Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 11, 1949
NUMBER 14, PAGE 4b-5b

"I Don't Know Enough Yet"


How often gospel preachers and other Christians hear those words from the lips of someone they are trying to persuade to obey the gospel And in most cases the statement is false.

The apostles of the Lord went out among pagan people who had never even heard the name of Christ of God. They preached one gospel sermon, and so simple was the scheme of redemption that these heathen people, by far the majority of whom could neither read nor write their own names, could understand and obey the of the apostles.

Perhaps in the very fact of their simple, uncluttered paganism we have the answer. They had not been taught a lot of things about Christ that weren't so; their minds were not cluttered and confused, bewildered and befuddled by the "theologies" of men. With them it was simple choice between Christ and paganism. It was not a choice between the relative importance of Christ' commands — whether some of them were "essential' and some "non-essential" It did not occur to them that any of his commands were non-essential They were not bedeviled by the conflicting claims of parties and sects and schisms, each screaming its own excellence and anathematizing its fellows.

The honest soul who holds back from obeying the Lord today because he thinks he "doesn't know enough should take a lesson from these early disciples. Come to the word of God with the same open mind, the same desire to learn that they brought to the apostles' words and the truth of God is as brilliant and unmistakable in our day as it was in theirs. You will not be confused by claims of men; you will not read in God's word of single one of the modern "protestant" churches, any more than you will read of the Roman Catholic church. There is not one word in the Bible telling how one may become a member of any of these human organizations.

If a man will divest his mind of all thoughts of this church or that church, this creed or that creed, and simply open the Book and do what it teaches him, God will "add" that man to his church. He will not be confused; he will not be misled. If one knows that Christ is the Son of God, and that his word must be obeyed, one knows enough to imitate his obedience — an obedience that will bring him step by step into full fellowship in the family of God, and will bring him finally to heaven itself. —F. Y. T.


The Transfiguration

In Matthew 17 is recorded the puzzling story of the Transfiguration. While Bible students all agree as to what happened, it seems there is much difference of opinion as to the meaning, or significance of it.

Two things, however, seem to be involved — one of them perfectly obvious, the other not quite so clear. The obvious thing, about which there can be no doubt or misunderstanding at all, is indicated in the voice of God from heaven, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." God here gave full approval to Christ as a law-giver. Moses and Elijah were typical of the law and the prophets; Christ is now to supersede them with the gospel.

"Hear ye him." Christ is the final and complete revelation of God's will. Whatever fault men may find with the church, there is no fault to be found with the One who founded the church, nor with the laws which he gave to govern it. Men are weak, sinful, ignorant, willfully disobedient at times; of a perverted and depraved disposition; but the laws of Christ are perfect. "Hypocrites in the church" is no excuse and no justification for any man's failure to obey Christ. "Hear ye him," God said. That was exactly what he meant. Concerning that truth the Transfiguration is as clear as the noon day sun.

The second aspect of the Transfiguration is not quite so clear; but it would seem probable that there is some intimation in the experience indicating God's extreme good pleasure with the work his Son had done up to this moment. The glorified body, the declaration of approbation from heaven would almost imply a willingness on the part of the Father for the Son even now to return to the state of glory from whence he had come. So great is the Father's pleasure in him that, as it were, he opens up two roads before his son: one the road leading immediately back to his presence, the other the road that would lead him down through the dark tragedy of Calvary before he could return to God. In other words, God had sent the son into the world; but now the son must make his own decision as to whether he is, or is not, willing to make the sacrifice which will be inevitable if he stays longer on the earth. If the Son shall chose to go back to Jerusalem, and to come to his Father by way of the cross, the decision must be his own; the Father will not demand it of him. If he desires, he can return home immediately.

Christ came down from that mount and "set his face steadfastly toward Jerusalem." The die was cast; the decision had been made. No man will take his life from him, but he will deliberately "lay it down" for the sins of the world. His Father had sent him into the world; by his own choice he will remain in the world until his purpose has been accomplished.

—F. Y. T.


I Know Whom Have Believed-

An aged man lay in a prison cell.

This was not a new experience to him. He had spent more than a few years of his life behind prison bars. More than once he had heard himself receive sentence from some judge upon the bench.

But now he is old. His aged body is beginning to break under the privations and hardships of a religious life. And, worse still, he is practically friendless. Of all those who were once his companions, only one has remained with him. His life is nearly over; only the memory of those long gone days of the past is with him.

He writes a letter to a friend:

'The time of my departure is come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."

No tears of regret. No bewailing of lost opportunities. No excuses. He faces death undaunted and unafraid — with high courage and an unshaken faith. He has lived gloriously; he will die the same way.

Hear the thrilling exaltation with which he faces the inevitable day, "I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

Confidence — assurance — the blessed hope! These are the things that have sustained him in life; they will also sustain him in death.

Thus died Paul, the apostle of faith.

—F. Y. T.