The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 192 of 211
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The testimony of the time appointed.
pp. 46, 47
In the last article the testimony was concerned with the "place where"; in the one
before us it is concerned with the "time when", and both are of great importance.
The reader whose testimony is before us was for several years a member of what he
calls, "the straitest of any sect", although we do not feel called upon to actually name the
company in these pages. During this period a great amount of Bible study went on, not
only in the meetings, but particularly in private. In due time a word was dropped
concerning the mystical body of Christ, accompanied by the loan of the books How to
enjoy the Bible and Dispensational Truth. Thereafter light began to dawn, but was
temporarily checked by the perusal of Philip Mauro's The Gospel of the Kingdom. The
seed, however, had been sown, and the "commandment came" with the reading of
Col. 1: 26. The fact that something once hidden by God was now made manifest to His
saints, set our reader once more upon the quest, this time to be satisfied, even to the loss
of all other fellowship for the Lord's sake. The verse that constitutes his testimony
"Even the mystery which had been hid from ages and from generations, but NOW is
made manifest to His saints" (Col. 1: 26).
"NOW."--This was the arresting word. There is, therefore, some doctrine which
appertains to the present time, which suits its requirements, and does not pretend to
exhibit the accompaniments of other and different times.
This element of time and fitness is really an integral part in every message of God.
Unless we can be assured that the word quoted applies now we remain unmoved. The
whole teaching of the epistle to the Romans may be said to turn on the word "now" in
chapter 3: 21,  for the apostle had so reduced all men to the level of complete
unrighteousness, that were no ground of righteousness possible now, no gospel could be
preached. Further, the practical nature of union with Christ is enforced by the words of
the apostle in Gal. 2: 20 where he says: "the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith of
the Son of God." Not only was the future assured, but even the present with all its
possibilities of failure could be interpenetrated by this new life and power.
What marvels of grace are resident in the "But now" of Eph. 2: 13. At one time so far
off, so hopeless, Godless, Christless, and now, so near, so dear, so completely blessed.
The time "when" a message was received and delivered is an important item in its
interpretation. In the Preface to Dispensational Truth we quoted the following words by
Miles Coverdale:--
"It shall greatly helpe ye to understande Scripture if thou mark not only what is
spoken, or wrytten, but of whom, and to whom, with what words, at what time, where,
to what intent, with what circumstance, considering what goeth before, and what