp one might hear: "It's because of that text. They've taken down the text, 'Give us this day our daily bread,' and since then we haven't had any bread." Another was heard to say, "That text is our mascot. We must get it up again.”
The feeling in Camp was running so high, and we were all so hungry, that finally the very ones who took down the text were compelled to put it back again.
Several months went by, and once more the Camp held a play. The arrangement was as before, but this time heavy curtains were draped in front of the text, and on the curtains was pinned a very well-drawn picture of a Pair of Balances, and a Sword, representing "Justice." The day following, everything was cleared up except the curtains with the picture of The Balances and the Sword still pinned to them, so that the text did not appear.
Again, there was no bread. I think this time the yeast failed to come, but when we came for our usual daily ration, we were met with the sad news: "No bread today." During the course of that day, as we were compelled to be occupied with the Balances and Sword, my wife remarked that the picture presented a remarkably good opportunity that we ought not to let pass. So the next morning when we came down for breakfast rations (but without any bread), there appeared above the Balances and Sword, two lines:
TEKEL
Thou art Weighed in the Balances,
and art Found Wanting (Dan. 5:27)
I saw Mr. Grant chuckle as he went up to get his breakfast, and he whispered to me as he passed: "I see you are an opportunist." I replied, "You understand it?" "O yes, I understand it perfectly," he replied. But as you can guess, most of the Camp was not as well pleased as Mr. Grant. The whole Camp was angry that once more they were without bread, and the demand came on every side, "Take down the curtain!" Once again the enemies of the Truth were compelled to surrender, and the curtains came down, leaving the old text with full possession, and the bread came to us once more.
Some months later, for a third time, the text was again taken down, and this time it was thrown behind the piano. Again, the same day, the bread failed, and finally a gentleman in the Camp who had been a manager of a large brewery came to me with the suggestion: "That text should be nailed up so they cannot take it down." I replied: "I know you are handy with tools, suppose you nail it up?" "Gladly," he replied, and with great long nails the text was finally nailed up so that nobody again ventured to touch it, and it was still there until Camp was broken up, ever uttering its silent prayer:
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD
And the bread never failed again. G. C. Willis

Notes on Psalms 22

Psa. 22 was given to us by God for our devotion and worship. The 53rd of Isaiah is a dialog between Jehovah, the prophet, and the remnant concerning Christ's sufferings. The 2nd chapter of Jonah is the Lord's sufferings being described by Him when past or deliverance is anticipated when in them. But this Psalm is most touching-it is the Lord Jesus Himself expressing His own sufferings when passing through them. He was expressing then His feelings, sentiments and emotions of both the external and moral sufferings during those six hours atoningly, governmentally and morally an account of personal righteousness.
Seven aspects of His sufferings are recorded for us in this beautiful Psalm. The word "Love" is not mentioned in this Psalm. It is not necessary to do so when we read of such deep sufferings. These sufferings are not recorded here chronologically-importance is first given to the atonement.
1. The atonement is first brought before us and with detail in Psa. 22:1-5. "My God, My God-Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" He justifies God in this act. God is holy. In each trial He gives us the deep feelings. This is the second three hours-darkness and almost complete silence.
2. "A reproach of men. Psa. 22:6. This refers to the rejection by the Gentiles.
3. “And despised of the people." Psa. 22:6. The nation refused its King, and said, "Away with Him. We will not have this man to rule over us.”
4. Next we have Israel's leaders. (Psa. 22:11-15.) There is some detail given here, and note He enters this deep sorrow by turning to God in prayer-'Be not far from Me, for trouble is near." Psa. 22:11. "Many bulls have compassed Me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset Me round" refers to those leaders.
5. The Roman soldiers (Psa. 22:16-19) are now brought before us. The sufferings the Lord endured at the hands of these brutal and ruthless soldiers have found a place in the Holy Scriptures. It is worthy of note. Again the Lord prays and repeats "Be not far from Me" but significantly adds "O My strength." "For dogs have compassed Me" and the Lord's prophetic words concerning these men given with such detail and exactness confirms its own Divine and indestructible authority.
6. “Deliver My soul from the sword; My darling from the power of the dog." Psa. 22:20. Here we have the Roman Imperial Power. God in the first place established government on the earth in Noah to restrain evil and later withdrew it from Israel on account of failure. It was then committed to the Gentiles which finally and fatally expressed itself in the Roman Imperial Power represented by Pontius Pilate's washing his hands in the presence of a condemned, innocent Victim and committing the Son of God to His murderers.
7. Lastly-"Save Me from the lion's mouth." Psa. 22:21. This is His going into death. Three things were essential for the atonement His being forsaken, His going into death and the shedding of His blood. This was one complete Divine work settled by a Diving Person and not to be tampered with by arrogant minds.
Guilt and defilement were then dealt with by and before God in principle and totality. But other results of man's sin ensued such as sorrow, misery, disease, pain and tears. "He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled." John 11:33. This is the Lord entering into all that sin and its consequences meant and maybe this led the writer of Hebrews when quoting Psa. 40 to omit the words "I delight.”
Well might the blessed Lord say. "Save Mc from the lion's mouth" as well as "If it be possible let this cup pass from Me." Nevertheless He did the will of God and went into death.
The Psalm ends triumphantly with the words: "He hath done this.” R. H. Craggs

Bible Challenger: The Type of Sins David Prayed to Be Kept From

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word describing the type of sins David prayed that he would be kept from.
1. An urgent message to Israel from the prophet Amos.
2. A message to all in the days of youth.
3. A message of acceptance to a faithful servant.
4. A word that separated friend from foe.
5. What makes the eternal God a refuge.
6. The answer to a thrice-repeated request.
7. A rebuke for a flailing sword user.
8. A somber instruction in the art of following.
9. A revolting people's request of their leader's brother.
10. The great single desire of David.
11. How long should the good fight of faith continue?
12. An Unwelcome message for a great king from the prophet Isaiah.
Answers to these questions will be found in next month's issue of Christian Treasury.
Answers to Last Month's Bible Challenger
1. Depart from Me. Luke 13:27
2. Escape for thy life. Gen. 19:17
3. Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. Acts 7:60
4. I being in the way, the Lord led me. Gen. 24:27
5. Gather up the fragments that remain. John 6:12
6. He such a one I turn aside. Ruth 4:1
7. Take now thy son, thine only son. Gen. 22:2
8. Speak; for thy servant heareth. 1 Sam. 3:10
9. Open the window eastward. 2 Kings 13:17
10. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:7
11. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving. Psa. 100:4
“And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a DELIGHTSOME land, saint the Lord of hosts." Mal. 3:12. R. Erisman

The Lamplighter

Ruskin watched as a flame was touched to numerous lanterns on a distant hill. The man doing the work couldn't he seen, but his torch together with the gleam from each newly lighted lamp could easily be discerned. Said Ruskin, "That lamplighter is typical of every true humble Christian. He should be so hidden behind the Savior and so intent on doing Christ's bidding that, while one may not see him, one can trace his course by the light s he leaves burning.”
O make me prompt to hear Thy voice,
and ready to obey
And leave for those who follow me
a light along the way.

What Is Independency?

A question troubling some believers and should be troubling more.
Every sincere and pure-hearted believer in our Lord Jesus Christ should desire to know the teaching of Scripture as to the answer to this question. The great danger in us all is to reject the Scripture with which we do not personally agree, while substituting our opinion.
Is it Possible to Maintain One Unity?
It is commonly heard that the Church of God is now in such ruin that it is no longer possible to maintain the scriptural order of the unity of the body of Christ, (which body is composed of every true believer in our Lord Jesus Christ). If this be true then it would follow that. (1) It is impossible at all to break bread according to the Scriptures, and... (2) The order in which believers carry this out is unscriptural.
Scripture Speaks Clearly
Two scriptures speak plainly on this point. (1) "We, being many are one body, for we are all partakers of that one bread (loaf)" 1 Cor. 10:17... (2) For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come. 1 Cor. 11:26. The first scripture states that when we break the bread, there is the professing that we are one body." Scripture knows no other unity. The second scripture quoted above is saying that a condition capable of its being carried out will exist until the Lord returns for His own.
Either it Is Reasoning or Disobedience
Is Scripture too strong for us? Either it is our reasoning mind or disobedience to a known scripture which causes His Word to be unheeded. Ignorance of the truth is one thing (in this we all fail, we must confess)... opposition to it is quite another.
"Go it Alone”
Surely one of the most successful snares into which the believer may fall, is to reason that the way out of the dilemma is to "go it alone" with a group of godly believers-an independent circle of fellowship or communion. This separated group of believers meeting in a voluntary way may appear to be a safeguard against the argument that Scripture has provided a pattern for one circle of fellowship today for the Church of God. But is it not narrowing the Holy Spirit's unity?
Can There Be One Scriptural Testimony?
No truth is more tirelessly attacked today than this: that there can be one scriptural testimony (fellowship) to the Lord's name. It lies at the very foundation of the glory of Christ on earth today; the object nearest and dearest to the heart of Christ is the object which Satan above all else seeks to destroy.
An Old Testament Pattern
Moses was instructed, and repeatedly warned by God, to see that he made the Tabernacle exactly according to the pattern shown him by God Himself-Ex. 25:9,40; 26:30; 27:8. Could it be supposed that that which brings glory and honor to Christ in and by His body on earth, the Church, would be left to man's choice as to a pattern of how God is to be worshiped today? Is the proliferation of patterns of God or of man?
A Babe and a Cross
Satan, for the unsaved world, has cleverly devised two views of Christ... (1) Keeping Him still a babe in the virgin Mary's arms to be idolized, or...(2) Keeping Him still on the cross, with an incompleted salvation without resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:17.)
Likewise has he devised, for believers, two positions. (1) Keeping us in an immature state, thus stifling our desires for maturity in the truth (1 Cor. 3:1-3) or... (2) Saddening and discouraging us into a hopeless, morbid state of thinking that there is no true, happy, peaceful, positive testimony to the name of, and for the glory of Christ. Through God's grace we can rejoice in our salvation, and testify to the peace and joy of worshiping God in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ according to His Word.
A Sect Is a Heresy
The English word "sect" expresses the Greek word "heiresses" (heresy), which is an opinion contrary to generally accepted doctrines. Its meaning became much changed when the greater part of the professing Christian "church" took on the name of universal. Every religious group which did not belong to this "universal" church, was termed "a sect" a word of disapproval. These groups, or sects, have, as a uniting force, particular doctrines which are usually stressed. Nor is this way of looking at it entirely false. The application may be false, but not the idea itself.
But what should be important for us all, is to discover that which the Spirit of God acknowledges, where the Lord Jesus is the Center, where the true unity of the body of Christ is upheld, and where HIS authority is absolute. (John 17:20, 21.) That which is not based on this principle is really a sect in the proper sense of the word. They may take the name of Christ, as some in Corinth did (1 Cor. 1:12, 13), but are forming a union less than the Holy Spirit's expressed desire of unity.
The First Question
Is the heart ready to lay aside human reasoning and prepared to accept the will of God? "God... who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Tim. 2:3, 4. These verses reveal to us God's nature. He desires only blessing for all people-all to be saved-all to come to the knowledge of the truth. These are two great steps in a person's life.
Must we stop preaching the gospel because the majority is not saved? Must we stop declaring the glorious truth that all believers are "one body," and that therefore there is one Head who is the one and only gathering Center-Christ Himself? Must we stop both because of the rejection of the first by unbelievers, and the rationalizing of the second by believers? Do we say we must not offend those who are lost?
The Second Question
What is the authority governing a voluntary, independent group? Independency, of necessity, means that authority rests within the circle itself, therefore scriptural authority is given second place; human rules are primary. It is abundantly seen that every independent group readily sees the faults of other independent fellowships. Where is the unity of the Spirit? (Eph. 4:3), the unity of opinion? (1 Cor. 1:10), or the unity of the body displayed? (Eph. 4:4).
Independency Is a Denial of These Unities
A denomination of believers may have considerable oneness of mind, opinion and judgment, yet it is not keeping the Spirit's unity, for it is making these opinions the ground of its unity.
We are not told to make a unity but to endeavor to maintain it (Eph. 4:3). Endeavoring to make a union proves that the Spirit's unity is not being kept. Union is man's making, unity is of the Holy Spirit's.
The Holy Spirit's Dwelling on Earth
The Holy Spirit dwells and acts in the body, the Church all over the world. All believers, however failing, careless or disobedient they may be, are forever in living unity with Christ, the Head in heaven, and also with every other member of His body on earth. Though, we must add, they are unhappy if in this state of soul.
Original Testimony to One Unity Shone Brightly
It is a self-evident fact that the one testimony to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, which shone so brightly in the pristine days of Acts 2:42, has become dimmed. Over 600 groups or denominations of Christians exist today, all claiming to be on scriptural ground, all claiming to be gathered to the same Name. Instead of feeling the dishonor brought to the Lord's name through these divisions, there is a willful determination for their continuance. Are controversies and contentions so engrossing our mind that the main point, the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, is lost?
Let's Bury the Hatchet?
Another suggestion of the enemy of Christ is to forget all our differences, "bury the hatchet," join the Ecumenical movement, form one federation. "After all," Satan would say, "the Bible teaches there should be one happy family.”
Would not God, who reads the heart, have to say, "From the prophet even unto the priest, everyone dealeth falsely. For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace"? Jer. 8:10, 11.
His Body and Church Are Synonymous
All the members of "His body" (a word synonymous with "the Church") (Eph. 1:22, 23) are formed, energized, taught, and acted upon, by "one Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:11).
It is of such a spiritual nature that the Spirit's unity can only be kept "with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love." Eph. 4:2. When this unity is truly kept, it will be, as it says, "in the [uniting] bond of peace." v. 3.
It is a holy unity, for the Spirit is holy (2 Tim. 2:19); the path and power of keeping it is by one Spirit operative all over the world. It therefore cannot be sectarian or denominational, though the living out of this unity may appear separative.
A member of a Church?
The Word of God does not recognize any such thing as being a member "of a church"; it always speaks of the members of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27).
"Purge Out," "Purge From”
In the first days of the Church (the assembly), when all who believed were together (Acts 2:42) and all outside were unbelievers, it was said, when there was evil inside, "purge out." 1 Cor. 5:7.
But when ruin in Christendom became general, with all kinds of evil having become associated with the blessed name of the Lord Jesus, the faithful believer is told to "purge [separate] from." 2 Tim. 2:19-21.
A Holy Unity
If the path is the Holy Spirit's unity, of necessity it is holy. Therefore it must be practical separation from those believers who are acting contrary to the "Spirit of truth" (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13), and the Spirit of holiness (Rom. 1:4).
Walking in communion with the Lord and seeking His exaltation alone gives discernment as to what to separate from down here. Then, and only then, the Holy Spirit is unhindered to draw that soul into His unity.
Can Two Walk Together Except They Be Agreed?
It is impossible therefore, for two or more companies, fellowships, to be in any one area and not be in fellowship according to the truth, for there is one body (Eph. 4:4), or to admit that there are different ways of dealing with the same matters in discipline, for there is "one Spirit." Eph. 4:4; 1 Cor. 12:13.
“IF THEREFORE THINE EYE BE SINGLE.
THY WHOLE BODY SHALL BE FULL OF
LIGHT." Matt. 6:22.
May it be so for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
N. Berry

Individual Prayer

Individual prayer holds a remarkable place in the divine actings in the world. Abraham prayed for the cities of the plain-a beautiful model of reverential yet earnest pleading with God. But Abraham stood yet before the Lord. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: will Thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked; and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Gen. 18:22-25. As a consequence of his intercession he obtains the promise that the city should be spared if only ten righteous were found in it, and though that number was not found, Jehovah accedes to His servant's plea for the righteous who might be there, and so the safety of Lot is provided for before judgment is allowed to descend upon the city. Again, to the King of Gerar it is announced, as a divine favor, that Abraham should pray for him (Gen. 20:7). Indeed this intercessory prayer is an important piece in the machinery of God's proceedings.
Daniel was qualified for intercessory prayer by the purity of his own ways. He is one of three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, whom Jehovah Himself selected as eminent in righteousness (Ezek. 14:14). The testimony of his enemies was, "We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God." Dan. 6:5. In a foreign land, amidst foes and snares, his practice was to pray. "He kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God." Dan. 6:10. How precious are the exercises of such a soul! There was no cloud in his own relationship with God; he was free to intercede for the state of God's people-a type in this of the great Intercessor. Hence we have the prayer and confession of Dan. 9:3, 4. "I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession.”
It is interesting to see that Daniel was heard as soon as he set himself to pray, although his prayer was not answered for some time afterward. "Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, al to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words." Dan. 10:12.
So another testifies: "I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill." Psa. 3:4.
Fellow-believer, the same is our privilege! Such is "the boldness" we have towards Him, that "if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us." 1 John 5:14. This involves brokenness of our own wills, spirituality, without which our thoughts and feelings do not move in the line of His will. There has been One who could say, without limitation, "Father... Thou hearest Me always." John 11:41, 42.
But Daniel's prayer, in the ninth chapter of his book, and Abraham's prayer, though individual, were in a certain sense public. That is to say, they were not about the private history, or about the personal wants of either Daniel or Abraham. Their subject matter was public. Daniel's prayer had reference to the fallen state of Israel as God's people, and to God's interests as bound up with them. Likewise Abraham's prayer had no relation to Abraham's own wants. He was secure from the judgments about to fall upon the wicked, but he pleads earnestly for the righteous who were intermingled with them and in danger of sharing their judgment. So, too, as to Paul's prayers in Ephesians (chapters 1 and 3). They were individual prayers, but their scope and object were God's glory and Christ's interests in the Church. This is a high order of prayer: that is, where a servant of the Lord is abstracted from private or personal needs, and is earnestly concerned about Christ's interests in His people. Indeed, Paul's prayers for the saints in Eph. 1 and 3 were a reproduction in his measure, and so far as regarded the Church, of the prayer and desires of the Lord Himself in John 17.
But there is another type of prayer equally divine in authorization, but which though not so lofty in scope, is more tender; it has to do with smaller and more human, or everyday concerns, for the believer is privileged to have communion with God about the whole of his private and personal affairs. Thus: "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Luke 12:6, 7. "Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" Phil. 4:6, 7. "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7.
Now, many Christians have a feeling that it is scarcely legitimate to expect that God would condescend to the small and petty affairs of our life. As in the case of some great dignitary amongst men, they feel as though they could not presume to trouble Him with their personal concerns. The thought may not be quite definite, and they would shrink from expressing it. But it lingers in the mind sufficiently to create hesitation and doubtfulness in prayer. It is important, therefore, to see that we have in these scriptures ample warrant for regarding the whole interior of the life of a Christian, as under the authority and care of our God and Father. Is some item too small to be brought to Him in prayer? Is it too purely personal, too exclusively our own, for Him to consider? What stronger expression could the Lord employ to disabuse us of the notion, and to encourage confidence, than that the very hairs of our head are all numbered? Have we the feeling that some things we can take to God, but that some things we cannot? The scripture says, "In everything by prayer and supplication." Have we a request, as to which we have no strong confidence that it is according to His mind? Well, we can at least make it known to God, and the result for our souls when we leave it with Him will be peace; the request being submissively laid before Him, His peace will keep both heart and mind through Christ Jesus, and we can then be content, whether we have our petition or not.
It may be that we are in circumstances which our own wrong-doing has brought us into, and that we justly dread the consequences. Even that we can take to God, if we have sincerely confessed our sin, and all the anxiety of it, all the care, we may cast upon Him, "Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you." The case of Jacob and Esau is an illustration of how God can, and will, turn dreaded events into blessing for us, when we in brokenness wait upon Him. Jacob had deeply wronged Esau, and now, after years of separation, he has to face him; the brothers are about to meet (Gen. 32). Jacob's conscience naturally makes him fear the resentment of Esau, who he learns is coming to meet him with four hundred men. But he lays it before God in prayer (Gen. 32:11), with the marvelous result that the man whose vengeance he feared, "ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept"!
Thus God is the refuge of the soul at all times. Blessed is prayer which is the outcome of an upright walk, but even when the fruits of our evil doings are springing up, yet if we are the Lord's, and have truly judged the evil of our ways, we may safely leave, in peace, all consequences to Him.
Individual, secret prayer and communion with God, constitute the foundation of all godliness. Neither the prayer meeting nor the Lord's service is a substitute for them. They are the safeguard of the soul; where they fail, a fall is not far off. E. Thomas

Reciprocal Affection

It is a blessed thing to cultivate in our hearts, not only the sense of what God has done for us, but also what He in grace has made us to be for Himself. It is most blessed to get away from ourselves, and entering into the secret of God's presence, there to learn what those sentiments are which fill His heart. The Spirit of God makes those who believe in Christ to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:8.) That is our side of this joy, but "it is meet that we should make merry and be glad" is His, for the Father has His joy as well, and it is boundless. He rejoices to have children near to Him-children who can enjoy Himself. "Christ... suffered... the just for the unjust, that He might bring us so God," and we "joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation)." Rom. 5:11.
We are made nigh by the precious blood of Christ, so that we may enjoy Himself. It is not merely what He gives us, but Himself, who is to be the portion of our souls, and this is the fruit of the new birth. Because we are born again, we enjoy God Himself. We "joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ." But what is this new birth? It is our getting a new nature, which has the capacity to enjoy and understand and know God. The soul gets this as the fruit of His grace. We are made to enjoy God, but then He has His side as well. His joy is to have His children near to Him, and we are to have the sense that there is nothing between our hearts and Himself. Thus we see there is the joy of the Father, and the children's joy likewise.
“Thou the prodigal hast pardoned,
Kissed us with a Father's love;
Killed the fatted calf, and called us
E'er to dwell with Thee above.
Clothed in garments of salvation,
At Thy table is our place;
We rejoice, and Thou rejoicest.
In the riches of Thy grace.”
W. Wolston

The Family

At this late time in the twentieth century when the world is so highly developed in both good and bad ways, many Christian parents are intensely concerned for their families. Problems arise that were not exactly known or even heard of in the past. Many sincerely desire to know what the answers arc and where they may be found.
Thankfully, the true Christian knows where he can get help, or perhaps we should say, to whom he can turn for that help. "Our sufficiency is of God" (2 Cor. 3:5), is an exceedingly broad statement and very comforting when we realize that we can get what we need from Him. In this chapter these five words seem to apply especially to the understanding of the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments. We can, then, find in the Bible answers to the problems that every family experiences.
Fathers and mothers are genuinely distressed at the horrible, daily accounts of all kinds of murder, corruption and violence. Even the most sacred family ties no longer exercise any restraint upon men's passions. There are increasing wars as in Lebanon, Ireland, El Salvador, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq in which thousands of people are swept into eternity. Numberless families are plunged into sorrow and despair. Terrible weapons already exist which, if used, would destroy whole nations.
Besides all these inventions for destruction, there is the sinister opposition of Satan against the Christian home. Each member of the family feels the pressure to compromise with the world that is presented as so attractive and gratifying to the flesh. What should we do? Read 1 John 2:15-17.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Another one of the enemy's devices is that he tries to divide the family. Parents in particular need to be on guard against this, for the results of division are disastrous. The words of Jesus in Matt. 12:25 are: "Every... house divided against itself shall not stand." We beseech parents to practice the truth that applies to each one, whether it is to submit or to love. You will find in Eph. 5, instruction which, if practiced, will safely keep your home; the enemy will be defeated and happiness and blessing will be your reward: Sometimes as children grow up they want to be independent and leave their family before they are ready for such a step. Any young person who considers doing this should be extremely cautious and search his own heart as to the motive for leaving and how it will affect others. We recommend the book of Proverbs where you will find the father and mother instructing the son in the first seven chapters while he is at home. Then in chapter eight he has left home, but the voice of wisdom is still crying out to him. In chapter twenty-three, the longing cry of the parent is: "My son, give me thine heart." Pro. 23:26. The teaching in Pro. 4:23 is: "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Matt. 6:21 says: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Where is your heart? Let us each one be careful of the object before us.
Parents sometimes fail in that they desire something for their children that they would not think of having for themselves. A respected servant of the Lord once said, "Raise your children for the world and the world will get them; dress your children for the world and the world will take them.”
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he said: "Yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." 1 Cor. 4:15. Later in 2 Cor. 12:14 he writes, "I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." What was he laying up for his children? Was it fame, fortune or wealth? Oh, no, he had left all such earthly things for "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." To him was given "the truth as it is in Jesus" and he would pass that on to his spiritual children. May we then, as Christian parents, prize and so enjoy the truth that our children, too, will want for themselves those riches and joys that endure throughout all ages.
For those who are wanting answers, we ask you to answer the following questions for yourself.
1. Parents: do you, with your children around you, read a portion of God's Word daily and also pray?
2. Fathers: do you bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Do you restrain them without provoking them to anger?
3. Mothers: do you, during those precious, young years of your child, tell that dear little one of Jesus?
Yours is the greatest privilege in this.
4. Children: do you obey your parents in the Lord? Do you honor your father and mother?
5. Wives: do you submit yourself unto your own husband as unto the Lord?
6. Husbands: do you love your wife, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it?
In concluding, we cite two men from scripture, one as a warning and the other as an example for us.
A Warning
"The Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." 1 Sam. 3:11-13.
An Example
"The Lord said. Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him." Gen. 18:17, 19.
Ed.

Apothegms and Aphorisms

Every Christian has access to the throne of grace.
The secret of a peaceful life is not merely submission to, but delight in the will of God.
Obedience and happiness go together.
The path of obedience is the path of sufficiency,
He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
Troubles are like children-they get bigger with nursing.
The Lord will take care of your feet, if you take care of your eyes.
It is a much greater thing to know you are loved than to love,
You find the sweet at the bottom of the cup.

Kept From the Vortex of Evil

Are your souls familiar with that grace of the Father in having chosen and accepted you in the Son of His love before the foundation of the world? Do you find in it power that separates you from the world? l believe we are now in a very peculiar stage of its history with the powers of darkness letting loose a vortex of evil of every kind, and many a child of God will be caught in it if not walking with God. Some, like Lot, may have to be dragged up out of Sodom. Not that God will not keep His people, but He also wants them to have the experience of what His love is in such largeness that it will keep their hearts fresh with heavenly streams, fresh in blessed and divine thoughts. They who enjoy all the Father's divine love have a fountain overflowing from heaven. Are you drinking of it?
Did it not all begin with God? You know it did, in that He chose you in the Son of His love before the foundation of the world. What joy it is to know that He wants to have you in the heavenly city. His love is not satisfied save by your being associated with His Son in glory.
Oh, if you know what a portion is yours as one who is to be associated in heavenly glory with Christ, then you may walk in the power of it and of the Father's delight in Him. He wants you to remember as you walk, that He took you up before the foundation of the world, and He will not be satisfied in the largeness of His love toward you till you are in the divine glory with His Son. What freshness of joy your heart will have as the result of communion with Him in heaven!

The Law Was Our Schoolmaster to Bring Us Unto Christ: Galatians 3:24

This is a greatly misunderstood verse. Now what "was" the law? It "was" a schoolmaster unto minor children. The word here translated "schoolmaster" in the Greek original indicates a slave who acted as a tutor to children.
Next, who are meant by the minors who were under its exacting demands? Simply, and only, the Jewish people. They were under the law, but the Gentiles were not. Here Paul is writing to Gentile believers and declaring what the law applied to those who were under it. He is always very careful in his use of "us" or "our," in contrast to "you" or "your"; sometimes he carefully distinguishes between "we" (the Jews) and "ye" (the Gentiles), and at times his "we" embraces believers of both Jews and Gentiles. If there is any doubt about the meaning, the context should settle it.
Notice that the words "to bring us" arc in italics in most Bibles, thus indicating that the words were not in the original Greek, but are supplied by the translators according to their judgment, which in this case was faulty. Read without the italicized words, it is simply, "the law was our schoolmaster unto Christ," or "until Christ came." The Apostle did not say that this "slave-tutor" was intended for the purpose of bringing us (or anyone) to Christ, but rather that it acted with due severity to those under it until Christ came.
The next verse (Gal. 3:25) says, "But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." He does not say, "after Christ is come," but after "faith" came. True, it is after Christ came, but the point is that it is after faith in the Lord Jesus came. The Jews who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ after He came, died, and rose again, were no longer under the old schoolmaster, the law. They had been delivered from it by the death of Christ.
Then the Apostle goes on to say, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.... There is neither Jew nor Greek... for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:26, 28. When it becomes a matter of faith in Christ Jesus, the Jews and Gentiles shared alike in the blessings of faith-they are one in Christ. And so the Apostle drops the "us" and "we" when he speaks of faith and the blessings of it. The believing Jews are no longer under the law for any purpose whatsoever; they, with the believing Gentiles, belong to Christ and are duly subject to Him.
Therefore, we affirm that the law did not bring anyone to Christ; that was not its purpose. It was added because of sin, that "sin might become exceedingly sinful." Before the law was given, man was lawless, pleasing himself with no thought of living for his Creator, but when the law was given to a favored class-the Jew-it proved that the man was not only lawless without the law, but a law-breaker when it was given. It became a ministry of death and condemnation (2 Cor. 3), and Paul says that it deceived him and slew him; he found that that which was holy, just, and good proved to be unto death (Rom. 7:7-12).
The law cannot give life, but it has power to condemn all who are under it, for all have sinned. It cannot bring anyone to Christ, nor is it a rule of life for the believer. P. Wilson

Faith Healing

The first scripture we wish to consider is in the Old Testament, and refers to the dealings of God in that governmental dispensation. "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee." Ex. 15:26. This was a promise to the people of Israel. They were to be blessed here in this world, if they did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. Their blessing was conditional on obedience. This is more fully explained to them in Deut. 33. The Lord is clearly the healer of the body, "For I am the Lord that healeth thee." Indeed all these blessings have reference to the body here on earth.
To apply this to the Christian would be a great mistake. We are blest, not with earthly blessings, but "with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Eph. 1:3-7. When Jesus left His little flock on earth, He gave no promise that they should, if obedient, be exempt from tribulation, but He said they would have it in the world. And the more obedient they have been to His Word, the more the world has hated them and persecuted them. The most obedient and devoted servant of Christ could say, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort: who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble." 2 Cor. 1:3-6, etc.
May it not be said to some, "Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." Heb. 12:5-8, etc. Is it not a great mistake to suppose that the absence of chastening is a proof that we are right? Rather, it may prove we are deceived, and Satan's purpose is to deceive.
Ex. 23:25, 27 is a similar promise to Israel: "And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.... and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come." How important to bear in mind the difference of dispensation in the dealings of God! One would think no one could apply such a scripture to Christians. And it is a serious thing to say we are Jews when iv are not, but do lie. (Rev. 3:9.) For the Jew, affliction was a mark of rebuke; to the Christian it may be a token of love to one whom He loveth.
The next scripture given is the same character, and could not possibly be applied to us now. "And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them." Deut. 7:15,16. This was God's governmental dealing in that dispensation. Can any one suppose it is the same in this period of infinite grace to man?
We will now look at the next scripture and it is most solemn. "And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not the Lord, but to the physicians." 2 Chron. 16:12. Here was a man of God who had committed the very common sin of making alliance with the world. He made a league with Ben-hadad, King of Syria. He gave him silver and gold; he relied on the King of Syria, and did not rely on Jehovah. (2 Chron. 16:7.) He was then rebuked by the prophet Hanani, "Herein hast thou done foolishly." Did he repent at the word of the Lord? Far from it! He, in his folly, persecuted the prophet. And now the Lord, in His love to him, afflicts him in his feet. Does he now repent, and turn to and rely on the Lord? No, he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.
And as Elihu says, "Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living." Job 33:29, 30. God's gracious object in such cases, and they are common when a believer has sinned, is to bring him to repentance and confession. (see James 5:13-16, and 1 John 5:16.) How often may you see a Christian like Asa. He fails grievously, and refuses to bow to his Father's afflicting hand. He gets chafed and angry. If it is in his circumstances, he will borrow money wherever he can get it, and thus struggle against the hand of God. And if it is affliction of the body, he may struggle against God in the same disobedient spirit. He refuses for a time to rely on God his Father, and to return to Him, in confession and humiliation.
It is not going to the physician that is wrong, but the state of his soul in doing so, as to his sin, and the Lord's claims. In fact, where there is brokenness of spirit, as in the case of Hezekiah, as he explains this matter when he had been sick, the Lord may use the physician-indeed, He used Isaiah as a physician. No doubt there was faith, but there was also a plaster made of the lump of figs laid upon the boil. (Isa. 38:21.) And are there not physicians who never see a patient, without first looking to the Lord for guidance as to what remedy they shall prescribe?
Afflictions are not always because of some failure. This was not the case in Hezekiah. (Isa. 38.) His history up to this point is beautiful and refreshing to read. But the Lord saw a great temptation coming upon him in the letters, flatteries, and presents of the King of Babylon. His affliction and restoration should have prepared him against the seductions of the enemy. If we are not conscious of some sin for which the Lord is afflicting us in His love, let us take it as a warning, and look to the Lord for increased watchfulness lest we are entangled in the flatteries of Babylon. In every one of these Old Testament histories, we see a picture of our own experience.
The writer looks back over more than half a century of the experience of his own failures and God's goodness, and he can say, "It was good for me that I was afflicted." Deep humiliation, surely, becomes him that he needed those afflictions, but he could not have done without them, and would not have been without them. The Lord doeth all things well. We hope shortly to turn to the New Testament scriptures, but in the meantime let us remember that, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." Psa. 34:19. C.H.M.

