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 XXV

July, 1946

Number 12

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

Salvation, in the sense of final deliverance from death and sin, takes place regardless of our acts.  This is true of all mankind.  It is promised to all, in the words of Paul, "—God, Who saves us and calls with a holy cling, not in accord with our acts, but in accord with His own purpose and the grace which is given to us in Christ Jesus before times eonian, yet now is being manifested through the advent of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, Who indeed, abolishes death, yet illuminates life and incorruption trough the evangel," Second Timothy 1:7-11.  

"Saves," "calls," and "abolishes" are indefinite verbs—they state facts without mentioning the time.  That all are saved, already, from God's viewpoint, is plain to those who are acquainted with the scriptures.  That no one is saved in the sense of being in the glorious state, is equally clear.  The only form of the verb that will express this, is the indefinite form—"saves."  

At the time Paul wrote these words, some had been called; others have been called since then; still others will be called in the future.  Neither "called," nor "will call," would express truth.  The apostle uses the correct form—"calls."  

For Christ, death has been abolished.  The abolition of death is not all in the past, nor is it all in the future.  So again, the indefinite form of the verb is necessary—"abolishes."  

Death will not be abolished entirely, until all have been vivified in Christ, First Corinthians 15:22.  Not for believers only, but for all mankind, will death be abolished.  This is why I say this passage promises ultimate salvation to all mankind. 

This will all be accomplished in "accord with His own purpose and the grace which is given to us in Christ Jesus before eonian times."  The revelation of this glorious truth is found in the evangel, through which our Saviour, Christ Jesus, illuminates life and incorruption.  

Salvation is promised to the unbeliever, as well as the believer.  Paul speaks of "—the living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of those who believe," First Timothy 4:10.  The believer will be saved from death and sin long before this blessing comes to the unbeliever.  The former have salvation which is in Christ Jesus with glory eonian.  For all the others there will be glory, but it will not be theirs until the consummation of the eons.  From the time the Lord descends from heaven "with a shout of command, with the voice of the Chief Messenger, and with the trump of God,"  and the saints are snatched away together to meet the Lord in the air, First Thessalonians 4:13-18, until the consummation, the believer will have salvation.  No others will have it.  This is eonian life, First Timothy 1:16, and it will have eonian glory.  After the consummation, both believer and unbeliever will have life and salvation and glory.  But the adjective, "eonian," will not be used to describe it.  

But in this life some have a phase of salvation.  That no one is rid of sin and death, is evident to all, just as it is plain that no one is beyond sorrow and trouble.  

What are they saved from?  It is much better to ask, "What are they saved TO?"  Paul answers it by saying, "For TO EXPECTATION were we saved,"  Romans 8:24.  Present salvation is to the ability to expect that God will do for us as He has promised in the sacred scriptures.  

This is where faith is needed—and used.  There is much instruction in the words, "For in grace are you saved, through faith, and this is not our of you; it is God's oblation," Ephesians 2:8,9. 

All who have been saved to expectation in any period of time have been saved in God's favor, through belief, and the belief did not originate in, and come out of them.. In this respect we are not different from saints of other eras.  Whenever God is ready to win the love of any person, He favors that person, by giving faith to him, to the end that the person shall love God.  This is the end so far as God's enjoyment of it is concerned.  The end, so far as OUR enjoyment of it is concerned, is that we shall have expectation in God.  Faith is belief.  God grants us to believe.  This is done in His favor.  When we believe God, we are ready to believe what He says.  Thus we have expectation.  We used to say that such a person has "received a hope."  

I repeat, in favor, through faith, is the way any person in any era has enjoyed expectation.  It was true of Abel, Noah, Abraham, David, Daniel.  It is true of us.  

