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The Clarion Herald

    Ignorance, lack of understanding or outright misunderstanding constitutes a universal problem. Such people as are characterized by "fat hearts, heavy ears and closed eyes" are to be pitied (Isa. 6:9-12). Yet the ways of God are so often hidden from men. There is so little clear perception of: His person, purpose, providence or provision.
    This lack of understanding is abundantly illustrated in the Word of God. Joseph's brethren never understood the providence of God, (Gen. 50:15-21). The ten unbelieving spies could not understand the adequacy of God's provision for such as walk by faith, (Num. 13:26-14; 10). Moses' brethren did not understand Gods purpose to deliver them by his hand, (Acts 7:25). The ante-diluvium world did not understand the measure of God's wrath against sin, (Gen. 6:3; 2 Pet. 2:5; Matt. 24:37-38). The princes of this world did not recognize the "Lord of Glory", (I Cor. 2:6-8). Joseph and Mary missed the significance of Jesus' words and actions (Luke 2:50). The soldiers who cast lots for His garment did not realize the heinousness of their sin, (Luke 23:34). The Jews of Jesus'

day understood not the "time of their visitation", (Luke 19:41-44).
    Jesus' own disciples failed to grasp much of what He did and taught: (1) concerning His coming passion, (Luke 9:43-45; 18:31-34); (2) concerning His raising of the temple in three days,(Jn. 2:19-23); (3) concerning His washing of their feet in the Upper Room, (Jn. 13:7); and (4) concerning what the prophets had written about Him, (Lk. 24:16, 25-32, 36-49).
    To get understanding one must seek it, (Prov. 2:4-5); ask for it, (Jas. 1:5; I Kings 3:12; 4:29); study the Scriptures, (Psa. 119:104) and wait on the Lord "in the sanctuary" of His house, (Psa. 73:17).
    Careless souls who leave God out of their lives fail to discern the danger that constantly lurks around them. They know not how near they are approaching to the place of eternal burnings. Nor do they understand what horrible torments await them in the penitentiary of sinners toward which they are rushing in rebellion against Him Who alone is able to save them from such a horrible end.
    IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD! He is ever found of those who seek Him with the whole heart. Seek Him; trust Him; and LIVE!    E.G.

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald


    The CLARION HERALD is nearing the end of its sixth year of publication under the sponsorship of the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, of Rockford, Illinois. We have been grateful for the opportunity of this ministry and trust that we have been able to encourage many hearts to a closer walk of fellowship with God, and a deeper consciousness of the vast reservoir of spiritual resources available to all who will yield the reins of their hearts to the Living Christ.
    During the past six years there have been a faithful few who have written periodically to express their appreciation, to share with us some specific blessing that has been theirs through this ministry, or to contribute materially to its support.
    But there are hundreds on our mailing list from whom we have received no response. Some of you

have originally asked to have your names placed on our mailing list. Others are receiving the CLARION HERALD because some friend thought it might be a source of spiritual enrichment.
    It would be a real source of encouragement to all of us here at Landmark if, during the month of January, we could receive a letter from YOU. The cost of this ministry grows increasingly heavier. Your letters will give us one means of assessing its effectiveness -- and, indeed, help us determine whether the time, effort and expense involved is truly a wise investment.
-- the Editor