Giving and Yet Having

Years ago, a brother used to say to us, "Language is the only vehicle upon which thought can travel, and it's a very poor vehicle." It is something like the Model T Ford of those days-a poor vehicle, but the best we had. Language is made up of words and they mean what we think they do. Words convey to my mind what I think they mean and to your mind what you think they mean. So thought travels.
Recently, a brother wrote to me and said "Cleave is one of two English words that is its own antonym." I still do not know what the other word is, but it has made me think of another word. That word is "share.”
When I was a boy, my father taught me a needed lesson. Being the youngest in the family at that time, I was getting badly spoiled by my brothers and sisters. Father brought a candy bar and set it in front of Jack and me. He was two years older, bigger and smarter than I. Father said, "One of you cut it in two and the other take the first piece." My brother wisely said, "You cut it." Quickly I took the knife and carefully cut it so that the piece next to me was a little larger. He nicely reached over and took that piece. To this day I have not forgotten that important lesson.
Sometimes we use the word "share" when we are talking about the precious things that are ours to enjoy from God's Word. To me the word "share" makes me think of dividing with my brother. He got his part and I took what was left. It is not like that in the precious truths of the Word of God. In spiritual things we cannot give it away, but rather, we retain all for our own enjoyment as well.
Suppose you say to me, "The subject of First John one is communion," and I had not before noticed this. You have given to me but you still have. So it is, in the wonderful things that are given to us of God.
It turned out the same way for the disciples when the Lord Jesus fed the multitudes through them. He gave to the disciples, they divided to the people, but there was always food for the disciples and an abundance that remained. We can give, we can still have and yet there is always more to get in spiritual things.

He Got the Job

A young man walked from the pier on the Mississippi River direct to the captain's cabin of a river boat plying between New Orleans and St. Louis. He was young and filled with confidence. The captain asked him what he wanted and the young man replied that he was looking for a job as a wheelman.
“What experience have you had on the river?" asked the captain.
“Five years, sir.”
“Do you know the location of all the shoals and snags?”
“No, sir, but I know where there aren't any, and that's where I will steer.”
He got the job.
In the Christian life, the path of safety in Christian living is not in knowing all the nature of sin or the path of wickedness, but in knowing the will of the Lord and in being willing to stay in it. The obedience of the saints in Rome at the time Paul wrote to them had become known throughout the Christian world. Paul wrote them, complimenting them on this obedience, and said, "I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil." Rom. 16:19. We must steer where sin is not. Selected

The Holy Spirit in Relation to Prayer

Although Christ is the One to whose Name saints are gathered at the prayer meeting, it is equally necessary to recognize the function or office of the Holy Spirit in prayer, and that, whether in private or public. Consider the magnitude of the fact that the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost, and, abiding with us forever, is here today (John 14:16)! He dwells in the Church which is builded together for His habitation; He dwells in the individual believer (Eph. 2:22; 1 Cor. 6:19). Such a fact is immensely important. We find that this indwelling Spirit is our Instructor and Guide in prayer, and all true prayer is in the Spirit. "Praying in the Holy Ghost." Jude 20. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Eph. 6:18. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Rom. 8:26, 27.
When Christ was with His disciples, He taught them to pray; John had similarly taught his disciples. But now all that is changed. It was expedient for the disciples that Christ should go away in order that the Holy Ghost should come, and He, being there, takes the office of forming our minds and hearts in prayer. Truly, we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but-as dwelling in us-the Spirit Himself maketh intercession. The words "for us" in Rom. 8:26, are not in the best texts, and, like many well-meant additions to Scripture, only mar its perfectness. Maketh intercession for us inserted in this verse, would rather give the idea of the blessed Spirit and the saints as two distinct parties, and that He. externally to us, makes intercession for us, That this is not the sense, is clear from the next words-"He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Rom. 8:27. Thus then, God who looks down into the heart, sees there the in-wrought desires and prayers of the Spirit, and the intercession which the Spirit there makes, for and on behalf of the saints, is according to God. The structure of this scripture (Rom. 8:26, 27) is remarkable. As regards ourselves. the Spirit is so identified with us, that God, in searching the hearts, finds there the mind of the spirit, and this is what He graciously takes up, not the workings of the flesh. But as regards God-whatever may be the Spirit's condescension to us-the Spirit stands in all His own power and dignity as a Person of the Godhead, to plead for the saints. What solemnity, what divine value, clothes the prayers of saints, when the form in which they come before God is that of intercession by the Spirit Himself! On our side this may reach down to an inarticulate groan; Godward, it rises to the height of the Spirit's own intercession.
The bearing of this upon prayer is most encouraging. Here we find the Holy Spirit as dwelling in us, graciously identifying Himself in tender sympathy with our weakness, with our infirmities. The Church which Christ has purchased with His own blood is so precious, that the blessed Spirit must come and dwell there and look after it. Being here, He is our Paraclete, that is, Manager of our affairs. He opposes the flesh in us (Gal. 5:17), helps our infirmities, condescends to our ignorance, and enters into our sorrows with groanings which cannot be uttered.
We do not think enough of the sympathy of the Spirit of God with us. He is that “other Comforter" [Paraclete] who, the Lord said, was to replace Himself on earth. Jesus took our infirmities, and the Spirit helpeth our infirmities; Jesus groaned at Lazarus's grave, and the Spirit intercedes for the saints with groanings which cannot be uttered. How great must be the interest of the Holy Spirit in us when He can come and dwell in us, not discontinuing His stay, although our ways so often grieve Him (Eph. 4:30)!
When once grasped, this truth of the function which the Holy Ghost graciously assumes in the matter of prayer easily disposes of some popular errors.
1. Praying to the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is in us, and is Himself the moving power and inditer of our prayers, then obviously, to address our prayers to Him is an incongruity: it is "by Him” that we "have access to the Father." Eph. 2:18. For addressing the Holy Spirit, Scripture gives us neither precept nor example. Such hymns, therefore, as that commencing, "Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove," however pious their intention, do not show an intelligent apprehension of Christian doctrine. When we address God indefinitely, of course the three Persons of the Trinity are included, but when we pray to the Persons distinctively, it can only be to the Father or to the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Forms of Prayer. Following a set form in prayer is quite inconsistent with the office of the Holy Ghost in the Church. If He is Himself with us as inditer of our prayers, how unworthy to limit Him to certain forms of words! Suppose the greatest musical genius of the world came to reside with me that I might enjoy his compositions, and I, instead of listening to him, brought out a music box which could only regale me with its narrow stock of tunes, should I not be insulting my gracious guest? Although we know not what we should pray for as we ought, the remedy is not that wise men should frame forms for us. Our resource is the Holy Spirit who helps our infirmities, condescends to our weaknesses, and intercedes with groans which cannot be uttered. When that Mighty Spirit condescends to undertake this gracious function, what dishonor to Him, what a want of faith, to substitute a dead form for His living guidance!
3. Using the Lord's Prayer. But some think, "However I may distrust my own prayers, and even the Prayer Book, which, though framed by good men, is not inspired, yet, 'the Lord's Prayer' which He Himself ordained-surely we are on safe ground in using that?" This spirit of reverence for the Lord Jesus is certainly right, but the view expressed is oblivious of the immense change of affairs, consequent on the coming of the Holy Ghost, who, having descended on Christ at His baptism, descended upon the Church at Pentecost, and is still here. In giving the prayer of Matt. 6, the Lord was performing the office of Paraclete which is now performed by the Holy Spirit. That prayer was absolutely perfect for the time and circumstances for which it was prescribed. It is not equally applicable to another time and altered circumstances. One or two points will be sufficient to establish this. (1) The Lord Himself declared that in connection with the coming of the Holy Ghost there would be a change in respect of this very matter of prayer. In John 16, He is speaking of a future day, "When He, the Spirit of truth, is come" (John 16:13), and in John 16:23-26, He deals with the subject of prayer in "that day." He says: "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.... At that day ye shall ask in My name." John 16:24, 26. Now here we see that the Lord Himself was leading the disciples beyond "the Lord's Prayer" for in the latter, His name is not mentioned, and He tells them that, in the coming era, prayer was to be in His Name. (2) Another indication of the incongruity of "the Lord's Prayer" to the present time, is that its aspiration is for the coming of the kingdom, "Thy kingdom come." This was a proper Jewish hope, suited to the Jewish disciples for whom the prayer was ordained, but the Church has an earlier and a brighter hope, even to see and be with the Lord Himself before the kingdom comes (1 Thess. 4:16-18).
The Lord, indeed, taught the disciples to pray, and did so perfectly. But the office of intercessor on earth He has now relinquished to the Holy Spirit, to whose guidance, therefore, we are committed. Let us seek to be "praying in the Holy Ghost" knowing that the Spirit enters with fullest sympathy, into all our infirmities, all our circumstances, and will give us desires, sentiments, and expressions appropriate to every experience, either happy or sad, through which the soul can pass. "The Lord's Prayer" belongs to a past period, before the Spirit had been given. We have the Holy Ghost Himself now, to assist our prayers.
E. Thomas

The Fruit of the Spirit

In Gal. 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit is brought before us in the singular instead of the plural. These graces are not the product of self; they do not belong to us by nature; this is the inward work of grace reproduced by the Holy Spirit. We are reminded in Hos. 14:8 "From Me is thy fruit found." Again in that memorable discourse by our Lord in John 15:5 we read: "Without Me ye can do nothing.”
These nine lovely graces begin with love, joy and peace-the characteristics of our inward state. Long-suffering, gentleness and goodness mark our outward character before our fellowmen. While faith, meekness and temperance [self-control] distinguish our attitude upward toward God. Our Lord was the only One on earth who displayed these graces with faultless and unerring perfection.
Love is the first fruit of the Spirit. This is not a human sentiment, but it is the "love of God... shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost." Rom. 5:5. The matchless love has drawn us to Himself, the Lover of our souls, and the love of Christ constraineth us-that we should not henceforth live unto ourselves but unto Him who died for us and rose again. (2 Cor. 5:14, 15.) This love is the badge of our discipleship. The Lord Jesus reminds us in John 13:35: "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another." "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:10.
Joy, another characteristic, is the second fruit of the Spirit. We recall His sweet promise "These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11. Again, "Your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22. Our joy is in the Lord Himself "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." 1 Peter 1:8. A fullness of joy is the result of our fellowship with the Father and with His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and truly "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Neh. 8:10.
Peace is the third of these graces. Our Lord Jesus spoke of this peace to His disciples in the upper room: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." John 14:27. "Having made peace through the blood of His cross." Col. 1:20. So we may, even in this restless, changing world, experience the tranquility of soul for "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee." Isa. 26:3.
Long-suffering, the fourth, is a wonderful attribute of our gracious God, and how much we need to cultivate this fruit of the Spirit in a hostile world and toward one another. "Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness." Col. 1:11. The Apostle Paul, in his testimony, declares, "That in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering; for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting." 1 Tim. 1:16.
Gentleness is the fifth of the graces of the Holy Spirit. "Thy gentleness hath made me great." 2 Sam. 22:36. Our Lord Jesus was the perfect example of this lovely grace. We are reminded in 2 Tim. 2:24 and 25, "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." (see also James 3:17.)
Goodness is the sixth grace. This is not any goodness of our own, but as we fix our earnest gaze upon Him who went about doing good, others may take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13;10:38). It is unselfishness towards others in our forbearance and in our manner of lire. We are exhorted to do good to all men and especially to them who are of the household of faith.
Faith is the seventh of the graces and distinguishes our attitude towards God in our daily walk here. We read in 1 Cor. 4:2: "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." May we seek to be faithful in the little things. "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much." Luke 16:10. We would remind our hearts of the Lord's own commendation to the faithful servant: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Matt. 25:21.
Meekness is the eighth grace, and we always need to remind ourselves of the Lord's gracious invitation in Matt. 11:29: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Meekness is not weakness, but strength held under control. It is a humility that surrenders the will to the Lord. It is the ornament which is in the sight of God of great price (1 Peter 3:4). The Apostle Paul appeals to the believers in Corinth to manifest (show forth, display) the meekness of Christ.
Temperance [self-control] is the last but not the least of the graces. We have here the need for the Spirit-controlled life. In 2 Peter 1:5, 6, we have added to faith, virtue, and to virtue, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control. If we live in the Spirit, we are also to walk in the Spirit. All believers live in the Spirit, being born again by the Holy Spirit as we are exhorted in verse 16 of Gal. 5 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust [evil desires] of the flesh.”
May these graces become increasingly evident in each of our lives to His glory. H. Spence

Usefulness

A question often arises about usefulness. Satan often beguiles by it. He may have suggested to John that he would be more useful if he were to compromise a little, and keep out of trouble for the sake of being free for his service to saints. Useful to whom? To God or to men? God may be able to show out more of His glory by laying men aside. The eyes of God rested on Paul a prisoner, seemingly useless (not even always allowed to write), as the field for the display of some of the greatest privileges of truth. The very point when your weakness seems to make you useless is often the very way in which God shows forth His glory. People think it strange that old Christians, useless ones. etc., should be left, and young, active ones taken. Do not try to settle God's house for Him; do not say. "What a pity for John to get to Patmos." The Lord wanted him there to communicate something that might serve His people to the end of time. A person may be in difficult circumstances, and you may have it in your power to get him out of them in the power of human nature. And you may do it, and find out that God would have had him in them, because then he would have borne testimony; you ought not to have measured things by your love for him and your comfort, but by the light of God. We often act on a set of thoughts of which the cord is bound to our own humanity instead of God's glory.
G.V. Wigram

The Remnant of Israel

The remnant of Israel is distinguished from their apostate brethren in Isa. 33:14.15. The sinners in Zion have seen the judgment of God on their enemies and are afraid; fearfulness has surprised the hypocrites; they cannot hope to survive the devouring fire or endure the everlasting burnings of the righteous wrath of God. Their question, "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" is answered by Jehovah in the following verse, He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil." In the latter days the remnant appears, by closed eyes and stopped ears, separated from the mass of the nation.
Identical distinguishing marks appear in the deaf man with a speech impediment, in Mark 7:32-35, and in the blind men of Mark 8:23 and John 9th. Each, in their own way, depict the yet-future remnant of Israel. As to the deaf man, he is separated from those around him: he cannot hear the evil and the blood shedding, nor the cries of the victims; neither is he responsive, for he cannot communicate with the apostates. Further, Jesus took him aside from the multitude, put His finger into his ears, spit, and touched his tongue saying, "Be opened." The spittle was the efficacy of His own person, but in Jewish eyes, it was cause for ostracizing the man for seven days. (Num. 12:14).
In Mark 8:23 the blind man. by his blindness, is separated from the mass of the people, and cannot see the evil done in the land. He is led out of the town by the Lord and upon receiving his sight, is told not to return to the town. (Zech. 14:5.) In this case also, the Lord spit on his eyes and thereby accomplished a further separation of seven days, denoting spiritual completeness.
A third instance, in John 9:6, depicts the remnant as the work of God and for the glory of God. Jesus spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle, anointed the eyes of the blind man, and said unto him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing." From birth he had been separated from the nation by blindness, and in this example of the remnant, the truth goes further: he is excommunicated from the nation and cast out of the synagogue, but found by Jesus.
The deaf and blind remnant had not sin in respect of that to which their condition separated them (John 9:41 a). Their first voice was the voice of Jesus; their first sight was of the man Christ Jesus; then they saw all men clearly.
Psa. 15 gives the character of the remnant, and Psa. 42 the utterance of the remnant cast out of Jerusalem and taunted by their apostate brethren with, "Where is thy God?" The Lord went through it all before them, as a reading of the Psalms will show.
W. Bothwell

Love

Man could die for a benefactor perhaps, but he is not capable, in true simple-hearted love, of unostentatiously dying for an enemy. God's becoming a man to do it silences the heart, and creates, by the sovereign title of love, a new order of feeling.

Bible Challenger: The Word Which Gives Confidence to Believers in Afflictions

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word which gives confidence to every believer when afflictions come into their lives.
1. The conclusion of a wise man when contemplating the duty of everyone under the sun.
2. The Christian's proper attitude towards those things which are contrary to God's holy nature.
3. Something the Lord Jesus says of Himself referring to the Greek alphabet.
4. What everyone might well do in response to the Lord's deeds among His people.
5. What the Lord Jesus taught His disciples as to properly addressing the Father in prayer.
6. The first step in receiving an important, free gift.
7. A question asked in the chariot of someone visiting Jerusalem.
8. A disciples three-word prayer that was answered immediately.
9. A word describing the path that few seemingly desire to find.
10. An agricultural truth used to illustrate the blessing from the cross of Christ.
11. A lesson on seasoning.
12. A strange command by an army captain to gain extra time.
Answers to these questions will be found in next month's issue of Christian Treasury.
Answers to Lust Month's Bible Challenger
1. Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. Amos 4:12
2. Remember now thy Creator. Eccl. 12:1
3. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Matt. 25:21
4. Shibboleth. Judg. 12:6
5. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Deut. 33:27
6. My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Cor. 12:9
7. Put up again thy sword into his place. Matt. 26:52
8. Take up his cross, and follow Me. Matt. 16:24
9. Up make us gods, which shall go before us. Ex. 32:1
10. One thing have I desired of the Lord. Psa. 27:4
11. Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Tim. 6:14
12. Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die. 2 Kings 20:1
“Keep back thy servant also from PRESUMPTUOUS sins: let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression." Psa. 19:13. R. Erisman

Others

One of the characteristics of the early Christians was their joyful sharing of their possessions. It was not communism; it was Christian compassion. "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." Acts 2:44,45. God has not commanded us to follow their exact example, but He has encouraged us to share what we have with others. See l John 3:17.

Faith Tested

Faith tested is faith strengthened. We arc not talking about failure. Failure is not faith. All our failure springs from unbelief of the goodness that is in the heart of God toward us. Faith sees the object, hope desires it and love enjoys it.
Abraham is set before us for our learning as an example of these things. He certainly had his faith sorely tried. Of him it is written.
“Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God." Rom. 4:18-20.
Surely the testing of Abraham's faith in waiting so long to have Isaac strengthened his faith in God for the later and far greater trial that is recounted in the faith chapter.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said. That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up. even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." Heb. 11:17-19.
The confidence that Abraham gained by waiting so long for his son must have helped him greatly to go through that supreme trial of offering up Isaac later. I wonder if you, as a tested Christian, might be able to recall similar testings of your faith? Has a heavier. more difficult trial followed a smaller one in your life? There is an extremely comforting verse for us in 1 Cor. 10:13.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful. who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Another thing to remember is that both the faith and the test of it come from God. Eph. 2:8 clearly says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of Gad." God gives the faith. He tests it and He rewards for it. "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:9.
In the United States, the dollar bill has written on it, "In God we trust." Do you trust in God? "He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." John 3:33. Ed.
Faith is a grasping of Almighty power;
The hand of man laid on the arm of God;
The grand and blessed hour
In which the things impossible to me
Become the possible, O Lord, through Thee.

Christian Household

Through the power and grace of our God and Father, we have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son, and made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; not only so, but we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. We are not of this world, but we are in it. (John 17) And though a long-suffering God is still lingering over this scene of increasing corruption, violence, and enmity against Him, waiting to be gracious, and though the light of His gospel still shines, yet, darkness is daily thickening around us, "darkness that may be felt.”
What about the light in our houses amidst the growing darkness around us? Have we, like those Israelites in Goshen, "light in our dwellings?" And is that light shining brightly, "giving light to all that are in the house," and is it "seen by them that come into the house?" It is true that we "are light in the Lord," but what comes next? "Walk as children of light." The light has not been given us to be hidden under the bushel of commerce and worldliness, or under the bed of idleness and self-indulgence, but to give light to every inmate of the house, and to those who come in. Thank God, we know that "the night is far spent, and the day is at hand," but for this poor world, it is far otherwise: "The day [of salvation] is far spent, and the night is at hand." As in the natural, so in the spiritual world: the last hour before daybreak is the darkest and coldest. And that hour has arrived. But it only proves that for us, the night is almost over. The star is in the sky. He, who is "the bright and the morning star," our Savior, is coming to take us up to Himself.
But how will He find those of us, in whose hearts He has made the corresponding day star arise? Will He find that blessed hope shining upon our path, and our hearts and feet in the light of it? Will He find the light of that hope shining in our houses, and turning them into tents like Abraham's? The Lord could not hide from Abraham that thing which He did, knowing that Abraham would command his children and his household after him, (three hundred and eighteen servants at the time), so that they should keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord might bring upon Abraham that which He had spoken of him.
Beloved, let us remember that we are not only to be light bearers, as to the glorious gospel of God and His truth, but that we are to "walk in the light, even as He is in the light," who has called us from darkness unto His marvelous light. This light, it is true, is to shine in the walk of every individual Christian. He is called, not only to announce, but to adorn, by his walk, the gospel of God and the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. "The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto a perfect day." May the light of our own individual walk, and the collective, more intensified light of a well-ordered Christian household shine brightly for His honor and glory until He comes. J. von Poseck

Paul With the Romans and at Rome

After a long, wearisome and eventful journey, (Acts 21-23) during a period of two long years, for which time he had not seen any brethren, the Apostle Paul at last finds himself approaching Rome. (Acts 28:13-15.) He had, some time before, written to the saints there, expressing his desires towards them, and his prayer that he might come to them prosperously and with joy, and that they might be refreshed and comforted together. (See Rom. 1:10; 15:32.)
They met him on his journey, some at Appii Forum, a distance of fifty miles, and some at the Three Taverns, a distance of thirty miles.
This was their answer to his letter, and this was also the Lord's answer to his prayer. For now, on seeing them he was refreshed, just as he had prayed. He was refreshed by their love, a richer refreshment than that which gift or communicated knowledge provides for the soul. When he saw them, we read, "he thanked God, and took courage.”
This was, indeed, receiving a lovely answer both to his letter and to his prayer.
When he wrote his letter, we may be sure that he little thought he was to see them as Rome's prisoner. He requested that he might have a prosperous journey to them (Rom. 1:10), and had told them to pray that he might reach them with joy. (Rom. 15:32.) But it is beautiful and blessed to see, that though the hand of the Spirit of God had given his journey to them and arrival among them this character, he does not treat it as anything less than a full answer to his desires. "He thanks God" as owning the answer of his request.
All the ends of the mercy he looked for arc fulfilled to perfection. He had prayed.
First, that he might come to the saints at Rome; Secondly, to be comforted in them; Thirdly, to have some fruit among them.
These had been his desires (Rom. 1:10-13), and each one is answered. (Acts 28:15-24.) He sees them, he takes courage, and, through preaching, gathers fruit there as well as among other Gentiles.
Paul's time at Rome also has lessons to teach us.
It is said that sorrow has a tendency to make us selfish, and that when we are in trouble ourselves, we think we may be indifferent to others in the demands and pressure of our own necessities.
The way of the Lord Jesus has been noted as the contradiction of this. Not only through His life of sorrow was He always ministering to others, but in the agony of the cross He remembered the sorrow of others, and said to John, "Behold thy mother.”
So also was. His dear, devoted servant, the Apostle of the Gentiles. He testified to the elders at Miletus that bonds and afflictions awaited him. He had nothing but personal sorrow in prospect, but he was even then full of concern for others, in spite of his own case. And so it continues when he reaches Rome. He was there for two years, bound with a chain and kept by a soldier, but he was thinking of others. He reasoned with the Jews, received all that came to him, and caring for all the churches, wrote to Ephesus, Colosse, and Philippi, and also to Philemon. He appears to have been then called before Caesar, and to have been beaten, and under such condition, in fervent care for the truth and for the saints, to have written to the Galatians. Finally at the time of his second call before Nero, when "he was ready to be offered up," in still deeper solicitude for others, he wrote his Second Epistle to Timothy.
Beautiful fruit of divine workmanship! Sorrow may naturally make us indifferent to others in the care of ourselves, but the Spirit forms character as well as nature, and that last letter of his, the Second Epistle to Timothy, is an urging on his dear son in the faith to toil, and serve, and watch for others in spite of all disappointments. Bible Treasury

Cares

In the early days in this country, people commonly took their grain to the mill to have it ground into flour. Many, perhaps most, of those mills were powered by water wheels driven by the old mill stream. Roads were seldom paved and wound up and down over the hills. One day a man was observed heading toward the mill on horseback with a bag of grain on his own shoulder. A neighbor met him and in amazement asked him, "Why do you not put that bag on the shoulder of the horse?" The man replied, "Oh, he has enough work to carry me." Humorous as this may be, it serves to illustrate something Christians are often guilty of doing. The charge to us in 1 Peter 5:7 is, "Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." Sometimes we attempt to do this and then after a short time, we pick up that burden again. The blessed Lord will take our burdens if we will just turn them over to Him.
In the parable of the sower in Mark 4, the first thing that hinders fruitfulness is not the deceitfulness of riches but rather the cares of this world. Mark 4:19 reads, "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful." Surely each Christian does desire to be fruitful and so we need to learn this lesson.
Luke 21:34 explains it further for us and speaks of the overcharge. All of us have the necessary duties and cares of this life and rightfully so. It is then, the overcharge of the cares of this life that we have to guard against.
The One who cares for us knows all and loves us perfectly and tells us, "The very hairs of your head are all numbered." Luke 12:7. What love and carefulness for us! A mother will count the fingers and toes of her baby, but our God even counts our hairs. This is surely told us so that we might confide more and more in Him.
Martha allowed her service to come between her soul and the Lord. He says to us, "I would have you without carefulness." 1 Cor. 7:32. Let us remember the illustration of the man on the horse, still carrying the bag of grain on his own shoulder, and cast all our cares upon the Lord who is ready and willing to bear them. Ed.

Cleaving

Let us be happy in the thought that in cleaving to Him we shall enjoy all the brightness and the joy of His light. How happy one is to belong to Him, and in His light to see light! How brilliant and glorious is this light to those who are away from home, awaiting the rising of the Morning Star, and the coming of this precious Savior, who will set them in heaven as the rays of His glory, and the jewels of His crown, as the intelligent sharers of His glory, as the bride of His heart!

Elijah the Prophet

Nearly three thousand years have passed away since Elijah witnessed for God upon the earth, but he is by no means a forgotten character. His stern denunciations of evil caused all classes to tremble before him. In his burning zeal for God, in his righteous indignation against the apostasy of his nation, the prophet was equally bold towards kings, priests, prophets, and the common people. John the Baptist resembled Elijah in this. The Lord God of Israel, against whom the chosen people were so grievously unfaithful, was a living reality to him. The knowledge of God, and the consciousness of His presence ("before whom I stand") made him bold beyond all others in his day. Meditation upon such a man is a holy stimulus for those who would witness for God and His truth in any age. Never were uncompromising men like Elijah more needed than in this easy-going, complacent twentieth century. "Man's day" (1 Cor. 4:3 JND) is rapidly drawing to a close. The judgment of God is fast approaching both for Christendom and the non-professing world. The diabolical character of present-day developments needs to be fearlessly and faithfully exposed.
In some respects, Elijah was unique amongst the Old Testament prophets. He was the first to raise a dead person; he passed out of the world without tasting death; he left an immediate successor behind him in Elisha, and he had a moral successor in John the Baptist (Luke 1:17; Matt. 17:12). Moreover, Elijah was sent back to earth with Moses to do honor to the Lord Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, and his work is even yet unfinished. His voice will be heard again in the land of Israel (Mal. 4:5).
Do we all understand the meaning of the word "prophet"? The prophets of God did not necessarily predict future events; some did so, notably Isaiah, whose Spirit-given predictions are exceptionally rich and full, but many others such as Elijah, dealt exclusively with existing conditions amongst the people. It is a simple rule in Bible study to examine the Holy Spirit's first mention of any matter, for we thereby learn its general significance throughout the Book of God. Someone has said, "God graciously hangs up the key just inside the door." We first meet with the word “prophet" in Gen. 20:7. It is applied to Abraham! In the teaching of the New Testament, two antediluvian witnesses, Abel and Enoch, are called prophets (Luke 11:50-51; Jude 14), but it is nevertheless true that the first man specifically called a prophet in the Old Testament is Abraham.
Let us seek to understand the Holy Spirit's use of the term. Apart from divine guidance, Abraham went down to sojourn in the Philistine city of Gerar. To avert possible danger to himself, he said of Sarah, "She is my sister." Abimelech the king, attracted by her, took her into his house, but God intervened, saying in a dream, "Restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live." This is certainly remarkable, for the whole story suggests that at that time there was more pious fear of God in the mind of Abimelech the Philistine than in Abraham the Hebrew-"the friend of God." Yet Abraham was a prophet, and possessed intercessory influence which Abimelech did not have! Incidentally, we may learn from this that even when our spiritual condition is low, our privileges as saints, priests, etc., are not withdrawn from us, although for the time being we are not in enjoyment of them, and are unable to exercise them for the blessing of others.
Abraham neither spoke nor wrote predictive matter, so far as Scripture speaks, although when in normal condition, his spiritual vision enabled him to look far ahead and see, with joy, the day of Christ (John 8:56). A prophet was simply a man who had the mind of God, and was able to utter it. Thus in Psa. 105:15 other patriarchs are called prophets as well as Abraham. They were men in touch with God and could give forth His mind as no others could in their day.
The words of the woman of Samaria in John 4:19 will help us here. She said to the mysterious stranger who was conversing with her, "Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet." Yet He had not spoken to her either of future glories or of coming judgments, but His unexpected words concerning her five husbands, and the man with whom she was then living, made her feel that He was speaking to her directly from God. Indeed, He was God manifested in flesh, although she had no sense of this mighty fact at that moment.
There were prophets also in New Testament times. (Eph. 2:20; 4:11). There was no resemblance between their ministry and that of such men as Isaiah and Jeremiah. It was not the future that occupied them, it was theirs to give forth the mind of God concerning the new, wonderful work in Christianity, the Scriptures being not then complete. We even read in Acts 21:9 of four women-daughters of Philip the evangelist-"who did prophesy." But their service would be rendered in private (1 Cor. 14:34, 35).
Of Elijah's antecedents, nothing is told us. Concerning his parentage, his age, and his upbringing, nothing is stated, unless his name, which means "Whose God is Jehovah." is meant to indicate a pious father who named his son in faith. God is silent also concerning other prophets. Of Haggai and Malachi, for example, we know nothing beyond their bare names. But that does not matter. The object of the Spirit of God is not to occupy us with men, but with the messages they carried, and which will continue to have spiritual value until the world's end. Let us remember this when we have to listen to men speaking in the name of the Lord in the assembly or elsewhere. We may conceivably get something very definite from God, even though it may be only "five words" (1 Cor. 14:19), from a speaker quite unknown to us. and whose attainments may not favorably impress us. Do not look at the messenger. but at the message. "Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thes. 5:19-21. W. Fereday

No Second Causes

There are few things in which we so much fail as in apprehending the presence of God and His dealing with our souls in every circumstance of daily life. It is a constant snare for us to be looking at secondary causes; we do not realize God in everything. Hence Satan gets the victory over us. Were we more alive to the fact that there is not an event which happens to us in which the voice of God may not be heard or the hand of God not seen, what a holy atmosphere would surround us. Men and things would then be received as so many agents and instruments in our Father's hand.

Caught Up

The "rapture," meaning to catch up or catch away, may take place any moment. It will occur in an unexpected moment, so far as the world is concerned.
Imminence of the Rapture
The rapture of the prophet Elijah was preceded by a mysterious solemnity betokening some event to happen quite outside the natural course of things. So it will be when the Lord calls His own home. Instantly, the sleeping (dead) saints, both of Old and New Testament periods, awakened by the "shout," will be raised to participate in the "first resurrection." This will be selective and premillennial the resurrection "from among the dead." This is the more literal meaning of Phil. 3:11 and Mark 9:10 (JND), and many dike passages.
The "Out-resurrection”
The Greek phrase is ek nekron, out from (among) the dead. It is a distinctive expression and intimates the projection of divine power into the realm of death. But to be even more explicit, Paul, in Phil. 3:11, actually coins a new and unique Greek word, ex-anastasi, to express the resurrection of some from among others. The word translated shout, (keleusma), expresses that a certain relationship exists between the commander who gives the shout and the commanded who awaken.
The World Will not See the Rupture
What can this mean but that the world will not see this heavenly phenomenon, not being in any way related to the "Lord Himself." who gives the shout? The words of our Lord in John 5:29 indicate two distinct classes of resurrection, the "resurrection of life" (anastasis zoes), also called the first resurrection (Rev. 20:5), and the "resurrection of damnation," or judgment (kriseos).

A Present Hope

The living saints (observe the word "we," not "they," for it is a present hope), exclusively the Church composed of those living at that moment, are then "with them" (the saved who have died) caught up "together" to meet the Lord in the air. This is what the Apostle had before him when he spoke of "the prize of the high calling" (ano, calling above, up out of the earth, on high, Phil. 3:14). Think of it! Side by side with our loved ones who have fallen asleep in Jesus! He who knows the heart does not keep us waiting until the Father's house is reached to meet our loved ones, the redeemed trophies of His grace. It is a living and ever-present hope! "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord." Luke 12:35. Do not think that it will produce feverish excitement or arrest your service; on the contrary, it will sustain you. It is given for this very purpose. It is true the Church has had a protracted history, but all the assemblies mentioned in the second and third chapters of Revelation were existing, contemporary churches. There was nothing in prospect then. The scenes were before their eyes. The revelation was made. The parable in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew teaches us that although the Bridegroom tarried, yet the affair was of one night; the same virgins remained. If we look at the parable of the servants (Luke 19:12-27), all was looked at as in the lifetime of the man and of the servants. Let us not say with the evil servant: "My lord delayeth his coming." Luke 12:45. We are to occupy "till He come." His last word to us in Scripture is "Surely I come quickly." Rev. 22:20. R. B. Wallace

Bible Challenger: The Word Proclaiming the Universality of God's Invitation

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word proclaiming the universality of God's invitation to thirsty souls.
1. A plea from someone feeling the need of cleansing from the defilement of sin.
2. The Christian's proper attitude for men and royalty.
3. David's heartfelt utterance prompting a heroic escapade by three mighty men.
4. Important counsel for those desiring a personal relationship with the Lord in a time of availability.
5. A sad message to someone having great possessions.
6. The time of departure of a father and son for the land of Moriah.
7. The time of arrival of certain women bearing spices at a garden.
8. The answer to the question: "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
9. A command to those who have found joy in the Lord.
Answers to these questions will be found in the next months's issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman
Answers to Last Month's Bible Challenger
1. Fear God, and keep His commandments. Eccl. 12:13
2. Abhor that which is evil. Rom. 12:9
3. I am Alpha and Omega. Rev. 1:8
4. Talk ye of all His wondrous works. Psa. 105:2
5. Hallowed be Thy name. Matt. 6:9
6. Faith cometh by hearing. Rom. 10:17
7. Understandest thou what thou readest? Acts 8:30
8. Lord, save me. Matt. 14:30
9. Narrow is the way. Matt. 7:14
10. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground. John 12:24
11. Salt is good. Luke 14:34
12. Sun, stand thou still. Josh. 10:12
“I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in FAITHFULNESS hast afflicted me." Psa. 119:75. E.

