Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14
Vol. 6, No. 12 Straight and Narrow December 1997
The Sabbath as
the Third Angels Message
The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world God gave His messengers just what the people needed. (Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 95)
The Seventh-day Adventist General Conference Bulletin of 1893 contains twenty-four sermons given at that session by A. T. Jones on The Third Angels Message.
I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I read sermon number twenty, which tells of the creation week and the institution of the Sabbath day of restGods rest. I believe it is the most wonderful message I have ever read. It is beautiful! Even now as I write this, I cannot refrain from tears. We, as a people, have never really understood or appreciated the Sabbath as it was given to us. My very first thought was, I must let the people know! This is so preciousso beautiful!
How such a glorious message could have been rejected, I cannot imagine. Dear brethren, many of us have not been keeping the Sabbath as it has been our privilege, but Ill not say more. Ill let you see for yourselves.
The following is an abridgment of that sermon. However, I have made a real effort not to omit any of the main points being considered. The emphasis shown is in the original article. If you can manage to obtain a copy of the General Conference Bulletin for the 1893 session, read the sermons by Elder A. T. Jones in their entirety. It will be well worth your effort.
The Third Angels MessageNo. 20 Elder A. T. Jones
Six days He employed in creating, and then the record is (Gen. 2:1-3): Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.
Then, when He had finished creating, He rested and was refreshed, that is, took delight in the reflection in the created things, of the thought of His mind, the completion of the purpose, as it was manifested in the finished creation. That is the thought in the word refreshed in Ex. 31:17. Therefore the commandment tells us: Remember the Sabbath day, that is, the rest day, to keep it holy; six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the rest, the Sabbaththe rest of the LORD thy God. A man who takes his own rest on Saturday, even though he enjoys his rest on that day, is not keeping the Sabbath, the Lords rest, and even though he enjoys it, he keeps Saturday only and not Sabbath.
We are to work six days. The reason is: because the Lord in making heaven and earth worked six days, and rested the seventh. And we are to rest the seventh day, because the Lord rested, and blessed it, and sanctified it, and hallowed it.
God is Spirit. The only kind of rest which He could possibly have is spiritual rest. Then, the man who does not obtain and enjoy spiritual rest in the seventh day, he does not keep the Sabbath, because Sabbath rest is spiritual rest; it is Gods rest, and that alone. It is spiritual rest, and the Sabbath is a spiritual thing, and Gods rest is in the day; spiritual rest is in the day. And by observing the day by faithspiritual things are spiritually discernedby observing the day by faith, that spiritual rest comes to him who observes the Sabbath.
Then He blessed the day. Then the blessing of God is also in the day; the rest of God is in the day; and the joy that we have found, the refreshing, the delighting, the joy of the Lord is also in the day. The blessing of the Lord is in it, too; for He blessed the day If a man does not observe it, or pays no attention to it, is the blessing in it? [Congregation: Yes] But it does not reach the man, if he does not believe.
Now, there is the word of God, that He blessed the seventh day. What is the effect of that blessing which, away back there, He put upon the day? It is there yet, and it will always remain there, because to all eternity it will be a fact that God did bless the seventh day; that, He himself cannot contradict, you see. He, Himself, cannot say that He did not bless the seventh day, for He says He did.
Now, referring to the first chapter of Genesis, there we read in the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth verses: God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them. [On the sixth day.] Then God blessed the man before He blessed the seventh day. Well, then, when that blessed man came to that blessed day, did he receive additional blessing in the day? [Congregation: Yes]
Then the Sabbath was intended to bring to man, who was already blessed of God with spiritual blessingsthe Sabbath was to bring to man additional spiritual blessings. The word of God liveth and abideth forever. It is so now.
