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Copyright, 1948, The K ing’s Business No part o f this magazine may be reproduced without permission. All Rights Reserved.
NEW YEAR NUMBER
k n o t t i e r g e a r
Frances Ridley Havergal
Editorially Speaking ................................. 4 The Bible in the News, William W. O r r .................................................... 5 The Divine Enrichment, W. J. G r a n t. ............................. .......................... 6 The Church o f Jezebel, G. Coleman L u ck ................................................. 8 Who’s Who at B iola -in -C h ina .............................................................. 10 Palestine, Russia and Ezekiel 38, Louis T. Talbot .................................. 11 Seventh-Day Adventism, E. B. Jones .......................................................... 13 Biola Family Circle ........................................................................................... 14 Junior K ing’s Business, Martha S. H ook er ............................................... 15 Young People’s Topics, Walter L. W ilson ........... .......................... .. 17 It’s An Idea, Carlton C. B u ck ........... ' ........................................................... 17 Sunday School Lessons, Homer A . K ent, Allison A rrow ood ................ 22 Object Lessons, Elmer L. Wilder ... .............................................................. 28 Picture Credits: Cover, Eva Luoma; p. 6, George R. K in g ; p. 13, Santa F e Railroad. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION—“The King’s Business” is published monthly; $2.00,. one year; $1.00, six months; 20 cents, single copy. Clubs of three or more at special rates. Write for details. Canadian and foreign subscriptions 25 cents extra. It requires one month for a change of address to become effective. Please send both old and new addresses. REMITTANCES—Payable- in advance, should be made by bank draft, express, or post office money order payable to “The King’s Business.” Date of expiration will show plainly on outside wrapper or cover of magazine. ADVERTISING—For information, address the Advertising Manager, 558 South Hope Street, Los Angeles 18, California. MANUSCRIPTS—“The King’s Business” cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to manuscripts mailed to us for consideration. Entered as second-class matter November 7, 1938, at the Post Office at Los Angeles, California, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Acceptance for ■;mailing at special rate of postage provided for in the Act of February 28, 1925, embodied in paragraph 4, section 638, P. L. and R., authorized October 1, 1918, and November 13, 1938. ADDRESS: The King’s Business, 558 So. Hope St., Los Angeles 13, California.
Another year is dawning! Dear Master, let it be, In working or in waiting, Another year with Thee. Another year in leaning Upon Thy loving breast, Of ever-deepening trustfulness, Of quiet, happy rest. Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace; Another year of gladness, In the shining of Thy face. Another year of progress, Another year of praise; Another year of proving Thy presence “ all the days.” Another year of service, Of witness for Thy love; Another year of training For holier works above. Another year is dawning! Dear Master, let it be On earth or else in heaven, Another year for Thee!
9 Jgeto IPear What shall I wish thee this New Year? Health, wealth, prosperity, good cheer, All sunshine—not a cloud or tear? Nay! only this: That God may lead thee His own way, That He may choose thy path each day, That thou mayest feel Him near alway, For this is bliss!
J A N U A R Y , 1 9 4 8
Home ” O UR hearts were saddened at the news of the recent Home-going of “the beloved physician,” Dr. Arthur I. Brown, who was killed in an automo bile accident near Barry, Illinois. Dr. Brown was well known to Southern Cali fornia congregations. He addressed the students o f the Bible Institute o f Los Angeles many times and often preached at the Church of the Open Door. Last year he was one of the speakers at the annual Torrey Memorial Conference. His personal testimony of God’s ways with him always moved hearts, and his books, in which he illustrated spiritual truths with scientific facts, were greatly used, particularly with young people. His de parture to be with Christ, though great gain to him, is a distinct loss to the church of Christ. As we go to press, word reaches us "that another great Christian leader, Dr. W. B. Riley, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, one of the most brilliant fundamentalists of this generation, has gone to be with the Lord. We hope to have further details of his Home-going in the future. Let us who remain be more diligent than ever in the service of the King. Time Out for Study I T is a well-known fact that the preachers of today are exceedingly busy. There are sermons to prepare, articles to write, meetings to address, young people’s work to direct, the sick to be called upon, the dead to be buried, and, of course, the preacher’s own fam ily for which to provide. Some of those who so freely criticize the pastor should attempt to follow him around from Sun day morning through Saturday night, and see the multitude of tasks that engage his hands. The result of such activity is often a lack o f time for study and the conse quent drying up of one’s abilities. Con stant drain without replenishment day after day can mean only one thing: eventually the minister will run out of acceptable material. For those in this condition, it might be a splendid plan to ask for a year’s leave of absence from present duties so that study along theo logical or other lines could be resumed. This has a beneficial effect in several wdys: first, the pastor’s mind is stimu lated by the introduction of new ideas. Also, in moving out of his accustomed ways, he gets to see how people are living and to understand what they are thinking. Because of the change of scene and the study of new material, he finds himself rejuvenated and capable of as suming with more interest and ability the tasks which have been laid down temporarily. On the whole, a year’s leave of absence from a busy pastorate, not for vacation, but for the purpose of a new study, is a means of marvelous renewal of a preacher’s mental faculties. T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S ☆
