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    In the commission that the risen Lord delivered to His church there is this promise: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE", (Matt. 28:28). The word "consummation" carries the idea of "end, termination, conclusion, finish, etc". Thus, the word of our Lord involved the faithful promise of His presence (by the Spirit) with His church clear down to the utter end of this age. However much wishful thinking religious leaders may indulge, the Lord of the church has no other order for His people than the fulfilling of the Great Commission until this present age has come to a close.
    There can be no end of this age without the beginning of another; nor can another begin until this one is terminated. According to the Scriptures, the appearing of Jesus Christ in power and great glory will signal the beginning of a NEW AGE. The next appearance of our Lord on this planet will be to inaugurate this new, millennial age; thus, it will be a pre-millennial coming.
    Surely those who teach an earlier coming of our Lord ought to base their doctrine on at least ONE

passage of Scripture that clearly teaches the same. It is both foolish and dangerous to formulate doctrines upon mere "implications" that one imagines in the text, or finds necessary to vindicate a previous commitment to some biased theory of Biblical prophecy.
    Various Scriptures clearly declare the coming of Jesus Christ to be "AT the last (7th) trump", (Rev. 8:2; I Thes. 4:l6-18; I Cor. 15:51-53; Rev. 10:7; Matt. 24:29-31). And clearly associated with this coming, which the Master Himself located "immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION ..... such as was not since the beginning of the world" (Mk. 13:24; Lk. 21:34-36), are such things as: (1) The resurrection of the righteous dead (who are the very FIRST to meet the coming Lord) (2) The gathering of the elect -- for whose sake the days of tribulation are "shortened" (Matt. 24:22), (3) The catching up of living saints to meet their COMING Lord, (4) The destruction of the Man of Sin "by the brightness of His body- presence", (5) The out-pouring of divine wrath, and (6) The "harvest" -- which is specifically declared to be "IN the consummation of this age", (Matt. 13:40-42). "THEN shall
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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald


    At our Business Meeting last week the vote was "unanimous" to entertain another Fellowship Meeting on November 27-28. After years of blessing through this annual event, it is our desire to have our brethren come to Rockford once more to share with us in the Fellowship of the Gospel.
    This Thanksgiving we look forward to the greatest meeting yet. It is our hope that brethren from all parts of the country will meet in Rockford for such a series of services as will honor the Lord, encourage and challenge the hearts of His people, strengthen the bonds that have hitherto united our hearts in a great work, and point lost ones to the Savior.
    Will YOU pray with us -- that in this meeting the name of Christ may truly be exalted? And will you begin to make plans to COME? We hope you will!!        -- Eugene L. Garner


    During the past twenty-odd years this editor has constantly marveled at the rapidity with which some brethren have flip-flopped from one extreme to another --- having no such "roots" in Scriptural principles as are necessary to keep men stedfast in the path of truth and uprightness.
    During my seminary days I developed some very strong convictions about the nature of the Lord's church, and the manner in which her affairs should be conducted. Though study has required me to adopt a different viewpoint on many things since that time, nothing has appeared to seriously challenge my deep respect for the "order" God has establisfhed for His church.
    My youthful judgment of brethren with whom I could not fully agree was sometimes a bit rash and heady. By it I, unintentionally, alienated myself from many brethren and was soon "isolated" by them as a sort of "untouchable" whereby they might be defiled. Others also experienced a similar "exile" --- some becoming so bitter as to consider an "anti-establishment" attitude a proper basis for fellowship.
    For 15 years this editor has attempted to discourage such a negative attitude --- advocating the practice of a genuine Christian love, forbearance and brotherliness toward all who have submitted themselves under the "yoke" of Christ in what is clearly a New Testament assembly.
    It is a ridiculous hypocrisy that can accept the baptism of a

church with which one can have no fellowship! But such lack of reason is an integral part of a proud self-love -- a high-minded exclusivism which I fear worse than the devil himself. Such a foolish posture can almost inevitably justify itself by the "letter" of the Scriptures; but so could the Pharisees. A proud ecclesiasticism may be as great an enemy to truth, and hindrance to the progress of the Gospel, as an ignorant universalism. May the Lord deliver us from BOTH.
    During our Thanksgiving Fellowship in 1969 I spoke out quite frankly on this subject. I advocated the compromise of NO New Testament principle. Rather, my brethren were urged to remember the principles of "the second mile", of blessing instead of cursing, of doing good instead of evil, of judging RIGHTEOUS judgment -- not a wholesale condemnation of brethren and churches for whom Christ died.
    It is a matter of amazement to this editor that some who were temporarily outraged by such a "liberal" suggestion, have now done such a doctrinal (and practical?) about-face as to be dangerously close to advocating a "universal church" composed of all the saved! There is no possible way for them to follow their new position to a logical conclusion without ending up in the universalist camp. And all the time manifesting an angelic (?) audacity that insists it HASN'T CHANGED A THING in the past 20 years.
    Balaam transgressed for "profit"; charged with shameful infidelity to their covenant responsibilities, the priests of Israel attempted to

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vindicate themselves by inquiring "Wherein" have we done thus and so? And no person concerned more for his own "honor" than for the cause of God and truth appreciates being exposed by the light of God's Word. Since the CLARION HERALD deliberately limits itself to principles, it is hoped that "wise men" will discern the truth and follow it.
-- Eugene L. Garner

CONSUMMATION ... Continued

the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of the Father", (Matt. l3:43).
    Even men who have written volumes to prove a recent theory concerning a "pre-tribulation" coming of the Lord (to "rapture" His people), admit that such a coming IS NOT SPECIFICALLY STATED in the Scriptures. While asserting that a "post-tribulation" return of Christ is also lacking in specific Scriptural backing, they obviously ignore the words of Jesus mentioned above.
    It is dangerously presumptuous to teach that Jesus will return one moment sooner than He or any of His apostles have specifically indicated -- an act that would violate His Father's commandment, (Matt. 22:44; Heb. 10:12-l3, etc.). To imagine that He will not come at all is spiritual insanity!
    May our walk be one of such loving faith-obedience that whenever He appears we will be ready to meet Him. To live as if His coming is insignificant is to court spiritual disaster! -- Eugene L. Garner

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    "Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off; and my salvation shall not tarry. We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness's are as filthy rags" (Isa. 46:12-13; 64:6).
    Eternal salvation is rooted in a knowledge of the true and living God. Sinners may imagine that they
think highly of God when they only think highly of His mercy. But God is as holy and just as He is merciful. He is as certain to punish the guilty as to pardon the penitent and believing soul.
    There is a sense in which every sinner says: "God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are". Such an attitude manifests his self-righteousness. He does not seem to understand that if God were to mark everything that is wrong NONE could be declared righteous.
    Every true Christian believer will cry out: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" Until men admit themselves to be sinners -- lost ruined and helpless sinners; until they are brought to acknowledge the justice of God in their condemnation; until they are driven to Jesus Christ as the ONLY refuge and hope of salvation, they are "ignorant of God's righteousness" and foolishly endeavor to "establish their own righteousness" --- not submitting themselves to the righteousness of Christ that they may be reckoned righteous through faith in Him.

"I am"; saith Christ, "the Way":
    Now, if we credit Him,
All other paths must lead astray,
    How fair soe'er they seem.

"I am", saith Christ, "the Truth":
    Then, all that lack this test;
Proceed it from an angel's mouth,
    Is but a lie at best.

"I am", saith Christ, "the Life":
    Let this be seen by faith;
It follows without further strife
    That all beside is death.