Voice of Distinction

HVN_Iogo_largerWhen he hath put forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice – John 10:4

We might wonder how it has been possible for the good Shepherd to go before his sheep throughout the Gospel Age. Yet that is what has been happening, as the divine Word says. The Lord is our pattern, he goes before us always. The Adversary, who is the god of this world, rules all mankind; he dazzles them, but his light is darkness because it is selfishness and not love, the real light.

If you are able to distinguish the voice of the good Shepherd, you can follow it, and it is with self-renunciation that this becomes possible. The day you will no longer renounce, God’s Spirit withdraws, and you are no longer in the condition of a disciple of Christ. God leads his people, He blesses them wonderfully day by day; as you observe this faith increases. Trust is one of the essential foundations of faith, it is a part of love, whereas distrust is a part of hatred. The Lord tells us that no rich man shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; one must therefore be trustful and give up riches, or else give up the idea of being a disciple of Christ. That is the first step. The second step is to consecrate yourself fully to God, to deny your own will to go in quite another direction, to take upon yourself the wrongness of others, to pray for the guilty that the Lord forgive them. If we are prepared to pray for the guilty, to take their wrong-doing upon ourselves, it is the Lord who will bear our sins.

The dear Savior cleanses you day by day through faith, so that your sacrifice may become living, holy and acceptable to God. You make no more complaints, and if any man does you harm you forgive him; you associate in your beloved Savior’s work. As you follow that road faithfully the Lord gives you a little more of his Spirit which enlightens you and opens up new horizons to you.

Joy increases in your heart as you perceive that you can bring about a change in your sentiments till you attain to resemblance with the glorious character of our Lord Jesus. The Spirit of glory comes upon you because you follow after the dear Savior.

Our Lord never lacked for anything, and neither did his disciples. He showed us what it means to walk by faith; that is why we are glad to follow him either as consecrated disciples, or as members of the Host of the Lord.

 

I Believe in God

believe1“AS I PASSED by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” Acts 17:23.

As in the days of Paul, so today there are thousands who worship an unknown God. They believe in some kind of God, but they have no conception of what He is like. They have never experienced in their hearts that He is a God of love and mercy, and that He is kind and long-suffering. Sad to say, in this enlightened, intelligent, scientific, and so-called religious age many do not believe that God exists.  The atheists, the agnostics, and the materialists are not all dead. Some have found their way into religious circles. The atheist says, ‘There is no God,” but his statement is no proof that God does not exist. These boastful atheists often speak differently when they face death. The agnostic says, I do not know whether there is a God or not.” The materialist boasts by saying, I do not need God; I can run the world without Him.”  I have chosen to cast my lot with the Christian, because I believe in God and I need Him. The following reasons convince me that there is a God.

His Existence Is a Proved Fact  

 Proof of the existence of God is not necessary, because it is not based on a knowledge of chemistry, geology, or biology. Before these sciences were taught, men had definite proof of the existence of God. We do not need to prove that two times two is four. That is an accepted fact. Someone has well said, “If once there had been nothing, there never could have been something; hence something must be eternal, and that something is God.” A heathen philosopher once asked a Christian, “Where is God?” The Christian answered the heathen by asking him, “Where is He not? “

God Is Unsearchable 

 If we could understand all about God, could analyze Him, then He would cease to be God. The more we study His character, His divinity, and His power, the more wonderful and far reaching we find Him. Job asked, “Can thou by searching find out God? Can thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” (Job 11:7). Job expected a negative answer. The apostle Paul expressed the same thought when he said, “0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33). How good it is to know that although God is unsearchable, yet we can know Him. We are invited to become acquainted with Him. We are to know Him as our personal Friend and that “in him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28).

