1915 Convention Report Supplement


I have before my mind, dear friends, the first verse of the twenty third Psalm: "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want." Amongst the people of the world, in all the great families of the world, the aristocracy, they have coats-of-arms that represent their own ideas, and differentiate them one from another. Some use figures of lions, others have various kinds of birds and peculiar beasts, so that when you look upon them you might wish that you might never fall into their clutches. But no family that I know of has ever yet adopted the symbol that God has adopted for His, viz. :the lamb, the sheep; and there is nothing ferocious about the lamb or sheep, nothing great about it. The Lord is my Shepherd, and that means that I am His sheep. It is a very wonderful suggestion, dear brethren, that the Father of Mercies, the Almighty One from whom comes down every good and perfect gift, the One who is so high, and in comparison with whom we are so small, that He should be willing to take charge of, and care for us. I am so thankful that He has been willing to take me in charge. I am not anxious to escape from Him. I am anxious to abide in His care, and abide so fully that ultimately, under the care of this Shepherd I may attain unto all the blessings which He has in reservation for all His faithful people. We do appreciate this great favor which God has bestowed upon us, and the more we consider it, the more we appreciate it. When I have before my mind such a great God, a man in comparison would be something like comparing a man to an ant. You pay little attention to the little ant. You have no special interest in its welfare, for it is of no account to you. And I believe, my dear brethren, that, when we compare mankind with God, there is a still greater contrast. We are like the small dust in the balance, not worthy to be accounted of. In the grocery store the salesman will not stop to take off every little mite of dust on the scales. It is not worth paying any attention to at all, and that is the illustration that suits our case. How little and insignificant we are when we can be compared to the small dust in the balance! Nevertheless, God has favored us, and made a great plan, not only for our redemption and eventually for every member of our race not only that, but especially do we see God's particular love and care manifested in that He has invited us to become partakers of the divine nature, to be associated with our Lord Jesus Christ, and have a share in His glory, honor and immortality. It seems more wonderful every time we think of it. The matter grows upon me all the time.

It seems strange indeed that our Heavenly Father should have adopted such a plan. It seems so strange to what you or I would have thought. You would never have thought of such a plan, that would include the high calling of God which He has given to us. You and I would only expect, if He had some great gift to offer, that he would do well if He had offered it only to the Lord Jesus Christ. He did indeed give Him the first opportunity. His Son who had always been faithful to Him, He desires to give Him still greater blessings, in connection with the blessing of others. He said, "I will test Him out further, and if He be willing, He shall have the best I can give," and so the first offer was made to the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by faithfulness and obedience unto death became the Head of this Company which He intends to bring from a lower nature to a higher. Then observe the conditions upon which this offer was made. He would grant Him the blessing only after thoroughly proving Him. and His trial would take place in the midst of the adverse conditions prevailing in the lost world that He would come to redeem by sacrifice, and from which fallen race His foot-step followers would be selected, to whom the Father in His great plan, would say: "I will also give to them an opportunity to become associated with Jesus in this great work." This latter part of His wonderful plan would never have occurred to our minds. We would never have thought of taking humanity into the plan in such a way and stooping down to those who were fallen creatures, and after they had been under the curse and in a fallen condition for four thousand years, after all that, to make an offer to these fallen sinners, and give them an opportunity of not only having their sins forgiven and of being reconciled through the death of His Son, but also of becoming followers of His Son, and by passing through the necessary trials and experiences, to become joint-heirs with him. We could never have conceived such a plan. Therefore,

"We stand all astonished with wonder, As we gaze on this ocean of love; While over its waves to our spirit, Comes peace, like a heavenly dove."

It may be well for us to notice, dear brethren, that our Father has a plan in which Christ shall be the first One. Our Father, the Shepherd, has made a plan whereby His Son shall be His representative and our shepherd, and whereby we may come in as the first flock of His sheep. There will be others who are not of this particular fold, but the sheep of this fold are the ones in which we are specially interested. The sheep of the next fold will be those who shall receive restitution blessings. The sheep of this first fold are the ones referred to in our text, for they, with our Lord Jesus as head, can truly say of Jehovah at the present time, "The Lord is my Shepherd."

