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The Clarion Herald

    Once again the CLARION HERALD is behind schedule and reduced in size. But I am offering no excuses and begging no pardons. It could not be avoided.
    On June 1, I underwent surgery for the removal of my gall bladder which, as many know by experience, can be quite incapacitating. Though hospitalized for only 8 days, the stitches and drainage tube were not removed for two weeks (June 15). The postal authorities offered to permit me to stop the June issue completely; but I have chosen to publish late, and at a reduced size, rather than miss a single issue of this ministry.
    A special "THANK YOU" is in order for Dave Wilson, and his crew at the GC Electronics print shop, for offering to print this issue!
    Bro. Mitchell Lewis ministered to Landmark Church on June 3 and 10. His messages are always a blessing. He has, for many years, been a real encouragement to me, personally, and a liberal supporter of our printed ministry.
    I am most grateful for all the cards, letters of encouragement and, in some cases, offerings that have
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    In the letters addressed to the "angels" of the seven churches in Asia, the Lord Jesus commends the things that He observes approvingly among His people. In so doing He set forth certain principles whereby we may know what He approves in His people throughout this age.


    "I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false; and thou hast patience and didst bear for my name's sake, and hast not grown weary", (Rev. 2:2-3). Here the Lord certainly declares that He knows (approvingly) certain things about the church at Ephesus, (comp. Psa. 1:6; 2 Tim. 2:19; Neh. ?:7; John 10:14).
    First, the Lord commends the long, unflagging, enduring labor of His people. They have not tried to avoid difficult tasks. They have joyfully accepted strenuous tasks in the service, (Heb. 6:10 I Cor. 15:10). Even while enduring persecution, their lives have been persistent; they have not fainted,

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

(Gal. 6:9; Heb. 12:3, 5, 12, 15). And it has been endured for His name's sake, (Matt. 5:10-12).
    Then the Lord commends their uncompromising attitude toward evil and evildoers. There is certainly nothing grossly immoral about this church. It appears to be sound in its teaching and pure in its living (Acts 17:11; Isa. 8:20; I Cor. 9:1-2; 2 Cor. 11:4-5; 2 Pet. 2:1-2). It is a church that is truly zealous for the preservation of sound doctrine, (2 John 10-11).
    Finally, Jesus commends their faithful scrutiny of professing apostles. They have been alert -- keen to detect the inconsistencies between claim and reality. They were fearless in their exposure of these lying pretenders. And they hated the "deeds" of the Nicolaitans, (vs. 6). Here is a danger point for many Christians; strife to maintain truth and right often degenerates until one also hates the offender, (2 Tim. 2:24-26). In

such matters it is possible to walk in fellowship with Christ ONLY as we walk "with malice toward none", (I Peter 2:1).


    "I know thy tribulation, and thy poverty (but thou art rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer; behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried: and ye shall have tribulation ten days", (Rev. 2:9-10).
    Jesus commends the conduct of the saints at Smyrna while enduring sore trial. Trials are inevitable, (Jn. 16:33; Acts 14:22). Their attitude is suggestive of true godliness, (2 Tim. 2:12; 3:12). The people of God may even learn to JOY in such trials for His name's sake, (Rom. 5:3).
    Though in deep poverty they manifest no "inferiority complex"; nor did they complain of being treated as "second class citizens". Others might despise them for their lack of material possessions, but "in Christ" they had found contentment. Spiritually rich, they were able to enrich others, (2 Cor, 6:10; 8:9; James 2:5).
    Jesus also commends their attitude when confronted by the reviling blasphemies of their enemies, (Isa. 51:7-8; I Cor. 4:12; I Peter 2:23). These imposters claimed to be "sons of the covenant" -- true Israelites, (Romans 2:28-29). In fact, they were the "synagogue of

