1915 Convention Report Supplement


He spoke from the text, "That ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph. 3:17-19) He said in part:

This is to me one of the most precious texts in the Bible. It gives us a breadth and depth of thought, a deep inhalation, as it were, of God's greatness and love. The Apostle was writing to those who had been Christians for some time. The Church at Ephesus was a noble Church. St. Paul felt it worth while to pray for them that they might have this still larger appreciation of God.

The quality of Jehovah's character that especially touches our hearts is His love. Doubtless we are particularly impressed along that line because of the misrepresentations that we received in earlier life. Children born of parents who have long enjoyed the knowledge of Present Truth, having never been taught the doctrine of eternal torment, etc., often take the Truth as a matter of course. They have never believed anything else than the Truth and it seems to them the natural and proper thing. So it would have been with all if we had not been perverted in mind through false teachings until it was difficult to believe in the love of God as presented in Scriptures. But having come out of darkness into God's marvelous light, our appreciation of His love is the stronger by reason of the contrast with our former misconceptions.

I believe it will be so in the next Age, when mankind are delivered from their heathenish ideas not only the heathenish ideas of those without any knowledge of Christ, but the heathenish ideas taught them by woefully misguided Christians. When the world come back from the grave with all their false ideas in their minds, and find out about the real God and His gracious Plan, it will be such a revelation that they will be made the more appreciative because of the wrong thoughts they had before.

In Chapter 1 of this Epistle St. Paul prayed for the Ephesian Church that the eyes of their understanding might been lightened more and more. In time past we wondered whether the world could be fully responsible before God; whether they had heard enough of the Gospel to give the Heavenly Father reason for roasting them forever. Did they hear a church bell ring? Did they hear some one sing a hymn? Did they hear somebody read from the Bible? Yes. Very well; if they are not saints, they are bound for Hell, was the orthodox teaching. How absurd! Hearing with the outer ear is really the smallest part of real hearing, is it not? Jesus in His day spoke of some who had ears, but could not hear, who had eyes, but could not see. Then He said, "Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear." Those who followed the Lord Jesus something more than five hundred altogether were the only ones in the Jewish nation at that time who had ears to hear.


While many have heard the sound of a church bell, have heard sermons and hymns, a comparatively small number have really heard the Gospel. Notwithstanding the fact that men were born in sin and misshapen in iniquity, will God torture them through all eternity if they do not turn around and do contrary to their natural instincts? Have we not been wrong in our heads? Surely we must have had a screw loose somewhere or we would not have believed anything of that kind.

It takes a long time to get wholly free from what we have learned in childhood from the catechism, and from our hymn books, as well as from the twist given to many Scriptures. As an illustration, we have every reason to think that the men who translated the King James Version of the Bible were very conscientious, but they had their minds thoroughly poisoned. It is impossible for a person with his mind poisoned not to let the poison get into his pen, if he is writing. They seemed to feel that the Bible did not have enough Hell in it, and they wished to put in all they could.

One illustration of this is found in the 5th chapter of John, 29th verse. In verse 28, Jesus was saying, Marvel not at the things I have told you about My Kingdom; "The hour is coming in which all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life." I suppose the translators thought that the Lord was going to send everybody to everlasting torture, so in the next clause, "they that have done evil unto a resurrection of judgment," they gave the translation, "resurrection of damnation." They had to get the damnation in. They supposed, though it was not in the original, that this thought should be there, and that they, as translators, should put it into the English text. They did so. But there is no "damnation" in the Greek. The word is krisis judgment.

These translators had been taught that there is a place of torment; and here was a text that seemed to imply that everyone would have an opportunity of some kind that those in harmony with the Lord would have a life-resurrection, while the others would have an awakening to a process of judgment. They thought they must make it a hot time someway, so they put it "damnation," and scared the rest of us. What would a resurrection of damnation be? We were told that the people were in Hell as spirit beings; and that after they had been roasted for a long time as spirit beings, they would have a resurrection and get more substantial bodies, so that the flames could get a better hold on them. How ridiculous! How absurd! Whenever people ignore the Word of God they get into some absurdity.

Those translators were not stupid men. They were seventy of the most intelligent preachers, the most highly educated men of their day. They agreed to render the word krisis as "damnation," although this same Greek work occurs four times more in the same chapter and they did not render it "damnation" in any of the other four instances. [HGL677] But to give the proper translation in verse 29 would interfere with their eternal torment theory. The Revised Version, you will note, sets the matter straight. It renders the word as it should be- "judgment."

What is the resurrection of judgment? It is the resurrection that comes to the world during the Day of a thousand years in which Christ is to reign. That whole period is the Day of Judgment, as St. Peter tells us. "God hath appointed a Day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained" Christ Jesus, the Head of the Church, and the members of His Body. They are to be the judges in that thousand-year Day. All the world at large will have their opportunity in that Day of Judgement.