    In spite of snow, rain and a lower-than-usual attendance, our Thanksgiving Fellowship Meeting last week was an indescribable blessing. We had asked God for a good meeting wherein harmony might prevail and the name of Christ be exalted. And this was the sort of meeting that was experienced.
    The high point came on Thursday evening when our own Rick Wade made known his call to the Gospel ministry -- our hearts being filled to overflowing!
    A wide geographical area was represented: from Alaska to Louisiana & from California to Kentucky. Messages (or devotions) were brought by brethren: Lonnie Ford, Homer Bryan, Sam Arnold, Jim Burks, Leonard Ford, Edgar Potter, Jerry Thomas, Rick Wade, Perry Ferris,
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    When Peter had confessed Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God", Jesus acknowledged his enlightenment from above and said: "... Upon this rock I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it", (Matt. 16:18). Various passages liken the development of the Lord's church to the building of a house, (I Cor. 3:9-11; Eph. 2:19-22; I Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:1-6; comp. 2 Sam. 7:13-14).
    Material for the initial stage of this building was prepared by John the Baptist -- the prophesied forerunner of Messiah. His preaching called the covenant nation to repentance and the yielding of their hearts under the sovereign Lordship of his Superior, (Matt. 3:7-12; John 1:19-37). By the baptism John was divinely authorized to administer Jesus' was identified as Israel's Messiah, (John 1:31). John clearly recognized his own subordinate role in God's grand and glorious purpose, (Lk. 3:15-16; Jn. 3:26-30). Privileged to introduce Messiah to the world, he truly delighted in Jesus' superior ministry.
    Of those who had already responded to John's ministry (submitting themselves to His divinely-authorized baptism), Jesus called out certain ones to follow Himself. These became the nucleus of His church. Thus, in the strictest sense, the FOUNDING of the church may be located beside the Sea of Galilee; (Matt. 4:18-19, 21; Mark 1:16-17, 19; Luke 5:10); but its DEVELOPMENT continued over a period

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of years -- under apostolic direction. It will be fruitless to search for a formal organization of the New Testament church in the biblical record; but it IS possible to locate its beginning.
    It should already be clear to every careful Bible student that the church of Jesus Christ has NEVER included "all the saved" at any period of its existence. Nor is it specifically stated that the church, before Pentecost, ever consisted of anything more than the select group of twelve disciple-apostles who companied with Jesus and who were being trained for roles of spiritual leadership following His departure and the descent of the Holy Spirit. It DOES appear from Acts 1, however, that Jesus' "little flock" had grown to include at least 120, (vs. 15). Yet it is entirely possible that some of these were not yet technically a part of His body; but their hearts had been fully persuaded that He was "the Christ"; and they were now ready to serve Him.
    It cannot be emphasized too carefully that the "order" of the New Testament Church, as we have it today, HAD NOT YET BEEN FULLY REVEALED. Therefore, it is dangerous to attempt forcing the events of this time period into an order that had not yet been fully established.
    That a REAL, genuine church existed in Jerusalem prior to our Lord's departure cannot be denied. He "finished" the work the Father had given Him to do, (Jn. 17:4). The completed house was soon to become the earthly dwelling-place

of God -- through the Spirit. Upon the completion of both the tabernacle and temple God had manifested His pleasure by taking up His abode within them -- in the midst of His covenant people. So, when His spiritual house was complete the Holy Spirit came in visible tongues of fire -- both to baptize and inhabit the New Testament "house", (Ex. 40:33-38; I Kings 8:10-11; Acts 2; Eph. 2:21-22).

FELLOWSHIP '75 ... Continued
Edward Byrd, Melvin Gray, Willard Spilman and Merle Gray.
    Landmark Church deeply appreciates the efforts put forth by our brethren in making FELLOWSHIP '75 the tremendous blessing that it was. And we hope you'll come again. E.G.

Hear, gracious God! a sinner's cry,
For I have nowhere else to fly;
My hope, my only hope's in Thee;
O God, be merciful to me!

To Thee I come, a sinner poor,
And wait for mercy at Thy door;
Indeed, I've nowhere else to flee:
O God, be merciful to me!

To Thee I come, a sinner weak,
And scarce know how to pray or
From fear and weakness set me free;
O God, be merciful to me!

To Thee I come, a sinner vile;
Upon me, Lord, vouchsafe to smile!
Mercy alone I make my plea;
O God, be merciful to me!

To Thee I come, a sinner great,
And well thou knowest all my state;
Yet full forgiveness is with Thee;
O God, be merciful to me!

To Thee I come, a sinner lost,
Nor have I aught wherein to trust;
But where Thou art, Lord, I would
O God, be merciful to me!

To glory bring me, Lord, at last;
And there, when all my fears are
With all the saints I'll then agree,
God has been merciful to me!
-- Samuel Medley
Fret not; God loves you, (Jn. 13:1). Faint not; He holds you, (Psa. 139:10). Fear not; He keeps all you entrust to Him, (Psa. 121:5).