Category Archives: High Calling

Soldiers of Christ

“Thou therefore endure hardness; as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”- 2 Timothy 2:3

 Our earth is a great battle ground. Some political party, some sin, some vice, insects, disease. Some make it a business to fight—the soldier. We have to fight for our daily bread. When we become a Christian we do not stop fighting, but fight harder than ever, along different lines. We fight the good fight of faith. Many enlist; the Scriptures give comfort and encouragement for such.

 Two thousand years ago the first enlistment office was opened in Palestine; since thousands and thousands have enlisted. There are many points of similarity between being a soldier in the natural army and being a soldier in the spiritual army. One may enlist

in the natural army for five years or ten years only, but one enlists in the spiritual army for eternity. Everyone and anyone cannot enlist in the natural army; they must be so tall, must have a certain degree of health, etc. Even though one might be able to fight better, if they

cannot stand the tests they won’t have them. To enlist in the Lord’s army certain qualifications are necessary. They must first have accepted the Lord as their Savior and Redeemer. No matter how many good works you may have done, how intellectual you are, you will not be accepted unless you have fulfilled this first requirement.

 What does enlistment mean? What is required in any army? You have to go to the recruiting office, sign certain papers, surrender your right to yourself, have no will of your own. Your will must be your Captain’s will, you must go where he orders.

 When you join the Lord’s army consecration is enlistment. You must give up the fight for self and fight for the Lord–whether it is honor or dishonor. When you have taken this step you are in the Lord’s army (Rom. 12:1). Some fight once in a while, suffer a little, but how many are so wholly given up that they make it their chief aim?

 What prompts us to enlist in the Lord’s army? Five things:

1. Love and gratitude for what He has done for us. How strange if we were not willing to suffer a little! If we had the proper love and gratitude no one could keep us from enlisting.

 2. Because it is in harmony with nobility of character. There is nothing grander nor better than to fight for our Heavenly Father and His Son.

 3. Because we realize the reward at the end is grander and greater than in any other fight. See what the world gives! See what we get (2 Cor. 4:17,18).

 4. Because we realize that present wages are higher and more to be desired than wages in other armies. We get a hundred-fold. Nor could any say it is all trials. We have much joy and many blessings.

 5. Because those who become good soldiers will have opportunity for blessing the world and helping those around them more than any other way of living.

Don’t think everything is to be easy, it would be the wrong way to compare it to a soldier if we didn’t have hardness to endure. Hardness offset by joys outweigh the longest battle. The words fighting and striving show it will cost something. “Fight” (agonize) indicate there

is agony in the Christian life, nevertheless we have no reason to fear the trials because of the help of Christ. Who are our enemies? If we are soldiers we must be fighting. Where is the enemy to fight? The principal one is Satan himself (Eph. 6:12). We are small and weak in comparison with this great enemy. But “Fear not, they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”–2 Kings 6:16.

 “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you,” 1 John 3:13. Shows the world is against us. “Know ye not that he that is a friend of the world is an enemy of God.”–James 4:14.

 The worst enemy is in ourselves. We want to keep the spirit of bitterness, malice, envy, from getting a hold on our hearts. Anything which has a tendency to draw us away from our Lord is our enemy, no matter in what line.

 We need instructions how to fight (Psa. 144:1). Our Heavenly Father is our teacher; He shows us what to do, how to act toward our enemy that we may gain the victory. Various things we have to learn to be good soldiers. One essential is temperance (1 Cor. 9:25). If

athletes will go through so much to get their desire, how much a Christian should be willing to sacrifice. Soldiers endure much to get away from the enemy, sometimes throw away guns and blankets even though needed for their comfort; what should we be willing to sacrifice that we might escape the clutches of Satan? 

If our religion is worth anything, it is worth everything–business, society, affections, etc. How temperate we should be, we should use self-control in respect to appetites, desire for good things to eat, wealth, ambition. “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the

things of this life.” They are generally careful to select soldiers who are single, not entangled; if their mind is not on their business they will not make a good soldier. It isn’t wrong for a Christian to marry, the Apostle and our Lord show it is right; we have no right to judge anyone, it may be right in their case; but if it is possible to remain single, how much more we can do for His service. “He that marrieth doeth well, but he that marrieth not doeth better.” It is necessary for us to keep our eyes open lest the enemy entangle us and keep us from being good soldiers. Are we ordering our affairs so as to give the Lord more of our time? Are we giving more of our affection? Is our mind reverting to how we can do more for the Lord? (1 Thess. 5:5-8.) Be sober, soldiers who carouse and drink at night are not fit for the battle in the morning.If we take our fill of pleasure and the good things of this life, we will be unable to battle and will fail to get the victory.  Therefore are other things needed, courage, earnestness and faithfulness. 

Song of Solomon 6:4, “Terrible as an army with banners.” This seems puzzling, army with banners, why terrible? I asked a soldier, When men are at the point of giving up, the enemy strong, everything about to be lost, if a couple men run to the front and wave their banners, it renews the army’s earnestness and zeal; they rally and fight like demons; there is nothing so terrible as an army with banners. What are our banners? Song of Solomon 2:4. 

Love for Him, for the cause; there is no fear in love. Obedience is required, not only obedience but prompt obedience. Many are obedient but do not see the value of promptness to obey, don’t hesitate–promptness in practice, prompt in battle. If we cultivate the spirit which instantly obeys it will be easy to gain the battle. If the Lord commands us to do some little thing, if we lack the promptness we will fail when a decision is required. Study 1 Cor. 9:26. We are not to fight in any kind of a way. When two men are fighting one might gain the victory though the weaker, because his blows were studied, not in the air. Look and see what blows the Lord wants us to strike. Don’t think any kind of activity counts.–2 Tim. 2:5. 

What are our weapons? (2 Cor. 10:4,5.) Our weapons are not carnal, we are not to fight with bitterness, malice, etc., we are not to hurt others. “Casting down imaginations” (Eph. 6:11). “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper” (Psa. 149:6; Psa 144:2). A fortress,

who needs a fortress? Only a soldier and all others things our Heavenly Father will supply. A commissary department is run only for the soldier, all others will be turned away. Many want to know why it is they go to the Bible and can’t see these wonderful things that

others see. The Bible is food for the soldier and no other can enjoy it until he becomes a soldier (1 Cor. 9:7). Do they go at their own charges? Doesn’t the government provide? 