To Jesus, because of His loyalty, He gave the first opportunity to become a partaker of the divine nature on the divine plane. There were none before of this divine nature. All were of a lower nature. The Logos, being next to the Father, was still upon a very different plane of being. He was indeed above the principalities, powers, and every name that is named, including the cherubim and seraphim, but still He was not of the divine nature, and it was to this divine nature that God wishes to exalt some. He wanted to have some on that higher plane. But, at the time that this went into effect God had already created Jesus, and through Him all the ranks and orders of angelic beings even down to man.

His next creation, instead of going downward, was to be upward on a still higher plane'the [HGL663] divine and thus, in harmony with this purpose, we see that in Christ we are to be God's new creation, as the Apostle explains. So God gave the only-begotten of the Father, the One through whom all other beings were created, the first particular offer the offer that He might demonstrate to the Father His love, His devotion, His loyalty. But, you say, has He not always done that? Yes; my brethren, He has always demonstrated it under favorable conditions, among the holy ones in harmony with Jehovah, in which there were no requirements of sacrifice. But now God has put Him to a special test, and made to Him a special offer at the same time, and the two must go together.

If He will be loyal even unto death, among the unholy ones out of harmony with Jehovah, then He shall have the exaltation far above angels, principalities, powers, dominions and every name that is named; and the Apostle sums it all up, after he has told how the Lord accepted these terms, after He left the glory He had with the Father before the world was, He was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross he sums it all up be showing that He was found worthy, in that He, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despised the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the divine majesty on high not a seat or place, but a position, an honorable situation.

Just as we say that General Kitchener is at the right hand of King George his right-hand man, placed at his right hand, the most prominent man in Great Britain at the present time, representing the King; not meaning, of course, a liter seat, but a place of service, an honorable position next to the one who gave him this honor. So, our Lord Jesus Christ was to have the honor of being next to our Heavenly Father. At what cost? We may not have known at one time what the cost was, but, looking in the Bible, we are learning what it cost. He needed to be tested.

Are you sure that He was tested? Where is the evidence? Well; I see evidence of it all through the Master's life and experiences every trial and test that came. For instance, every High Priest before he could enter the most holy, was first to offer sacrifice and take the blood, and offer incense at the golden altar in the holy, representing perfect human nature, and then, after offering the incense, and it was satisfactory, the high priest would then pass under the second veil into the most holy the veil representing death itself. If any high priest did not fulfill every requirement to the very letter, he would die as he passed under the veil. That priest was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, showing that He would have perished if He had not fulfilled every requirement to the very letter. This being the requirement, He indicated that there was a great distress upon him, even as the Apostle has written: "Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayer and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared."

What did He fear? He feared lest His death would be an utter destruction. He feared that, in passing under this veil it would mean death to Him as the priest, and that consequently He would never rise again. He knew that He was on trial, and that it was a trial that would eventuate either in life or death everlasting. Knowing this, he appreciated the life and other blessings He had, and in a very marked degree appreciated His life on the higher plane. Why did He cry? Because He wanted to know if He had bee faithful. He wanted to know if He might expect the resurrection change. He was heard. How did He hear and answer. God sent an angel to minister unto Him, and to assure Him that He was all right. From the moment that Jesus got that assurance, we remember what courage He had. None of the disciples had such courage as He from that moment on. Through all that night and the next day He was the calmest of the calm. To the weeping ones he said, "Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and your children."

A picture that goes away back before our Lord came into the world, a picture that shows God's plan, recorded in figurative language, was shown to Saint John on the Isle of Patmos, in which he beheld Jehovah God sitting upon a throne, and holding in His right hand a scroll, written within and on the back side, sealed with seven seals, and he heard a proclamation made, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof! Saint John waited to see. He listened, and looked, and he saw no one no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to unloose the seals thereof no one in heaven or earth. What does that mean no one in heaven nor earth found worthy? It means that, among all the angels, including the Lord Jesus, the Logos, there was none among them, neither was there any one among men, to whom God could entrust His plan.

No one found worthy. What does that mean? It means, not only that no man was found worthy because all were sinners, but further, that no one had ever yet proven himself worthy of this great honor, of carrying out this great plan which God has. In that symbolical language, the scroll represents all things that God had prepared in His mind before the foundation of the world, respecting what He would do with reference to the church, respecting also the great work for the world in the millennial age, and respecting the future things that Messiah would do.

