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    In the year 237 A.D. there was a cruel and iniquitous deed perpetrated on the Christians by the Emperor Maximin. While the people of God were assembled in their meeting places, praising the Lord, the wicked Emperor sent forth his soldiers to lock up their meeting-places while they were still within. Then, he had them to place wood all around the buildings and set them on fire in order to destroy as many Christians as he possibly could.
    But, before the wood was ignited he caused it to be proclaimed that whoever would come out and sacrifice to Jupiter, as god, would be not only spared, but REWARDED by the Emperor.
    Their reply was that they knew nothing of Jupiter; but that Jesus Christ was their Lord and God. By the honor of His name, they would live and die calling upon His name and adoring Him who was worthy of their worship and praise.
    It is truly a marvel that among the multiplied thousands of Christians who were thus put to the test, NOT ONE expressed a desire to go out and deny his Lord in order to spare his physical life. Rather, they ALL REMAINED TOGETHER, with

one accord -- singing and praising the Lord as long as the smoke and vapor permitted them the use of their tongues.
    Will YOUR FAITH stand the test of fire?


    It was a distinct blessing to see Brother Jonathan S. Hanes come requesting membership in Landmark Church last Sunday morning. This was not a hasty decision for him. He had visited with us at Landmark on various occasions since his home church disbanded (in the Chicago area) some months ago. We are glad for his testimony that he comes to us ONLY because he is convinced that this is where the Lord wants him.
    WELCOME, Brother Jon! It is our desire that this will work to the mutual blessing and enrichment of us all. And we are greatly encouraged to see your willingness to drive the long distance from Bensonville to be an active part of our body. May the Lord send us others with hearts that are equally sincere! E.G.
    True humility, before the lordship of Jesus, leads to exaltation.

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald


    The editor's Outline Studies in Galatians, a 146-page expository and exegetical study of Paul's epistle of Christian Liberty, is now available for distribution. It contains an abundance of material suitable either for preaching or class study. Single copies, postpaid, are 2.OO each. In dozen lots they will be shipped at $17.50 per dozen.
    It is NOT our desire to make a profit on these materials. If there is enough interest to pay for this printing, then other works will be made available also. Ready for publication, but awaiting the finances necessary to do so, are similar outline - studies on: Ephesians James, Jude, I and 2 Peter, Joshua, & Daniel -- with others in preparation. A labor or love, I would be pleased to share the fruit of my researches with others. E.G.


    The theme of Jewish unbelief is seen returning again and again in the Gospel of John. Note how he deals with it in 12:37-50.
    The apostle of love reflects on the Jew's REFUSAL to believe, (12:37-38). Unbelief, in the fact of Jesus' miracles, is almost incredible! "Though He had done so many miracles" is the way it is put in the common version. And the miracles of Jesus were surely numerous. John has not tried to mention all of them; space would not permit it. What he does mention he regards as "signs", (John 20:30-31). But his emphasis appears to be on the QUALITY of those miracles. Works of such abiding QUALITY ought to have induced faith.
    Such unbelief is shocking when one considers who the Jews were -- combined with Jesus' orderly credentials of Messiahship. They ought to have welcomed, honored and worshipped Him! Many times His arm had been revealed in their behalf, (Psalm 44:3; Isa. 51:5, 9). Paul often wrestled with this problem of the unbelief of his people, (Romans 9-11; I Cor. 1:24; Eph. 1:17-19).
    But, it should not have been so surprising -- since the Old Testament is replete with denunciations of Jewish failure to hear and heed God's messengers. He repeatedly manifested His love and mercy toward them -- thwarting the design of wicked men against them, that He might work out His purpose through them. But the people of the covenant often despised His grace and

spurned His love. And John finds an Old Testament prophecy of Jesus' rejection by those who considered themselves God's own favorites (Isa. 53:1-3; comp. Rom. 10:16).