Apothegms and Aphorisms

Faith tested, is faith strengthened.
Service, is having part in Christ's ministry of love.
Holiness, is a nature; righteousness, is a character.
Standing, is relationship; state, is behavior.
The key to a parable lies at the door.
When speaking to the public, stand up straight, speak out loud, sit down quick.
When you get done preaching, stop.
When you get done praying, stop.

The First Resurrection

The first resurrection that we read of in 1 Cor. 15 and Rev. 20, does not describe a period of time, but a class of persons having this characteristic name.
There are three divisions in verse 4 of Rev. 20.
1. “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.”
2. “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God.”
3. “And [those] which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands.”
The first division includes all who are taken up at the rapture and they reign with Christ. He sees not only thrones, but those who sit upon them. They share in the reign of Christ.
The second class consists of those who are slain under the fifth seal. (See Rev. 6:9-11.)
The third class is comprised of the victorious martyrs under the full power of the beast. (See Rev. 15:2.)
The second and third classes who seem to have lost the earthly blessings of the kingdom by death, are specially named as having gained, by death and resurrection, a place in the heavenly glory with those who reign with Christ. The first of these divisions, the sitters on the thrones, have been raised or changed at the rapture. The last two are said to be in company with them, "to live and reign with Christ a thousand years." All are named "The first resurrection.” From Words of Truth

Faith Healing: Part 2

Matthew 8 is a blessed revelation of Jesus entering, in sympathy, into all the sufferings of humanity. His tender heart felt it all: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying. Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." Matt. 8:17.
In Isa. 53, a distinct line is drawn between His life-suffering and sympathies. and His atoning death. He was despised and rejected by the Jewish nation in Isa. 53:1-3. Then in Isa. 53:4, "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Then the following verses speak of His atonement. "But He was wounded for our transgressions," etc.
It gives great comfort to our souls to see that He not only bare our sins, but also our griefs and sorrows; He entered into them, bare them, made them His own. Every sorrow and affliction we feel. He in sympathy bore them first. Thus in His living ministry, as in Matt. 8:17, we sec Him in tender sympathy casting out evil spirits and healing all that were sick. So in the other scripture, Mark 9:23, only here it is the terrible case of a child possessed of an evil spirit; this was a case which He alone could deal with, and the father's faith must own this.
It is a very affecting case; surely no Christian doubts for a moment that the Lord Jesus both had, and manifested His power to heal the sick, to cast out devils, and to raise the dead, Life, death, and the elements of nature were all subject to Him, for He is God over all, blessed for evermore. He acted in divine sovereignty in the exercise of this healing power.
Indeed, such had been the display of miraculous power even in the prophets, as He Himself shows in the case of Naaman, and the widow of Sarepta.
We find the same sovereignty in the action of the Holy Ghost since He has been sent down from heaven. "God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will." Heb. 2:4. Then, also, the same divine sovereignty is seen in 1 Cor. 12:9, 11. "To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit... dividing to every man severally as He will." Thus the Godhead of the Holy Ghost is seen in connection with this very question-"As He will.”
Thus so far we learn that when the Lord Jesus was on earth, He exercised the power of healing. And further, when He had finished the work of redemption, and, though rejected on earth, was received up to heaven, He then sent down the Holy Ghost, who in His divine sovereignty, imparted the power, or rather, gift of healing to whom He would.
Now we must not ignore the Holy Spirit, as is often the case, and act and argue as if Jesus were still on earth in His body, as He was once, to heal the sick. We must not forget, that since He has accomplished redemption, and has risen from the dead, an entirely new order of things has been introduced by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. If you will look through the Acts, you will find that the gift to heal the sick was limited to the apostles and a few others. James 5:14-16 is quite a different matter. It is the prayer of faith on the confession of our faults one to another. The Church of God was then still in its unity, but now, where is either The Church in its unity, or the elders of the Church?
Do we see, then, that the Holy Ghost is pleased, in these days of sad division and utter failure, to impart to any man or men the gift of healing? Surely we might suspect any man who made such pretensions. That the Lord is pleased to answer earnest, believing prayer is surely true, as every Christian holds.
The deduction from the above scriptures is "that Christ is the Savior for the body as well as for the soul. And if the health of the body is defective, He also is the only one to restore it." Yes, He is the giver of every grain of wheat also. But does that imply that there must be no farmers, millers, or bakers? He uses the means to supply our needs. And does He not bless the means used in clinics, hospitals, etc? We do not find in the Scriptures the setting up of faith-clinics to set broken bones, or cure sickness.
We do not doubt that every blessing to man flows through Christ's atoning death, but that does not imply that all medicine and medical skill must be laid aside, and that we must expect to be healed by faith, any more than that we may dispense with food and expect to eat our dinner by faith.
Yet, the Lord Jesus when He was here below, both healed the sick and fed the hungry, and the Holy Ghost, who is still on earth, "dividing to every man severally as He will," did, while the Church remained in its unity, impart the gift of healing. But in these last days you find the pretension of such power more in connection with some delusion of Satan, as in spiritism.
Just lately, a book was sent to us from a spiritist, a converser with demons, who denied the atonement of the Lord Jesus, yet was a wonderful medium of power to heal the sick, giving abundant cases equal to any of Bethshan. There could be no doubt that this was the direct work of Satan.
Another scripture, 1 Cor. 13:8, certainly shows that miraculous gifts would fail or cease. But love never faileth. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. What a blessed fact! We do not have to love Him, in order that He may love us. We do not have to serve Him, in order that the Holy Ghost may be given to us. But we must ever remember we are not to judge that love by things under the sun, for whom He loveth He chasteneth. Now in all ministry, love is of immense importance. Thus, between the sovereign distribution of gifts in 1 Cor. 12 and their exercise in 1 Cor. 14, we have this chapter of love (1 Cor. 13) coming in between. The Lord grant that we may ever follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts. We need this all the more, as Satan is busy preparing the way for antichrist. (See 2 Thess. 2:3-12.) Every movement of the present day is either preparing the way for antichrist, or leading the true saints of God to wait for His Son from heaven. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come!”
C.H. Mackintosh

Nehushtan

What a peculiar word is Nehushtan. It means a piece of brass. The serpent of brass that Moses made had been kept all those many years from Moses to Hezekiah. He called it Nehushtan.
In the journeys of the children of Israel through the wilderness, we read that, "The soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way." Num. 21:4. Then, "The people spake against God, and against Moses." Num. 21:5. Because of their murmurings, "The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died." Num. 21:6.
The people confessed their sin and asked Moses to pray unto the Lord to take away the serpents.
Moses prayed for the people and then the Lord instructed him to make a serpent of brass and put it upon a pole. When anyone was bitten, all he had to do was to look at the serpent of brass and he lived.
What saved the people was the faith to believe the word of the Lord, and not that piece of brass.
In the beginning of Hezekiah's reign, "He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it." 2 Kings 18:4. So they worshipped that visible, material object and forgot the word of the Lord.
Would men do such things today? Is it possible that the cross could become an object of veneration? Or might a sepulcher or some so-called holy place in the so-called holy land be worshiped?
John's last word in his first epistle is, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Also in 1 Cor. 10:14 we are told, "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”
Material things contribute nothing to a Christian's worship today. Although we are on earth, actually our worship is in heaven where Christ has gone, "now to appear in the presence of God for us." Heb. 9:24. There, "into the holiest," we are invited to, "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith." Heb. 10:19-22.
Let us be sure that we, "worship God in (by) the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." Phil. 3:3. How easily and quickly the flesh will make an idol! "The flesh profiteth nothing." John 6:63. Ed.

Prayer

The record about Daniel sheds light upon the hindrances, not so much to prayer, as to the answering of prayer. How many devout supplicants are perplexed at not receiving what they pray fort Well, we find that though the answer to Daniel's prayer was delayed, the delay was not because he was not heard-"Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo. Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me." Dan. 10:12, 13.
Thus, then, there were spiritual impediments, not to Daniel's prayer, not to its being heard and granted, but to the answer's reaching him. Here there is good encouragement. For we are apt to suppose that our breath in prayer is lost if an answer is not received at once. But exercise of heart in prayer is never fruitless, though the result may be long delayed. "Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God," was said to Cornelius, and we know not how long he had been kept waiting before Peter was sent to him with the answer; it may have been years (Acts 10). As in Daniel's case, so in Cornelius's, and so in ours, there is a time as well as a mode of answering, which rests in the wisdom and grace of God. But so subtle is the working of unbelief, that saints often pray and pray earnestly, but yet the last thing that they seem to expect is that God will grant their requests! It appears from Luke 1:13 that old Zacharias had prayed that he might have a son. He had faith to pray, but not to believe that God would grant his prayer, for when the angel Gabriel tells him that his prayer is heard and that his wife should bear him a son, instead of rejoicing and worshiping, he asks, "Whereby shall I know this?" But our God is very gracious; for this unbelief, He chastens Zacharias with dumbness for a season, yet He does not withdraw compliance with his petition. Prayer is a great reality, and we do not know what unseen transactions are taking place over supplications which we suppose have been unnoticed or unheard, but let us be assured, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us. The case of Zacharias is an instance of what, perhaps, often occurs-that saints are, in their faith and hope, not up to the level of their own prayers.
In the account of Daniel's praying, what a curtain is lifted from unseen things! Many suppose that above this world, all is good. But Scripture lets us know that there are principalities, authorities, and spiritual powers of wickedness in the heavenlies, with whom, indeed, we are in conflict (Eph. 6:12). Does it seem strange that wicked spirits should be there? The explanation is that there has been sin amongst spiritual creatures as well as in man, and that, indeed, before man existed. For we find that when only just ushered upon the platform of creation, he is confronted by an insidious foe already in existence-that old serpent, the devil. However, man, the material being, through having sinned, has not yet been cast out of the earth, which is the home of his nature. He is still tolerated here, though in rebellion against God, and though he has risen up against, and crucified, the Son of God. Now heaven is the habitat of spiritual beings, as the earth is of material, and the spirits which have sinned are not yet expelled from the heavens, any more than man from the earth.* So there are opposed beings in the angelic sphere. One of them obstructed, for twenty-one days, the heavenly messenger sent to Daniel. The hinderer is designated the -prince of the kingdom of Persia-while Michael, one of the chief princes, is "the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people," that is, Israel (Dan. 12:1). But there will come a time when there will be open war in heaven, resulting in the expulsion of Satan with his angels. Even then they do not receive their final doom, which is the lake of fire, but are cast into the earth (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12). It was this event which the Lord looked forward to, and saw in prophetic vision, when He said to His disciples, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Luke 10:18. The Seventy had returned from their mission with joy, saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name," and this casting out of demons from their lodgment in mankind, was only an earnest of the grander dispossession which should take place when Satan and his angels should be cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:7-9).
(*That is, speaking generally. There is a class of spiritual beings who, having sinned in a special manner of wickedness, are not at large, but are in confinement, reserved unto the judgment of the great day. (Jude 6))
In the meanwhile, Satan and his hosts, not yet in confinement, still ranging the heavenlies (he is the prince and power of the air, Eph. 2:2), are incessantly seeking to thwart the purposes of God. Man, rejecting every divine testimony, plays into Satan's hands. The believer, however, is delivered from the power of darkness (Col. 1:13) and is no longer under Satan's authority, as once he was, but being, on the contrary, associated with Christ, he becomes the object of Satan's antagonism. The Christian's eyes are opened to the astounding fact that on the platform of this world, a war is in progress against God, and that in this he is called to bear a part, to take a side. "Our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against principalities, against authorities, against the universal lords of this darkness, against spiritual [power] of wickedness in the heavenlies." Eph. 6:12 (JND).
In this warfare, prayer is a distinct weapon, a part of the panoply of God enumerated in Eph. 6: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel." in Eph. 6: 18, 19. Epaphras illustrates prayer as a mode of spiritual conflict. "Epaphras... saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers." Col. 4:12. But the true rendering of the word "laboring" is "combating." It is the same word as, in John 18:36, is translated "fight"-"then would my servants fight." Prayer, the last-mentioned piece in the panoply, is the active expression of the essential principle of the conflict, namely, dependence. Man has no strength against Satan, and, in nature, he is his willing slave, and the Christian's resource is to lay hold upon a strength which is divine, and which alone can cope with the power of Satan. Hence, the entire subject of the armor and the believer's conflict is introduced by laying down the foundation principle. "Be strong in [the] Lord, and in the might of His strength." Eph. 6:10 (JND). Man must get back to God and to the creature's condition of dependence. or he remains the slave of Satan. And the saint must be genuinely cast upon the Lord in the sense of his weakness and dependence if he is to be a victor in the battle.
E. Thomas

Life and Communion

God has given us the gift of eternal life that can never be lost, and those who receive it will never come into judgment. He has given us a life that enables us as His children to walk in communion with the conscious sense of relationship, with oneness of thought, mind, will, and desire. He has given us the Holy Spirit in order that that life might be enjoyed in living power so that "In spirit there already" as we sometimes sing, we might live in the atmosphere of our souls where Jesus is. If you live there, infidelity will not get into your mind and the world will never get into your heart.

Restoration After a Fall

There are cases where a Christian has fallen. yet in nowise doubts his salvation or the efficacy of the blood of Christ, but the heart has gotten to a distance from God, and has not the sense of what sin is, such as the presence of God always gives.
Now to be truly restored, the Christian must recognize the point of departure where his soul gave up communion with God, and sought its own will. It was thus with Peter. The Lord does not reproach him with his fault, but says to him, "Lovest thou Me more than these?" That was the point where his soul had turned aside from the right way, where self had shown itself-confidence in himself. The Lord probes Peter's heart, and makes known to him the undercurrent of pride and false confidence which was found there. Until that moment Peter was not restored, although on the way to be so.
When a brother in fellowship has fallen, and has sincerely acknowledged his fault as an evil, even when he may have been reinstated, he is always in danger of falling again if he has not judged the root of it. It is there that he got to a distance from God. Communion with God is not thoroughly re-established, self and its will not thoroughly broken, as long as the Christian has not found the point where his heart began to lose its spiritual sensibility, for the presence of God makes us feel that. I am not speaking of a matter of memory, but of the state of soul.
A soul is restored when it enjoys the favor of God, not simply as certainty of salvation, but when the Spirit, instead of accusing, causes it to rejoice in the goodness of God. Restoration is not complete until there is enjoyment of communion with our brethren.
I remember having seen horror at having sinned against grace, and at the dishonor done to the name of Christ, as the first effect of the renewed power of the Word in the heart; then came the sense that graces has triumphed over all blessed be God! J.N. Darby

The Christian Era

The coming into the world of the Son of God was an event without parallel in the history of mankind. Even from the viewpoint of the secular historian it is an event which has had tremendous consequences, for it changed the current of history. The Christian historian sees it from another aspect. He views it in relation to the purposes and counsels of the Author of all things. He looks at it in the stupendous context of eternity in comparison with which the history of man shrinks into insignificance. Even the physical universe, vast and wonderful as it is, is to pass away, and all the doings of the great and mighty of this world will finally be lost in eternal oblivion. To view Christianity as a factor in human history, to view it even as the greatest factor, is one thing; to realize that it transcends history itself is another matter altogether. But this is the true viewpoint, for its origin is in the counsels of God in eternity past, while its effects are to endure to the glory of God and the blessing of millions of His creatures in eternity to come.
In the awful darkness of a world sunk in superstition and idolatry, vice and cruelty, Christianity arose like the dawn of a new, glorious day, The divine fiat "Let there be light" that went forth to dispel the darkness that once covered the earth, had its counterpart in the first century of our era. Well might the angel who appeared to the shepherds in the hills of Judea on that memorable night say, "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10, 11.
The brief but profound phrase "the testimony of the Christ" (1 Cor. 1:6) is an apt definition of Christianity. Sustained by a power no less than that of the Spirit of God, this testimony has continued down the ages. The world has never received it, or the world would not be what it is today. Opposed by the powers of hell, resisted by human potentates, insulted by the worldly, ridiculed by the wise, flattered by imitators, it has flourished during nineteen centuries. Strongest when most opposed, weakest when smiled on by the world, it has triumphed over all obstacles because, although perpetuated in frail human vessels, its light is divine and its power is not of men.
Christendom is not Christianity. The Lord once likened the kingdom of heaven to a grain of mustard seed, which is exceedingly small, but when grown, becomes a tree in which the birds of the air can find roosting places. From the gospel seed there has grown up a vast religious system which bears the Christian name but is, in character, no different from the world. This system, indeed, has become one of the features of the world and has harbored, and still harbors, all kinds of evil. Satan has used this system to destroy men's souls, and ambitious men have used it to glorify themselves instead of God.
The Lord gave warning of this admixture of the false and the true in the clearest terms when He uttered the parable of the wheat and tares (Matt. 13:24.30), in which He made it perfectly clear that the enemy would introduce among true believers those who, like the tares, bore a mere outward resemblance to the true but in themselves were false and worthless. But the words of the divine Author of the faith could not fail. "Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell [hales] shall not prevail against it." Matt. 16:18. His church continues to this day, outwardly lost in the confusion of sects and systems. but still one body composed of every true believer indwelt by the one Spirit. T. Carron

Prayer and Dependance

What made Elijah the mighty man he was? It was prayer, preceded by deep exercise concerning the condition of things around him. He walked in conscious dependance upon God. This surely is available to believers at any time. Sometimes we excuse ourselves for lack of success by saying, it is a "day of small things." Zech. 4:10. Perhaps we should say. "It is a day of small men."

Deposed Dictators

Recent history is much the same as ancient history. With the fall from power of "Baby Doc" Duvalier and then Marcos, we have a repeat of the change of heads of states that really makes up much of the history of this world. Although changes must come and do come. yet there seems to be some special reason for the deposing of some dictators.
Avarice is defined as-greed for money. God's Word tells us, "The love of money is the [a] root of all evil." 1 Tim. 6:10. Evidence is clear that not only the two above mentioned, but also Trujillo of the Dominican Republic and Samoza of Nicaragua were guilty of avarice. They were greedy and covetous. This contributed much to their downfall. Certainly each of these men did some good for their countries but they lost their high position. Is there a lesson for us to learn from these things? Surely there is.
Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, "Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls Of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them ail." Dan. 2:37, 38. Later this same, most powerful king had to learn that, "the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will." Dan. 4:17.
Pride led to the downfall of Nebuchadnezzar. "The kingdom is departed from thee." was said to him by a voice from heaven. The voice came while these words were still in his mouth: "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?" Dan. 4:30.
Let us each remember that all that we have has been given to us by God. John the Baptist said, "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." John 3:27. "My power, my majesty," said Nebuchadnezzar. Trujillo, Samoza, Marcos and Duvalier each claimed much for themselves and surely appropriated much to themselves in an unjust manner. "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me [David]... He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." 2 Sam. 23:2, 3.
The earth awaits the coming of "the Holy One and the Just." Acts 3:14. The Lord God will give Him the crown. Meanwhile, it is written, "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." Ezek. 21:27.
The kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ are mentioned in Rev. 1:9. Also, Paul charged the Corinthians with trying to reign ahead of time. (1 Cor. 4:8) Since Christ is waiting in patience to receive His rights in connection with the earth, surely we should also be patient. Ed.

Things Seen and Things Unseen

Paul divides all things into two categories, things seen and things unseen, and he declares that the seen things are temporary. while the unseen things have the infinite value of eternal endurance. Believing this, the new man in Christ holds lightly to things seen. They become the mere incidents of life, not its substance.

Values: Persons, Things, Christ

In 1 Peter 2:4 the Lord Jesus is precious to God. In the seventh verse, we who believe find Him precious also. We value what God values. How precious is He to us? The preciousness of an object is derived from the value placed upon it.
Persons (Lev. 27:1-8)
Under the law of Moses, persons had various values according to their age and usefulness. You will notice that the female was valued less than the male. Perhaps it is because the male is representative of Christ and the female of ourselves. Surely He has more value than we!
The greatest value was placed on those between the ages of twenty and sixty. These were in active service. They could produce the most and were most valiant in battle.
Younger ones had a lesser value, but there was potential there for the future. Older ones, though they could not work as hard, had value too. They had experience. We see the same with the Levites. At the "age of fifty years they... shall serve no more: but shall minister with their brethren." Num. 8:25, 26.
The Apostle Paul's admonition in 2 Tim. 2:2 shows us how these age groups fit together at the present time. "The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." There are young ones needing to be taught. There are experienced ones able to teach. It is so important that these teach those in the assembly who are younger and that the younger apply themselves to learn and practice the truth that has been held and practiced for many years.
As Paul was the aged apostle who gave this advice to a younger brother, it seems that this scripture ought to be a special concern to those who are older, not to dominate, but to encourage their younger brethren.
Things (Lev. 25:11-16)
How much value do we put upon things in this world? Soon, very soon, we are going to hear the shout that summons us home. Just as the value of an Israelite's field decreased near the year of jubilee, so the value of things in this world should be very little to us.
Certain things are necessary for our lives and Scripture tells us what they are: "having food and raiment, let us be therewith content." 1 Tim. 6:8. It is the desire for wealth, power or position that drowns men in destruction. How many have ruined their testimony and "pierced themselves through with many sorrows" because they lusted after things.
In a former day Jerusalem was about to be destroyed. Baruch had desires for himself in the city, but Jeremiah said to him, "Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not." Jer. 45:5. May we all realize in our own lives that "godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Tim. 6:6.

The Lord Jesus Christ (John's Gospel)

How precious is the Lord Jesus to us? What value do we place upon Him? In John's gospel we see how He was valued by various persons.
In John 1 verses 29 and 36, John the Baptist points Him out to others. In John 1:36 he says merely, "Behold the Lamb of God!" and two of his disciples were attracted to Jesus. They left John and followed Jesus. It was not a question of His taking away sin, but they had been drawn to the Person, to the Lord Jesus, "God manifest in the flesh.”
Is John jealous? No! his feeling is "He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30. Here is the attitude of a true servant. May it be ours likewise, to exalt the Lord Jesus.
Nicodemus had been attracted to Him also. He addresses Him with respect, "Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God." John 3:2. He learned more of Jesus that day, and though very mild about it, he spoke in the Lord's favor in John 7 and was reproached for it. He comes out more strongly later and, with Joseph of Arimathea, anoints the Lord's body and buries Him.
The woman of Samaria (John 4) recognizes Him only as a Jew (John 4:9), but she learns He is the Christ who knew all about her (John 4:29). She then announces Him to others who became attracted to Him (John 4:39).
Peter gives a lovely confession, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." John 6:68, 69.
Even His enemies said, "Never man spake like this Man." John 7:46. The judge declared three times, "I find no fault in Him." John 18:38; 19:4, 6. The dying thief said, "This Man hath done nothing amiss." Luke 23:41. The blind man of John 9 discovered Him to be the Son of God and worshiped Him.
A beautiful type of attraction to Christ is given in Sol. 5:9-16 & 6:1. This lovely description ends with, "Yea. He is altogether lovely." and must have been given in such warmth that those who heard were attracted and desired Him also. We will "seek Him with thee.”
The Apostle Peter advises us to follow this pattern when he says, "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." 1 Peter 3:15. If we do set the Lord apart in our hearts, giving Him His proper place, people will ask and we will be ready to speak for Him. Then they may desire to "seek Him with thee.”
T. Roach

The Message

The object of the Spirit of God is not to occupy us with men but with the message. Look not at the messenger but at the message. "Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesying Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thess. 5:19-21.

Should the Church Teach?

The Church is never represented in the Scriptures as a teacher, but rather as taught and that by the gifts given by Christ the Head for that purpose. (Eph. 4:11.) Seven times in Rev. 2 and 3 we read, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith, unto the Churches." Instead of hearkening unto the Church, we are to hearken unto the Spirit speaking to the Church. The divine voice is heard in the Scriptures, which "is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3:16.17.

The Kingdoms

A few words on the difference between the various kingdoms mentioned in Scripture may be useful. We have the Kingdom of God (Matt. 12:28), the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. 25:1), the Kingdom of the Father (Matt. 26:29), the Kingdom of the Son of Man (Dan. 7:13, 14), the Kingdom of the Son of His love
(Col. 1:13. the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:11; Heb. 12:28).
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God is introduced in connection with the Lord when upon the earth, in answer to the Pharisees' demand as to "when the kingdom of God should come." He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say. Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you," or as the margin reads, "among you," Luke 17:20-21. One has well described it as "the exhibition, or the manifestation of the ruling power of God under any circumstances." In the person of His Son. God was manifesting His ruling power at this time; God was there in Him.
Also it is spoken of as existing at the present time, for in Rom. 14:17 we read, "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Again, 1 Cor. 4:20 states, "the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." In these cases, the ruling power of God is again exhibited, not in the Son, but by the Spirit, who, through His presence on earth, produces in those who believe practical righteousness, peace and joy, and in His servants power to correct evil where needed.
During His time on earth, the Kingdom of God was to be seen in Christ; now it is seen by the Spirit. The Kingdom of God was the circle of Christ's workings previous to His being received up into glory. Now, it is the circle of the Holy Ghost's workings.
Scripture would seem to teach that in Christ's day none but He could be in it, for though "among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist," yet, "he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." Luke 7:28. The kingdom of God was confined to Christ Himself in His day, though every man was pressing into, or towards it (Luke 16:16), waiting, as it were, till the Holy Spirit's descent should open the door for them. This took place at Pentecost, and then the new creation entitled every one to enter (John 3:3-5). And thus the ruling power of God, exhibited only in Christ when on earth, is now manifested in those whose bodies have become the temples of the Holy Ghost.
Such was its divine or proper form. The name, however, is applied in Scripture to what the divine thing has become in men's hands, what we know by the name of Christendom. The "tree" and the "leaven" (Luke 13:18-21), give us its outward dimensions and its internal condition. Outwardly, what was but a grain, a small thing, at Pentecost, has become a huge overgrown mass that shelters even the devil's emissaries, while internal evil and corrupt doctrine have permeated that which was the people's food. What a description of Christendom, and yet how accurate! It has become a vast system, but rotten within. Thus Rom. 14:17 and 1 Cor. 4:20 describe the present inward or divine aspect of the kingdom of God while Luke 13:18-21 gives its external or human condition.
Kingdom of Heaven
The Kingdom of Heaven, or literally of the heavens, differs from the Kingdom of God, and yet, in some respects, resembles it. As we know, the name is only used in the Gospel of Matthew, and this is readily accounted for by the fact that to this evangelist belongs the task of commending the truth to Jewish consciences. Among other things, he proves that the kingdom foretold in Old Testament writings was that which the Messiah proposed to introduce. Therefore. He calls it the kingdom of the heavens, because that name coincides with the description given of it in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets.
Israel was taught to lay up the Lord's words in their heart, and in their soul, and bind them for a sign upon their hand, that they might be as frontlets between their-eyes that their days might be multiplied, and the days of their children, in the land which the Lord sware unto their fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon earth. (Deut. 11:18-21.) It was said of David, too, that his seed should "endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven." Psa. 89:29. Likewise, it is said of the power of the Gentiles that it should continue till the time that they should know that the heavens do rule... Dan. 4:26. Hence we may trace throughout the Old Testament, allusions made to a time when, as the Lord taught His disciples to pray, God's will would be "done in earth as it is in heaven." Matt. 6:10. John the Baptist came to introduce the Messiah, and therefore announced (Matt. 3:2) that the kingdom of the heavens was at hand. Jesus Himself (Matt. 4:17) makes the same statement, but instead of His claims being submitted to, they held a council to destroy Him (Matt. 12:14).
Consequently, the kingdom of the heavens assumes a mysterious form (Matt. 3:11), the mystery being that it should be a kingdom with an absent king, a thing unknown in history-the king being rejected.
Matt. 11:11, 12 coupled with Matt. 16:19, gives us light as to the time when the kingdom commenced. John the Baptist was not in it, although the position he occupied was blessed. The door was not thrown open, though Christ was on the throne, until Peter unlocked it on the day of Pentecost. Then "the violent" (those really in earnest) reached the goal that they had been seeking for since the days of John the Baptist. Thus, then, it could not have been said that the kingdom of the heavens is "among you," neither could it be said, "I give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of God." The kingdom of God and kingdom of the heavens are distinct and different. The one existed while the Lord was on earth-the other commenced on Christ's taking His seat on the Father's throne. The latter was opened by a human instrument-the former was inaugurated by Christ Himself.
In certain points, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the heavens resemble each other, both having an outward and an inward, a human (as one may say) and a divine form. As to the outward form, the same similitudes are applied to each-the "mustard seed" and "leaven." As to the inward, we have in the one case the thing formed by the Holy Spirit and in the other what the thing formed comes to. Outwardly then, the kingdom of the heavens is like a tare field, a tree, and leaven. It is a mixture of the Lord's and Satan's people-that mixture grouped into a huge, wide-spreading system, powerful outwardly, internally corrupt; such is Christendom of the present day. But to faith there is an inner or divine form which the kingdom takes. This is seen in separate pieces composed of, first, "a treasure" precious to God, and whose oneness and purity remind us of the excellence of the Church of God as seen of Christ, and, second, a form of separation from evil that shows us that God delights not in the mixed company of the first three parables, but in companies gathered apart from the surrounding corruption. These latter are the kingdom of the heavens from God's side.
The kingdom of the heavens proper is the rule of the heavens upon earth-the days of heaven-the Lord hearing the heavens, and the heavens hearing the earth. (Hos. 2:21.) This was refused by man, and consequently, now the days of heaven upon earth are seen to exist in a mysterious form until Messiah comes to bring in the times of restitution of all things with the trumpet of Jubilee.
The kingdom of the heavens thus was openly offered by the Messiah at His advent. It was refused, and therefore commenced in a mysterious way on His ascension and is running on during the present time and will exist after the church's removal, until the millennium commences. Then it will take its proper form, but it will be known partly as the kingdom of the Father, and partly as the kingdom of the Son of man.
Kingdom of the Father and Kingdom of the Son of Man
These both commence and end simultaneously.
The Kingdom of the Father relates to things above, the Kingdom of the Son of Man to things below. The Jewish remnant pray for the former when they say "Our Father... Thy kingdom come." They will be gathered as the wheat into the barn, and will, as the righteous, shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matt. 13:30-43.) A heavenly people, their reward is in heaven in the scene of their Father's dwelling. The Kingdom of the Father is for the heavenly people. The Kingdom of the Son of Man is for the earthly. The 8th Psalm explains this; as Son of man He takes the Headship of all below, the place that Adam lost. As Son of man He executes judgment. (Matt. 13:41.) As Son of man He welcomes into His kingdom the blessed of His Father-the sheep who satisfied His hunger, quenched His thirst, clothed His nakedness, and cheered Him in sickness and imprisonment. (Matt. 25:31-46.) An earthly people, they have been counted worthy to "stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:36.
Thus the millennial world kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15) has a heavenly and an earthly aspect. The one embraces only glorified saints, the other includes the earthly ones, having eternal life, but not glorified as to their bodies. The one is the sphere of the Father's glory, the other the scene of the rule of the Son of man. Both will alike cease when He delivers "up the kingdom to God, even the Father." 1 Cor. 15:24.
The Kingdom of the Son of His Love and the Everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
The last two which we wish to consider are "the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Col. 1:13 JND), and "the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:11.
'These are quite distinct in their characters from those we have already mentioned, and give us rather the thought of position than display. The one refers to our present place, the other to our future glory. They are more to be felt than described, and are only mentioned once in Scripture. Christ has a present kingdom which the Father's love bestowed on the Son of His affections, and into this, we who have believed have already been translated. It is the region of blessing of which Christ is the center, and in the most excellent way, the Son of His Father's love; we may enjoy it though we cannot describe it.
The everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is before us, and is a blessed contrast to the things that are "fading away" around us. It is everlasting, and we shall share it with Him, and His desire is that we should enter it, as one may say, full sail. Paul said, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my muse. I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge. shall give me." 2 Tim. 4:678. May we then add to our faith all these things that 2 Pet. 1:5-7 contains so that not merely an entrance but "an abundant entrance be administered unto us into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." D.T. Grimston

Honor

In the army of Alexander the Great, there was a soldier named Alexander. After noticing the slothfulness with which the soldier performed his duty, the general went to him and requested that he either change his name or become a better soldier, and cease to dishonor the name of his general. Did it ever occur to you that your actions, your words, your thoughts may bring dishonor on that worthy Name? He who, before performing any act, asks, "In what way will this glorify Christ?" will seldom dishonor the Lord.