All these things were represented by the scroll held in His right hand the hand being symbolical of power. On one occasion, after His death and resurrection, His disciples came to Jesus saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath kept in His own power." God had not communicated it, as yet, to any one. On another occasion Jesus said to His disciples, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." The Father had not let it go yet out of His hands. Even Jesus did not yet know.

He had not proven Himself worthy, as yet, and for this reason it was withheld from Him. Saint John wept when he realized that God had some great purpose to reveal and execute, but there was not found any one in heaven or earth worthy to attend to that matter and carry it out perfectly. He knew that we had missed some great blessing because no one was found worthy to carry out God's plan. Then it was that one of the elders said unto John, "Weep not; behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." The Lion of the tribe of Judah had shown Himself worthy.

When had He done that? Not before He came into the world because He was not the Lion of the tribe of Judah until He came into the world. He was [HGL664] born of the tribe of Judah, but had not yet become the Lion, or strong One. Our Lord was the Lion of the tribe of Judah from the time that He made a covenant with the Father at the river Jordan. There He became the strong one of Judah, although He did not finish His sacrifice until Calvary. It required, in one sense of the word, the entire three-and-one half years of Christ's ministry to demonstrate Himself to be this strong One, and so, in the picture in Revelations, we read, "Weep not; the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has prevailed to take the book, open the seals, and to know what is therein." He is the One through whom it is to be accomplished. John says, I looked to see what it meant, and behold, "A lamb stood, as it had been slain" -( A lamb newly slain, says the Greek) the Lamb thus representing the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice.

By that sacrifice of Himself, He had prevailed and was found worthy, and then, as John looked and saw the Lamb, the people were heard, saying, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing." There it is! There is where Jesus became worthy not without blood, not without sacrifice, not without being tested by the Father, not without coming off conqueror and thus proving himself to be worthy to be the Father's representative in opening the scroll. Even if we were of the world, and not of the church, how glad we would be for the redemption in His blood, how glad that God will ultimately recover all from the death curse and bring them back again to harmony with Himself by restitution processes during the millenium, during the reign of Christ! But we who are of the bride-class, when we think of being invited to come and join in with the Savior, and be partakers with Him, both in the suffering of this present life, and in the glory that shall follow, how glad we are! And this is indeed our privilege and portion, dear friends, in carrying out the Father's plan.

We might well rejoice that, by the Christ of God, we have heard the glad message; we have been invited to become footstep followers of the Lord Jesus, and to prove ourselves worthy to be joint-heirs with Him in the kingdom, even as He proved Himself worthy, by the laying down of our lives in the service of the truth. Oh, but you say, it seems to me, brother Russell, nobody is worthy.

True indeed unworthy without our Redeemer. But aside from all the mercy of God, this call comes in as a special thing over and above all justification. There is something else, and you must be worthy according to this call, and prove yourself worthy, or never get in. The worthiness is just the same as that of our Lord Jesus, who has provided for the covering of our blemishes through Father Adam and the fall. The test is the same as in the case of our Lord, viz. :loyalty to the truth, faithfulness to God, putting away all selfishness, seeking to do only the will of our Heavenly Father. You can't do God's will as perfectly as He could.

Therefore it is important for us to do what is possible for us, and therefore the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unintentional blemishes, but we are required to have the same spirit, the same mind, even as the Apostle Paul admonishes us, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." What mind? The mind to do God's will, the mind willing to humble ourselves in order to do the will of God. And the Apostle further says, that, "If any man have not the spirit of Christ, the mind of Christ, he is none of His." He has not got that same mind that was in Christ Jesus, that same spirit, that same disposition.

So, you see, it is important that we realize our need of justification, and to note the difference between justification and the high calling. I am sure that not many Christian people see this distinction clearly. The Bible everywhere teaches that we are to be justified, freely, from all things. It is God that justifies, and not you that justifies yourself. It is God who does that. This justification comes through our Lord Jesus. Being justified by faith in His blood. So that it is not of works, lest any man should boast, but it is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That justification merely brings us to the threshold. It would make us worthy to be sacrificers. He will not go any further than that for you. You must present your bodies. "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." He does not say, brethren, you have nothing to do with this matter, and you have no sacrifices to make, and Jesus does all the sacrificing.

