by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXI

March, 1942

Number 8.

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

(Note—Instead of printing my New Year Day sermon, as I thought I might do, I have decided to write this editorial, which will cover the same ground, and more).

We are told in Rom. 8, that we are not aware what we should pray for, to accord with what must be.  I think most of the readers of the Messenger believe God has a program and is carrying it out.  If this is true—and it is, for He is operating the universe in accord with the counsel of His own will, Eph. 1:11—then there are certain things that must be.  As we do not know what some of these are, it naturally follows that we are not aware what must be.  This being true, we certainly do not know what to pray for.  It is our desire that our prayers should be in accord with what God has planned.  However, the spirit always prays in accord with God, and these petitions are answered. 

But we are also told in the same passage, that God is working all together for our good.  How comforting this is!  Sometimes we cannot understand how certain things could be for our good, but this need not keep us from knowing it to be true.  The reason we cannot understand it is, we are not yet able to see the pattern from God's viewpoint.  I feel sure that there will come a time, when we will look back and understand that God has never wasted anything—that not one experience, either pleasant of unpleasant, has ever come into our lives, that was not wrought for our good.  

The fact that we do not know what to pray for to accord with what must be, is no reason why we should not pray.  In Phil. 4, we are told to not let anything be worrying us, but to make our requests known to God with thanksgiving and supplication.  No matter what we desire, we have a right to ask for it.  But we have no right to dictate to God.  He reserves the right to give us our desires, or to withhold from us that which we ask.  In the passage mentioned, He promises to give us the peace of God to garrison our hearts and our apprehension in Christ Jesus.  This transcends every mental state.  If He does not give us what we request, He gives us the peace of God.  This is contingent on the fact that we do not worry.  And this, of course depends on His help.  The peace of God is the peace that He, Himself, enjoys—a peace that comes from the fact that He has everything in hand.  

I am not one who believes there is no good to come through war.  The believe so, is to accuse God of doing that which can never result in good, or else to deny the scripture which says He is operating the universe in accord with the counsel of His will.  

I want to take this opportunity to again ask all of my readers to be entirely responsive and submissive to the government—Rom. 13.  All officers, beginning with the President, and going down to the lowest one, are servants of God.  Civil government is an institution of God.  No matter what we are called to do, let us do it.  I hope there will be no word or act of disloyalty on the part of any person who believes in universal reconciliation.  And let us not complain.  This is the opportunity of a lifetime, to show the world that we who believe God can be entirely  loyal to our government. 

But may we be free from hatred.  It is the duty of people of other countries to be in subjection to their governments.  Let us not abuse them for it.  

Having said the foregoing, let no one think there is any thought of disloyalty in the things I shall now say.  It is our privilege to calmly watch the course of events, and see if we can find in them, the fulfillment of prophesy.  Thus, this harrowing experience through which the world is passing, will be fraught with spiritual pleasure for us.  

First—Watch the course of the United Nations.  At this writing 26 nations are in the union, but before the editorial is read there may be others, for the Pan-American Union is in session in Brazil.  Will this develop into the federation of nations mentioned in the Unveiling?  I am not saying it will, but it will be interesting to watch its course.  It MAY so develop!  

It may be objected that this union is for humanitarian purposes.  Why may not this be true of the federation mentioned in the scriptures?  I know of nothing to the contrary.  It will probably establish the Jews in Palestine.  God is to send hunters and fishers.  They work differently.  Hunters drive.  That is being done now, by certain powers.  Fishers attract.  I have no doubt that the federation of nations will do this, and that under its humanitarian rule the Jews will be given their country, and their sovereignty will be guaranteed.  It is only during the last three-and a half years of its existence, that the federation will mistreat the Jews.  No doubt this will be done under the pretense that it is a military necessity, for in Dan. 11, there is evidence that there will be trouble between Egypt and some country north of Palestine.  This will place the Jewish state in the position of a buffer, and will, no doubt, be the reason why the world dictator will make his headquarters in the temple.  

