The Heavenly Vision

“I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” —Acts 26:19

DURING THE TIME when the Bible was in course of preparation, much of God’s instruction and warning to his people, as well as the revelation of his plans and purposes, was imparted by means of ‘visions’. These were frequently, if not always, of a miraculous nature, and so impressive that they left no doubt in the minds of those to whom they were given that the Lord had spoken to them. Visions were not given to satisfy curiosity, but in order that those receiving them might be equipped to cooperate with the Lord in the outworking of his plans, either for themselves, or for others, or both.

In many instances visions are referred to in the Scriptures as ‘the voice of God’ speaking to his people, and a glance through a concordance is sufficient to make us realize the importance the Lord places upon obedience to his voice, and the dire consequences resulting from disobedience. God spoke to Noah, not merely that he might know about the coming Flood, but in order that he might warn the people of the momentous event about to occur, and so that he would have time to take action by making preparations for the salvation of himself and his family.

The Lord also spoke to Abram in Ur, telling him of his purpose to bless all the families of the earth, and giving him instructions to leave his own people and his father’s house and to go to a land which he would show him. The blessings to be derived from this, contract with the Lord depended entirely upon Abram’s obedience to God’s instructions.

God revealed himself to Moses at the burning bush, commissioning him to be the great deliverer of the then newly founded nation of Israel. Even the ground Moses stood upon when this vision was given became holy or sanctified, for God there imparted information to his servant about what he wanted him to do. If Moses was to enjoy the continued favor of his Creator, he had no alternative—he must obey the heavenly vision.

When Joshua entered the Promised Land confronted with the monumental task of dispersing the Canaanites, an angel appeared to him as “the captain of the Lord’s host.” (Josh. 5:14) It was from this angelic commander of God’s army that Joshua received instructions concerning how he should proceed to overthrow Jericho. Had he gone contrary to those instructions, the city would not have been captured.

A vision was given to the Prophet Isaiah in which he saw the Lord “high and lifted up.” (Isa. 6:1) During this revelation Isaiah heard God asking, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And he responded, “Here am I; send me.”

New Testament Visions

The most notable vision mentioned in the New Testament was given to Jesus at the time of his baptism, when the heavens were ‘opened’ to him. Here at the age of thirty Jesus began his earthly ministry. He had come to carry out the will of his Heavenly Father, written in the volume of the Book concerning him. (Ps. 40:6-8; Heb. 10:5-9) All the information recorded in the Old Testament for the guidance of the Master was given under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but no one could interpret their meaning. Even the perfect mind of Jesus needed the special insight—a vision imparted through the Holy Spirit—and it was this with which he was blessed when the heavens were ‘opened’ to him.

Jesus had come to fulfill the prophecies which had been written concerning him, and when their meanings were revealed he unhesitatingly entered upon the task of carrying them out. At what great cost did Jesus obey the heavenly vision! The period of his ministry was short, but every day was a tiring one. He was rebuffed by his enemies, misunderstood by his friends, and the great “contradiction of sinners” finally resulted in his arrest, mock trial,, and cruel crucifixion. (Heb. 12:3) But this was the meaning of the vision. He was to be led as a lamb to the slaughter. He was to give his flesh for the life of the world. He was to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and he was obedient throughout it all. Yes, he learned the cost of obedience through suffering under the permission of evil.—Heb. 2:10; 5:8

But to offset the cost of obedience, the Master also experienced a rich reward even while he was laying down his life. His heritage of peace and joy more than compensated for the sacrifice he was making. Indeed, his serenity and hope enabled him to obey the Father’s commands despite the suffering his obedience brought upon him; it was because of the “joy that was set before him,” that he “endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Heb. 12:2) True, this was to be a future delight, but the anticipation of it and his complete confidence that it would be his, gave him a present tranquility and pleasure which the world could neither give nor take away. So while he was indeed a “man of sorrows,” he was undoubtedly also the happiest man on earth; and the joy of the Lord was his strength.

Paul’s Vision

Saul of Tarsus had been a zealous servant of God throughout his entire lifetime, although, until his conversion, he had been incorrect in his understanding of what the Lord wanted him to do. It was while he was on an errand of misdirected service that he was favored with the revealing vision quoted in our theme text, and to which, he later testified, he had not been disobedient. It was this vision which halted Saul from continuing in the wrong course he had been following, and which revealed to him that he had been called to occupy the position of a fellow-sufferer with Christ. The revelation explained the task he would perform as the apostle to the Gentiles. Ananias was asked to tell Saul right at the beginning of his call “what great things he was to suffer for his [Christ’s] name’s sake.”

