Friday, July 13, 2018




JULY 14, 2018


"The Camp Meeting. Church Government" The Topeka Daily Capital, 11, 113, p. 4.

by A. T. Jones
May 12, 1889

Mrs. White being unable to speak, Elder A.T. Jones continued his sermons on "church government." Beginning at 1 Corinthians 14:11-25, when it is shown that the church at Corinth seemed to more earnestly desire the gift of tongues than any other; so Paul tells them rather to desire prophecy, because an unknown tongue was a sign to unbelievers, while prophesying was for edification of the church, speaking in tongues being of no profit to the hearers unless interpreted. Now read verses 26 and onward. Here we have the direction to keep silent if one has the gift of tongues and there be no interpreter. Then what is the use of the gift if it requires the two to make the gift available? Why not let the interpreter tell it at once? Because, verse 22, it is for a sign to unbelievers. Now, if all spoke with tongues the unbelievers would think all were lunatics, but if one prophecy his inmost secrets maybe revealed and he be convicted and repent. For an unbeliever to hear his neighbor whom he knows gets up and talks in an unknown tongue, and another of his neighbors arise and explains his words he is forced to realize there is some high power exercising all. This I introduce to show you how the gifts work together. Now, verse 27, 28 and onward—ye are members of the body and God has set them in the body as he pleases, illustrating the church and its members under the figure of the body, and has set the members not to please them, but to please himself. Therefore if you and I try to set the members in the church as it suits us, will it be likely to do good work as it would if we let God do it? If all are controlled by the Lord will my actions please him if I take out of his hands the control of the members? How has God set the members; apostles, prophets, teachers, after that miracles, helps, governments, diversity of tongues. The gift of teaching then is not to be counted as one of the least, standing third in the list and before miracles, so then it is a greater thing to instruct others in the word of God than it is to work miracles. {May 12, 1889 ATJ, TDC 4.8}

Now turn to Romans 12:6-8 and read of other gifts that are compliments to each other. One may have the faculty of teaching, yet he may not be able to exhort which another does possess without the ability to teach. They working together are a help to one another. God could and would bless each separately, but united they would become a power. That being so then there never ought to be room in the church of Christ for jealousy or envy. Paul carries these things further, 1 Corinthians 12:31. But he says "covet earnestly the best gifts." Is not that then a commandment of the Lord? Are we doing it? If not why not? Read also 14:1, desire spiritual gifts; also chapter 12:1, who would not leave you ignorant—Christ. Are we ignorant? Do we study spiritual gifts? If we do not believe in them we shall be ignorant of them, because faith must always go before knowledge. If we believe, desire follows, and what next: covet earnestly the best gifts." "Yet show I you a more excellent way." {May 12, 1889 ATJ, TDC 4.9}

Suppose we could get all these gifts by desiring them, what good would it do us? None whatever. If a company in this place could speak with the tongues of angels and had all the other gifts, and had all benevolence and faith, they would be worthless. If then we could obtain all these gifts simply by coveting them they would be profitless without the love of God in the heart shed abroad by faith in Jesus Christ, we would be a tinkling cymbal. How then do we obtain them that they may be a benefit to us? By getting the love of God. If given to us because we want them simply, we would not appreciate them and use them to the honor and glory of God. What then is charity and what does it do? "Charity suffereth long, and is kind." Will suffer and be kind while it continues, will not rebel or lose temper. If we are wrongly accused ought we to be glad that it is not true, and thank God that it is not? 1 Peter 2:19-23. It is no glory if we be corrected for our faults and submit, but if we exercise patience under wrong reproach then God is pleased with us, that is acceptable with God. That is the grace of God, which enables us to bear it. One who is in the right can afford to wait and will never lose by doing it. Christ is an example of this to us…That was Christ's method and He was the embodiment of charity. Charity envieth not. Envy means; to see against, to look askance at pain, uneasiness or discontent excited by anther's superiority or success, accompanied generally with a desire to see him unsuccessful. So then whoever envies another confesses his own unworthiness. Have we had such feelings? Very well, that is envy and not charity. {May 12, 1889 ATJ, TDC 4.10}

~Patti Guthrie

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