tation, a year of 366 days which may be filled with devotion and service to Christ. It may be that your heart is telling you that 1947 was a bitter failure. Many of us, as we look back, admit that God is gracious, and that in His love and wis dom, He allows us to turn over a new page, and forget those things which are behind as we press forward to that which lies ahead. May each of us highly resolve that in God’s strength and by His help we shall utilize the coming year to the full; that we shall live each day, remembering it must be accounted for before the Judgment Seat o f Christ; that w,e shall live in the light of a com ing eternity, and that we shall never forget that only the things done for Christ will last throughout eternity. ☆ The Coming Torrey Memorial Conference A GAIN this year, the Bible Institute of Los Angeles presents to the Christian people of Southern. California a wonderful opportunity to feast on the things of the Word of God as they are set forth under the leadership of some of America’s foremost Bible teachers and preachers. For the past thirteen years, the Torrey Memorial Bible Conference has been held the latter part of January. This year the dates are January 18-25 inclu sive. The Conference honors the blessed memory of an early Dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles and world-wide evangelist, Dr. Reuben A. Torrey, as well as the founders of this Christian training school, Mr. Lyman Stewart and Mr. T. C. Horton. Speakers at this Conference will in clude: Mr. Roy L. Brown, Dr. Charles L. Feinberg, Dr. Vance Havner, Dr. Leo H. Lehmann, Rev. John Linton, Dr. H. H. Savage and Dr. Walter L. Wilson. Sessions of the Conference are to be conducted in the great auditorium of the Bible Institute and the Church of the Open Door, and in the following ad jacent communities: Hollywood, Pasa dena, Long Beach, Pomona, Compton, Santa Ana and San Gabriel. Those who are desirous of securing a detailed program listing both speakers and subjects are asked to write to the Extension Department, Bible Institute of Los Angeles, 558 South Hope Street, Los Angeles 13.
By the Grace of God, Another Year A S our present year draws to a close, it is a splendid time to look up from the tasks that have' been occupying our time so fully, to take stock of the ac complishments of the past year, and to think about the year which lies ahead. Surely 1947 has left much to be de sired. Internationally speaking, we have had a twelve months’ demonstration of the most selfish kind of non-co-operation among nations, with the so-called best diplomats of the world sitting together in council for the express purpose of maintaining the peace and increasing friendly relations between the nations of the world. But we have yet to observe one constructive accomplishment. On the national scene, the story has been the same. Much has been con cealed from the average citizen, but enough has been revealed to show the bitter selfishness between groups and the behind-the-scenes wire-pulling of in terests jealous of each other. The national by-word has been “ Get all you can for yourself” with its resultant train of disappointed lives, broken homes, and neglected children. The ecclesiastical situation is even more disappointing, for ordinarily we expect so much more from those who bear the name of Christ. The world wide activities of the great Roman Catholic Church are not a whit differ ent in objective than they were during the terrible days of theInquisition. Protestant groups have settled back again into their lethargy, spending their time and energy on non-essentials and the structures to glorify the flesh. The mission fields of the world continue to suffer because of the criminal neglect on the part of the greater per cent of Christian people. As to the retrospect in individual lives, of course only the reader himself can determine whether he has made any real advance in the things of God. To be sure, there will be those for whom 1947 has been an outstanding year of spiritual accomplishments in the name of Christ, but we are sure that the rank and file of professed Christians have taken the precious days and killed them with neglect. But, by the grace of God, we are to have another year given to us, a year full of promise and bright with expec- Page Four
24 Million £ Figures on the advertising costs of the six largest tobacco companies for 1946 are now available. More than $24,- 000,000.00 was expended in newspaper, magazine and radio advertising. Without doubt these companies have realized re turns of many times that amount. Of all the foolish and inane habits ever to fa s t e n themselves upon an intelligent people, cigaret-smoking heads the list. Truth Being Spoken ■J& Occasionally even a scientist of na tional reputation speaks words of real wisdom! A t a recent meeting of Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School, Director Ed mund W. Sinnott made this significant statement: “ Science is modern, popular and dominant. It needs no special plead ers . . . It cannot help being tempted to a certain arrogance and a conviction that the keys of truth are in its hands alone. But logic and reason are no monopoly of science . . . Science regards a human be ing not as a soul which may be saved or lost but as an exquisitely constructed physico-chemical mechanism . . . To many thoughtful minds the gains of science are secondary and superficial things. “ Let us face the fact that what the world must have is a fuller cultivation of those qualities which are best termed spiritual. Whatever we may think as to their origin, as scientists, we should no longer sneer at them; for on their strength depends our own survival. Man leads a double life, o f mind and spirit. If mind is suspect, as in religious fanat icism, man may become a creature only of his instincts; if spirit is suspect, as today when scientific materialism carries such authority, he is in danger of degen erating into a selfish and soulless mech anism. To be a whole man, he must culti vate both parts o f him.” Alcoholic Facts «£* Professor Selden D. Bacon, of the Yale Sociology Department, declares: “ Alcoholism is one of the most prevalent diseases in the nation, with 3,000,000 per sons afflicted, one-fourth of these chronic alcoholics, the rest chronic excessive drinkers. The loss to the general strength and vitality o f society can hardly be esti mated.” Most thinking people will agree that alcoholism is greatly to be deprecated. How is it then that we, as a nation, can allow this monstrous habit to go on un checked, each year enslaving new victims, many o f them our finest youth ? Is it not time to chain this vicious liquor traffic? How a Fly Flies ■■£ A new camera capable of taking 3,000 exposures a second has succeeded in par tially solving the mystery o f how a fly flies. The photographs reveal that the or dinary house fly beats his wings 300 times a second in an action similar to that by which a boat is sculled with a single oar, but the fly keeps his balance with a pair of beating rods that move in the same rhythm as the wings, but in
By WILLIAM W. ORR, D.D.
