“Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.” (Isa. 62:10)
Under the reign of Sin and Death there is now a Broad Road, (Matt. 7:13) upon which, under the influence of the world, the flesh and the devil, almost all mankind are walking in a greater or lesser degree of selfishness, worldly desires, and pride. Its grade is downward and away from God. Its end is death, in just harmony with the original sentence of sin in Eden. On it none can retrace his steps so as to return to God. He may stop for a time, or even attempt to return, but the grade is too steep, and the influence and pressure of the crowd irresistible; and soon he is on the downward course again – moving slowly or swiftly.
But there is a way of life, into which the pilgrim may turn. Of it our Lord said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” There is consequently only one way of return – through acceptance of Christ and obedience testifying thereto. Its gate is Faith, and at present it is a very difficult road to travel, even after it has been found. This gate and way have been open for some twenty centuries. (John 14:6) Comparatively few have seen or known of this path; for we are authoritatively informed that “few there be that find it.” (Matt: 7:14) And the reason for this is given, – “the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Cor. 4:4)
Here is a mysterious thing! Why does the God of love make the gate to the way of life so obscure that only a few have any opportunity of even knowing of it? – and so narrow and rugged that when found many are so discouraged with the prospect that they make but little effort to walk therein, and gradually drift back into the Broad Road?
From the world’s standpoint of ignorance and human speculation there is no reasonable answer to this question. But from the standpoint of the Divine Plan of the Ages, as revealed in the Scriptures, there is a very satisfactory answer.
God’s plan for the world (which entered the Broad Road through Adam’s transgression and sentence – 1 Cor. 15:22) is to let all have an experience with the wages of Sin, (Death – Rom. 6:23), and then through Christ to end the reign of Sin and Death under Satan, and inaugurate a reign of Righteousness and Life under Christ, – the Kingdom of God. Thus seen, the Narrow Way is not meant to be the way of life for the human race in general. (Matt: 7:14) It is provided only for a special class, called variously in Scripture – “the Church of Christ,” “the Bride,” “the Temple of the Living God,” “the Elect” or Select, “the Body of Christ,” the “little flock” to which it is the “Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) The gate of Faith is made obscure to ensure that those who enter shall be faith-full (full of faith). The way is rugged and difficult to ensure that all who continue in that way faithful to the end shall be “overcomers,” – shall be of strong character.
The special service for which these are being selected demands that they shall be tried as gold is purified, in the furnace of discipline, that they may be found vessels unto honor and meet for the Master’s use, when His time shall come for them, with their Lord and Redeemer, as “the Seed of Abraham” to extend the blessing of God to all the families of the earth (the dead as well as the living) (Gal. 3:16,29) and when they with Him shall be the Kings and Priests unto God who shall reign on the earth during the Millennial Age, to bind Satan’s power (Rev. 5:10; 20:1,2) and to open the eyes of those whom he has so long blinded and deceived. By these God will prepare a favorable way for all. (Isa. 62:10)
WHEN CHRIST IS KING – WHAT THEN?
When our Redeemer shall have taken to Himself His great power and established His Kingdom – after the last member of “the Church which is his body” shall have been perfected and glorified with the Head upon the throne (Rev. 11:17; 3:21) – after the great “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation” (Dan. 12:1) shall have swept away present institutions and humbled the pride of man in the dust and brought the world into a teachable attitude, then the Broad Road to death will be abolished and instead the way to death (the Second Death) thereafter will be hedged about and made narrow and difficult, by reason of the speedy and just retribution which then will promptly follow every attempted violation of Immanuel’s laws.
The Narrow Way to immortal life will also have terminated, having served its purpose by selecting the “little flock,” the “Royal Priesthood,” through persecution for godliness and fierce oppositions from the world, the flesh and the devil. Then Satan will be bound (restrained from deceiving mankind) and the world will be forced to respect, at least outwardly, the laws and Kingdom of God. The fleshly weaknesses men labor under as the result of the fall will alone stand between men and perfect happiness – and full arrangements are provided by the Mediator-King for assisting the fallen flesh back to perfection. The way of life will then be a Highway, cleared of every impediment – the Highway of Holiness.