And will the Lord not provide for us? “My God shall supply all your need.” 

It would be a great blessing if we could realize what a fortress we have in our Heavenly Father. Many have trust, but do we have great trust? We should have. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Why no one can. Is not Satan against us with all his forces? He means to be against us, but in reality is for us; he is trying to injury God’s people, but he helps to develop us; his opposition stirs us up and when resisted we are strengthened and helped; he is really polishing us (Psa. 2:1-4). They might as well try to blow the sun out of existence; they can’t hurt the sun, neither can they hurt the plan. He laughs when He thinks of puny man trying to overthrow His plan. 

Soldiers are happy, light-hearted, with beautiful uniforms, but when hard work comes they don’t look so happy. We are light-hearted, but when more severe experiences come we may not feel so happy, but we may be just as determined to do the Lord’s will as ever. We don’t

have severe fighting at first, but must first practice before being sent out. It doesn’t matter if he hit the mark then; but he is supposed to do his very best. The zeal with which he practiced will tell in the great battle. The way we gain the victory in little things shows if we are going to gain in the big battle; great victory is made up of little victories. What makes us gain the victory? Faith, faith in the promises, God has put in His Word. 

The first victory gained is the victory gained at consecration. The Adversary and all our enemies will strive to prevent our making a consecration, and it is a question of how we are going to gain the victory. If we have faith in the Scriptures we see it is a reasonable service, we are not willing to do unreasonable service. If the Lord says it is reasonable we will do it. What gained the victory? Faith. It sometimes seems as if we can’t do it, are we going to gain the victory over that discouragement? It depends on faith. How? If we have faith in it, it will gain the victory. If my Heavenly Father has made provision for covering my imperfections, He knows I need it. There are battles in other lines–Pride–“Pride goes before destruction.” If we believe it we will try and put pride away. God gives us the victory. How? He gives us the promises. We want to understand what victory means. It does not mean to get the best of an argument. If I could get him to acknowledge he was wrong and I was right, would

that be victory? No. We may have had to say some very unkind things. The convincing of that man has lost the victory if we have been a little sarcastic, etc.; it wouldn’t be Christ-like, and even at that expense he may not be convinced. Our greatest defeats are often our

greatest victories. Does knowledge of the Bible gain the victory? No. If we come off victor we may not have known as much of the Bible as we might otherwise have known. Should we spend the time in studying if we have opportunity to go in the work? When have we

any time to study; if I stayed at home that would have cost me the victory. I might have known more about the letter of the Word, where the verse was, etc. 

Victory means in every case to put the Lord’s will first; it is a secondary matter what the result is. The Adversary is very wise and crafty, he tries to attract us from some important attack to some minor attack. Pay tithe of mint, or anise, and cummin, and omit the weightier matters of the Law. They didn’t know the first principles of what the Lord required of His followers. We should fear lest the Adversary defraud us out of the fruits of the fight. At the beginning of a war they were very strict in regard to desertion, in the latter part they gave men chances to desert. Why? All the men who deserted, though they fought all the four years lost an honorable discharge and a pension. If they fought only the last three months they got an honorable discharge and pension. The parallel is–At first the Lord hedges us in, though he doesn’t interfere with our free will; He has special care over the babies, but in time the Lord withdraws barriers and gives us a chance to desert; but it means the loss of all. Remember, there are two things every soldier has to learn:

First–To attain the mark. 

Second–To retain our position. Lay hold on eternal life. Keep on faithful unto the end.

Your Reasonable Service

living-sacrificesPaul wrote “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, which is your reasonable service” Rom12:1

We would do well to constantly keep in mind those words of encouragement and exhortation. That word reasonable means rational. Based upon what we know, based upon the hope set before us, based upon the ultimate sacrifice that was made on our behalf, to live our lives, as a living sacrifice is indeed the rational outcome. We are no longer our own, we have been purchased at a great price. More than this we were dead and are alive in Christ. Our past life should be gone, the old man must be crucified and the new man grow in the image of Christ. Paul wrote:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Phil 2:5

Paul was uncompromising in what he wrote. There are no if’s and but’s, no could or might, but a definite this is what you should do! There is a tendency in our day and age to avoid confrontation, to avoid directness and sometimes the result can be a dilution of the message. Paul however makes a very clear declaration as to what our correct attitude of mind must be.

Now this concept of our lives being living sacrifices is further expanded in verse 2, ‘be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind’. Now conformed means to be in harmony, to be in submission. That is something we plainly cannot be for there is no harmony with, and no submission to the world and its ways. There are no halfway measures, no compromise. Yet conformity and compromise is what we naturally tend towards. Our human nature tends towards the world and all it holds, for such things are natural to us.

On the other hand our minds need to be transformed, changed and remodelled. This is a process as Paul states by the renewing of our minds. The antagonism between what is natural and this renewal process is the inner battle that we all face daily. Paul wrote eloquently of that inner dialogue in Romans 7:14-25. Paul writes:

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Rom 7:14-19

O how we can all echo those sentiments! What we know to be right, what we want to do, we do not do. What we know to be wrong, what we desire not to do, those things we do.

Wretched indeed is our state, unless we offer our lives as a living sacrifice, unless we are transformed in our thinking and attitude. There is no mystery as to how we do this; there is no mystical way it will happen. The manner of our renewal is perfectly clear, put on the mind of Christ! To do this takes effort. As we read the scriptures, as we understand and learn, as we grow in love for our Master, that transforming process will take place.

On the other hand if we conform to the thinking and ways of the world, we shall be ‘still born’. The transformation will not take place and our lives will have been lived in vanity.

The principles of scripture are directly opposite to the conformity to human nature. Paul writes:

“I say (through the grace given unto me) to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.”

Now conformity to the world teaches self-elevation, ambition, self-assertion, self-reliance and self-confidence. The transformation by taking on the mind of Christ teaches, humility, trust, faith, self-effacement and service. It is an attitude of mind that carries out honest self-examination and weighs self against the example of Christ. Nevertheless, this is only the beginning of the process, for self-examination must then lead to action by making the necessary adjustments to change our disposition to be more Christ like.