True Living

In opening the subject, I wish to challenge our hearts as to how we have behaved in this spiritual combat which God puts before us as being the true life of the Christian. In 1 Tim. 6:1, the Apostle Paul addresses Timothy as, "thou ... man of God." It is an expression which recurs several times in his letters to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith.
What does this phrase, "Man of God," mean'? It is an expression which is used several times in the Old Testament, particularly when God raised up the prophets. This title is bestowed upon Elijah and Elisha, who had this testimony as being men of God doing God's work. The thought which is connected with it is this: they were not only those whom God was pleased to bless and raise up to be His witnesses, but they were those who were in such a state of soul that God could use them at any moment. Like Haggai, they were the Lord's messengers with the Lord's message. (Hag. 1:13.) They were so in touch with God, their Lord and Master, that He could use them.
In the case of Timothy, he was one in whom the Apostle had confidence. He was walking by faith and not by sight, and was in communion with the Lord Jesus ready to be used by Him at the moment He might require. The Lord is like a very skillful workman who has before Him all the tools for His work. He wants either to begin a work in a soul, to deepen the work in some soul, or to put the finishing touch upon another soul. He needs an instrument which will be suitable for the operation. God has given us different gifts and when we are content to be in His hands, God can use us for His purpose. If that instrument is out of place, if it is dull and pointless, or if it is not ready to His hand, then He will use something else. It is so with us.
We must remember that God has brought us to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, not merely that we should enjoy the blessings that He has to bestow through Christ individually, but He wants to use us as channels of blessing to others. He wants us to be available for His use. He wants us to be so in communion with His mind that each of us is characterized by this, that we are "men of God," and that we are men and women who are in touch with God. For this we must remember that it is not necessary to know a great deal. It is not necessary to have a very profound acquaintance with the whole of Scripture, but it is necessary that each of us should be "clay in the hands of the Potter" so that He can mold us to whatever form He chooses in connection with His work. Then we can be ambassadors for Christ and useful to Him when the time comes.
Paul says to Timothy, "Flee these things." He had been speaking of certain things which hinder the soul of the Christian from entering into God's mind and would prevent us from being used in testimony for our Lord. "Cease to do evil; learn to do well." Isa. 1:16, 17. Paul speaks of things which are very attractive to the human heart and with which their minds are occupied-love of money and all the present things of this world. He says, "Flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." These six Christian virtues, fruit of the Spirit, do not come by human effort, or by seeking after them, but they come by being occupied with Christ. When we have the Lord Jesus Christ before us as the object of our hearts, then we know something of what it is practically to have Christ as our life. (Col. 3:1-4.)
The thing that Paul had especially on his mind at that time was: "Fight the good fight of faith." 1 Tim. 6:12. We must always be as those who have on all the Christian armor, the whole armor of God. It is a never-ending combat. Night and day we should never lay aside this armor which God has provided. The pieces of armor are enumerated for us in Eph. 6 where we find that everything has been provided by God Himself. We need not provide one single thing for the combat. It is not an offensive one on our part but defensive. It is resisting the devil, resisting the calls of the flesh, resisting the world. He has annulled the power of Satan and it is for us to enter into the fruits of His victory. God has provided these different parts of our armor which enable us to "fight the good fight of faith.”
The fight has two aspects. In Ephesians it is the heavenly character of the combat and of resistance, In First Timothy, it is more the character of the earthly side of our pilgrimage. In any case, we must remember that we can never settle down to rest. This is not the place of our rest, and as long as we are in the place of our pilgrimage, the Lord would give us to know that the good fight of faith is a ceaseless fight. It is a fight in which, when things come to try us or to turn us aside, our security is to bring Christ into the circumstances. Our security is to know that He has overcome all these things and that He Himself is all that we need: "wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 1 Cor. 1:30. We are to lay aside every weight to be unencumbered for the good fight and to lay aside the sin that doth so easily beset us," that we may "run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." Heb. 12:1, 2. This is the negative side.
Then comes the positive side of the Christian career, the entering into the portion which is ours. which Paul speaks of as "laying hold on eternal life.” This is a very important subject which, perhaps, we have neglected. The Lord says in the 17th of John, “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." The practical side of eternal life is the entering into the portion which is ours, and daily enjoying, by faith and the operation of God's Spirit, all the blessed truths He has revealed to us. As we read the Word, and realize that our "fife is hid with Christ in God," we do not look at it as something which is preserved carefully in a glass case, as a specimen of what has been attained to by one or two Christians, but it is in the Word for us to know and enjoy.
The wonderful thing about Christianity is that in the midst of the humblest duties, you and I may lay hold of this eternal life. It relates to the circumstances in which our lot is cast, the smallest associations of life. It is that which gives us power practically to enter into the portion which will so shortly be ours when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. It requires the energy of faith on our part. It will not come to us by our merely going on from day to day without any exercise saying, "Well, our sins are forgiven us," and knowing nothing more. The Apostle says, "Lay hold on eternal life." Of course we shall know it in all its fullness when the Lord comes, when we have the unhindered power of the Holy Spirit to lead us into communion with God our Father and with the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the Lord wants us, according to our measure, to be entering into this now. He wants us to know practically that Christ is our life.
What a challenging thing that is! How much have we really been animated this day by the Spirit of Christ in us and by the fact that we know that what we are doing is in direct communion with the Father and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? Doing things in His name is having the consciousness in our souls before God that we are a savor of Christ to God, and epistles of Christ to the world. If the world sees Christ, they see Him in the Christian until God opens their eyes to the revelation in the Word. If we are entering into the power of this wonderful life which is ours, Christ being manifested in us and practically living in the joy of that blessed liberty wherewith Christ has set us free, we shall be a living testimony to those who are around us. "Your life is hid with Christ in God." Col. 3:3. Things of time and sense do not occupy our hearts as they once did, for now we have that which fully satisfies.
From the first thing in the morning to the last thing at night we have this blessed One as our life. It enables us to enter into those heavenly blessings of which He is the center, where our spirit can rise in a moment, and where we shall be, body, soul and spirit when the Lord comes.
This we must lay hold of It does not come without real exercise and living in the power of an ungrieved Spirit. Then while in the midst of domestic troubles and business worries and cares, we are able to rise above them. What a relief to be able to turn from all that and look up into our Father's face and to know there is One in heaven who is living for us. It sets our hearts free in the joy of His presence.
The Apostle says Timothy was called to lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:12.) God has not called us simply to have forgiveness of sins down here, though it is the basic fact of our calling. God has called us to entire sanctification. This is separation to God, spirit, soul and body. This is being "men of God," and "laying hold" practically on eternal life. He says. "Thou... hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." Some of us may remember when these things were brighter to our souls. Well, if we have grown cold, He is able to renew the desire and to give us anew the wonderful blessedness of being renewed in the spirit of our mind, that we may know "what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." Rom. 1:2:2. F. Lavington

Secret Prayer

Let none expect to have the mastery over his inward corruption in any degree, without going in his weakness again and again to the Lord for strength. Neither will prayer with others, nor conversing with the brethren, make up for secret prayers.

Practical Remarks on Prayer Hindrances

There are many hindrances to prayer. For instance, there are cases in which a person might be sick unto death, and yet in which his recovery could not be prayed for. The Apostle John says. "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." 1 John 5:16, 17. What is that awful sin which cannot be prayed for? Well, in the text it is indefinite. The very same act may be a thousand times more culpable in one person than another, and under one set of circumstances than in circumstances of a different character. Ananias and Sapphira told a lie, but they did so in the face of such vivid presence of the Holy Ghost, such light and power and grace, that their lie became a sin unto death. It acquired a peculiar enormity from the special circumstances in which the sin was committed. So Scripture does not define what may or may not be a sin unto death.
There is, however, an underlying principle which requires to be seen, in order to understand this and several similar passages in Scripture. That principle is that the Lord is now judging in the midst of His saints, and in pursuance of that judgment He inflicts chastisement-a chief form of which is sickness, and even death. Scripture furnishes a clear illustration of this in the case of the Corinthians. Not only were gross social vice and sin amongst them, but they were profaning the Supper of the Lord, treating it as a secular feast: some were even drunken at it. The Apostle tells them that those so doing were eating and drinking judgment to themselves, adding, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep... But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." 1 Cor. 11:30.32. This shows that sickness amongst God's people stands upon special ground. It may be on account of sin, and is thus invested with peculiar significance.
The deep, moral import of sickness in the Church is, it is to be feared, but little seen, and less thought of. Thus illness happens to a Christian, and it is at once assumed to be a mere natural event; or, a Christian dies cut off in the midst of his days, in the full tide of his work, which is left unfinished around him.
Now it is a most solemn reflection that both of these events may be the direct hand of the Lord in judgment. If, however, Christians are not spiritual, they do not take a spiritual view of such happenings. Such events were occurring every day at Corinth, and their spiritual meaning was probably quite unperceived, for the saints there were far from spiritual, as Paul says. "I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal.”
1 Cor. 3:1. But when God is thus moving in solemn judgment, it would be lack of communion to pray that such souls might live. One led by the Spirit would surely be with God, in the necessary, though solemn, assertion of His holiness amongst His people. The language of John, however, is not absolute; he does not altogether forbid prayer, but albeit significantly says. "I do not say that he shall pray for it.”
The Epistle of James also treats sickness as connected with sin, but, in cases where there is faith to ask for it, says, “The prayer of faith shall save the sick." "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church 'assembly': and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." James 5:14, 15. The anointing with oil here, is, of course, Jewish, consistent with the general scope of the Epistle, which is addressed not to the Church, but to the twelve tribes of Israel (James 1:1).
Now these three scriptures (1 John 5; 1 Cor. 11; James 5) distinctly teach that sickness amongst Christians may be an infliction because of sin. If this were more recognized, there would be more soul-exercise as to the purpose of God's dealings with us, and increased blessing would result.
One point should be cleared up before leaving the text in 1 John 5. When the Apostle says, "There is a sin unto death," the death he refers to is not eternal separation from God, but that temporal death of the body, which the Lord inflicts on His own as chastisement. This is made clear from 1 Cor. 11:32,
where Paul says. "When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." God's people are judged now; the world will be judged by and by. Contrast the case of Ananias and Sapphira already referred to, with that of Simon in the 8th of Acts. In both cases the parties sinned, and sinned deeply. Ananias and Sapphira were judged with death. But Simon was perceived to be "in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity." He was really an unchanged man, notwithstanding his nominal belief and his baptism. He is left to be judged with the world, while in the case of Ananias and his wife, awful as was their judgment, it was only temporal judgment, and there is no reason to infer that their spirits will not be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Cor. 5:50).
It ought not to be supposed, however, that illness, or indeed, other afflictions, are always chastisements. The branch that bears fruit is purged that it may bring forth more fruit (John 15). And in the case of Job, the grand mistake of Job's friends was to suppose that because of his terrible affliction, he must have committed some grievous sins. God allowed Job to be afflicted with painful and humiliating ills for his ultimate blessing, and so He does with many a saint today. He may send sickness, bereavements, reverses, to break down the flesh, to wean us from the world, to produce brokenness of our wills, and spirituality, or to give warning to the believer where there is lack of carefulness in walk, or incipient departure from the Lord. E. Thomas

The Pastor’s Heart

What I mean by a pastor is a person who can bear the whole sorrow, care, misery, and sin of another on his own soul, and go to God about it, and bring from God what will meet it, before he goes to the other....
“Lovest thou Me?...Feed My sheep-feed My lambs." I know nothing like it on earth: the care of a true-hearted pastor-one who can bear the whole burden of grief and care of any soul and deal with God about it. I believe it is the happiest and most blessed relationship that can subsist in this world. J.N. Darby

Bible Challenger: The Degree of Mercy Found in God Toward Those Who Call on Him

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word which describes the degree of mercy found in God toward those who call upon Him.
1. Six times the friend of God used this word in his entreaty for relatives in a wicked city.
2. A reproof given to those who sought the Lord only because a miracle satisfied their hunger.
3. What a widow was told to borrow because she had not anything in the house.
4. The command of a king to see who was responsible for making the enemy melt away.
5. Advice of a king to some of his servants who were greatly ashamed of their beards.
6. What we are to do daily because of the deceitfulness of sin.
7. Parting words of a traveling nobleman to his 10 servants.
8. Mournful cry of someone having a dreadful disease.
9. Something belonging unto the Lord for blessing of His people.
Answers to these questions will be found in next month's issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman
Answers to Last Month's Bible Challenger
1. Wash me, and 3 shall be whiter than snow Psa. 51:7
2. Honor all men Honor the king 1 Peter 2:17
3. Oh that one would give me drink
of the water of the well of Bethlehem 2 Sam. 23:15
4. Seek ye the Lord while He may be found Isa. 55:6
5. One thing thou lackest Mark 10:21
6. Early in the morning Gen. 22:3
7. Very early in the morning Luke 24:1
8. Except ye he converted, and become as little
Children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven Matt. 18:3
9. Rejoice in the Lord always Phil. 4:4
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17

Points to Ponder

When heaven was opened upon Jesus, it looked down with delight-we look up and are changed.
Holiness is abhorrence of evil with delight in that which is good.
There is no fault in our character that the grace of God cannot cure.
Nothing that happens to us can hurt the new nature.

Children

Every one of us knows what it is to be a child. Each of us has entered this world in the same way; we are first a babe and then a child. Some know what it is to be a parent. We find out what it is to have children and how precious they are!
God had one Son. He wanted more like Him and He will have them around Himself in His house. How can this be? Only through Him, as born of God. (John 1:13; 3:8.) Faith in Christ Jesus brings us into God's family. "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:26.
The Apostle John, in his gospel and also in his epistles, writes of the family, the Father and His children. This is what makes these four books especially sweet and precious. They are of the family and heavenly in character. John's gospel proclaims the Father and the Son. The epistles speak of the children and fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. All is for His enjoyment first, but also for our enjoyment.
When we realize that God wanted children and something of what it cost Him to get them (the death of His own, well-beloved Son), then we can, in measure, understand and appreciate His great love towards us. (1 John 4:9.) So it is that we sec that light manifested love. "God is light." 1 John 1:5. “God is love." 1 John 4:8.
Paul, as well as John, uses the term "My little children." It expresses preciousness and gives us God's thoughts of His children. When Jesus was in this world He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6. He is the captain of our salvation who is bringing many sons to glory. (Heb. 2.)
God wanted children. So we read in Eph. 1, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. who hath blessed us... hath chosen us... having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
Ed.

Church Composition

In Judaism, "the House of God" was a material building, and David and the tribes could speak of going up to it in Jerusalem, but in Christianity, the Church is composed of living stones. We cannot therefore talk of going to Church, for it is the Church which goes, and the building itself is not the Church, but the people who are there. For the same reason, we cannot properly speak of coming out of Church, because we are the Church, and the members of Christ. Peter teaches this great fact, in writing to the converted Jews, respecting Christ and themselves, in his first epistle: "To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, arc built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." Paul also writes to the Ephesians: "No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church: for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones." Nothing can be plainer than this, but Satan, the untiring corrupter of the truth of God, has mixed up the present ministration of Christ with the past dispensation of Moses and the law, and thus destroyed the peculiarity of the Christian calling, and what a Christian is, as well as what the Church is.

A More Excellent Way: 1 Corinthians 13

"And yet show I unto you a more excellent way," the Apostle Paul wrote, a way in which the Spirit of God can be manifested even though we might not possess great gifts. There is a manner in which you and I can be a living witness for Christ to those with whom we are brought into association from day to day. We can be a channel through which the Spirit of God can magnify Christ in His members. When we come to examine it, we find that it is this divine love.
It has often been remarked how inexplicable it seems that the Apostle Paul should interrupt himself here, because the actual subject seems to skip the thirteenth chapter. He passes from the end of the twelfth, where he is considering the gifts, to this subject of love which comes before him. In a way this seems like an interruption. Yet the more we examine it, the more we are brought to the conclusion that not only is the interruption opportune, but it is divine. He shows immediately that if all the most wonderful gifts could be comprised in one gathering, they would be absolutely unprofitable unless they were exercised in this divine way. We can only learn it in communion with Christ. As we walk in communion with the Head of His body, we get His mind concerning His saints, His affections for His people and the thoughts of His heart at the very time when the saints need it. In this way we can be as those who are a witness for Christ, as "an oracle of God," as though God did beseech and utter His word by us.
He begins with that gift which we consider the greatest, that of speaking. We magnify this gift all out of proportion, whether it may be of teaching, preaching or evangelizing. That gift, being one which comes more often before us, we have elevated into a position far too high in the economy of God, to what is needful and what is profitable. He begins, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." 1 Cor. 13:1. I am afraid we have had to find that out. We have to own that a great many, perhaps most of the gifts that God has given to His Church, are scattered at large in this day of weakness and ruin. God has greatly endowed many as preachers and teachers, and yet how often we are conscious of what the Apostle describes here as emptiness and sounding brass. There seems to be a lack of ministry of Christ in such a way as to meet the needs of God's people. It is sad that it should be so, and yet we need to be reminded of it, and also we have to be very careful that the utterances of our mouths would be acceptable in His sight. How often we have to feel and judge ourselves that an utterance to which we have given expression at some meeting or other was mere knowledge. We have not confidently and consciously had contact with the living Head, so that we spoke with assurance as having a word from Him. Let us look to it that what we speak, we get from Christ our Head. He has given us a perfect example of this in John 12:50, "Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.”
The Apostle says if he speak but five words in the power of divine love, and it is fur the edification of the saints, he esteems it more than ten thousand words, though they might be the voice of greatest knowledge and eloquence. We have to be on our guard against that also. One of the characteristics of the last days is that men would have "itching cars." 2 Tim. 4:3. We are easily tainted with the same thing, We are unwilling to hear a person who desires to speak out of real love of heart for Christ. We naturally prefer something which pleases us. The Apostle says we must beware lest it be "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
F. Lavington

He Was Moved With Compassion

And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and He began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34.
In a world of misery and want, how blessed it is to know One whose heart feels it all, who makes it His own, and whose emotions of pitying love are so expressed that we can know and see them: He "was moved with compassion." That blessed face plainly told of the throbbing of divine mercy that worked within. The heart expressed itself before the hand moved to relieve what the eye looked upon. Nor was it a transient feeling, a passing emotion. Human misery has found a response in the heart of Jesus, and He, who is "the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever," although now on the throne of God in glory, is still "moved with compassion." He looks out upon, and takes in, all the misery and want that plead incessantly, in accents of ever-deepening intensity, at the throne of mercy.
If the Shepherd of Israel was moved with compassion as He looked upon the children of Abraham, "as sheep not having a shepherd," how deep must be the emotion with which the Lord Jesus now views the children of God again "scattered abroad"! What terrible havoc the "grievous wolves" have made in "the flock of God"! How the speakers of perverse things have led away "disciples after themselves"! What widespread division and offense those who "serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly" have wrought! Surely all this appeals with touching force to Him who "loved the church and gave Himself for it.”
But was it only that Jehovah's people were "as sheep not having a shepherd"? Had they not sinned themselves? Had their hearts been "right with Him"? Had they been "steadfast in His covenant"? He well knew it was far otherwise; the long, sad history of that perverse and stiff-necked people was all before Him, "but He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity." Psa. 78:38.
Has the church of the living God suffered only from false teachers and bad guides? Have the children of God a better history than the children of Israel?
Have they been less perverse and stiff-necked? Have they altogether kept His Word? And have their hearts been right with Him who redeemed them with His own blood? How well He knows that higher privileges and better promises have only brought out deeper sin, and relatively less response to His love! Surely every heart knows this. How sweet, then, in our day, to turn to Him whose "compassions fail not," and who "having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end"!
It is our portion to be on intimate terms with that compassionate heart of love, that same source that "began to teach them many things." True enough, He now speaks from heaven, but that heaven is open to us, and there is no distance to faith.
Failure and ignorance are around us on every hand. We can only rightly feel the one, and minister to the other, as we are really with Him who, above all evil, sees it all, only to find in it the occasion for the ministry of love.
They who would, in any little degree, serve the sheep of Christ in these last and closing days, need to ponder deeply these words, spoken to one of old, "execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassion every man to his brother." Above all, they should be much in spirit with that "faithful and merciful high priest," who, Himself unencompassed by infirmity, yet touched with the feeling of ours, is "able to have compassion on the ignorant and out of the way.”
“Most merciful High Priest,
Our Savior, Shepherd, Friend,
'Tis in Thy love alone we trust
Until the end."
C. Wolston

Syria

The risk of a war with Israel increases as Syria's military might grows mostly through the re-armament supplied by Russia. This very fact which is well known to high-ranking Israeli officials, only adds to the likelihood of another war between them soon. Each side knows the advantage of making the first surprise move.
In addition to this, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq are all under Russian pressure of one kind or another. What is lacking is a dominant leader to rally the forces behind him. What they now want is a man of power like Dan. 8 speaks of as understanding "dark sentences" or perhaps a dealer in mysticism-the occult. Much of what Daniel saw has been fulfilled historically, in Antiochus Epiphanes. This partial fulfillment is prophetic of a complete realization of what will take place after the rapture of the Church. The words of the angel to Daniel are, "At the time of the end shall be the vision;" and again, "Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be." Dan. 8:17, 19.
The present turmoil around the Israelitish state is stirring to the Christian observer. We know that the Lord God has said, "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." Ezek. 21:27. This refers to the antichrist's being put down and the true Christ set up. The overturning process is in all those nations around Israel also.
As the end approaches, we see the Moslem world more and mare opposing the Jews and the Christian nations. At the same time the western powers are more and more being forced to oppose terrorism generated by radical religious Moslem leaders.
In the background is the huge shadow of the great Russian bear casting a dark, sinister pall over the events in the Middle East.
All these happenings are a prelude to the coming sorrows of the judgments to fall upon this world. But for the Christian they are the very early rays of light in the eastern sky that announce the day. Surely "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." James 5:8.
1. Israel appears to be ready to receive their apostate head.
2. The western powers are being forced to think of a stronger alliance against the northern powers.
3. In the past two decades, Egypt has greatly increased in strength and appears ready to push from the South against the coming antichrist.
The people of the countries north of Israel (referred to in Scripture as the "Assyrian" and also the "king of the North") are in a restless warlike state looking for their occult leader and signal to invade Israel from the North and pass on to fight the Egyptians. (Dan. 11:40-45.)
We look for the Savior and expect Him very soon. None of these final events need to take place before He comes. Deliverance is so certain, that Scripture puts it in the past tense in 1 Thess. 1:10: "And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." The coming wrath is the tribulation and its terrible "destruction from the Almighty" (Joel 1:15) upon this world. Jesus is our deliverer from this coming wrath and He does it by taking us out beforehand. Ed.

Noah-Daniel-Job

"Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it [the land], they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God." Ezek. 14:14
It was a dark day in Israel's history when this word of the Lord came to the prophet Ezekiel. The word from the Lord said, "I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Ezek. 22:30. The ten tribes, Ephraim, or kingdom of Israel, had already gone into captivity to Assyria-removed out of Jehovah's land, which He had given them. Assuredly they "gave not God the glory" (Acts 12:23), but "changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things." Rom. 1:23.
Judah had not profited by the lesson to be learned from Jehovah's dealings with their brethren of Ephraim no man laid it to heart. God had reserved one tribe, "And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David My servant may have a light alway before Mc in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen Me to put My name there." 1 Kings 11:36. There was no response to this sovereignty of mercy shown to them, and one can only weep with the weeping prophet Jeremiah, as we read the inspired record of the sins of Judah's kings, false prophets, priests and people. "My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." Jer. 2:13. At last God removed them also, as Stephen said, "I will carry you away beyond Babylon." Acts 7:43.
What a grief of mind all this was to the Lord God of Israel may be learned from Deut. 5:29: "O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!" These words truly reveal the loving heart of our God concerning His earthly people; they are words too, which were recorded before they were in possession of the promised land, words by one who declares "the end from the beginning." Isa. 46:10. God truly felt His people's departure of heart from Himself. This is still true today as of old! Let us therefore, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Eph. 4:30.
With such a dark background, and at such a time, it evidently afforded the Lord some pleasure to think of His righteous servants, Noah, Daniel, and Job. Amazing grace! What an encouragement to us also in our feeble place of service today, in the sphere where He has been pleased to place each one of us. We do well to heed the words of 1 Peter 1:17, "Ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work." And now, as "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning" (Rom. 15:4), let us draw some spiritual profit, warning, and encouragement from the history of God's three worthies, Noah, Daniel, and Job.
Noah
He was a courageous character, indeed, to face an ungodly, hostile world with God's longsuffering testimony. What was the secret of his strength? "Noah walked with God" (Gen. 6:9); also, "according to all that God commanded him, so did he." Gen. 6:22. "Warned of God," and "moved with fear" he "prepared an ark" by means of which he accomplished two things: (1) "He condemned the world" (Heb. 11:7); (2) "Eight souls were saved by water." 1 Peter 3:20. It is sad to think that the only result of his preaching was to "condemn the world," but this was not his fault. "For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid." Rom. 3:3, 4. But the ark he prepared was the means of "the saving of his house." Heb. 11:7. Noah was a family man, and was possessed of those qualifications necessary for a bishop in the Church of God in Paul's day, as he wrote to Timothy: "A bishop (overseer) then must be blameless... one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. 1 Tim. 3:2-4. Noah's family, at least. believed his testimony, backed up by his godly life, and as a result found themselves safely in the ark with him when the judgment fell.
Daniel
In Daniel we find a pleasing personage who had "another spirit with him," like Caleb (Num. 14:24). He sets before us a good beginning. a faithful, consistent walk throughout, and a good finish. Paul's work in Phil. 1:20 comes at once to mind: "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always. so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death." The last verse of the book of Daniel is a wonderful reward for a life of faithfulness to God: "But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." We may be sure his lot will be a good one! The feature of his exemplary life which we desire to lay stress upon in this article is that Daniel continued: lion's den and all, he continued. The secret of his success, you ask? "He kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” Dan. 6:10. We do well to follow his example and heed the exhortation of Rom. 12:12, "Continuing instant in prayer." There is a further salutary lesson for us in 1 John 2:24, "If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”
Job
Here we have at least a grand finish. "The Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning." Job 42:12. His case is summed up in Prov. 25:4, "Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer." The Lord knew how to do this in Job's case (and ours too)! How beautiful that word in James 5:11, "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." We too, are exhorted to be "patient in tribulation." Rom. 12:12. And again, "Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray." James 5:13. "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Heb. 12:11. No two of us have the same history, but of chastening "all are partakers." Heb. 12:8. We too, like Job, are sustained in it, and find out at the end of it that our God is the same as at the beginning, and our souls arc the better for His hand upon us. We can say. "What hath God wrought!" Num. 23:23. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God." Rom. 8:28. Truly, "All His saints are in Thy hand." Deut. 33:3.
Conclusion
As we read the scriptures and review the histories of His servants of the past, we can only magnify the grace of God, apart from which neither they nor we could perform any service In His name. Paul says, "But by the grace of God I am what 1 am." 1 Car, 15:10. The Holy Scriptures abound with encouragement for us to persevere in the path of faith. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." Heb. 12:2. Now, "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." 1 John 2:6. And how Christ walked we find in Psa. 16:8, "I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." And He has left "us an example, that ye should follow His steps." 1 Peter 2:21. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." 1 Cor. 9:24. "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:13. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." Heb. 12:28. And what a prospect lies before us: "Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22:12. "His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face." Rev. 22:3, 4. T. Mather

Faith

It is characteristic of faith to reckon on God, not simply in spite of difficulty, but in spite of impossibility.
Faith does not concern itself about means; it counts upon the promise of God. To the natural man, the believer may seem to lack prudence; nevertheless, from the moment it becomes a question of means which render the thing easy to man, it is no longer God acting; it is no longer His work where means are looked to. When with man there is impossibility, God must come in, and it is so much the more evidenced to be the right way, since God only does that which He wills.
Faith has reference to His will, and to that only; thus it consults neither with means nor with circumstances. In other words, it consults not with flesh and blood. Where faith is weak, external means are beforehand reckoned on in the work of God. Let us remember that when things are feasible to man, there is no longer need of the energy of the Spirit. Christians do much, and effect little—why?
But without faith it is impossible to please Him." Heb. 11:6.
In Hebrews, faith is looked upon as an active principle of endurance and conduct, reliance on God's Word through grace for practice.
Romans presents the principle on which we are justified in virtue of Christ's work, the ground of peace. This principle is the non-working faith of the sinner. The book of Hebrews highlights, rather, the active-working faith of the saint. J.T. Armet

Bible Challenger: The Worldly ASpect Christians Should Be on Their Guard Against

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word applied to some aspect of the world, against which Christians should ever be on their guard.
1. Something instrumental in flattening an imposing barrier.
2. Something a desperate king used in vain in seeking a message from the Lord.
3. Something that showed a reversal to encourage a doubting king.
4. Something having a physical shape that can be reckoned as nothing.
5. Something used by two prophets to keep from getting wet.
6. Something God planted and Peter cut off.
7. Something used by a wicked servant to store his lord's money.
8. Something Solomon made having 6 steps and 24 lions.
9. Something a king commanded man and beast to wear after hearing an 8 word proclamation.
Answers to these questions will he found in next month’s issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman.
Answers to Last Month's Bible Challenger
1. Peradventure. Gen. 18:24, 28-32.
2. Labor not for the meat that perisheth. John 6:27
3. Empty vessels; borrow not a few. 2 Kings 4:3
4. Number now, and see who is gone from us. 1 Sam. 14:17
5. Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown. 2 Sam. 10:5
6. Exhort one another daily. Heb. 3:13.
7. Occupy till I come. Luke 19:13.
8. Unclean, unclean. Lev. 13:45.
9. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord. Psa. 3:8.
“For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and PLENTEOUS in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee." Psa. 86:5

More Shove

Three lads were pushing a handcart up Renfield Street. Glasgow. The two behind got into a discussion and forgot to push. The lad in the shafts turned round and tartly exclaimed, "Less talk and more shove.”
If Christ had said, "Rise up and talk," how many would have fulfilled their mission; but He said, "Rise.. up... and walk." John 5:8. Let us remember that!

With You Always

Faith delights in difficulties. Why? God will take me through them. But all the world is against me, you reply. Never mind. Do you know what was once said to Luther? "Luther, all the world is against you." "God and I are a match for them," was his happy and simple answer; imitate his faith.

Self-Occupation and Self-Judgment

Many confound self-occupation with self-judgment. Seeing self-judgment to be right (when we fail), they are found asking themselves where the one ends and the other begins.
Self-occupation is the bane of the soul. Man makes himself the center and chief object upon earth. This is self-occupation.
Self-judgment is the work of the Spirit of God. It is not His proper work, but often, from our want of watchfulness, it is His necessary work. Without it, there is no way of return to the joy of communion when that communion is broken through sin. Self-judgment, though right in its place, is not communion; on the contrary, it is the confession that communion is lost. But it is the only way back; it is medicine, not food.
To live daily with self ignored is the highest Christian condition. Here the Spirit of God is free to take Christ and put Him before us as our food. Here the soul is free to be occupied by and for Christ alone. The Apostle says. "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." It is the only right state for food. And food is the soul's appropriation of Christ, and feeding upon Him as ministered by the Spirit. He alone is the "bread of life which came down from heaven"; as John 6:56 says, "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in Him." (It is not the having done so once by faith. That is in John 6:51, and is of the first importance.) Food is the daily need of the man. But how important to see that self-occupation is not food, and that self-judgment is not food. We cannot live or grow without food.
H.C.A.