Nature Reveals God 

 If I say there is no God, then I must believe that the earth was not created by Him. I must choose one of two things: God as the Creator, or the evolution theory. I refuse to accept the evolution theory, because of the many weaknesses that are part and parcel of all the hundreds of theories, hypotheses, guesses, and imaginings that have been brought forward to support it. There is much evidence against evolution, and this has been furnished by the evolutionists themselves. They are constantly proving one another’s theories wrong, and putting forth theories of their own. How much better it is to believe in God, the Creator of all. If there is no God, no revelation of Him, no future eternal life, then all this world in which we live, with all its sciences and glory, is nothing. The deep, earnest, honest, thinking man concludes that far-reaching thoughts preceded the birth of nature.  The order and system of the planets, the glory of the flowers, the planets, and the stars-all reveal their Maker. Some of the most reliable scientists have believed in God, and have so expressed themselves. An atheist said to a Christian, “We shall destroy everything that will remind you of God.” The Christian replied, “But you will leave us the sun, the moon, and the stars.” Through inspiration the psalmist cried out, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” His glory cannot be declared without declaring God Himself.

The Bible Reveals God 

 As we open the pages of the Holy Book, called the Bible, we immediately see the words: In the beginning God.” Turning to the last words, we read, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yes, God is revealed in His Book. His works and His Word always agree. They are harmonious-in perfect unity. The Bible gives light. It is reliable. It stands in spite of the fact that it has been fought against through the centuries, and it will continue to reveal the true God. David said, “The entrance of thy words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple.” (Psalm 119:130). “Thy word is true from the beginning.” (Verse 160). According to these statements, the very first words of the Bible should cast light on the pathway of the searcher for truth.  The first ten words in the Bible correct many errors. The words “In the beginning” refute the idea of the eternity of matter. The words “In the beginning God” refute atheism. The two words “God created” oppose the doctrine of evolution. The statement “created the heaven and the earth” separates God from creation, thus precluding pantheism. Matter is not God, and this denies materialism. The more we study the Bible, the more and the better we know God.

Longing Desire In The Heart After God 

 Some years ago an infidel addressed a large crowd on one of the streets in London. He held the attention of his hearers as he presented his views on why he did not believe that there is a God. At the close of his lecture a young man who had listened to him said to the crowd, “Let us sing a song before we leave.” This the infidel resented by saying, “Infidelity sings no songs.” The young man, however, paid no attention to him and began to sing that old familiar hymn, “Nearer, My God, to Thee.” The crowd picked up the strain and joined in singing heartily the words that, through the centuries, have expressed the convictions of those who believe that there is a God. What an answer to this infidel! This longing in the heart for God is the best proof that there is a God. The psalmist expressed this conviction when he said, “As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, 0 God.” (Psalm 42:1).  There is a consciousness in man that there is a God. We were created in the image of God. Instinct tells us that He is our maker. This desire in the heart after God changes the life of the individual, not for worse but for better. Sad indeed is the condition of the one who has no desire after God, who does not believe in Him.  He who believes in God chooses to follow His way, which is outlined in the Bible; he has within his soul a bright hope of life eternal, which is given to those who accept Him and follow Him completely. Man is as nothing before God. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visits him?” (Psalm 8:4). We are so insignificant. We are counted as dust. “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance.” (Isaiah 40:15). Yet this great God, in whom we believe and whom we serve, loves us and has a tender care for us. He is kind, merciful, gracious, and longsuffering. He longs to reveal Himself to us. He desires that all shall be saved.  Is this wonderful God, before whom we are as nothing, still unknown to us? If so, shall we not become acquainted with Him now? May we demonstrate daily by the life we live that we believe that there is a God and that He will never leave or forsake us.

The Third Commandment

tc-threeThe third of the Ten Commandments states: “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name (NIV).”

Now, most Christians will tell you that simply means ‘Don’t curse.’ That is not the intent of the third commandment at all; its intent is much greater in scope.

Anyone who calls him or herself by the name of God represents Him on earth. Anyone who claims to represent God, anyone who takes His name, had better make every effort to live a life without blemish, because everything they do is a reflection of God to believers and non-believers alike. For those who claim Christ as their savior to represent His name with anything but the utmost reverence is, at best, disgraceful and, at worst, can also be a sin. The name of the Most High should always be borne with reverence.