In other words we must “think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” No matter what we consider to be our abilities, skills, knowledge or status in a worldly sense, we have come to Christ and a measure of faith in spite of these, not because of them. Further, in a spiritual sense, we have no abilities, skills, knowledge, or duty that has not been given to us! What we most certainly do not have is status!

It is well within the capacity of every single brother or sister, no matter what his or her abilities, to keep the Truth bright, alive and shining in their lives. It lies within the capacity of all to have a living faith. That living faith will be an example to those about them, both within the Truth and without. A living faith manifested by giving that ‘reasonable service’ Paul speaks about will be demonstrated by the works of faith. James states quite plainly that faith without works is dead!

Our Heavenly Father is just; He has not called us to failure, but rather to inherit eternal life. He has seen fit to extend His mercy towards us, to call us out to have a part in His purpose. He will not test us beyond that which we can bear, He is not willing that any should perish. The only source of failure is us! Yet we all have the potential to be transformed from something ignoble, into a vessel fit for use.

Now we need to be clear that to live a life as a ‘living sacrifice’ does not imply a disregard for temporal things, for indeed diligence in daily life is part of our reasonable service. Indeed Paul tells us “to provide things honest in the sight of all men.” We need to provide for families, for work in the Truth and for all the many things needed in service to the Lord. But we do these things recognising that ultimately it is God that provides and in all things giving thanks unto Him. In all that we undertake, we must act as ‘ambassadors’ of the Truth setting an example for those about us, but at the same time maintaining a distance from conformity to the world.

If we daily contemplate the mercy and blessings that our Creator has graciously bestowed upon us, being thankful for each new day of life and opportunity, then that transformation of mind will gradually take place. Our perspectives will change, our values will change and our aspirations will change. We will live each day of our lives as ‘living sacrifices’ to the Lord our God.

The effort required now, will pale into insignificance when compared the eternal joy of being invited to take a place in that glorious Kingdom to come. When we are permitted to see the Masters smiling face and “to see the King in all his beauty and view that land that stretches afar” it will be all worthwhile.

Therefore despite our frailty and weakness let us all hold fast, continuing instant in prayer and striving to be faithful in all things, for great indeed is the life set before us. Life as it was meant to be. Life in harmony with our Creator, life in harmony with His great purpose, life in harmony with creation. When we consider how undeserving we are, O how we are moved to say with Paul:

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Rom 8:33-36

What is a Christian?

bible“Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (Acts 26:28)

A Christian is a person who intelligently believes that he is by nature a sinner, that by Divine grace Jesus Christ the Righteous died for his sins and that through faith in the atoning blood and obedience to the Redeemer’s -teachings he has become “a New Creature in Christ Jesus.”  For such, “Old things have passed away, and all things have become new.”  Such New Creatures are separate and distinct from all other members of the race.  Instead of earthly aims, ambitions and hopes, theirs are Heavenly.

Getting Into Christ’s Body

It is not sufficient that these should make the proper start of faith in Christ and full consecration to do God’s will and not their own wills.  It is incumbent upon them, after having made such a start and after having been begotten of the Holy Spirit, that they shall grow in grace, knowledge and love. (2 Peter 3:18)  This is styled “putting on Christ”; that is to say, adding the graces of character which God will accept and reward with association with the Lord Jesus Christ in His Kingdom.  For these God has made provision of spiritual food in the Bible–“meat in due season for the Household of Faith.” (Matthew 24:45)  These are represented as at first “babes in Christ,” requiring “the milk of the Word,” but if faithful gradually attaining full stature–“strong in the Lord and the power of His might.”

Such spirit-begotten Christians must needs “fight a good fight”–not with others, but with themselves–overcoming the weaknesses and besetments of their own fallen flesh, the allurements of their environment and the wiles of the Adversary.  Such as are faithful in these respects are Scripturally styled “overcomers,” “the very Elect.”  The promise to them is that they shall have part in the Chief, or best, Resurrection, and thereafter be no longer humans, but spirit beings of the highest order–“partakers of the Divine nature.”  These in death are “sown in weakness,” “in dishonor,” human beings, but are raised from the dead “in glory,” “in power,” spirit beings. I Corinthians 15:43.

Jesus’ promise to these overcomers reads, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I overcame and am set down with My Father in His Throne” — “I will give him power over the nations, etc.  Again He says, “Blessed and holy are all those who have part in the Chief Resurrection: on such the Second Death hath no power, but they shall be priests unto God and unto Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Rev. 3:21; 2:26; 20:6

All Jesus’ teachings are applicable to this special class; namely, those who become His disciples, His followers, His pupils.  He did not assume to be a Teacher of the world, but merely of those who leave the world, sacrificing all to become His disciples.  To these He said, “Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”  Again, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.”  The great Teacher did not include the nominal church as His disciples, but rather counted them in with the world.  In evidence of this, we note the fact that the world which persecuted Him was the Jewish nation, professedly God’s consecrated people; and that those who have persecuted the followers of Jesus have like-wise been nominally people of God, but really of the world.

Duties, Rights and Privileges of Christians

These are the Christians addressed by the Master, saying, “I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other, also.  And if any man shall sue thee at law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” Matthew 5:39-42.

The thought of non-resistance is here, yet not to the extreme degree supposed by some.  The turning of the other cheek, as illustrated by Jesus’ own conduct, was a figurative expression, signifying the willingness to have both cheeks smitten rather than to do injury to another.  Christians are to be law-abiding, whether they consider the laws just or unjust.  If, therefore, the law deprive them of a coat, they are to yield it up.  If it go still further and deprive them of their cloak, they are still to be non-resistant to the law, but submit to it with good grace, knowing that hereunto they are called.

Be it noted that neither the coat nor the cloak was to be given up upon demand merely, but only after the law, justly or unjustly, had so decreed.  Similarly with respect to the compulsory walking of a mile; the Christian is not to submit himself to every whim of everybody; but, seeking to do the will of God, he is to go about his own business, unless the opposition to him amount to a compelling.  And this compelling, under ordinary circumstances, would mean a legal compelling; for the protection of the laws of the land in which he lives may be sought to protect his rights and liberties, as St. Paul appealed to governors and kings.

