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WORKING WITH GOD
In an article in June ZION’S WATCH TOWER, page 6, by Bro. Tackabury, showing the advantages of understanding God’s plan of the ages, and the importance of knowing the seasons—as seed time and harvest—that we may work in harmony with God’s plan, we find this paragraph: “Many laborers, though very anxious to be at work, seem not to know whether they are to sow or reap. Perhaps we should rather say, they want to sow and reap at the same time. Failing to comprehend God’s plan, or, more likely, failing to discover any plan at all, they work hap-hazard, as they suppose God is doing.”
How true the picture—hap-hazard just expresses it—and the reason, “As they suppose God is doing.” As I read, the picture Jesus gave us of these times came up, and the stupid and falsifying answer of the slothful servant: “Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter: and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth,” etc. (Matt. 25.) Instead of developing the talent confided to his care by the Lord, he buried it. Why? He was ignorant of his Lord’s character and will. He imagined that the Lord was selfish and exacting, claiming more than he had any right to. Is it strange that the nominal Church should have the same spirit? Greedy, intolerant, haughty and boastful, she wants to reap without sowing, to gather where she has no right. She would rather fill the Church with the devil’s children, (especially if they were rich,) that she might boast of her numbers and influence, than to have a few who are consecrated. In fact, the truly converted are not what she wants at all; they would, by their “old fogy” notions, keep out the very class she wants to have in.
Among her favorite songs are, “Gather them in,” and “Whosoever will may come.”
She seeks to reap without sowing. The plough and spade are not suited to her dainty hands. But she has reaping machines, and patent binding machines, and combined threshers and winnowers, that cast out the wheat and save the chaff; and recently she has borrowed from the politicians an elevating machine to store her treasures in the coveted places in her barns.
Seriously, the Churches have plenty of machinery, good facilities and well systemized work by many workers. Why, then, do not the nations fall before her? Some of their blind leaders, looking with pride upon their facilities, boast that it will take but a few years more to convert the world.
Looking from their standpoint, it is not unreasonable that they should think so. Surely such a vast amount of machinery and organized effort ought to accomplish wonders. Think of the Young Men’s Christian Association, with its myriads of workers everywhere; the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, rapidly spreading its numbers and influence; the Home Missionary enterprises of various kind; the International S.S.
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system; the sermons, lectures, inquiry meetings, etc., etc.
Why is it that in the presence of this vast army of zealous, tireless workers so little is being accomplished? The accessions to the Church do not keep pace with the population, so that, instead of conquering the world, the Church is actually falling behind, and that rapidly. Secret skepticism and blatant blasphemy are steadily increasing; crime and corruption fill the newspapers, which, in many cases, are eagerly bought for the sake of their filthy record.
Why cannot some see that something must be radically wrong in this matter? Is God unable to give this army the victory? What of Gideon, and Samson, and David, and Nehemiah, and many others who fought the Lord’s battles? If a handful working in harmony with God could do so much, what should be done through these millions?
There can be but one answer: their zeal is not according to a knowledge of God’s plans—they are not working with God?
Jesus said: “He that is not with me is against me: he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” (Matt. 12:30; Isa. 26:17,18.) W. I. M.
— July, 1884 —