This is an age where nothing is held in reverence anymore. The common and the profane have been elevated and brutish, cynical and sarcastic attitudes abound. Everything, every value, every hero and every institution are fair game for the lowest kind of attacks these days. It is shameful and it is dangerous to have a society wherein nothing is sacred—where nothing is sacred, nothing is stable. That is the world we live in.

As Christians we are called on to be the salt of the earth. Salt is that which preserves the world. In some  Christian circles, it has become commonplace to take the most powerful name under Heaven, Jesus the Christ, and lower it to whatever is selling at the time. Coke is the ‘Real Thing’ so Christ becomes the ‘Real Thing’. ‘Got Milk?’ has become ‘Got Jesus?’ To drag His name down to pop culture is a sign of disrespect. It is not one of reverence, it is a misuse of His name and it does inestimable damage to the image of God.

For those who make the name Christ and Christianity a laughing stock to the world by their behavior and their language there is a stern warning. Behaving in such a way as to reflect badly on the name of God serves as a stumbling block to many nonbelievers. Of those who are such stumbling blocks it is said that “it would be better if a mill stone were tied around their necks and they be tossed into the sea…” We are called to be a light to the world! In representing God…we should always be on our best behavior. We Christians should clean up our behavior and our language like true Ambassadors for Christ—not defile the name of God by using it irreverently. We should be setting the example for the world, not lowering the standards of our own behavior to fit into it.

“If the salt has lost its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

Twelve Tribes of Spiritual Israel

spiritual_Israel“I heard the number of them that were sealed; and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 7:4)

Our Lord Jesus, before He came into the world, was the Son of God on the Heavenly plane, the Only Begotten of the Father Jehovah’s only direct creation. (Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14) When in the flesh, He was still God’s well-beloved Son. This is the One who when on earth as a man gave Himself in consecration to do the Father’s will, even at the cost of His own life, that He might purchase back from death the fallen human race. For this, the Father highly rewarded Him, by raising Him from the dead a Divine Being. Our Lord has had three natures, being now a partaker of the nature of Jehovah the Divine. “Him hath God supremely exalted, and given Him a name above every name. Phil. 2:9-11

This perfect obedience on the part of our Lord Jesus was the basis, then, on which Jehovah God raised Him to His present high position. God might have let Him take at once His power as King of kings and Lord of lords, and begin His great work of blessing mankind. But God’s plan was different. In His Purpose the Father not only foreknew the Lord Jesus for this work, but foreknew also that certain ones chosen from the human family would gladly become fellow-sufferers with Jesus that they might be fellow-sharers in His glory to follow. How could God arrange this? The Answer–is that they may have a part in this arrangement by marriage, by becoming united to Christ Jesus as His Bride, His Body, which is to be composed of 144,000 members.

HOW THESE ARE OF THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

St. John the Revelator tells about this 144,000 12,000 from each tribe of Israel. How does the Church, the Body of Christ, come to be of the twelve tribes of Israel? In this way: God laid out the entire program of the Gospel Age on the Jewish basis. Provision was made for choosing the total number of the Bride class out of Natural Israel 12,000 out of each of the twelve tribes. God foreknew, however, that fleshly Israel as a nation would not receive Jesus as Messiah, and that those who would receive Him would be only a small remnant from all the tribes. But the elect Church was to number 144,000 12,000 from each tribe.

Of those of Fleshly Israel who came into the Gospel Church we do not know the proportion from each of the tribes. All twelve tribes were represented in Palestine when our Lord Jesus came, though chiefly Judah and Benjamin. During the Jewish Harvest there were approximately 25,000 gathered to the Lord from Palestine and adjacent countries an average of a little over 2000 from each tribe. So there was not nearly the required number.