for crime is still approximately 1,000,000 a year. More than half of these are re peaters. The cost to the American people is estimated at $10,000,000,000. This does not begin to take into account the broken hearts, wrecked homes and bodies, the tears and heartache that always follow in the wake o f sin. The present director of the F.B.I., Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, is to be commended be cause not only does he gather valid sta tistics, but because he makes excellent recommendations. Among the recommen dations which he has made repeatedly are admonitions to the American people to get back into the church and into the ways of God and to the American home, to discipline children and to live right eously, 6,997 Return As a promotion stunt, Porters’ Furni ture Store of Racine, Wisconsin, loaned umbrellas to 7,000 shoppers marooned by rain. All but three of the shoppers re turned with the umbrellas. Citing this as an example of the inherent honesty of the public, the American Educational Press approved Porters’ experiment heartily, and rejoiced in the results. What a tragedy it is that people will be honest with a furniture store who will not be honest with God! Whereas all of our blessings come from the beneficent hand of an all-wise God, few people ever stop to thank Him from one year’s be J* The various veterans’ organizations are often mentioned in the news. It may not be generally known that there is an excellent association of Christian men called Christian War Veterans of Amer ica. Recently their first national conven tion was held at Waterloo, Iowa, at which time George C. Little of Glendale, California, a Major of World War I, was elected National Commander. Other results of the convention in cluded the adoption of a national con stitution, together with a Statement of Faith, a requirement of which is that veterans must be born again before they are eligible for membership. At present there are 17 chapters situated in vari ous cities from coast to coast. Page Five ginning to the end. Christian Veterans
Flies have been performing this way for many years according to museum of ficials who exhibited as evidence a piece of amber in which a fly had been pre served. The amber was between 50,000,- 000 and 200,000,000 years old, they said. All of which makes us think that if God so provided for flies, how much more will He care for the sons o f men. A 3000-Year Job ¿X The Vatican City newspaper, L ’Ob- servatore Romano, is authority for the estimate that at the present rate of con versions it will take 3,000 years to bring the world to Christ; that the accelerated pace of the last 28 years is responsible for about half a' million conversions a year, but that the task is still very great, with a billion and a half infidels to con vert. This, of course, is the view of the Roman church, while we know from God’s Word that the world will never be converted. The work of evangelism is to continue, and all countries are to be reached with the gospel, but the coming o f Christ does not in any way wait upon this program. Rather, the day when every knee shall bow to Christ and every tongue confess Him as Lord will take place, not by the efforts of missionaries, but by the matchless, peerless, irresist ible power of the returning Christ. Kansas Speaks The State of Kansas has, for many years, been bone-dry and, although it is surrounded by wet states, the accom plishments during the dry era are noth ing short of remarkable. For instance, in the State o f Kansas there are 54 counties without one insane or one feeble-minded person; 96 counties without a poorhouse; 58 counties without a single person in jail, and 56 counties without a single representative in the state prison. Those who sneer at the accomplishments of pro hibition will have a most difficult time laughing this one off. Crimes Cost The Federal Bureau of Investigation issues its crime bulletin semi-annually. The last one reveals that during the first six months of 1947, the rate o f arrests
opposite directions. J A N U A R Y , I 9 4 8
By Rev. W. J. Grant, M.A. age, and, bringing all three lads with her, she solemnly and prayerfully consecrated herself to the sacred task of rearing them in the fear and nurture o f the Lord. The eldest young ster had reached an age where he could understand and appre ciate what was being said. Eventually I put my hand upon his head, and said, “ The Lord bless you and keep you.” He looked up into my face with thoughtful eyes, and unquestion ably was awed by the little service. Was he wondering what was the meaning of the invocation? He certainly sent the min ister home, asking himself what the words blessing and blessed really meant. If the lad had asked for an explanation, the minister would have had to grope about fo r an answer. What is this blessing which appears so often in the Bible, and which people covet today? Dr. Boreham, in his ministerial jubilee book A Late Lark Singing, retells the story o f Sir Walter Scott, the hero o f the border country of Scotland, be stowing a blessing upon the little daughter o f James Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd. Scott had dropped in at Hogg’s home. It is related: “ Before leaving, he smiled affectionately at Mr. and Mrs. Hogg’s little daughter, walked to where she was sit ting, took her up in his arms, kissed her, set her down again, and then, laying his hand devoutly on her head, exclaimed fervently and impressively, ‘God Almighty bless you, my dear child! God bless you !’ When James Hogg came back into the house after bidding farewell to Scott, he found his wife in tears. ‘ Oh,’ she cried, ‘I would have given everything I possess in this world— everything—everything—if only he had done the same to all the children!’ ”
A ARON and his sons were commissioned and instructed by God to bless the children o f Israel. The words of that blessing were on this wise: “ The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” (Num. 6:24-26). The reverberations o f that blessing have reached to all Christian experience. Beati tudes dot the sacred pages o f Holy Writ like stars in an even ing sky. Paul, in a day far removed from that o f Aaron, con sidering the blessing o f God, which had been kept alive, could not contain himself in steady prose, but burst forth into a poem o f praise as he wrote, “ Blessed be the God and Father o f our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1 :3 ). The echoes o f the blessings can still be heard in the remotest regions of popular sentiment and speech. ‘Good night and God bless you; God bless you, my dear’.” What does blessing mean? This question came very forcibly to me once when a mother brought her three sons to be dedi cated. The youngest was but a baby, the eldest eight: all three were bright, attractive lads. The husband had not been inter ested in the claims o f Christ upon the life of the home, and the disturbances of the war years had not helped the mother. However, when the third boy arrived, she plucked up her cour- “ I passed by your window in the cool of the night, The lilies were watching, so still and so white; And oh, I sang softly, though no one was near—
Interior of Bath Abbey, Bath, England.
