Way to Christ
BY what are men sanctified?
"Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is
truth. John 17:17.
To what knowledge would God have all men come?
"Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge
of the truth." 1 Tim. 2:4.
After receiving a knowledge of the truth, what must one do in order
to be sanctified by it?
"God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation
through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." 2
And what besides a mere belief in the truth is necessary?
"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through
sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience." 1 Peter 1:2.
What effect does obedience to the truth have?
"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the
truth through the Spirit." Verse 22.
How should the truth ever be cherished?
"Buy the truth, and sell it not." Prov. 23:23.
is, buy the truth at whatever sacrifice or cost, and sell it under no
Does the Bible recognize what may be called "present truth"?
I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things,
though ye know them, and be established in the present truth." 2
truths are applicable in all ages, and are therefore present truth
for every generation; others are of a special character, and are
applicable to only one generation. They are none the less important,
however, because of this; for upon their acceptance or rejection depends
the salvation or loss of the people of that generation. Of this kind was
Noah's message of a coming flood. To the generation to whom it was
preached that message was present truth; to later generations it
has been past truth, and not a present, testing message. Similarly,
had the first advent message of John the Baptist, of the Messiah at hand,
been proclaimed in the generation either before or after John's time, it
would not have been applicable - would not have been present truth. The
people of the generation before would not have lived to see it fulfilled,
and to those living after, it would have been wrongly timed. Not so with
general truths, such as love, faith, hope, repentance, obedience, justice,
and mercy. These are always in season, and of a saving nature at all
times. Present truths, however always include all these, and hence are
saving in character, and of vital importance.
What was the special message for Noah's day?
"And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before
Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I
will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood." Gen.
How did Noah show his faith in this message?
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet,
moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the
which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which
is by faith." Heb. 11:7.
How many were saved in the ark?
"The long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark
was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by
water." 1 Peter 3:20.
many who were lost in the flood held, in a nominal way, to faith in God;
but the test as to the genuineness of this came with Noah's special
message; and the difference between their faith and his was made plain
when they rejected the saving truth for that time, - the warning message
concerning the coming flood.
What special message was given to Jonah for Nineveh?
"So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the
Lord. . . . And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he
cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown."
What saved the people from the predicted overthrow?
"So the people of Nineveh believed God, and
proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to
the least of them. . . . And God saw their works, that they turned from
their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He
would do unto them; and He did it not." Verses 5-10. See Jer.
likewise would God have spared the antediluvian world had they received
Noah's message, and turned from their evil ways.
What was the special mission of John the Baptist?
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came
for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through
Him might believe." John 1:6,7.
What answer did he return when asked concerning his mission?
"He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make
straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias." Verse
What did Christ say of those who rejected John's message?
"But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against
themselves, being not baptized of him." Luke 7:30.
What did those do who were baptized of John?
"And all the people that heard Him, and the publicans, justified
God, being baptized with, the baptism of John." Verse 29.
is, they honored God by this act, which showed their faith in His truth
for that time.
Did God's chosen people receive Christ when He came?
"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." John
What reason did they give for not receiving Him?
"We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know
not from whence He is." John 9:29.
was the trouble; they had no faith in anything new. They knew that
God spoke by Moses: it required little faith to believe that. They felt
perfectly safe in accepting him, for everything had demonstrated that he
was sent of God. All could see that. But here was One whom, although He
had come in fulfillment of the prophecies of Moses and the prophets as
their long-looked-for Messiah, they felt there was a risk in accepting,
because they did not understand the prophecies relating to Him, and time
had not worked out to their satisfaction the truthfulness of His claims.
It required too much faith, as against their desire to walk by sight,
to accept Christ. It also called for a change of views in some things,
and a reformation in life. So they rejected Him. They believed in the
flood, faith in which had saved Noah; they believed in Elijah also, and
professed faith in all the prophets; but when it came to this special
truth for their time, they refused to accept it. Thus it has been in all
ages, and thus we may expect it to continue to be to the end.
How did Christ say those who rejected Him reasoned?
"Ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the
sepulchers of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our
fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the
prophets." Matt. 23:29,30.
they condemned the action of their fathers in slaying the prophets whom
God had sent with messages of reproof and warning applicable to those
times, they soon filled up the measure of the iniquity of their fathers by
putting to death the Son of God. This showed that they would have done as
did their fathers had they lived in their day. Thus we see that present
truths are testing truths.
What was the result of the Jews' not accepting Christ?
"And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept
over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day,
the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine
eyes." Luke 19:41,42. "Behold, your house is left unto
you desolate." Matt. 23:38.
Is there to be a special message for the last days?
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye
think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise
servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give
them meat in due season?" Matt. 24:44,45.
last days a message will go forth which will be "meat in due
season" to the people. This must be the warning concerning the Lord's
soon coming, and the preparation necessary to meet Him. Because, such a
message was not always preached, is no evidence that it is not now to be proclaimed.
In his farewell address to the Pilgrim Fathers on their departure from
Holland for America, John Robinson said: "The Lord knoweth whether I
shall ever see your faces more; but whether the Lord bath appointed that
or not, I charge you before God and His blessed angels to follow me no
farther than I have followed Christ. If God should reveal anything to you
by any other instrument or His, be as ready to receive it as you ever were
to receive any truth by my ministry; for I am very confident that the Lord
hath more truth and light yet to break forth out of His Holy Word. For my
part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the Reformed churches,
who are come to a period in religion, and will go no farther than the
instruments of their reformation. The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go any
farther than what Luther saw; and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast
where they were left by that great man of God, who yet saw not all things.
This is a misery much to be lamented; for though they were burning and
shining lights in their time, yet they penetrated not into the whole
counsel of God, but were they now living, would be as willing to embrace
further light as that which they first received."
What does Christ say of that servant who, when He comes, is found giving
"meat in due season"?
"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall
find so doing." Verse 46.
coming of Christ in glory has been the hope of the faithful in all
Luther declared: "I persuade myself verily, that the day of judgment
will not be absent full three hundred years. God will not, cannot, suffer
this wicked world much longer. The great day is drawing near in which the
kingdom of abominations shall be overthrown."
Melanchthon said: "This aged world is not far from its end."
Calvin bade Christians "not to hesitate, ardently desiring the day of
Christ's coming as of all events most auspicious;" and declared that
"the whole human family of the faithful will keep in view that
day." "We must hunger after Christ, we must seek,
contemplate," he adds, "till the dawning of that great day, when
our Lord will fully manifest the glory of His kingdom."
Said Knox, the Scotch Reformer: "Has not our Lord Jesus carried up
our flesh into heaven? and shall He not return? We know that He shall
return, and that with expedition."
Ridley and Latimer, who laid down their lives for the truth, looked in
faith for the Lord's coming. Ridley wrote: "The world without doubt -
this I do believe, and therefore I say it - draws to an end."
Said Baxter: "The thoughts of the coming of the Lord are most sweet
and joyful to me. It is the work of faith and the character of His saints
to love His appearing, and to look for that blessed hope."
What will be the burden of the closing gospel message?
"Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is
come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the
fountains of waters. . . . Babylon is fallen, is fallen. . . . If any man
worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or
in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God."
How are those described who accept this message?
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Verse 12.
How earnestly is this work to be prosecuted?
"And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and
hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be
filled." Luke 14:23.
work is now going on. In every part of the world the sound of this closing
gospel message is being heard, and the people are being urged to accept
it, and to prepare for Christ's coming and kingdom. See
readings in Chapters 56, 57, and 58 of this book.
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