The presence of God makes things holy; it makes a place holy; it makes a man holy. The presence of God made the day holy. Then, the holiness of God is attached to the day; the presence of God, the holy presence of God, is attached to the seventh or Sabbath day. Well then, when the man comes to that day, as only man can come to it, spiritually-mindedwith the mind of the Spirit of Godand receives the spiritual rest, the spiritual refreshing that is in it, the spiritual blessing that is in it, does he not also receive that presence, become a partaker of that presence, in which is the holiness of God to transform him. He does indeed. And that is Sabbath-keeping.
For what purpose was this all done? Why was the Sabbath made? It was made for man. Well then, God rested and put His spiritual rest upon the day for man, did He? [Congragation: Yes] Gods refreshing, His rejoicing in that day was for man; the blessing with which He blessed it, was for man; the holiness which His presence brought to it, and which His presence gave to it, was for man; His presence sanctifying it was for man. Well then, was it not that man through the Sabbath might be a partaker of His presence and be made acquainted by living experience with the spiritual rest of God, the spiritual blessing, the holiness, the presence of God to make holy, the presence of God to sanctify him? Is not that what God intended the Sabbath to bring to man? Well, the man who gets all that in the Sabbath is the man who is a Sabbath-keeper. And he knows it, too. He knows it, and is delighted to know it.
Who was the real present agent in creating? [Christ] Then the man whom the presence of Jesus Christ does not sanctify, and does not make holy and does not bless, and to whom it does not bring rest, why, he cant keep the Sabbath. Dont you see, it is only with Christ in the man, that the Sabbath can be kept; because the Sabbath brings, and has in it, the presence of Christ.
In creation he could know about Him; in the Sabbath he would know Him; because the Sabbath brings the living presence, the sanctifying presence, the hallowing presence, of Jesus Christ, to the man who observes it indeed. Then he would not only know about Him from the created things, but would know Him in himself.
So then, the original purpose of God in creation, and the Sabbath as the sign of it, was that man might know God as He is and what He is to the world in and through Jesus Christ.
The Sabbath, then, was a sign of the power of God, manifested in Jesus Christ, and the sign of a finished creationthe sign of God as manifested in Jesus Christ in a completed and finished creation. When it comes to the sixth day, He saw all things, and behold it was very good. Gen. 1:31. And His purpose stood completed. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them, and there they were, the expression of the thought that was in His mind, that the word expressed when He spoke them into existence. Then the Sabbaththe sign that I am the Lord your God;is the sign of the finished and completed work of God in creation.
The creation was completed as God finished it, and all the host of them, and they were according to His own mind. That is so. But Satan came in and swung man and all this world clear out of Gods purpose entirely. Didnt He? [Congregation: Yes] Reversed Gods order, so that, where God was reflected to mans mind in all things above and in man himself before, now, Satan is reflected in man, and that puts a blur upon the reflection of God in anything, so that the natural man does not see God, even in nature.
Well, then, when Satan had swung this out of Gods purpose, and turned it about and reversed Gods order, the Lord did not leave it then. He said, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. That broke the power of Satan over man to that extent that it released him from total depravity; set him free to find God. But, in whom was that done? Christ again. God in Christ wants to bring man and the world back again into His original purpose.
It was God in Christ, by His word, that produced the world and man, in the first place. Now, it is God in Christ, by His word, that brings men and the world back into His purpose. Then, is not the work of Salvation simply the power of God in another way than that which brought all things in the first place? In other words, is not salvation creation? Assuredly.
Is Gods original purpose in creation completed now? It was completed, but is it now? No, sir. When the salvation of mankind is completed will His original purpose then be completed? [Congregation: Yes] Then what is the work of salvation but Gods carrying out and completing His original purpose in creation? Well, then isnt the sign of this work in salvation the same as the sign of that work in creation?To be sure it is.
Then the Sabbath of the Lord is just as certainly the sign of the creative power of God manifested in Jesus Christ through His word, in the salvation of my soul, as it was in the making of this world in the first place.