His sacrifice made good for Adamic sin that sin of Father Adam which came down upon us all in the way of imperfection of body, mind and morals. The effect of Christ's death for you and me is the same as He will give to all eventually justification to perfection to human nature. In the world to come He will help them up out of imperfections, but in the case of the church, He simply imputes a sufficiency of His merit to make up for what they lack, in order that they might be acceptable sacrificers, and become eligible to the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus which is held out during this gospel age.

The word justification means to make right. Take for instance a pair of scales. Put something into one side, and something of equal weight on the other side, and thus make them balance exactly. Thus mankind has become a sinner in Adam on the one hand, and Jesus has become our Savior on the other hand and makes things right. Just so. That is to be done for all men, because Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, has tasted death for every man. But, neither before Jesus came, nor since Jesus came, have the heathen been justified; neither has anyone been justified except a special class the church. God has willed that the whole human race shall go down to the tomb unjustified in sin, and wait until the millennial age, and in that millennial day Jesus who died for them, will be their justifier. He will make it right for them during the thousand years. He will bring them up from the tomb, help them up the highway during the thousand years, and at the close of that time, will present them to the Father blameless.

He will not present anybody to the Father in any other way than blameless. So the whole world, at the end of the millennium, will be presented to the Father because He will have justified them, made them right. He gives to the Father the ransom price for them, which is His own death. The penalty was Father Adam's death, and Jesus has given His sacrifice, and in due time He will make application of it for the world and take control of this world, which is His purchased possession. Jesus paid the very price that was due by Adam, and God has dealt only with Adam so far. He is not dealing with the world, as yet. Only Adam was condemned to [HGL665] death. Only one was found to be a sinner, and only one was condemned to death. All others were simply condemned in him. Therefore, only one man needed to be ransomed, and it only took one man to redeem the whole human race. As by a man came death, so by a man came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive every man in his own order.

But now then, in this gospel age you and I have a different kind of justification. That will be the actual justification then actual perfection in body, mind and morals, but now, with us, God, in His manifold wisdom, has a different plan, so that from the time you hear the Lord, and the time you accept His conditions, you receive justification by faith not the real thing, does not make perfect at all, we have the same brain, the same mind, the same everything, we are not changed a bit. It is merely a matter of faith. But why will God call us right when we are wrong? He does not call your body right. He does not justify and bless it.

What does He do? You and I in order to obtain this invitation, accept the One who is pointed out to be our Advocate. We have an Advocate with the Father. The world is to have a Mediator by and by. Now the Church has an Advocate. We have an Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. We come to the Father through Him. We give ourselves by consecration in Christ to God, realizing that God's arrangements are all in Christ.

We say, Father, I have heard that you will have mercy for the world in the age to come, and it will be extended to them through Christ His death being the basis; I heard of the time, but I also heard that now, in advance, during the gospel age, those of mankind who hear and will respond are privileged to come, and so I come. Dear Heavenly Father, I understand that I must trust myself to you through Jesus and so I do, in the name of Jesus, surrender myself to thee, and engage to do His will and to walk in His steps, and seek through Him to be acceptable in thy sight. The Father says, that is the way I want you to do, and Jesus says, very well, since you have made that kind of a consecration, I will accept you, even your body which is imperfect. I will make it all right. My merit is sufficient for the sins of the whole world, so I will simply impute to you not give, but impute my merit.

What effect will that have? That will make it as though your blemishes were covered no longer recognized by God, because the merit of Christ has been imputed. This is called a wedding garment a plain, white garment to be put on by all those who are invited to the house, given to all those who come to be disciples. He gives his figurative wedding garment to be put on by all those who are invited to the house, given to all those who come to be disciples. He gives his figurative wedding garment and we put it on. Now, we are not appearing in the filthy rags of our own righteousness, but in the robe of Christ's righteousness.

We are accounted now as New Creatures. When we gave up our own wills and God accepted that sacrifice, and we received the spirit of begetting, we became new creatures in Christ. Old things passed away, and behold all things became new. This robe covers the flesh, which is imperfect. The new creature needs no covering because he has not sinned. It is only because the new creature has not its new body, that it needs this old body. The new creature has this old body as a tabernacle, in which we do groan. This was not so before you became a Christian, but only when we became new creatures. The body is the house in which the new creature shall temporarily reside and progress.

