“WE know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” – 1 John iii. 14. Who are “the brethren”? They are they who worship God in spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh. They who have the spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. They who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before them. They who believe that Jesus is the Savior of sinners. They who feel that they are all their lifetime subject to bondage. They whom the Lord has separated from the world, so that they feel that they are “killed all the day long.” (Psalms xliv. 22; Romans viii. 36; 1 Cor. xv. 31; 2 Cor. iv. 10.) They who are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, who are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, east down, but not destroyed. These are they who groan, being burdened, earnestly desiring something better than what they have in this life. We know that we love “the brethren” who are thus situated in this world. Are we not in sympathy with the afflicted brethren? We know that we are, because we feel some of the same afflictions. We know that if in this life only we have hope in God we are the most miserable of all men. We know that we are sinners; we know that this natural mind must decay; that this fleshly heart shall perish; that our feet must cease their walks to the house of God; that our hands shall fail from giving drink to the thirsty; that our tongues shall be stilled in death. We know not what we shall be. We know not that there shall remain with us signs of the recognition of friends or saints in the world to come. We know not what our souls are, nor what our spirits are. We know not that our souls and spirits shall retain the memories of our days on this earth in the world to come. We do know that when our Eternal Life appears for us we shall appear with him in glory. We know that when we shall awake with the likeness of the Redeemer we shall be satisfied, even if we have lost the knowledge and recognition of earthly friends. know that when we shall have put on immortality we shall he in the image of God. We believe and hope for some things that the Spirit teaches us are in the great storehouse on high, because having Christ, our Elder Brother, our Associate, and with him we shall have all things. Just what those things are like we know not, but faith as a “still small voice” whispers, Be still and know that l am God, who changeth not. How different it is with us than with the worldly- minded. We have spiritual knowledge, they have not. Our knowledge is sweetened by the beauties of holiness appearing on the mountains of Zion. The world cannot even see the holy mountain, much less the beauty displayed there by God’s holiness. We know that the unholy religion of this vain world shall perish with those who constantly believe in its deceptive teachings. We know that there is nothing enduring about the self-righteousness of men, that the best of it is filthy rags and an abomination unto the Lord Jehovah; that no man can of himself produce perfect righteousness that will in the slightest degree appeal to the justice of God, and that the only perfect righteousness that justifies the sinner is the righteousness of the Lord Jesus, the righteousness of God by faith, which is imputed to him, because he is included in the covenant of mercy made for him before the foundation of the world. This perfect righteousness belongs to the inheritance of the saints, and it is sure to come to every heir, and it is so well secured that nothing can ever occur to defeat its delivery to every vessel of mercy in ample time for his full justification and perfect standing before God. Knowing as we do, after feeling the plague of our sinful hearts, that these essential truths are established in our hearts to the praise and glory of his grace; let us take courage, as though we are “renewed day by day,” considering well what we do not know as well as that we do know, for now we see through a glass, darkly. May we by the grace of the Lord Jesus feel that we are abundantly blessed above what we are able to ask for or worthy to receive from the King of kings.
In the midst of the disappointments of this life are these thoughts submitted to the discretion of the editors of the SIGNS.
In hope of immortality,
J. F. BEEMAN,
TIAWAH, Okla., August 29, 1914.
Signs of the Times
Volume 82, No. 19
October 1, 1914