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Written by T.S. Dalton   

 

Advocate and Messenger--September 1929

A brother requested my views through the Advocate and Messenger on Rom. 10:13, 14, 15, which reads: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not hear? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of goad things."

I would state first that to take one isolated text, or sentence, and undertake to make all others harmonize with it, is to consume time to no profit, because we are sure to come out in the end in direct opposition to the general tenor of God's inspired word. Therefore, we must conclude that the interpretation that harmonizes with the general teachings of God's inspired word is the proper interpretation. We may take isolated sentences from the Bible and prove anything we choose, -- for instance we can say from the Bible, "That Judas went out and hanged himself." Now, add to this, "Go thou and do likewise," and we have proved by Bible authority, that all should go out and hang themselves, which is clearly taught in the above text scrapped together. But such teaching does not harmonize with the general teaching of divine inspiration, and, therefore, cannot be correct.

Now notice what the text says, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, how then shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed?" And we are told many times in the Bible that whosoever believeth in Jesus is already in a saved state, --said to be born of God,-- and is passed from death unto life, which will show to any unprejudiced mind, that no person will call upon the name of the Lord, (in the sense here mentioned) except that are already born of God, and have truly passed from death unto life. And this clearly shows that the preaching of the gospel is not designed to be the means of their being born. But that there is such a thing as teaching people through the preaching of the gospel to know and believe, the truth of the Scriptures, and thereby removing the Mosaic vail of conditionalism from off of their eyes, and to give them the assurance of their salvation from sin, and their sweet hope of eternal rest in the home of the blessed, which brings to them that sweet and consoling glad tidings that causes them to burst forth in strains of joy, like the dear old servant of God when he said, "Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me," and thereby saves them from the galling yoke of conditionalism and makes them "rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh."

And for this cause God sends His ministers. He said to Paul, "Unto whom now I send thee," God said, "I will send hunters and they shall hunt them, and fishers and they shall fish them." He did not authorize His church to do that, organize boards or any other auxiliaries, to carry on that work. And I feel perfectly certain that unless God sends His ministers, and qualifies them to preach, that the pure unadulterated gospel will never be preached. And when God sends out a man to preach, He goes before him and prepares the hearts of the people for the reception of the truth, and is clearly taught in the parable of the sower that went forth to sow, while some seeds fell by the wayside, and some among thorns, and some on stony ground, yet some fell into good ground, the preaching failed to remove the stones, and destroy the thorns, yet there was some good ground already prepared for the reception of the seed, and brought forth fruit, which teaches us that God's divine Spirit must go before the minister that God sends and prepare the way before him.
And the feet of the men whom God calls and sends forth to this work ought to be kept very clean by their walk and general deportment, so that the dear people of God may see that they are not polluted by the world's corruptions, but are humbly and devotedly striving to follow in the footsteps of the dear Saviour. Then the people will take knowledge that they have been with Jesus, and have learned of His precious ways, and it can be said of them, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things."

But on the other hand, how deplorable it is when a man professes to be sent of God to preach the gospel of good tidings whose feet are besmeared with the corruptions and pollutions of the world, so that people can see that he is only feigning and using the ministry as a cloak to hide his malicious life, and he is all the time trying to stir up strife among the children of God, and would gladly destroy one for whom Christ died, to add to his own popularity, and seeking to raise himself up by pulling down some poor meek and lowly one whom Jesus has sent out to preach the glad tidings and good news to God's people and to save them from the false and delusive doctrines of the world. Such men are contemptible, and have done more to hinder the cause of our people than the enemies on the outside of the fold. And I often fear that our dear people are not clear of such men. Their feet are not beautiful to me, neither is their preaching good tidings to me, and I feel that the time is near when we will have to have a house cleaning, and cast our strength to those humble one's who are struggling in reality under the burden of the ministry, and suffering from the jealousies and persecutions of these trouble makers, who are only striving for the mastery. Therefore, my brother, and all my brethren who may read this, I feel that the time has come when we should beard the lion in his den, and fight valiantly as good soldiers of Jesus, that we may save our people from the hands of designing men, who have shown by their manner of life that they have no love for the cause of God, but are striving to exalt themselves to the highest positions possible, that they may be looked up to as the leaders of parties, and that their names may go down in history.

Brethren, buckle on your swords and strap on your guns, --the battle is on. Let us not yield the field to those jealous, egotistical, filthy-footed, would-be leaders, who would destroy the peace and love that has so long been ours to enjoy. Good bless His downtrodden children, and give them hearts to pray and labor for peace throughout our beloved Zion, is the prayer of your poor old servant.

T.S.D.

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