Satan". They were insincere. Nor was it long before they were found violating their own Sabbath-laws by carrying wood to the stadium for a pyre on which beloved (of the Lord) Polycarp, whom they despised, might be burned. The distinction between Judaism and the church of Jesus Christ was quite distinct at the end of the-first century A.D.
    Finally, Jesus commends the attitude of Smyrnan hearts by showing that He can trust them with an awareness of more suffering to follow; they have already proved His grace sufficient for their need. Only they must not fear; perfect love casts out tormenting fear. The fear of man always works a snare. But the fear (reverence) of God is the beginning of true wisdom (Matt. 10:28). All will be tested further and some will be imprisoned, (Phil. 1:29; I Pet. 4:12-13); but they may safely commit themselves into the loving hands of their faithful Creator.
    It is a dangerous, perverted and vicious debasement of the Scriptures to promise peace, contentment, a trouble-free life and deliverance from the hour of trial (by means of a so-called "rapture") to all who have truly trusted in Jesus. God has always been the Deliverer of His people, but the historic method of His dealings has ALWAYS been that of preservation THROUGH FIERY TRIALS! And no New Testament passage teaches, or even necessarily implies, that God will become such a "respecter of persons" as to bring this present, presumptuous generation to maturity without the refining processes through which

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every other generation of saints has been purified!
    If it were necessary for the very Son of Man to "learn obedience by the things which He suffered", how utterly presumptuous it is of modern churchmen to imagine they can pressure the Most High into adapting their humanistic methods of dealing with His people in these last days!
    He who faithfully promised: "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" has also commanded: "Fear none of those things which thou shalt SUFFER!" He is still the Hope of His people -- the strength and help of such as trust Him wholly. E.G.
(To be Continued)

EXCUSES?? ...... Continued
been received from individuals and churches to assist in meeting my medical expenses (an accumulation of almost $5,000.00 in charges since my first attack in December). Though uninsured, I have had no anxiety -- knowing "whose I am and whom I serve", and that my Lord is not bankrupt. Having always made adequate provision in the past, He will not fail this time!
    Grateful for the progress that has already been made toward the regaining of my strength, there is still a long way to go. I would deeply appreciate the continuing prayers of all my brethren.
-- Eugene L. Garner
    "My God shall FULLY SUPPLY all your needs according to His abundant wealth .... in Christ Jesus!"


    The doctrine of ELECTION is one of the most widely misunderstood teachings of the Bible. The cause for this, no doubt, is that most of us have allowed the radicalism of our "Hardshell" brethren to drive us completely away from a study of this subject. Because of our neglecting to study the Bible doctrine of "election", our thinking has been warped on several other Bible doctrines which are very closely related to this one.
    The word "election" means "to pick out" or "to choose from among" which, within itself, will immediately suggest that it is something LIMITED -- not general or universal. The first usages of the word in both the Old and New Testaments are RESTRICTIVE. In reality, there is no passage in the entirety of God's Word that even hints at, or implies, that God has "elected" the whole race -- some to salvation and heaven; others to condemnation and hell! Permit me, with all candor, to submit that THE BIBLE NOWHERE SPEAKS OF A LOST SINNER AS BEING ELECT! In fact, there are no elect people to be found in the Scriptures apart from national Israel (in the Old Testament) or the "Israel of God" (the church) in the New. If one of my readers is able to supply A SINGLE BIBLICAL PASSAGE that proves otherwise, this writer WILL GLADLY WITHDRAW and repudiate the above statement.
    The election of God has nothing whatsoever to do with one's salvation from sin-guiltiness. That depends on whether the individual (in

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response to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit) elects (chooses) to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ". Concerning divine election, Jesus said to His disciples: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit" (John 15:16). Divine Election is with reference to RESPONSIBILITY and an INHERITANCE in the coming kingdom of God -- a FUTURE ASPECT OF SALVATION which is "in Christ Jesus with eternal glory", (2 Tim. 2:10).
    Paul taught (Eph. 1:4-5) that both election and predestination are with reference to "adoption". Adoption is the act, which comes only through the Father's appointment, whereby those who are ALREADY sons" (Gk. "tekna") are SET IN THE POSITION of "heirship" -- suggesting a previous development toward maturity. God's elective act, in eternity past, was of HIS SON -- the Representative Man. Our election is actualized ONLY in our proper identity with Him. Apart from God's election of His Son the Word of God TEACHES NO INDIVIDUAL ELECTION! It DOES TEACH the corporate election of THE CHURCH -- as the body of Christ; the instrument through which He is pleased to manifest His risen life to the world today.
    Men do not become heirs (Gk. "huios") of God when born from above (or in the initial experience of salvation). Jesus is the ONLY "born huios" of God, (John 3:16). ALL OTHERS must be SET INTO this position by what the Word of God calls "adoption" (Gk. "huiothesia").