Therefore, after the close of the 70 symbolic weeks of favor (Dan. 9:24) promised to the Jews, God turned to the Gentiles, to fill up the number lacking from the various tribes. (Acts 13:46) When we were received into Christ, the question was, Where would we be put? We do not know, however, where the Lord has put us; some will be in one tribe, and some in another, as God wills. But His decision will satisfy us.

ANOTHER COMPANY–A GREAT MULTITUDE

After we are told about these 144,000 from the twelve tribes who are to be of the Very Elect, who are to stand with Christ on Mount Zion (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1-5), and who only will be able to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, mention is made of a much larger company. This Great Company say that they will never deny God’s name or His cause. But they have not been living in harmony with their vows. Therefore they will not receive the reward coming to those who are ready to meet their Lord at any moment, those whose lamps are trimmed and burning.

This unfaithful class are the ones mentioned by the Revelator as having soiled their garments those who have failed to keep “unspotted from the world.” He says, “I looked, and behold, a great multitude, whose number no man knows, of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues; and they stood before the Throne and  before the Lamb.” (Rev. 7:9-14) These are the Spiritual Israelites who are not of the priestly family. As in Natural Israel the Levites were far more numerous than the priests, so in Spiritual Israel. The Angel said to St. John, “Who are these, and whence came they?” He replied, “Sir, thou knowest.” So the angel said, “These are they who have come up out of the great tribulation, and have  washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Nothing but the blood of Jesus will ever take away these sins. They must all be cleansed in “a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation.” This class will have their portion with the hypocrites,” because they have failed to live up to their covenant with God. They hesitate to step forward boldly and say, “I am striving to be a footstep follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

But here is our opportunity to take a stand before the world and to lift up the banner of the Lord. Let the people know where you stand! If you say, “Of course I am religious, but I do not wish to be extreme,” then your worldly acquaintances will say, “That is right. Don’t be extreme; come in and have a game of cards!” Such Christians get themselves into trouble at once.

Some of this class become so besmirched that they plunge into willful deliberate sin. This course would merit the Second Death,
so far as we understand the Word of God. But others say, “I will
never go deliberately into sin. I am no saint, I know; but I will
never deny the Lord; I will never deny the principles of righteousness.” There is considerable good character manifested
here, even though that person is not living up to the covenant
made with God. Such are still loyal at heart. Some of them have
been weak through fear of loss of worldly favor, or have been
hindered by the cares of this life. This is the class that will be in
the second company, the Great Company.

HOW THEY LOST THEIR CROWNS

You ask, “How do they get into such a condition?” We answer, There are various ways. The following illustrates one of these: Suppose you as a child of God should get angry, should speak a bitter word. Afterwards you felt that this was something against you. You hastened to the Throne of Grace and said, “O Lord, forgive! Cleanse me from my iniquity, and I will never do this again!” Perhaps a day or two afterward you made the same mistake; and you felt, oh, so abashed. It was more difficult to go to the Mercy-Seat the second time; but you went and said, “Lord, I am so ashamed, so sorry! I will try not to do this again!” But perhaps in a week, or perhaps in an hour or two, you had repeated the transgression. You were almost discouraged. You feared to go to the Lord. When you were preparing to retire at night, and the time had come for reviewing the events of the day, you said to yourself, “I cannot go to the Lord tonight, and own that I have failed again!”

You succeed in putting the matter off, but you are anxious. You try to get it out of your mind. The next morning you go about your duties, but you have not made the matter right with God. During the day something happens that causes you again to transgress. In distress you say, “I will not think about it. Everybody commits sins. There may be some who can overcome, but I cannot. There is no use to try.” So it goes on, the trespasses accumulating. From time to time you offer prayer; but it is largely a formality. If this condition of  things is not rectified by the proper steps, you will certainly lose your Crown and go into great tribulation.

