Accountability!—It matters not what may be the practice of others,—what they do or fail to do. by way of digression,—we are individually accountable to God for our stewardship of time, church funds, and influence. Another's carelessness, extravagance, or indulgence should but spur us to greater personal faithfulness.
Cooperation!—Unity of effort is imperative where several diversified personalities are thrown together in one service. A heart interest in, and sympathetic understanding of, the basic objectives of the joint enterprise are indispensable to real achievement. Apathy, aloofness, or variance nullifies all possibility of great results.
Abandonment!—The work of this message will be completed by men and women who so fully believe it, and so completely abandon all for its consummation, that they will put not only time and strength but property and life itself into its final accomplishment. What an enviable privilege! What satisfaction and reward will be theirs! Lord, help us each as workers to be members of that band.
Evidence!—Numbers do not constitute conclusive evidence of either truth or divine blessing. Arising at approximately the same time, Christian Science and Mormonism, and later Russellism, show remarkable growth, in many ways greater than ours. Indeed, error naturally progresses more rapidly than truth, for it meets less opposition in the carnal heart. Think of Catholicism's tremendous growth and material wealth, and of heathenism's appalling numbers. Expansion is never the final criterion; rather it is the constituent truth that is the consummating evidence.
Fundamental!—Our fundamental need is not a greater accurateness of theological knowledge, though this is highly desirable. Lucifer had knowledge beyond any other created being in the universe, but that did not hold him loyal to God. He became "lifted up," and pride compassed his downfall. The outstanding apostates of this movement have not been deficient in doctrinal knowledge. They were sometimes among the most brilliant and best informed men in our ranks. But either they became lifted up, or they were never converted in the first place. Regeneration and humility are basic. What is required is to love mercy, deal justly, and walk humbly with God.
Prophets!—While certain physical manifestations are always found in connection with the exercise of the true gift of prophecy, they are likewise found in connection with false manifestations. This fact has been established by unimpeachable evidence. They are not, therefore, the determining factor in establishing the heavenly origin of the genuine. Rather, it is the internal evidence of the writings themselves—their spirit, effect, exaltation of and loyalty to the Word—that constitutes the ultimate proof. This cannot be gainsaid, duplicated, or simulated. Of course, the complete and final evidence embraces the full cycle of all factors. Thank God for their manifestation in the remnant church!
L. E. F.