Publication date
3/1/19
Volume
40
Number
5
The WatchTower
Stand Fast - Striving Together
/../literature/watchtower/1919/5/1919-5-1.html
 
 
 
 
VOL. 
XL 
PI'l"l'SBURGH, 
A., 
MARCH 
1, 
1919 
No. 
:i 
:So 
text 
of 
Scripture 
is 
more 
applicable 
to 
the 
time 
in 
which 
we 
are 
now 
living 
than 
are 
the 
above 
words 
of 
SL 
Paul 
to 
the 
Philippian 
church. 
Perhaps 
also 
no 
other 
passage 
has 
been 
more 
comforting 
to 
the 
feet 
members 
of 
the 
body 
of 
Christ 
during 
their 
experiences 
of 
the 
past 
year 
than 
has 
thi·s 
one. 
Surely 
all 
have 
been 
called 
upon 
to 
suffer 
much, 
and 
we 
may 
have 
further 
privileges 
along 
this 
line. 
pt 
it 
is 
not 
the 
suf­ 
fering 
that 
especially 
eoncerns 
the 
Lord's 
people, 
it 
heinO' 
:'light 
affliction:' 
compared 
with 
"the 
glory 
that 
shall 
follo~," 
If 
we 
prove 
faIthful. 
When 
we 
realize 
the 
great 
favor 
that 
has 
been 
bestowed 
upon 
us 
in 
our 
being 
appointed 
ambassa.dors 
of 
the 
great 
Messianic 
Kingdom, 
now 
bein~ 
established 
upon 
the 
ruins 
of 
the 
old 
order. 
we 
eount 
it 
inl1eed 
privilege 
to 
endure 
hardship 
and 
trial 
in 
connection 
with 
this 
gloriollJll 
mes­ 
sage. 
Sueh 
was 
the 
spirit 
of 
St. 
Pa1!l, 
in 
the 
words 
of 
our 
text. 
He 
had 
been 
held 
up 
to 
ridicule 
and 
scorn, 
beaten 
al­ 
most 
to 
death, 
thrown 
into 
prigon 
and 
his 
feet 
made 
fast 
in 
the 
stocks. 
Yet 
in 
it 
all 
he 
was 
able 
to 
sing 
praises 
to 
God 
for 
the 
privilege 
of 
suffering 
for 
Christ's 
sake, 
for 
the 
truth 
and 
for 
the 
brethren. 
THE 
MESSAGE 
OF 
THE 
HOUR 
The 
first 
statement 
in 
our 
text 
is 
especially 
important 
now. 
:Sot 
merely 
the 
admonition 
to 
"stand 
fast," 
but 
the 
manner 
in 
which 
we 
should 
stand 
is 
the 
thing 
of 
essential 
value. 
The 
admonition 
must 
be 
taken 
in 
its 
entirety. 
The 
Apogtle 
would 
have 
us 
understand 
that 
to 
lbe 
pleasing 
to 
the 
Lord 
we 
must 
"sta.nd 
fast 
in 
one 
spirit, 
with 
one 
mind, 
striving 
together 
for 
the 
faith 
of 
the 
Gospel." 
We 
find 
llome 
today 
who 
claim 
a.nd 
probably 
think 
tha.t 
they 
are 
standing 
fast; 
but 
instead 
they 
are 
turning 
aside 
and 
not 
striving 
together 
with 
their 
brethren 
in 
proclaiming 
the 
full 
message 
of 
the 
Gospel. 
Because 
of 
some 
difference 
of 
opinion 
respecting 
secular 
matters, 
they 
apparently 
feel 
it 
their 
duty 
to 
raise 
questions 
that 
cause 
di­ 
vision 
in 
the 
ranks 
of 
the 
Lord's 
people, 
and 
then 
start 
inde­ 
pendent 
movements 
that 
tend 
to 
confuse 
the 
minds 
of 
the 
saints 
and 
to 
give 
rise 
to 
roots 
of 
bitterness. 
Let 
us, 
dear 
brethren. 
avoid 
any 
and 
every 
spirit 
that 
would 
hinder 
our 
striving 
together 
in 
the 
dissemination 
of 
the 
truth 
now 
due. 
