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CORRESPONDENCE

North Yakima, Wash., Aug. 14, 1908.

Elder H. C. Ker – Dear Brother In Christ: – I herewith send you a short communication written by our dear old brother, Elder I. N. Newkirk, who is now in Julietta, Idaho. He is very much afflicted in body, but his mind is still occupied with things of the kingdom of Christ, and the impression to contribute his mite to the upbuilding of the Lord’s dear people seems to grow stronger, while the body is slowly wasting away. These incidents that come under our almost daily observation only prove to us that the Lord prepares and leads the minds of his servants to fulfill the office to which they are called, not for reward or filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. This self-sacrificing spirit leading the true servants of God and causing the crucifixion of the flesh, proves again that the work of conformation is going on to the image and likeness of God’s beloved Son according to God’s predestinated purpose. This gives us strength and encouragement that the work of the Lord is still going on in the preparation of his people for all the trying ordeals of this life. The God of the Old Baptists is always present, for he has declared, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” and his faithfulness is proved to us in so many different ways that the evidences are complete to the spiritually taught mind, yet the unquickened world cannot see it. In their blindness they invent many different ways to accomplish what they think is the Lord’s will, but the great difficulty is that the Lord’s will is only made manifest to them that fear him, and he will shew them his covenant. (Psalms xxv. 14.) And again, “For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.” – Prov. iii. 32. God’s discriminating grace has wrought all these wonderful works, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The only reason that I can give that it is so is this: “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

Submitting the inclosed to the good judgment of the managers of the Signs Of The Times, I remain your unworthy brother in hope of a better life,

W. H. GILMORE.

THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT.

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” – 1 Cor. xii. 1.

The ministration of the Holy Ghost was with the apostles exclusively. Said Jesus to the twelve, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” – Luke xxiv. 49. We see in these Scriptures that this ministered gift was with the apostles as witnesses. The power of the apostles was judicial, testimonial and administrative over and in and through the whole church, with the keys of the kingdom to bind and to loose on earth, consequently the very office and functions of the Spirit were in their hands, and what they bound on earth was bound in heaven, and what they loosed on earth was loosed in heaven. Thus was established the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone, and they were endued with power from on high, as is said in Luke xxiv.

Briefly considering the fourth to the sixth verses of the twelfth chapter of 1st Corinthians, let us notice the seventh verse: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” This connection clearly shows that every member of the church over which Christ is the head (the church being his body) is given a measure of the Spirit to profit. All do not have the same gift of the Spirit which was bestowed upon the apostles. All the measures and gifts of the Spirit constitute the ministry of the Holy Ghost in the world, and for all succeeding time, and in all the world, until the end of the world. The Lord has said, “And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” These words declare the perpetuity of the apostolic churches in the order of Christ and his apostles till the world shall end and time be no more. Consequently it is not possible for any other order or church to be set up with the approbation of God, and in the fellowship of Christ and the apostles. Hence all reformations of the church are deformations instead. “Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of the laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” All these principles and doctrines are perfect in Christ, who is the foundation laid in Zion, the atonement by his blood perfecting them that are sanctified. He is the chief corner-stone of the apostles’ ministry in the spirit, including all the manifold operations of the Spirit in the gifts and measures and dispensations of it to every man in Christ, to perfect them withal. We are also taught in the above Scriptures the perfection of Christ in redemption, the complete fullness of the Spirit in the ministry of the word, and the effectual working of God’s mighty power through the blood of Christ, and the heavenly calling by the Spirit of them who shall be heirs of salvation through the name of Christ.

Now, concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said just before his departure, “If I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” This shows that the ministerial work of the Holy Ghost did not begin until after Jesus had finished his work and gone above. And Peter, testifying of him, says, Whom the heavens must receive till the restoration of all things spoken by the prophets. The conclusion therefore is that the ministry of Christ, as Mediator and Intercessor, and the ministry of the Spirit, are two ministries. The first ministry, that of Jesus Christ, is a finished and perfect work, and the second, the ministry of the Spirit, is a successive and as yet unfinished work to be continued to the end of this material world of earth, sun, sky and water. This includes the fulfillment of all the prophetic Scriptures, thus including the perpetuity of the apostles, both in faith and practice, and hence the perpetuity of the church to the end of time, that she may be presented to the Lord as a chaste virgin at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Until the prophecies concerning Christ are fulfilled, the church must stand united in one in Christ, who is her Founder. In the Spirit Jesus Christ is himself the chief corner-stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into a holy temple in the Lord. Now if these scriptural principles and ordinances do not establish the truth that the Primitive Baptists are built on Christ, the Rock of Ages, and on the apostles’ doctrine and practice, there is no other ground upon which they can stand.

I will proceed with this subject no further, but will leave the readers of these thoughts to judge them for them.

Your brother,
I. N. NEWKIRK.


[We take pleasure in commending these thoughts to the careful perusal of our readers. If we mistake not, Elder Newkirk is now the oldest living correspondent of the Signs. We mean that no one else now living has been writing longer for our columns than he. We are glad that he is still able to write, and to travel and preach the word of God. As the infirmities of age press upon him may he find that the solid truth which he has loved and preached is a sure foundation to his feet. May his bow abide in strength, and the arms of his hands be made strong by the hand of the mighty God of Jacob. And may he still bring forth fruit in old age to show that the Lord is upright. If it be the will of God, we hope that he may be spared to the cause that he loves yet many years. – Ed.]


Signs Of The Times
Volume 76., No. 23.
DECEMBER 1, 1908.