God has prepared a heavenly, spiritual body for every one of those who are His people. He will give us this spiritual body in due time, but not now, because He wishes us to progress in these old bodies. The Father says, you just keep this old body for a while, and let me see how you will make out with it. Let me see how you will fight against the flesh. You are not to fight with carnal weapons, but with the weapons of my spirit. We have the helmet of salvation, the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit, with which to fight against the imperfections of the flesh. This is our great fight. We are all surrounded by the imperfections of the old nature, and this makes it necessary for us to wage a continual warfare, and fight a good fight, and come off conquerors.

So then, here we are new creatures in Christ, and yet we wear the robe to cover the imperfections of our flesh.

God is not looking on coldly and indifferently, but as a father pitieth his children, and a good shepherd cares for his sheep, so the Lord with respect to those who have become His children and are seeking to walk in the footsteps of his Son. He is deeply interested in them. The Father Himself loveth you. Oh, that is one of the most precious texts in the Bible, and one of the most wonderful ones as well.

He might feel an interest in us, but to think that God loves us, if we have become members of the Us class. God so loved the world (that is a broad love) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but will ultimately get everlasting life, but this love God has for the church is a special love such as He had for His own Son. They are as dear to Him as the apple of His eye.

What tender care has one for the eye. He sees that nothing will hurt his eye. The eye has the attention of the whole body when in trouble. So it is with God's care for the members of the church they are as dear to Him as the apple of His eye. We are glad of this special love which causes God to put the robe of Christ's righteousness upon us a beautiful figure of speech. Our Father is not looking upon us as sinners at all, but as new creatures.

The flesh is covered by the robe, but the flesh is not to be preserved. Your body has been presented as a sacrifice. It is to be consumed. It is wrong though to suppose that God will give me the best of everything for my body, and will so guard me as to prevent any injury to my body. It is the new creature that the Father is preparing for glory not the natural man; and He is doing this by means of those precious promises, which are made to the new creature.

The old man is perishing. God will not give us restitution; that is for the future. We who have received the high calling cannot get restitution. It is like the child who cannot keep the penny and get the cake also. If he gets the cake he must give up the penny. No more can we get the glory of the high calling and at the same time hold on to earthly things and blessings. We have become heirs of the heavenly things, and have been begotten again as spirit beings like the Lord Jesus Christ. Earthly restitution will be for mankind in general in the future.

Therefore, let us not think that God [HGL666] is offering restitution, and that we can accept such things. We are to sacrifice, and if you find that you have no sufferings for Christ, you have reason to question whether God is dealing with you as with sons. God delivered up Jesus freely for us all, and He allowed His enemies to smite Him, to spit upon Him, to put the crown of thorns upon His head, to mock and crucify Him. God allowed all this. It was truly said, The birds of the air have their nests, but the son of man hath not where to lay His head. His Father permitted all this because He was dealing with Him as His son who had been begotten to a new nature, and who was demonstrating His worthiness by obedience to the things which He suffered. It will be so to us if we are true to the Lord, even as it is written, "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."

Unless we have been chosen, we are not sons, but bastards. He did not choose angels, but all who have received the begetting of the spirit now, who have been received to become joint heirs with Christ He chooses every one of them, because of the great, and honorable and high position to which He has called them. It is such a wonderful thing, that God wishes to test the loyalty and faithfulness unto death of every one who will be in that glorious company. So then, instead of thinking that you are having a great number of trials, that you are always in some kind of trouble, and that you are peculiar in that respect, you will rather think, I wonder how it is that the Lord lets me have so few of these terrible trials; I would think that He would want to prove me more.

He has not yet proven how much I must suffer for His sake in order to demonstrate my loyalty. That is what the experiences of Jesus and the Apostles proved. Not many therefore, will prove themselves to be worthy. "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Fathers' pleasure to give you the kingdom." It is only a little flock that the Lord is calling out now. He is the Shepherd of the little flock, who walk in the narrow way. "Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there be that find it." The Heavenly Father is the Great Shepherd, and He is the one who has called us. We are following Jesus because God has pointed Him out to be the Captain of our salvation, whom He made perfect through suffering, and thus it must be with every one who follows him he must be called, proven, and found faithful through sufferings unto death. The Father is deeply interested in all this, and so the text says, "The Lord is my shepherd."