~othing 
would 
please 
the 
adversary 
more 
than 
to 
have 
the 
ambassadol'1l 
of 
Christ's 
kingdom 
eontend 
one 
with 
another 
on 
non-essentials, 
thereby 
to 
have 
their 
minds 
distracted 
a.nd 
their 
efforts 
sla.ckened 
regarding 
the 
real 
work 
to 
which 
they 
have 
devoted 
their 
lives; 
namely, 
the 
proclaiming 
of 
the 
message 
rega.rding 
the 
utter 
downfall 
of· 
Bwbylon 
aud 
the 
overthrow 
of 
Satan's 
empire. 
The 
commission 
of 
the 
Christ, 
Hea.d 
and 
body, 
is 
found 
in 
Isaiah 
61: 
1-3; 
and 
the 
llpecial 
message 
of 
the 
feet 
mem­ 
bers 
is 
the 
proclamation 
of 
"the 
day 
of 
vengeanee 
of 
oUr 
God." 
The 
evidence 
that 
this 
partieular 
meBBage 
would 
be 
given 
by 
the 
last 
members 
of 
the 
body 
of 
Christ 
on 
earth 
is 
emphasized 
by 
the 
fact 
that 
our 
Lord 
omitted 
this 
portion 
of 
the 
prophecy 
when 
he 
read 
from 
the 
book 
of 
Isaiah 
in 
the 
synagogue 
at 
Nazareth 
(Luke 
4: 
16-22), 
and 
then 
declared: 
"This 
day 
is 
this 
Scripture 
fulfilled 
in 
your 
ears." 
His 
thought 
mani­ 
festly 
was 
that 
only 
the 
portion 
of 
the 
prophecy 
which 
he 
had 
read 
to 
them 
was 
fulfilled 
at 
that 
time. 
and 
that 
the 
por­ 
tion 
which 
he 
ha.d 
failed 
to 
rea.d 
would 
be 
fulfilled 
at 
a. 
later 
time 
by 
his 
body 
members. 
It 
is 
therefore 
the 
duty, 
as 
well 
as 
the 
privilege. 
of 
the 
Lord's 
people 
at 
this 
time 
to 
"pro­ 
claim 
the 
day 
of 
vengeance 
of 
our 
God"; 
and 
if 
they 
fail 
to 
do 
so, 
the 
very 
stones 
would 
cry 
out; 
for 
the 
prophet's 
words 
are 
inspired 
of 
God 
and 
must 
be 
fulfilled.-LuKe 
19:40; 
Zeeh­ 
ariah 
9:9. 
STAND 
FAST-STRIVING 
TOGETHER 
"Stand 
fast 
in 
one 
spirit, 
with. 
one 
mind, 
striving 
toget1wr 
for 
the 
fpJith 
oj 
the 
Gospel; 
and 
in 
nou"",g 
temfi.ed 
by 
Y01J,r 
ad­ 
versaries 
whtch 
ts 
to 
them 
lIn 
evilknt 
token 
of 
perdition, 
but 
to 
you 
of 
salvation, 
and 
that 
of 
God. 
For 
unto 
you 
it 
i8 
given 
in 
the 
behalf 
of 
Uhrtst, 
not 
only 
to 
believe 
on 
him, 
but 
also 
to 
suffer 
for 
hi,~ 
sake.'·-Philippians 
1:27-29. 
TOWER, 
and 
under 
the 
misconception 
thus 
developed 
haye 
withdrawn 
from 
classes 
and 
have 
sought 
to 
draw 
away 
others 
after 
them. 
The 
more 
influential 
in 
the 
service 
a.ny 
such 
has 
been, 
the 
more 
disturba.nce 
his 
course 
causes 
among 
the 
dear 
sheep 
when 
he 
thus 
deflects. 
Some 
have 
even 
found 
fault 
with 
the 
statement 
in 
the 
TOWER 
of 
May 
15, 
1918, 
which 
said: 
"When 
the 
government 
lUlks 
to 
borrow 
his 
money, 
and 
givps 
its 
promise 
to 
pay 
in 
the 
nature 
of 
a. 
bond, 
if 
he 
ca.n 
consist­ 
ently 
do 
so 
he 
should 
buy 
the 
bond." 
