His servants ye are to whom ye render service. (Rom. 6:16.) If a man shall say I am a servant of God and a laborer in His vineyard, yet, if he be engaged in sowing error, in teaching traditions of men, etc., he is really serving the adversarythe Devil.
Thus it was with Saul: He verily thought that he did God service in persecuting Christianity, yet, when he came to know better, he found that he was one of Satan's foremost servants in opposing truth and the Lord and His Church.
So with Peter; when he began to dissuade Jesus from complete sacrifice, saying, "Be it far from thee, Lord," Jesus recognized Peter as the agent or servant of Satan, tempting him, and hence replied to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan; for thou savorest not the things that be of God but those that be of men." (Matt. 16:23.)
So with us: let us remember that not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. How important, then, that we not only feel favorable to the cause of truththe cause of Godbut that we let our good feelings influence our actions and words, so that we shall not merely not oppose truth, but make sure that we are servants of truth, else we may be really servants of error.
Would that all would awake fully to a realization of the importance of guarding every little deed of life, and not only know that they are busily engaged in the vineyard, but make sure that [R451 : page 1] their labor is such as the Master will approve. Beware, then, that Satan does not get possession of your talents, and, under the guise of working for Jesus, really use your powers against the truth. This is the position of many in the nominal systems, called churches, and of many also who have become measurably free from them. Do you speak of the unfolding truths of God's word?then seek to have it as pure and free from error as possibleonly wheat. Do you seek to scatter reading matter to give enlightenment?then be sure as possible that it is clean seednot largely mixed with error; for while truth sown will bring forth good fruit, error sown will bring forth very evil fruit. To the extent that we sow truth we are God's servants, and to the extent we spread error, we are the devil's servants. His servants ye are to whom ye render service. Let us keep this in mindit will double our usefulness as servants of God; for, as seen from the TOWER, many to-day verily think they do God service, who really are opposing God's way, plan and truth; though with Peter we might say, "I wot that through ignorance ye did it." (Acts 3:17.)
Most of our readers have read the pamphlet issued from this office over a year ago, entitled, "The Tabernacle and its Teachings"; but reading on this subject is not enough: it requires study. If all could see the force and meaning of the typical sacrifices for sins, they would be much better able to appreciate the anti-typical sacrifices which really put away sin. If all would fully equip themselves with the armor of God, they would be much better able to withstand all the fiery darts of the adversary, and would be in no danger of having their faith in our ransom overthrown.
Let us, then, urge upon all the absolute necessity of devoting time to the study of those types, which we are able to understand and appreciate, by reason of the light thrown on them by the Apostles' writings. All who have not had the "Tabernacle" should order it. (It is Free.) And be not content with reading it once or twice, but study till you do comprehend the lessons of the Tabernacle. You will find that every feature of the glorious plan of God is very clearly presented in these Tabernacle types; in fact, the minuteness of the portrayal must astonish all. We know of no more strengthening and nourishing spiritual food than is afforded us in the study of these wonderful pictures.
Instead of remarking on the condition of the work, we herewith present to you more than the usual number of letters from various sections, which tend to show the interest and progress of the truth better than we could otherwise express it. These are but a few of many of similar expression:
BRO. RUSSELL:I am thankful for sample copy of Z.W.T., which I received a few days ago. I am a minister of the M.E. Church. For years I have believed denominationalism was a positive disadvantage to the work of Christ in our own midst, much more so in heathen lands. In fact, I cannot see how they succeed among them at all with so many advocates of such a diversity of creeds. Surely there is a more excellent way. The positions you take are certainly tenable; the elucidations of Scripture are clear and forcible. I think you have struck the key-note, and all the truly pious will hear. Those who like their creeds better than they do their Lord, will surely feel and lament.
DEAR FRIENDS:I write this morning to thank you for your part in bringing to me precious words of life and encouragement through your publications. Yes, "the truth has become very bitter," though exceeding sweet at first. I am utterly alone here, having nothing for my portion but God's truth. But a rich portion it is, embracing, as it does, a mighty and a perfect Saviour, who is able and graciously willing to break the bands of slavery and set the captive free; yet, as the fires are being kindled around me, I feel that I still need encouragement that my faith, under the heavy trials, may not grow weak or fail. The prospect is, that there will be none with whom I may worship (unless, perhaps, my wife), and that my name will be cast out as evil and my words as a snare. But the Lord hath comforted me; and I write more particularly for your encouragement, that you may the more effectually labor in the blessed work of feeding the hungry, comforting the depressed, setting free the captive, giving light to those sitting in darkness, and saving the perishing, by publishing the glad tidings of salvation to all. My dear wife is yet in darkness, but I hope that, by the tender mercies of God, she, too, may be released from bondage. She says it is "getting light." Let us thank God.