The Invisible Powers of Evil

There is no doubt whatever that we are surrounded by a vast world of spirits, some good, and some evil. The good are those who continue in their proper allegiance to the Creator; the evil are those who are in revolt against Him, following the leadership of Satan. But both good and evil are deeply interested in the affairs of men, the one delighting in their blessing, and the other seeking to compass their ruin.
There are three notices of the spirit-world in the epistle to the Ephesians. In Eph. 1:20, 21, we have Christ's position in relation thereto. He is seated at God's "right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion." However mighty the spirit-forces in the universe may be, Christ is superior to them all, and all must yet acknowledge His Lordship. In Eph. 3 verse 10 we are told, "that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God." These arc holy spirits, who observe with unselfish interest what God is doing for His redeemed, and they admire the wisdom of His ways therein. Peter says they desire to "look into" these things (1 Peter 1:12). Then in Eph. 6:12 we learn that the Christian's present conflict is "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in heavenly places." (see margin.)
'These spirit-forces are highly organized (we read of "chief princes" amongst them-Dan. 10:13), and their power is enormous. They act upon individuals to their ruin and they influence also the course of public affairs: they are largely responsible for the disasters which come upon men from time to time. Kings and statesmen, however talented and well intentioned they may be, are helpless pawns in the hands of diabolical spirits, if they have not learned the need of absolute dependence upon God.
Let no one misunderstand the foregoing. We are not referring to the spirits of departed men and women. These are quite unable to influence earthly affairs, even if they know anything at all about them, which is very doubtful. Our reference is to angelic beings, some good, and some evil, as before stated.
Men have always had a desire to pierce the veil which separates the visible from the invisible. Such inquisitiveness is dangerous in the extreme, and those who indulge in it expose themselves to the tyranny of beings greatly their superiors in power and subtlety, who delight to allure souls down to eternal ruin.
It has pleased God, in His gracious instruction of His own saints to give us glimpses of what is going on in the invisible world. He wishes His own, who are set in testimony for Him here, to have some understanding of the terrible influences which are persistently working for the destruction of the human race. We are thus ourselves preserved from Satanic deception, and are able to warn others also. Dan. 10:1; 12:4: 1 Kings 22:14-23, and Rev. 16:12-16 are scriptures which every Christian should carefully examine in this connection. In Dan. 10, we find the prophet in prayer for three weeks concerning the future of the people of Israel. At the end of that period, an angel came to him saying that he was sent off at once with the answer, "but," he said, "the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days." Dan. 10:13. Of whom is the angel speaking? Not of a man, certainly, for how could the Persian Sovereign hinder an angel coming from heaven with an answer to the prophet's prayer? And would he be likely to know that the prophet had prayed at all? It is a mighty spirit of whom the angel speaks, a spirit that interested itself for good or for evil in the politics of the Persian State. Then in Dan. 10:20 we read: "now will I return to fight the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come." It is impossible to introduce men into such a passage. The angel is speaking of movements and counter-movements in the spirit-world, resulting in conflicts here upon earth, if the angel's message be read through to the end (Dan. 12:4), we shall learn of many mischievous doings on the part of kings and others, energized by Satan. We shall also learn that Israel forms the center of God's earthly ways, and that the archangel Michael has special charge of Israel's interests and that in due time he will act in power on their behalf. (Dan. 12:1.) In connection with this interesting angelic communication to Daniel, Zech. 1:7-11; 3:1-5, and 6:1-8, may well be carefully considered.
Turning now to 1 Kings 22:14-23, Ahab-Israel's wicked and willful king-was disposed to go to war with Syria for the recovery of Ramoth-Gilead. His misguided ally, Jehoshaphat, King of Judah (pious, but weak), wished to know what Jehovah might have to say about the undertaking. In due course faithful Micaiah was brought out of prison, and in few words he described a scene in the heavenlies: Jehovah was seated on His throne surrounded by the host of heaven. His patience with Ahab being now exhausted, He called for a volunteer who would dispose the doomed man to go to war to his undoing. After much discussion, a spirit proposed to go down and put a lie in the mouths of all the King's prophets. "Go forth, and do so," said the great God. No words can adequately set forth the solemnity of this. Israel's war with Syria was thus arranged in the spirit-world, as many a war since. Blinded by Satan, Ahab paid no heed to what he heard. God's faithful witness was sent back to prison, and the King rode forth to his death.
Rev. 16:12-16 deals briefly with the last gathering of the nations for battle. The dread word "Armageddon" is found here. Spirit-forces are responsible for the world's final conflict. It will suffice to quote the passage, "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." The language is doubtless symbolic, but its meaning is too plain to be misunderstood. As the Scriptures become more and more neglected and discredited (largely as the fruit of the so-called "Higher Criticism") men will listen with increasing willingness to "seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy." 1 Tim. 4:1,2. What a terrible result of the poison of unbelief injected by the serpent into the minds of Eve and Adam at the beginning! (Gen. 3:1). W. Fereday

Prayer Hindrances and Helps

The prayers of husband and wife may be hindered, as is taught in 1 Peter 3:7 (JND), "Ye husbands likewise, dwell with them according to knowledge, as with a weaker, even the female, vessel, giving them honor, as also fellow-heirs of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered." If the husband does not honor the wife as a co-heir of eternal life, communion in prayer will be hindered, and the effect of united prayer will be lost.
James gives several moral hindrances to prayer. First, there is "double-mindedness," no real godly earnestness or definiteness of purpose. "Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." James 1:5-8. Second, asking amiss. "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your [pleasures]." James 4:3. The word "pleasures." given in the margin of the Authorized Version, is correct. It is not "lusts," but "pleasures"-and that, not necessarily bad pleasures. What is contemplated is self-pleasing, the mere desire of the natural mind; God's glory or our own spiritual profit is not considered at all, and God's people (see succeeding verse) are living in friendship with the world, which is, spiritually, adultery.
In comparison with opposition and hindrances, let us take notice of a great and substantial aid to prayer, namely, thanksgiving-"In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Phil. 4:6. "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving." Col. 4:2. Probably the advantage of thanksgiving as an aid to the soul is not fully seen. How often when the well of prayer seems dried, thanksgiving will cause the stream to flow! The recollection of mercies received, and blessings in possession, refreshes the soul, begets the sense that we are in communion with a giving God, and imparts new courage to approach Him with our requests. How many answers are received to prayers gone by, which are not recognized as answers, because in the interval the very prayers that were made are forgotten! Thus the opportunity for praise and thanksgiving is lost to the soul, a loss of happy and profitable exercise. Besides that, it is a failure in what is becoming towards God. Is it a fit thing to receive a gift and not return thanks? Between man and man it is a breach of manners, and that God takes notice of such failure towards Him is certain from the case of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19). Only one of the ten who had been cleansed returned to give thanks, and how touching is the comment of the Lord! "Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger!" God looks for our gratitude, and that not only in the heart, but the positive expression of it, and He desires expression too, not merely in a general way, but definitely as to definite instances. Praise "is pleasant; and praise is comely" Psa. 147:1. A thankful soul is a happy soul. We can never get into circumstances where we have not cause for thanksgiving, and thanksgiving naturally leads to prayer.
Another aid and stimulus to prayer is private reading-reading God's Word itself, and the valuable written ministry which in the present day He has supplied to His children so abundantly as to be within reach of all. Such reading, in a proper spirit, begets prayer. It awakens the sense of need and encourages confidence towards God, leading to prayer, with blessing as the consequence. In the Word, God is speaking to us; in prayer we are speaking to Him; in both together, the circle of communion with God is completed. Neither will do without the other. The Christian who prays without the Word tends to become somewhat of a mystic. He who reads much without a corresponding measure of prayer, will get his head stocked with knowledge, but his soul will be barren. E. Thomas

Questions

Why is it that God's dear people, when confronted by an evil principle absolutely contrary to God, have so little power to deal with it? Why is it that evil lifts its head and we cannot go forth to meet it as we should in the strength of God? Is it not because we go forth without first judging ourselves; we fail to get down on our faces and ask God to search our hearts, and to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ? Only when this is done can we deal with the evil. Brethren, a man that judges himself in the presence of God is the man who can go out and conquer for God. He then is enabled to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.

Presence of the Holy Spirit on Earth

The Church was first formed when the Holy Ghost descended on the day of Pentecost for that purpose. Prior to the death of Christ, the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile existed. There could be no such thing, consequently, as their union in one body, neither could that body have any existence until its Head was in heaven and glorified, not until the Holy Ghost was sent down here to dwell in it, and give it its unity. These two things are evidently necessary in order that any natural body should have life: first, it must have a head: secondly, there must be a spirit in it, to animate it and give it the unity of life. Now, during the lifetime of Christ, this unity had not commenced, for it was something far more than a unity of faith in His person.
He says of Himself, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24), so that it is in His resurrection, and by virtue of it, that we have this life in Him, and it could not be before His resurrection. (Compare also Eph. 2:5, 6.) Not only, therefore, was it needful that Jesus should become man, but He must die and rise again, before a single believer could be united to Him in the same life that He has (John 14:19), atonement for sin being the basis of everything. It is not, however, life only, but the presence of the Holy Ghost down here that forms the body. Now that there is a glorified and accepted Man as its Head in heaven, this third Person of the Godhead has come to unite us to Him as such, and incorporate all the living saints into one body, by His presence here on earth. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." 1 Cor. 12:13.
This personal presence of the Holy Ghost on earth is the great characteristic of the present period, and of the existence of the Church while here. When leaving His disciples, Jesus promised to them another Comforter, who should "abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth." This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, and then the Church was established on earth so that it could be said, "The Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved." Furthermore, the accomplishment of the previous declaration of Christ, "On this rock [His own person] I will build My Church," commenced. Ever since this time, the Holy Ghost has remained on earth in the Church. All operations in it are carried on by His agency. (1 Cor. 12:11; Acts 13:2, etc.) He builds the Church together as God's habitation. (Eph. 2:22.) This presence of God, the Holy Ghost in the body of Christ, and His activity displayed in grace, and power, and blessing, are quite distinct from His providential government in the world, which has subsisted from the beginning, and will subsist after this has ceased, as well as the operations of His grace upon the hearts of individuals, which have been carried on in all dispensations.
In certain parts of the book of the Revelation, (those which precede and follow the visions), we have further evidence of this truth. In the addresses to the Churches, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches," is often repeated. In Rev. 22, the Spirit down here with the Church is represented as looking up to Christ and inviting His return. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come." In these passages, which apply to the present time, the Church is still on earth, and in them, we see the force of the Apostle's assertion that. "He who now letteth will let until He be taken out of the way.”
While the Holy Ghost is on earth in the Church. His presence is a restraint upon the full manifestation of evil. If the presence of a man of God will act in this way upon a company of ungodly persons, as we have often seen, we cannot be surprised that the presence of the Spirit of God, as well as the light which He diffuses while on earth, should operate in this way. Once the Church is removed, and the Holy Ghost is no longer here, the restraining influence ceases to exist, the evil displays itself without hindrance, and Antichrist appears. Hence the propriety of the expression. "He who now letteth will let until He be taken out of the way," which appropriately describes His sudden removal with the Church, This coincides with what we have already remarked, that it would be inconsistent to suppose that the Holy Ghost could be here when the Son of man comes to take vengeance, and scarcely finds faith on the earth. W. Ord

To Obey

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Sam. 15:22.
“'Tis well to be in service
Whene'er the heart is right;
To serve Him in communion,
Accepted in His sight.
And 'tis a useful lesson
To 'servants' every day.
Than sacrifice or offering
'Tis better to obey.”

A Magnificent Palace

The Bible is like a magnificent palace constructed of precious stones, comprising sixty-six stately chambers. Each one of these chambers is different from the other and is perfect in its individual beauty. Together they form an edifice incomparably majestic, glorious and sublime.
In the book of Genesis we enter the grand vestibule where we are immediately introduced to the records of the mighty work of God in creation. This vestibule gives access to the law courts, passing through which we come to the picture gallery of the historical books. Here we find hung upon the walls scenes of battles, pictures of heroic deeds, and portraits of valiant men of God.
Beyond the picture gallery we find the philosopher's chamber, the book of Job. Passing on we enter the music room, the book of the Psalms. Here we linger, thrilled by the grandest harmonies that ever fell on human cars. Then we come to the business office, the book of Proverbs, in the very center of which stands the motto: "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Leaving the business office, we pass into the research department, Ecclesiastes. Next we go into the conservatory, the Song of Solomon, where the fragrant aroma of the choicest fruits, flowers and the sweet singing of birds greet us. Then we reach the observatory, where the prophets with their powerful telescopes are looking for the appearing of the "Bright and Morning Star," prior to the dawning of the "Sun of Righteousness.”
Crossing the courtyard we come to the audience chamber of the King, the gospels, where we find four life-like portraits of the King Himself. These reveal the perfections of His infinite beauty. Next we enter the workroom of the Holy Spirit, the Acts of the Apostles. Beyond that the correspondence room of the Epistles, where we see Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude busy at their tables under the personal direction of the Spirit of Truth.
Finally we enter the throne room, the book of the Revelation. We are enrapt by the mighty volume of adoration and praise which is addressed to the enthroned King and fills the vast chamber, in the adjacent galleries and judgment hall there are portrayed solemn scenes of judgment and wondrous scenes of glory associated with the coming manifestation of the Son of God as King of kings and Lord of lords.

God's Ways

God's ways are behind the scenes but He moves all the scenes which He is behind. We have to learn this and let Him work, and not think much of man's busy movements: they will accomplish God's. The rest of them all perish and disappear. We have only peacefully to do His will. J.N. Darby

Guidance

Discerning the Lord's mind is largely a question of the state of soul. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." Is my eye single? Do I desire only His will? Am I not blinded through self-interest or self-will in some way? Do I refer all to the Lord, and wait on I Him, to know His will? If so, He will guide. We do not expect any revelation, or anything extraordinary, but He, by laying on the mind what is pleasing to Him, or by some providential way, will indicate His will. This may be so distinct that it virtually amounts to a certainty in the mind, though we may not be able to prove it to another. The great thing is nearness to the Lord, and a subject mind, with the desire, "Show me Thy way." He sets before us an open door, with something to indicate that we may enter. We see His hand in it, recognize it, and act accordingly.
This is something we have to learn experimentally. It is not easy to teach it to another, because it is not a mere mental or intellectual operation.
I passed through a great exercise of soul as to how I could know the Lord's will to go here or go there. The answer I got was, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." I never forgot it. And I have found since that when I could get no light, there was some cause-something in my state-or something that hindered full communion. Often there has been more or less misgiving as to whether I had His mind, but generally I have found that when any step was taken in His fear, sooner or later it became manifest that He had guided. Sometimes it is "bit and bridle"-some restraint-some hindrance-but this is where mere nature or will is working and the eye is not clear. And it is a mercy to be restrained rather than to have our own way. The simple, normal thing is, "I will guide thee with Mine eye." Psa. 32:8.
God's Word gives us the great principles. God's Spirit forms our hearts in these principles, and the little details fall into line with them. We exercise our judgment, but it is the judgment of a "sound mind," that is, a mind formed in its workings by the Word of God. Then "I have set the Lord always before Me." This Object forms and governs the motives. It is akin to "the fear of the Lord." He gets His rightful place in the soul, and He forms our thoughts and desires, and we act for Him. A.H. Rule

Decision With Lowliness

There is no greater danger than forgetting the spirit that is becoming to those to whom God has shown His mercy in giving true understanding of what suits Him in the actual and broken state of Christendom. is it not one of the things we need most to be careful of that the tone in which we use the truth should be becoming? The more we learn of God, the more we should cultivate lowliness of mind, This does not imply that you should have indecision in your convictions, but rather, that you manifest having a just sense of your own weakness, and a certain brokenness in spirit, remembering how the glory of the Lord has suffered by the failure of His people.
W. Kelly

Learning Through Mistakes

He who never changed any of his opinions, never corrected any of his mistakes, and he who was never wise enough to find out any mistakes in himself, will not be charitable enough to excuse what he reckons mistakes in others.

Return to School

Christian parents who have a Godly care for the welfare of their children may well be concerned as we come to another September. This month means the return to school with all its dangerous influences. There on the one hand stands the divine instruction to "bring them up in the discipline and admonition of the Lord." Eph. 6:4 (JND). On the other hand is the system of compulsory education which turns them over to the ungodly (generally speaking) for much of their "admonition" or instruction.
We should not underestimate the evil influences which are brought to bear on our children in the schools and colleges. Instead of the instruction of the Lord, the very Word of the Lord will be called in question, and deliberate attempts will be made to shake their faith in God and the Holy Scriptures. They are taught to reason, and then by that process to reason away divine inspiration and all that it reveals. The statistics of the percentages of young people who come out of schools and colleges with their faith shaken is staggering. (These English-speaking countries feel superior to Russia and her degree of civilization and yet are laying the ground work for the same type of "overthrow of God" by the concerted undermining of the faith of the younger generations.)
Besides this danger to their faith is the influence of the world's teaching which tends to obscure the Christian's hope and calling.
The whole system of the world's philosophy is calculated to instill pride, and imbue with the spirit of aggrandizement. In other words, it fosters and promotes the idea that each one should strive to be great in this world. There is not the least thought given to the fact that a Christian is called out of this world to live for the Lord Jesus and to wait for Him. Such a thing as a Christian learning in school what he needs to know in order to earn an honest living while he is going through this world is never considered. Of course we should not expect anything else from the world; "they are of the world: therefore speak they of the world." 1 John 4:5. Satan is its god and prince and he makes good use of the whole educational system to further his ends.
Another grave danger that besets the young in schools is the moral atmosphere. In some places this has deteriorated to an alarming degree, and dear young people from Christian homes are thrown into hearing and seeing filth and corruption. As the end approaches, the character of the "days of Lot" will be more in evidence; we know he was daily "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked," and his children were deeply influenced.
Is there no solution for the dangerous and serious problem? Yes, there is. We can always go to Scripture and find precepts and examples that will help us in our troubles. In this instance we cite the case of Moses. As many would have viewed it, he was born at a most inopportune time-the children of Israel were slaves and were made to feel it deeply. They were not free to do as they knew they should. They were entirely at the mercy of the ungodly (except for divine intervention), and an edict condemned Moses to death in the river. It was probably the worst time in all the history of Israel for a Godly Israelite to bring up children, and Amram and Jochebed must have had great exercises and searchings of heart before God.
Through God's gracious providence, Moses was delivered from death and given back to his mother to bring up for Pharaoh's daughter. This was a cause for deep thankfulness of heart to God, and yet it was cause for exercise of spirit also, for soon that dreaded day would come when their son would be taken from them to be brought up according to the royal station of his benefactress. This would call for an education calculated to fit this "proper child" of Israel to be great in the palaces of Egypt, instead of instructing him about the "God of glory" who appeared to Abraham, and of the future of those Israelitish slaves. In Egypt's schools this child of faithful parents would hear all the fantastic stories of creation that a highly developed paganism had invented, and certainly the moral standards of a heathen country would never suit one of that people called unto Him "that is holy." What then could be done?
We believe that the answer is fully given in the divine record of Moses and of his parents. We see the faith of Jochebed in Exodus and have it commended in that great chapter of faith-the 11th of Hebrews. She was not disposed to accept things as they appeared, but she went forward in faith. She carefully hid her son as long as she could, and then had her faith richly rewarded by receiving him to bring up for a time in the surroundings of a God-fearing home. What could she do with these precious years while she brought him up? Would she make use of them to instruct Moses in the truth of God and give him a perspective that no college of Egypt could ever erase? It was not that she sought Egypt's wisdom for him. but if he must have it she must diligently use the intervening time to bring him up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. She must also count on God to open his heart and make the good seed bear fruit. At last the time came and "when the child was grown, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son." Ex. 2:10 (JND).
The next statement that we have concerning Moses' circumstances at that time is found in Acts 7: "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds." (And truly the wisdom of Egypt was great at that time; it was not the nation that it is today.) But all the influences of the schools and palaces of Egypt could not efface the truth that had taken root-truth about God, about Israel, and about Egypt. He was so aware of the real facts that he deliberately "forsook Egypt" and all that pertained to it. He counted his association with the despised people of God of greater worth than the passing glory of Egypt. Read the beautiful account of his faith in action, in Heb. 11. We feel that much credit must go to his mother who evidently had fortified him against all the seductions of an Egypt that was opposed to God and all that was of Him. He was not moved by the dazzling spectacle of Pharaoh's court, but cast in his lot with the oppressed slaves. He was not swayed by the false heathen theories of creation, but under divine inspiration wrote the facts of creation (Gen. 1) that have withstood a thousand varying notions to the contrary.
Natural prudence might have sought to find an Israelitish school in Egypt which would have the approval of Pharaoh, but which would shield Moses from the evil teaching of paganism and perhaps infidelity, and also keep him from the moral corruption of Egypt's institutions. But such a school, to have Pharaoh's approval, would have had to accommodate the hopes of Israel to the schemes of Egypt, and they were irreconcilable. A school of this type would never have prompted Moses to forsake Egypt, but it would have taught him how to get along and advance in Egypt rather than to leave it. And so it is with us. If we could shield our children from infidelity and immorality it would seem good, but if in doing so they would receive the world's philosophy of achievement and success, we would probably find they had been drawn into the world's vortex to the loss of their Christian testimony and happiness, and to the Lord's dishonor.
We might well take a lesson from the building of a great dam or some great wall. Before it is built, the engineers carefully calculate the amount of pressure the structure will have to withstand: then the foundations are made sufficiently strong to carry the weight, and the whole is carefully reinforced and buttressed to meet all the demands that will be placed upon it. In like manner we should measure the three-fold influence and pressure of infidelity, worldly philosophy, and immorality that will come against our young people, and then see that we carefully prepare them to meet it. We should not attempt to do it in our own strength, but, confessing our weakness to God, seek His help and guidance. It is our constant duty to bring the Lord before them and to bear them up before the Lord all the time they are in our homes and under our influence not just the work of a day or a year. And they need to see that these precious things are the principles that actuate us, and that we "are persuaded of them" and that we confess that we are "strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Heb. 11:13. May our dear young people then be fortified and prepared for the three-fold evil which they will surely meet:
1. May they be firmly rooted in the truth of the Word of God and its divine inspiration throughout, that they may stand in the wisdom of God and not of men.
2. May they always remember that we who are saved have been delivered from this present evil world, and we are waiting for our blessed Lord to come and take us to our inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled. May they remember, too, that all the glory of this world will come to naught, while he who does the will of God shall abide forever.
3. May they be deeply impressed with this solemn truth God is "holy, holy, holy," and that He has said, "Be ye holy, for I am holy," so as to "abhor that which is evil" and turn away from the least touch of that which defiles. P. Wilson

The Training of the Children of Believers

There is a sphere of blessing into which God has brought His child, and in which He has surrounded him with wife and children, in order that the light which He has lit up in the heart of the head of that house may shine out brightly and carry by His grace, the knowledge of God into the hearts of those in the house around him.
All this is different from the nature of those thus privileged and outwardly blessed of God. Of course it is just the same ruined, undone thing as in the rest of mankind around.
But if God regarded them merely as "children of wrath," He would not tell the Christian parent to bring them up in the Lord's discipline and admonition. And it should not be supposed that it is believing children who are before the mind of the Spirit in Eph. 6:1-4. The Apostle leaves it without defining whether they are or are not addressing them simply as "children." And he tells the parents to "bring them up" for Him (as Jochebed brought up Moses for Pharaoh's daughter) "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," and surely He does not direct this if He intends to cast them off again.
I think there is much involved in the Lord's nurture and admonition. He exercises it over and with us, and we are to observe a similar course with our children. His tender patience and His persevering love never cast off their object until the end is gained. His faithfulness never flatters us, but deals with us, so that we may disallow practically all that savors of our evil nature, and the world from which He has delivered us. This disallowance of the flesh and of all that savors of the old Adam and his ways on the one side, and complete conformity to the Son of God on the other, is His aim, and characterizes His ways of discipline with us that He may be glorified. And as we grow conversant with them as observed towards us whom He has brought to Himself, we learn to bring up our children under Him. We must seek to show them whence the tendencies and wills of the flesh spring, and where they end. We must disallow them in our children, as the Lord does in us, seeking to draw their minds and hearts to Jesus, and thus with patient grace and persevering love discipline and admonish them for their good.
I feel, too, that the family circle is the normal place for the conversion of the child. I am sure that much of what we are told of children's conversions is but the bringing to a definite point what has long been there in the soul. It is most desirable that it should take its definite form in the way of a confession of Christ in the child. But I fear anything in the way of excitement, by which the young, susceptible heart is easily wrought upon, thus forcing into immature development the hardly perceptible pulsations of life in the soul. I believe that in general such cases give a weakly tone to the soul, and in result they are often like the too-early removal of the shell from the little bird, a feeble state of soul will supervene.
My impression too, is, (and the exception proves the rule,) that the child of the believing, Christian parent will, as a rule, seldom if ever, be able to tell when he was converted, as we speak. It is true that, at the same time, the child or the parent may be able to look back to some moment when the faith and life took definite shape, and burst forth into activity and energy. It is like the bursting forth into beauty and fragrance of the flower, which has grown up from the little unseen germ, or hardly perceptible bud, until the genial warmth of the sun and the gentle showers of the rain caused it to open its petals for the first time.
How lovely was the unquestioning faith of Hannah! Her son, the fruit of her prayer, was brought up to Shiloh, with the offerings of faith in her own and her husband's hands. At as early an age as his weaning time, before living faith could work in the soul of the babe, she said to Eli, "Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him: therefore also I have returned, whom I have obtained by petition to the Lord; as long as he liveth he whom I have obtained by petition, shall be returned to the Lord." 1 Sam. 1:26-28. marg.
The contrast, too, in the case of Eli's house is solemn and instructive; it illustrates the linking of the saint and his house in the sight of God. "In that day (said the Lord to Samuel) I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." 1 Sam. 3:12, 13.
Considering the conversion of the child of a saint, and noticing that the time of such is seldom known, if known at all, in the normal state of things, I would cite the case of young Timothy. He was brought up "from infancy" (άπὀ βρἐφους) in the knowledge of the holy scriptures, which were able to make him wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus, and trained by a pious, believing mother, and grandmother. The aged Apostle speaks of the unfeigned faith of both of these women in a most touching manner in 2 Tim. 1:5. The blessed knowledge of the Word of God thus early implanted in his young and impressible heart, paved the way for that moment when the life it brought to his soul burst forth into the liberty of grace and knowledge of Christ through the Apostle Paul at Lystra, who names him his "own son in the faith.”
Such I believe to be a true example of the conversion of the child of believing parents. He has the priceless boon of being in the circle where the name of Jesus is a household word, where the things of the Lord are the central focus of the lives of his parents. His parents feel that they have received him back from the Lord to be brought up under the yoke of Christ from the earliest moments of his existence, and they feel, too, that the One who has directed them to do this, will, not in vain, be trusted in for that quickening of soul which he needs, as all of us do, that he may live indeed. They bring him up in the faith of Christ, never for a moment casting a doubt across his young and impressible heart that he is not the Lord's. They teach him the way that God forgives and saves through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. They explain how the grace of God is received. They show the little one the awful results of unbelief, and of the rejection of Christ. They explain how real faith is known from the false and hollow profession around. They teach him that obedience and those desires to please the Lord, under whose yoke he is brought up, are the true way in which the life of God displays itself in man. And thus by these teachings the conscience is awakened, and when failures in these things are seen, the necessity and meaning of the confession of sins, and the unburdening of the soul to Christ is pressed and encouraged. The desire, too, to make known to the Lord the wants of the heart for self or others is directed to its proper outflow- prayer. All these things lead the child onward to a confidence in God, and he grows up to Christ, as he does by the food of infancy by which his natural powers have been gradually developed.
While all this training goes on, a true-hearted parent will wait on God in secret, that that sovereign quickening power which belongs to Him alone may be put forth in behalf of his child, who is by nature "dead in trespasses and sins.”
You will notice, too, that it is in the "nurture (discipline) and admonition of the Lord." This implies reverence for and owning the authority of One who is over the child. It does not imply a relationship, as "Father" or "Christ," the co-relatives of which would be "son" or "child" and "member of His body." This is important, too, because while none can truly please Him but those who are in relationship with Him, still the word "Lord" does not necessarily and exclusively mean this.
Moses indignantly refused such a compromise of Satan as that proposed by Pharaoh in Ex. 10. The suggestion was made that only the men should go to worship the Lord, but Moses replied, "We will go with our sons and with our daughters," etc. How often do Christian parents fall into the same wile of the enemy and separate as to the external ground of blessing between the parents and the children both in their own minds and the training they give them. All must be, as with Noah of old, in the same place of blessing. "Come thou and all thy house into the ark,” tells this blessed way of God's goodness and mercy. "Thee have I seen righteous before me," tells of the head of the house being blessed in his soul. Even his son, who afterward dishonored his father, entered with him into the place of safety.
Surely a wise parent will not regard his child as a child of God until he sees the signs of a quickened conscience, and the fear of the Lord in him, but he seeks to lead his heart to Christ in practice, conversation, and ways. Thus dependence upon God. thankfulness of heart for His mercies and obedience to His will are impressed upon his heart, and the faith of a parent will be answered of God in giving living faith to his child. I believe we ought to count on God for our children-every one of them-and where there is true faith in a parent as to this, He who gave it will answer it in making them His own. Words of Truth

Plain Talks to the Young

"Who hath despised the day of small things?" Zech. 4:10.
The World's Great Things
In the world this is the day of great things. In matters of warfare men were once satisfied to number their armies in thousands, but now thousands arc despised-nations must have their millions. In matters of finance, where once fortunes were rated in columns of five figures. now ten figures fail to tell the truth as to single inheritances. The fabled Croesus would be but a small capitalist in today's rating. In rural life where once the patient husbandman tilled his dozen acres, now great power tractors upturn miles of earth that shall yield granaries of grain. In matters of education, universities, colleges, seminaries and lesser institutes, multiply without end, and multitudes pursue their eager search for knowledge and degrees. Metropolises thrive where cities once stood; great cities have replaced villages. Bands of steel rails encircle the continents, and pulsations of power throb in every industrial center. In short-the world has ceased to care for the small or the insignificant.
The Effect on Christendom
If this were all, the Christian need not be concerned, for why should he care for the poor world's boastings or accomplishments? He knows its end-that it is doomed to judgment. He realizes, too, that he is not of it-that he belongs to another scene.
But this is not all. The world is not alone in its boasting. Professing Christians have become infected with this same vaunting spirit, with the sad result that they glory in their shame. (Phil. 3:19.) The resulting condition is that no Christian activity is recognized as possessing any merit, unless it can be flourished before the world as worthy of comparison with the world's great achievements. So the lust for great memberships, "Five-year programs," "Men and Millions" movements, "Evangelization of the World in this Generation," etc., etc., are phrases mouthed with pride by professed Christians on every side. Evangelists who cannot number their converts by hundreds and thousands are not wanted. Evangelism has become capitalized, and numbers are made the measure of success in God's work.
SH>God's Little Things
Young Christian, you know this is not of God. Will you then be dismayed that you can do so little? God forbid! Apply the sharp sword of God's Word to these inflated bubbles of man's pride and see how much abides the test. What do I read in God's Word of all these modern schemes in connection with the work of God? The Word speaks of a narrow way (Matt. 7:14), of few there be that find it and of a little flock (Luke 12:32) to whom the Father gives the kingdom. It is those who have a little strength who meet the Lord's commendation. (Rev. 3:8.) "Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities." Luke 19:17. Wood, hay and stubble appear huge before the fire; (1 Cor. 3:12), while gold, silver and precious stones seem small. God's reward is after, not before the fire. There is no reward for ashes.
God's Examples
If I take for example, the prophets, the Lord and the apostles, what do I learn of their activity for God? I see Jonathan and his armor-hearer, with God, accomplishing more in one night than Israel with their hosts in forty days of human endeavor (1 Sam. 14:1-16), and David with God's help using his sling to defeat Goliath. (1 Sam. 17:1-16.) The Lord Himself was content to linger at Sychar's well that He might quench the soul-thirst of one poor outcast woman (John 4), or to sacrifice His hours of sleep to enlighten one honest Pharisee. (John 3.) He was content to spend a day with a despised tax collector (Luke 19:5), or to be satisfied at the close of His life's ministry to have a mere one hundred and twenty waiting for His promise at Jerusalem. (Acts 1:15.)
Philip could leave his work in Samaria to minister Christ to a lone black man in the desert. (Acts 8:26-40.) Peter could walk a matter of twenty-five miles to preach the gospel to one family. (Acts 10.) The great Apostle Paul could minister to a handful of women at the seaside (Acts 16:13), or declare the way of salvation to a solitary sinner at midnight. (Acts 16:31.) At the close of Paul's life, many of the little assemblies which were the result of his life's work, could be comfortably housed in private homes, and yet he never apologized for his lack of numbers. (Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Philem. 1:2.)
Your Day of Small Things
Now, young Christian, in the light of Scripture, shall you and I despise the day of small things? No! let us heed the word of Jeremiah, when he said, "Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not." Jer. 45:5. God counts it no little thing to be faithful to His Word, and to do His will in a day when His Word is deliberately ignored and flatly disobeyed for the sake of great numbers and religious aggrandizement. Count it well worth your while to speak of Jesus to that fellow classmate or your co-worker in the office. Hand a little gospel tract to your grocery clerk, the salesman at the door, your seat-mate in the car. Prize highly your little class in the Lord's day Bible school. It is better to lead one soul as a lost sinner to the feet of Jesus to receive salvation than to deceive a thousand into an empty profession. How much better it is to have our blessed Lord's "Well done" for a little done right than His censure and the world's applause for great things which His Word unsparingly condemns. (Rev. 3:15-18.) J.T. Armet

Questions and Answers: Celebrating Christmas/Easter; LUK 18:19; EXO 33:20-23

Ques. 1. is it scriptural for Christians to celebrate Christmas and Easter?
2. If so, why? If not, why not?
Ans. These two questions are answered together. The word translated Easter in Acts 12:4 should be passover. Correctly, in Scripture neither Easter nor Christmas is mentioned. In this day of grace we are told to "stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free." Gal. 5:1. The observance of days and months and times and years is called "weak and beggarly elements" in Gal. 4:9 and 10, and the Christian should not be in such bondage. Historically, the origin of Christmas is pagan.
Ques. 3. Why did Christ in Luke 18:19 say, "None is good, save one, that is, God," whereas we know that Christ is the only sinless and perfect man that ever trod the earth?
Ans. Yes, Christ is the only sinless and perfect man and also He is God. Psa. 119:68 says, "Thou art good, and doest good." "The Lord is good.” Nah. 1:7. No mere man was or is good. "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psa. 14:2, 3.
Ques. 4. How do we reconcile Ex. 33:20-23, where it is stated that "there shall no man see Me [God] and live" with the following passages of Scripture? Gen. 32:30; Ex. 33:11; Deut. 5:4.
Ans. We do not reconcile Scripture but, rather, seek God's teaching from it. First, we notice that in Ex. 33:20 it says, "Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live." John 1:18 tells us, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." Christ is the Revealer of the Godhead. In Gen. 32:24 it says, "there wrestled a man" with Jacob. It was the Lord Jehovah (who is Christ) revealing God in that way to Jacob and so in Ex. 33:11 and Deut. 5:4. Today Christ reveals the Father. God in His essential being and glory is never seen at any time. All the manifestations of God are in His Son. (1 Tim. 6:13-16.)