T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S
all the variety of God’s character in order to appreciate the riches which He can bring into life and experience. The sover eign God, who ordered the world, is great and majestic, but how much man would miss without the revelation of the God of Calvary and Pentecost! When God enters life, home, church or community, He does so in the fullness of His Person as the God of creation and Calvary and Pentecost. The spiritual leaders of ancient times invoked the enrichment of the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Christian bene diction is also a Trinitarian blessing: “ The, grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14). Let us seek to accept the wealth of enrichment which God has provided for us. There is God the Father; and the enrichment which He gives is a Father’s love and benediction. We recall the familiar scenes of Burns’ Cotter’s Saturday Night. The plough is left at the end of the field, the horses are in the stable, and the hard-working farmer sits down to enjoy the comfort of home and family. The older children who are out at work, come home for the evening, and all partake of the evening meal. Then the priest-like father reads the sacred page, and kneeling down to Heaven’s Eternal King, the saint, the father and the husband prays: That He who stills the raven’s clam’rous nest, And decks the lily fair in flow’ry pride, Would in the way His wisdom sees the best, For them and for their little ones provide; But chiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside. If an earthly father can bestow such a wealth of love and benediction upon his children, how much more will |not the Heavenly Father pour out His love upon His own! There is God, the Son; and He is a Saviour. He enriches with His saving power, and the new life which He imparts. He brings all the wealth which Calvary could buy—deliverance from sin, fellowship with God, and life more abundant. Lives are enriched, not only with the love of God, but also with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing indicates more ade quately how-enriching that grace of Christ is than the stories in the fifteenth chapter of Luke’s Gospel. The people who oc casioned the altercation between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees were lost, sinful, without God and without friends. The Pharisees wanted to know why Jesus associated with such worthless and sinful people. By way of answer, Jesus stated mat grace had come to seek and to save that which was lost ana was not satisfied, until it brought the lost sheep back to the fold, and the lost son home, his sins forgiven, and the new robe adorning him. As God the Father enriches by His love, so Christ the Saviour blesses with pardon and grace and peace and new life. Still the story is not complete, for there is also God the Holy Spirit, who is playing His enriching part in the believer’s life today. Jesus said: “ It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you” (John 16:71. The distinctive enrichment which the Holy Spirit gives is fellowship. The closing benediction in our church services in vokes the communion of the Holy Ghost.” He is the intimate and abiding Companion of the believer. To appreciate what this daily companionship means, it is necessary to contemplate the character of the Spirit, a lesson which Jesus imparted to the disciples when He was preparing them for the coming of the Comforter. These are aspects of His character. He is a Comforter, a Spirit of truth, holiness and power. It is impos sible that such a love can indwell the life of the believer and not enrich it. He imparts the filial consciousness whereby we cry “ Abba Father.” He sheds abroad the love of God; He illuminates the mind and heart; He purifies; He strengthens. By His power, weak disciples were made mighty after Pente cost. This fellowship is not only with Him, but with all who have fellowship with Him. He is the daily, unifying life of the church. The Psalmist’s feet well-nigh slipped until he went into the house of God; Joseph and Mary lost Jesus until they went to the temple; and many a backslider has been impover ished until he has sought again the company of believing people.