I remind you, dear friends, you whom He has called, if indeed it be that you have heard His voice, that Jesus did nothing but what He heard from the Father, even as He said, My message is My Father's message. So, whatever message He gave us, is the message of the Great Shepherd, the Father. This message coming from the Heavenly Father is for the purpose of calling us to be His sheep. "Gather my saints together unto me," saith the Lord that is the Father's word- "Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." Thus saith Jehovah, but what kind of a covenant is this that we make with him? It is one by sacrifice. You see your calling then, or, as the Apostle puts it, "Ye know your calling, brethren." Do you know your calling, brethren?

We are not called to be Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc., but called to be sons of God. "Gather my saints together unto me, those that have a covenant with me by sacrifice" this is the call. Not gather them together unto Russell, Luther or Calvin, but unto God. Who are they? Those who have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice not a covenant with the church, but with HIM by sacrifice. It is not a general covenant., It must be made by sacrifice. There are those who will come into covenant-relationship with God without sacrifice, but those who come now, and are of the sheep now called, they are called to sacrifice. There are no exceptions.

If you are not a sacrificer, then you are not one of them. The Lord's true sheep have heard the shepherd's voice and have presented their bodies to be living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God, because Jesus, our great High Priest, has made an atonement for our imperfections. He has become our surety, our Advocate with the Father, and He makes us acceptable and we become sacrifices. We must be satisfied as to what we will do. Jesus at the age of thirty came to John at the river Jordan. He came as soon as He was thirty years of age to John at Jordan, and there and then presented Himself to the Father.

What He did on that occasion, you know we all know. The Prophet speaking for Jesus and telling what were the sentiments of his heart, says, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God" 'everything written in the Book. What book? The Book of the Law. The Book of the Prophets. Everything which God had caused to be written respecting the Messiah, Jesus was ready to do. There was the serpent on the pole lifted up in the wilderness by Moses, even as it is written, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up;" there was the bullock slain by the High Priest Aaron on the Day of Atonement in connection with the tabernacle service; and there was the lamb that was slain every spring at the Passover time; all this was written in the book concerning Him, the Lamb of God. Also He would be led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a lamb before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not his mouth. And so Jesus says, at the time of His consecration, "I come to do Thy will, O God, as it is written of me in the Book." He could not understand at the time all that was written in the Book, but He said, "I come to do Thy will, O God" everything written in the Book, whatever you have written there, show it to me, dear Father. I cannot see it clearly now, but whatever there is, I will delight to do it. No matter how severe, nor how great a sacrifice it will require, I will do it. And then, Jesus symbolized his consecration unto death by His baptism in the river Jordan by John, showing forth His death and consequent resurrection.

This same figure comes to you and to me, and becomes an outward confession that, whatever is written in the Book concerning us, and comes to us in His providence, we will be glad to do. We are rejoicing to do the will of God, and desirous that His will be done in us, even as it was done in our Lord and Master. This is the only kind of sacrifice God will accept. One says, I have consecrated myself to be a Christian, and I think I will be a pretty big Christian, too. Such may have their [HGL667] ideas about consecration, too. Others say, I will consecrate myself to God and will try to do some kind of mission work. God did not ask them to do that. That will not be an acceptable sacrifice. I will consecrate myself to work for God in the temperance field. God did not say you should do it, but we should consecrate ourselves to God and put no restrictions, whatever, around our sacrifice. "Thy will be done in me," whatever that will might be, should be the sentiment of our hears.

So then, my dear brethren, we see what God has arranged for us, and how reasonable it all is, and thus we have been invited to become partakers of Christ's sufferings now, in order that we may become sharers in His glory that shall follow. It has been an invitation not a command. A command would not have been right. God set before you a great prize. It was set before you. He did not command you. He made no threat, used no force. If we do not wish to come without being forced, we cannot come at all. He has merely set forth His message, and wherever that messages goes, it appeals to certain hearts only. It is like the wireless messages that go forth from the telegraph instrument.