The various arrangements of the Millennial Kingdom will at first make the road to death difficult (to insure that only the willful shall go by it into the Second Death); and the same Kingdom arrangements will make the way to life easy to access. Its gate of faithful obedience will be clearly seen and easily accessible to all; and its name correspondingly will no longer be the Narrow Way, but the “way of holiness” – the King’s Highway of Holiness, leading to life everlasting, and open to all who desire righteousness. (Isa. 35:8, John 10:16)
As the Prince of Darkness (Satan) now rules and leads the blinded millions to death, then the Prince of Light (Christ, head and body) will rule and lead millions to life eternal. It is as a means to this end that He has selected His Church, is causing the great trouble to come upon the world, and will shortly bind Satan for the thousand years of His reign. And, more than this, He will open the blinded eyes that all may see the light of the knowledge of the goodness of God as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord. (2 Cor. 4:6)
Then Satan will no longer have power to deceive men, showing good for evil and evil for good. Then all will have the eyes of their understanding opened to see and appreciate “the true Light.” (John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:6) Then the knowledge of the LORD will fill the whole earth as the waters cover the depths of the sea. (Isa. 11:9) Then there shall no longer be necessity to teach, every man his neighbor, saying, “Know the LORD,” because all shall know the LORD from the least to the greatest. (Jer. 31:34) Then the LORD’s Kingdom shall come and His will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. (Matt. 6:10) Instead of the message of the gospel being limited to a few, all will know the plan of God; and the evidences of its truth will be so clear and convincing that none will have an excuse to disbelieve; for the conditions will be such that doubt will be more difficult than is belief at present. Nevertheless, a personal acceptance of Christ and of the conditions of the New Covenant will be required of each individual.
Not only will men learn unquestionably that Christ died for our sins, “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”; but they will see and feel the restitution work begun, in themselves and in others. (1 Pet. 3:18; Acts 3:19-21; Ezek. 16:48-50,53-55,60-63) They will see Righteousness ruling the world unto life instead of, as now, Sin ruling unto death. They will see great changes in the climate of the earth because he “that had the power of death, that is the devil” (Heb. 2:14), will no longer be “the prince [ruler] of the power of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice” and “the earth shall yield her increase.” (Isa. 35:1; Ezek. 34:27) The microbes of destruction and disease shall be restrained and “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain [kingdom].” (Isa. 11:9)
Sickness and pain and all diseases will yield to the power of the Great Physician upon the throne; and He will not permit death to befall any except those who shall intelligently and willfully refuse His offers of full restitution, by rejecting the terms of obedience required under the New Covenant then open to all. Even these shall be liberally dealt with; “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek. 18:32; 2 Pet. 3:9)
Accordingly, while all will be forced to “bow,” in at least outward recognition of that Kingdom and to “confess” it a blessed improvement upon the reign of Sin unto death (Isa. 45:23; Rom. 14:11; Rom. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:26), yet their will must remain their own and their progress in restitution will depend upon their willingness or unwillingness to come into accord with the Kingdom and its righteous arrangements. We are expressly told by the Prophet that those still sinners when a hundred years old will be cut off (in the Second Death – destruction from which there is to be no ransom and no resurrection – Oba. 1:16; 2 Thess. 1:9). To die at that age then, would be like a death in infancy now, because “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.” All who shall then show any evidence of love and consecration to the LORD may continue to enjoy the Kingdom blessings at least until the close of that Millennial Age. (Isa. 42:3; Matt. 12:20; Isa. 65:20)
As the LORD now sends seed-time and harvest, sun and rain, upon the just and unjust, so then, to a certain extent (i.e., for one hundred years each), the restitution blessings, that is, the equitable laws and other public arrangements for the education and uplifting of the masses, and the climatic conditions more favorable to health, will be common to all men. Although plenteous in mercy, “He will not always chide [correct]: neither will he keep [hold back] his anger [his righteous indignation against willful sin and sinners] forever.” (Psa. 103:9) “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear [obey] that prophet [Teacher], shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:23)
GOD’S LAW WILL NOT CHANGE