What then is this blessing which a fond mother might covet for all her children? What does the word blessed as found in the Bible mean? Some kind of answer is readily forthcoming. We are informed that it mgans happy, but that translation is not generally accepted. J. G. Tasker, in his article Beatitude in Hastings’ Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, writes: “ In the Beatitudes, therefore, it is desirable to translate makarioi as ‘blessed’ rather than ‘happy’.” He also refers the readers to “ the saying of Carlyle that those who find blessedness can ‘do without happiness’.” There must be a universal feeling that this is the correct meaning of the word. Blessing means enrichment, enrichment which is not merely material, but spiritual. Laban said unto Jacob, “ I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake” (Gen. 30:27). Laban was thinking of the enrichment which had come with the advent of Jacob. How many lives and homes have been blessed by the presence of certain persons! On the other hand, how many can trace disasters to the day when certain persons walked into their lives, or homes, or communities! Let the visitor be a godly one, and he will be stow a benediction on the home. How often have husband and wife found life dull and full of friction, until a little babe ap peared to unite their hearts and enrich their lives! Such hap piness is not material; indeed, expenses really begin with the coming of little ones, but they bring an added wealth. “ The Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.” Labari asserted that it was the Lord’s doing. “ According to Jewish ideas, God is the sole source of all blessing, both material and spiritual,” wrote G. H. Box. Aaron may have invoked God’s blessing, but it was God Him self who blessed. The idea of blessing is always thought of in terms o f benediction and beatitude. Dr. Trench states that Cicero coined the word beatitude but that it scarcely found a place in the classical literature of Rome, for there was little in that godless world to call for its use. He asserts further that beatitude obtained a home, as it deserved to do, in the Christian church. Happiness; on the other hand, is quite at home in the secular world, and so cannot be thought to explain adequately the experience which comes to a life, or home, as the gift of God Almightv; that must needs be a blessing. “ The Lord bless thee and keep thee.” Was there anything significant in the fact that the Israelites wanted God to enrich their lives? Undoubtedly He would be able to help them as no other could, but was there not more in their minds? Would not the character of God determine the nature of the enrich ment which He would bestow? “ God cannot deny himself” wrote Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 2:13). He cannot deny Him self, even in the matter of His gifts: and since God is good, His gifts will be good. How Jesus sought to emphasize this truth! “ What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7:9-11). And the best of the good, in the mind of Jesus, is the spiritual. God alone can give spiritual things. “ Ye seek me,” said Jesus, “ not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto ever lasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you” (John 6:26, 27). There was nothing about the bread that was objec tionable, but others could provide that. But Jesus was there, and He alone could give the better bread, and, being of the nature of God, He sought to give His children the best. The enrichment-which God gives is good and godly: a truth which Paul seeks to impress upon the Ephesians when he writes: “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Since the enrichment is determined by the nature of God, it is good to appreciate the fact of God. The Christian b°lieves God to be a Trinity. The creed states: “ I believe in God, the Father Almighty . . . And in Jesus Christ. . . His only Son . . . And I believe in the Holy Ghost.” It is essential to remember
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Third in a Series of Articles on the Churches of Revelation
By Rev. G. Coleman Luck, Th.D.* I N Revelation 2:18-29, the fourth of the letters written to “ the seven churches which are in Asia,” is recorded the epistle to the church in Thyatira. Like the other six, it is rich in practical application, in addition to its prophetic im port as a part of the inspired preview of church history found in Revelation 2 and 3. The Address (Rev. 2:18) “ And unto the angel o f the church in Thyatira write.” Of these seven cities of Asia Minor, Thyatira was the smallest; nevertheless, it was quite a wealthy town, lo cated on the Lycus River. It is o f interest to note that Thya tira was the home town of Lydia, the first convert o f the Apostle Paul in Europe (Acts 16:14). There is no record of the origin of the church at Thyatira. It is pleasant to con jecture that Lydia, after her conversion, may have returned home from Philippi for the express purpose of winning her loved ones and friends to Christ, and that this church first came into being through her personal work. It may be that other converts carried the gospel there during Paul’s ministry at Ephesus (Acts 19:10). Description of the Lord (2:18) These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.” The Lord Jesus, the author of the epistle, is described in this threefold way in a manner befitting the condition of the church. He is called the Son of God, the title that has particular reference to His deity and pre-eminence. Some of the members of this church were giving the pre-eminence to a wicked woman, Jezebel, which place belonged to Christ alone (Col. 1:18). Not even the godliest of human teachers, much less corrupt, wicked leaders, are entitled to this rating (1 Cor. 1:12, 13). It is Christ whose eyes are “ like unto a flame of fire.” Since the greater part of our knowledge is gained through the eye- gate, the eye is related to discernment. Fire is often used with reference to judgment. Sometimes it may seem that the Lord is careless about evil in the church, but we may be sure that it is of concern to Him, and that His piercing eye is quick to detect that which is not right. His feet "are “ like fine brass.” “ Brass speaks of divine judg ment, as in the brazen altar, and self-judgment, as in the laver of brass” (Scofield). The feet as well as the eyes some times symbolize judgment (Isa. 63:3). Despite the best-laid plans o f men to conceal their corrupt doings, our Lord clearly sees evil, both in the church and in the world, and in due time He will exercise judgment upon it. Commendation of Good Works (2:19) As usual, our Lord first itemizes the good works of the church. Although He must, correct evil, He recognizes and ap preciates the good things which are done in His -name, and out of love for Him. He commends the church of Thyatira for its love, service, faith, and patience. In this church as a whole there was a real love for Him. This is the most im portant thing. Love “ shall cover the multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4 :8 ). Errors of judgment can be forgiven if the heart is right. From love naturally flows service. If you love someone, you will want to serve that one. The love for Christ in the hearts * Dr. Luck, who is a Presbyterian clergyman, is now engaged in a teaching ministry at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Illinois. T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S
