VOL. IV. PITTSBURGH, PA., DECEMBER, 1882. NO. 5.
HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE.
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C. T. RUSSELL, Editor and Publisher.
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TO NEW READERS.
The TOWER comes to you as unpretentiously as the ministers of the early church. We present no list of titled and world renowned contributors --none whose fame would command your attention to the subjects we present. But we come to you with the Bible as God's Word, and seek to enlist your attention to its statements and your obedience to its requirements, and thus to lead the hearts and minds of some of God's children away from the jarring confusion of precept and doctrine, prevalent among the various divisions (sects) of Christians, into the harmony, beauty, simplicity, and confidence, which come from the study of God's Word and its acceptance as a harmonious whole and a self interpreter.
In our last number you saw some scriptures applied more pointedly than you have been accustomed to apply them, and other scriptures quoted for which you never before could find a place of application without distortion. It would be but natural that you should wonder how these things could be true, yet not recognized long ago by earnest Christians; and why so many of those in the churches manifest a bitter opposition to things so full of harmony with God's Word, and so fully vindicating the Justice, Wisdom and Love of our Heavenly Father.
In answer to your supposed queries, we suggest that if a broad view of God's dealings be taken, it shows that He has a plan with reference to men. While he was pleased in past times to reveal an outline of that plan, it was nothing more; no details were given. The details of the plan began to be recognized since Pentecost. The light of revelation shines with special brightness on the ends of the ages. Upon the ending of the Jewish age which was the beginning of the Gospel Age, glorious light shone out relative to the blessed privileges about to be enjoyed in the Gospel Age. Remember, too, that it came from the Scriptures, written long before, but which were never before appreciated and understood. Matthew Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul, all quoted the prophecies and applied them to the events taking place and due to take place in their day --the opening of the Gospel Age. The prophecies had been there for centuries, but the revelation or understanding of them, was reserved for those in the ends of the ages. (See 1 Cor. 10:11.) So now in the closing of the Gospel Age and dawning of the grand Millennial Age, we should expect the light to shine out brightly relative to God's plans for this incoming age. And so it does. Search and see. Gem after gem of precious truth now glows with unparalleled luster to the diligent searcher because God's due time has come for such to understand it. Soon the blessed bow of promise shall span the whole heavens, and weeping earth shall dry her tears and shout for joy.
It is no more surprising that these truths relative to God's plan for the blessing of all mankind should have been but dimly seen heretofore, than that the call of the Gentiles to be heirs of the Abrahamic promise, (Acts 11:18. Eph. 3:5,6. Gal. 3:29.) should have been but dimly seen until the Gospel Age began to dawn. We can understand prophetic Scriptural statements only as they become due. Thus--"Light, (knowledge, was long ago) sown for the righteous." When due, the light springs up and gradually unfolds. Thus our Father has made abundant provision for the household--that the servants shall bring forth things both new and old, and the household have meat in due season.
The cause of the opposition on the part of many to the truth now due, is the failure to recognize this progressive and unfolding character of God's revelation of his plans. Most Christians take for granted that good men of the past who walked in the light then due, had all the truth worth knowing. Knox, Calvin, Luther, Wesley and others were, we believe, followers in our Lord's footsteps of self-sacrifice and devotedness to God; but more truth is due in our day than in theirs. According to God's plan, the light should shine more and more until 'tis perfect day. Therefore many Christians of to-day make a great mistake, and sit in comparative darkness, when they might be walking in glorious light, because they search the theology of these men instead of the Word of God.
O, that all would turn away from musty church creeds of times past and give more earnest heed to the ever living, ever fresh, ever unfolding, ever new Word of God. Again, others take the Bible and search it only for the purpose of seeing how nearly they can make it to fit either their mental or written creed. If your habit has been such, we hope you will at once resolve to lay aside all human teachings as authoritative and hereafter judge all you hear or read by the statements of Scripture. If you believe anything, make sure that you have Scriptural statements warranting it. Prove all things, hold fast that which is good and cast away all else.
The action of the nominal church to-day relative to the light now shining clearly resembles that of the Jewish church relative to light in the end of their age. They reject every new ray of light because it would conflict with some cherished theory or statement of their creed. They are so enwrapped with their own plans and arrangements for converting the world, that they are unwilling to hear that God has a better, grander, and infinitely more comprehensive way of dealing with evil, and blessing and teaching the world. Their ears are so stopped by the din and confusion of their own religious efforts that they cannot discern the plan of Jehovah.
Satan indeed is doubtless interested in the promotion of the Babel confusion of sects, and stimulates and encourages that zeal which is not according to knowledge, and thus he hinders their hearing Jehovah's voice, saying, "Be still and know that I am God, (the mighty one); I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth." (Psa. 46:10.) The power to do this is with our Father and not with us. When he gives the saints with Christ their Lord, the heathen for an inheritance--when He gives the kingdom under the whole heavens to the people of the saints, THEN, and not by poor human effort, will God's kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Dan. 2:35,44and 7:18,27.)
====================r414 VIEW FROM THE TOWER.