Although conditions in the Millennial Age will differ so greatly from present conditions as to be almost the reverse, the laws of God, like Himself, will not change. God’s law will be the same law in every particular that it always has been when exercised by our Lord Jesus and His Church (“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” – 1 Cor. 6:2). It will be tempered with mercy because of man’s fallen condition (for which our Lord Jesus as Redeemer paid the price in His own death). It cannot change, for the same reason that God Himself cannot change: it is perfect, and to change it in any degree would be to make it imperfect. (Matt. 5:48)
That law is Love. Full obedience to it means perfect love – controlling every thought, word and deed; partial obedience means a measure of love. At the beginning of that new era, the world in general will be as loveless as it is now, controlled by selfishness; for the heart of the natural (fallen) man is enmity against this law of God which represents God’s character. (1 Cor. 2:14) When present-day selfishness shall have blossomed and gone to seed in the great Time of Trouble now impending, it will become apparent to all that, however selfish their hearts may be, their deeds must thereafter conform more closely to the principle of love – doing unto others as they would have others do unto them. (Matt. 7:12)
It will thus be with a practical lesson that the new King will introduce the Law of His Kingdom. Loving deeds and words will be required of all, though their hearts (wills) may still be tainted with selfishness; for God does not now, and never will, force the wills of His creatures. Those who at the end of the hundred years’ of trial remain obstinate in heart and only outwardly obedient, under compulsion, shall be judged hopeless sinners, and will be cut off from all further trial for life; for the principle will still hold that, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
“In that day” an intellectual unbelief in Christ and the offer of salvation will be an impossibility (Isa. 11:9,10); for even “the devils also believe, and tremble.” (Jas. 2:19) However, acceptance of Christ as the Lord who bought us, and hearty obedience to the letter and spirit of His requirements will be the condition upon which any may obtain everlasting life, provided and intended only for those who love God; which implies a love of His character and His laws. (Isa. 57:14-21)
But perfect love and obedience in letter and spirit will not be realized by the world then on trial until the close of the Millennial Age, because perfection of being is necessary for perfection of obedience. For those who accept the Son, the entire age will be necessary for the full restitution or bringing back to the perfection and divine fellowship lost six thousand years ago. Just as from the first moment of the death-sentence Adam and the entire human race were no longer fully alive, but dying, so, perfection of life will not be attained until the end of the process of uplifting or restitution. None will get that grand gift of God except such as are perfected in love – not only in word and deed, but also in the very deepest thoughts and intents of their hearts. Only those who believe the Son, accept of His grace and are conformed to His image shall see life, in the full and absolute sense. Only those will be presented unto the Father perfect and beyond reproof in love, when Christ shall deliver up the Kingdom, having thus accomplished the work begun by Him nearly three thousand years before when He bought the world with His own life that He might give life unto all them that obey Him.
ACCEPTANCE OF THE NEW COVENANT
Although everlasting life (the reward for obedience in the school of Christ) will not be given to the worthy ones of the world until the close of the Millennial Age, yet that everlasting life will be reckoned to each one from the moment he accepts Christ and comes to any degree of heart-harmony with the terms of the New Covenant.
The varying temperaments and degrees of degradation of fallen men guarantee that their hearty acceptance of Christ and His regulations for their blessing will differ, as is now the case with those who come to the knowledge of the Truth. Some will respond quickly, some slowly, some not at all. But the Lord’s provision, that all shall have at least a hundred years of opportunity under the clear light of “the Sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2; Luke 1:78,79), guarantees against the loss of any for whom there could be any hope of developing characters fit for an eternity of fellowship with God. Nor will it be merely those who promptly and fully accept Christ that will be continued beyond the first hundred years of trial, for we are assured that if there is even a smoldering spark of love toward God and righteousness (the “smoking flax”), the Lord will not break off such a one (the “bruised reed”), but will fan the spark so that it might become a blaze of love which would purify the heart and eventually bring every thought into conformity with the will of God. He will pursue this course until “he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.”(Isa. 42:3)
Those who most quickly and most fully accept the new conditions will more quickly and more fully taste the joys of salvation and the LORD’s favor, and have the peace of God rule in their hearts. Thus the measure of “light” sinned against in the present life determines not only the amount of heart-hardening, but also the time and the amount of difficulty the person will experience in getting his heart softened again.