of the Christians at Thyatira was manifested by their zealous service for Him. When a person professes to love the Saviour, but apparently has no desire to serve Him, one wonders if the profession is real. Love is not a synonym for faith. From the example of some of the present-day theological liberals, one is forced to con clude that it is possible to have a certain type of love for Christ, as an ideal Person, and even possess a desire to serve Him, without any real faith in Him as the divine Son of God, who atoned for our sins as the substitutionary sacrifice on the cross. The Christians from Thyatira not only loved the Saviour, but had real faith in Him as the only Redeemer. They are commended also for their patience. This, too, is an essential Christian virtue, sadly lacking among professing Christians of today. These people not only served the Lord, but when trials came, as they do to all Christians, they did not falter, but went steadily onward in patient endurance. Further, as time went by, they did not slacken their efforts for Christ, but actually increased them, so that the Lord could say of them: “ Of late you have toiled harder than you did at first” (Weymouth). Complaint (2:20, 21) But in spite of these praiseworthy qualities, the Lord had a serious complaint against the church of Thyatira. The words a few things in verse 20 should be omitted, for they were inserted by the translators and did not appear in the original text. They seem to minimize the charge that followed. The Lord declared: “ I have this against thee,” and He then pro ceeded to itemize His criticisms. Some in this church were being led astray by a wicked woman, Jezebel, who had set herself up as an inspired leader. What was the sin of the church as a whole? “ You tolerate the woman Jezebel” (R.V. and Weymouth). Only a part o f the church, perhaps even a small minority, had actually followed this woman in her evil teachings, but the rest were guilty o f permitting such evil. In the light of present-day apostasy, this is a striking lesson. It is not enough to remain personally aloof from false doc trine and corrupt practice, but, on the authority of the Word of the Lord, it is a sin for true Christians to allow such things in the church. As to this particular woman, it is likely that the name Jezebel is used symbolically. The original Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, king o f the Zidonians (Phoenicians), infamous as the wicked wife of Ahab and the mother of Athaliah. She tried to blot out the _worship of Jehovah from Israel, and to substitute for it the idolatrous and corrupt worship of Baal. She was so completely evil that her very name became synonymous with depravity. Of this character was Jezebel of Thyatira. She claimed divine inspiration for her teachings “ which calleth herself a prophetess.” Apparently she was willing for her followers to hold sound doctrine, but she taught them to live impure lives and to compromise with false religion “ to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” In other words, we find here a type of orthodoxy which is only head knowledge, existing along with personal licentiousness. This is most hate ful to the Lord. James describes such faith as dead and natu rally asks: “ Can that faith save?” (James 2:14 R .V .). There is a beautiful example of God’s grace in verse 21: “ And I gave her space to repent o f her fornication; and she repented not.” That this woman had been permitted to go as far on her evil course as she had was only that she might have “ space to repent.” “ The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffer- ing to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” -(2 Peter 3 :9 ). However, “ she repented not,” or more literally, “ she willeth not to repent.” Using these letters as the basis for an inspired prophetic outline of church history, the church in Thyatira well typifies the church of the Dark Ages. During this period, Romanism held full sway, and while there was much faithful service performed by true believers, yet the church as a whole for many years tolerated the control o f Jezebel. The chief sins of this period were, as in Thyatira, the compromise of true religion with idolatrous practices, and the complete separation of religion and life. As long as one rendered allegiance to the J A N U A R Y , I 9 4 8
IS IT A G O O D JO KE ? A genuinely good joke is worth a whole lot, but they are few and far between. When some woman blushes with embarrassment, When some heart carries away an ache, When something sacred is made to appear common, When a man’s weakness provides the cause for laughter, When profanity is required to make it funny,
When a little child is brought to tears, When everyone can’t join in the laughter, IT ’S A POOR JOKE !
church, his personal life was considered of no concern to the church. When those who name the name of Christ are un faithful to Him, that is spiritual adultery. This is still true of the Roman Church, which boasts that it never changes, but it is also the situation in many Protes tant denominations. No discipline is attempted (except of un compromising evangelicals); all types of evil are tolerated, and unquestioning subservience to the self-appointed leader ship is the chief requirement. Threat (2:22, 23) Christ will permit this condition to exist for a while longer; then terrible judgment will come. Jezebel and her adulterous followers are to suffer great tribulation, and finally, death itself. Then in the end it will be seen that Christ is indeed a righteous Judge as well as a mighty Saviour: “ All the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” Those who persist in following the errors of Jezebel, whether in their primary form in the Roman church, or in the Protestant variations, will likewise be cast into “great tribulation,” in fact into the Great Tribulation, for when the true Church is taken up in the rapture to be with her Lord, these false professors will remain on this earth to face the wrath of God which is yet to be poured out upon this wicked world. A note of grace is sounded: “ Except they repent of their deeds.” There is yet time for even unsaved professors to repent and turn in true faith to Christ. But let no one presume upon this.respite of grace. Exhortation (2:24, 25) There were many in Thyatira who did not follow the teach ings of Jezebel, who did not know “ the depths of Satan.” Satan, as well as God, has his “ deep things,” and happy is the person who never attains to such “ advanced knowledge.” The Lord exhorts His faithful followers: “ But that which ye have . . . hold fast till I come.” This is the first mention of the Lord’s Coming in these letters of Revelation. This type of church, once started, will, with the others, continue until Christ returns. Promise (2:26-29) While those who refuse to repent are threatened with judg ment, the “ overcomer” is given a special promise. Some day the Son of God will return and put down all evil, and then “ a king shall reign in righteousness.” He who is faithful now to that King will reign with Him some day. “ If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Tim. 2:12). The .“ overcomer” is also promised “ the morning star” (verse 28). “ The morning star” refers to Christ’s coming for His own at the rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Later, when He returns to the earth in power to' reign, He will come as “ the Sun of righteousness” (Mai. 4:2) and all shall behold His glory. “ He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” “ Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Page Nine