Yes, obedience to the heavenly vision did mean much tribulation to Paul during his lifetime, and in this he rejoiced. It had been revealed to him that his trials would involve the privilege of ‘filling up that which was behind’ of the afflictions of Christ.—Col. 1:24

After declaring to King Agrippa that he had not been disobedient to the vision, Paul added, “But [I] showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” (Acts 26:20) It was for “these causes,” Paul explained to the king, that he was accused by his fellow Jews, and it was for “these causes” that he continued to be persecuted by both Jews and Gentiles until finally he finished his course with joy, being executed at Rome.

Because he had implicit confidence in his Heavenly Father, and knew that nothing would be permitted to come into his life that was not for his highest spiritual welfare, Paul enjoyed rest of heart and mind; but he had no rest from the impelling urgency of laying down his life in obedience to the heavenly vision. Whether in Jewish synagogues, in heathen temples, on shipboard, or in prison, the one consuming passion of his life was to impart to others the meaning of that heavenly vision—that Jesus was the Christ and that the hope of both the church and the world centered in him as the Redeemer, the one who was to reign until all enemies were put under his feet, even the great enemy death.

Paul’s faithfulness to the heavenly vision involved a great deal more than bearing witness to the Gospel of Christ. On one occasion he said that he had not shunned to declare “all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27) In doing this he encouraged, comforted, warned, and corrected the brethren, helping to build them up in the most holy faith that they might grow to the full stature of manhood in Christ Jesus.

A Falling Away

Paul also prophesied that there would come a great falling away from the faith, that “grievous wolves” would enter in among the sheep not sparing the flock, that a great antichrist system would develop and flourish throughout much of the age, continuing until destroyed by the brightshining of the Master’s second presence at the end of the age. (II Thess. 2:3-8; Acts 20:29) He foretold that in the Day of the Lord at the end of the age, sudden and unexpected destruction would come upon them, while the brethren would not be in darkness that “that day should overtake you as a thief.”—I Thess. 5:1-4

The Apostle Peter also prophesied that at the end of the age—in the “last days”—that those who scoffed saying, “Where is the promise of his coming [Greek, parousia—presence]?” would fail to understand the significance of the time in which they were living, being “willingly ignorant.”—II Pet. 3:3-5

The Book of Revelation reveals unmistakably in detail the facts of the great falling away from the precious doctrines of truth treasured by the Early Church. This ultimately became the ‘apostasy’ which gradually developed subsequent to the death of the apostles. The prophetic vision given to John on the Isle of Patmos makes it clear that at the end of the age, God’s own people, his faithful followers, the ones who would be taking heed to the “sure word of prophecy,” would be blessed with increased light on the Word appropriate and needful for their time. (II Pet. 1:19) Indeed, we are assured that this light would come at the time that the “mystery of God” would be “finished.”—Rev. 1:1; 10:7

Prophecies recorded by the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John, all assure us that the Lord’s people at the end of the Gospel Age were to be blessed with an effulgence of light with respect to the plans and purposes of God. The Master’s own testimony is to this effect, when he described the manner of his return and second presence, by saying that it was to be as a ‘brightshining’ coming out of the east, shining even unto the west. While this is a promise that eventually, and as a result of his presence, the knowledge of the glory of God shall indeed fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea, the Master’s own disciples are the first to be illuminated by the light of his presence.—Luke 21:31

Using a different illustration of truth which would be given to the household of faith in the harvest of the Gospel Age, Jesus explained that when he returned he would ‘sit down’ with them and ‘serve them’ “meat in due season.” (Matt. 24:45-47; Luke 12:37) Outlining the manner in which this would be done, he said that he would appoint a steward or servant, whom he would use to dispense this ‘meat’, or spiritual food—the truth—which would be given to his followers.

