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 XXVI

June, 1947

Number 11

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

Readers will probably remember that I have mentioned Brother W. H. Bazemore a few times.  He was one of the most precious saints that I have ever known.  

For some months before he died he coached me on what to say at his funeral.  In reality, at the meeting when he was buried, I have HIS sermon. Hundreds of people heard it.  

At his request the following scriptures were read:

"I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal," Deut. 32:39.  

"I form the light and I create darkness; I make peace and I create evil.  I, the Lord, do these things," Isa. 45:7.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," I Cor. 15:22.  

"Therefore, as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men unto condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification, of life," Rom. 5:18.  

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is One God and one Mediator between God and men the Man Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself a Ransom for all to be testified in due time," I Tim. 2:3-6.  

"For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those who believe," I Tim 4:10.  

"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things," Rom. 11:36.  

Brother Bazemore knew that the King James is faulty in its rendering of many passages, but he asked me to quote from it, because many in the congregation have never read any other version, and he wanted them to know that this version teaches, as plainly as does any other, the fact that all is of God, and that He will, eventually, save all mankind.  In other words, he wanted to take away from them the excuse for not believing in these grand doctrines. He was desirous that they should not have any reason to think that the blessed doctrines are taught only in some new translation. 

This teaching was Brother Bazemore's "meat and drink" for many years.  Although he became almost blind long before he died, he was, perhaps, one of the most contented men in the world, for He regarded his plight as an act of God, and He looked forward to the time when all will revel in the great happiness of complete salvation and glorification.  He wanted to leave, as his funeral testimony, the glorious truth that the future of mankind is not loss and despair, but unutterable glory, through the grace of God, and the blood of Christ.  He found joy in believing that his being shut up in almost total darkness, physically, was not only OF God, but that it was THROUGH Him—that He controlled it—and that it would glorify Him, and He would use it as part of His processes.  

He rejoiced in the fact that when one dies it is God Who caused it, and that He will make alive.  He was calm in the knowledge that God wounds, but that He does it in order to heal.  

He did not discount the value of believing in Christ.  Believers have special salvation.  But he also reveled in the thought that, whether or not one believes in this life, god's love for him is no less than is His love for the believer, and that He will not leave Him without salvation. 

The special message that Brother Bazemore asked me to give, in addition to reading and commenting on the scripture passages, may be given in one sentence? "Don't judge God until He has finished what He is doing."  

What a wealth of wisdom is shown in this request!  Men often do things that, in the process, bear no resemblance to what they will be when the task is completed.  When a contractor starts to build a house he first digs a hole—a thing that is totally unlike a house.  If I start to drive to Main street in our town, I first go in the opposite direction, to get the car out of the garage.  A physician, in the process of curing a patient, will first give medicine that makes him more sick.  If a man is going to wear his new suit, he does not want you to judge the appropriateness of what his appearance will be, by seeing how he appears when he disrobes, in the process of dressing.  

I ask in all candor: Is it like God to so arrange that human being shall be caught like rats in a trap, and then pour out on most of them, His never-ending indignation?  Does not the passage from Rom. 5:18 plainly tell us that we are in condemnation because of what one man did?  All know that the one man was Adam, and that he did his act of transgression long before we were in existence.  Did God arrange for it to be this way?  Tell me ONE thing that He did to prevent it?  He put the forbidden fruit where it could easily be reached; He made it very desirable; He placed the serpent there to urge that it be eaten; He made the woman full of curiosity, and gave the man an instinct to cleave to her.  True, He said, "Don't eat it," but he did everything necessary to insure that the prohibition would be disobeyed.  

Destruction is a necessary prelude to salvation; estrangement, a forerunner of reconciliation.  Not only does the Lord say that He creates evil as well as peace, but He says He does it that men may know Him, Isa. 45:7.  

Correctly rendered, I Cor. 15:22 says that in Christ all shall be vivified.  This is more than merely being made alive.  But, even so, the King James rendering leaves us without excuse to believe that any shall be finally lost, for who can envision a person made alive IN CHRIST, and still subjected to destruction or endless torment?  The passage in I Tim. 2:3-6 says that God WILLS all mankind to be saved.  It is a question of whether or not God's will is supreme.  True, the will of man is contrary to that of God; but the same version, (King James), ways that God works all things after the counsel of His own will, Eph. 1:11.  I have made a will regarding the disposition of my property.  Do I know that it will be carried out?  I do not, for I will be dead before the will is probated. But God not only is able to do His will, but death can never cut Him off; He is the One to probate His own will.  Can He be so foolish as to not carry its terms?  

And I know that there is nothing more comforting than to believe that God is the Cause of all, that He controls all and That all shall finally glorify Him.  The opposite would be unthinkable, when we remember WHAT and WHO God is. He is the Placer—The Disposer.  If He has created a universe in which much may occur that is contrary to His purpose, then what promise have we of security?  

When it was His purpose to save the life of Mordecai He caused the king to have a sleepless night, so that he would have the record read to him.  When He would drive certain people out of Canaan He caused hornets to attack them.  

We are told that the steps of a man are ordered by the Lord, and that He WILL delight in his ways.  Not merely the steps of a "good" man, as the King James Version says.  "Good" is printed in italics, showing that it is not in the text.  The steps of EVERY man is ordered by the Lord.  There are many of our steps in which the Lord DOES NOT delight at present, but He will so control and use them that, SOME TIME, HE WILL delight in them.  

Brother Bazemore believed all this, and I never knew a man who was more contented with his lot in life.  He knew that there is a very long time in the future, (called eternity), for God to give to him what he missed in this life—yes, give many million-fold more than he missed here.

"HOW TO PRAY SO YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED"—Send ten cents to the Sacred Scriptures Information Service, Box 34, Jerome, Idaho, for this pamphlet. 

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