Christians Live for the Future

Christians are to love their enemies in the same sense that God loves the world–sympathetically.  They are not to love their enemies in the same affectionate love and tenderness, such as they bestow upon their families, friends and lovable persons.  Their love for their enemies, as defined by Jesus, should be such as would lead them to feed their bitterest enemy if he were hungry, to clothe him if he were naked.  They should not pray against their enemies but for their enemies in the sense of wishing, desiring for them enlightenment and true wisdom, which would turn them from being enemies and evil-doers, to make of them followers of Jesus or, at least, well-doers.

Christians are not to lay up for themselves treasures on earth; for they renounced the earth and all hopes of a future life upon earth.  Their walk in the footsteps of Jesus signifies that as He cast aside earthly ambitions, hopes and aims, so would they, taking instead the Heavenly ambitions, hopes and aims.  In other words, they live for the future.  This will not hinder them from the ordinary pursuits of life to the extent that may be necessary in “providing things honest in the sight of all men”–in providing for their families, etc.  But, with these Christians, any over-plus above life’s necessities represents so much opportunity for serving the Lord and His cause; and in so doing these are laying up treasure in Heaven–a future reward.

This does not signify that they must live “from hand to mouth” nor that, if they have possessions, they must riotously distribute these to others.  On the contrary, they are to seek in all things to have the mind of the Lord-to do God’s will.  God’s mind is a sound mind; and these Christians, in seeking to do God’s will, are said to have “the spirit of a sound mind.”  This dictates that they should live wisely and economically.

Christian Stewardship and Citizenship

To these Christians, everything that comes to them or that they possess by nature is considered a thing of God, because in becoming followers of Christ they make a full consecration of their wills–their all–to God.  Hence from that moment forward these Christians are stewards of God’s mercies-stewards of their time, their talents, their influence, their property, their all.  According to the way they use their stewardship, investing their talents to the Master’s praise, will be His commendation of them, as represented in the parable.  Whether many talents are possessed or few, the commendation is to those who have done well, have been good and faithful in the use of their talents, not for self-aggrandizement or show, or worldly accumulations of treasure, but faithful in the service of God, showing forth God’s praises in the assisting of others and themselves to the knowing and doing of the Divine will.

Christians are to “lend, hoping for nothing in return,” and not, as the world, merely to be willing to do good and to lend to those who would do as much or more in return.  Christians are thus to illustrate the fact that they are children of the Highest, that they have been begotten of God, that they have His Holy Spirit and disposition, and that it is shining out more and more in their words and conduct as they grow in the character-likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians are not to go to war.  Their fight is not to be with carnal weapons, but with “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”  They have the most powerful weapon known in the world for their warfare.  This does not signify that they may not put bolts and bars upon their doors to prevent robbery.  It does not signify that they may not call for police protection; for this is a thing they pay for in taxation and are entitled to according to the laws of the world.  They may not claim of their own nation anything than an alien might not claim; but they may claim all that an alien may claim.  Indeed, Christians are styled aliens, stranger, foreigners, so far as the present government of the world is concerned.  Their citizenship, according to the Bible, is the Heavenly one, which they will fully enter into when they shall have shared the Chief Resurrection.

No Christian Nations

The Bible knows nothing of Christian nations or of a Christian world.  The Bible puts the Christian as separate and distinct from the world and from all nations.  Christians are a nation, or people, by themselves, in the same sense that the Jews are a nation, or people, by themselves.  “Ye are a Royal Priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people”–a people for a purpose. (I Peter 2:9)  The term Christian nation comes from a serious doctrinal error which crept into the Church about 800 A.D.  At that time, Pope Leo III began to recognize as Christian nations all the nations which recognized his Pontificate.  The custom has prevailed and is still in vogue amongst Protestants and Catholics; but it is wholly unscriptural.

A Christian conscripted to the army or the navy would be “subject to the powers that be,” and obeying the Master’s words would go, as in Math. 5:41, “Whosoever shall compel thee to go.”  The Christian compelled to enter the army or the navy might properly request service as a noncombatant in the Quartermaster’s Department or in the Hospital Department; but, if required to kill, he is to obey God rather than man, and not kill.  He may comply with his orders to the extent of going into the trenches and being shot at, but no further.

Is it urged that such a view of Christianity would wreck our present civilization?  We reply that nothing in the Bible implies that our civilization is Christian or that the Lord ever expected it to be Christian.  God’s time for saving the world from its sin and weakness has not yet come.  The present is merely the time for calling, finding, testing and delivering the Elect.  The Elect, when glorified, will constitute Messiah’s Kingdom, and with Him will be empowered fully with spiritual control for the government of the entire world.

Then will come the time for the enlightenment and uplift and blessing of the whole world of mankind–the non-elects.  Theirs will not be a blessing of the same kind that the Elect will secure, but a blessing which they will appreciate equally.  The world’s blessing and salvation will not signify a change of nature from human to Spirit, but a Restitution to human perfection. (Acts 3:19-23)

What are today styled “Christian nations” are in the Bible styled “kingdoms of this world”; and their complete disintegration is Scripturally outlined as incidental to the establishment of God’s glorious Kingdom under Messiah, for which we pray, “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as in Heaven.”

Some may wonder how it ever came to pass that all the people of civilized lands are enumerated as Christians–except Jews and professed infidels.  Statistics tell us that all the inhabitants of Italy are Christian; that more than ninety-nine per cent of the population of Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, etc., are Christians; and that the total number of Christians thus reckoned is nearly five hundred millions.  Surely it is time that intelligent people realize that some great mistake has been made and that more than ninety-nine per cent of these “Christians” make no pretense of being followers of Jesus.

The error arose in the now long ago, when Pope Leo III, recognized a king as a Christian king and his kingdom as a Christian kingdom, he recognized that king’s subjects as Christian.  There we have the matter in a nut-shell.  The whole thing was a mistake.  The king was not a Christian, did not know the meaning of Christianity and was not taught it.  His kingdom was not a Christian kingdom, and his people were not Christians.

