By what means are men
Sanctify them by
the truth; your word is truth. John
To what knowledge would
God have all man come?
Who wants all men to
be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:4.
After receiving a
knowledge of the truth, what must one do in order
to be sanctified by it?
But you ought always
to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord,
because from the beginning God chose you to be
saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit
and through belief in the truth. 2
And what besides a mere
belief in the truth is necessary?
Who have been
chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the
Father, through the sanctifying work of the
Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and
sprinkling of blood:
1 Peter 1:2.
What effect does obedience to
the truth have?
Now that you have purified
yourselves by obeying the truth so that you
have sincere love for your brothers, love one
another deeply, from the heart. Verse 22.
How should the truth be
Buy the truth and do
not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and
Note That is, buy the
truth at whatever sacrifice or cost, and sell it
under no consideration.
Special Messages For Special
Does the Bible recognize
what may be called present truth?
So I will always
remind you of these things, even though you know
them and are firmly established in the truth
you have now. 2 Peter 1:12.
Note Some truths are
applicable in all ages, and therefore present
truth for every generation; others are a special
character, and are applicable to only one
generation. They are nonetheless important,
however, because of this; for upon their
acceptance or rejection depends the salvation or
loss of the people for that generation. Of this
kind was Noahs message of the coming flood.
To the generation to whom it was preached that
message was present truth; to later
generations it has been past truth, and
not a present testing message. Similarly,
had the first advent message of John the Baptist,
of the Messiah at hand, been proclaimed in the
generation either before or after Johns
time, it would not have been applicable
would not have been present truth. The
people of the generation before would not have
lived to see it fulfilled, and to those living
after, it would have been wrongly timed. Not so
with general truths, such as love, faith, hope,
repentance, obedience, justice and mercy. These
are always in season, and of a saving nature at
all times. Present truths, however, always
include all these.
What was the special message
for Noahs day?
So God said to Noah, I
am going to put an end to all people, for
the earth is filled with violence because of
them. I am surely going to destroy both them
and the earth. So make for yourself an ark
of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it
with pitch inside and out. Genesis 6:13,14.
How many were saved in the
Who disobeyed long
ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah
while the ark was being built. In it only a few
people, eight in all, were saved through water.
1 Peter 3:20.
Note Doubtless many
who were lost in the Flood held in a nominal way,
to faith in God; but the test as to the
genuineness of this came with Noahs special
message; and the difference between their faith
and his was made plain when they rejected the
saving truth for that time the warning
message concerning the coming Flood.
Jonah and Nineveh
What special message was
given to Jonah for Nineveh?
Jonah obeyed the word
of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Nineveh was a
very important city a visit required three
days. On the first day, Jonah started into the
city. He proclaimed: Forty more days and
Nineveh will be overturned. Jonah
What saved the people
from the predicted overthrow?
The Ninevites believed
God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from
the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
When God saw what they did and how they turned
from their evil ways, he had compassion and did
not bring upon them the destruction he had
threatened. Verse 5, 10. (See Jeremiah
Note So likewise
would God have spared the antediluvian world had
they received Noahs message and turned from
their evil ways.
The Preaching of John the
What was the special
mission of John the Baptist?
There came a man who
was sent from God; his name was John. He came as
a witness to testify concerning the light,
so that through him all men might believe.
What answer did he return when
asked concerning his mission?
John replied in the words of
Isaiah the prophet, I am the voice of
one calling in the desert, Make straight
the way for the Lord. Verse 23.
What did Christ say of those
who rejected Johns message?
But the Pharisees and
experts in the law rejected Gods purpose
for themselves, because they had not been
baptized by John. Luke 7:30
What did those do who were
baptized of John?
All the people, even
the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus
words, acknowledged that Gods way
was right, because they had been baptized by
John. Verse 29.
Note That is, they
honored God by this act of faith.
Christ and His Reception
Did Gods chosen
people receive the promised Messiah when He came?
He came to that which
was his own, but his own did not receive him.
What reason did they give for
not receiving Him?
We know that God spoke
to Moses, but as for this fellow, we dont
even know where he comes from.
Note That was the
trouble; they had no faith in anything new. They knew
that God spoke by Moses: it required little faith
to believe that. They felt perfectly safe in
accepting him, for everything had demonstrated
that he was sent of God. All could see that. But
here was One whom, although He had come in
fulfillment of the prophecies of Moses and the
prophets as their long-looked-for Messiah, they
felt there was a risk in accepting, because they
did not understand the prophecies relating to
Him, and time had not worked out to their
satisfaction the truthfulness of His claims. It
required too much faith, as against their
desire to walk by sight, to accept Christ.
