VIEW FROM THE TOWER.
The battle between truth and error-- between Christ and Anti-christ still continues, and daily grows more desperate; but it is only beginning-- "the battle of the great day of God Almighty." For the Lord hath a controversy with the nations (Jer. 25:31,32).
Many of Anti-christ's followers are saints of God who have been deceived by the success and growth and almost universal power and influence of Anti-christ for 1300 years past. Though they find much contrary to the Word and Spirit of Christ, they are overawed and fear to question the authority which holds them in bondage. They enlisted in the various regiments (sects) supposing that this was necessary to the Lord's service. And, indeed, some of the enlisting officers (ministers, etc.,) are equally deceived, and verily think they are doing God service. The delusion of their chief--the adversary--by which he holds them under his control, is, that he advocates a form of Godliness, and keeps up a religious drill so incessantly, as to weary and prevent any, from even hinting at a scarcity of true religion, and to leave no time for Bible study.
But Jehovah has an army--small at present, but increasing, which is daily liberating some saints from the bondage of Anti-christ, who when they find themselves by truth set free, become noble soldiers on the side of the Captain of Jehovah's hosts. It is because our Captain was so long absent (1800 years), that the Anti-christs became so powerful and deceived so many by their claim to be our Captain's representatives and to have the right to command his faithful. But our Captain is to take his great power and reign (Rev. 11:17). He has come at last, and a few armed and liberated by his truth have recognized him and are assembling to his standard. In the present phase of the battle carnal weapons have no part; it is at first the gathering of the Lord's bright ones (stars)--the assembling to his standard of the "outcasts" of nominal, spiritual Israel (Psa. 147:2-6). "Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake said, let the Lord be glorified; (we cast you out for the good of the cause of [anti]-Christ) but he shall appear to your joy and they shall be ashamed" (Isa. 66:5). "I wot that through ignorance they did it, as did also their rulers" (Acts 3:17).
The saints in the Babylon company of Anti-christ, are kept from deserting by fear--fear that their Lord's cause will suffer, not seeing that they are using their influence against the Lord's cause by giving aid, comfort and strength to those who have the form of godliness only. But the "Herald's of Christ's Presence" are going among them and some are hearing the joyful message, despite the drumming and excitement kept up to hinder, and despite the call of officers that each must support the sectarian standard under which he is enlisted, and the cry that to desert these banners means to desert the Lord; yet those whose eye can see the real standard (God's Word) are preparing to put themselves under the proper flag, and under the true Commander and Captain, Christ Jesus.
The picket lines are already engaged and soon every soldier must be under fire on one side or the other--on the side of truth or error--on the side of the Lord or on the side of human systems and creeds. Every true soldier, deceived by the pretentions of Anti-christ will have an opportunity of placing himself under the command of the true Lord; and He that doeth his will shall know of his doctrine and shall not be in darkness. (See TABERNACLE Teachings"--last part).
In this work of announcing the King's presence, and calling out our enslaved brethren in the vast army of Babylon, each of us has a duty which is a privilege --even though they revile us at the time, the message must be given and the wheat will be selected. "Gather my saints together unto me, those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.)
The cry is, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen (no longer recognized of God). Come out of her my people that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4) The Lord seeketh such to serve in his army as serve in spirit and in truth--heartily.
"Be not like dumb, driven cattle;
Be a hero in the strife."
* * *
"Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."
The progress of the truth is encouraging. Very many ministers of Christ associated with the nominal Churches are becoming interested, and are coming to see a vast difference and distinction between what men call Churches and the ONE CHURCH mentioned in Scripture, "whose names are written in heaven." We have now reached, we believe, fully nine-tenths of all the ministers in the United States with our October sample copies. By many, the truth is recognized as "Manna," and daily the mail brings many orders for "FOOD." In the last six months we have heard from about five hundred ministers, and how many more are drinking from the fountain of truth, aided by our little goblet, we know not. And how many write who do not inform us of their ministry, we know not. At all events, TRUTH is being presented even inside sectarian fastnesses, and is influencing, to a great extent, the pulpit utterances of to-day, even among those who have not the courage to openly assail error from "bread and butter considerations;" or who have not yet seen clearly that the entire nominal Church is spewed from the Lord's mouth--no longer his mouth-piece--and that loyalty to Him, demands the use of all their powers in tearing down the systems of error their tongues and influence once helped to establish.
We rejoice to note this interest among ministers, not because we think them better or more acceptable to God, but because they have often special influence and powers which they can use; but, we confess, it is all the more difficult for these to overcome. [page 1]
We make extracts, as usual, from letters received, which will give you some idea of how some receive and rejoice in the light.
DEAR SIR:--It would be impossible to exaggerate the blessing I have derived from reading this truth. How it causes the scheme of God's plan to expand in glory and beauty is simply wonderful. May you be kept from error and stagnation.
Yours in Christ, __________.
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER:--I received a number of the TOWER, and am well pleased therewith. As per your request, I send my name, and request you to send me a few copies on trial. Would like also to have a few copies of "Food for Thinking Christians." I want the truth, though it knocks "my Church" to pieces. Have been a Methodist minister for twenty-five years. I trust you may accomplish great good.
Fraternally yours, __________.
Other letters unexpectedly crowded out.