Meantime, here and there, obscured to the world, there have been true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ in every denomination.  They have been out of accord generally with the great leaders of the church systems as well as with the political leaders of the world.  It has been true of them as the Apostle wrote: “The world knoweth us not, even as it knew Him not.” (I John 3:I)  The world does not yet know, understand or appreciate that the Church of Christ is not to be found in any of the professed churches of various names–Roman, English, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, etc. The Church of Christ is composed exclusively of those who have made covenant with the Lord through faith in the precious blood, who have been accepted of the Lord by the begetting of the Holy Spirit, and who are seeking to walk to the best of their ability in the footsteps of Jesus. I Peter 2:21.

Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

The theory that Christians only are saved from eternal torture has had much to do with the error of counting all civilized people Christians.  The creeds save Christians only–Jews, Mohammedans, heathen, all go to Hell, to roast eternally.  Roman Catholics provide a Second Chance for members of their church, in Purgatory; and many Protestants hold to a Second Chance for the heathen who have never heard of Christ.  All the while, however, the Bible declares for only one chance, but that a full one for every member of the human family.

The only chance offered during this Gospel Age is the opportunity of becoming a member of the Church–a true follower of Jesus.  Such are to get the Heavenly inheritance, but not until the Resurrection.  The remainder of the world will be offered an earthly future; and this offer will begin with the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom of a thousand years.

The Bible nowhere teaches that either saints or sinners pass to a conscious condition at death.  The Bible declares that they all “sleep,” and that the awakening time will be at the Second Coming of the Redeemer to establish His Kingdom.  The Fist Resurrection will be the Church, and subsequently “every man in his own order.”  When once the fact is grasped that the Bible Hell is the grave–Sheol, Hades–then all is plain.

The great Divinely arranged Purgatory, to last a thousand years, will be glorious.  All the heathen and the ignorant, superstitious millions of Christendom, who were taught to call themselves Christians, but who knew that they were not, will have the opportunity of coming to a knowledge of the true God and of His gracious provision for them.

As A Man Soweth So Shall He Reap

2770“Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 6:12

During this present time the merit of Christ’s righteousness is imputed to the church class in order to permit them to become New Creatures in Christ, of a different order from the world. The sins of those who now leave the world to follow Jesus are covered by the imputation of His sacrificial merit, that they may join Him in sacrifice and thus be accounted worthy to reign with Him in the coming time of blessing for the world the Millennial Age. They are to be a distinctly new creation. This covering of their sins lasts from the time when they become Christians until the end of their journey here below.

During this period each one will have a battle against the downward tendencies of his flesh a severe conflict; and by the close of his earthly life he will have demonstrated to the Lord to what extent he has been loyal and true in the striving against sin; for that which constitutes our battle as children of God, as soldiers of the Cross, is not merely a campaign against error. In times past we have all been under a cloud of error. It is important indeed to have recognized this condition and to have come out into the light of God’s Truth. We are not to minimize the value of correct doctrine. But this is not the main thing; it is only a means to an end. The most important thing is to get rid of sin.

There are errors of mind, of doctrine, of thought, of morals, of character. From childhood all these things had been going on in our life. We did not realize just what they were. As to errors of doctrine, few preached about them. Ministers of the Gospel said nothing about them; in fact, many of the clergy did not recognize these things as errors. But now we see very clearly what the Bible has to say about doctrine. Now we see that God wishes His people to be free from doctrinal errors. But especially does He wish them to be free from any sympathy with sin, unrighteousness, iniquity, injustice.

In other words, God wished His people to be very loyal to the golden rule. This is the first proposition; and to learn this lesson requires sometimes the experience of years. Very many have never practiced justice. They are unjust in their dealings with their families. Husbands deal unjustly with their wives, parents with their children, wives with husbands, and children with parents. With some people injustice would seem to be the rule of life.

But from the time when we become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and see how justice is written in the law of God, we begin to perceive that God expects us to observe the golden rule. We should begin to do right in our own families with our parents, our children, our companions in life. This golden rule will affect all the affairs of life. It applies everywhere and in everything. “Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.” As we learn to consider carefully, in our dealings with others, to do for them and toward them as we would wish them to do for us and toward us, we shall find a great transformation going on within us. Gradually the whole course of life is changed.

GREAT DILIGENCE NECESSARY
If we could get this rule thoroughly worked into our hearts and lives, it would prove to be one of the greatest possible blessings, not only to ourselves, but also to others. No part of God’s instruction to the church is more important than this exhortation to justice. Nothing that He ever does is out of line with absolute justice; and He has invited His people to copy His character-likeness. He wishes us to cultivate and develop in ourselves the great qualities which He possesses and which He has illustrated to us.

There are brethren in Christ who from outward appearance are seemingly not so far advanced as they might be in this respect. Measure not yourselves by the world; for the world does not heed the golden rule. We are not to measure them as we measure ourselves; we are not to expect as much from them. Neither should we measure ourselves by other Christians. (2 Cor. 10:12) Some who are called Christians are only morally inclined people who have never been begotten of the holy Spirit, who have never come into the School of Christ. We appreciate their characters, but we are not to measure ourselves by them. We should measure ourselves only by the Word of our Lord, which asks, “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and Godliness?” 2 Pet 3:11

This pointed question of the Apostle Peter implies that the Church of Christ are a special class, different from all other people in the world a peculiar people, as the Apostle Paul puts it not peculiar in dress, but zealous of good works, zealous for everything that is right, laying down their lives for the Truth, in the service of others. Titus 2:14

In other words, God wishes His people to be very loyal to the golden rule. this is the first proposition; and to learn this lesson requires sometimes the experience of years. Very many have never practiced justice. They are unjust in their dealings with their families. Husbands deal unjustly with their wives, parents with their children, wives with husbands, and children with parents. With some people injustice would seem to be the rule of life.

But from the time when we become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and see how justice is written in the law of God, we begin to perceive that God expects us to observe the golden rule. We should begin to do right in our own families with our parents, our children, our companions in life. This golden rule will affect all the affairs of life. It applies everywhere and in everything. “Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.” As we learn to consider carefully, in our dealings with others, to do for them and toward them as we would wish them to do for us and toward us, we shall find a great transformation going on within us. Gradually the whole course of life is changed.