Two things should be specially noted: The federation will be a world wide dictatorship; and it will so drastically regulate trade, that no one may buy or sell, unless he wears the insignia of the dictator.  Second—Watch the following sign posts along the way:  

(a)  The present dictatorship.  The President of the United States has steered clear of dictatorship when possible.  But he has men under him who seem to want to be dictators.  This was proved by the effort to frighten the country unnecessarily, regarding a gasoline shortage.  Humanly speaking, this was not necessary.  However, there is a necessity for dictatorship in the matter of rationing tires, and in commandeering industry for the purpose of making war material.  This will go on from one thing to another, until the United States will be under an almost complete dictatorship, as many other nations are. I am not complaining.  I am saying, "Watch the course of events."  

(b)  The recent attempts to control the church.  A high government official some time ago suggested a subject for every preacher in the United States, on a certain Sunday.  More recently, in Georgia, if not all over the country, a government official asked preachers to either cancel their Sunday night meetings, or hold them at a different hour, to make way for patriotic meetings.  This amounted to coercion, for no preacher wanted to be regarded as disloyal.  

(c)  The emphasis on the physical, and the disregard of the spiritual, as shown by the fact that the tire administrator forgot to provide for preachers to get tires.  Is it the beginning of an attempt to set up a religion controlled by the civil powers?  Or, perhaps I should say, military powers?  

Third—Watch Russia.  Who knows the race to which the head of that nation belongs?  Even Emil Ludwig, in a recent biography, could not learn this.  He is not European.  He is evidently not Mongolian.  Do his features suggest a man of the people of old Assyria?  

Of all the United Nations, Russia is the only one in position to bargain with the others.  Do they want her to fight Japan?  Will she demand her price?  And what would the price be?  Let history speak.  Russian Communion almost overran Germany in the years following the other war.  This was what gave rise to the Nazi party in Germany—the party which drove Communism out.  The Russian doctrine spread very fast in the United States, and almost disrupted us.  Just as we were going to do something about it, we had to take Russia on as a partner.  Communism has made great head way in England and other places.  Do we doubt what Russia's price would be?  The federation headed by the wild beast will be something on the order of Communism.  

But I am not suggesting that we try to do anything about any of this.  I say, "Calmly watch it, and be subject to the powers that be."  Do not complain.  

The Jews were in Babylonian captivity because of their refusal to trust God for food and clothing, one year in seven.  They disregarded His regulation concerning the Sabbatical year.  What a terrible price they paid!  Christendom has for centuries, refused to trust Him for salvation.  Nothing is taught plainer than the doctrine of salvation by grace.  But 99 per cent of all activities in Christendom for years, has been an effort to save sinners, because they did not believe God would save as He promised.  What has passed for faith is, in reality unbelief.  

The indignation will come.  And it will be indignation on unbelieving Christendom.  But it cannot come while the ecclesia which is the body of Christ is on earth.  The present tribulation is a counterfeit of that which is to come.  

While we know that God will take care of the present conflict, and establish the Kingdom of the Son of David on earth according to His schedule, our immediate prospect is the descent of the Lord into the air for us.  In His wisdom He may let us, even the saints, suffer greatly during this war.  But He will take us our of it when it pleases Him to do so.  It is foolish it set any date for this, other than to say, daily, "He may come today."  

How disappointing has been the practice of setting dates for the coming of the Lord, or for the establishing of the kingdom!  A great and, I believe, devout, leader who died some years ago, spent his last days with a broken heart, because his schedule did not coincide with that of God.  He thought he had things figured out to perfection.  But God has not given man the right to set dates for His work.  It is all a loss of time and effort.  It is foolish. 

The advent of the Lord has been imminent since the days of Paul.  God does not intend that we shall know the date.  But He has graciously told us of events that are to precede the establishing of the kingdom, and we are assured that some of these events cannot occur until we are snatched away to meet the Lord in the air.  As we think we see matters being shaped up for the great day of His indignation, we hopefully expect our Lord to descend for us.  Let this be our daily expectation.  

May it not be in a spirit of selfishness that we expect Him to come for us.  We have learned that we are to be taken to heaven to be a blessing to others.  May it not be that we pine for His advent simply that our sufferings might end.  Let the noble expectation of service in the heavens, be what move us to cry for His presence. 

And let us not lose sight of God's ultimate.  His goal is the salvation of all, and the reconciliation of the universe. 

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