All down the Gospel Age there have been some of this class; but the Revelator pictures those now living. “Judgment must begin at the House of God” (1 Pet. 4:17); and these slothful ones must Answer–for their unfaithfulness. But after their sore chastisement in the coming great trouble, they will realize that it has worked good to them, and will say, “Let us be glad and rejoice. Let us glorify God that we were finally delivered. We have not been faithful; we have allowed things to hold us back. But now the Marriage of the Lamb has taken place. Our robes have been cleansed; and we are invited to the Marriage Supper, even though we have missed being of the Bride class. What a pity that we did not yield ourselves up wholly to the Lord;” See Rev. 19:6-9.

NOT MANY WEALTHY, GREAT OR WISE CALLED

God’s faithful ones love to meet together and encourage one another in the good way. The association of the Lord’s true
people is like a bed of coals. One coal will not keep warm alone;
but when many coals are brought together, each warms the
others. Therefore the Apostle exhorts, “Forsake not the
assembling of yourselves together,… and so much the more as ye
see the Day approaching.” Heb. 10:25

It is not money that draws us together. There is not a millionaire
amongst the saints, so far as we know. Whoever wishes to get
into a club of millionaires will not find it in the Church of
Christ.. The true Church are not as a rule wealthy, nor are they as
a class the most learned, the most talented, the most refined, to
be found. If these things are what you are seeking in the Church
of Christ, then you are looking in the wrong place. On the other
hand, whoever is ashamed of the brethren of Christ is accounted
as ashamed of Him.

We are not to be ashamed of the brethren of Christ or of His
Truth. Our Lord says, “Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and
of My Word, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He
shall come in His own glory and His Father’s.” (Luke 9:26) In
other words, I will not have him in the Bride class. That Great
Company is represented as eventually getting the palms of
victory and as serving God in His Temple. But so far as you and
I are concerned, I trust that we are looking for something better
the Crown of Glory immortality. The class that will receive this
great exaltation with Christ is the class that “follow the Lamb
whithersoever He goeth.”

HE COMETH NOW TO REIGN

In Psa. 45:3, 4, the Psalmist tells us of the majesty of our Lord
Jesus when He comes to reign on earth. “Gird Thy Sword upon
Thy thigh, O most Mighty.” Our Lord here girds on His Sword,
that with it He should smite the nations. During all these
eighteen hundred years He has not until now girded on this
Sword. But now the time has arrived. The present great war is
the beginning of the work of disintegration. In this war we see a
general spirit of partisanship, even amongst professed Christian
people. We who are members of the Bride of Christ are to forget
that we are British or German or French, etc. We are to be rid of
all bias and false expectation, and thus be better able to see
God’s view of the whole matter.

The Lord wishes to have a judicial class. We are preparing to be
the judges of the world. “Know ye not that the saints are to judge
the world?” (1 Cor. 6:2) But we are not to attempt to be judges
now. We must not make that mistake. We see enough of this war
to know that, like all other wars, it is not of God, but of the Devil. We see that selfishness is at the bottom.

This war has been brewing for the past forty years. Each nation
has determined to have, if possible, what each considers its rights
upon the sea. Each nation has determined that rival nations shall
not have the supremacy. Jealousy and selfishness were rampant.
When the expense of naval and military armament became too
great to be longer borne, and there was imminent danger that the
people would revolt, the rulers said, “There must be war” not
expecting so much of it.

God is permitting the nations to take charge of the situation, but
He is overruling all to the accomplishment of His own glorious
purposes. In this war He will permit the world to try their power
and to come to the full end of their resources. God is saying, in
substance, “I have every thing ready. By the time that these
nations have used each other up, My Kingdom, that I have so
long promised, will take control. These nations can never bless
the world. I will let all the peoples of the earth see how foolish
their plans have been. Hitherto I have held back the winds of
strife; but now I am letting them loose; for I am ready to bring in
the blessings of My Kingdom.” Dan. 2:44

CITIZENS OF THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM

It would be very improper for us as Christians to have any prejudice one way or the other. We are to love all mankind. God’s true people are waiting to bless all the world. We do not wish to see any one injured; we are sorry that they do not know better than to injure and destroy one another as they are doing.