JUSTICE IN THE HOME
We should endeavor not only to say nothing to our families that would injure them, but rather to study to be a blessing to them. And so with our dealings with all. Every human being calls for justice. As followers of Christ, we are to be foremost in exercising justice toward all. There should be nothing less than this in our intentions. If with our heart we are recognizing the golden rule, we shall continually seek to think as generously of our neighbor as we would wish him to think of us, and to speak as kindly of him as we would wish him to speak of us. The principle of doing good to others would be exercised toward all.

Some who seem to be exact in their dealings with the world, who would not keep even one cent back from the person to whom it was due, appear to be very careless in dealing with their loved ones, treating them very unjustly. This should not be. Justice is the foundation of the Throne of God; in practicing the golden rule we become more and more like our Heavenly Father. He does to others only what He would wish them to do to Him. As He would not wish others to roast Him or torture Him, so He does not roast or torture them.

Let us ever keep the golden rule in mind, and it will furnish us with the very essence of the spirit of justice. First and always, let us treat others as we would wish them to treat us. Afterwards, let us do a little more; but let us strive never to come short on this fundamental principle. We should indeed, as Christians, give more than justice, but never less. Love will lead us to do more, even as it led our Lord Jesus. He kept the golden rule inviolate in every instance. He never did less than justice; but He did more, much more. He gave His life for others.

And this is what His followers have engaged to do. This is our covenant. We are to follow the golden rule, and then do more. We are to lay down our lives for the brethren and to do for the world as we have opportunity. This is the Bible thought for Jesus’ disciples. It is one which should appeal to us even from the human standpoint as being the highest ideal of Christian living.

FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT
There is no place where we can better learn to rule our own spirit than in our own home. With husband and wife, with parent and child, with brother and sister, the constant practice of the golden rule is an important matter. The battle with self is the greatest battle the Christian must fight; for in it he learns to exercise his will in the right direction in the direction of control of self. It is only after we have conquered self, only after we have become master of our own flesh, only after we have subdued anger, malice, hatred and strife in our own hearts, that we are enabled, by means of these severe battles with our own weaknesses, to assist others, to aid them by our example to overcome their own besetments and infirmities.

No matter where this conflict may begin, we find entrenched within ourselves many armed and opposing powers. These have possession of us by heredity; they are there as the result of Father Adam’s fall. If, when we begin the battle, we have passed the days of youth, these imperfections and weaknesses are all the more strongly entrenched; and it requires the greater conflict to rout them. But he that would win the prize of the high calling must fight the good fight of faith down to the very end of his earthly existence.

This continual battle of the new mind against the fallen flesh is a good fight in the sense that the New Creature is fighting against the weaknesses and besetments of the fallen human nature, against temptations from within and from without, that appeal to us as human beings. It is a fight of faith because the entire course of the New Creature is one of faith; for “we walk by faith, not by sight.” In this battle we could never succeed without aid from on High. Hence, we must watch and pray. We must put on securely “the whole armor of God.” Eph. 6:12-18

INSPIRATION OF GOD’S PROMISES

All of use who have become true followers of Christ have had these thoughts come before our minds. As we progress, we learn better what God wishes for us. When first we gave our hearts to the Lord we did not know all that is included in full consecration. Many things were hidden from the eyes of our understanding. But as we have gone on step by step, the Lord has brought us to the clear realization that we must suffer with Christ. Let us, then, progress along this way of sacrifice sacrificing our lives for the Truth, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Although we have learned that it is our privilege to sacrifice our lives with Christ, yet the greatest lesson for us to learn is what God is to do for us. He is the One who is doing the really great things. Our hearts are stirred within us by His great and precious promises. We feed upon them and meditate upon them. We are enamored of the things which eye hath not seen nor ear heard.

Thus we grow stronger, taller, as Christians day by day. With our desire to grow ever increasing, we see the necessity for meeting together with others of like precious faith in order to build each other up in the most holy faith. We see the Heavenly things more clearly. Other things pass away from our vision. We see the great basic principles of justice and love, and realize their bearing upon our lives in every respect.

NATURAL TRAITS REQUIRE ATTENTION
We note that after we have made our consecration and have learned that God has justified us freely from all sin through our Lord Jesus Christ, there is a tendency with some of the Lord’s people to violate unintentionally the fundamental principles of justice and love as existent in the Divine character and manifested in the Divine dealings with the people of God. It is not enough that we should have to walk in the ways of the Lord, and that we should recognize the downward tendencies of sin. If we have the spirit of the Lord, we shall be anxious to do right. We shall meditate upon God’s character; and as we see these basic attributes, we shall endeavor to copy them. Thus the work of grace in our hearts will continue and increase, more and more transforming us into the character-likeness of God’s dear Son.

We are not to judge one another in these things, however. “The Lord will judge His people,” according to His knowledge of their abilities. Mercy will be granted for every unintentional defect; but no mercy will be extended toward those things which we could avoid. Whatever ability we possess we are responsible for; and God will hold us responsible if we do not do our best with what we have. Those who are living up to their opportunities and privileges should go on with courage, doing their best, exercising full faith and confidence in the Lord; for He has promised a sufficiency of grace to cover every imperfection. But there is no excuse for any one to live in careless neglect of his duties and responsibilities. Such are not fighting the good fight of faith.

It is the New Creature who will be held responsible for carelessness respecting conduct, for indifference to the requirements of the golden rule and to the additional exercises of love; and it is he who will fail to receive the commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” unless he exercise great care respecting these important matters. God will have none in that special class of overcomers [HGL814] except those who measure fully up to the standard of His requirements. If we are to be the future judges of the world, we must cultivate justice as well as love, so as to be fit to occupy positions of influence and power, in which we shall be able to bless all the families of the earth.

IN THE NEW DISPENSATION
During the Millennial Age, the Lord Jesus will deal with the world. As He declared “All that are in their graves shall hear His voice (‘the voice of the Son of Man’), and shall come forth.” (John 5:25, 28, 29) Those who thus come forth will be the same imperfect beings that they were when they died. Justice will turn them over to Christ imperfect just as they went down into death. The lifting up to human perfection of all who are willing and obedient will be the work of the incoming age. The lower down they were, the more steps will they be required to take in order to climb up to perfection. Some will have much more to overcome than will others. But in every case the test will be the same.