At creation it was the sign of what Jesus Christ is in creation. And now as Christ has to carry on His own work in salvation in order through this means to finish His original purpose in creation, the Sabbath is the same sign of the same creative power, in the same One, Jesus Christ. It is the same creative power from the same Person in the same One by the same means, and accomplishing the same purpose. And therefore the same sign is the only one that ever could be attached to it. So that it is literally true that the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, the blessed seventh day, is Gods own sign of what Jesus Christ is to the man who believes in Jesus Christ.
Well, therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature. The first thing that Christ is to anybody and the first thing that God is to anybodyto the sinnerin this world is Creator, making him a new creature. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Then the work of God in salvation is creation.
[After man is created anew, the first thing he finds is rest, as at the first creationspiritual rest. Gods presence is with him. He rejoices as does God. Then he receives the blessing of God as before the fall.]
Eph. 1:3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. God has given to us all the spiritual blessings He has. They are given to us in Christ, though.
Then in the matter of spiritual blessing which the Sabbath brings to us, it brings it to us from Jesus Christ only and through Jesus Christ only; so that in that respect, the Sabbath is a channel through which spiritual blessing flows from Jesus Christ to the people of God. That is a fact; because all spiritual blessings are given to us in Christ, and the Sabbath has the spiritual blessing of God in it, and therefore it being spiritual blessing it could not get it in any other place or way than in, by, and from Jesus Christ.
Then further: My presence shall go with thee. His presence makes holy the person where He is. And further: another thought, to come up to the same point another way. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. But the power of God unto salvation is the same power in the creation. So you do not need any other sign of the manifestation of the power of God; you cannot have it; it is impossible.
Well then, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and the gospel is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Then the man who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ, Christ dwells in him. Christs presence is there; and Christs presence makes holy. That is what made the Sabbath holy. Then the Sabbath, in the point of the matter of holiness, is exactly the sign of what Christ is to the man who believes in Him.
Further, the presence of Christ sanctifies. Then in sanctification the Sabbath is the sign of what Christ is to the believer. Dont you see. So unto the believer in Jesus, God in Christ creates anew; to him God is rest, refreshing, delight, rejoicing, blessing, holiness, sanctification. That is what Christ is to the believer; but that is what He was to the Sabbath long ago, for the believer.
Then another thing: Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. He is our sanctification. Sanctification and its ultimate purpose, accomplished purpose, is the complete work of Christ finished in the individual. The image of Christ completely formed in the believer; so that when Christ looks upon the believer He sees Himself. That is so; that is sanctification.
Now the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ is that which makes us righteous, which saves us, which sanctifies us, which is all in all to us. When we have obtained that righteousness, and that righteousness is there according to righteousness, Gods idea of righteousness, what is it that witnesses to the righteousness of God in the believer in Jesus? The law of God. But here is this work of Christ growing up in the individual, that progressive workthe work of sanctifying. It is the growth of Christ in the individual. When Christ has grown to the fullness there, then that is the completed work of sanctification.
Then the Sabbath stands there in this finished work of God in salvationthe Sabbath stands there at the pinnacle of the law itself, as the witness of the sanctification completed; so that the Sabbath is the sign of the completed work of God in the original creation, and in this secondary creation, which is the carrying out of the original purpose of creation.
Now another thought: The Sabbath being the sign of what Christ is to the believer, will the believer know fully what the Sabbath is until he knows fully what Christ is? [Congregation: No] So, then, when the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ has absorbed all of the mind itself, then the Sabbath will be also known fully to the mind itself. But the Sabbath is the sign of what God is in Christ; and when that is brought fully to the mind itself, what is that but the image of God, the name of God, in the mind of the believer, and that the seal of the living God, through the Sabbath of the Lord?
Well then, you see at every step of the way, every line of thought, brings us only face to face with that, that the Sabbath as it is in Jesus Christ, and as the believer in Jesus observes it, that alone is the seal of the living God. Saturday keeping is not the seal of God. Christ as He is reflected in the Sabbath of the Lord, through the Sabbath of the Lord, and in it, in the mind and heart of the believer, in the living image of God completed,that is the seal of the living God. Then there is written in the foreheads of that people the name of the Father.