    John suggests that the Jews actually COULD NOT believe, (12:39-40). Persistently refusing to believe, they ultimately lost the ABILITY to believe, (Mark 4:17; Lk. 8:10; Acts 28:26). When one persistently refuses to see, God sends blindness upon him, (Isa.6:9-l0; Matt. 13:14; Rom. ll:8-11). After men harden their hearts for so long, God will withdraw His spirit and seal them in that hardened condition. When men deliberately CHOOSE EVIL, God shuts them up with their chosen company. He gives them up, (Romans 1:24, 26, 28). He sends upon them "strong delusion" and a mind that is incapable of making rational judgments, (2 Thes. 2:11-12).
    Isaiah had prophesied Israel's rejection of the Son of Man "when he saw his glory", (Jn. 12:41; comp. Isa. 6:1-12; also 53). "Glory" suggests the supreme greatness of Christ. His willingness to undertake the redemption of Israel, knowing full well that the self-righteous nation will reject Him, is a part of that glory. And, in the mind of John (inspired as he was by the Holy Spirit) there was no question but that the prophet spoke of Jesus.
    To profess LOVE FOR CHRIST, while neglecting active participation in His church is WILFUL DECEPTION!


    John recalls that there were a few among the rulers who actually DID believe in Jesus, (John 12:42-43). An election, according to grace, yielded themselves wholeheartedly to His rightful lordship.
    Others admitted the truth concerning Him, but did not commit themselves to Him. It was too costly, (Comp. John 7:13; 9:22; contr. Acts 5:41). Being double-minded, they were unstable in all their ways. They were more desirous of the glory that came from men (praise, honor, esteem and worldly approval) than to receive that which God bestows on such as honor His Son, (John 12:26; comp. Gen. ll:4; Matt. 23:5; Luke 16:15; John 5:51, 44; 1 Thes. 2:6; James 2:1-4). Such an attitude is one of supreme disaster!


    John closes his reflections in 12:44-50 by recalling how Jesus challenged men to believe.
    It is impossible for any man to have the approval of the Father while rejecting the Son. He has been sent from the Father -- to do the Father's will. To believe Him is to believe the Father, (Mk. 9:37; I Peter 1:21). He has come as the "express image" of the Father's person; so, to "see" Him is to SEE THE FATHER, (comp. Jn. 14:9; 2 Cor. 4:6). He has come into the world as "light"; whoever believes on Him does not walk in darkness any longer, (John 3:19; 8:12; 9:5, 39; 12:35-36).
    It is important to BELIEVE ON

JESUS because all men will ultimately be JUDGED by the Word He has spoken, (John 12:47-46; 5:45; 6:15, 26). He came "not to judge the world, but to SAVE IT!" (Luke 9:56; 19:10; John 3:17; I Jn. 4:14). But every man will be judged on the basis of his hearts' response to the Saviour, (Luke 10:16; Deut. 18:19; Mark 16:16; Jn. 3:18; 2 Cor. 2:15-16; I Thes. 1:8). The Son has spoken according to the Father's commandment; not of Himself, (John 8:38; 14:10). And the end of the Father's commandment "is LIFE EVERLASTING", (Jn. 12:50; 6:63, 68; 17:3).
    Are YOU believing Him -- fully entrusting the destiny of your eternity-bound soul into His hands? It is your ONLY HOPE for life that is REAL!


    I recently ran across a brief article, by the late Brother Buel Kazee, which I think worthy of repeating. It follows.
    "Somehow the impression has gripped the minds of people that missions has to do with some place where the gospel has never been preached. Most of our mission societies could well be called "foreign mission" societies. It never occurred to a lot of people that a church is MISSIONARY whenever it is MINISTERING -- at home or abroad.
    A church may be called to the field where it is located! That may be why God placed it there. Or it may be called to give a certain emphasis or ministry. The idea that a church must SEND MISSION MONEY to

a distant place in the world before it can be MISSIONARY is false. All preachers are not called to foreign fields, neither all churches. Let GOD use and direct us where HE WILL and let each church leave the other to this direction!"


    Christians must not forget that the faculty of speech has been given for important purposes, and should be used accordingly. Few things are more to be desired among church members than a consecration of the power of speech. Conversational talent needs to be improved and sanctified. How could the tongue be more worthily employed than when speaking of the "great salvation"? What other theme is so momentous, so precious, so sublime? Christians must not only "speak often one to another", but they must converse with the unsaved about their spiritual needs.
    It is not important that their ideas be presented with logical precision and rhetorical beauty; it IS INDISPENSABLE that the love of Christ animate their hearts and prompt their speech. The members of EVERY church should see to it that every lost person within the bounds of their congregation is made conscious of his lost condition.
    Every child of God, by the very process whereby he became a Christian, is brought under obligation to DO WHAT HE CAN to lead others to the Saviour. Each one must labor for the salvation of lost souls under the distinct impression that

the grace that has been a means of their own salvation is sufficient for others also. Only in this way may one labor in faith.
-- Selected