But the next clause in the text expresses a difference between us and saints of some other eras.  "Not of works, lest anyone should be boasting."  There was a time when works were necessary to reach the place of expectation.  It will be so again, when God is again dealing with the Circumcision.  Peter writes to ones who are chosen for OBEDIENCE and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. It is through the blood that anyone has expectation, but the Circumcision must obey in God's grace, in order to have expectation.  In other words, obedience precedes the sprinkling of the blood. That the obedience is of God is plain to us who believe that all is of Hem, Romans 11:6, but this was rarely ever made plain to those of the Circumcision.  

But in this era, when God is specially interested in demonstrating His grace, we come into the state of expectation without doing any works.  In our case, it is NOT of works.  We cannot boast.  

When Abraham represented the Circumcision, Genesis 22:12, he was justified by works, James 2:21, and had something in which to boast, but not even then, toward God, for it was God Who wrought his obedience, Romans 4:2.  But the fact remains that, being justified by works, he did have something in which to boast.  However, when Abraham, earlier, represented US, He was justified by faith, apart from works, and could not boast of anything that he had done to bring it about, Romans 4:1-5.  The Circumcision saints stand where Abraham stood when he offered Isaac.  WE stand where he stood when he merely believed God, and had done no works to commend him to God.  And, although it is stated in Genesis 15:6, that Abraham believed God, and God reckoned it to him into righteousness, he began to believe God long before the events depicted in that passage.  When Abraham was called he believed, Hebrews 11:8.  The obedience that followed merely showed his faith, and was not a set of events that used to cause the patriarch to have expectation.  

So it is true of us, as it was true of Abraham and others before the rite of circumcision was established, that IT IS NOT OF WORKS.  In the case of the Circumcision, salvation to expectation is in God's favor, but the state is reached through works.  

The expectation of the Circumcision saints is far below ours, even as their position in eonian life is inferior to ours.  

Let us get rid of the idea that faith changes facts.  One said, "If you believe that Christ died for you, He did."  His death took place many centuries ago, and he died for me, and my believing or disbelieving it, has nothing to do with that fact.  But my belief has much to do with my enjoyment, in expectation, of the salvation that God has wrought.  As I enjoy it here I am using the faith that God has given me.  

The evangel is a message to be believed.  It is not a proposition. It is not a challenge. It is the proclamation of a fact.  No one believes it, except as God graciously grants to him to be believing, Philippians 1:29.  Believing, he has expectation.  This is present salvation.  

The chosen ones become believers in this life. Faith is out of tidings, yet tidings through a declaration of Christ, Romans 10:17.  

In Paul's case the tidings came directly from Jesus.  In our case, while the tidings are from Him, yet they come to us in the voice of man, or in the printed page.  The Corinthian saints were saved through the tidings that declared that Christ died for our sins, that He was entombed, and that He was roused, First Corinthians 15:1-3.  No one can improve on this message.  Let us be diligent in proclaiming it.  I think it should have a place in every message. 

Faith is believing GOD.  We must believe HIM, in order to believer His message.  Faith is God's gift to us.  


I tried to say, in the June issue, that Saul, although he had been a blessing to the church in Antioch, had become a burden to them, because God was read for him to "move on," and he hadn't done so.  I did not advisedly use the word "curse."  I should ha e said, "burden."  

Two readers have taken me to task about the article.  The objection of both was based on the use of the word, "curse."  Since I have showed here that I meant "burden," I am sure their objection will disappear.  

Others have heartily commended the article.  They see, as I do, that there is great need for evangelism.  Some have ordered extra copies to distribute.  

I would be glad if saints lay to heart what I said.  There is at least one ecclesia in the United States that is the dire distress because a "preacher" insists on staying there, when they have ample teachers and pastors.  This preacher ought to be out building up the saints in destitute places.  There is a much greater reward for this, than there is for causing disturbance in the ecclesia.  

I would not only refuse to visit an ecclesia that already has a "pastor," without his consent and hearty co-operation, but I would not even hold meetings in the community or city of said ecclesia, unless the pastor is heartily engaged with me in the meetings. This is a matter of courtesy.  And without courtesy, we are on the road to confusion. 

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