The Messianic reign will be the world’s judgment day. As the Master said, it will be more tolerable in that day for those who during this life had less opportunity than it will be for those who had more. (Matt. 11:20-24) The latter class will come forth more tainted in mind, weaker in character, less inclined to hearken and obey; whereas those who had not heard the message of God’s love will be all the more inclined to give heed. The judgment day will be a tolerable time for all mankind, but more tolerable for those who have never before heard and have never known.

Confucius, for example, will come forth in the Messianic Kingdom, and will be a towering giant morally amongst the people in that day. Many who see him will be surprised at what a strong character he will be a heathen man, who lived without our opportunities, who heard no church bells, who attended no church services. As they behold him, some will say, “If only we had availed ourselves of the privileges and opportunities that we had, we might have attained a place even amongst the glorified saints in Heaven.” But when they consider themselves in the light of their past lives, they will conclude that they are in their proper position; and, stimulated by the example of various worthy characters, as well as encouraged by the assistance afforded them at that time, they will strive to progress as rapidly as possible. Gradually they will learn the rules of the Kingdom the laws of righteousness, based upon justice and love. Those who are willing and obedient will attain unto life everlasting; but the unwilling and disobedient will be cut off in the second death.

The Christian Calling

the_call_webThe New Testament continually calls Christians-the “church.”  Remember the Greek word translated “church” means “called out ones.” In other words, a minority is called out from the majority of the human race.

Consequently, many scriptures use the words “elect,” “elected,” “election,” and “elect’s” (sometimes translated “chosen”) to denote God’s dealing with Christians. Matthew 24:31; Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:10 and 2 Timothy 2:10 are a few examples of this usage.

This word describes the special selection of a smaller class (“little flock”) from the human race before all of humanity has its opportunity for salvation in the Kingdom.

What is this special calling or selection of the church? Christians are called to the multiple profession of judges, priests and kings of mankind in Christ’s Kingdom. What an honor! At first our faith staggers. But the Scriptures are explicit on this point. 1 Corinthians 6:2 states that “the saints shall judge the world.” 1 Peter 2:9 shows Christians are called to be a “royal [kingly] priesthood.” Similarly,
Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 states we are called of God to be “kings and priests” and “we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 20:6 states that Christians “shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

Judges, priests, kings! What a profession Christians have been called to! But what a rigorous training course the Christian must pursue to attain this profession. Do you as a Christian see God working in your life-preparing you for this profession?

Judges

Christians will share with Christ in judging the world (1 Corinthians 6:2; John 5:22). John 5:28, 29 states that “ALL that are in the graves. . .shall come forth, they [Christians] that have done good, unto the resurrection of life [live and reign with Christ, Revelation 20:4]; and they that have done evil [the remainder of men] to a resurrection by krisis [Greek].” Many translations say, “resurrection of judgment,” but the Greek is literally “resurrection of krisis.” A doctor will speak of a patient reaching his crisis. He doesn’t mean the patient will die. Rather, the crisis time is when the patient will take a turn for the better or the worse.

The “krisis” or probation time for the remainder of men will be in Christ’s Kingdom. Therefore, their trial will not be based on the works of this life but their works during the Kingdom. Thus, the risen Lord says in Revelation 22:12, “Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work SHALL BE.” Christians will share with Christ in judging people according to their works in the Kingdom, their probation time.

The word “krisis” has been incorporated into many different languages. The Chinese write in symbols. And they use two symbols to denote “krisis.” One symbol denotes danger, the other conveys opportunity. Humanity’s trial or “krisis” in the Kingdom will offer the opportunity to attain eternal life. But it will also be a time of danger.
Those who fail to meet God’s conditions for attaining eternal life will be condemned to Second Death (Revelation 20:13-15).

Priests and Kings

Christians will not only be judges, but also merciful and sympathetic priests who will bless each member of the world with every possible help and opportunity to attain eternal life. Thus, the Scriptures show that Jesus and his church (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6) will not only be rulers over the remainder of men but also priests,
blessers. Hebrews 9:23 reveals that Israel’s tabernacle was a picture
of better things to come. After Israel’s high priest provided sacrifices for reconciliation on the Day of Atonement, the priests during the remainder of the year instructed, judged and blessed the people. Hebrews 5:1,2, states that Israel’s priests could have “compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” Jesus was perfect, but he is able to sympathize with our infirmities as our High Priest because he was tempted in all points like us yet without sin (Hebrews 2:17,18; 4:15).

Being Made Christ-like

Unlike Jesus we have physical infirmities and moral weakness. Additionally, every hardship and tragedy that happens to the human race also happens to Christians (1 Corinthians 10:13). The word “temptation” would better be rendered trial, actually a test permitted of God to instruct us. But “God is faithful, Who will not suffer [permit] you to be tried above that ye are able.” If we are “babes in Christ,” God might remove the trial or hardship. But there is “a way of escape” that our “faithful God” would prefer to provide
during our hardships and tragedies-that His Holy Spirit would develop in us the spiritual maturity “that ye may be able to bear [endure] it.” But why should we endure tragedies instead of having God remove them? Remember God is training us to be sympathetic priests. Thus Peter says in 1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at
the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Christians who are rightly exercised by their difficulties are changed from glory to glory into the character likeness of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Their exercising the spirit of Christ while struggling with their infirmities and hardships develops in them love, sympathy and understanding for their fellowman.

Just as the firstborn of the nation of Israel was representative of each family in Israel so the “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23) will have experienced all the problems, hardships, tragedies mankind has endured. This preparation will qualify them to be merciful and  sympathetic priests, judges and rulers of mankind in the Kingdom. Are your difficult experiences making you
sympathetic and merciful to others?

There is much more to the Christian life than accepting Jesus. Peter observed in 2 Peter 1:5-11, “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness
love. . .for if you do these things, ye shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into
the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Only if we develop these character qualities will we qualify to reign with Christ as kings and priests in his Kingdom (Revelation 20:6).

With a hope like this we can only conclude as Jesus did, that no suffering or tragedy is too great. Hebrews 12:2-4, “. . .who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be
wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” With a hope like this let us follow in his footsteps and “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter
various trials” (James 1:2, NAS).

The New Creation

new creationThe New Creation is brought to our attention in contradistinction to a former or older creation, when Jehovah created Adam a perfect man and made it possible for him to keep Jehovah’s perfect law. This Adam did not do, Ge nesis 2:17.