STONES GATHERED OUT
Those who will be “cut off” during the Millennium will be such as when given full opportunity to enter upon the King’s Highway of Holiness will refuse to “go up thereon.” (Isa. 35:9) Satan’s Broad Road of the present time is a downward one, but the King’s Highway in the Millennium will have an upward grade. Now, men can go downward to death almost without effort; but to reach the prize of life at the end of the Highway will require effort.
The Highway of the Millennial Age, however, will require less effort and overcoming than the Narrow Way of the Gospel Age. It will be less steep, for several centuries may be had for gradually developing character in likeness to the LORD’s, in contrast to the short period allowed in the Narrow Way for development as a pilgrim, an overcomer and a worthy associate with the Lord Jesus for the peculiar work of the future, as His Bride.
There will be no “stumbling stones” to faith or “lions” of opposition to test the faithful on the King’s Highway. It is declared, “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast;” and the stumbling stones shall all be gathered out, and mountains of difficulty shall be leveled, and valleys of despair and discouragement shall be filled up, that the King’s Highway may be most favorable, that all the Redeemed of the LORD (who will accept the gift of life upon the conditions of its offer) may go up thereon to perfection. (Isa. 35:8-10; 62:10; 40:4,5)
It must not, however, be supposed that progress along that easy Highway, with everything to aid in the development of character, and with nothing like opposition or temptation to test its strength, will be sufficient evidence of heart loyalty to God and His laws. It will not prove worthiness for everlasting life, even though those on the Highway may have attained human perfection – physical, mental and moral – as a result of its elixirs of life, its pure air, nutritious foods, inspired skill and conformity to its divine laws and regulations.
TESTINGS OF THE KING’S HIGHWAY
The testings of the Narrow Way are step by step; but the testings of the King’s Highway will be primarily two – at the beginning and at the end. There will first be a test as to who will start to go upward on it and keep on going upward. Those who, when all the conditions of knowledge and obedience are so favorable (as God has promised they shall be – so that the conditions in general shall make the road to life a Highway), will make no effort upward will be cut off after one hundred years of opportunity, testing and reproof, as unworthy of further testing or further Millennial privileges. (Isa. 65:20)
There will be a final test of all who shall have gone up that Highway to its farther end – to the end of the Millennium. Such will then be tested or proved as to their fitness for everlasting life. The object of this test will not be to prove which are sinners, either openly or covertly; for none of them will be transgressors of God’s law, the evil doers having been cut off long before, at the end of a hundred years trial. No doubt it will surprise many of them when they learn that God has purposed their trial at all. What! Test those who for hundreds of years have been living in harmony with God’s law, and constantly blessed by it? Are not those centuries of obedience a sufficient proof of loyalty to God? Can any further test be required? If so, for what purpose?
We answer that their obedience for centuries had its corresponding reward of blessings and enjoyments experienced during those centuries. They are still God’s debtors. God does not owe them everlasting life. Everlasting life is a gift of God through Christ. (Rom. 6:23) It is one of the things, however, prepared for those who love God, and the test at the end of the Millennial Age will be a test of love – to prove the degree of love and consecration that has been developed in those who have seen and enjoyed so many of God’s favors. Not outward perfection merely, but inward perfection will be the test; and that some who will have reached outward perfection will not have developed the inward perfection of heart or will, even with every favorable opportunity, is evident from the results of the test. (Rev. 20:9)
So, too, Adam was perfect before his trial in Eden, but he had not developed a consecrated will or character fully submitted to the LORD. Satan was perfect as an angel of God, but he developed a character or will antagonistic to God’s. And God’s purpose is that the trial or judgment both of angels and men shall be so thorough, so complete, that not a single creature who is not in absolute heart-harmony with God and His laws shall receive everlasting life and pass into the ages of eternity beyond the Millennium. All not possessed of characters (wills) in full, absolute harmony with God’s will, must die the Second Death. And yet they will have enjoyed much, and will have much for which to be thankful.