go out and play tennis or some other sport. But this morning he wanted to let us know that there had been a real change in his heart. During the Chinese New Year vacation, he had gone out in a gospel team with other men students. It was during that vacation that he had received a real vision o f the lost about him and of his own personal need of a close walk with the Lord that he might be better equipped fo r the task of tak ing the message of salvation to others. Now he was thanking the Lord for the school and for what he was receiving from it. Up in the province directly north of us the pastor of a small church is an alumnus of our school. He saw in one of his members the promise of real lead ership, so he encouraged him to attend Hunan Bible Institute. This man, Paul Ke, who is older than most of our •stu dents, arrived with his clothing in a bundle tied to a stick over his shoulder. Although he has not had much formal education, a more earnest and faithful student would be difficult to find. China’s greatest need today is able leaders. Youth is on the march here as everywhere. They are turning away from the past and facing the future with open hands. It is up to us to put into those hands the moral and spiritual tools which will help to mould a stronger church, which in turn will have great influence upon the nation. Biola-in-China stands ready to train Christian leader ship. All indications point to a great school year for 1947-1948. Prayer and sacrificial giving have made possible the re-opening o f Biola-in-China. Let all in terested friends continue their support. The visit of Dr. Louis T. Talbot, Presi dent of the Bible Institute of Los An geles, and Mr. James R. Allder, Vice President, in September 1947, gave great encouragement to the work. We are expecting great things from God. A CA LL FOR PRAYER HELPERS Prayer is work; prayer works; prayer leads to work. The most effective work that any man can do is to pray, because prayer moves the arm o f God. Will you be a prayer helper for the Bible Institute o f Los Angeles? Put this great institution on your prayer list. We will gladly send you our monthly Biola World-Wide Prayer Circle letter. Address: Miss Christina J. Braskamp,
A Report on a few of the personalities at the Hunan Bible Institute, Changsha, China
M ANY have heard the inspiring story of our former faculty mem ber who learned English in order to translate the Scofield Correspondence Course into the Chinese language. After this great task was completed, this course became the official Correspondence Course o f the Hunan Bible Institute which through the years has been blessed to untold numbers who wished to study the Word of God, but who for various reasons could not attend the Bible In stitute. Even during the difficult war years, this correspondence work was carried on. Many in occupied China con tinued to send in their examination .pa pers. Some even completed their course and received their diploma and gift Bi ble as a reward for faithful study. In 1940 Mr. Chen Chi Kuei (translator of the course) was suddenly stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage, while leading morning prayers in the school, and in a short time went in to see the King, whom he loved so well. His widow was left with five small children. She was almost beside herself. How could she carry on where her husband had left off? Although she had a good back ground o f Bible School training, and was a real student of the Word, she felt the task too great for her. It. took many quiet talks and much sympathy and en couragement to enable her to come to the place where she was willing to say, “ Here am I, Lord, use me.” Now with God’s help, she is doing a noble piece of work. When the war reached Changsha, she and her family had to flee. Many a day they were without shelter and proper food. While away from home and friends, among other fiery trials, the death o f one of her children occurred. But God sustained her, and when peace finally came, and the family was able to return to Changsha, despite physical weakness brought on by things which she had suffered. Mrs. Chen Chi Kuei plunged right in with renewed vigor to make the Scofield Course a power and a blessing throughout China. Transportation dif ficulties, civil war, and inflation made it impossible for many who would like to attend our school to do so, but they are availing themselves of this home study course. Each week new members are added to our lists. Pray for Mrs. Chen Chi Kuei. There has been, a great im provement in her physical condition, but she is carrying a heavy load. For thirty-nine years, the China In land Mission at Changsha has conducted a home and school for blind girls. Throughout the years, some who desired more intensive study of the Word have come to the Hunan Bible Institute. These Page Ten
have been outstanding students. This last year we had two lovely blind girls, one as a short term Bible School Course, and one as a full time student. In the classroom, they were always the first to answer the questions. One often found it necessary, to ask them not to answer in order to-give others a chance! All
Mrs. Chen Chi Kuei, Director of Scofield Bible Course at HBI of their note-taking was by the Braille method. Unless one observed their read ing by passing their finger tips rapidly back and forth over a large page of their Braille Bibles, he would not know that they were not reading with their eyes. Many a time they have read more ac curately and faster than the others. These girls are a constant inspiration to both students and faculty. Our students share with the faculty the responsibility o f school prayers each morning. As they lead for the first time, they are extremely nervous. However, one morning, the leader, Chang Tan Hsien, one o f our Seminary boys, did not show the usual timidity, but instead his face was fairly beaming, and he gave the most joyful testimony. He told us how he had come to school in the fall with very little interest. Each day
558 So. Hope Street, Los Angeles 18, Calif.
T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S
f-^ afeótine 7 mansici a n d é d ze h ie i 38
Fourth in a Series of Prophetic Messages
By Louis T. Talbot, D.D.