Waves of sound go out miles and miles clear across the Atlantic Ocean. They go from New Jersey clear over into Germany. It is not every one that can catch the message. The sending instrument is tuned to a certain key. If you have a good co-hearer, or receiving instrument, and yet, do not have your co-hearer properly tuned, you cannot receive the message at all. If you have a good co-hearer and get it in line with the message that is coming in, you can get the message. It is often necessary to tune it up higher and higher before it gets in tune with the sending instrument. And so, you and I have to be in tune with God before we can hear His message, and we must continue to keep in tune with Him, if we shall continue to receive messages from God. They pass over the heads of millions of people, and they do not hear. Eyes they have, but they see not; ears they have but they hear not. "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear not." "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear." Many in Jesus' day having co-hearers that were not properly attuned to receive the message, did not receive the words of Jesus. They did not hear from His lips God's message. Their thoughts were not in tune. Instead of thinking that, whosoever will humble himself shall be exalted in due time, they were attuned to the other thought that, whosoever will exalt himself now shall be exalted hereafter.

So it is today. God is only finding the humble and sincere ones, those who are in tune with the Infinite One. I trust that we have been in tune to receive the message which our great Shepherd has sent to his sheep, that we have become true co-hearers, and that we are keeping our instruments in tune with the Infinite One, so that we are able to hear the message more and more, and are abiding in the love that rejoices to lay down our lives in His service, continuing therefore in the spirit of Christ and of all them who shall ultimately be accepted in Him. In the eighth of Romans we read that God has foreordained that all those who would be of the church class in glory, must be copies of His dear Son else we will not get that prize no one else will get it.

Now, my dear brethren, I cannot tell you when we will reach the end of our race course. As far as I can see, judging from the Word, we must be near, very near, even at the door. We are certainly down to the time referred to by Jesus as characterized by "Men's hearts failing them for fear" every financier and statesman is fearful it is a fear respecting the future rather than for the things present. The things coming upon the earth are causing perplexity. When we see these things beginning to come to pass then are we to lift up our heads and rejoice: rejoice that your deliverance draweth nigh. The time for the glorification of the church is close at hand.

When the door shall once shut, no one else will ever enter therein. The door of mercy for the world will then be thrown open wider than ever, but the door to the bride to enter into the marriage will be closed forever. So, then, if we hope to be joint-heirs with Christ, suffering now and glorified shortly, now is the time to make our calling and election sure. Sure! It is not sure, yet, is it, my dear brethren? It is not uncertain, but sure upon the terms to which God has agreed. He will never fail you. It is absolutely certain with Him. The only uncertainty is with ourselves. If you are faithful to the best of your ability, God asks for nothing more. All things are yours if you abide in Him. Continue in the same spirit of the Master, growing in grace and in knowledge, and becoming stronger and stronger. His grace will be sufficient for you, for His strength will be made perfect in our weakness, and all things the trials, the suffering, the persecutions, the misunderstandings all shall work together for good to those who abide in His love, the called ones according to His purpose. This applies to us, dear brethren, I hope, and as we see the terrible trouble drawing nearer, I hope we are becoming stronger in the Truth and stronger in His service, and will be pleased to lay down our lives in His blessed service.

Look at the type of Elijah. At the close of his life, he being a type of the church, he was taken away by a whirlwind to heaven. That is a picture of the church being taken away. Elijah was a type of many things to the church, but we now notice, that at the close of his life previous to his departure, knowing that his time was at hand, God sent him thither and thither, and beyond. He went here and there as God directed. Wherever God said go, he went.

After thus going from place to place, as directed by the Lord, he finally came to the last place, and there God did not say anything further as to where he should go. And thus it has been with us. God said to us, go there, and we went. Then to another place, and we went, and then came down to 1914, and now he is saying, go to the last place. Of Elijah we read, "As they went on'beyond the place where the Lord last sent them'as they went on, behold there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." All of this, I think, is a picture.

The church is to be taken into glory. It will not be by a literal, fiery chariot, but by a symbolical one. Fire stands for persecutions or sufferings of some kind. So, we see, some kind of a fiery trial will come. We do not know exactly when, but in expectation. We know what to expect. The fiery chariot parted them, and then Elijah went up in a whirlwind a whirlwind of trouble. When the wind blows from four corners, it represents general strife. We do not know just what it means, but we will watch every day. We do not know how soon it will come, but we are waiting for it. I am looking for it and am anxious to get into that [HGL668] whirlwind. All the faithful ones must pass through that experience. I am giving you this as a consolation. This is what is coming, no matter how.

Don't make a chariot of fire for yourself. The Lord will make the chariot of fire. Leave everything in the Lord's hands; do not worry; leave all with the Lord. Do your best and leave everything else to Him. He will bring it all to pass, and will do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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