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The Clarion Herald

    As Israel journeyed toward the Promised Land Moses urged Hobab, his brother-in-law, "Come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel", (Num. 10:29). At a later period in the history of the covenant nation the manifestation of divine power was likened unto a dream: "Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them", and the Psalmist responded: The Lord HATH done great things for us; whereof WE ARE GLAD! (Psa. 126:3-4).
    This is our testimony at the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church. The Lord has, indeed, manifested His graciousness in such a way as to overflow our hearts with joy and gladness. His love, grace, mercy & power have been manifested in so many different ways during the past few months that we stand in constant awe before His majesty. And we expect greater things to come.
    If YOU live in the Rockford area and are not actively serving the Lord elsewhere, we invite you to visit with us and to SHARE OUR BLESSINGS! WELCOME!!           E.G.


    As we pause to look back over the year that is about to end, we see many things to remind us of the abundant mercies that have been bestowed upon us. The eyes of the Lord have truly been upon us for good. He has safely brought us through many dangerous experiences -- proving his stedfast love and unfailing compassion all the way. Surely we can set up our Ebenezer, saying: "Hitherto the Lord hath helped us", (I Sam. 7:12).
    Whatever of fruitlessness or evil may be found in us is blamable on ourselves alone; whatever of good must be recognized as an evidence of divine grace. Ought not our souls to praise the Holy name of our Dear Lord -- never forgetting His benefits?
    As we contemplate the beginning of a New Year, may our hearts cling close to our God. May each new day find us offering the sacrifice of obedience and praise to Him Who alone is worthy. May we live each day as if it were the last -- being always alert and prepared to meet our coming King. Thus will we hear His "Well done", and enter with Him into a shared relationship of eternal life, health, joy and peace.                         E.G.

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

    In Luke 24:46-49 is recorded one of the most remarkable passages in the Scriptures. One may search the literature of the whole world without finding anything comparable to it. "Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye shall be witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high".     The gist of the Old Testament is here compressed into fifteen words: "Thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day". Luke has just related how the Lord reproved the dullness of the Emmaus disciples. "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought

not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself", (Luke 24:25-27). It is amazing what the Old Testament did reveal concerning the substitutionary death and triumphant resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, (Isaiah 53). What was the central theme of the Old Testament is set forth with greater fulness and clarity in the New, (Matt. 16:13-21; Acts 2:22-36; 10:38-43; I Cor. 15:1-4).
    The NEW TESTAMENT GOSPEL OF SALVATION is here succinctly stated. In the name of Jesus "repentance and remission of sins" are to be preached to all nations. This was the main thrust of Peter's first two recorded messages in the book of Acts, (2:37-38; 3:18-26; comp. 5:30-32; 10:43). And Paul also placed great stress on this message. In his defense before Agrippa he referred to his experience with Jesus on the Damascus Road, (Acts 26:9-20). The substance of the whole New Testament message is that men should turn FROM sin UNTO God -- walking in His ways and doing His will.
    Encompassed in Luke's brief record may also be seen the MISSIONARY PROGRAM purposed by our Lord. "Ye are witnesses of these things". Jesus was a witness of the Fathers care and gracious disposition toward men; He had been sent to reveal the Father's love and care, His final words to His assembled people, prior to His ascension,
(Continued on Page 4)

(Part IV)
ITS COMMISSION (An Introduction)

    Most everyone recognizes Matthew 28:18-20 as the marching orders of Jesus Christ to His church. It is most important that one consider to whom these words were addressed, the occasion on which they were spoken and the far-reaching implications involved.
    Specifically, Jesus addressed the ELEVEN (Judas having already hanged himself) -- following His resurrection, and just prior to His ascension to the Father's right hand. Since they are not alive on earth today; and since there is no biblical provision for a succession of apostles; it is evident that the Lord addressed them in some sort of representative capacity. No one can imagine that these men of faith represented the national attitude of the covenant nation toward Jesus -- nor that He regarded them as spokesmen for the nation. They had been a part of the "remnant" of the old order; now they had been constituted a NEW covenant community through which God would continue working out His purpose. Thus, we conclude that Jesus addressed them as representatives of the new order -- HIS CHURCH.
    This "order" for the church is set forth in the Great Commission, confirmed and clarified in the epistles and illustrated by the Acts of the Holy Spirit's administration in the affairs of the early New Testament churches. There is No room for doubt that God has chosen to work through the church of

Jesus Christ as His agent-community during this present age.
    In God's holy purpose the church is designed to be a witnessing institution, (Acts 1:8). She is the depository and preserver of "the truth", but not as the Dead Sea --- which constantly receives, but never gives. She is to "hold forth" the Word of life to others, (I Tim. 3:15; Jude 3; 2 Jn. 7-11; Matt. 5:13-16; Phil. 2:12-16; Eph. 2:10). Her ministry of witnessing must be regarded as serious business. She is to GO: in Jesus' name; with His message; for His glory -- so yielded to His direction that His very life is manifested through us as He opens doors of opportunity that no man can shut, (Luke 10:16; Matt. 6:33; Eph. 3:20; Acts 14:27; I Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 2:12; Col. 4:3; Gal. 2:20; etc.).
    As we become willing instruments in His hand, Jesus will point the way. But He has nowhere obligated himself to honor our "scientific", door-crashing methods, (I Cor. 1:18-2:14). The most desirable quality of stewardship is NOT "success" but "faithfulness", (I Cor. 4:2).
    It is our privilege to invite and urge others to come to Jesus; but never are we authorized to PRESSURE anyone into "making a decision". The compulsion of Christian love will not merely warn men to escape from hell; it will call them to the "order" of God's house, (Lk. 14:23; 2 Cor. 5:14). His sowers must learn to scatter the precious seed and then patiently await the harvest; only God can give the increase, (I Cor. 3:4-11; Jas. 5:7-8; 2 Cor. 2:14-16).

    The church is also designed to be a SAVING institution in that she points the way to a saving relationship with God, (I Cor. 9:22). Her message is necessary to deliver men from sin guilt, (Rom. 10:17; 1:15-16). And the lives of her own members are saved (for the coming age) by faithfully fulfilling their proper function in the sphere of service divinely assigned to them in the body, (Matt. 16:24-26).
    As we GO, according to God's order, we grow in the grace, knowledge and likeness of our dear Lord (Acts 2:42; Hosea 6:3). And God works through us in calling out for His kingdom a people who will joyfully submit themselves under His yoke.                           E.G.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT.....Continued
were these: "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth", (Acts l:8). Our Lord's appearance to Saul of Tarsus was "to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee". Every recipient of His saving grace has the responsibility and privilege of bearing witness to His marvelous mercy, saving grace and sustaining power.
    Nor are we left as orphans in this world. The HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME to clothe us with everything needed -- equipping us for the race and work that is set before us. Only through His aid are we able to fulfil this task. The same Spirit that worked so effectively through the first century churches is with us still. Though His methods have changed, His purpose and power are the same. He continues to glorify our Lord (Jn. 16:14) and to assist us in acceptable worship, praise and service to Him Who has purchased us with His own blood.
    Our sufficiency 'is of God who, through the Spirit, makes us able ministers of the New Covenant as we are utterly devoted to Him. As we learn to trust Him wholly we will fulfil the role for which we were made -- finding underneath the everlasting arms of His glorious sufficiency.
    This is what life IS ALL ABOUT! Are YOU REALLY ALIVE?           E.G.