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The Clarion Herald

    It will be the privilege of Landmark Church to hear Bro. Gerald Thomas on Sunday, February 24. Bro. Thomas, a young Jewish' preacher, from Salinas, California, visited with us here during the Fellowship Meeting last Thanksgiving and blessed the hearts of those who arrived early enough to hear his Wednesday evening message.
    Few, indeed, are the flesh-descendants of Abraham who are boldly and zealously bearing "the testimony of Jesus" in our day. But God is opening Jewish hearts to the recognition of His Son, whom their ancient fathers rejected, as the only Hope of the world.
    The Light of Israel, the Son of David, the Prince of Peace, the rejected King of the Jews is soon coming to earth again as "King of kings and Lord of lords".
    Brethren from neighboring churches may share our blessings by availing themselves of the opportunity to hear this "son of Abraham" -- both in the flesh and in the spirit -- as he speaks to us on Monday and Tuesday evenings (February 25-26) at 7:00 P.M.
-- Eugene L. Garner


    In First Corinthians 12 thru 15 Paul writes concerning "the spiritualities". Pervading the entire passage is the central truth that "Jesus Christ IS LORD". The apostle is deeply concerned that the church at Corinth progress in spiritual understanding. He could not speak to them as to spiritual adults because their "carnality" had arrested their spiritual development -- leaving them mere "babes". It was not necessary that they remain in that state. They MIGHT grow up to maturity.
    God is never pleased when His children fail to grow up. It was His desire that the Corinthian body "grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ". It was not necessary that they forever be children "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" -- easily deceived. But, if they were to progress, it would be necessary that "the WHOLE body" be properly assembled, adjusted, coordinated -- EVERY MEMBER diligently filling its proper role. BY such united, harmonious functioning, on the part of every member, THE WHOLE BODY would develop -- being

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

built up in love.
    Spiritua1 maturity is not something that can be "programmed" by men. Nor are there any two churches that have exactly the same need. But Christ has made adequate provision for each one. As every body-member acknowledges and submits to the LORDSHIP of Christ, the Holy Spirit will faithfully effect that "unity of the spirit, in the bonds of peace" which is ESSENTIAL before any church can adequately manifest "the fullness of Him that filleth all in all". Instead of reflecting the glory of God, as manifested in the face of Christ, a divided church will distort the image, and becloud the glory of His holiness.
    We do well to keep before us the PURPOSE of God in "the spiritualities" that were made available to the young churches of the first century. As set forth in I Corinthians, and enforced by his teachings in other epistles, they were designed to UNITE AND ASSIST THE

ELECT PEOPLE IN PROGRESSING FROM A STATE OF CARNAL ADOLESENCE TO A STATE OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY, OR MANHOOD. As such development proceeded, and as the New Testament record became an available authority to guide church polity, the "supernatural gifts" were no longer necessary. They were, therefore, gradually "phased out" of God's program for the church.
    As the Law of Moses was a "temporary insertion" -- necessary to prepare the covenant nation for the Messiah, the supernatural efforts were a TEMPORARY AID; necessary in developing the infant church to the place where it could BE "the fullness of Christ". Never was it the Lord's intention that His church should be a sort of "corporate Peter Pan" - refusing to GROW UP!
    In chapter 13 of this letter, Paul declares that LOVE will never fail (ekpipto) meaning, "fall off, lose its authority, or cease to have force". By way of CONTRAST: TONGUES shall cease (Pauo) -- come to an end; KNOWLEDGE and PROPHECY shall "vanish", or "be "done away" (katargeo) -- literally, "be cut off". Then the apostle draws an illustration from his own life to show that this "cutting off" of the special gifts is the logical thing to expect once God's people have reached a certain STAGE of spiritual development. He says: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I PUT AWAY childish things".
    It is utterly amazing to me how
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by Michael E. Rogers
    The heaven, even the heaven of heavens, are the Lord's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men", (Psa. 115:16).
    Science, by definition, is the observation of facts, the measurement of present phenomena and processes. The scientific method involves empirical reproducibility, with like causes producing like effects. True science is not inference or speculation or extrapolation.
    All of man's investigation of space and the moons, planets, suns, stars, quasars, pulsars, comets, etc., indicate that only Earth has the proper amount of the elements necessary for the support of life. No other place in the universe has been found to have the same concentrations of the chemical elements. For example: (1) OXYGEN is a few times more abundant in the universe than NITROGEN. But: (a) In the earth's crust oxygen is several thousand times more abundant than nitrogen; (b) In the earth's atmosphere nitrogen is four times as abundant as oxygen. (2) The huge quantity of LIOUID WATER found on earth is unknown elsewhere in the universe. Water is unique and essential as a solvent for life systems. It is important as a factor in weather and climate. Elsewhere in the universe very low concentrations of either water vapor or ice have been observed -- BUT NOT LIQUID WATER!
    The water on earth is maintained in liquid form as the result of another unique phenomenon -- a very