The combined testimony of Jesus and the apostles, with many confirmations in the Old Testament, leaves no doubt that the Lord’s people living at this time of his Second Advent should expect to be blessed with a still further, outstanding ‘vision’ of truth. Nothing in the Scriptures, however, indicates that this latter day vision would be given by God in a miraculous manner as in the past when he illuminated the minds of his holy prophets, and apostles, and our Lord Jesus. Miraculous methods are no longer necessary since the plans and purposes of God have already been clearly revealed and recorded in his Word to the extent that it is his will to divulge his mysteries.

Do we, then, really have reason to believe that a special understanding of the Word of God will be given to his people at this end of the age in the manner indicated by the prophecies—particularly by the prophecy of Jesus concerning the ‘meat in due season’—and the method which would be used to serve this food to the household of faith? We believe we do!

We will discover that what we call ‘present truth’ is, in fact, the original plan of God, greatly treasured by the Early Church, which had been lost sight of during the hundreds of years of the rule of the apostasy. We learn, also, that ‘present truth’ is in harmony with, and is the sum total of the promises and prophecies of the Word of God. If this is so, then there will be no alternative but to recognize the fact of our Lord’s second presence.

The Revealed Plan of God

When it comes to the matter of understanding the entire revealed plan of God for human redemption and salvation, we cannot properly judge truth from error simply by examining one, or even several, individual points of doctrine. What we must first of all identify is the central theme of the divine plan, and the great objective to which every detail of the plan is leading. What is it that comes to light on this matter as we look into the promises and prophecies of the Word of God? It is the fact that God purposes to establish a kingdom here on earth which will quell the rebellion of fallen man against God’s sovereign will. It is further enhanced by the fact that God has offered man his provision for life accomplished through the costly sacrifice of his Son, Christ Jesus, whereby all in due time may be restored to perfection and everlasting life.

Jesus succinctly summed up this dominant thread of the Bible when he taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) Through the writings of the Prophet Isaiah, it has been revealed to us that the accomplishment of God’s divine purpose is not dependent upon the frail arm of flesh, but rather that “the government shall be upon his [Christ’s] shoulder,” and that the “zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this”!—Isa. 9:6,7

When we speak of the primary theme pervading the Word of God we simply mean the outline of what God will do for man, and not what man will try to do for God. It was from this fundamental truth of the divine plan of the ages that the apostate church fell away. Instead of praying for, and waiting for, the kingdom of Christ to rule and bless the world, there was gradually set up a counterfeit kingdom through the uniting of church and state. This was called Christendom, and while the failure and corruption of that apostate system is now generally recognized by the majority of Christians, the underlying principle upon which it was based still governs the thinking and actions of all who are not enlightened by present truth. The incorrect principle is that unless we do God’s work for him, it will not be accomplished. The result of this false thinking is that the so-called Christian world is as blind today as they were during the blackest days of the Dark Ages to the fact that God has a plan for the blessing of all the nations and he will certainly carry out that plan regardless of human help.

Because of this blindness to the truth, many church members today are confused, having no anchor of assurance to which they can tie their hopes for the future in this fearful time when angry nations continue to be hostile to one another despite outward appearances of coming to more conciliation. Often in the past they have dragged down religious beliefs and institutions with them in their mighty struggles for control. In more recent years, serious efforts have been made for churchianity to unite to achieve strength through a stronger voice in the world. Eloquent sermons have been preached with the intent of rallying church members to action designed to increase the influence of religion in the world; and attempts are repeatedly made to sway governments toward a more righteous course.

But in all the confusion of voices and claims, in all the warnings and urgings, never is there heard a hint that God has the situation in hand, or that the downfall of Christendom means the near establishment of the true kingdom of Christ which will bring its peace and joy and life to all mankind. The vision of present truth has been hidden, and hence mankind gropes on in darkness, staggering like drunken men under the influence of the “wine of the wrath of her fornication [or the improper union, or marriage, of church and state].”—Isa. 24:20; Rev. 18:3

As the falling away from truth developed in the early centuries after the apostles died, the professed people of God began to lose sight of the blessed hope that Jesus had promised to return to establish his long-awaited kingdom. Other false and misleading concepts of truth soon developed, following quickly one upon another. Catering to the heathen view that there is a multiplicity of gods, the false church adopted the theory of a triune god. In this way they could offer a compromise to those who still held to the Scriptural doctrine that there is only “one true God,” by claiming that the three gods of the trinity were in reality but one god.