The child "teknos" of God differs nothing from a servant, though he be "lord of all", until the time (or, literally, "age") appointed by the Father, (Gal. 4:1-2).
    Individual participation in divine election is CONDITIONAL; but the elect may claim no human merit. Some of the conditions are: l)FAITH -- not merely a single step, but a faith that walks in unstaggering steadfastness like that of Abraham, (Gal. 3:22-23; Rom. 4:12-30; Heb. 3:6, 14).
    2) FRUITBEARING. Election is with reference to fruitbearing and responsible obedience, (John 15:16; I Peter 1:2). But there can be no fruitbearing apart from the spirit's mastery of one's living (Gal.5:22).
    3) ABIDING IN CHRIST -- which involves far more than an initial experience of deliverance from the guilt of past sin. This describes a vital union with Christ in "Bride-body" relationship -- a relationship wherein the blessings of the promised Spirit become experiential. Such as have not the Spirit ARE NOT CHRIST'S (in the sense of being His own peculiar treasure) though saved (Rom. 8:9). All who are TRULY HIS "have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts", (Gal. 5:24). To presume that all the saved automatically "abide in Christ", or that they are even "in Him" (as that expression is generally employed in the New Testament) is to make NONSENSE of multiplied warnings and admonitions concerning the responsibility to ABIDE (continue, or remain) IN HIM, (Rom. 11:21-22; I John 2:28; John 15:4-10).
    To teach that man has no

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responsibility, as regards his election, is to render impossible any sensible interpretation of many plain scriptures. We are clearly admonished to make our - "calling and election sure". This, according to Peter, is done through adding to our first-faith (and the initial experience of salvation) such virtues (faith-works) as will assure that we shall "never fall", that we will neither be "barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" and that there will be administered to us "an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ", (2 Peter 1:5-11).
    Abraham did not "elect" (choose) himself to be the father of the faithful. Instead, God, on the basis of His foreknowledge concerning Abraham's faith-obedience, elected him.
    Though saved, and properly identified with Christ (as members of His body), we must heed the admonition; "take heed lest he spare not thee", (Rom. 11:21). Israel did not obtain the goal of her election (inheritance of the kingdom-promise) because of her unbelief. The Lord's church, as regards election, is in the same position of relationship to God as formerly held by the covenant-nation, Individuals in the church may be "'cut off" from inheriting through their unbelief (legalism, programizing, organizing etc.) or high-mindedness (pride -- even of the denominationsi sort).
    Some at Galatia were said to be "severed from Christ" (cut off from the vital union of body

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relationship). Though in the position of true sonship, they turned back to "the weak and beggarly elements" (the law-principle of living)choosing its bondage to the glorious liberty that might be theirs in the true service of Christ, (Gal. 4:8-9; 5:3-4).
    Finally, hear the admonition of the Hebrew writer: "Seek eagerly for peace with everyone and for holiness without which NO ONE shall see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of divine grace; that no one cultures a root of bitterness to cause a disturbance by which the majority shall be contaminated; that none is unchaste or profane like Esau, who for a single
meal handed over his own birth-right. For you know how afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, because he found no place for recalling the decision, although with tears he sought the blessing", (Heb. 12:14-17, Berkeley).
    (The above article, with a minor refinement of terminology, is a reprint of an article originally published by the editor in the LANDMARK BAPTIST MESSENGER, (July 10 1955. After 24 years of diligent study, I see no reason to make any basic changes in my concept of this subject. E.G.)

FROM PSALM 90 O LORD, the Saviour and defense
    Of all Thy chosen race,
From age to age Thou still hast been
    Our sure abiding place.

Before the lofty mountains rose,
    Or earth received its frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
    To endless years the same.

Thou turnest man, 0 Lord, to dust,
    Of which he first was made;
When Thou dost speak the word,
      Return --
    'Tis instantly obeyed.

For in Thy sight a thousand years
    Are like a day that's past;
Or like a watch in dead of night,
    Whose hours unminded waste.

So teach us, Lord, the uncertain sum
    Of our short days to mind,
That unto wisdom all out hearts
    May ever be inclined.