In no other way could the LORD continue His creatures in His own likeness as free moral agents, and yet guarantee that the Millennial reign of Christ will cause the former things of sin to pass away: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
Praise God for the lengths and breadths of His great and gracious plan of salvation through Christ. Praise Him for the Narrow Way of the Gospel Age with its severe trials and temptations and its great prize of life in joint-heirship with our Lord Jesus the Redeemer. Praise Him too for the great Highway of Holiness which the Christ shall soon prepare and open to all the redeemed, that whosoever will may not perish, but have the gift of God, eternal life. (John 3:16; Rom. 6:23)
The test at the close of the Millennium is symbolically represented in Rev. 20:7-10. Satan will be permitted to attempt to deceive all, whose number will then be as the sand, but what proportion he will succeed in leading astray is not stated.
The LORD’s Word does not indicate the nature of the movement, but we do not suppose that Satan and his followers will go up and surround the beloved city (the capital of the earthly phase of the Kingdom) with any thought of war, or with intent to use physical force. They could not be so foolish, after so long an experience with the power of God’s Kingdom. We surmise that they will err in their calculation of when the thousand years of Christ’s autocratic Kingdom will end, and when the dominion of earth will be restored to mankind in general to be exercised as a Republic – in full harmony with the divine law. Miscalculating the time, they may feel that the rulers of that time (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets – the Ancient Worthies) are prolonging their rule without warrant. And the surrounding of the beloved city may signify a demonstration, or appeal for their rights, such as has often been made by present-day citizens, surrounding Congress, Parliament, or council chambers with demonstrations against infringements of their claimed rights.
Such peaceful remonstrances in the present time against wrongs or oppressions are not sins, but such a demonstration on the part of perfect men after centuries of benefits and blessings at God’s hands would indicate that their hearts were not fully submitted to the LORD; for the right hearted would say to such an invitation: No! We may have been mistaken in our understanding of the LORD’s word, or in our calculations of the time, but if God sees best to continue us as “servants” rather than to grant us the full liberties and privileges of “sons” (Rom. 8:21), we will trust the wisdom, justice, love and power which have so abundantly provided for us thus far, even while we were yet sinners. We will not even harbor in our hearts a wish to change any of the LORD’s arrangements, much less join in any demonstration or protest against them.
Only those who under such a test would manifest heart-harmony with God are of the class for whom everlasting life has been prepared as a gift of God. Such will be received and blessed after the test; but the others will be cut off in the Second Death. If it be objected that these committed no great crime, we answer, neither was the transgression of the perfect Adam a gross crime; but the eating of the forbidden fruit was a disobedience; and disobedience and transgression on the part of perfect beings is a just cause for a refusal to grant such the great boon of life everlasting.
(The above was adapted from Pastor Russell Reprint 1771.)
THE PAROUSIA MESSENGER
October 31 will mark 98 years since our beloved Brother Russell left us. “Parousia Messenger” is the title we offer for Brother Russell because he officiated during the small Parousia from 1874 to 1914, and because he made crystal clear the meaning of the Greek Parousia – as presence, and not coming, as it is generally given in the King James translation. Once that became clear to him, it began to sweep away many of the accumulated errors of the past, leading directly to his understanding of the 16th Chapter of Leviticus, the same being a concise picture of the entire Atonement, which culminates in “the restitution of all things.” (Acts 3:19-21)
When the Parousia Messenger began his ministry, the erroneous doctrine of eternal torment as the wages of sin was so deeply entrenched that it was generally considered sacrilege to contradict it. Many were the prominent and forceful orators who appeared as evangelists in their crusades to save the poor sinner from such an awful fate, so that Brother Russell was faced with what seemed an impossible assignment. This is so graphically revealed in Judges 6:5 and 7:12: “The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seaside for multitude.”