This spirit of selfishness which has prompted the war is spreading all over the world this antagonism, this striving for me and mine. What has the Spirit of the Lord to do with such selfishness? We are to remember that we belong to the Lord and to His Kingdom. If the whole world could get the spirit of our Master, what a changed world it would be! If all the churches in Europe had been teaching the principles of the Word of God, there would be no war. If all were Christians, there would be no soldiers and nobody killed. Over there in Europe the people claim to be practically all Christians. The Germans claim to be ninety-five per cent Christians; the British make the same claim. Italy is in the lead. It counts in all its people as Christians. These Christian-Italians have been studying the matter of going into this war, have been estimating how many would be killed and how much material advantage could be obtained by entering the war or by remaining out. For months they balanced it up and down. There they were, willing to barter the lives of millions of their own people and of others in order to get a little larger strip of territory under their king. How pitiable are such conditions!
“What manner of persons ought we (true Christians) to be!” We
should be the peacemakers of the world. Humanity are all deluded by their wrong doctrines. If they could see things properly, they would speedily bring this war to a conclusion. The Lutheran Church has been teaching the Germans and the Swedes, and the Church of England has been teaching the British, each in its place, that their kingdom is the Kingdom of God. Now they are in God’s holy war. (?) We are sorry. This is all that we can say. The war is a shameful spectacle. We whose eyes of understanding are opened know that all these earthly governments will meet with disaster, with ruin.
Let us, then, as true disciples of Christ, help each other. Let us
all be peacemakers and point others to the Kingdom of God’s
dear Son, which is soon to be inaugurated upon the ruins of the
present evil order, and which will prove to be “the desire of all
nations.” Then wars and all other calamities will be made to
cease forever; for nothing will be permitted to hurt or destroy in
all God’s holy Kingdom. Isa. 11:9

Your Reasonable Service

living-sacrifices“What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to
love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?” Mic. 6:8.

Who could find fault with these requirements? Who could say
that in setting such a standard for His creatures the Almighty
required too much? On the other hand, how could we imagine a
just and loving Heavenly Father requiring less than is here
stipulated. God’s law, variously stated, always amounts to the
same thing. The statement of it, as given to the Jews at Mt. Sinai,
embodied in the Decalogue, corresponds with this statement, as
does also the presentation of it set forth by the great Teacher,
saying, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind,
soul and strength; and thy neighbor as thyself”.

Many of us, after confessing with the Apostle Paul that the Divine Law is holy and just and good, have been surprised to find that that
which our minds heartily approve, we are unable to obey to the
full. For thirty-five hundred years the Jews have sought to keep
that Divine Law, under the promise of eternal life for so doing,
but none of them have been able to gain the prize. When as a
nation they realize their inability, and not sooner, they will be
ready to receive at God’s hands, as a free gift through the
Redeemer, the forgiveness of their violations of the Divine Law.
And then, under their New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; Heb. 8:8-13),
they will have Messiah’s assistance in regaining that perfection
of mind and body and a “new heart,” which will enable them to
obey in every particular the Divine Law, which all our minds
recognize as just and true, but which, because of heredity, we are
unable to perfectly obey in the flesh.

That blessing, which is soon to come to natural Israel, under
Messiah’s Kingdom and the New Covenant, will be extended
through them, as the natural seed of Abraham, to every nation,
kindred and tongue, in harmony with the Divine promise made
to Abraham.

A different, although a corresponding favor, is now, in advance,
bestowed upon a small class gathered from Jews and Gentiles,
and Scripturally known as the “Church of the First-Borns, whose
names are written in Heaven.” These, in advance, realize their
inability to keep the Divine Law, and by faith lay hold upon the
Redeemer’s merit and consecrate their all to God through Him.
In the Redeemer they are accepted of the Father; their heart endeavors for righteousness are recognized, and the flesh and its imperfections are renounced and counted as dead and are offset by the merit of the Redeemer. These are Scripturally classed as members of the Great Prophet, Priest, King and Mediator between God and men.
The thought of our text will be completed when all the faithful,
as members of the Messiah, “the little flock,” shall be made joint
heirs with him, as “the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife.”