We, the Church, are now having our day of judgment, from the time we give our hearts to the Lord and make a covenant with Him until the close of life. It is a matter of life or death with us from the time we make this covenant. We shall have a chance for life in the next Age, if we have now covenanted to sacrifice our time, our talents, our influence, our riches, our all, in the Lord's service.


In exchange for our hopes of human Restitution, God has given us the first payment, a hand-payment, so to speak, of the reward of the Divine nature, in that we have received the begettal of the Holy Spirit. Now old things have passed away; old hopes have passed away. While Jesus is prepared to give Restitution to the world, you and I who are now God's children cannot get Restitution. (John 15:19; 17:14) We have given up Restitution, that we may have the hope of being partakers of the Divine nature, which God has invited us to share with His Son.

All who have made that covenant with God must have had their eyes opened previously or he would not have made the covenant with them. He does not make a covenant with the heathen the unenlightened world but only with those who have an intelligent knowledge of His offer and the terms of its attainment. How was it with yourself and with myself? We had first to learn something of God. We had to learn that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. We had to learn how to seek Him. We learned that there is a strait gate and a narrow way that "leads the life" the life offered during the Gospel Age only. We learned that Jesus is that "Door," or "Gate," and that we must come to that Door and present ourselves intelligently. The eyes of our understanding were opened, or we could not have done this.

But our discernment of these things was not complete at the time we saw enough to lead us to present our bodies as living sacrifices unto Him. It was not until we had been covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness to make us acceptable to the Father, and begotten of the Holy Spirit as New Creatures, that the higher things opened before us. "The heavens were opened, and we began to understand the deep things of God." (1 Cor. 2:10) This special blessing is restricted to those who have come into this special relationship to God and to Christ, through this Covenant of Sacrifice.

God spoke of this class and their covenant in times past, saying, "Gather my saints together unto Me, those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." It is not Catholicism, not Methodism, nor Lutheranism, nor Episcopalianism, nor Russellism, but, "Gather MY SAINTS together unto Me." If we have not made this covenant, we are not of the saints referred to. These are the true Covenanters.


The whole world is still out of relationship with God. They lie in the Evil One. (1 John 5:19, Rev. Ver.) God is not giving them an opportunity now. He is giving the opportunity only to those who have come in the appointed way, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Others are aliens, strangers and foreigners, "without God and having no hope in the world."

Do we see the difference? Without knowledge we could not come. In the future the whole world will be enlightened. Knowledge is to be given them. It will be true then as now that no man can come unto the Father, except by the Son; that without faith no man can be received by the Father; that all must receive the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in Him. "There is no other name given under Heaven or amongst men" whereby any can be saved. But all will have their eyes and ears opened in due time regarding that Name, so that all may be saved, if they will. (Isa. 35:5) Thank God for this!

What has stopped the ears now? What has blinded the eyes? What has hindered men from knowing of God and His salvation? The Apostle Paul says, "The god of this world." This god is Satan. Jesus tells us that Satan is "the Prince of this world." How does he blind men's minds? By misrepresenting God's glorious character, putting darkness instead of light, error instead of Truth. Through misleading and deceiving, this great Prince of Darkness has sought to keep the people away from God. Why has he done this? The Apostle says, "Lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, should shine unto them." When the light of God's goodness shines into a heart, it begins to scatter the darkness. If Satan can keep out the light of God's goodness he will keep us away from God. But if this light gets into the heart, it will draw us nearer to God every day and hour.


It is a matter of great importance to have the eyes of our understanding opened, "that we may be able to comprehend with all saints," as the Apostle says. The word "comprehend" means, to fully take in, to encompass. We cannot fully encompass. We cannot fully encompass God; He is too great. What can we comprehend, then, with all saints? On this subject of the goodness and love of God the saints are to have comprehension; other people will not get much on this subject. Are the saints brighter than other people? The Bible says they are not. "Not many mighty, not many wise, not many noble, not many rich, not many learned," but chiefly "the poor of this world, rich in faith." These are the ones who are to have the comprehension, which comes only to those who possess God's Holy Spirit, received through His begetting. It is this that influences our minds. [HGL678] We have the same brains that we had before; but when the Holy Spirit begins to set things in order in our minds, when it gives new principles to work on, it enables us to produce better thought from these brains than would have been possible before. Thus our minds become more and more sound, just as under the hand of a master musician even a defective musical instrument might be made to yield something acceptable, which an inferior player could not produce.

The Apostle tells us that God has chosen the mean things of this world. It is a pretty hard expression to human pride, but it helps to keep us humble. This is what we need. The heady and high minded are not so susceptible to the influence of the Truth as are the humble class. It is to the humble ones that the Lord's Word appeals; and they are simple enough to take it. The wise of the world say, "God did not mean that; He must have meant something else in harmony with my wishes and desires."

The simple-minded take God's Word as it is, and consequently receive increasing light. "God is light; and in Him is no darkness at all." The Bible reflects His light. In proportion as we get this light from the Bible we can understand God's love and Plan.


