||Chosen no: R-377 a, from: 1882 Year.
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Please permit me two questions --If the door to the High calling
closed in 1881, how is it that conversions still take place? Again,
the Sanctification movement among Methodists still
progresses--is this not the same that we term the "High
(No. 1.) We never claimed that conversions would cease with
Oct. '81. On the contrary we have claimed that the conversion of the World in general, is a special work of the incoming Millennial
is conversion? It is a turning from one thing to another. To
convert a good man would be to make him a bad man. To
convert an unbelieving transgressor, is to make him a believing
servant. Of the world in general it is true that they are the
servants of sin, and to convert them is to make them
servants of righteousness. It is in order that all men may be
converted to God (become his servants) that Jesus died and that the
glad tidings are to be testified to all men in due time. Therefore
conversions do not belong to the Gospel age alone, nor can the door
to conversion close before the end of the Millennial Age. The
nominal church because lacking in truth and abundant in error is
losing its power over the world, even to convert to morality. Almost all the recent additions to the nominal churches, are Sunday
not only is not the door but it has nothing to do with our
"High Calling" except that it is a necessary step which
each sinner and unbeliever must take before he can enter the "strait gate" and "narrow way" to the great
prize, offered during this Gospel age. Thus we read "Repent and
be converted (turned) that your sins may be blotted out." (Acts 3:19.) After you are freed from your
sins--"justified by faith" from all things, then you
are on the sinless platform and so long as the narrow way and gate
were open, you might enter and run for the prize to which it
leads. That narrow gate might be entered (while open) by any one who
having been made free from sin by faith in Jesus' ransom, would
present himself "a living sacrifice" to God.
first to enter this gate and run the race was our Leader and
Forerunner --Jesus. He needed not to wait for a ransom for his sins,
being "Holy, harmless and separate from sinners"--"In
him was no sin." Jesus entered the gate to run for the same
prize, when he consecrated himself a living sacrifice to God,
at Baptism. That narrow way stood open ever since, till Oct. 1881,
and every justified believer has had the invitation to
come take up his cross and follow the Leader--share his sufferings
and be made conformable unto his death. "Few there be
that find it," because (through lack of study or faith in the
Word) few appreciate the grand prize so highly, as to be
willing to share the cross despising the shame and contempt of the
understanding is, that all justified believers who had, prior to Oct.
'81 consecrated their all, of mind and body to God, are on "the narrow way" and should continue to "so run (according to their covenant) as to obtain" the prize. It is for
this perfecting of the members of the body now in the narrow way that
we wait in our present humiliated condition, expecting that when the
trial is finished, the Lord our head will glorify his BODY. To
thus perfect us and ripen us rapidly, the light of truth [the harvest Sun] shines brighter than ever before. [See Jan. No., page 5.]
(No. 2.) Sanctification means, set apart or separated. There are many and various ideas on the subject of sanctification.
One trouble is that many are sanctified to error and almost
destitute of truth. They are set apart to carry out
some plan or scheme of their own, begotten through the traditions of
only sanctification recognized in Scripture as the good, acceptable
and perfect will of God, is a Sanctification of the spirit (mind)
through the belief of the truth. (2 Thes. 2:13.) That
was Paul's inspired idea of sanctification. Jesus taught the same
truth, praying: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy
Word is truth." (John 17:17.) James taught the
same. Jas. 1:18.
conclude then, that there is much spurious Sanctification. Some, we
doubt not, are sanctified through less truth than we have
received; but if children, it is only reasonable to suppose that the
Father will provide such with the "meat in due season."
One thing seems sure, that all consecrated ones who have any measure
of the spirit of truth, will feel and manifest a desire for,
rather than an opposition to, more advanced truths.
such as have been sanctified through a little truth and have
truly given their minds and bodies to God's service,
we, as his ambassadors urge, that they gird up the loins of their
minds (Being girt about with truth,) and run with fresh vigor
the race for the prize of our high calling--that they throw off all
entanglements of earthly organizations, and run as Christ's free
men. But while we still would urge justified believers (who have never yet consecrated) to now consecrate their time and
powers to God's service, we cannot hold out as a hope, the heavenly prize. We point such to the same prize for which Abraham and all
prior to Jesus ran, viz: future earthly blessings.
Why do you say in February issue that the reformers were untitled
men? History records that Martin Luther was a Doctor of Divinity
before he became a leader in the Reformation.
Yes, he was a D.D. before he reformed, but was called a
Heretic after it.
(No. 2.) You say that Luther's 27th Thesis showed that he did not
believe in man's natural or inherent immortality. I have looked up
the 27th Thesis of the Lutheran Church and find no such thing.
The Lutheran Church has changed those Theses, and though they have a
27th, it is not Luther's 27th. They dropped his out, because
it taught just as we said, that man by nature is not
immortal. Immortality is promised only to overcomers. See
"LUTHER'S WORKS," vol. 2, pp. 106 and 107.--His defense of
his XXVII. Thesis.
Jesus has not been called Immanuel (God with us) yet, has he?
Does not this name apply to the complete Christ--head and body--when
exalted and present with the world?
We think that it is similar to the title--"The Everlasting
Father." As we have heretofore seen, "The God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ hath begotten us," who constitute
the members in particular of Christ's body (1 Pet. 1:3);
consequently, we are members of the body of that "Everlasting
Father" or life giver to the world. So also with
the title Immanuel. Like these, is another title, "The Prince of
Peace" --we are members in particular of the body of that
Prince--joint-heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord and Head, if so be
that we suffer with him.