The pagan idea of the soul being an entity separate from the body, which cannot die, was also adopted into the body of faith taught by the apostate church. As impetus to effectively bring all the world under the canopy of the false church, it was proclaimed that immortal souls would be tortured forever if they did not join their ranks!

Thus, one false doctrine led to another, until, in addition to losing sight of the main objective of the plan of God centered in Christ, the Redeemer, nearly every precious teaching of the Bible was supplanted by heathen philosophies which were made to appear Christian by attaching to them the name of Christ and the language of the Bible. This blindness continued to become blacker, with only a faint glimmer of light breaking through the gross darkness during the period of Protestant reformation movements. This was true until the very end of the age approached.

The Vision of Present Truth

Then came the vision! This momentous event occurred over one hundred years ago! Students of the Bible previously had discovered that the signs of the times and prophetic measurements revealed that the end of the Gospel Age and the return of their Master was imminent. They had long been disappointed because of a failure to understand the manner of his return. Many had supposed that he would come again as a human being, with the nail prints in his hands and feet. The fact that his flesh had been given for the life of the world was disregarded. The fact that he had been raised from the dead a glorious, divine being, invisible to human eyes was overlooked. The fact was forgotten that when he returned he would be present as a ‘thief in the night’, unrecognized and unseen to all except those who discovered his presence through their study of prophetic writings, and the recognition of their fulfillment.

Groups of earnest Bible students were thrilled over discoveries made while studying the prophecies! One of the great truths which came to light toward the end of the 19th century was the object of the Lord’s return. They rediscovered the fact that his purpose was to restore mankind to life in the fullest sense—not to destroy the earth. They realized through the leadings of the Holy Spirit that the prophetic ‘end of the world’ did not indicate the destruction of the earth, but rather that it was God’s due time for the present evil social order to come to an end.

In Acts 3:19-23, the Apostle Peter revealed that the Second Advent of Christ was to accomplish the “restitution of all things.” He emphasized the fact that this period of time had been testified to by the mouth of all God’s holy prophets since the world began! Yes, the voice of the Lord had been relayed to us through the writings of the prophets of old!

This, as much as any other feature of present truth, was the ‘meat in due season’ which Jesus promised to serve to the household of faith when he returned. It was the due time for the truth concerning God’s purpose to restore the earth to be understood, because the return of the Lord marked the near approach of that wonderful age—the Millennial Age—when the restitution of all things would be accomplished. It is certainly true that individuals throughout the Gospel Age had held dear the doctrine of restitution, but the harvest time of the age was the proper period in church history for the followers of Christ in general to have restored to them one of the most precious doctrines of our most holy faith.

Just as foretold by Jesus, this vision of truth, together with all the related phases of the divine plan, was not impressed upon the minds of all his true followers at once, but first of all was given to a very small, select company. And it was from this company that one was selected by God to serve the household of faith to spread the glorious Gospel of the kingdom far and wide. Eventually it became known in every land by those who had ears to hear, and hearts to appreciate it.

The Vision Complete

The vision of truth which has reached us in God’s appointed way, and in which so many of us today are rejoicing, is complete and all-comprehensive. It embraces the meaning of all the great visions God gave to his people in ancient times. It was a blessed thing for Noah to be informed about the coming Flood and the privilege of service which was to be his in connection with it. But Noah did not know as we do today that his experiences and the ending of that world prefigured the “days of the Son of Man” in which we are now living, and the end of “this present evil world.”

How Abraham must have rejoiced when God informed him of his purpose to bless all the families of the earth through his ‘seed’! But even he did not know that the true ‘seed’ of promise was to be a faith ‘seed’ composed of Jesus and his body members, who suffer and die with him that they might live and reign with him.

Moses was awe-inspired when he saw the burning bush and heard the voice of God instructing him to take off his shoes for the place on which he stood was holy ground. He was told there that he was to be the deliverer of God’s people from Egypt, and to be the instrument used by God to give his Law to Israel. But he received only a tiny glimpse of what the ‘greater deliverance’ would involve, and what it would mean to all mankind in terms of reconciliation to God of both Jew and Gentile under the law of the New Covenant. True, he prophesied that one greater than he was to come, but like other prophets of the Old Testament it is doubtful if he understood very clearly the implication of this or others of the prophecies he was permitted to utter.