Reference 
to 
the 
article 
in 
question 
will 
disclose 
the 
fa.ct 
that 
this 
is 
part 
of 
state­ 
ment 
given 
to 
the 
public 
press, 
a.nd 
properly 
!thowed 
that 
our 
Society 
was 
not 
oppoeed 
to 
the 
methods 
used 
by 
the 
govern· 
ment 
in 
carrying 
on 
the 
war, 
and 
that 
its 
work 
is 
strictly 
re­ 
ligious 
one. 
All 
such 
questions 
are 
matters 
of 
individual 
cen 
science; 
and 
nobody 
ca.n 
or 
should 
assume 
to 
regulate 
the 
conscience 
of 
another 
in 
such 
matters. 
This 
has 
ever 
b(,l't! 
the 
polic,}' 
of 
THE 
WATCH 
T<YWER, 
lII8 
our 
readers 
well 
know. 
OccasIOnally 
some 
one, 
not 
sufficiently 
appreciative 
of 
his 
privileges 
and 
apparently 
seeking 
to 
avoid 
Christian 
hardships. 
will 
write 
us 
respecting 
our 
dea.r 
brethren 
who 
are 
now 
Buffering 
in 
special 
manner 
for 
Christ's 
sake, 
and 
ask: 
"Could 
they 
not 
have 
avoided 
their 
experience?" 
We 
answer: 
Yes; 
they 
could 
have 
avoided 
it. 
So 
could 
Jesus 
have 
avoide'l 
his 
suffering. 
Likewise 
St. 
Paul, 
St. 
John 
and 
other 
faithful 
martyrs 
of 
the 
past 
nineteen 
centuries. 
All 
of 
them 
could 
have 
avoided 
mueh 
suffering 
ha.d 
they 
fa.iled 
to 
disseminate 
the 
truths 
then 
due. 
But 
why 
should 
we 
speak 
about 
avoiding 
such 
experiences 
when 
the 
Lord's 
'Vord 
clearly 
indicates 
tllat 
hereunto 
a.re 
we 
called, 
a.nd 
that 
we 
sha.ll 
be 
"joint-heirs 
with 
Jesus 
Christ, 
if 
so 
be 
that 
we 
suffer 
with 
him"? 
And 
whv 
did 
Jesus 
suffer? 
Because 
he 
held 
forth 
the 
message 
of 
trutll 
and 
reprobated 
the 
hypocritical 
~cribes 
and 
PhariseeR, 
tIll' 
clergy 
of 
his 
time; 
because 
he 
called 
them 
whited 
sepulchers; 
beca.use 
near 
the 
end 
of 
his 
ministry 
he 
went 
into 
the 
Temple 
and 
drove 
out 
the 
eeclesiastica.l 
money 
changers; 
beca.use' 
he 
went 
against 
the 
common 
thought 
of 
the 
day! 
Thus 
it 
was 
tha.t 
he 
suffered. 
"If 
so 
be 
that 
ye 
suffer 
with 
him, 
ye 
shall 
be 
glorified 
together" 
with 
him. 
"Unto 
you 
it 
is 
given 
in 
the 
behalf 
of 
Ohrist, 
not 
only 
to 
believe 
on 
him, 
but 
a.lso 
to 
suffer 
for 
his 
sake." 
WHY 
WE 
WEBE 
ILLUMINATED 
Why 
did 
the 
Lord 
permit 
us, 
in 
the 
end 
of 
the 
age, 
to 
come 
to 
clear 
conception 
of 
the 
divine 
plan? 
Why 
do 
we 
enjoy 
better 
understanding 
of 
these 
thinl!s 
tha.n 
did 
the 
early 
church? 
Is 
it 
merely 
for 
our 
own 
enJoyment 
that 
we 
are 
thus 
illuminated? 
We 
think 
not. 