C. T. RUSSELL:Dear Bro.:Many thanks for the WATCH TOWER. I am among those who, having come out of Babylon, (confusion) are trying to proclaim the "glad tidings." Called of God to the ministry in my boyhood, studying with that object in view, lack of means, failing health, disappointment, years of doubt and conflict, constant conviction of duty"Go, preach the word" ringing in my ears day and nightI said, "Lord, I cannot preach in connection with sectarian creeds or churches." O, how at that point I cried to God for light! and, praise his dear name, the light came. Like the breaking of a summer morning, it illuminated my soul. The Bible became a new book to me. In the light of its truths, I saw God, a being worthy of worship. Then came the TOWER and other publicationsGod sent themand more and more the way of salvation opened to my understanding. I had been like a lost child, wandering in the forest at night, hearing Father's voice, but not knowing which way to go. Now I can better understand why God has thus led me. The way has been dark, but morning cometh! With the same divine commission, free, thank God, from the mazes of theology and sectarian influence, and with a gospel of which I am NOT ashamed, how the future glows before me! For the light of PRESENT TRUTH, thank God! thank God!!
Believing that the Master has work for me in the great harvest-field of the gospel age, I do desire to work in harmony with him, along the line of "present truth." Should like to become better informed regarding your methods of work, etc., for "in union there is strength."
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER:I have carefully read and re-read "Food for Thinking Christians," and I have become deeply interested in the soundness of your position. I am a "converted Jewish teacher," and have been laboring independently among my "brethren of the flesh." I certainly believe that "much good" may be done among the people with whom I daily have to do by a judicious circulation of such wonderfully clear Bible truth among them. Please send me, if convenient, "The Tabernacle and its Teachings." I hope soon to introduce publicly these teachings among the people, and will earnestly endeavor to interest them in these clear and telling facts.
DEAR SIR:I have just been reading your "Food for Thinking Christians," and am delighted to see therein the mysteries of God's Word so lucidly explained, as to be clearly understood by an average, careful reader. The book was put into my hands last winter as I [page 2] passed up a main thoroughfare in the above town, on my way home from work, and just scanned over and put aside to make way for more interesting literature as I then thought. But, the other day, having no other book handy, I picked it up and had not read two pages before I was convinced it was no ordinary book. Indeed, for the last fortnight, I have been absorbed in its contents at every spare moment. Seeing your generous offer to forward a few, if they can be judiciously disposed of, I would request you to kindly forward me a few of this, or "The Tabernacle and its Teaching," which I would like to distribute among my friends.
DEAR BROTHER:I have received and read the little work, "Food for Thinking Christians." I am perfectly astonished. Can it indeed be true? I am trying to read my Bible as I never have read it before. I have been a Christian forty-one years, and a Baptist all that time. I never heard of such a gospel before. It causes my heart to rejoice in gratitude to the great Father for his love, with my eyes only partially open. Respectfully, __________.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:I now send you another week's worklists for the TOWER. The interest of the people here at the reading of Z.W.T. is great. I feel like going from county to county the coming year, and scattering "God's truth." As I cannot afford to buy a horse, which I much need, I have to go on foot; but I am no better to go thus than the Lord was. I meet with the best results and the worst together. I have set my face like flint to the world, and shall keep on until I reach the prize (immortality). I expect every issue of our county paper to have some express themselves against the WATCH TOWER; but I have looked in vain so far. More speak well of it than I expected would. I am trying to get one hundred yearly subscribers here soon. I am out of "FOOD," but shall wait until it can be sent me. Some here are so much interested with the reading matter that they send word by mail to have me call and explain the blessed truth more fully. Last night two families met, where they sent for me, and when I opened my mouth the Lord filled it with the restitution of all things. Night before last I was at Bro.__________'s for the first time. He said he was so glad that God's plan was now so plain; that he wished to make my acquaintance, and hear from human lips the blessed truths; and when the time came to part, he said, O, glory to God, we could talk about this until morning and would not get weary. It is good news! To-morrow I have three calls to make upon anxious inquirers for the truth. So, you see, I work both day and night. I had better tell you how it is with me. I am, or was, a Baptist preacher. My name still appears on the list of ministers of their Association. But when I got the "Food," I began to read it, and it was food; and so I kept on eating, and am never done. My name will undoubtedly soon be erased from the Association. My brethren begin to lament my fall; but, glory to God, I rejoice in my rise. Yes, I am much higher than I ever was. I see God's love, and not hatred. Above all you do, Brother Russell, "keep little and humble," and to God be all the praise. I pray for you. Pray that God will open the way that I can scatter the truth more abundantly. With much love and prayer, I am