Isaiah saw ‘the Lord high and lifted up’, and he became so inspired by the sight that he was determined to do the bidding of such an exalted and holy one. His vision of God, however, did not reveal the glories of his divine character, as we have been permitted to view them today. We are privileged to see through the revelation of his Word the marvelous harmony of Jehovah’s attributes—his wisdom, justice, his love and power.

When the heavens were opened to Jesus, he had revealed to him the meaning of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the purpose of his earthly ministry—that he was to suffer and to die for the world. It was not possible then for him to impart that knowledge to his disciples even though he often tried to do so, for they were not able to bear it yet. When later he opened up the Scriptures to them concerning the meaning of his death, their hearts burned within them. (Luke 24:32) Even so, it was not until after Pentecost when their eyes were opened by the Holy Spirit to the meaning of the vision, and that the ‘seed’ was enlarged to include the church, that they learned of their privilege to suffer and die with the Master. They understood then that they could share in the better sacrifices of this age—the sin-offering feature of the divine plan. (Heb. 9:23) This precious truth was another point which had been lost sight of as the apostasy developed, but it is now part of the ‘vision’ with which we have been blessed.

The vision Paul saw was glorious in all its implications. In it could be seen the inclusion of the Gentiles as well as Jews in the offer of the opportunity to become fellow-heirs with Christ in the kingdom promises. Later, Paul was given other visions. He was caught up to the third heavens, and to paradise, and he saw things he was not permitted to utter because it was not then the due time for them to be known. (II Cor. 12:1-7) Today we, too, can see the third heaven, and understand what Paul saw in his glimpse of paradise—that he saw God’s purpose of restitution accomplished, and the entire human race living in a worldwide Eden in perfection of life and peace. Instead of our being forbidden to declare what we see, we are bidden to tell the whole world the blessed tidings of our vision!

Yes, brethren, because we are living in the days of the sounding of the seventh trumpet when the time has come for the mystery of God to be finished, it is our privilege to rejoice in a vision of truth which encompasses the whole plan of God. In Daniel 12:12, a reference was made to the ‘blessedness’ of those people of God who would live at this end of the age when the meaning of the vision would be unfolded to them. And indeed, how blessed we have been!

Truth Brings Responsibility

When, in ancient times, God gave a vision to one of his servants, it was in the nature of a commission to service. On the Damascus road, when Saul saw that light which shone above the brightness of the sun, he instantly recognized its significance and inquired, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 26:13; 9:6) And so it is in connection with the vision of truth with which God has favored us. There is something for us to do about it. In giving us the vision, the Lord expects us to appreciate the privilege of being obedient to its every requirement. It is to us a commission of service, and a commission, moreover, which is hedged about with conditions and qualifications which must be met in order for our service to be “holy, acceptable unto God.”—Rom. 12:1

The divine credentials for service have been the same throughout all of the Gospel Age. Paul knew that his heavenly vision meant more than merely telling others about the Gospel of Christ. He wrote, for example, that although he might speak the truth with the tongues of men or of angels, and had not love he would be as nothing in the sight of the Lord. (I Cor. 13:1) Nevertheless, the effect of the vision in Paul’s case was to fill him with the love of God. The glorious hope of becoming a partaker of that unspeakable privilege of having part in the kingdom, caused the love of God to be shed abroad in his heart. Like the Prophet Jeremiah, he could not withhold from proclaiming the glad tidings!—Jer. 20:9

Paul did not want to hold back the truth from others. “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!” he wrote on another occasion, because it was too wonderful not to share! (I Cor. 9:16) The love of God impelled Paul to lay down his life in the service of the truth and the brethren. And because love was the motivating power of his life, he could write, finally, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”—II Tim. 4:7,8

Paul also said that he kept his ‘body under’, and brought it into subjection to God’s laws, lest, after having preached to others, he might himself become a castaway. (I Cor. 9:27) This was another one of the requirements of the heavenly vision of truth. So it has been with all the Lord’s disciples since the vision shone upon Paul, and so it is with us now. The Apostle Peter reminds us that the members of the Early Church had purified their souls and their lives by obeying the truth. (I Pet. 1:22) No matter how faithful we might be in proclaiming the Gospel message to others, unless we, too, allow the truth to purify our lives, we have not truly obeyed the heavenly vision.