ANALYZING OUR SUBJECT

We may demonstrate to ourselves the truthfulness of the
foregoing: What is it to do justly? It means much more than not
to overcharge our neighbor for the goods he may purchase of us.
It means much more than not to defraud him in the making of
change. To deal justly means justice between servant and master,
mistress and maid, buyer and seller that we should do to others
as we would that they should do to us; it means the strict
following of the Golden Rule enjoined by the Great Teacher.
Applying this principle of justice to our words, it means that we
should not speak evil of either friend or foe; that we should not
even insinuate evil. It means that we should not tell
unnecessarily what we know to be the truth, if it would harm our
neighbor, disparage him and discredit him in the eyes of others.
It means that we should love our neighbor and his interests as we
love our own, and should defend his interests and guard them as
carefully as we would our own.

Justice, in order to thus operate in our words and deeds, must
operate in our hearts in our minds. “As a man thinketh, so is he.”
If he thinks unkindly, ungenerously, unjustly, he will find it
impossible always to avoid unkind, unjust, unloving words or
actions. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.”
It follows then, that to do justly signifies absolute righteousness
in thought, in word, in conduct. Of this none of us is capable.
The nearest approach to this is the perfect or just intention of the
heart, covenanted by all those who become followers of the Lord
Jesus Christ. The intentions and good endeavors of these are
accepted of the Father.

As for the world, it will require long years of assistance and
uplifting out of weaknesses and imperfections of the flesh to
bring them to where their thoughts, words and deeds will be
absolutely just and in full accordance with the Golden Rule.
Their attainment of this will mean their getting rid of all the
imperfections of the flesh and, by full restitution, returning to the
image and likeness of God lost in Adam.

TO LOVE MERCY

All recognize mercy as a very proper, a very desirable quality.
All realize their need of Divine mercy. All should know that the
Divine purpose is that only those who show mercy to others will
themselves receive mercy at the Lord’s hands. Many, however,
while admitting all this and while seeking to practice mercy, do
not love it. Rather, they love vengeance, and are merely
constrained to mercy by the laws of the land, public sentiment
and the Word of God. Time and again this has been shown in the
case of lynchings. Mobs have gathered for the infliction of
punishment, glad of an opportunity for setting aside mercy and
letting loose justice, as they might express it. And in those mobs
have been many guilty of perhaps as great crimes as the one who
was mobbed. “O consistency, thou art a jewel!”

WALK HUMBLY WITH THY GOD

By a strange perversity of our fallen nature, those most able and
willing to follow the first two requirements are apt to be the most
delinquent in this third requirement. In a word, the just and
merciful are very apt to find themselves possessed of a spirit of
pride, a feeling of superiority to their fellows, a hindrance to
their having a humble walk with God. Those most humble
toward the Almighty are frequently those who have had great
sins and great weaknesses, which have helped to humble them.
Thus the Great Apostle, St. Paul, was allowed to retain a
measure of visual weakness as a reminder of the time when he
was a persecutor of Christ of the “Church which is his Body” as
a reminder of how the grace of God apprehended him on the way
to Damascus, and that without the Divine interposition he might
have continued hopelessly blind.

The Apostle refers to his weakness of eyes as a thorn in the flesh,
a messenger of Satan permitted to buffet him. The Lord declined
to remove the affliction, doubtless because it would keep the
Apostle humble enough to attend properly to the great work God
had for him to do without being puffed up to his own injury. The
Divine message was, “My grace is sufficient for thee; my
strength is made perfect in weakness.” Realizing the import of
this the Apostle cried out, “Rather, therefore, will I glory in mine
infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
And so may all God’s people, while realizing their inability to
live up to these Divine requirements, rejoice in the Divine
provision on their behalf that God’s grace is sufficient for them,
where their weakness is recognized and confessed and abhorred,
and his mercy appreciated, sought and accepted.