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The Clarion Herald
    Though brought up in Nazareth, Jesus was away from there when He began His earthly ministry. Nevertheless, His townspeople had heard of the wonderful things He had done in other places and eagerly awaited His return to Nazareth -- that they might be blessed by attendance upon His ministry.
    The thrilling hour came when one Sabbath the Master was asked to read from the prophets -- as a part of the normal synagogue service. Receiving the scroll of Isaiah, He unrolled it to what we recognize as Isaiah 61 and began to read: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek ... ." Having concluded His reading, and sat down, Jesus said to His fellow-townsmen: "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears", (Luke 4:19-21).
    In the Parable of the Householder Jesus clearly saw Himself as being the fulfiller of Psalm ll:22-23, (Matt. 21:33-44). Here, in parable, as elsewhere in a literalness which cannot be questioned, Jesus forecast His own rejection and crucifixion at the instigation of the Pharisees and elders -- outside the gates of Jerusalem. But the nation,

in rejecting her true King, as individuals who reject the only Saviour, must face its foolish action in judgment. The rejected "stone" will become the "head of the corner" and "Lord of all", (Acts 4:8-l2; I Pet. 2:3-8).
    As Jesus' ministry drew to a close, He looked down upon Jerusalem and wept, (Lk. 19:22-44). Then He rode a lowly donkey into the Holy City -- offering Himself publicly as Israel's Messiah and fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9-10, Matt.21:1-11; Mk. 11:1-10; Lk. l9:29-38; Jn. 12:12-19. And the leaders of the covenant nation clearly realized the implications of His act, (Lk. 19:39-40). He then went into the Temple and purified it for a second time -- healing all the afflicted ones who came to Him and filling the religious leaders of Israel with utter astonishment at His holy zeal, (Matt. 21:12-17).
    The progressive nature of divine revelation, manifested in Psalms 22-24, was plain to Jesus. First, He was the True Shepherd -- giving His life for the sheep. But He would triumph over death -- tenderly caring for His sheep and gently leading and sustaining them. Finally, He would assume His kingly role -- owning, blessing and

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

rewarding His sheep with His own eternal fellowship. Thus, He claimed to be the fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy concerning the "smitten shepherd", (13:7) -- betrayed by a "familiar friend", (Ps. 41:9; Matt. 26:24, 31-32).
    On the third day, following His crucifixion, Jesus appeared to two discouraged disciples as they travelled toward Emmaus. Rebuking their hopelessness, unbelief and despair, He said: "0 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?" Then beginning at Moses, and proceeding through all the prophetic writings, He explained to them, FROM ALL THE SCRIPTURES, the things that had been written concerning Himself, (Luke 24:25-27).
    "To him give ALL the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM shall receive REMISSION OF SINS", E.G.


    One of the surest ways to learn that Jesus did not intend men to follow the "letter" -- even of His Sermon on the Mount -- is to undertake, literally, to meet the requirements set forth therein. He is, rather, illustrating the necessity of utter selflessness if one is to manifest the sort of character becoming to citizens of His kingdom.
    Having commanded such disregard of "self" as required to: love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for such as despitefully use us, turn the other cheek when smitten and freely give our coats to him who takes away our cloaks; Jesus then adds: "Give to him that asketh thee".
    Any parent who made an absolutely literal practice of this would assure the destruction of his offspring! And indiscriminate "charity" will never be of any lasting benefit to the beggar at the door.
    Jesus would not have us turn away carelessly from any need. Our lives, time, talents, and possessions are to be so invested as to bring genuine benefit to others. We are responsible to respond to pleas for help in such a way as to meet the REAL need rather than the symptoms that appear on the surface. The call of the moment should never cause us to disregard the prior claim that has been made upon us, (Gal. 6:10).
    It may be possible for one to give without loving, but no one can truly love without giving.


    PART THREE of the Great Commission Jesus gave to His church involves: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you", (Matt. 28:20). The "teach" of verse 19 (Gk. Matheteuo) involved the work of "making disciples". This word (Gk. didasko) involves the instruction of baptized disciples in the way of God's order. No part of the Great Commission is unimportant; all is necessary to the fulfilling of God's purpose and the proper honoring of the Saviour's name. While men may evaluate one aspect of this work to be more important than the other NO PART of it may be neglected without dishonoring the name of Christ and blurring the image of Him whose glory the local assembly is designed to reflect, (2 Cor. 3:l8).
    There is a constant need for all who are newly discipled to Jesus to be instructed. They need edification -- in faith and doctrine, character and usefulness. In his epistles the apostle Paul discussed many practical issues, dealing with Christian Behavior, for the instruction of young converts who still had to live in the midst of an antagonistic and pagan society. He dealt with such things as: the order and worship of a New Testament church, the Christian attitude toward holy days and meats offered in sacrifice to idols, the common responsibilities of fellow-body-members and the use of wine. Though he laid down no inflexible rules, he did emphasize the fact that ALL

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must accept the responsibility of mutual love and edification in the body of Christ.
    To Paul the church was regarded as a SCHOOL where young Christians might receive on-the-job training. Observing faith in action, they might find guidance in holy living, acceptable worship, effective service and prevailing prayer. There all might be disciplined to maturity of faith and fulness of character. There they could find encouragement, example, counsel, warning, rest and such mutual, spiritual vitality as would enrich every life.
    The church, in the mind of Paul, was the ONLY place where men might truly "learn Christ". He knew that the high ideal the Master had set before His people could only be attained in the unity of faith and action. We are to be "laborers TOGETHER" -- with God. And it is TOGETHER that we "come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ .... making "increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love", (Eph. 4:13-16).
    Nor is it enough merely to teach; the commission involves the responsibility of "Teaching them to OBSERVE (obey, keep or do) all things whatsoever I have commanded you". Nothing that Christ commanded may be considered non-essential to receiving His ultimate approval. ALL is important -- in its proper place. Rejection of the Divine commandment to keep one's own traditions is the mark of a Pharisee. And perversion

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of God's order will lead to certain spiritual ruin.
    Only as a New Testament assembly functions according to the order her Lord has established may she lay proper claim to His age-long presence, fellowship, power and approval. To reject the ancient Landmarks, for modern acceptance or a so-called ecumenistic unity, is not only foolish; it manifests a carelessness that can only be recognized as spiritual insanity! Let us, therefore, be faithful to abide in the Word of God that lives and abides forever! E.G.

A little bit of hatred
    can spoil a score of years,
And blur the eyes that ought to
    smile with many needless tears.
A little bit of thoughtlessness,
    and anger for a day,
Can rob a home of all its joy,
    and drive happiness away.
A little bit of shouting,
    in a sharp and vicious tone,
Can leave a sting that will be felt
    when many years have flown.
Just one hasty minute of uncontrolled
    ill temper can offend,
And leave an inner injury,
    that years may never mend.
It takes no moral fiber,
    to say harsh and bitter things,
It doesn't call for courage,
    to employ a lash that stings.
For cruel words and bitter,
    any fool can think to say,
But the hurt they leave behind them
    many years can't wipe away.
Just a little bit of hatred,
    robs a home of all delights,
And leaves a winding trail of wrong
    that time may never right.
For only those are happy,
    and keep their peace of mind,
Who guard themselves from hatreds,
    and words that are unkind.
-- author unknown

"The more we study the more we discover our ignorance."
"By studying diligently from eighteen to eighty a person can learn about half as much as he thought he knew at eighteen."
    "Much study is a weariness to the flesh", (Solomon).