DEAR BRO.:"Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" Having been much given to fasting and prayer for divine illumination, and for wisdom to more fully understand the blessed word, God is wonderfully answering our prayers through the Z.W.T. publications. I never shall be able to sufficiently praise God for the light we have received. Three days ago I received five more "Foods," which are being fed to hungry souls, some being sent to Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, &c., to those who will prize them, read and distribute to others. Some we have heard from are bearing glorious fruit. How quickly holy souls receive and believe when they see the precious truth of God! How ashamed we are and abased before God to think we have dishonored his word all these long years; but glory, honor and praise to Him who, in answer to prayer, has enlightened our minds with the truth. Our hearts are full of praise day and night that it has reached our ears. And now we want everybody to know the truth. Let us keep humble and fully consecrated.
BRO. C. T. RUSSELL:I have once beforelast yearreceived a number of "the Watch Tower," and a tract, "Food for Thinking Christians;" but at that time I could not appreciate the truth and cast them away; now I love it, as far as I can see it and know it.
I had entered the Theological Seminary in this city to prepare myself for the ministry; but to-day I make up my mind to leave it: I feel constrained now as before, to drop Theology and turn to the Word of God alone. I will rather be a simple servant of God than a minister, though that has been my ambition since my youth. God bless your labors.
MY DEAR BROTHER:You are so overburdened with letters that I scarcely know whether I ought to write you at all. I have been a regular minister for more than thirty years. Ever since I heard Bro. Wm. Miller (I was quite young then) I have been deeply interested in the blessed idea, "Our dear Lord will soon come again." Some years ago, before you commenced the publication of the WATCH TOWER, I was among those who were looking and hoping. And now I want to say my heart is in deep and happy sympathy with the doctrines so ably advocated in the paper you publish. Though when I came to this place but very few here knew or cared anything about these things. I may say the most spiritual-minded of my people have come to hold the "like precious truth," and I freely teach and preach our glorious belief.
The bundle of the October issue you sent me has been distributed to those who seem hungry for the truth. I could easily dispose of more than twice as many more to good advantage. May God most abundantly bless and reward you! For the past few years I have had a great many more calls than I could possibly fill, and often get letters of inquiry to which I can best reply by sending some of your papers or tracts.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL:My Brother in Christ:I would not have you regret that you published so many good tidings that it caused you to come out in debt. God will surely provide a way out of the difficulty. If you had published less, perhaps I might have been one that would have received less. With this I send my mite as expressive of the deep gratitude I feel; and if I could send the whole amount of the indebtedness, that could not express the thankfulness I feel that I have been brought into a knowledge of the truth. If you could know how low in the slough of despond I was, through sickness and the loss of loved friends, and then know the ecstasy of joy I now feel, you could then realize the value of this truth to me. I cannot describe to you the darkness I was in when I first took up the "Food." I read a little while and then said it could not be true. I laid it aside but only to take it up again, and as at last the beauty and symmetry of God's plan dawned upon me, I was filled with love and praise to him. I have been a professed Christian for many years, but now I feel as if I had all my life been wandering through a rubbish heap, searching for something I hardly knew what. At last I have found it. My treasure that was lost is found, and it is free from rubbish. And, as though to make my joy complete, my loved companion has also been brought to a knowledge of the truth, and, together, we study God's blessed Word and praise His name. Our Bible is a new book. Only last night my husband said, "Well, if I did not know we had the same old family Bible, I should think we had a different translation." But I could not tell you the half if I wrote all day. I can only say,
We carefully distribute and loan all extra papers and tracts we receive, and pray that they may fall on good ground and bring forth abundantly to the glory of God. May His blessing rest continually on you and your work.