God's Precious Things

Our common moral sense of God will tell us that holiness and righteousness must be precious to Him. “Holiness becometh Thine house, O Lord, forever." Psa. 93:5. Purity and truth, and the maintenance of all the cares of order and integrity, must be according to Him. The conscience will bear this witness.
Faith knows that His grace is precious to Him. "He delighteth in mercy." Mic. 7:18. The gospel provides for the Divine mind. This truth may be beyond the thoughts of the conscience or the moral sense that is in us, but faith understands it.
The gospel is the gospel of the blessed, or happy God (1 Tim. 1:2). The feet of those who preach it on the mountains are beautiful in the eyes of the Lord, as are the mystic garments of the priests, the ministers of it, in the Temple "glory and... beauty" (Rom. 10:15; Ex. 28:2; Heb. 2:7).
The divine mind is made known to us. We apprehend it, thus far, with certainty. A meek and quiet spirit is, with the Lord, of great price, and there is richest joy before Him in heaven in the grace that welcomes a lost and returned sinner.
But, are not His counsels dear to Him? Are not the events of His bosom dear to Him? The maintenance of righteousness and of godly order is precious to Him. The exercise of grace is joy to Him. Is not the purpose of His wisdom and the secret of His bosom alike dear to Him? Certainly it must be so. In the zeal of enforcing what is morally right, and in the publishing of evangelical truths, we may overlook this. The Church was the peculiar secret of God before the world was a mystery kept secret from ages and generations but "hid in God." Can we not give this wonderful truth a place among the things that are precious with Him?
The Church is brought before us all through the Word of God. We have it shadowed in the man and the woman of the Garden of Eden. It is brought before us by the Holy Jerusalem at the very close of the Apocalypse.
It is when the Spirit of Christ in David had for a moment rapidly touched or awakened the mystery, that the worshipper exclaims, "How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God!" Psa. 139:17.
It must be so, though our moral judgment or our conscience, and again our common evangelic faith, do not so quickly grasp it. We know, as we have said, that godliness is precious to Him. But are not His own eternal counsels, the secrets of His bosom. precious to Him as well?
Known unto Him are all His works from the foundation of the world. Redemption was no afterthought with Him. He planned it all. All passed in bright review before Him when as yet there was none of them. And all was precious. And the mystery of the Church that has given a body to Christ, and a partner in glory to the Son of His love, lay there the deepest, because it was the dearest, in the bosom of sovereign and eternal counsels. Words of Truth

Bible Challenger: A Secondary Characteristic of Heavenly Wisdom

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word that describes a secondary characteristic of heavenly wisdom.
1. The city where a duet was sung at a late hour.
2. The place where a refreshing oasis was found having much water and shade.
3. The city from which a rich man came who was not ashamed to beg.
4. The city where Jesus performed His first miracle.
5. The city where a great cry was made to protest the entry of a hallowed object.
6. The city where there was considerable interest in something new.
7. The tittle city where wise men made diligent search for a young child.
8. One of the cities on Epaphras' prayer list.
9. The heathen city that was a worshiper of a great goddess.
Answers to these questions will be found in next month's issue of Christian Treasury. R. Erisman
Answers to Last Month's Bible Challenger
1. Ram's horns. Josh. 6:5
2. Urim. 1 Sam. 28:6
3. Dial. 2 Kings 20:11
4. Idol. 1 Cor. 8:4
5. Mantic. 2 Kings 2:8.14
6. Ear. Psa. 94:9, John 18:26
7. Napkin. Luke 19:20
8. Throne. 1 Kings 10:18-20
9. Sackcloth. Jonah 3:4,8
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the RUDIMENTS of the world, and not after Christ." Col. 2:8.

Points to Ponder

One special mark of a "sound mind" is readiness to take counsel of God.
We want to be tender when we receive a rebuke. Correction is a way of life; God is going to send it.
There are joys in the path of faith known only to those that walk in it.
We are not entitled to have thoughts of our own in regard to spiritual and moral things.
The person who walks close to God will leave no room for the devil to come between.

Practical Remarks on Prayer: Promises to Prayer

"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that. if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that. He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." 1 John 5:14, 15. We know that the formative power in the heart, of the words of Christ dwelling there, and an upright, uncondemning heart with confidence in God, are the conditions of successful prayer. In the present verses, all that is assumed. It is supposed that we are asking according to His will, and what we have here is that, so asking, God always hears us. He is not like man, often occupied so that he cannot listen, or careless so that he will not. It is a precious and wonderful thing for the creature, man, notwithstanding the fall, to be so restored to moral harmony with God as to be able, under the guidance of the Spirit, to ask according to His omniscient will. We do not read that angels have this privilege. They indeed "do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word" (Psa. 103:20), but the intimacy with God which prayer affords is, apparently, conferred upon man only. Surely this bestowment is a proof of God's desire that man should enjoy communion with Himself. Do we prize this privilege as we should?
Our spirits are not, however, always up to this level, and Rom. 8:26-28 recognizes this case. We know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit helpeth our infirmities. And He who searches our hearts knows how to take up all that is of His own Spirit in those hearts. As to the result, “we know" that all things work together for good to them that love God. And this gives peace, whether our requests are granted or not. So we are not to restrain prayer because we are not on the highest plane of communion. On the contrary, it is our privilege in everything to let our requests be made known unto God (Phil. 4:6). An instructive example of this is Paul's prayer about the thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:8, 9). For this thing he besought the Lord that it might depart from him. But his prayer was not in the intelligence of God's mind, who had a better thing in store for Paul, which Paul would have lost had his request been granted. The believer may indeed, as a chastisement, receive that which in unbrokenness he clamors for, but the result will not be happiness. We read, "He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." Psa. 106:15. To present our requests, with submission, is, however, always our privilege. The example of Paul shows this. He besought the Lord for his desire not once only, but thrice. In result, such submission was wrought. in his soul, that ultimately he took pleasure in the very infirmities which he had implored the Lord to remove. A discontented and insubject heart may reproach God with not answering its prayers, but in the retrospect of eternity, how much cause for praise may be discovered in the requests which our gracious God now refuses to grant.
So far from restraining prayer, we really need more frankness with God. Scripture amply warrants this, and it is illustrated by the case of good Ananias (Acts 9:10-17). The Lord sends Ananias to Saul of Tarsus to receive him after his conversion. But Ananias has a difficulty in his mind, and with beautiful simplicity and reverence, he lays it before the Lord. "Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on Thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.... and Ananias went his way." The Lord, it will be observed, does not in the least reprove Ananias, and the incident left on record thus surely gives encouragement to us to tell the Lord with reverential intimacy about all our difficulties. Indeed this example, and that of Paul in 2 Cor. 12, previously referred to, are strikingly similar as precedents for freeness, yet reverence, of communion. They also indicate a spirit of perfect submission. The two instances are remarkably alike in tone and spirit.
In Phil. 4:6, 7, we are authorized to bring all our requests to God. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Here it is noticeable that the promise is not, as in 1 John 3:22, that we receive whatsoever we ask. But, having laid our requests with submission before Him, His peace keeping our hearts and minds is the present effect. As to the requests, if He does not grant them, it is because He has for us something better. His child should not wish what is contrary to His will. But there is a higher example than Paul even Jesus in Gethsemane. Not indeed, as so often in our own case, of prayer below the highest level for even in that dark hour His communion was perfect but here, as Man, He lays the incomparable exercises of His heart before God, mentioning something which He would desire if only compatible with the divine will. Spreading out the agony of His soul in prayer, He exclaims, "O My Father, if it be possible. let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." Matt. 26:39. Here is perfection both in His communion as a Man with the Father about the appalling prospect before Him, and also, notwithstanding the prospect, in the absolute surrender of Himself to the Father's will, the Father's purpose. Surely we need more frankness and confidence in our communion with God. "Ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us." Psa. 62:8.
The promise in Matt. 18:19 is peculiar-it deals with united prayer. The essence of this promise lies in the assured presence of the Lord Himself with only two gathered in His name. The agreement in prayer of such a gathering is promised to be acceded to by the Father. The promises in John 14 and 16 are connected with prayers in Christ's name, and may be realized by the individual in his closet. The promise here, however, is to the concurrence in prayer of even only two "gathered together in His name."

Peacemakers

In God's Word it says that peacemakers are "blessed" and "shall be called the children of God." Matt. 5:9. Do you know someone who is a peacemaker? Surely each one of us wants to be blessed and would like it very much if we were called a child of God. We cannot say that there are no opportunities to be peacemakers because it is so evident that strife and quarreling abound in this world. Most homes provide many opportunities to be a peacemaker. Does yours?
Our brethren very frequently give us the privilege of being a peacemaker whether it be in a family by natural birth or as born again in the family of God. (John 3.) Let us then make peace!
James tells us that "the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." James 3:18. David, as a prophet, tells us in Psa. 85, of the coming millennial time of blessing when the Lord has "brought back the captivity of Jacob." In verse 10 it says, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Also Isaiah writes of the same time saying, "the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." Isa. 32:17. In all three of these scriptures we find righteousness and peace. What do we learn from this? One thing we can learn is that we cannot have peace at the expense of righteousness. Peace is really the product of righteousness. Today the peacemaker sowing peace brings forth the fruit of righteousness. In the millennial reign of Christ, the work of righteousness produces peace.
Let us as brethren each examine ourselves and see whether we are sowing peace or strife!
Sometimes we get faithful chastening from our Father which does not seem "joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Heb. 12:11.
“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." Rom. 14:19. Ed.

James

When you come to the epistle of James you find a great deal about the tongue. Strange to say, it is not very often read, and yet it is a most important epistle. No saint gets on rightly that is afraid of James.
“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom." James 3:2-13.
Yes, it is quite true, "for we all often offend. If any one offend not in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body too." James 3:2 (JND). I am quite sure I am not that man. But I think it is a beautiful thing to find such a man. Do you know him? No, nor do I ever expect to meet him. Let us meet him in you. A son was once complaining to his father of the evil in the world. Said the old man, "Improve the world by one man, John!"-begin the correction with number one. Wise old man!
W. Wolston

Headship in the Home

The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body." Eph. 5:23. "The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." 1 Cor. 11:3.
An area of great weakness and misunderstanding in many Christian homes is that of leadership. Many husbands have given up their God-given responsibility as "head" because of disinterest, involvement at work, or lack of energy. They have, in fact, abdicated the place God has given them as head of the wife to take that of a carefree man. Wives then begin to pick up the responsibility little by little, until the husband is no longer the head. This type of home is vulnerable to subtle suggestions of the enemy. (See Gen. 3:1.) Furthermore, a wife now assumes a load which God did not intend the woman to bear, since she is the weaker vessel. "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." 1 Peter 3:7.
It is essential for every head of the household to realize that he is not the source of direction, but the channel. Dependence on the Lord in earnest prayer and listening to His voice in His Word and that inner voice of communion with the Lord are of great importance. Every head not only sends out direction, but is a center for the reception of many important signals. Each of these requires a response. Thus, every husband and father should be responsive to the needs of his family.
Spiritual Food
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Eph. 6:4.
Almost every day our wives spend much of their time planning and preparing appetizing meals. In like manner, husbands and fathers have the responsibility of providing spiritual meals for our families. This meal preparation should begin in the morning. It might be good to get up a little early and get the Scriptures out for a little search and meditation. As the day goes by we should seek the help of the Lord to help us prepare an appetizing meal. A good cook not only finds out what some of the nutritional needs of the family are, but, also, has a change of menu now and then. The family reading is the most important time of the day. Fathers and husbands, you are the cooks who have the responsibility and joy of putting this spiritual meal together. "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all." 1 Tim. 4:15.
Redeeming the Time
"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Eph. 5:16.
Today we. are living in an age of extreme spiritual and moral danger. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." 2 Tim. 3:1. It may well be the most dangerous time in history because of the subtle nature of the evil. What does the Holy Spirit tell us is so important in an evil day? Redeeming the time!
Most of us are living in the fast lane of life. The demands at our employment have increased as well as the problems at home. The high payload of stress is leading to the brink of emotional disaster and we are beginning to resemble a loaded semi on a steep mountain grade without brakes. The pressures, problems and extracurricular activities of our children at school are also demanding. What is wrong? Perhaps we need to come to a halt and consider our priorities. For an example:
1. Do you spend time each day giving the Lord the first place in your life and schedule?
2. Do you spend time each day communicating, not only the day's events, but your deep feelings of love toward your family?
3. Do you spend several hours a day playing with your children or helping them with their homework?
4. Are you willing to analyze your time and to get rid of those items that are wasting hours of your time?
5. Do you plan events on a regular basis that give you time alone with your family?
Time spent with the Lord Jesus Christ and with your family is redeemed time.
Husbands Love Your Wives
Ephesians gives us the highest truth ever delivered to the Church in the first half of the book, and some very practical truths in the second half. In Eph. 5 are some very well-worn pages in the Bibles of most married couples. Toward the end of the chapter we find the key, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church." Eph. 5:32. Although no one can see Christ and His mystical body, God has given us a picture in every Christian husband and wife. Now we will consider an area of great need which includes four different kinds of love.
Sacrificing love:"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it." Eph. 5:25. If we were just given the exhortation to love our wives, we would all agree that this is much needed. Then we are given the measure: "as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it." This divine love knows no limits, even death itself. It is the very same love that took the Lord Jesus Christ to the cross. No admonition to the husband receives a greater emphasis than this one, since it is the area of great failure.
The cross was a load that only Christ could bear. He sacrificed and suffered for the benefit and comfort of His Bride. Likewise, when husbands come home at night, there are opportunities waiting at the door, to sacrifice and unload the burdens of their wives. Thus a picture is formed of Christ and the Church. Meditation on the scene of Calvary's cross and all of the infinite and awesome nature of that love and its display will lead a husband to greater sacrifice, even when he is tired.
In Rev. 2:1-7, we read about an assembly of believers who were energetic, active workers for Christ. They had kept out evil and had great endurance under trial. One thing was missing, however, first love. First love is the kind of love that occurs naturally in a new relationship and then often fades. The Lord wanted this first love back in His relationship with His Bride and offered a great reward, the tree of life, for those who would overcome this condition.
As time goes on in a Christian marriage, our apprehension of divine love should increase. Paul's prayer for the Philippians was that their "love may abound yet more and more." Phil. 1:9. "Abound more and more" means to increase with time. This increasing capacity to love is dependent upon a person's spiritual growth. It could flatten out or even decline in the life of a person who is starving spiritually. If that capacity to love is increasing with time, the effect will be felt in our marriage. God intended every marriage to have a love that increases with time and retains all of the elements of first love. As with Christ and His Bride, there is a great reward waiting for those who regain their first love.
Sanctifying love: "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." Eph. 5:26, 27.
After the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, He ascended up into heaven to perform various functions. One of these is to sanctify or set apart to Himself the Church through the cleansing power of His Word. With the record of her sin forever washed away in His precious blood, He seeks then to bring the practical state of His beloved Bride in line with her perfect standing. The spots, stains and irregularities of His Church that occur in daily life are cleansed by His Word. This cleansing effect sets her apart to Himself from the world and its sinful state.
The lesson in the pattern laid down by the Lord Jesus Christ is to let the Word of God make the cleansing changes in our lives. If a husband has "sanctifying love," he will read the pages of this life-changing Book with his wife. The result will be that both husband and wife are changed and their marriage will be set apart from the unconverted world. This requires time and patience.
Sympathetic love: "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.... For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church." Eph. 5:28, 29.
After completing the work of the cross, the Lord ascended to heaven and took His place as head of the Church. As its head, He not only provided direction, but a sympathetic, caring love to every member. Every pain and every heartache is fully felt by Him. He understands and enters into the trials of His Bride and supports her through every trial.
How different this attitude is from that of many husbands who are often insensitive to the pain and trials of their mates. When part of the body sends a message of pain, we never question it or criticize it, but begin a program of sympathetic care and support that will lead to a recovery. Emotional hurts are just as great as physical hurts, and if they are not treated with sympathetic love, they will produce scar tissue that will be insensitive to the needs of others later on.
Unseverable love: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." Eph. 5:31.
When God laid out the blueprint for marriage, He never added a default clause. It would be impossible to think of Christ divorcing the Church because of her unfaithfulness. His love is unseverable in spite of her failure.
Today the devil is effectively driving in the wedge between husband and wife. Perhaps he hates the picture he sees of Christ and His Bride, and he wants to obliterate it before the eyes of the world. This verse clearly states that there will be a separation between a husband and his parents, but never between a husband and his wife. D. Spence

Unrestrained

Eli's sons were guilty of a life of immorality, but the Lord lays the blame for it on their father. "Because his sons made themselves vile, and he (Eli) restrained them not." 1 Sam. 3:13.
Perhaps Eli was too busy with the work of the Lord, or perhaps he might have made the excuse that they were strong-willed children. Nevertheless, the Lord pinpoints the source of the problem-their father. There is no passage of Scripture that, should speak more solemnly to the hearts of fathers than this sad story. "They hearkened not unto the voice of their father." 1 Sam. 2:25.
Now they were grown, but this problem really began when they were young. "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying." Prov. 19:18.

Trial Proved to Be a Blessing

When God allowed Joseph to be removed from his father Jacob, the latter said, "All these things are against me." But it turned out quite the opposite in the end, for at the time of famine, he, his children, his children's children, his flocks, his herds, and all that he had were brought near to Joseph in the land of Goshen where they were tenderly nourished all the years of famine. (Gen. 45:10.11.) Jacob's greatest trial was, in the end, his greatest blessing. How often we have been made to prove that the -clouds we so dreaded have been big with richest blessings. (Rom. 8:28.)

Jonah and His Experiences

“The prophet Jonas [Jonah]." 'This is our Lord's own description of him in Matt. 12:39, but the cursory reader of the book may be disposed to ask. "Where are the prophecies?" Certainly Jonah's book differs in character from those of Isaiah and other prophets. Their rich and full unfoldings of glories yet to come are lacking in Jonah's chapters, but prophecy is there nevertheless. The fact is that the man himself and Jehovah's remarkable dealings with him constitute a prophecy, and that of a deeply interesting character. In this unfaithful witness God gives us an illustration of His ways with the unfaithful nation to which he belonged. Thus there is a prophetic as well as moral instruction in the book of Jonah. It is a prophecy in picture.
“The word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before Me." Jonah had already been entrusted with messages from Jehovah to Israel (2 Kings 14:25). Now he has the Unique distinction of being sent "far hence unto the Gentiles." Acts 22:21. It is an unspeakable honor to be a messenger for God at any time. Have we all learned this? Are we all in the spirit of Isaiah's words, "Here am I, send me"?
Jonah, however, was not pleased to be sent to preach to Gentiles. He had been God's willing mouthpiece to proclaim good things to his own nation. but a foreign nation a power dangerously hostile to Israel that was a different matter! Even after the Holy Spirit came from heaven consequent upon the exaltation of the Lord Jesus, Peter had scruples about carrying the gospel to the Roman garrison in Caesarea! (Acts 10.) These lines are written [during World War 1] while many powers are engaged in the most terrible war the world has yet known. National feelings are running high, and even Christians, although divinely separated by grace from the world and united to Christ in heaven, are sometimes influenced by what is being said and done around them. How slow are we to learn the blessed meaning of God's "whosoever"! The heart of God most assuredly goes out equally to men of every country and color, and He desires that they may "be saved, and... come unto the knowledge of the truth." 1 Tim. 2:4. Do we desire this also?
Jonah, on hearing the word of Jehovah, made a dash for the port of Joppa. He would flee from His presence! Vain effort! Psa. 139 stresses this very definitely. But why did Jonah refuse the divine commission to preach to the men of Nineveh? Jonah 4:2 tells us. The known goodness of God was his difficulty. He was sure that if the Ninevites repented of their wickedness God would show mercy. Jonah felt that his dignity would be affected if he proclaimed a judgment which was not executed! Rather let a whole vast city perish than that his credit should suffer! It seems almost incredible that a man born of the Spirit could be so self-important and behave so contemptibly! This story, so simply told, is written as a warning to us all. If we get out of communion with God, His tender compassions become foreign to us. Harsh feelings develop, and we behave abominably. We shall doubtless meet Jonah in the glory of God before long (like ourselves, a sinner saved by grace), but meantime, let us seek to be as unlike him as possible in our service and testimony for God.
It seemed quite providential that a ship was about to sail for Tarshish when the wayward prophet reached Joppa, but circumstances are not always a safe guide for God's saints. Let us never forget this. It does not follow that because circumstances fit in nicely with our wishes that God has ordered things so for us. Jonah, tired with his journey like Elijah after his flight from Jezebel, went below, and was soon in a sound sleep. "But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken." At a later date, Paul was exposed to a great storm in the same Mediterranean Sea, but the contrast between Paul and Jonah when danger arose is very striking (Acts 27). The Apostle was traveling towards Rome in accordance with the Lord's words in Acts 23:11: "Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." With these words ringing in his ears, Paul moved confidently. His moral dignity throughout the storm was wonderful. He almost took command of the ship, even though both owner and skipper were on board. "Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me." Yet Paul was no ordinary passenger, he was a prisoner in custody! By contrast, Jonah was a mean figure amongst the ship's company, and fully merited the rebuke of the master (Jonah 1:6).
Let us not miss the lesson of this contrast. A Christian walking in communion with God is on a high level, but a Christian out of communion is a degraded spectacle. Men respect the one, but they despise the other. The one will be a blessing to men, but the other may be a stumbling block, and even a curse!
W. Fereday

The Businessman

Every businessman, in order to succeed, begins with plans that are well considered from many angles. James, in his concise book, tells us of some who say, "To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city. and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain." James 4:13. They are answered by these words, "Ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this. or that." James 4:15.
In their plan they had five definite things laid out: (1) when; (2) where; (3) how long; (4) what they would do: (5) their purpose. Similar plans are very carefully considered today by businessmen in their desire to succeed. There is one thing we see that is lacking. What is it? It is the most important thing. It is that the Lord is not consulted and perhaps not even thought of. If all God-fearing businessmen would own the Lord in what they are doing, it would surely be for their profit. "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Prov. 3:6. This is still a precious promise from the Lord to us.
One of the oldest business transactions that we know about was between two brothers. It involved one thing that was tangible and another that was intangible. The transaction was also recognized and sealed in heaven. In the book of Genesis we learn of the twins, Esau and Jacob. All the promise of God in connection with the birthright of the firstborn was Esau's. He despised God's promise and sold it to cunning Jacob for a mess of pottage. (Chili or bean soup or something similar.) Esau wanted something tangible and something for his present desires. Jacob, by faith, saw the intangible and chose that which went beyond the present and far into the future. He valued God's promise even though he did not rightly wait upon God for it. Nevertheless, God recognized that sale and in Ex. 4:22 it says, "Israel [Jacob] is My son, even My firstborn.”
Do you value the Word of God and all the precious, unchangeable promises He has given to us? Each one of us can learn by thinking of ourselves as being businessmen and working for our Lord and Master. It is a very great privilege and responsibility. In God's Word there are five rules for doing the King's business:
1. “The King's business required haste." 1 Sam. 21:8.
2. “Not slothful in business." Rom. 12:11.
3. “Diligent in his business." Prov. 22:29.
4. “It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." 1 Cor. 4:2.
5. “Do it heartily, as to the Lord." Col. 3:23.
We should ask our God each day to give us grace and energy to apply these things to our business in whatever He indicates for us to do. Let us remember the one who said, "I must be about My Father's business." Luke 2:49.
Darius the king set Daniel over the whole realm. He was the administrator of all. He had charge of all the royal revenue. Certainly this was a great business with many cares and decisions, yet Daniel found time to pray three times each day. Disappointed rivals sought to find something to accuse Daniel of in his business administration and could not. All things under Daniel went smoothly in the affairs of the kingdom.
Some would say that Daniel was a first-class businessman to find so much time for prayer. Instead of that, it was his taking so much time to pray that made him so diligent, successful and wise in running the affairs of the kingdom. Ed.

The Vine

The vine, as the symbol of a fruit-bearing system on the earth, is used in a remarkable manner, and runs through a large part of Scripture. We read in Psa. 80:8, that the nation of Israel is likened to a vine which the Lord brought out of Egypt, casting out the heathen from Canaan and planting it there to bring forth fruit. Then in Isa. 5:1-7, we learn all the care and culture He bestowed on His vine that it might bring forth grapes, "fruit meet for Him by whom it was dressed." The result was that, instead of good fruit answering His culture, it brought forth "wild grapes." And He says in Jer. 2:21, "I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?" And so the Lord permitted the "wild boar out of the wood" to waste it. He also says, "I will take away the hedge thereof;" "I will lay it waste," and "I will command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it." It was only fruitful in iniquity and false to Jehovah. "Israel," He says, "is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself." Hos. 10:1. So the Lord gave him up to the Gentile king, Nebuchadnezzar, to rule over him, commanding him to submit to this punishment, as of the Lord. (Read Jer. 27:1-12, especially verse 12.) Under their last king, Zedekiah, they might have remained tributary, as we read in Ezek. 17. The kingdom might have remained "a spreading vine of low stature" under the Gentile king, who took an oath from Zedekiah, and allowed him to remain in his land. But this "vine of low stature," instead of observing the oath which Nebuchadnezzar accepted of Zedekiah, and remaining tributary, sent his ambassadors to Egypt. Or, as the parable in Ezek. 17 says, “this vine did bend her roots toward him," and so the King of Babylon took him captive, and broke down his city and laid it waste. Thus it ceased to be the "vine" of God in the earth; it ceased to be fit for anything but fuel for the fire. (See Ezek. 15.)
Into this vineyard which had been laid waste, at last came the Lord Jesus. Israel, as Jehovah's vine, had been brought out of Egypt. So Jesus replaces and recommences morally the history of that people, and we read, "Out of Egypt have I called My Son." Hos. 11:1; Matt. 2:15. The Lord then replaces Israel, which had been set aside as a fruit-bearing system on the earth. He presents Himself not as the best branch of that vine, but, "I am the true vine." He is the root of the new fruit-bearing system on the earth, and the disciples then become the branches. Abiding in Christ, and Christ in them, they would be fruit-bearing branches-the Father glorified in them-and so they would, in a practical sense, be Jesus' disciples. This lasts in principle all through the time of the calling out of the Church, but the point is fruit-bearing on the earth, not as raised and seated together in Christ in heaven, where there is no purging, pruning, or fruit-bearing.
When the present time of the heavenly calling shall have passed, and the Church shall be taken away, Israel comes before God again, not yet as owned, but previous to the kingdom's being established in the world. We find their state in Isa. 18 aptly described as a "vine," returned to their land by the help of some great maritime power, but not yet owned of God. "Afore the harvest [the harvest and vintage are figures of the last acts of judgment which take place before the kingdom is set up in glory], when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower," when all seems to man's eye to go on well, the Lord does not interfere. He considers the situation apart in His dwelling, and then suffers the apparently reestablished, fruit-bearing vine to be again trodden down and destroyed by the Gentile powers. And the end of what is again a corrupt fruit-bearing system in the world finds its judgment at the hand of the Lord in Rev. 14:15-20, as the "vine of the earth" whose grapes were fully ripe, and which are then cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God. The Lord Jesus (Jehovah) is seen in Isa. 63:1-6 coming from this judgment of the vine of the earth and winepress of the wrath of God, in which the nations of the world share. (See Isa. 34.) His garments are red with judgment, and He comes to renew His relationship with the spared remnant of Israel, for the "year of His redeemed is come." And the result of all this is, that Israel again becomes His fruit-bearing "vine" in the world. "A vineyard of red wine," which the Lord Himself (now that they had failed under the old covenant) will keep night and day, watering it every moment. "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." (Isa. 27:2, 6.)
F.G. Patterson

Some Notes on the Vine: Luke 13:6; Isaiah 5:1; Luke 20:9

The vine as a figure stood for the nation in their original standing as the people of God. This at Babylon was exchanged for the Lo-Ammi (not My people) of the Prophet. The remnant brought out of Babylon is the "fig tree planted in the vineyard," to which the Lord came, finding it covered with the leaves of profession, looking for the fruit which should have been its accompaniment. Luke 20:9 speaks of the nation from the beginning; yet, as bringing on its history to the Lord's own time, it speaks only of the vineyard, not of the vine itself.

Bible Challenger: Something Great Many Neglect to Their Destruction

The First letter of each of the following responses will form the word describing something great which many neglect to their destruction.
1. What negative words did a lame man hear that did not prevent physical blessing?
2. What is the exhortation to those whose evil ways have corrupted that which is good?
3. What command was given to one whose boat was used as a podium?
4. What twice-repeated phrase is made by one who called himself the preacher?
5. What simple truth declares man's equality and deficiency in God's sight?
6. What command was made at a time of wrestling that was not answered?
7. What words were spoken to comfort those who were troubled by what they saw during a storm on the sea?
8. A sobering prediction causing sorrow to those who were eating together for the last time.
9. The answer given for failure to apprehend the one in whom was no fault.
Answers to these questions will be found in next month's issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman
Answers to Last Month's Bible Challenger
1. Philippi. Acts 16:12, 25
2. Elim. Ex. 15:27
3. Arimathea. Matt. 27:57, 58
4. Cana. John 2:11
5. Ekron. 1 Samuel 15:10
6. Athens. Acts 17:21, 22
7. Bethlehem. Matt. 2:8
8. Laodicea. Col. 4:12,13
9. Ephesus. Acts 19:35
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then PEACEABLE, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." James 3:17

Fragments: Humility; His Ways; A Careless Walk; Afar Off

Humility
We are to be "clothed with humility," meaning that on whatever side we are approached, humility will be seen.
His Ways
"Show me Thy ways, O Lord." Psa. 25:4. Of what use is a road map in a strange country if we do not look
at it, and then follow it?
A Careless Walk
A Christian who is walking carelessly does not like a godly Christian to come into contact with him. He
feels condemned. Whenever the heart is not right with God, light makes us uneasy.
Afar Off
One who follows Jesus "afar off" may deny Him before long.