There is a supernatural illumination which all receive who receive the begetting of God's Holy Spirit. The Apostle says in his letter to the Hebrews that the Church "endured a great fight of afflictions, after they were illuminated." When did the illumination begin? When they received the spirit begetting, which is granted during the Gospel Age, and only to those who surrender themselves entirely to God through Christ. This is the thought of the Apostle when he prays for the saints that the eyes of their understanding opening, opening, opening a gradual opening is the thought of the Greek they might be able to comprehend what are the lengths and breadths and depths and heights of God's love.

Our Lord Jesus made His covenant with the Father in line with the Scripture which says, "Gather My saints together unto Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." Here was the first saint of the Gospel Dispensation. He said, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God!" Thou hast invited Me and I have come, in harmony with Thine arrangement. Jesus was now thirty years of age, which was as early as He could present Himself to God sacrificially. Then He was buried in the water to symbolize that consecration. His human nature was there buried in symbol. His rising from the water represented symbolically His rising to newness of life as a spirit being. God then gave Jesus the begetting of His Holy Spirit. John, who baptized the Savior, testified that he saw the Spirit come down in bodily form like a dove and rest upon Jesus. He says that he was told by the Lord before he saw it that the one on whom the Holy Spirit would be seen to thus come would be the Messiah, the Anointed of God.

In connection with this we read that as Jesus came up out of the water, "the heavens were opened unto Him." What did that mean? Could Jesus see clear up into the sky? Not any farther than before, we presume. The world "heavens" means higher things. It does not refer to the vault of heaven, but to the things of God's Word. They opened to our Lord in the sense that He began to understand them as never before. During the thirty years before that time He had been one of the few who could read. Sabbath after Sabbath He had read the different lessons of the Law, and was familiar with the letter of the Scriptures.

Could Jesus understand the deep things of God? No; for He was then only a natural man. He had not been begotten of the Spirit. He was limited by the Law so that He could not present Himself at an earlier age than thirty. Immediately upon reaching this age He was about His Father's business, consecrating His all to God. (Heb. 10: &) The Father there gave the Holy Spirit, which began at once to operate upon Him. This illumination of the higher things came to Him all those things contained in the Law and the Prophets bearing upon Him and His course as the Messiah.

Jesus had often wondered about these matters. Here He saw the description of the glory and grandeur of Messiah's Kingdom; and there were other statements, apparently about Himself being led as a lamb to the slaughter. He had read about Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness, of the killing of the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement the bullock and the Lord's goat and of the scapegoat. The question with Him was, Which types refer to Me? What am I to do? It was not for Him to know until He became thirty years of age, and made His consecration. Just as soon as He had done this He received the Heavenly illumination.

Jesus then went away into the wilderness where for forty days He thought on these things that He had considered so many times before but could not understand. Now He could see how He Himself was pictured by the serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness; how He corresponded to the Passover lamb, and to the bullock of the Atonement Day, how He was the one to have "His grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death." This illumination that came to Jesus comes also to His followers. We are to follow His steps.


There will be no unprepared persons in God's Kingdom. No one will be there who is not fit for the place. Although we are favored in that covering of our sins, the invitation to become associated with Christ, and the assistance which God renders in the way, are all of grace, nevertheless God expects us to co-operate with grace, and develop in our hearts and life those qualities which He points out as being His own. St. Paul mentions this fruitage of the Holy Spirit- "Meekness, gentleness, faith, patience, long-suffering, self-control, brotherly kindness, love." Love is the sum of them all. You say, "I have some of these, but not in perfection." None of us have. We cannot do perfectly so long as we have imperfect bodies; but we can show skill.

If a master musician sits down at a broken-down instrument we detect his skill, in spite of the defective medium through which he operates; and we say, "If he had a perfect instrument I am sure he would produce delightful music." So the Lord is not expecting us to produce perfect works [HGL679] with these defective bodies, but to do our best. If the Lord sees that our intentions are perfect, and that we are trying to put into practice the good principles we have learned, so far as our abilities will permit; if He can see that we are so handling the old instrument as to get out of it the best that we can produce, then He will say, "I am satisfied; I will soon give you a new body, and then you will do perfect works." Some of your neighbors may not understand, and it may be that your family will not; but if you have God's Spirit, He will know how to reckon with you.

God wishes us to be faithful to Him, to prove our loyalty, to learn more of His character, to understand more and more what is His will, that it may have its proper influence upon our hearts and lives. As the Apostle says, "The love of Christ constraineth us." As He manifests His love toward us He wishes us to reciprocate. This is implied in our text. Let me quote it again: "That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend what is the length and breadth and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

O this blessed fulness! Are you realizing it? If so, "the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you." Go on, dear fellow pilgrims in the narrow way! A little while, and we shall see His face. A little while, and all our trials will be ended. A little while, and all the things that now appear so grievous will seem but "light afflictions, which were but for a moment, 'and which worked out for us' a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!"

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