    Perhaps the most comforting and challenging words Jesus ever spoke to His disciples are recorded in John 14:1-3. They were spoken in response to Peter's question: "Why cannot I follow thee now?" The words of the Master involve a call to faith in both the Father and the Son.
    Negatively, the Master first admonished: "Let not your heart be troubled". Moved with compassion for their sorrow and care, He addressed Himself to the immediate task of comforting ALL their hearts. Calmness of heart was, at the moment, one of their greatest needs. Since the situation they were about to face called for self-control, He gave them both His sympathy and counsel.
    He knew what it was to have His own heart shaken by powerful emotions; this same word is used concerning Him (John 11:33; 12:27; 13:21). The word "troubled" is often applied to the turbulence of a stormy sea. His disciples might recall an experience on the storm- tossed Sea of Galilee, (Mark 5:39). But they must not allow their spirits to be lashed into anxiety; the outlook is not nearly so bleak as they have imagined, (see Jn. 14:27; 16:33).
    Long ago the Master had said: "Come unto me all ye that labor and

are heavy laden, and I will give you rest", (Matt. 11:28). He will fulfill that promise in the present crisis if they will but TRUST Him.
    Thus, Jesus literally calls on His disciples to: "Believe in God; IN ME ALSO BELIEVE". He is the object of the same kind of trust that men must place in God. And this is a gracious invitation to do just that -- finding therein both LIFE and eternal enrichment.
    Faith that is real involves a personal ACT of yielding up heart and will in obedience to a living person. It does not merely take hold on a doctrine, but on a HEART! The very essence of such faith is whole-hearted committal of one's self to Christ that He may fulfil every need. Jesus, in inviting men to believe in Him, offered Himself as the worthy and adequate object of confidence, submission and joyful adoration. The most peculiar note of Christ's earthly ministry was His call for men to "BELIEVE IN ME!" -- as the true God and judge of all, (comp. Matt. 1l:2-29; John 5:22-23; Matt. 25:31-34, 41). There is no doubt that He claimed to BE God. That claim is either true, or He was a blasphemer -- as charged by the Jews.
    Faith in God and faith in Christ are one and the same; it is morally impossible to trust the Father while rejecting the Son whom the Father has sent in His own name. Such trust in Jesus is the secret of an untroubled heart, (Jn. 14:27; 16:22-24; Phil. 4:6-7).
    Then Jesus gives assurance of an ultimate, eternal dwelling-place with Himself, (vs. 2-3). Men have

not always agreed concerning the meaning of "the Father's house". The Master used it of the Temple, (John 2:16). Paul used it of the "church", (I Tim. 3:15); but neither usage seems adequate for this context. Some immediately think it refers to "heaven", but Jesus never taught His disciples to regard heaven as an eternal dwelling-place; that idea has developed through the passing centuries by people who have not really understood God's purpose.
    In Attic Law the word was used to describe one's "entire estate". Thus used, it may refer to the whole vast universe; GOD RULES OVER ALL! Jesus is going to another part of His Father's estate. Whatever the
location, there are many beautiful spheres of habitation in the Father's house. (And it is entirely possible that the saints will be joyfully occupied in exploring that vast estate in the ages to come.)
    Were the estate less glorious than they had been taught to expect, Jesus would have told them plainly. He was always open and honest with them. Had He not told them plainly that they must bid farewell to comfort? (Lk. 9:57-58). He had forewarned that persecution, hatred and suffering awaited them for His name's sake, (Matt. 10:16-22). He had told them that a cross was necessary to true discipleship, (Matt. 16:24). And He never attempted to bribe or deceive them; rather, He challenged them to true greatness.
    Jesus promised a special place for those who would faithfully walk according to His order. It is His desire that His loved ones be WITH HIM, where He is, (Jn. 12:26; 17:24 Phil. 1:23; I Thes. 4:17). And He will ultimately share with His bride the glory of the New Jerusalem, (Rev. 21:1-5). But it must be understood that this is CONSIDERABLY LESS than the totality of All THE SAVED -- only those who are bearing His reproach as they faithfully adhere to the instruction of His Word.
    HOSPITALIZATION, on the part of the Editor, at the time material would normally be prepared for the CLARION HERALD, has necessitated a reduced size again this month. We hope to get back to a full-length publication next month! E.G.