Practical Remarks on Prayer the Book of James

Prayer in the book of James presents most interesting features.
First, there is the encouragement to prayer which the Holy Spirit addresses to our hearts by reminding us that Elias who wrought so wondrously was a man of like passions to ourselves. It is as if we were told, "There is an example for you; see what is open to you!”
Secondly, James, by the Holy Spirit, makes a positive revelation of facts in Elijah's history, which otherwise we should not have known. The historical books give us the outward ads of Elijah: James reveals the process which brought them about. Elijah's first introduction to us is in 1 Kings 17:1, where the great drama of his exploits is opened with the simple statement that he "said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." This is the first mention of Elijah. Nothing is said of him but that he was a Tishbite of Gilead. Who he was, how it happened that this person with no official authority should thrust himself into the presence of the king, and make such a terrible announcement, the history does not say. But there is a great underlying principle. It is that when the official representation of God is false, God's Spirit will raise up a witness from outside. It is always so. "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." Isa. 59:19. And there is nothing in which God's sovereignty is more displayed than in the instruments He chooses. When the civil rule is apostate, and eight hundred false prophets are loud in the land, He will act by whom He will.
Now James reveals the secret of Elijah's surprising action. That secret was communion with God. "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." James 5:17, 18.
Thus the Old Testament gives us the magnificent public action; James reveals the prayer on which it was based. This secret dealing of God with His servants is His constant way. David slays the lion and the bear, using the power of God where no one sees him, before he wields the weapon of faith in front of the armies of Israel. Moses, a learned man, has with all that weight of learning, to pass forty years keeping a flock in the desert before he is used to face Pharaoh arid deliver Israel. Elijah's proceedings, which read like the intrepid actings of a hero, are shown to be the product of prayer, and when afterward his communion falls in its level, he is discovered as a man of like passions with ourselves, for the prophet who could boldly confront the majesty of the king flees for his life at the threat of the king's wife. This shows that it is only as sustained by God that we can act for Him. "Without Me, ye can do nothing.”
Thirdly, the example of Elijah is given by James as both illustration and proof of a general principle, namely, that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16. But this translation is admitted to be unsatisfactory. That a prayer which is "effectual" avails much is a truism. If it is effectual it avails completely, and it is anti-climactic to say that it avails much when it is already admitted to avail perfectly. Mr. Darby's translation gives, "The fervent [or, operative] supplication of a righteous man has much power," which is closer to the original than either the Authorized or the Revised Version. Probably the essential points of the scripture are: (a) that the supplicant is a righteous man; (b) that his prayer is energetic-not a listless, apathetic, indolent performance, but the prayer of one who means it. Paul is an example of this when on one occasion he speaks of himself as "night and day praying exceedingly," etc. (1 Thess. 3:10), or, as Jacob on another occasion, "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me;" (c) that prayer of this character has indeed much power. This is the moral which the Apostle James enforces.
Fourthly, we need to consider prayer in connection with sickness. A system has arisen and been much talked about, which takes the name of "Faith-healing." This, while ostensibly based upon James 5, is little short of a pretense to miraculous powers. The published writings on the subject include gross false doctrine, which will not here be examined.
But a brief indication of the real bearings of the scripture in question may, perhaps, be profitable. The passage is as follows: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:14-16.
Now in these verses we have at the outset a defining note which restrains the application of the passage beyond a certain limit; the application is expressly to the sick "among you," that is, the assembly of God's people. This scripture, therefore, affords no warrant for a popular system of semi-miraculous cures administered to all. Sickness amongst God's people stands on special ground. It is sometimes on account of sin, as we have seen, and this passage in James recognizes that the sickness about which the elders were sent for might be such. It says, "If he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." This would not always be so, but if so, his sins should be forgiven him.
Again, so far from a publicly proclaimed system of healing, this was essentially private. The sick one was to send for the elders of the church, and they were to pray over him.
Furthermore, it might or might not be that the patient would himself have faith to be healed. The faith-healers imperatively require such faith; Scripture does not. The prayer spoken of in James is the prayer of the elders, and in reference to this it is said, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick." It may be easily supposed that the sick one would himself join in the prayer, and that, with more or less assurance of faith-but it was the "prayer of faith" that carried efficacy.
Finally, nothing could be more outside the scope of the passage in James than the popular notion of faith-healing. The case contemplated in James is clearly one of a very serious nature, where death is imminent, and so also in 1 John 5. The idea of the scripture being used as a substitute for medicines which God has provided in nature is not only unwarranted, but it is contrary to the scriptural and apostolic principle of using remedies for ailments (see both 2 Kings 20:7. and 1 Tim. 5:23). It is theological quackery. E. Thomas

Oxen

The ox has long been a symbol of power and might and the means of producing well-being throughout much of the world. In the time of planting, the ox plows up the ground for the good seed to be sown. In the time of harvest, the scripture speaks of "the ox that treadeth out the corn." making the grain suitable for consumption and profit for man. In death, the ox itself is a source of food and nourishment, the object of feasting.
What a wonderful picture we have in this of the Lord Jesus Christ who is portrayed in these various aspects by the ox or bullock. We also see the ox as a picture of those who serve Him and His people. Mighty ones! But with the Lord Jesus, the pictures excel all others. He alone is seen going into death and bringing blessing as seen in the various offerings of the Old Testament. Three of the offerings that particularly come to mind have a bullock offered in sacrifice.
Bullocks in the Offerings
Christ, the Mighty One of God, laid down His life and went into death:
1. As the burnt offering, Jesus was consumed for God, that God might be glorified as to the question of sin. (Eph. 5:2 and Lev. 1.)
2. As the peace offering, He was offered that God and the redeemed might enjoy Christ together in communion. "He is our peace." (Eph. 2:14, 1 John 1:3 and Lev. 3.)
3. As the sin offering, that our sins might be atoned for, "Jesus... suffered without the gate." Heb. 13:12. He was made an offering for sin. (2 Cor. 5:21 and Lev. 4.)
The Display of Excellence of Power in Grace
Christ as the bullock brings before us His strength, power and majesty laid aside in death for the glory of God and blessing of man. We see the Lord Jesus in the gospels plowing the ground. The Mighty One of God stirred up the conscience, planting the seed, that fruit might abound. In doing the will of His Father, His power and might are ever used for blessing. He heals the sick, cleanses the leper and raises the dead. He ministers grace to His hearers and makes provision for the multitudes, both in natural and spiritual needs. He provides for His own in life, in death, in resurrection and in future glory. Christ, the bullock, is the Mighty One of God, in life, in death, in resurrection and in glory!
Paul speaks of those who labor as being oxen "plowing in hope" and "threshing in hope," treading out the corn. (1 Cor. 9:9,10.) Paul indeed presents to us Christ in glory, "The old corn of the land." He also speaks of the elders "who labor in the word and doctrine" being as an ox "that treadeth out the corn." 1 Tim. 5:17, 18. It is wonderful when mighty ones present Christ to us in ministry and by way of example. Our hearts are lifted up and our spirits refreshed and encouraged when the glories of Christ are put forth by mighty ones in testimony.
How do those who are truly mighty rule? In lowliness and humility! "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." The power of the truly mighty is not used in force, but by way of example, feeding the flock, "Humble... under the mighty hand of God." 1 Peter 5:1-6.
The Yoke
Oxen are of no value in labor unless they are placed in a yoke. The yoke in Scripture is a symbol of submission. To be fitted for the service of God, one must obey the words of the Lord Jesus when He says, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matt. 11:29, 30. All power was in His hand, but to accomplish the will of the Father, He had to be in total submission. So all who would do His will, likewise must be in total submission. A spirit of meekness and lowliness as found in the Lord Jesus must be found in His servants in order for them to plow His field and reap His harvest. "Take My yoke upon you.”
How sad it is when power is used for self-exaltation. Others then are dominated and declared unprofitable, as by Diotrephes in 3 John 9,10. He loved to have the preeminence. Sad indeed! Here we learn of the ox that gores or does harm, often sadly, even to death.
Instead of stirring up gifts in others, no matter how small, he stifles and would quench the Spirit in others. As there is nothing so beautiful as power displayed in excellence, so there is nothing as distasteful or dangerous as power used to destroy. Such can only be the work of the Destroyer. "If an ox gore a man or a woman, that he die: then the ox shall be surely stoned.... But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death." Ex. 21:28, 29. What a solemn warning for the abuser of power, working the work of Satan for destruction and injury. The owner of the ox is also solemnly warned that when an ox is known to be aggressively harmful, he is to exercise restraint over it. The possessor of power has a responsibility to use that power for the good and advancement of all to the glory of God.
The Ox
The ox, then, can be considered in two aspects:
1. The display of power exercised in grace, first seen in our Lord Jesus Christ and then in all those who serve Him, providing the saints with sustenance.
2. The means of blessing for the people of God.
May our oxen be strong to labor, "that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: that our garners may be full, affording all manner of store.... Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord." Psa. 144:12-15. S. Thomas

The Lord of Peace

“Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means." 2 Thess. 3:16.
“The God of Peace" and "The Prince of Peace" are familiar expressions, which have become exceedingly dear to our souls, each carrying its own special message to our hearts, but "The Lord of Peace" is perhaps not so often thought of, although in these days of sorrow it carries a peculiarly precious message to us.
In the beginning of Second Thessalonians we find the Apostle commending the Thessalonian saints for their love one to another; "the love of each one of you all towards one another abounds." 2 Thess. 1:3 (JND). But in the third chapter, as he nears the end of the epistle, he gives a most solemn command, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition [or instruction] which he received of us." The disorder at Thessalonica seems to have been, "working not at all, but are busy-bodies." But the Word goes even further, "If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." Amongst the words "by this epistle" we find the following, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions, [or instruction] which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
These commands are very searching and very solemn, and must have been especially painful to the saints at Thessalonica where "the love of each one of you all towards one another abounds." What is there that causes more real sorrow and pain than to be compelled "not to keep company with" or to have to "withdraw from" a dearly beloved brother? Not only must the very heartstrings of these dear Thessalonian saints have been torn by such commands, not only did it leave them open to be misunderstood and to be taunted with pride and exclusiveness, but the very peace of the assembly seemed to be at stake. Yet such are the clear and solemn commands, "withdraw yourselves," "keep no company.”
What is the comfort and source of strength that God gives for such a moment? "The Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means," or as another translation beautifully puts it, "at all times and under all circumstances." Because HE is our LORD, our path is implicit obedience to His Word, painful though it may be at times. How precious, then, to remember that our Lord is "The Lord of Peace" and that He can give peace, as well as joy and courage, at all times, yes, even in our times! and under all circumstances, yes, even in our circumstances! G.C. Willis

To Keep Rank and Have Understanding

“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment." 1 Chron. 12:32.
That is something to be coveted-to have the understanding of the times. That is the privilege of every child of God. It is not the mind of the Spirit of God that we should be unwise. "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Eph. 5:17.
We are living in strange and stirring times. I suppose from one viewpoint the people of God never lived in a more fascinating time or a time of greater privilege than the present day in which we are living. Things are happening around us at a terrific speed; there are changes all about us. The world is becoming overwhelmed and confused, and there is a babel of voices on every hand. But, dear Christian, it is your privilege and mine to sit quietly by and have the mind of Christ in the midst of all that is going on.
Here were some men who had "understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do." It is your privilege and mine to understand what all the confusion is about that exists in the world and in the Church today, to understand the end to which all tends, to see behind the scenes, and to see the hand of God ruling these scenes.
The only way you will get to know these things is by familiarizing yourself with the Word of God. I do not mean in a "heady" way, simply that you might become a Biblical encyclopedia, but to seek in the pages of the Word of God, the mind of Christ, that you may be wise. God does not intend for us to be overwhelmed by what is taking place in the world; He intends for us to be wise-to have His mind about it-to find in His presence a pathway through the confusion.
Also 1 Chron. 12:33 is instructive at this time: "Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.”
That is a good lesson to learn-to "keep rank." if you are going to keep rank, you will have to be with those who are marching under the commands of the great "Head-general." You won't be keeping rank with the "stragglers," but with those in the battle line. Isn't it a sad thing to find Christians dropping out of the ranks? lagging behind? joining the stragglers? getting out of step?
Fellow-Christian, are you, in your local gathering, keeping rank? Are you keeping step with those who are going on with God, or are you a hindrance? Are you lagging behind? Are you, by your example, discouraging those who would keep rank? Thank God! here are some who were men of war who could keep rank. They didn't learn to do it all in a moment. They learned by careful, energetic effort and experience; they set themselves to it; they learned to keep rank.
There is something wrong when we cannot keep rank with our brethren-when we find ourselves superior to all the rest of our brethren. There is something wrong with a condition like that. God expects us to go on with our brethren. We are not, of course, to go on with what is wrong-never-but there is such a thing as being found going on with the saints of God. When we find ourselves going off to ourselves, taking the ground of superior holiness-all our brethren are wrong and we alone are right-there is something fundamentally wrong with us. C.H. Brown

Talking to Yourself

Do you ever talk to yourself? If so, people are apt to comment, "Do you answer yourself, too?" No need for alarm, this is nothing unusual at all. In fact the Bible reveals the words of several different people who talked to themselves.
One of the best known characters in the Bible is called by nearly everyone, the prodigal son. Many have been saved through learning of him. Also many of us have been through similar experiences and have found that the far country (away from the Father) is a sorrowful place or condition to get into.
At last it says of the prodigal, "He came to himself." Luke 15:17. Then he began to talk to himself and said, "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" Here, it almost seems that he is asking himself a question. Next, he answers himself and talks of his plan. "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”
Another person given to self-consultation is the woman diseased with an issue of blood for twelve years. We read of her in Matt. 9:20. She said within herself, "If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole." These words express her faith in Jesus, and acting upon it she was made whole.
Still another case is the wealthy farmer of Luke 12 who puzzled in his thoughts about what to do with increased fruits. In Luke 12:18 he says, "This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Here again it seems that one who talked to himself also answered himself. Surely it is an interesting conversation that again reveals what was in the heart even as the other cases do. "For of the abundance of the heart [the] mouth speaketh." Luke 6:45.
Have you checked what you sometimes say, to see what is in your heart? To help control thoughts we recommend this wonderful instruction, "Finally, brethren... whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil. 4:8. Ed.

God Is My Father

He is almighty in power.
He is perfect in His ways.
He is the God of all grace.
He is light-sees all things.
He is love-loves, because He is love.
He has understanding of all things.
He rules all things in perfect wisdom.
Love is the spring of all His ways,
Wisdom the course they pursue-
No power can stay His hand-
Thus all things work together for good.
All things are ordered with that end in view. Hallelujah!
Peace, peace, perfect peace, since such a God is mine.
(H.E.H. from Christian Truth)

Lessons From an Orchard

We can learn many practical lessons in Christian fruit-bearing by considering some of the practical aspects of fruit-farming.
Grafting
Seed from a Red Delicious or Yellow Delicious apple will not produce the same kind of apple when planted. In either case. it is necessary to take "sign wood" or a twig from the tree that produced this kind of apple and graft it into a growing seedling.
So it is with us: before there can be any fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ, we must have a new life.
Selecting a Site
The proper site to grow fruit is most important. Care must be taken to have not only good water drainage, but air drainage as well, so the tender fruit buds will not freeze in the bloom period. If the area has a pocket where the frost may settle, the fruit could be lost during a cold spell.
Just so, as Christians, where we "pitch our tent" could mar our testimony like poor Lot of old who found a site near Sodom. His righteous soul was vexed from day to day (2 Peter 2:8), and his children became the enemies of God's children. May we, by God's grace, seek a right path for ourselves and our little ones. "So we fasted and besought our God for this: and He was intreated of us." Ezra 8:21, 23.
Preparing the Ground
This, too, is very needful. A fruit-grower must be aware that there are many unseen enemies such as nematodes which destroy the roots of young apple trees. It is necessary to treat the soil for this problem as well as to have a field free from weeds. Nematodes in the soil or too much grass and weeds where the young trees are planted often leave us with stunted trees all their lives.
Dear Mephibosheth, when only five years old, fell and became lame for the rest of his life. (2 Sam. 4:4.) In the early days of our Christian life, the companionship we keep often leaves a mark upon us. If we have had Christian parents who sought our good and blessing, we should be most thankful. If we are parents, may we seek special grace and help to bring up our little ones in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Planting Time
In Eccl. 3:2, we find there is a time to plant. This would bring to mind many scriptures in regard to the word time. How important to be found redeeming the time!
It is very necessary for a young tree to have a good root system, well anchored and able to support the growth that is visible above the ground. We are exhorted, as believers, to stand fast in Christ (Gal. 5), and to be "rooted and grounded in love." Eph. 3:17.
Most fruit-growers planting trees from a nursery will cut off all the little branches, leaving only a "whip" 30 inches high. As soon as the new branches appear, a clothespin is snapped just above the new shoot forcing the new branch to come out and away from the trunk. This results in a strong crotch that will be a big help in the later years of the tree so that it will not break when loaded with fruit.
It is good in our early years to learn verses from the Word of God, that we might be built up in our most holy faith. (Jude 20.)
Orchard Care
All growing trees require water, and lack of it is quickly visible. We, too, need to drink from "the fountain of living waters." Jer. 2:13. This means to take in much of the precious Word of God daily. "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psa. 1:3.
While the tree is in its earliest years, a great effort is put forth to train the tree with a central leader. Sometimes a very vigorous branch must be removed which would like to take over the entire tree. Here, too, how important to have the right leader in our life down here. We desire to see steady growth in young trees, but it is also very necessary to have the tree "harden off" before the winter storms come.
This can be likened to the testing time that so often comes in our lives. May we "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18. The dear Apostle Paul said to Timothy whom he called his son, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." 1 Tim. 4:12. May we, too, be firm in the Word of God so it is not despised or clouded by a careless walk.
Ringing (Chastening)
A practice among some apple growers is to "ring" a young tree after it is four or five years old. A ring is cut around the trunk of the tree, but no bark is removed. It is done ten days after the normal blooming period. This treatment will cause the tree to bear fruit the following year. In Heb. 12:6 we read about the Lord chastening those He loves. In Heb. 12:11 we read that this chastening yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
Pruning
Fruit-growers are very aware of the constant need for pruning. It is one job that never ends. If too many branches are left on the tree, the sun's rays will be shut out and fruit of poor color will be the result. A pyramid-shaped tree is the most desirable one because this lets in the light. Branches which tend to hang down need to be removed.
May we, as Christians, be kept from letting any branch of our lives shut out the light of the Word of God to permit discolored fruit. The Word of God tells us in Matt. 7:20, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
Old Shoots Removed
Branches that sprout up below the graft must not be allowed to grow. These cannot produce fruit.
As Christians, we can expect no fruit from the old nature. All evidence of this old nature sprouting out must be removed. Only the new nature that we have as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, can bring forth fruit for God. Col. 3:8 instructs us what to put off: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication, etc. Col. 3:12 tells us what to put or: bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another, forgiving one another, etc. This will help us to be fruitful Christians. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." Gal. 5:22, 23 H. Roossinck

Our Heritage

Ephesians is a book about our spiritual heritage. The book of Joshua in the Old Testament corresponds to Ephesians in the New Testament. God had His people in the Old Testament; they were the children of Israel and they had their material heritage which was the land of Canaan.
God took His people out of Egypt, redeemed them by the blood of the lamb, brought them out across the Red Sea, across the desert, and they came to the borders of the land of Canaan. Moses was the instrument that God used to bring them to the border of the land of Canaan. Moses was the law-giver, but the law could never bring anyone to their own rightful heritage so it was reserved for Joshua who succeeded Moses to bring them into their own territory. Try to picture in your mind Moses standing outside the land of Canaan on top of those mountains and viewing the land. He saw the land that God had promised His people flowing with milk and honey. His soul thrilled to see it, but he was not permitted to cross the border. The entering in to the promised land was given to the new leader in Israel, Joshua, who is a figure of our Lord Jesus. In this first chapter of Joshua, the Lord is speaking to Joshua.
“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.... There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.... This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Josh. 1:2-8.
The first time the children of Israel sent spies to spy out the land, they were terrified. They said the cities were walled up to heaven, and they turned back. But now they are ready to go in after forty years of wandering in the desert. Joshua, one of the twelve spies, was not frightened by what he saw. Neither was Caleb who said, "We are well able to possess the land. Let us go up for the Lord is with us." The word of the Lord came to him and encouraged him. This is the land: go in, possess it! Enjoy it! Every place that the sole of your foot treads on is yours. No man is going to be able to stand in front of you. The Lord is with you. What precious promises Joshua had when he entered the promised land of Canaan.
Ephesians
The challenge comes to our own souls as well and as we look into the book of Ephesians, there is a wealth of spiritual heritage that is ours in Christ. Yes, this is really ours and we never have to leave it behind. It is our real possession for all eternity. We tend to think of our material things as possessions, and in a certain way they are in our hands right now under our control, but the Lord can take them away very easily. Those things we have in Christ can never be taken away from us. The children of Israel had to go in and step on every foot of that territory so that they could possess it. There was opposition for them and there is opposition for us. Satan does not want you to enjoy what you possess in Christ. He is going to do everything possible to hinder. He knows he cannot take away your blessing, but he knows that perhaps he can take away your enjoyment of that blessing.
As you read down through this precious first chapter of Ephesians, you will notice this is our proper Canaan. We have the presence of the Lord to encourage us to go in to possess and to enjoy it. To get the right scope of this chapter we have to go back, way back before the creation of this world: no universe, no stars, no sun, no moon, and no world whirling in space. There was nothing except God in the fullness of His being and His eternal counsels. What were those counsels? They included you and me. He knew us by name even then and had purposes of blessing for us.
The Will of Gad
The will of God is mentioned four times in Eph. 1: in verse 1, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God," in Eph. 1:5, "according to the good pleasure of His will," in Eph. 1:9, "having made known unto us the mystery of His will," and the end of Eph. 1:11, "who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." How wonderful it is to come to a place where man's will does not enter in in any way, shape or form. God's will! "He that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
Position and Condition
All these blessings are in Christ. We can possess nothing apart from Him. It is all linked together with the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Eph. 1:3 it speaks of those spiritual blessings that we have in Christ. We read in Eph. 1:4: "According as He hath chosen us in Him... before Him in love." Next we have in Eph. 1:6: "Accepted in the beloved." In Eph. 1:7 we read: "In whom we have redemption." It is all in Christ. This is the position of the Christian. Our condition varies. It has been said that it is like a thermometer which has a scale that never varies. But there is a little thread of red that goes up and down in that scale. The scale that never varies is the position of the Christian and that little thread of red that measures the temperature and goes up and down is like our condition. Sometimes we are enjoying things and sometimes not.
We are so geared to our everyday life that we tend to value material things all out of proportion. We do need to earn our living and provide for our families. We should be diligent in business and see if we are making a profit or loss, but we sometimes need to stop and consider a chapter like Eph. 1. We need to shift gears and remember that, in this chapter, we are not measuring things by material advantage. We are looking at things now in a spiritual light, things that cannot be seen by the human eye.
Spiritual Blessings
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Eph. 1:3. The heritage of the believer now is spiritual. In the Old Testament, God showed His favor by giving to them material blessings, if they were faithful and kept His commandments. Now it is not that way. The blessing of God in this dispensation has nothing to do with whether a person is poor or rich materially. It is spiritual blessings in heavenly places; for Israel it was material blessings in earthly places. These material things that each one of us have, are only mercies that God loans to us for a little while. Then He is going to ask how we used them in a future day. They are not our own; we are only stewards of what God has put into our hands for a little while. What we are speaking of in Eph. 1:3 is every spiritual blessing we have in Christ.
Predestination
"According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." Eph. 1:4. How is that possible? In Rom. 8:29 it says, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son." God knows everything beforehand, from that past eternity. God views every believer without blame and holy in Christ. This is our position that never changes.
In Eph. 1:5 it says, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself." In Eph. 1:4, choosing for election is in connection with our persons; but in Eph. 1:5, predestination is in connection with our position that we are to occupy as sons before Him. The place that God has brought us into is that of sons of God! Do we walk through this world in the dignity that belongs to us as sons of God? He chose you, not because of anything good He saw in you, but "according to the good pleasure of His will.”
“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved." Eph. 1:6. We may think that if we live up to a certain standard, maybe God will look at us with favor. How contrary to the spirit of this chapter. God looks at you with favor because of your position in Christ. These are spiritual blessings which cannot be seen, but they are real and they are ours to enjoy.
Redemption
Next we have Eph. 1:7, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." We have redemption through that precious blood of Jesus, the foundation of every blessing. Through all eternity we shall never forget this. Man might change his preaching and leave out the blood of Christ or the death of Christ, but we will never forget when we look at the Lord Jesus in that coming eternity. Our bodies will be free from the marks of sin with no scars, but His body will always carry those wounds to remind us of the terrible cost that made it all possible for us to be there.
It says, "we have redemption," not we hope to have. Yes, we already have it through His blood. We have the forgiveness of sins. Often we hear a believer ask for the forgiveness of sins time after time. But we already have the forgiveness. We need to confess our sins, but we already have forgiveness. When God forgives, there is no measure to it. He promises never to remember those sins again.
“Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself." Eph. 1:9. He has come to us and opened up to us the mystery of His will. A mystery is something that is generally not revealed, but God has revealed what His will is to us. What is His will? "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." Eph. 1:10, 11. God's purpose, the mystery of His will, is that all things are going to be brought into subjection to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. The dispensation of the fullness of times is the millennial day, the last dispensation when we are going to be associated with our Lord Jesus. The whole universe is part of our inheritance. Why do we struggle so much to possess things here if every created thing is part of our inheritance in Christ in that coming day?
There are three things in Eph. 1:18-20 that I would like to summarize in closing:
1. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling." Eph. 1:18. These are the blessings that we considered which are ours here and now as seen in Eph. 1:3-9.
2. “The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." Eph. 1:18. This is the inheritance which we have in promise right now, but we will possess it in a future day with Christ as seen in Eph. 1:10 and 11.
3. “What is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead." Eph. 1:19, 20. This is seen in Eph. 1:13 and 14.
Oh, that we might grasp something of the preciousness, the vastness of the scope of this chapter. Moses stood on the top of those mountains and viewed the land of Canaan a long time enjoying what he saw, but he couldn't go in. We have gazed just a little bit and have had just a glimpse of these spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ. But unlike Moses, it is our privilege to enter into them, to tread every foot of this territory, to enjoy it and make it our own.
R. Thonney

Questions and Answers: Work Out Salvation vs. Not by Works

QUES. How do you compare the two following scriptures? "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us," (Titus 3:5), and "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Phil. 2:12.
ANS. There is more of a contrast than comparison between these two scriptures. In Titus, the being saved is what God our Savior has done in His mercy to us. It is a change of state or position and a new life given to us.
In contrast, the passage in Philippians refers to the responsibility of the saints in Philippi (and to us Christians also) to go on daily in obedience to God's Word after Paul must leave them. This was for the salvation of their testimony and they must work it out in fear and trembling with no confidence in the flesh. Ed.

Who Are the "Spiritual" in Galatians 6:1?

The place in which this scripture is found throws light on its meaning.
It is not a right condition in a local assembly, whether composed of many or of few, that there is one class who are the "spiritual," while the rest have not attained to that standing, and yet this is often the interpretation which is given to this scripture. To admit that this is the meaning, and that the Apostle is only allowing a common condition, well known among the saints everywhere, as well as in the several assemblies of Galatia, is most disastrous to all fellowship and communion of saints in each assembly. It introduces at once two distinct parties, where but one spirit should animate the whole, of which those who assume to be the "spiritual" are certainly the most guilty, though assuming to possess intelligence beyond the others. The Apostle is correcting an evil, not providing for its continuance. This reason has often been given for not personally visiting a certain failing and erring brother, "Oh, I am not spiritual; that is not my work, so I brought this before brother So-and-so," referring, by thus speaking, to the word spiritual in the passage before us.
Now any one carefully reading the epistle will observe that what is condemned in it is a hard, legal spirit. It is clear that the law exacts and expects something from a man, and is the opposite of the Spirit of grace, which brings all to him, and which is to operate now in all our dealings with each other.
The assemblies of Galatia here addressed were nurturing such a legal spirit. It is not of the Spirit of God, and it is totally condemned by the Apostle. To do so is to fall from grace. It tends to exclude from our minds that ministry of love which should and would flow forth amongst us spontaneously. For love acts (when it is divine) quite irrespective of any deserving in its objects.
The spiritual are those who are controlled and guided by the Spirit of God, and they are in contrast to others who are legal in this epistle. But anything except grace and the Spirit's control is wrong. It is very important to weigh well how strongly the Apostle speaks. He says, "I stand in doubt of you." The very Christianity of those who foster this legal spirit in their assemblies was almost questioned by him, so entirely is it apart from the leading of the Spirit of God. In the beginning he calls it another gospel, which is not another, and in this last chapter he shows that it tends to shut out all the manifestations of love to an erring brother. It fosters religious pride. (Gal. 6:12, 13.) Legality says, "When he has done something to merit my confidence, then I will restore him to the place he once held in my esteem and affections." Spirituality says, "When he is down is not the time to expect him to do much (except show a willingness to be helped). I will go to him in meekness to do something for him, for I consider myself in him, and that I am exposed to a similar temptation as long as I am in the body." How different!
Consider, too, the word "overtaken" in Gal. 6:1. It means either that I overtake him, or the the fault overtakes him, for we are all running along in our Christian course. In either case he has stopped in his race heavenward. Legality still recognizes the flesh, and the flesh stops a man in his race. I should not have overtaken him, and the fault would not have overtaken him, if he had continued running. But here he is helpless. Am I to pass him by in his distress? Like the legal spirit of the Levite and the priest, am I to take the other side? No I am to imitate the good Samaritan, so-called, who "went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine." Our blessed Lord Himself is before us here, who turns to each of us individually with His own beautiful homely comment on the whole story; "Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?" Then He adds that marvelous exhortation, so short, yet so full and pointed, "Go, and do thou likewise." Such is the leading of the Spirit in opposition to legality.
The Christianity of those may well be doubted who take the ground of not being "spiritual," and who act among their brethren in another spirit-on the ground of law and not of grace. They admit that they are legal, that is, they are still in bondage themselves. The Corinthians were not legal, but "carnal." Hence we have a man in one of four conditions now. Either he is natural, dead in trespasses and sins, or he is carnal, allowing the flesh, or he is legal, as the Galatians were, still in bondage, and not in the liberty of the Son, or he is spiritual, under the control of the blessed Spirit of God,* and if so, in all the joy of conscious sonship, as a child with the Father. This last is the only proper Christian condition, and Paul insists on it, and therefore no allowance is made for a class in any assembly who takes the ground of not being “spiritual." Nothing can be more solemn than the strong way in which the Apostle speaks to them in this epistle. However much there may be of the appearance of humility in one who says I am not "spiritual," yet not to be led of the Spirit is a denial of Christ, and is the overthrow of Christianity.
(* "Spiritual" is put in contrast with "natural" in 1 Cor. 2. and with "legal" in Gal. 6:1.) H.C.A.

The Two Sons

No preacher was ever less disposed for controversy than the Son of God, yet none were ever so incisive in their handling of contentious critics as He. And no wonder; being the Searcher of all hearts, He knew perfectly the motives which actuated those who assailed Him. Being Himself the Truth, He knew just what was required to meet every occasion.
During His last week in Jerusalem, He was frequently assailed by the religious leaders of Israel. On one occasion, after He had exposed their spiritual incompetency for the sacred office, He related the parable of the two sons, which sets forth the hopeless case of men who say and do not. "A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in my vineyard. He answered and said. I will not; but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir; and went not." Matt. 21:28-30. The rebellious son, who at first refused to do his father's will, represents the publicans and the harlots. Immersed in iniquity, these listened to the stern denunciations of John the Baptist, and bowed their hearts in true contrition before God. When the Savior's ministry of grace reached their ears, they welcomed it and thus became true heirs of the kingdom. The son who promised obedience but did not render it, represents the priests and Pharisees. These, steeped in religion and profoundly contemptuous of "publicans and sinners," were, in fact, hypocrites. Nothing could be more cutting than the Savior's words concerning them on another occasion: "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." Matt. 23:3. For such men, no sentence could be more righteous than this: "Verily, I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.”
This parable should raise the most serious thoughts in men's minds today. All around us are those who "profess and call themselves Christians," with their leaders and shepherds. From all these, God demands reality. Deeds, not words, are His holy requirement. A pious "Lord, Lord," can never deceive Him. True faith in the Savior's name and in the blood He shed produces holiness, separation from the world and devotedness to the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures. Where these things are not seen, profession is the merest sham, which may deceive men in the present world, but it will be fully exposed in another scene. However startling it may appear, it is nevertheless true that many a religious person will be lost forever. But it is equally true that multitudes of the earth's vilest will be found in the blessedness of the Father's house when the gathering moment comes. The very vileness of these latter disposes them to seek the Savior's face and to avail themselves of His great salvation. Like the crucified thief who said, "Lord, remember me," their cry of repentance has been heard, and divine forgiveness has been fully and freely given to them. Salvation is altogether of grime, and it is the happy portion of every true believer, wherever he may be found. W. Fereday

Practical Remarks on Prayer: Prayer in the Name of Christ

"And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily. I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.... At that day ye shall ask in My name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God." John 16:23-27. Sometimes a letter-knowledge of Scripture may hinder its spiritual apprehension. Perhaps it is thus with the expression, “In My name"-so familiar as a phrase, yet its power so slightly understood. The fact is that prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus is one of the special distinctions of the present day of grace. The Lord indicates this by the statement, "hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name," and thus marks off our position in prayer from that of God's people in the past. Whether Abraham in Gen. 18 or Solomon at the dedication of the temple, Daniel in Babylon, or Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:15)-each addressed God suitably according to the character, or the relationship, in which He was known. But the revelation of the divine nature was then only partial. Jesus, however. revealed the Father-yet, until the coming of the Holy Ghost, the disciples' comprehension of that revelation, as of much that He taught, was obscure. In the 16th of John, however, the Lord is about to go away. He had already taught them to pray to God as their Father, but naming Him only by description, as Our Father which art in heaven." Now He announces a new thing, based on His ascension.
They would approach the Father in His name; that is, not now One distantly described as "in heaven" (for in John 16:25 He had not as yet shown them plainly of the Father), but One fully known as THE FATHER, even as John states, "I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father." 1 John 2:13.
Praying in His name involves these points:
1. Our title of access to the Father Himself.
2. That so approaching the Father we come in all the potency, all the value, of the name of the Lord Jesus.
3. That the Holy Spirit has come, and given us, not only consciousness of our position as sons with the Father (Gal. 4:6), but spiritual capacity to use this new privilege-we have access through Christ, by the Spirit to the Father (Eph. 2:18).
This, it will be seen, is a deeper thing than the verbal tacking on of the Lord's name as a form at the end of a prayer. How graciously the Lord puts it! "I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you." He, as it were, introduces us to the Father, and that in the tactful manner of one who would place us at ease the atmosphere of the Father's love. Would that we realized more the immense power of our position with the Father, and the value of the name of Jesus in which to draw near! All this, it will be observed, depends upon the vast change implied in the words "because I go unto My Father." John 14:12. Man in His person would be entering into a position in which man had never been before, and He labors to convey to their minds what would be its significance for them.
This is the positive side of the privilege and power of His name given to us for our prayers; there is also a negative. There is what His name excludes, as well as what it includes. "Whatsoever" is the promise, but that is defined and limited by "in My name." As another has said: "'Whatsoever!' Were it alone, it would be boundless, and the Lord would thus have opened the door to all the desires of unbroken will among His people. But He adds, 'in My name.' This is His limit the barrier He sets up.”
We are in the period which Christ referred to as "that day." John 16:23. It was then future, but now the great work of atonement has been done, and the position is made clear. Christ is the propitiation for sins that are past through the forbearance of God, as well as the basis for all blessing by God towards sinners at any time. This now is no longer mysterious, but open and manifest. God's attributes are reconciled in the cross; His righteousness in bestowing blessing is declared, and a consequence of this is that prayer is now in the name of Christ. It could not be so before, for the Lord was in humiliation; He had emptied Himself, and had not where to lay His head. Observe then that the name given us in which to present our prayers is that of Jesus glorified at the Father's right hand; it is not the name as despised on earth, but as acclaimed in heaven. And what a name of power it is! Every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth (infernal beings) shall bow at the name of Jesus (Phil. 2:10). And in that name-so glorious, so beloved-we are privileged to approach the Father.
Now in John 14:12, the Lord speaks of a certain result of His going to the Father. "Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father." The next verse is joined to this by the conjunction "and." "And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name that will I do." It will be seen then that prayer in His name is a consequence of the position which He was about to take at the Father's right hand. It is a broad dispensational privilege. So far from being confined to some only of our prayers, His name, according to the showing of Scripture, avails for all.
Thus He says, "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24. E. Thomas

Prayer

Our hearts are like stringed instruments which require frequent tuning. Out of tune, no matter how beautiful the instrument or how masterly the hand, the sound is only jarring discord. It is prayer which tunes the heart for praise.

Bible Challenger: Those in the Valley of Decision as the Day of the Lord Approaches

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word describing those who are seen in the valley of decision as the day of the Lord approaches.
1. A rebuke to someone who thought service of more value than communion.
2. That which characterizes an evil heart.
3. What many did with their sick folk to await a healing shadow.
4. An unusual: prescription for a royal patient.
5. The tempter's challenge to One who had fasted 40 days and 40 nights.
6. A timely prayer for anyone desiring to be led of the Lord.
7. What did Paul see in the life of Timothy that was present also in two of his forebears?
8. A message of comfort to someone who reached out with a touch of faith.
9. Good advice for those who might be tempted to follow evil men.
10. A millennial outpouring resulting in the earth yielding her increase.
Answers to these questions will be found in next month's issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman
Answers to Last Month's Bible Challenger
1. Silver and gold have I none. Acts 3:6
2. Awake to righteousness, and sin not. 1 Cor. 15:34
3. Launch out into the deep. Luke 5:4
4. Vanity of vanities; all is vanity. Eccl. 1:2; 12:8
5. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23
6. Tell me... thy name. Gen. 32:29
7. It is I; be not afraid. John 6:20
8. One of you which eateth with Me shall betray Me. Mark 14:18
9. Never man spake like this Man. John 7:46
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great SALVATION; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him." Heb. 2:3

Highly Favored

No one has ever been in a more favored position than the Christian living at this time, not even Solomon or Paul or any other highly favored person you could think of. Perhaps you wonder at a statement like this, and yet there are reasons behind it.
First and foremost is the near return of our Lord and Savior to change these bodies of humiliation into bodies of glory and to translate us into His presence with exceeding joy.
Next we would say that God has in these last days opened to us by His Spirit from the precious Word of God, truth that for centuries was obscured in darkness, It is only in these last few centuries that the Bible has been placed in the hands of nearly anyone who desires to have it.
If we Christians today will submit to, and obey the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit will take of the things of Christ and show them unto us. Also He will show us things to come. The future will be clearly known.
Besides the sure hope of the Lord's coming for us, many things that will happen upon the earth are made known. We know that there will be seven years of judgment upon this world and that after this there will be one thousand years of the righteous reign of Christ as King, During this time Satan will he bound and most of the curse will be removed. Men, if obedient to Christ. will live on during all those years.
Even now the Christian in communion can enjoy the Lord's presence by faith. (John 14:21,23.) Thus we now learn of Him and His ways with us in grace. It is grace and mercy each step of the way. Worship and praise are our privilege and joy at this time, too. We also have good news to announce to this poor world the gospel of the grace of God.
“If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be." John 12:26. This is a special time for service. The certain nobleman when he went to receive for himself a kingdom and to return, said, "Occupy till I come." Luke 19:12, 13.
Arc you not glad that you are alive today and belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and have so many favors from Him? Ed.