If 
so, 
doubtless 
God, 
who 
is 
no 
respecter 
of 
persons, 
would 
have 
been 
pleased 
to 
give 
all 
the 
members 
of 
his 
church 
an 
equal 
knowledge 
of 
his 
pla.ns 
and 
purposes 
throughout 
the 
age. 
We 
believe 
that 
our 
heavenly 
Father 
had 
twofold 
object 
in 
giving 
us 
clearer 
understanding 
of 
his 
great 
plan 
at 
this 
time: 
first, 
that 
we 
may 
hllive 
the 
broadest 
possible 
foundation 
for 
our 
faith 
in 
this 
"evil 
day," 
thus 
enabling 
us 
to 
stand; 
llecond, 
tha.t 
by 
means 
of 
our 
knowledge 
of 
the 
immediate 
establish­ 
ment 
of 
the 
kingdom 
and 
of 
the 
time 
of 
trouble 
ineident 
thereto, 
we 
may 
be 
able 
to 
co-operate 
more 
intelligently 
in 
the 
great 
work 
which 
he 
has 
for 
his 
saints 
to 
do 
now, 
prior 
to 
their 
~lorification. 
Seemg, 
therefore, 
that 
the 
commission 
of 
the 
feet 
mem­ 
bers 
of 
the 
body 
of 
Christ 
is 
"to 
proclaim 
the 
day 
of 
vengeance 
of 
our 
God" 
(Iila.iah 
61:2), 
it 
behooves 
everyone 
who 
Rl>pires 
to 
membership 
in 
that 
body 
to 
take 
a.dva.ntage 
of 
present 
op­ 
portunities 
for 
proclaiming 
this 
very 
message 
and 
the 
glad 
"ONWARD, 
CHRISTIAN 
SOLDIERS!" 
tidings 
of 
the 
kingdom 
which 
shall 
follow 
shortly. 
We 
arE' 
It 
is 
with 
sorrow 
that 
we 
see 
some 
retreating 
from 
the 
to 
tell 
the 
people 
that 
Ba.bylon 
is 
totte-ring 
to 
its 
fall, 
and 
front 
ranks 
of 
the 
battle. 
It 
is 
not 
surprising 
to 
find 
some 
that 
on 
the 
l'uins 
thereof 
Christ's 
true 
kingdom 
will 
be 
such 
excusing 
their 
a.etion 
,by 
claims 
of 
steadfastness 
and 
spe- 
erected. 
We 
are 
to 
tell 
the 
great 
oompa.ny 
of 
"foolish 
virgins," 
cial 
eourage. 
The 
faithful 
and 
triumphant 
in 
battle 
do 
not 
the 
majority 
of 
whom 
are 
still 
in 
da.rkness 
in 
the 
Babylonish 
desert 
in 
the 
hour 
of 
need, 
however, 
but 
strive 
together 
with 
systems, 
that 
the 
Lord 
has 
great 
things 
in 
store 
for 
them 
one 
spirit 
and 
one 
mind, 
as 
the 
Awstle 
enjoins. 
Those 
who 
and 
for 
all 
huma.nity. 
We 
think 
tha.t 
those 
are 
ma.king 
are 
looking 
for 
pretexts 
to 
turn 
aside 
will 
surely 
find 
mo- 
grave 
miscalculation 
who 
ha.ve 
folded 
their 
hands 
and 
con- 
tive 
satisfactory 
to 
themselves 
for 
their 
course, 
while 
those 
cluded 
that 
there 
is 
nothing 
more 
to 
do 
on 
this 
side 
of 
the 
who 
are 
anxious 
to 
do 
the 
Lord's 
work 
will 
be 
looking 
for 
op- 
vail 
in 
respect 
to 
proclaiming 
the 
kingdom 
meesa.ge. 