[Now A. T. Jones takes us to Num. 6:23-27 for a comparison of what took place on the day of the Israelite atonement regarding the name. See also Rev. 3:9-12.]
Now: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name. (Rev. 3:12) Then when His work of atonement is finished, the name of God is completed in the mind, and He pronounces the work finished; for what God is there, in the believer and in the Sabbath, is the sign of a finished work in sanctification.
Now Isa. 58:13, 14: If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Sabbath. [Congregation: No, delight thyself in the Lord.] Why not in the Sabbath? Doesnt it say you are to call the Sabbath a delight? That you are to call it the holy of the Lord? Honorable? Not doing thine own ways. Then why not delight yourself in the Sabbath? Ah, there is that meaning there, you see; you do that to the Sabbath, and you delight yourself in the Lord; because the Sabbath is the sign of what the Lord is to the man.
The Sabbath has the living image of Jesus and the presence of Jesus Christ in it. He put it there; He put it there for the man; and the man who believes in Jesus Christ can get it there. In addition to the blessing he has of the Lord, when he comes to the Sabbath day, he gets additional blessing from the Lord. It matters not how much the presence of Christ is with him, when he comes to the Sabbath day, additional presence of Christ comes to him. He knows it.
No difference how much of the rest of the Lord he is enjoying, when he comes to the Sabbath, which is the sign of what Christ is to the believer, and has the presence of Christ in it, it brings to him additional rest in the Lord. No difference how much holiness of Christ he has in him, when he comes to the Sabbath more of it is revealed in him from observing it in the fear of Christ, and by faith in Him. No difference, though he be completely sanctified, and all of self is gone, and none but Christ there, even then, when he comes to the Sabbath day, in the depths of eternity it will reveal to him still more of the wonderful knowledge and the sanctifying, growing power there is in Jesus Christ to the man who believes in Him. (G.C. Bulletin 1893, pp. 450-456)
[Text references not given in the article: Exodus 20:8-11; Genesis 2:1-3; 1 Peter 1:23; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ezekiel 20:20; Genesis 3:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalms 51:10; Exodus 33:14; Romans 1:16; Colossians 1:27.]
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to take heed to this beautiful message that the Lord in His mercy has brought to our attention at this time. The end of all things is upon us. The following thoughts are very pertinent:
The darkness of the world is great, and individually we shall have light just to the degree to which we improve it. (Review & Herald, April 25, 1893)
For light unconfessed and unacknowledged and unimproved becomes darkness to those who refuse to receive it and walk in it.
The first step taken in the path of unbelief and rejection of light is a dangerous thing, and the only way for those who have taken this step to recover themselves from the snares of Satan is to accept that which the Lord sent them but which they refused to receive. This will be a humbling to the soul but will be for their salvation. God will not be trifled with. He will not remove all reason for doubt, but He will give sufficient evidence upon which to base faith. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p. 226 - 1889)
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Let every one who claims to believe that the Lord is soon coming, search the Scriptures as never before; for Satan is determined to try every device possible to keep souls in darkness, and blind the mind to the perils of the times in which we are living. Search for the truth as for hidden treasures, and disappoint the enemy. (Review & Herald, November 22, 1892)
The love of Christ, the love of our brethren, will testify to the world that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Then will the message of the third angel swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 401)
(Sister Mattie Laurell is an octogenarian, currently living with her daughter, Esther. Matties mother was four years old when her parents accepted the third angels message in 1890, and later, while in nurses training at Washington Sanitarium, she was able to hear Ellen White speak at the 1909 General Conference session in Washington, D. C. You may contact Sister Laurell by writing 1420 Johnson Rd., Chunky, MS 39323)
Action in Dallas
The last Promise Keepers meeting of the year was held a few weeks ago in Dallas, Texas. On October 24-25, over forty thousand men gathered at the Texas Stadium near Dallas. Twelve of our brothers and sisters made the trip to distribute over 20,000 tracts on the subject of the ecumenical movement. The men at this meeting were more receptive than at any other Promise Keepers gathering we have attended.