It also called for a change of views in some
things, and a reformation in life. So they
rejected Him. They believed in the Flood, faith
in which had saved Noah; they believed in Elijah
also, and professed faith in all the prophets,
but when it came to this special truth for their
time, they refused to accept it. Thus it has been
in all ages. And thus we may expect it to
continue to the end.
How did Christ say those who
rejected Him reasoned?
Woe to you,
teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and
decorate the graves for the righteous. And you
say, If we had lived in the days of your
forefathers, we would not have taken part with
them in shedding the blood of the prophets.
Note While they
condemned the action of their fathers in slaying
the prophets who god had sent with messages of
reproof and warning applicable to those times,
they soon filled up the measure of the iniquity
of their fathers by putting to death the Son of
God. This showed that they would have done as did
their fathers had they lived in their day. Thus
we see that present truths are testing truths.
What was the result of
the Jews not accepting Christ?
As he approached
Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and
said, If you, even you, had only known on
this day what would bring you peace but
now it is hidden from your eyes.
Luke 19:41,42. Look, your house is left to
you desolate. Matthew 23:38.
Special Message For The
Is there to be a special
message for the last days?
So you must be
ready, because the Son of Man will come at an
hour when you do not expect him. Who then is
the faithful and wise servant, whom the
master has put in charge of the servants in his
household to give them their food at the
Note In the last
days a message will go forth which will be meat
in due season to the people. This must be
the warning concerning the Lords soon
coming and the preparation necessary to meet Him.
The fact that such a message was not always
preached is no evidence that it is not now to be
proclaimed. In this farewell address to the
Pilgrim Fathers on their departure from Holland
to America, John Robinson said: The Lord
knoweth whether I shall live ever to see your
faces more. But whether the Lord has appointed it
or not, I charge you before God and His blessed
angels to follow me no farther than I have
followed Christ. If God should reveal anything to
you by any other instrument of His, be as ready
to receive it as ever you were to receive any
truth of the ministry; for I am very confident
the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break
forth out of His holy word. For my part, I cannot
sufficiently bewail the condition of the reformed
churches, who are come to a period in religion,
and will go at present no farther than the
instruments of their reformation. The Lutherans
cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw, and
the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they
were left by the great man of God, who yet saw
not all things. This is a misery much to be
lamented; for though they were burning and
shining lights in their time, yet they penetrated
not into the whole counsel of God, but were they
now living, would be as willing to embrace
further light as that which they first received.
What does Christ say of
that servant who, when He comes, is found giving
meat in due season?
It will be good
for that servant whose master finds him doing
so when he returns.
Note The coming of
Christ in glory has been the hope of the faithful
in all ages. Luther declared: I persuade
myself verily, that the Day of Judgment will not
be absent full three hundred years. God will not,
can not, suffer the wicked world much longer.
Said Knox, the Scottish
reformer: has not out Lord Jesus carried up
our flesh into heaven and shall He return? We
know that He will return, and that with
Ridley and Latimer, who
laid down their lives for the truth, looked in
faith for the Lords coming. Ridley wrote:
The world without doubt this I do
believe, and therefore I say it draws to
an end. Said Baxter: The thoughts of
the coming of the Lord are most sweet and joyful
to me. It is the work of faith and the character
of His saints to live His appearing and to look
for that blessed hope.
What will be the burden
of the closing gospel message?
He said in a loud voice,
Fear God and given him glory, because the
hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who
made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the
springs of water. A second angel
followed and said, Fallen! Fallen
is Babylon the Great, which made all the
nations drink the maddening wine of her
adulteries. A third angel followed them
and said in a loud voice: If anyone
worship the beast and his image and receives the
mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too, will
drink of the wine of Gods fury, which
has been poured full strength into the cup of his
wrath. Revelation 14: 7-10.
How are those described
who accept this message?
This calls for
patient endurance on the part of the saints who
obey Gods commandments and remain faithful
to Jesus. Verse 12.
How earnestly is the work
to be prosecuted?
Then the master
told his servant, Go out to the roads and
the country lanes and make them come in,
so that my house will be full. Luke 14:23.
Note This work is now going
on. In every part of the world the sound of this
closing gospel message is being heard, and the
people are being urged to accept it and to
prepare for Christs coming and His kingdom.