In the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers … gather the wheat into my barn—Matt. 13:30.
The time is short; the harvest work is great; the laborers are few; our time is consecrated; we must labor while it is called day, knowing that a night cometh wherein no man can work. We have consecrated our lives even unto death; we are commissioned of the great Lord of the harvest to seek for the true "wheat," and to gather it into the barn. What time have we for frivolities or worldliness or the many social amenities? Rather, we must content ourselves with giving very little attention to these things, and must press along the line, engaging heartily in the work given us to do, if we would have the approval of our Master, His "Well done, good and faithful servant"—Z '00, 234 (R 2674).
In the Harvest time the fruitage of all previous Gospel-Age work was gathered. Those who were privileged to reap that Harvest entered into the labors of all God's servants from the beginning of the Gospel Age. With confidence and joy God's servants garnered what was reaped and what others had sown; and both sowers and reapers rejoice together at the Harvest Home—P '32, 63.
Parallel passages: Psa. 50:5; Isa. 52:7; Mal. 3:17; Matt. 3:11, 12; Luke 3:17; John 4:34-38; Rev. 7:1-4; 14:14-16; Matt. 13:41-43; 1 Cor. 15:42-58.
Hymns: 260, 70, 116, 210, 275, 309, 337.
Poems of Dawn, 169: The Time Is Short.
Tower Reading: Z '15, 269 (R 5761).
Questions: Have I this week spread God's Word? How? Why? With what results?
UP, up, my soul, the long-spent time redeeming;
Sow thou the seeds of better deed and thought;
Light other lamps, while yet the light is beaming;
The time, the time is short.
Think of the eyes that often weep in sadness,
Seeing not the truth that God to thee hath taught;
O bear to them this light and joy and gladness;
The time, the time is short.
Think of the feet that stray from misdirection,
And into snares of error's doctrine brought:
Bear then to them these tidings of salvation;
The time, the time is short.
The time is short. Then be thy heart a brother's
To every heart that needs thy help in aught.
How much they need the sympathy of others!
The time, the time is short.
SOME of the dear people of God have wondered what relationship the PHOTO-DRAMA and the Colporteur work have to the end of the Harvest. One's knowledge of the DRAMA would necessarily be limited to his contact with it. There are some who have heard of it, but who have not much knowledge of it. The general reports received since its production have been very satisfactory. In some parts the Classes have been largely increased in number. In certain places the friends at first felt disappointed; but these reported later that after a few Sundays, when the people had had time to let the Truth sink more or less into their minds, a number came out of the churches, where they could not get satisfactory food, and began to attend our meetings. As a rule, wherever the DRAMA has been shown the Classes have been increased. Some very remarkable characters have come into the light of Present Truth—some of the Lord's people who before were in the darkness through prejudice and superstition, and others from the world. These who became thus interested have been started to investigating and reading the STUDIES, through the Colporteur work.
Similarly, the 42,000,000 copies of BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY put out this last year, while they have not brought millions into the Classes by any means, have no doubt been doing a good work, a work of stirring up the minds of the people, awakening them to think, and reaching some of the Great Company class. Others, perhaps, have been brought directly to full consecration through our free literature. All of these works seem to belong to the Harvest; for they did not belong to a previous time.
THE PLOWMAN OVERTAKING THE REAPER
The Harvest work has been increased rapidly to its consummation. We are not to understand that the Harvest is yet wholly finished; for there are two parts to the work—the gathering of the wheat, and the burning of the tares. We might have thought that the gathering of the wheat has been accomplished; that if our expectations are true, with the end of the Gentile Times the number of the Very Elect would be complete, so that no more could enter. We are not positive of this, and we must not go by guessing. The latter part of the Harvest work is to be the burning of the tares, and the waking up of the Great Company class and preparing them to go out and purchase the oil for their lamps. Now seems to be the particular time, if we have the right focus on the matter, in which the Great Company class would hear—when the foolish virgins would get the light, get the oil, and the time when the wise virgins have gone in, or are soon to go in, to the Marriage.
In the text of Scripture which speaks of the plowman overtaking the Reaper, we are to remember that the Reaper is the Lord, and that the plowman is the great Time of Trouble. This Time of Trouble will overtake the reaping work, and bring it to a close. But the Time of Trouble will go on, the plowman will keep on plowing, after all our efforts have ended in respect to the reaping. But meantime, before this dark night fully sets in, we are to go right on with the work which the Lord has put into our hands. The Truth is designed, not only to perfect the "Bride" of Christ, the Chief of the First-borns, but to develop the Great Company class, and also to be a witness to the whole world. Any carelessness on our part, or any cessation of activity in the service of the Truth while opportunity yet remains, would in our estimation be a great mistake. If we are loyal, the Lord will give us far greater opportunities in the future—the blessing of all the nations, all the kindreds, all the families of the earth.—Galatians 3:8, 16, 29.
THOSE CONSECRATING BETWEEN THE AGES
It is our thought that with the closing of the "door" of this Gospel Age there will be no more begetting of the Holy Spirit to the spirit nature. Any afterward coming to God through consecration, before the inauguration of the Restitution work, will be accepted by Him, not to the spirit plane of being, but to the earthly plane. Such would come in under the same conditions as the Ancient Worthies who were accepted of God. The Ancient Worthies came in, no call being opened to them—the High Calling not being yet open, and the Restitution opportunities not open. But they freely gave themselves up to God without knowing what blessings their consecration would bring, except that they had the intimation that they would, in the future life, have a "better resurrection" than would the remainder of the world.
Our thought is that whoever under such conditions as these will make a full consecration to the Lord, to leave all to follow in His ways, and will live up faithfully, loyally, to that consecration, may be privileged to be counted as a similar class to those who preceded this Gospel Age. We know of no reason why the Lord would refuse to receive those who make a consecration after the close of the Gospel Age and its High Calling and before the full opening of the Millennial Age.
THE BURNING OF THE TARES
Whether the overcoming saints will have a part in the burning of the tare class is a thought not very clear at this time. "This honor have all His saints, to execute the judgments written." All the saints would include, then, those who would be living in the world when the judgments are executed, as well as the resurrected saints. Just how any living here would have a share in executing the judgments written we do not see; but we are keeping our eyes open, with the thought that this may be so.
It would seem that the burning of the tares has now been going on for some time; that is, some who have professed that they are Christians and have thought that they are Christians, but have never entered into true relationship with the Lord and become of the wheat class, are to be destroyed as tares, shown in their true light. If questioned now as to their consecration, these will say, "I am no saint, but I wish to be right and just in my dealings so far as possible." Thus such demonstrate that they have not understood what it is to be a real Christian.
This great war in Europe is waking up people to think in a way that they have never thought before; and now is the time when the real Christianity and the counterfeit will be differentiated. Many people will come more or less rapidly to recognize this. But there is a large proportion of tares that have not yet been burned. Emperor William of Germany, King George of England, the Czar of Russia, the Pope, etc., have not yet learned the difference between the true Christianity and the imitation. So it is with many others. But the burning will progress to its completion, and the true and the false will be completely manifested to all.