You remember that before transgressing Jehovah’s law God said to him: “Have dominion over the earth, etc.” Not in heaven, but have dominion on earth. Not multiply and fill heaven. One of Jehovah’s purposes is to fill the earth with perfect beings. This will be accomplished at the end of the Times of Restitution, at the end of the Millennial Age. This will be accomplished by a certain number of persons, known as the New Creation, with the Lord Jesus as the Head and the Church as His Body — the Christ, Head and Body. As many as have been baptized into Jesus Christ have put on Christ.

At his resurrection, he came into possession of all power in heaven and earth. Has he since been undoing all the work of Satan? No. First Jehovah authorized the Gentiles to have power; this began 25 centuries ago, and we have good Bible authority that it will end soon. Second, it was Jehovah’s plan to prepare a Bride for the heavenly Bridegroom.

If you are of the class whose names are cast out as evil, rejoice. Do not go around with a long face. No, we are to count it all joy when we fall into diverse trials, etc. All who are joint-heirs must take the steps he took, but we must take one step which he never took.

The scriptures tell us of Adam’s perfection and fall, how the world fell with him, and how it required the perfect Man Christ Jesus to take Adam’s place in death, in order to thus lift mankind from condemnation and death, to justification and life. This last step from condemnation our Lord did not have to take. All the other steps that the Lord did take, consecration, sacrifice, baptism into death, etc., we also take with him.

When our Lord Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan by John, he became the Head of the New Creation, and for us to become members of the Body, we must believe with head and heart. If one is justified, is he not a member of the New Creation? No. He must offer himself a living sacrifice.

The world is not called to repent, but to reform. Sodomites and those of Gomorrah would not have been Christians if they had reformed. In Titus 3:5, we read that we are saved by the “washing of regeneration.” As a New Creature, your human nature has gone out of existence. It is this New Creature that is now running the race and which God is judging. The old man Draper could sin, and get much out of harmony with God. It is the New Creature that cannot sin. We have the mind of Christ. He did not say that we had the body of Christ. The natural man is not subject to the law of God. A wrong disposition of the flesh is not the new will, but we should get control. Browbeat the old man. Not someone else, but I am to browbeat the old man Draper, and you are to browbeat your old nature. Don’t listen to him at all. Tell him you have no time to give to him. He will want to explain this and that and to compromise with the new mind, if possible, but it is for you to browbeat him. Keep him down. The old nature dies hard. Do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies. Do not say there is no sin there, for there is, but do not let it reign there.

Sometimes our best friends on earth are adversaries to us in wishing us not to be so strict in our walk in the narrow way. He gave the illustration of our Lord and Peter, showing how Peter was both favored and rebuked by the Lord. First, when our Lord asked whom the world said he was; some replied that he was one thing and another something else.

Then Peter was asked and he replied: “Thou are the Son of the Living God.” The Lord replied that flesh and blood had not revealed it to him, but God had. This might have made Peter a little puffed up to think the Lord would reveal something to him, etc. Later when the Lord spoke about his intention to go to Jerusalem, and that he would be persecuted and crucified, Peter spoke up and said, “Not so, Lord! Be it far from thee.”

Here the Lord rebuked him and said, “Get thee behind me, adversary.” Here, Peter, one of the Lord’s best friends, was an adversary, trying, though unintentionally, to get the Lord to do contrary to what he knew was the Father’s will concerning him. The ways in which our Lord was tempted were the same as his brethren must be. You remember how he created bread and fed many, and then they said, “We will make him our King.” The Master saw that it was not the Father’s time for him to be made King, thus they were adversaries to him, so he went into a mountain to pray. He was tempted to do something not in keeping with his consecration vows.

Second, we are tempted to get discouraged. God permits Satan to thus temp t us, so that by resisting we may become strong, but He will not permit us to be tempted above that we are able, but will, if we make use of the means he give us, make a way of escape for Sometimes we are tempted to get discouraged when planning a meeting and expect about a hundred to come and find only five or six present, or we may have thought we could sell a good many Dawns, but can put out only a few. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you, and after awhile, we will hear the “Well don, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”

The High Calling – Not For All

No man, however, takes this step of consecration unless he is called of God. There must be the call, or invitation, as there was with Aaron and with our Lord Jesus Christ. (Heb. 5:4,5.) This call comes through the proclamation of the Gospel. Each must hear for himself before he can accept. “And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14.) So then, it is for God to begin the work with the unjustified by drawing them to Christ for justification; and it is for our Lord Jesus Christ to continue this work with the consecrated. Furthermore, it is the privilege of all who come into God’s family to proclaim these truths to others, to set forth the terms by which those who receive the call may accept it, while still “it is called today,” before this Age of sacrifice ends. – Heb. 4:7; 2 Cor. 6:2.

None come to God in this Gospel Age except those who make a sacrifice. Others may turn toward God; they may look toward God; they may be converted from a wicked life to a better one. But none except the class who are adopted into God’s family are begotten of the Holy Spirit. The invitation of this Age is NOT an invitation to do the best one can; we are all called in the one hope of our calling. (Eph. 4:4.) “Gather My saints together unto Me, saith the Lord, those who have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice.” – Psa. 50:5.

It is good not to do wrong. But more than a righteous life is required of those who would be sons of God. Consecration has always been proper; it is the normal attitude for all of God’s intelligent creatures. The Creator is the One to whom all are properly under obligations for every blessing which they enjoy; and heart, mind, tongue and hand should be ready for consecration to do the Father’s will. Whether angels or men or New Creatures in Christ – all should be in this attitude.

Since consecration is the only reasonable attitude, then, when the one hundred and forty-four thousand of the Elect Church shall have passed their testing it will still be appropriate for God to permit people to consecrate, and to be pleased with their consecration. Therefore, we may expect that, in the end of the reign of Christ, all the worthy ones shall have made consecration to God. It was thus in the Jewish Age, although there was no “high calling” then, nor privilege to understand the deep things of God.

The privilege of becoming joint-heirs with Christ will end as soon as the Elect number is completed. During the thousand years of Christ’s reign, those who consecrate will come to understand all human things; but not being begotten of the Holy Spirit, they cannot understand the things of the Spirit.