O UR former studies in this series were based upon- the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh chapters of Ezekiel; to fully comprehend the thirty- eighth chapter, we must link it with the prophetic events of these preceding chapters. We have seen in chapter thirty-six the divine reason for the world-wide disper sion of the nation of Israel; in chapter thirty-seven, the prophecy o f the re gathering of this people and the glory they are to enjoy in the reign of Christ on earth. Now in chapter thirty-eight, we come to the consideration of a pow erful prince called “ Gog” from the land o f “ Magog,” who will invade Palestine with a vast horde o f men and machines at the end of this age. It is the inva sion of the Holy Land by this northern confederacy “ in the latter days” that we shall discuss in this article. In the eleventh chapter of Daniel we read o f “ the king of the north.” This monarch will be displeased with the Antichrist for his invasion o f Egypt and Palestine, and will come “ against him like a whirlwind with chario+s and with horsemen, and with many ships.” Doubt less this “ king o f the north” in Daniel’s prophecy is the same person described in Ezekiel thirty-eight as “ Gog” from “ the land of Magog.” And, as we shall see, Gog is the name o f the dictator of the vast country of Russia, which lies to the north of Palestine. It is very important that we read and reread this chapter and the one which immediately follows, for this is indis pensable to a right understanding of its meaning. And, as we read, shall we not pray that the Holy Spirit, the only Teacher o f the Word o f God, will guide our hearts into a right comprehension o f the significant truths herein revealed? What a joy it is to know that the blessed Third Person o f the Trinity is here for the express purpose of making these prophecies understood by us! As we ask this o f Him, He delights to make these “ deep things o f God” real to us. No Scripture can be rightly understood apart from the gracious ministration of the Holy Spirit. Who Is Gog? And Where Is Magog? And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, o f the land of Magog, the prince o f Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, 0 Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal (Ezek. 38:1-3 R.V .). The question before us here is the iden
fore, in this prophecy, Gog is without doubt the prince of Rosh, or Russia; Meshech is Moscow; Tubal is Tobolsk. Tubal or Tobolsk takes its name from the River Tobol. It was the ancient cap ital o f the eastern division of the Rus sian Empire and may become so again; hence the reference to it here. "Gog . . . the Prince of Rosh" In Ezekiel 38:3, God addresses this person called Gog as the prince or ruler of Rosh. He is the coming dictator of the vast northern confederacy, which will include not only the sprawling empire of the Soviet, but Germany and her de pendents as well. Verses 5 and 6 of this chapter identify some o f the nations which will be a part of this great north ern confederacy: “ Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them . . . Gomer, and all his bands; the house o f Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people” with Gog. In the last decade, Russia has turned from the ideals and practices of social ism to imperialistic totalitarianism. There is no country in all the world more autocratic than the Union o f Soviet Socialist Republics, governed by its man of cold steel, Stalin, and so well repre sented by its diplomats, Molotov and Vishinsky. Par from its being a truly Communistic state or socialist govern ment, Russia is the rankest kind of auto cratic, absolute monarchy. And this is exactly in fulfillment of the prophecy of this Scripture, for here God Himself speaks to a certain “ prince” who repre sents the whole of this confederacy of the north. Who is Gog? Gog is the mighty dicta tor who will rule over this coalition of countries at the time when the events of this chapter take place. We often find in the Word of God that men are named before they are born. This was true of Josiah, a good king of Judah; Cyrus, a mighty king of Persia, was also named by God long before the day of his birth. Here in Ezekiel God is giving us the very name o f the supreme despot o f that future day. "Behold, I Am Against Thee, O Gog" God speaks against this prince and his infamous regime. We scarcely need ask, “ Why is God against Gog?” For Gog with his ungodly, blasphemous, bla tant philosophy will be one of the most God-defying men this world has ever produced. He will belong in the class with the Antichrist, who will rule in that day. In fact, “ the king o f the north” will be
tity of this Gog, referred to in this pas sage., Who is he? And where is “ the land of Rosh” ? The great Hebrew scholar, Gesenius, has identified Rosh with mod ern Russia, Meshech with Moscow, and Tubal with Tobolsk. He made his identi fication through the phonetic similarity o f these names in the Hebrew and in the Russian. Ezekiel tells us in verse 15 (R .V .) that Rosh is in “ the utter most parts of the north,” so there can be little doubt of the correctness of the in-
Dr. Louis T. Talbot
terpretation of Gesenius. When God speaks o f “ the east,” He refers to the nations in their relation to Palestine, even as He said through Moses: When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he sep arated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children o f Israel (Deut. 32:8). Therefore, “ the uttermost parts of the north” from Palestine could mean only Russia and countries in that direction from the Holy Land. The Scofield Ref erence Bible has a good footnote on this point: That the primary reference is Ao the northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree. The whole passage should be read in connection with Zech. 12:1-4; 14:1-9; Matt. 24:14-30; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:17-21. Gog is the prince; Magog is his land. The reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and To bolsk) is a clear mark o f identification. It is deeply significant that some years ago the Russian government was moved to Moscow which became Russia’s cap ital. This was the more striking because Russia had every reason to keep Lenin grad as the capital because of national reverence for the name of- Lenin. There
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