Immediately upon arriving we began to distribute the tracts near the entrances into the stadium. Within half an hour a security guard came up to me, grabbed my tracts, and told me that I could not pass the fliers out there. This man was very hostile. In an effort to comply with his request, Brother Gary Lewellen picked up the half empty box of tracts and began to leave. The man ordered Gary to give him the tracts. You cant take these tracts, well leave right now, Gary protested. Oh yes I can, the man declared, and with that he forcefully pulled the box off Garys shoulder. Soon two police officers rode up on bicycles. Gary exclaimed, Im glad your here officer, that man just stole from me, pointing to the security guard. The security guard replied, Thats right, I stole from you! the security guard admitted.
The officer talked with the security guard privately and returned, telling us that we had to leave the property now or we would be arrested. When Gary asked for the tracts to be returned, the officer said we could pick them up at the police station the next day. After this meeting is over, interjected the security guard. The officer replied, Thats even better, you can pick them up on Monday morning. (The meetings lasted from Friday evening til Saturday evening.) After more discussion we left the property.
Gary obtained some more tracts from his van and decided to go out next to the road where many people were passing. There was a police officer directing traffic there who said, This is city property and you are not allowed to pass literature out here. Gary replied, I have the right to pass out literature on public property. This isnt public property, this is city property. explained the officer. We were allowed to pass out literature on city property in St. Louis, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Gary informed him. The officer retorted, This is Irving, Texas, and there is no place in the city of Irving where you can pass out religious literature.
Surprisingly, after this conversation, the officer stated, Youre not allowed to pass them out here, but Ill let you do it anyway. Just stand over there and dont slow up traffic. Gary was able to distribute many tracts before the officers on bicycles arrived. These men wanted to arrest Gary, but the officer directing traffic informed them, Im handling this. He then told Gary that he had to leave.
We had driven 1000 miles to be there, and we did not intend to give up that easily. We praise God that He allowed us to find two places away from the stadium, where there was a great deal of pedestrian traffic from the stadium, and pass out over 20,000 tracts! We have never been harassed by authorities as much as we were in Texas.
It became very evident that this religious movement, although claiming to be tolerant of varied beliefs, is very angry with those who do not agree with them. The police officers would not have given us trouble if it were not for the pressure of this large religious group.
Governments, of themselves, do not, and have never, persecuted people for their religious beliefs. It is only when religious groups gain influence over the government, pressuring it to persecute those who do not conform, that the government persecutes people for their religious beliefs. This union is referred to in the Bible as a beast. The United States of America is represented in the second half of Revelation 13 as beginning as a lamb-like beast; yet it later speaks as a dragon, exercising all the power of the first beast. The United States will indeed persecute people for holding beliefs that are not generally accepted by the majority of Christendom. Please study Revelation 13 to see what will surely come to pass.
We have already received over ten responses from the Texas meetings. Here is an example:
I received your pamphlet upon
walking out of Texas Stadium following Promise Keepers this
weekend. This book is very appealing to me and I have a sincere
hunger to read any books on prophecy. This one sounds very
Your time and efforts are appreciated.
Harker Heights, Texas
Praise the Lord that He is able to work with feeble people, as we are, who are made of clay.
Christ Our Righteousness
(WE wish to encourage all who are young, at least in heart, to study these lessons and fill in the blanks with answers from the Bible.)