And against this portentous force Gideon was arrayed with his band of 300 – outnumbered by probably more than a thousand to one. This was precisely the situation when Brother Russell began his attacks on human immortality, the consciousness of the dead, and eternal torment as the wages of sin. His most popular public discourse was, Where Are The Dead, which always included a good exposition on Restitution. When he sent out brethren from Bethel (the Bible House in Pennsylvania) for Sunday discourses he always urged them to include a good portion of their public discourse on Restitution; and he himself occasionally remarked to Brethren “That’s the subject!” when he was to speak on Where Are The Dead.
He kept steadfastly at the subject and its pertinent errors, so that he was able to see certain victory ahead by the time he had finished his ministry. By 1916 it was considered by many intellectuals as a distinct mark of ignorance on the part of those who still regarded eternal torment as the wages of sin.
Certainly Brother Russell was the “principal man” of God’s Household in his day; he was the “angel” (messenger) to the Church in Laodicea; he had a message to deliver and he delivered it with telling force – until the very day his Great Captain finally said to him: It is enough! But his ministry brought upon him the most vicious attacks from the brightest lights of Satan; and they were legion. When they could not “gainsay nor resist” the Truth he preached, they devised the most vicious sort of slander against him – he was grossly immoral, a thing he could deny, but he could not disprove; and the human mind being as it is today, the advantage was with the slanderers. Many were ready enough to believe the evil side of things. Others referred to him as “That braying Balaam’s Ass!” Here was indeed the antitype of Jeremiah being let down “into the dungeon .... [where] there was no water [truth], but mire [filthy words].” (Jer. 38:6) All this he took in stride, being mindful of Jesus’ words: “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matt. 10:25) The Lord Himself had called him “blessed”; and this more than compensated for the slanders hurled at him by “the workers of iniquity.” (Psa. 37:1)
He was adamant against Combinationism, which had become prominent at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. Combinationism takes the position that it matters not what one believes so long as he is sincere in his belief. In that Convention in Chicago such an attitude tended to place all the assembled heathen dignitaries on equality with Christian ideals. And it might be observed that the quality of Christianity that was displayed at that Convention by some in attendance tended to confirm such a conclusion. In fact, some of the heathen were heard to remark that they thought they should be coming to America to convert us to their ways and beliefs, instead of us sending missionaries to them to change their ideals.
Combinationism is Scriptural fornication – a combining of forbidden things. It finds its type in Num. 25:1-18, where some of the Jews were engaging in illicit union with the heathen round about in direct violation of the sixth Commandment (“Thou shalt not commit adultery” – Exod. 20:14). St. Paul pinpoints this situation in 1 Cor. 10:8: “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” And in verse 11 he states that those things happened to them “for ensamples” (as types) and “are written for our [special] admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [Ages] are come” – the closing “end” of the Gospel Age and the opening “end” of the Millennial Age (the closing of the Jewish Age and the beginning of the Gospel Age, when Paul wrote about it).
When That Servant appeared on the scene all of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible – except Restitution – were being taught in some section of Christendom; but all of them were either directly cumbered with some error, or were not clearly understood by those attempting to teach them. Before he had finished, every one of those doctrines, including Restitution, had been relieved of all rubbish, and had been made crystal clear. This was foretold in Mal. 3:1-3: “…the messenger of the covenant...shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” The word “purifier” in this text would be better rendered “polisher”; and who of us will not admit that That Servant did “polish” the Truth (silver) in admirable brilliance! And in doing this he never resorted to the tricks of oratory. There were better orators than he, but certainly no better preachers. And in him was a living proof of our Lord’s sure words, “I will give you a mouth [eloquence] and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay [contradict] nor resist.” (Luke 21:15) Every one that was “of the Truth” heard his voice gladly.
He was engaged in “the good fight” until the very day he died; and it could be said of him as one historian wrote about Martin Luther: He fell peacefully asleep in Jesus. “Them that honour me I will honour,” (1 Sam. 2:30) and the LORD did honor him greatly. And if we wish to honor him, we can do so in no better way than to adhere to and uphold that Truth that was so dear to him. As Jesus said of Himself: “He who has my commandments [the Truth], and observes them, that is he who loves me.” (John 14:21, Dia.)
(By John J. Hoefle. Excerpts from No. 280, October 1, 1978.)