PAGES FROM THE PAST
August 1, 1987 Issue
M. Lynwood Smith
I find among my papers a number of articles by our late and beloved G.A. Canfleld of Marion, La. For many years he was the only black preacher whom we knew of to write in our papers - that is, of the one cup and no class belief. He wrote as early as 1929 in the Apostolic Way and then much for the Old Paths Advocate- also when it was named "The Truth" by brother Harper. He was a highly thought of preacher in my part of the country and in the 1940s he did much for his people. When I was beginning to preach I promised him I would write a history of his life and publish his articles. This thrilled him very much. I have a full story on his life and a goodly batch of his writing but I have never kept that promise. Here are two articles published in the Old Paths Advocate in August and October of 1952.
THE GREAT SALVATION (Heb 2:3)
The Apostle Paul called it the Great Salvation. Notice, Paul said to the Hebrew brethren, "How shall we escape?", for the salvation had begun on the day of Pentecost. "And last of all he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time" (l Cor 15:8). Paul also tells how he persecuted the church. (1 Cor 15:9) Christ purchased the church and redeemed us with his own precious blood, so it is a great salvation. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Pet. 1;18, 19) In Exodus 12, God told Moses to speak to the children of Israel saying, in the tenth day of this month they shall take to them, every man a lamb according to the house of their fathers and a lamb for an house." That is why we can have one loaf and one cup at each congregation. We are sometimes told by our erring brethren, that if we use one cup we would have to serve every congregation in the world with that one vessel, but they had a lamb to every house. Another reason it is a great salvation is that the angels desired to look into it. "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven; which things the angels desire to look into" (1 Peter 1:10-12)
Jesus told His apostles after He arose from the dead, to preach repentance and remission of sin in His name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem. (Lk 24:46,47) Christ's death, burial, and resurrection is the foundation of the gospel by which we are saved (1 Cor 15:1-4). Jesus said, "I am the way..." (Jno 14:6). Paul said, "Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time. When God raised Christ from the dead, Paul said: "Which He wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that it named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath to put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Eph 1:20-23) He is the saviour of the church, he purchased it with his blood. (Eph 5:23)
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT (Matthew 12:36,37)
Jesus said that men shall give account of every idle word they speak. "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matt 12:37) The wise man said, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl 12:13). He gave the reason and we quote: "For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing whether it be good or whether it be evil." Jesus said all that are in the grave shall hear his voice and come forth. They that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. We should all be very careful how we live in this world for we will see it again. I used to say a man had to do one thing for himself, but I have learned he has to do three things for himself: die for himself, go before the judgment seat of Christ, and spend eternity for himself in Heaven or Hell. (John 5:28,29) This is sure. Jesus says, "When the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand but the goats on the left." (Matt 25:31-33) There will be a great disappointment on that day (Matt 7:22-23). There are many people doing lots of work in the name of religion, calling it a great work for the Lord, but it will not be accepted for it was not of faith (Rom 14:23). Faith comes by hearing the word of God. (Rom 10:17). John says if we abide in the doctrine of Christ, we have both God and Christ (2 Jno. 9). If we keep His commandments we are abiding in His doctrine.
We look over the paper after the big meetings are held at different places and we see a good many baptisms and restorations. Some of our people have what I call "tin heater religion." You can build a fire in a big tin heater and can hardly stay in the house for the heat. So it is, when a big preacher is there holding a big meeting.They attend good, but just as soon as the big preacher is gone, some of our people are gone until the next big meeting. That is what I call tin heater religion. Jesus said he that endureth until the end, the same shall be saved. So we see this tin heater religion will not do to depend on (Matt 24:13), Paul says, "But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." (Heb 3:6) "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev 22:14). So, if we do not keep His commandments, we do not have the promise of entering into that city of God.
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