Per- 
portunities 
through 
which 
they 
may 
vigorously 
co-operate 
in 
haps 
ere 
long 
the 
Lord 
will 
show 
us 
that 
instead 
of 
there 
the 
closing 
work 
of 
the 
church 
in 
the 
flesh.-Isaia.h 
52:7. 
being 
nothing 
to 
do, 
a. 
mighty 
work 
is 
just 
before 
us-the 
few 
in 
certain 
localities, 
under 
the 
influence 
of 
lea.ding 
bringing 
of 
the 
me~e 
of 
truth 
to 
the 
thousands 
upon 
thou- 
minds, 
ha.ve 
felt 
obliged 
to 
withdraw 
their 
support 
of 
the 
So- 
sands 
of 
"foolish 
virgms" 
who 
a.re 
still 
slumbering 
and 
sleep- 
ciety 
on 
most 
trivial 
and 
urubelievahle 
grounds. 
Some 
have 
ing. 
so 
far 
all 
knowledge 
of 
the 
divine 
pla.n 
is 
concerned. 
magnified 
and 
distorted 
certain 
statements 
in 
THE 
WATCH 
The 
Lord's 
people, 
the 
feet 
members, 
are 
the 
only 
onl's 
[6395] 
(67-68) 
Vou. XL PITTSBURGH, PA., MARCH 1, 1919 No. « ‘STAND FAST—STRIVING TOGETHER “Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Gospel; and im nothing terrified by your adversaries; which 1s to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you tt is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.’"—Philippians 1:27-29. No text of Scripture is more applicable to the time in which we are now living than are the above words of St. Paul to the Philippian church. Perhaps also no other passage has been more comforting to the feet members of the body of Christ during their experiences of the past year than has this one. Surely all have been called upon to suffer much, and we may have further privileges along this line. Yet it is not the suffering that especially concerns the Lord’s people, it being a “light affliction” compared with “the glory that shall follow,” if we prove faithful. When we realize the great favor that has been bestowed upon us in our being appointed ambassadors of the great Messianic Kingdom, now being established upon the ruins of the old order, we count it indeed a privilege to endure hardship and trial in connection with this glorious message. Such was the spirit of St. Paul, in the words of our text. He had been held up to ridicule and scorn, beaten almost to death, thrown into prison and his feet made fast in the stocks. Yet in it all he was able to sing praises to God for the privilege of suffering for Christ’s sake, for the truth and for the brethren. THE MESSAGE OF THE HOUR The first statement in our text is especially important now. Not merely the admonition to “stand fast,” but the manner in which we should stand is the thing of essential value. The admonition must be taken in its entirety. The Apostle would have us understand that to be pleasing to the Lord we must “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the Gospel.” We find some today who claim and probably think that they are standing fast; but instead they are turning aside and not striving together with their brethren in proclaiming the full message of the Gospel. Because of some difference of opinion respecting secular matters, they apparently feel it their duty to raise questions that cause division in the ranks of the Lord’s people, and then start independent movements that tend to confuse the mindg of the saints and to give rise to roots of bitterness. Let us, dear brethren, avoid any and every spirit that would hinder our striving together in the dissemination of the truth now due. Nothing would please the adversary more than to have the ambassadors of Christ’s kingdom contend one with another on non-essentials, thereby to have their minds distracted and their efforts slackened regarding the real work to which they have devoted their lives; namely, the proclaiming of the message regarding the utter downfall of Babylon and the overthrow of Satan’s empire. The commission of the Christ, Head and body, is found in Isaiah 61:1-3; and the special] message of the feet members is the proclamation of “the day of vengeance of our God.” The evidence that this particular message would be given by the last members of the body of Christ on earth is emphasized by the fact that our Lord omitted this portion of the prophecy when he read from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4:16-22}, and then declared: “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” His thought manifestly was that only the portion of the prophecy which he had read to them was fulfilled at that time, and that the portion which he had failed to read would be fulfilled at a later time by his body members. It is therefore the duty, as well as the privilege. of the Lord’s people at this time to “proclaim the day of vengeance of our ”; and if they fail to do so, the very stones would ery out; for the prophets words are inspired of God and must be fulfilled —Luke 19:40; Zechariah 9:9. “ONWARD, CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS!’’ It is with sorrow that we see some retreating from the front ranks of the battle. It is not surprising to find some such excusing their action by claims of steadfastness and speeial courage. The faithful and triumphant in battle do not desert in the hour of need, however, but strive together with one apirit and one mind, as the Apostle enjoins. Those who are looking for pretexts to turn aside will surely find a motive satisfactory to themselves for their course, while those who are anxious to do the Lord’s work will be looking for opportunities through which they may vigorously co-operate in the closing work of the church in the flesh.