If the average temperature of the earth's biosphere were 100 degrees less, all of its water would freeze solid. If it were 100 degrees more, the biosphere would be a lethal furnace.
    Earth's temperature is optimum because this planet is just the RIGHT DISTANCE from the sun.
    These are a few simple examples. Many more could be presented, all of which tell us that planet earth is one of a kind.
    What is the purpose, then, of the planets, moons, stars and galaxies if not to evolve and support life elsewhere? They have functions -- no doubt many more than have been discovered - essential to life on THIS planet. (1) The intricate orbits, speeds, rotations and other movements of celestial bodies and systems keep the earth and themselves properly suspended and spaced by gravitational, centrifugal, and gyroscopic forces. (2) Tides, seasons and weather are influenced by them. (3) They serve such practical purposes as illumination, navigation and chronology, and are a source of beauty and inspiration.
    Speculation concerning life on other worlds is prompted entirely by the evolutionary philosophy. To date there exists not one inkling of evidence that the evolutionist's desperate WISH will ever come true. All of the verified evidence says the earth is a cosmic oddity. The rest of the universe is characterized by lifeless vacuum, searing radiation and frigid temperatures. In earth's wonderful garden ALONE can man grow and survive.

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brethren can consider the context and stated purpose of these "special gifts" and still cast covetous eyes toward those who CLAIM to be exercising them today OUTSIDE THE SPHERE, and contrary to the basic purpose, of their Biblically designated operation!
    Now, where, I submit, is the CONSISTENCY: (1) In censuring the wilderness-Jews for their yearning after the "leeks, onions and garlic" of Egypt; (2) In condemning the Judaizing brethren at Antioch and in Galatia, for placing themselves back under the abrogated Law of
Moses; and then, at the same time (3) Desiring for a fully equipped 20th century New Testament church the "educational toys" designed for the aid of spiritual infants in a first century pagan community? Is it that they are convinced such evidence of spiritual regression is honoring to Christ? Are those who profess to "speak in tongues" and be "filled with the spirit" really HUMBLED by the experience? Or is such profession, and yearning, actually a "ruse" aimed at attracting attention to their own "super spirituality"? I may not have the answer to those questions; but they ARE legitimate questions!
    The spiritual gifts are not operative in the Lord's churches today, as in the first century, because the Head of the church, in His infinite wisdom, has not been pleased to bestow them. To suggest that their absence is due to our "unworthiness" is at least to IMPLY that they were AWARDED to the "carnal" Corinthians on the basis of their "merit". The Lord's churches today stand FULLY EQUIPPED for all that our Lord requires of us. It will be evident to the discerning few that every historic attempt, on the part of men, to "restore" these gifts has ended in such utter chaos as to bring shame upon the name of our dear Lord. Brethren, BEWARE! The OLD MAN is piously deceptive.
    Instead of looking backward, how much better it would be if our very hearts were ruled by DIVINE LOVE. Where LOVE reigns, service is not a burden; fidelity to Christ is the desire and delight of every heart.
-- Eugene L. Garner