The Voice and the Ear: Psalm 16 and John 10

The sheep hear His voice, and they know His voice. How wonderfully simple this is, and it not only establishes the soul, but it also keeps it from all danger.
We follow the Lord here on earth, though His voice comes from heaven. This is blessed. You cannot mix it with anything else; it excludes all human wisdom. You could not allow anything to intrude on the voice of God, and the ear that is accustomed to it is on the lookout for it. If our ear is open we are sure to hear it.
Everybody has a path in this world, and though this is a pathless place, yet there is a path. The Lord Jesus did not require a path down here; He was Himself "the way.”
By Eastern custom, sheep follow the shepherd. He goes before them (they are not driven with a dog); they hear his voice; they know it and follow him; a stranger they will not follow. They do not doubt the voice of the shepherd; they yield themselves to the voice they know. All that is not of Christ is of another.
The shepherd marks the way, and you have nothing to do but to follow; it is the simplest thing possible; a little child can do it. Christ did not have the way tracked out for Him, but He became flesh, became a man, and that is the reason He had all thrown upon Him by man that He had. Think of all the scorn He endured which would never have happened if He had not become a man. He was the perfect Man, a contrast to ruined man on the earth, and He suffered for the ruin.
People travel miles to see a ruin, but man is a ruin, a magnificent ruin. We tend to forget this. He decks himself out, and it only draws attention to his sad state. What a strange thing it would be if we went to the furniture store to furnish a ruin!
“Preserve Me, O God: for in Thee do I put My trust." We see here the Lord Himself was dependent- as man He trusted in God.
It is a wondrous thing that we are allowed to stand with this Man; God sets us along with this Man, so that we are associated with God, and hence this Psalm can be also applied to us.
God and man are together on this earth. He puts us to stand together here against Satan. The place the Lord takes is being preserved.
Do you love the saints because you see this or that in them that you like, or because they are God's? Do not be afraid to be found with the saints, for it is in them He takes His delights. "In whom is all My delight." As for the saints, their life exists in resurrection where, in His presence. they have fullness of joy for evermore. May the Lord give us to know more and more of these blessed things. that we may enjoy them more for our own souls.
W.F.B.

How Do You Worship? John 12:1-11

At this time Mary did not come to hear a sermon, although the Master Teacher was there. She came not to sit at His feet and hear His word (Luke 10:39), blessed as that was in its proper place. She did not come to make her requests known to Him. In deepest submission to His will, she had previously fallen at His feet, saying. "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." John 11:32. But to pour out her supplications to Him, as her only resource, was not now her thought, for her brother was seated at the table. She did not come to meet the saints, though precious saints were there, for it says. "Jesus loved Martha... and Lazarus." John 11:5. Fellowship with them was certainly blessed and frequent, but fellowship was not her object now. She did not come after the weariness and toil of a week's battling with the world to be refreshed from Him, though surely she, like every saint, had learned the trials of the wilderness. She obviously knew the blessed springs of refreshment that were in Him. But she came. at the moment when the world was expressing its deepest hatred of Him, to pour out what she long had treasured up (John 11:7), that which was most valuable to her, all she had upon earth, upon the Person of the One whose love had made her heart captive, and absorbed her affections. She did not consider Simon the leper; she passed the disciples by as well as her, own brother and sister. "Jesus only" filled her soul-her eye was on Him-her heart beat true to Him-her hands and feet were subservient to her eye and to her heart, as she "anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair.”
Adoration was her one thought, and that in honor of the One who was "all in all" to her, and surely such worship was most refreshing to Him.
The unspiritual (John 11:4) might murmur, but He upheld her cause and showed how He could appreciate and value the grateful tribute of a heart that knew His worth and preciousness, and could not be silent as to it. A lasting record is preserved of what worship really is by the One who accepted it and of the one who rendered it.
Is this your mode of worship, or do you on the Lord's day go to hear a sermon, say your prayers, meet the saints, or be refreshed after your six days' toil? Oh! if every eye were on the Lord alone, if every heart were true to Him, if we were each determined to see "no man... save Jesus only," what full praise there would be! We do not worship with alabaster boxes now, but if we are filled with the Holy Ghost a stream of thanksgiving of worship of the highest character will ascend in honor of the blessed One who now adorns the glory as He once adorned the earth. May we thus worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
D.T. Grimston

God's Precious Things

Our common moral sense of God will tell us that holiness and righteousness must be precious to Hint. "Holiness becometh Thine house. O Lord. forever." Psa. 93:5. Purity and truth, and the maintenance of all the cares of order and integrity, must be according to Him. The conscience will bear this witness.
Faith knows that His grace is precious to Him. He "delighteth in mercy." Mic. 7:18. The gospel provides joy for the divine mind. This truth may be beyond the thoughts of the conscience or the moral sense that is in us, but faith understands it.
The gospel is the gospel of the blessed, or happy God (1 Tim. 1:11). The feet of those who preach it on the mountains are beautiful in the eyes of the Lord, as arc the mystic garments of the priests, the ministers of it, in the Temple. "Glory and... beauty" (Rom. 10:15; Ex. 28:2; Heb. 2:7).
The divine mind is made known to us. We apprehend it, thus far, with certainly. A meek and quiet spirit is, with the Lord, of great price, and there is richest joy before Him in heaven in the grace that welcomes a lost and returned sinner.
But, are not His counsels dear to Him? Are not the events of His bosom dear to Him? The maintenance of righteousness and of godly order is precious to Him. The exercise of grace is joy to Him. Is not the purpose of His wisdom and the secret of His bosom alike dear to Him? Certainly it must be so. In the zeal of enforcing what is morally right, and in the publishing of evangelical truths, we may overlook this. The Church was the peculiar secret of God before the world was-a mystery kept secret from ages and generations but "hid in God." Can we not give this wonderful truth a place among the things that are precious with Him?
The Church is brought before us all through the Word of God. We have it shadowed in the man and the woman of the garden of Eden. It is brought before us by the Holy Jerusalem at the very close of the Apocalypse.
It is when the Spirit of Christ in David had for a moment rapidly touched or awakened the mystery, that the worshiper exclaims, "How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God!" Psa. 139:17.
It must be so, though our moral judgment or our conscience, or even our common evangelic faith does not so quickly grasp it. We know, as we have said, that godliness is precious to Hint. But are not His own eternal counsels, the secrets of His bosom, precious to Him as well?
Known unto Him are all His works front the foundation of the world. Redemption was no afterthought with Him. He planned it all. All passed in bright review before Him when as yet there was none of them. And all was precious. And the mystery of the Church that has given a body to Christ, and a partner in glory to the Son of His love, lay there the deepest, because it was the dearest, in the bosom of sovereign and eternal counsels. Words of Truth

A Wise and Safe Thing to Do

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." Psa. 119:11.
This, truly, is a wise and safe thing to do. Let us consider it. Let us understand it. Let us imitate it. There are three special points suggested, namely: What have I hid? Where have I hid it? Why have I hid it?
1. What have I hid? "THY WORD." It is not man's word, but the Word of God, that liveth and abideth forever. This is the thing to hide. It is a treasure worth hiding. No thief can steal it, no moth corrupt it. It increases by being hidden in the way here spoken of. We cannot set too high a value upon the Word of God. So the Psalmist thought when he "hid" it. This expression sets forth how intensely he prized the Word. "I have hid it." He placed it out of the reach of every one and everything that could deprive him of it-may we ponder it-may we understand it may we imitate it!
2. Where have 1 hid it? "IN MY HEART." It was not in his head or in his intellect, but in his heart- the seat of his affections-the center of his moral being-the source of all the influences that swayed his entire career. This is the right place to hide the Word. It is not hiding it under a bed, or under a bushel, or in the earth. It is not basely cushioning it, through a slavish dread of men, lest they should sneer at us, or oppose us. We must hide the Word where the Psalmist hid it, even in the heart. May we ponder this-may we understand it-may we imitate it!
3. Why have I hid it? For a very weighty reason-a most important reason. "THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE." It was not that he might have a rich fund of new ideas to talk about and show off. Nor was it that he might be able to confound in argument all his opposers and silence them. The Psalmist did not care about any of these things. He had a horror of sin-a holy horror; he knew that the most effectual safeguard against sin was the Word of God, and therefore he hid it in his heart. May we ponder this-may we understand it-may we imitate it! J.T. Armet

In the Fish's Belly

The path of obedience is the path of blessing. Peace and communion are found therein. Disobedience and self-will may seem to prosper for a time, but He who loves us infinitely will not suffer His own to continue thus. Disaster ensues from His all-wise, chastening hand. In the midst of the storm, while others were praying, Jonah was sleeping. Conscience was being stifled by his self-will. How different it was with the Lord Jesus! When the storm burst upon the Sea of Galilee, He slept peacefully in the stern of the vessel. As the perfect Man of faith, He could repose His weary head, assured of the Father's care. His sleep astonished the disciples as much as Jonah's sleep astonished the heathen mariners, but how great the contrast between the fugitive prophet and the man Christ Jesus!
When Jonah was cast out of the ship, a great fish swallowed him. "Prepared" does not mean specially created for the purpose, (although that would be an easy matter for the Maker "of the sea and the dry land"); it simply means that the fish was "appointed" for this service. The same word is thus rendered in Dan. 1:5 with reference to the food intended for Daniel and his companions. Much labor has been expended upon the great fish, as to what it was, and also upon Paul's thorn in the flesh, as to its precise nature (2 Cor. 12); in both cases there are spiritual lessons of the highest importance, which such discussions tend to obscure. Jonah could certainly have said after his weird experience, "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word." Psa. 119:67.
“Jonah prayed unto Jehovah his God out of the fish's belly." Notice that it was "His" God, for all sense of relationship was not lost. (Contrast 1 Sam. 16:21; 1 Kings 17:12; 18:10.) From many unlikely quarters, prayer has ascended to God through the ages, but never anything quite like this. Prisons, caves and mountains have resounded with cries of anguish, but not the belly of a fish! The chastened prophet owned the divine hand in what had befallen him. Jonah 1:15 says of the sailors, "they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea," but in Jonah 2:3, Jonah says to God, "Thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas." He thus owned the divine hand, and humbled himself under it. He put into practice 1 Peter 5:6, 7 several centuries before the verses were penned. He was thus in the way of recovery. Deliverance can only come to souls in distress when the hand of God is acknowledged. Jonah, although in the belly of the fish, looked in faith towards God's holy temple, and he was sure that He who dwelt therein would hearken to his cry. "When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine holy temple." Jonah 2:7. This is very beautiful, as showing that even when a saint gets into a backsliding condition, he knows to Whom to turn in his trouble and is confident that God will not forsake him.
The prophet's reference to the temple is remarkable in another way. Jehovah's temple stood in Jerusalem, and Jonah belonged by birth to the ten tribes who had turned away from God's center, and who were identified with idolatrous sanctuaries in Bethel and Dan. (1 Kings 12:25-33; Amos 7:13.) Nevertheless, in-spite of the religious confusion which disgraced Jehovah's land in his time, Jonah's heart turned towards the center which was divinely established in happier days. To Solomon, Jehovah said at the dedication of the temple, "Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually." 1 Kings 9:3. The glory-cloud still remained there, and thither the hearts of the faithful ever turned, wherever might be their abode. It was in this spirit Elijah set up an altar of twelve stones, although Carmel was in the territory of the ten tribes. (1 Kings 18:31.) God's principles and the thoughts of His heart towards His people, although in grievous failure, influenced both Elijah and Jonah.
In like manner, souls who today are taught of God, maintain "there is one Body, and one Spirit," (Eph. 4:4) and firmly refuse to recognize any other religious unity of any kind whatsoever. For His saints now, God's center is not a material structure, but the name of the Lord Jesus. (Matt. 18:20.) Do our hearts respond to this?
Jonah's prayer in his second chapter is largely made up of quotations from the Psalms. His mind was evidently saturated with the written Word. Is this true of us also? It was not a day of pocket Bibles, nor indeed were the Scriptures all yet written, but if Jonah was unable to read in his strange prison, he could feed upon the Word already learned and stored up in his mind and heart. Let us not be behind him in this. The whole revelation of God is in our hands, containing wonderful counsels of grace and glory unknown in Old Testament dispensations. Shall we not seek to possess the whole in our inmost souls, so that if ever our Bibles are torn from us, we shall still have that which will nourish and sustain our faith?
Meditation upon the Psalms and the deliverances wrought for the writers, gave Jonah confidence. In his apparently hopeless condition, he expressed his confidence in God-given terms. He was sure of deliverance! He was persuaded that he would once more worship in the house of the Lord! "Salvation is of the Lord," was his triumphant finish!
The work was done; the lesson had been learned; pride and self-will had received a heavy blow; the prophet was at the end of his resources, and his hope was in God alone. Every sinner has to learn this when he first draws near to God, and the erring saint has to come back to it whenever he goes astray.
W. Fereday

Bible Challenger: Our Every Thought Should Be Held Captive To

The first letter of each of the following responses will form the word which describes to what our every thought should be held captive.
1. Whose house was blessed because the ark of God rested there?
2. Who thought his advanced age would be a burden to a king on his return from exile?
3. Who was the left-handed judge who delivered Israel from an oppressive king?
4. Who was astonished for one hour at the interpretation of a dream?
5. Who was horn at the time the ark of God was captured by the Philistines?
6. Who said, "I am young but ye are very old?”
7. Who was the Israelite in whom was no guile?
8. Who was the first-born among men?
9. Who mocked 450 men at noon?
Answers to these questions will be found in next month's issue of Christian Treasury.
R. Erisman
Answers to Last Month's Bible Challenger
1. Martha, Martha, thou art... troubled about many things Luke 10:41
2. Unbelief Heb. 3:12
3. Laid them on beds and couches Acts 5:15
4. Take a lump of figs 2 Kings 20:7
5. If Thou be the Son of God Matt. 4:3
6. Teach me Thy way. O Lord Psa. 27:11
7. Unfeigned faith 2 Tim. 1:5
8. Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole Mark 5:34
9. Enter not into the path of the wicked Prov. 4:14
10. Showers of blessing Ezek. 34:26
“MULTITUDES, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." Joel 3:14

Faith

Compare the faith of the Shunammite in 2 Kings 4 with that of the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17. The latter put her dead into her bosom, the former on the prophet's bed. Death reminded one of her own sin; it reminded the other of God's resources.

Pause

Jacob had seventeen years in Egypt before he was called hence; Paul was called up from the midst of his
labors. (2 Tim. 4) It is a bad symptom of previous ways when a pause is needed, like that in Egypt.

Responsibility - Salvation

The brazen altar is the measure of man's responsibility, but saving has nothing to do with responsibility. God saves us for Himself, and brings us to Himself.

Kingdom of God - Kingdom of Heaven

“The kingdom of the heavens”-the true rendering-is only named in Matthew. It is a dispensational term; while "the kingdom of God" is a moral thing. In keeping with the gospels you name, you find the terms used. Matthew groups his subjects together dispensational; Luke does so morally; both depart from the historic order to which Mark keeps more than any of the others.
With a Jew, the term "kingdom of the heavens" was familiar. (See Deut. 11:21; Psa. 89:29; Dan. 2:44; 4:26-35, and other scriptures.) It is the "rule of the heavens" owned on earth. It was announced as "at hand," not as come, by John the Baptist (Matt. 3), by the Lord (Matt. 4), and by the twelve (Matt. 10). It is rejected, and in Matt. 12, which ends the gospel to the Jew, the curse of Antichrist is pronounced upon the nation, and a remnant owned who obey His Father's win. Then in Matt. 13, the Lord begins a new action, as a sower, and the kingdom of the heavens takes a new character, which the prophets did not contemplate. It is portrayed as a sphere overrun with evil, and a mingled crop-the "mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens," and instead of the true subjects taking their origin from Abraham, they do so from the Word of God, which Christ sows; others accept the authority of Christ nominally as professors.
In Luke, who is the great moralizer, the term used is "kingdom of God," of which He could say in answer to the inquiry of the Pharisees if it came with observation, that it was "in the midst of you." (Luke 17:21 JND), for God was there in Christ. Of the "kingdom of the heavens" it could only be said it is "at hand." and it did not (and could not) commence until the ascension of Christ. To have come in during His presence, it would have been the kingdom of the earth. His authority and that of the heavens were owned, even before the coming of the Holy Ghost, during the ten days of interval, by the disciples, who waited by His directions for that coming. It will run on in its present, confused state until the Millennium. Hence it begins before the Church is started and ends after the Church is complete.
You get two places where the term gets a moral character from Paul-"The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17); "the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." 1 Cor. 4:20. It is the "exhibition or manifestation of the ruling power of God under any circumstances." A man must be born afresh to "see," or "enter in" to it, in the verity of it (John 3); it is not so in the kingdom of heaven, in which tares and wheat mingle. Souls may profess and submit to God's kingdom as merely profession. Hence, in Luke 13:18, he uses the term kingdom of God where nominal profession is noted in the parable, and where the "kingdom of the heavens" might be used interchangeably. Still, none but the saints would be really of it, as born of God.
When the Millennium comes in, the present, confused state of the kingdom of the heavens will be set aside by the judgment of the living, and it will then be displayed in its verity in a two-fold, heavenly and earthly state of things. The Son of man gathers out of His kingdom-the earthly part of it (see Psa. 8; Heb. 2)-all stumbling blocks and workers of iniquity. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father-the heavenly sphere of it. (See Matt. 13:41-43.) F.G. Patterson

The Undated Period of Time - Ezek. 33:23 to Ezek. 39:29

The period is divided as follows: Ezek. 33:23 to 36:38 inclusive; Ezek. 37, then Ezek. 38 and 39 together. The divisions present definite periods in Israel's history.
The undated period begins with Jerusalem under the control of the Gentiles and a remnant of Judah scattered in the land claiming possession as Abraham's heirs (Ezek. 33:24), but Jehovah disallowing their claim of possession (Ezek. 33:25).
The period ends on the first month and tenth day, corresponding to the day for selecting the Passover lamb (Ex. 12:1-3) and also to the day of the Lord's first entry (first of five) into Jerusalem as king. (Matt. 21:5-10; Ex. 12:3-6.)
Between the two periods, Israel's history, past, present and future, is seen in outline. The few people left in the land depend upon the sword for defense (Ezek. 33:26), but it fails them and they are either destroyed in the land (Ezek. 33:27) or taken prisoner by their enemies so that the land is left empty and desolate (Ezek. 33:28). In captivity, their hypocritical claim to be the people of God (Ezek. 33:31) is rebuked and a warning is given to them (Ezek. 33:32, 33).
In Ezek.34, the leaders (shepherds) are denounced and sentenced for their abuse of the flock (Ezek. 34:9.10). (The leaders of Israel were denounced by the Lord when He was among them. See Matt. 22:15, 16, 23, 34, 41, 46; Zech. 11:8.) Immediately there follows a promise of a shepherd who will care for the flock (Ezek. 34:11-16), and who will judge between the strong and the weak, between the oppressive and the helpless oppressed (Ezek. 34:17-22). A covenant of peace completes the chapter.
The enemies of Israel are hindered for a season in their intention to swallow them up (consider the wars and battles Israel has survived since becoming a state) and the sentence of future judgment of these enemies, with their Esau-like hatred of Israel, is announced in Ezek. 35.
In Ezek. 34:36, the land is taken by the surrounding enemies (Ezek. 34:2-6), but in the midst of their trials, Jehovah promises their national blessing (Ezek. 34:22-31). All the dealings of God are for correction, to lead them to further repentance (Ezek. 34:31), and to justify His name among the heathen as a righteous and holy God who will not permit man to continue in sin without correction.
The work of restoration to fulfill the promises of Ezek. 34 begins in Ezek. 37. Israel (Judah) is seen as the dry bones in the open valley, where bone joins to bone, and sinews and flesh cover them; yet there is no life God ward (Ezek. 37:8), but they subsequently receive life at the command of the Lord Jehovah (Ezek. 37:10). Next, in Ezek. 37:11-14, all Israel, that is, all of the ten tribes (Ezek. 37:11, 16, 19), rise out of their graves, (the figure in Ezek. 37:2 is changed in Ezek. 37:12 to extend its application), live and have the Spirit of God within (Ezek. 37:14). The divided tribes become one nation in the land (Ezek. 37:19-22); a prince of the house of David is set over them (Ezek. 37:24, 25), and Jehovah's tabernacle is in the midst of them (Ezek. 37:26-28).
When Israel dwells safely and all is quiet in the land, Gog will, with his allies, the last invaders, meet their doom on the mountains of Israel (Ezek. 38 and 39). Ezek. 39 ends with scattered Israel gathered (Ezek. 39:27, 28), and Jehovah no longer hidden (Ezek. 39:29), but acting openly on their behalf.
This is immediately followed in Ezek. 40 with Jehovah's instructions for the building of the temple for the return of His glory among them.
The undated interval is evidently a figure of the circumstances of Israel until the appearing of the Son of man to defend His people and visit retributive justice upon the nations.
(An observation: Prior to Ezekiel's temple, a holy place shall be set up, in which the abomination which maketh desolate shall be placed: Dan. 9:27; 12:11: Matt. 24:15 "a holy place;" 2 Thess. 2:4 "the shrine," not necessarily a temple which would require years to build). W. Bothwell.

Question and Answers: Baptism Saving Us

Ques. Could you please explain what is meant in 1 Peter 3:21, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us"?
Ans. Peter writes to his own people, Israelites who had been brought up under the law and then professed Christ. In preaching to them in Acts 2:38, 40, he says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.... Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
Through baptism they changed their position as being connected with the guilty nation who had crucified their Messiah to the new position in Christianity. Through baptism (which is a figure of death), they were saved from the judgment of the guilty nation. It is the same in 1 Peter 3 and Acts 2. Ed.

What Is His Name, and What Is His Son's Name?

The last two chapters of the Proverbs are remarkable as giving us the words of Agur, the son of Jakeh, in a prophecy, and thus fitly closing up the proverbial wisdom of Solomon to his son according to the flesh. Historically, God was in the end displeased with this wisest of men, and the king in Jerusalem, the glory of whose person and throne had won the heart of the Queen of Sheba, became an idolator. Solomon was turned aside by "the strange woman." against whom he had warned his son Rehoboam, and Rehoboam was led away by false counselors, notwithstanding the proverbs of his father. A wise king, a righteous throne, and a prosperous nation governed in the fear of the Lord, in which all true greatness consists, was not found in Solomon's successor. Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, and answered the people after the advice of the young men, saying "My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." 1 Kings 12:14.
Agur (a stranger), the son of Jakeh, who is ungenealogized-without father and without mother, so to speak-gathers together the words of this chapter, and, like Elihu to Job, takes the place of God. As Melchisedek displaced Abraham, so that the less was blessed of the better, so this unknown Agur utters his prophecy, and in this sense, supersedes Solomon and the Proverbs. This stranger (Agur) spake unto Ithiel (or God with me), even unto Ithiel, and Ucal (or the Mighty One-God for me), and these two persons, with their respective names and characters, as they pass out of prophecy and the book of Proverbs, become to us, in New Testament revelation none other than Jesus -Immanuel, or the Savior-Ithiel, while God for us, or the Ucal-the Mighty One-who can be against us?-takes this place after the death and resurrection of Christ as His Iamb and our substitute.
The incarnation of Jesus introduced our mystery; the Ithiel, or God manifest in the flesh, and His resurrection from the dead made the Mighty God known as the Ucal, or God for us, against all that was against us, consummated by the mighty power which He wrought in Christ, the ascended One, now sitting on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.
The man Agur, who spake in prophecy unto Ithiel and Ucal, must have had the anointed ear to hear of the new and hidden wisdom of Solomon's greater son-the true and divine source of life and light. This stranger (the son of Jakeh), who demanded "What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?" must, in spirit, sit at the feet of Jesus-Ithiel-to hear the descended One from heaven say, "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent. and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight." And again. "No man knoweth who the Son is but the Father; and who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him." Luke 10:22.
Our Ithiel (Jesus) when on earth, in the midst of His Agur (disciples), and before the gift of the Holy Ghost, had also His own proverbs and prophecies, as, for example, in John 16. “These things have I spoken to you in proverbs, but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father." Nor was it till, as the descended One, and the ascending One. He said to them, "I came forth from the Father, and ant come into the world; and again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." that the disciples said unto Him. "Lo! now speakest Thou plainly, and speakest no proverb." He had spoken to them also in parables, but the time was then come for the true Ithiel, and the one living and true Ucal, to pass out of parables and proverbs, so that in the full disclosure of the Father's name, and the Son's name, the disciples said. "Now are we sure that Thou knowest all things, and neediest not that any man should ask Thee: by this we believe that Thou cattiest forth from God." On their part, too, they drop the proverbs and parables, which concealed the Father and the Son's names, and tarry in Jerusalem for the descent of the Holy Ghost from heaven, under whose anointing they passed into the higher mysteries which mark our present fellowship, in the light where God dwells, with the Father and the Son!
This Agur, who had no understanding, and was in his own eyes more brutish than any one, yea, who had neither wisdom nor knowledge, when he viewed himself in the presence of the Creator God, turns from all else to the revelation that makes Him known by the Holy Spirit, and says, "Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
Thus the Word of God with its authority over us comes into its proper place after the declaration of the Father's name and the Son's name have been made known and accepted.
In the proverbs which Agur spoke unto Ithiel and Ucal, the man of God today is taught by the Spirit and the Word of God to see personified in these closing scenes before the coming of the Lord, the casting of Satan into the bottomless pit, with the horse-leech and his daughters, and the generations of the wicked.
We may observe, as regards these two last chapters of this wonderful book (Proverbs 30-31), that they introduce to us the man and the woman of old in new forms. The Agur of Proverbs 30, and the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, whose price is "far above rubies," and in whom "the heart of her husband doth safely trust," are more familiar to our minds when they pass out of the obscurity of a proverb, and its mystic language, into the Song of Songs which is Solomon's.
There they are recognized as the bridegroom and the bride in the intimacies of living thoughts and loving affections, which all can understand. The Adam and Eve of Eden, or the first man and the first woman, have given place to this Agur (or stranger in this world), and the virtuous woman, who "will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.”
In the Song of Solomon these are seen in "a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and cat his pleasant fruits. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away. I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” Song of Sol. 4:15, 16, 6, 7.
We, whose happy lot it is to be waiting for the Lord's coming, the day of His espousals, and this marriage of the Lamb, can see how these bridal celebrations have only cast their shadows before them, whether in the Song of Solomon, or, as in Proverbs, where the illustrious, though hidden stranger. Agur, came to seek the virtuous woman, "whose candle goeth not out by night.”
The unveiled mystery in the Ephesians gives us, in complete revelation, the chaste virgin espoused to one husband, or the Eve that is being formed, passing out of type and figure, Proverbs or Song of Solomon, into the living reality of Christ, as the Head of the Church, and the Savior of the body.
May the Lord give us entire satisfaction and rest of heart, in the known revelation in which His love has set us, till the glory and the nuptial day shall make manifest that Christ "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." Eph. 5:25-27.

Isaiah 53

The person who is the subject of Isa. 53, is referred to more than forty times in the chapter. He is brought before us in various ways-one who grew up "as a root out of a dry ground.”
Of this one, spoken of so many times in these various ways, there is one thing said that is very striking: "When we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.”
Who is that one? Oh, it is that one who grew up in this world before God as "a root out of a dry ground"-"as a tender plant." In Him, God saw every beauty; He was the one in whom, from first to last, God had delight, and from whom continually a sweet savor rose up. What was that savor? It was a savor of obedience-not a savor of legal obedience; that was not the kind of obedience the Lord rendered, but the obedience of love."But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do.”
How is it that in this poor, vast world there are here and there a few (though when gathered together. there are a good many) who do see beauty in Him, and who desire Him?-those whom the beauty of the Lord attracts. What has made it to he thus with you and with me and with every other believer far and near? Who gave us the anointed eye, the opened ear? Who gave us the receiving and understanding heart? We sometimes sing:
“To Thee our all we owe:
The precious Savior, and the power
That makes Him precious too.”
How precious that sovereign grace becomes to us as we go on and learn more of its sovereignty, its righteousness. Through that sovereign grace, it is no longer true of us that we see no beauty in Him that we should desire Him, but we learn how little we see! Perhaps we see little beyond the fact that He is our Savior, but that is beauty, and God gives us in some measure to share His joys and thoughts of Him who grew up "before Him... as a root out of a dry ground.”
What an object there was on earth for God when Christ was here! On that object His eye rested, and to that object now His sovereign grace attracts.
There are several things among the many things said about Him in this short chapter (Isa. 53), to which really the last few verses of the preceding chapter belong, which tell out His glory in a special way. One is in those words: "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." How that tells out the infinite glory of that blessed one. Here is one, sinless in Himself, this "root out of a dry ground" upon whom God can lay the iniquity of us all.
It is in that way that the memorials of His death bring Him before us, as the bearer of our sins in love to us, and in love and obedience to God His Father. What a theme for praise is Christ, when the eye beholds His beauty, or a little of it, when He becomes not simply an object of faith (that is first), but when He becomes an object of love!
It says in Peter, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." We sing in one of our hymns: “Perfect soon in joy before Thee, We shall see Thee face to face.”
How those words refresh and strengthen one. Who can conceive what the perfection of' joy and glory will he in His presence! We shall see Him face to face.
May God in His grace make Isa. 53 exceedingly precious to us all. W. Potter

Practical Remarks on Prayer: Should Prayer Be Addressed to Christ?

Some may be surprised at any doubt on this point, for the instincts of the soul that has been born anew, lead it out frequently in prayer to the Lord Jesus, as well as to the Father. Still the question has been raised, and it may be useful, therefore, to refer to scriptures which bear upon the subject.
That which has given rise to doubt is the verse "And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you." John 16:23. Taken as it stands, this would seem conclusive that prayer should not be addressed to the Lord. But the translation is misleading, for two words of differing force in the original are here rendered by the one word “ask”. The word rendered "ask" in the first sentence of the verse is ἐρωτμω (erotao): that in the latter sentence is χἰτἐω (aiteo). Thus, "And in that day ye shall ask (erotao) Me nothing. Verily, verily, 1 say unto you. Whatsoever ye shall ask (aiteo) the Father in My name. He will give it you.”
The former word (erotao) originally only meant to inquire, and in classic Greek, is used in that sense only, but in Hellenistic, or New Testament Greek, it has the same double meaning as our English word "ask," namely, both to inquire and to make request, as in the instances: He asked the way to Richmond; he asked for water.
The second word, "aiteo," means only to ask for something. But "erotao" having two meanings, the question arises, in which of those meanings is it to be taken, in the verse we are considering? and this seems to be indicated by the context, for the Lord had just been answering the inquiries of the disciples, as it says in the nineteenth verse, "Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask Him." Here the word translated "ask" is "erotao." Then He answers their questions, and in John 16:23 adds, "In that day ye will not question (erotao) Me." And now, passing on to speak of prayer, He leaves the word of double meaning, and employs one which only means to make request (aiteo), "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask (aiteo) the Father in My name, He will give it you." So that when the Lord said, "In that day ye shall ask Me nothing," He was not forbidding prayer to Himself, but informing them that in a day soon to come, they would no longer be interrogating Him. He, indeed, would not be here to be inquired of; He would be at the Father's right hand, and the Holy Spirit would be here to guide them into all truth. This verse, therefore, may safely be said to give no countenance to the view that prayer may not be made to the Lord Jesus.
Not only, however, does this scripture furnish no objection against prayer to the Lord, but we have elsewhere in Scripture the highest positive authority for it, namely, Stephen, and the Apostle Paul.
“And they stoned Stephen, praying, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And kneeling down, he cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And having said this, he fell asleep." Acts 7:59, 60 (JND).
And the Apostle Paul tells us, "And that I might not be exalted by the exceeding greatness of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn for the flesh, a messenger of Satan that he might buffet me, that I might not be exalted. For this I thrice besought the Lord that it might depart from me." 2 Cor. 12:7, 8 (JND). Besides this, there are prayers to which Paul gives utterance in the course of his epistles, and these are addressed both to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, "But our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you. But you, may the Lord make to exceed and abound in love toward one another, and toward all." 1 Thess. 3:11, 12 (JND). Again, "But our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us, and given us eternal consolation and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts, and establish you in every good work and word." 2 Thess. 2:16, 17 (JND). Once again, "But the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of the Christ." 2 Thess. 3:5 (JND).
To conclude, John 16:23 does not forbid prayer to Christ, and there is ample authority for it in the examples which Scripture records for our instruction. E. Thomas