Christ the Lawgiver
1. To whom has all judgment been given and why? John 5:22, 23
2. Besides Judge, what other title belongs to the LORD? Isaiah 33:22
3. By what name did the LORD reveal Himself
Moses at the burning bush? Exodus 3:14
4. Who claimed to be the I AM? John 8:48-58
5. When the children of Israel became discouraged, whom did they speak against? Numbers 21:4-6
6. Whom did Paul say the children of Israel tempted? 1 Corinthians 10:9
7. For whom did Moses leave the treasures of Egypt? Hebrews 11:24-26
8. Who was the Rock that led Israel during the forty years of wandering in Arabia? 1 Corinthians 10:4
9. Who spoke the 10 commandments at Mt. Sinai? Exodus 20:1, 2 (See Note 1)
10. Who spoke using parables? Matthew 13:34, 35
11. In the prophecy of Psalm 78 that Matthew quotes, to what does the speaker of parables ask the people to give ear? Psalm 78:1, 2 (See Note 2)
1. Who spoke these words? The One who brought them from Egypt. And who was the Leader of Israel from Egypt? It was Christ. Then who spoke the law from Mt. Sinai? It was Christ, the brightness of the Fathers glory, and the express image of His Person, who is the manifestation of God to man. It was the Creator of all created things, and the One to whom all judgment has been committed. (Christ Our Righteousness, pp. 43, 44)
2. The fact that Christ is a part of the Godhead, possessing all the attributes of Divinity, being the equal of the Father in all respects, as Creator and Lawgiver, is the only force there is in the atonement. It is this alone which makes redemption a possibility. Christ died that He might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18); but, if He lacked one iota of being equal to God, He could not bring us to Him. Divinity means having the attributes of Deity. If Christ were not Divine, then we should have only a human sacrifice.
The sinners surety of full and free pardon lies in the fact that the Lawgiver Himself, the One against whom he has rebelled and whom he has defied, is the One who gave Himself for us. (Ibid., pp. 45-47)
He Knew His Bible
Young Peoples Delight tells about a boy who was taking a trip on a steamboat. One day as he sat alone on the deck, two evil men agreed to try to persuade him to drink. So one of them came over to the boy and invited him to have a glass of wine with him. No thank you, sir, said the little fellow, but I never drink intoxicating liquors.
It will not hurt you, my lad. Come and have a drink with me.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise, was the boys answer. Continued on page 7, column 1.
You need not be deceived by it. I would not have you drink too much. A little would do you no harm, but would liven you up.
At last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder, said the bright boy. And I certainly think it wiser not to play with adders.
My fine little fellow, said his tempter, it will give me great pleasure if you will drink just one glass of the best wine with me.
My Bible says, If sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
That proved to be a stunning blow, and the evil man went back to his companion and confessed, The youngster is so full of the Bible that I cannot do anything with him. (Selected)
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Ecclesiastes 12:1
A REMINDER to those who have access or know of others who have access to the Internet: Old Paths may be found on line at: http://www.smyrna.org. We currently have several Bible studies and books such as Christ Our Righteousness, Steps to Christ, and The Foundation of Our Faith available on line.
WE WISH to clarify the residence of Brother Lynnford Beachy. Lynnford does not live with the Stump family. Brother Beachy stays in the guest room at the Smyrna Chapel. Calls for Brother Lynnford should not be directed to the Stump home. Lynnford may be reached at the office number: (304) 732-9204. Please avoid late evening calls except emergencies.
TO HELP with the increased work load and also enhance our publications, we have made arrangements to purchase a used, but very nice, two color printing press. The water system will need upgraded for maximum reproductions. The cost of the upgrade will be approximately three thousand dollars. Please remember this project in your prayers that it may come to fruition as soon as possible.
We have been told that Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time. (Christs Object Lessons, p. 342) Perhaps it would be helpful to seriously consider how our time has been used this last year.
How have we spent our time this last year? Have we been so busy with the things of the world that personal devotional time with the Master has been crowded out of our lives? While God has commissioned work as a benefit to man, are we working so much that there is no time for sufficient prayer and study? Jesus says: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
Our study habits should be improved. Gods word tells us to Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) Let us be careful students of the sacred passages because there is little benefit derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the whole Bible through and yet fail to see its beauty or comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained. Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory. (Steps to Christ, p. 90)
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)
Old Paths is published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. It is sent free upon request. Office phone: (304) 732-9204; home phone: (304) 732-8609. Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.
Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: email@example.com.
Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org