Again Peter wrote: “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts [unprofitable desires] in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” (I Pet. 1:14,15) When we were in ignorance of the truth—before we saw the heavenly vision—our desires were, in general, selfish. We wanted our own way, and sometimes were not very particular how the getting of our own way affected others. But now this must not be the case. We have seen a vision of God. We have learned of his love. We want to be like him and to do his will. As he loves the world and plans to bless the people, so we will want love to dominate our lives. As God was willing to make an awesome sacrifice to propel his plan forward to completion, so we will be delighted to spend and be spent daily in order that a knowledge of this wonderful plan may reach and cheer the lives of others, and glorify the author of that plan.

There is no doubt about the meaning of the vision insofar as divine service for his people is concerned. It has been revealed to us that we are in the harvest, which is the end of the age, and that it is the time when the Lord, the Chief Reaper, is saying to his reapers that they should thrust in the sickle of truth and reap.—Matt. 13:39; Rev. 14:14-16

The vision also reveals that we are nearing the sounding of the Jubilee trumpet, when it will announce loudly and clearly to all ears that the time has come for the fallen race to have its lost inheritance restored. Oh how blessed will be the glad tidings when mankind can sing together,

“Blow ye the trumpet, blow, the gladly solemn sound;
      Let all the nations know to earth’s remotest bound:
The year of Jubilee is come,
      Returning ransomed sinners home!”

How privileged we are now to proclaim the near approach of this time! Inasmuch as we have not yet reached the end of the Gospel Age, we are to continue preaching the “acceptable year of the Lord”; and since we are now living in the beginning of the great ‘time of trouble’ which will ultimately completely destroy the present evil world, we are also to proclaim “the day of vengeance of our God.” (Isa. 61:12; II Cor. 6:2) The proclamation of these various components of the present-day Gospel message do not require a separate or different message for each one. In the Lord’s providences, and because he is directing the results of our labors, all his purposes are being accomplished through the publishing of the complete Gospel of salvation, including the message of the coming kingdom as well as the harvest truths now understood. What a privilege this is!

The Prophet Isaiah wrote that at this end of the Gospel Age the Lord’s people would see ‘eye to eye’, and that ‘together they would lift up their voices’ and sing the praises of our God. (Isa. 52:7,8) This does not mean that they will understand every single text of Scripture exactly alike. But rather that their joint emphasis will be upon the great truth, “Thy God reigneth.” Those who have been blessed with the heavenly vision of present truth rejoice in the knowledge of the irrefutable fact that they are living in the days of the presence of the Son of man!

Nor do they keep their rejoicing to themselves! They are glad to use all their talents and time and resources, to herald near and far this voice of the Lord—the vision of present truth. They feel, just as did the Apostle Paul, that it would be a ‘woe’, a sorrow to them if they refrained from telling these good tidings to others, or ceased publishing the Gospel of peace in a fear-filled world.

As an additional impelling urgency to proclaim the glad tidings revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, we have the encouragement of the example of ‘that servant’ (Matt. 24:45-47), who, when the vision was first given to him, gave up all he had, including his life, that we might share the joys of the vision with him. Are we doing the same? Are we obedient to the heavenly vision?

When we have come to appreciate all the implications of the vision of present truth, the only logical response of our hearts can be, “Here am I; send me.” And this response should be so unreserved that regardless of what the cost may be, we will hold nothing back from the altar of sacrifice on which we are being consumed by the zeal of God’s house in proclaiming the glory of our Heavenly Father by trumpeting forth the glad tidings of his promised kingdom.

We will want our hands to be used in God’s service. We will want our feet to be swift in carrying messages of divine love to comfort all who mourn. We will use our lips and our tongues to tell of his love. Yes, as the poet wrote, we will wish that we had a thousand tongues to sing our great Redeemer’s praise!

And if we catch the true spirit of the vision we will say, “Nothing Lord, would I withhold.” All of this is included in what is implied by our full obedience to the vision. Paul wrote that we should bring every thought into obedience to Christ. (II Cor. 10:5) Nothing short of this will be wholly pleasing to our Heavenly Father. Our Lord, Christ Jesus said we should let our light shine; and he also outlined how our manner of light-bearing might be acceptable to the Heavenly Father—we must proclaim it in love.

Let us, then, yield ourselves fully to the power of the truth, and in our obedience to the vision, rejoice in whatever experiences may result. The time is short! Let us be faithful while the opportunity is still ours!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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