—Isaiah 52:7. A few in certain localities, under the influence of leading minds, have felt obliged to withdraw their support of the Society on most trivial and unbelievable grounds. Some have magnified and distorted certain statements in THz WatcH [6395] Tower, and under the misconception thus developed have withdrawn from classes and have sought to draw away others after them. The more influential in the service any such has been, the more disturbance his course causes among the dear sheep when he thus deflects. Some have even found fault with the statement in the TowEr of May 15, 1918, which said: “When the government asks to borrow his money, and gives its promise to pay in the nature of a bond, if he can consistently do so he should buy the bond.” Reference to the article in question will disclose the fact that this is part of a statement given to the public press, and properly showed that our Society was not opposed to the methods used by the government in carrying on the war, and that its work is strictly a religious one. All such questions are matters of individual con science; and nobody can or should assume to regulate the conscience of another in such matters. This has ever been the policy of THz Warcu Tower, as our readers well know. Occasionally some one, not sufficiently appreciative of his privileges and apparently seeking to avoid Christian hardships, will write us respecting our dear brethren who are now suffering in a special manner for Christ’s sake, and ask: “Could they not have avoided their experience?” We answer: Yes; they could have avoided it. So could Jesus have avoided his suffering. Likewise St. Paul, St. John and other faithful martyrs of the past nineteen centuries. All of them could have avoided much suffering had they failed to disseminate the truths then due. But why should we speak about avoiding such experiences when the Lord’s Word clearly indicates that hereunto are we called, and that we shall be “joint-heirg with Jesus Christ, if so be that we suffer with him’? And why did Jesus suffer? Because he held forth the message of truth and reprobated the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees, the clergy of his time; because he called them whited sepulchers: because near the end of his ministry he went into the Temple and drove out the ecclesiastical money changers; because he went against the common thought of the day! Thus it was that he suffered. “If so be that ye suffer with him, ye shall be glorified together” with him. “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for hia sake.” WHY WE WERE ILLUMINATED Why did the Lord permit us, in the end of the age, to come to a clear conception of the divine plan? Why do we enjoy a better understanding of these things than did the early church? Is it merely for our own enjoyment that we are thus illuminated? We think not. If so, doubtless God, who is no respecter of persons, would have been pleased to give all the members of his church an equal knowledge of his plans and purposes throughout the age. We believe that our heavenly Father had a twofold object in giving us a clearer understanding of his great plan at this time: first, that we may have the broadest possible foundation for our faith in this “evil day,” thus enabling us to stand; second, that by means of our knowledge of the immediate establishment of the kingdom and of the time of trouble incident thereto, we may be able to co-operate more intelligently in the great work which he has for his saints to do now, prior to their glorification. Seeing, therefore, that the commission of the feet members of the body of Christ is “to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:2), it behooves every one who aspires to membership in that body to take advantage of present op rtunities for proclaiming this very message and the glad idings of the kingdom which shall follow shortly. We are to tell the people that Babylon is tottering to its fall, and that on the ysuins thereof Christ’s true kingdom will be erected. We are to tell the great company of “foolish virgina,” the majority of whom are still in darkness in the Babylonish systems, that the Lord has great things in store for them and for all humanity. We think that those are making a grave miscalculation who have folded their hands and concluded that there is nothing more to do on this side of the vail in respect to proclaiming the kingdom message. Perhaps ere long the Lord will show us that instead of there being nothing to do, a mighty work is just before us—the bringing of the message of truth to the thousands upon thousands of “foolish virgins” who are still slumbering and sleeping, so far as a knowledge of the divine plan is concerned. The Lord’s people, the feet members, are the only ones

This website uses cookies to improve the website and your experience. By continuing to browse this website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. If you require further information or do not wish to accept cookies when using this website, please visit our Global Policy on Use of Cookies and Similar Technologies .