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Why, then, should they be so bitterly opposed for proclaiming this scriptural doctrine? Are they not all mem. bers of the body of Christ ?87 And, as such, do they not merit the warmest sympathy and prayers of the Church? Shall they be condemned because, like the early Church, they are holding the traditions (or teachings handed down) of the apostles,88 and looking for Jesus 289 God forbid ! But let us remember that “we be brethren,” strangers and pilgrims (Heb. 11:13), whose "citizenship” is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). And let us speak “the truth in love," be built up in love (Eph. 4:15-16), and “walk in love" (Eph. 5:2), "redeeming the time, because the days are evil."90
The Days Are Evil. Yes, THE DAYS ARE EVIL, and we freely admit that this doctrine does present a gloomy future in the present evil age, for this world of sinners, who are full of unbelief and radically opposed to Christ, His people and His salvation.91 They are rejecting God's gracious entreaties for
Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13. Watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
(87) 1 Cor. 12:25. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
(88) 2 Thes. 2:5. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you I
you these things?
15. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
(89) Phil. 3:20. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we
look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Heb. 9:28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Also Tit. 2:13.
then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
(91) 2 Cor. 6:14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15. And what concord hath Christ and Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their
reconciliation,92 and rushing madly on toward the day of wrath. Rev. 6:15-17.
But there is no gloom in the future for those "who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us, and “who have received the Spirit of adoption,” become "children” and “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ ... For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.” Rom. 8:15-18.
There seems to be a prevailing disposition to balance up the good and the bad in the world by a process of general average, in which the triumphs of art and science, the progress in inventions, discoveries, etc., are counted as moral goodness, and it is concluded that the world, on the average, is growing better.
But this is utterly fallacious and, we fear, a grand deception of Satan.
The Church and the World.
First, there is no such thing as averaging together the true church and the world. There is no possible consanguinity. The one is "from beneath," -- the other “from above." The one "is of this world,” — the other “not of this world.” John 8:23. They must not be yoked together, for there is no fellowship, communion, concord, part or agreement between them. They are and always
God, and they shall be my people.
17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons.
Eph. 5:11. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
1 John 2:15. Love not the world, neither the things that
are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Also John 14:18-22, 16:33, 17:14,
James 4:14, 1 John 5:19.
(92) 2 Cor. 5:20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made tho righteousness of God in him.
(93) Heb. 6:18. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie,
must be separate. * The true church is in the world, but not of it.94 There are three parties in the world, viz. : the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God.95 As the Jews were a separate, called-out and peculiar people, 96 not to be reckoned among the nations,97 so is this true church a separate and peculiar people,98 called unto cleansing and holiness,99 sealed by the Spirit of God, unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30), no longer darkness, but schildren of light," and exhorted to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:8-11). They are of God, while the whole world lies in the wicked
There is an irrepressible conflict between them,
we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us :
19. Which nope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail;
20. Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
(94) John 17:11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 15. I pray not that
thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
* See (91) pg. 144.
Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.
(96) Ex. 19:5. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people : for all the ear his mine.
6. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy
nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Ex. 33:16. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
Also Deut. 7:6, Psa. 135:4.
(97) Num. 23:9. For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
(98) Tit. 2:14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 1 Pet. 2:9.
are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
(99) 2 Cor. 7:1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Also Eph. 5:25-27.
no possible harmony exists. On the contrary, their principles and tendencies are absolutely opposite. It is therefore entirely inconsistent that they should be spoken of as forming one general mass.
Art, Science and Invention. Second, the triumphs of art and science, the progress in inventions, discoveries, etc., by no means argue an increase in godliness.
Many of the acknowledged leaders today in science and philosophy-yes, even those who rank the very highest among them, are positive infidels. And very many more, who disclaim absolute infidelity, deny the divinity of Jesus Christ.
It is strange, indeed, that the Christian optimists, in their noisy trumpetings of the strides of science, should lose sight of this momentous fact. And history bears a similar testimony. The power, splendor and wisdom of David and Solomon were followed by the idolatry and innocent blood of Ahab and Manasseh, resulting in the overthrow of Jerusalem and the Babylonish captivity.
The temple, built by Herod, was one of the grandest works of art. It fairly flashed with splendor, and the temple service was conducted on a magnificent scale. The Jews of his time enjoyed great privileges in literature and learning, and yet they crucified the Lord Jesus.
The Greeks rose to a pinnacle of triumph in literature, poetry and art, and yet they failed by wisdom to find out God. To them he was the unknown God.101 See how plainly this is brought out in 1 Cor. chapters, 1, 2 and 3: "For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1:21). The trouble is not with the heads, but with the hearts of men. No matter how great the learning, man must have a
we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one.
(101) Acts 17:23. For as I passed by, and beheld your devo
tions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
heart, and this is obtained not by education, but by the operation of the Spirit of God. It was not many wise men after the flesh who received the grace of God in Corinth, but the simple and the despised. “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,” said Jesus, “that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent (discerning ones) and hast revealed them unto babes.” Luke 10:21.
The world, then, by “wisdom” or “philosophy” (Col. 2: 8), or "science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20), can never find out God. Indeed, we have a clear evidence of this in the rationalism, infidelity and atheism of our day. No matter how refined and polished is their garb or the delicacy with which they may be set forth, still they are only the poisonous deceptions of him who can appear as “an angel of light.”102 The truth is that Satan is the arch enemy of God, and the world, in this present evil age (Gal. 1:4), is in his power (1 John 5:19), so that he besets the people of God with his "wiles,” and arrays against them "principalities. powers . .. and the rulers of the darkness of this world." Eph. 6:11-13. Therefore the Christian must "ove not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16.
The World Not Growing Better. Surely, then, this wicked world, which is so radically opposed to God, and under the present control of His arch
enemy, is not growing better. On the contrary, judgment, fire and perdition are before it.10 Perilous
(102) 2 Cor. 11:13. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be
transformed the ministers of
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3. And through covetousness