Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
controversies are largely in the past and have by the priesthood been waged against crown-lost brethren, whose errors have required a restatement and a defense of almost every Parousia truth and arrangement and a refutation of pertinent errors. In this small miniature, in which from May 1915 to Aug. 1920 the Gospel Age was relived on the scale of a day for a year, the leaders of error were bad Levites, whose course of teaching and practice was varyingly erroneous in quantity and quality. But they were all met and thoroughly refuted in their false teachings and practices. The small miniature in principle had re-enacted the main events, movements and controversies of the 19 centuries of the Gospel Age, with the faithful successfully defending the true teachings and practices against revolutionism against these and the substitution of false ones in their place and refuting the false ones. The medium miniature was from 1918 to 1937. Here, as in the small miniature the bad crown-losers were manifested under bad Levite leadership, in the medium miniature, in which a year stood for a century of the Gospel Age, the good crown-losers were manifested under good leaders. And in this good Levite phase not doctrinal but arrangement controversies waged on a small scale were carried on. These came to a head in 1937 with the manifestation of the main good Levite leaders; and from time to time the manifestation of others has been taking place and will continue until as a class the good crown-losers will be manifest as such. The large miniature began Oct. 1914 and ended its first stage 25 months later. It will end 40 years later, Oct. 1954. In it 25 months correspond with a century in the Gospel Age proper. Its period is therefore the 40 years of the Epiphany; and as the Parousia lapped for 25 months into the Epiphany, i.e., Oct. 1914-Nov. 1916, so the Epiphany will lap 25 months into the following period. It will be during those 25 months that the Epiphany will come to its climax, even as the Parousia came to its climax in the
first-mentioned 25 months. So far in the large miniature the controversy has been with Babylon in its Protestant and its Romanist sections, and that with crown-losers there. With the Protestant section it has been mainly along the lines of consciousness of the dead and eternal torment, and with the Romanist section it has been with those two questions and the union and cooperation of state and church. Later on it will involve practically every error of these two sections of the nominal church. The Bible has been used as the great refutative arsenal, and will continue to be such in the coming aspects of this controversy, meant by the thunder of Rev. 19: 6, resulting not only in the refutation of the errors of non-Truth crown-losers, but also in their conversion to the Truth.
Some words on how the Bible's refutative use is to be employed: As to method there are three ways that it refutes error. First, it disproves it by exposing its erroneousness by arguments directly against it, e.g., it disproves atheism by exposing its unsound arguments. Secondly, it disproves it by proving the opposing truth to be true, e.g., it disproves materialism by proving that there is a world of spirits, which is the direct opposite of materialism, which claims that the material world is the only one that exists. Thirdly, it disproves error by showing that the arguments for the Truth are stronger than those for error, e.g., it sets forth Bible facts that are stronger in favor of direct creation than are the arguments in favor of evolution as the creative process. In manner the Bible refutes error by avoiding all bitterness, all anger, all contentiousness and all fallacies, including the straw-man trick. And it carries on its refutative work in a kindly, longsuffering, winsome, tactful, gentle, thorough and pertinent manner. Moreover, the spirit in which it refutes is free from hatred, enmity, doubtfulness, despair, selfishness and rebellion and is surcharged with full faith in the truth of its position, with the hope of blessing its opponents, in a love that appreciates
whatever is good in an opponent, sympathizes with or pities him and willingly serves him for his good. But it is one that is fully obedient to the Truth and that in nowise will compromise it to make itself a gainer.
Certainly, in a world full of error calculated to mislead from God, truth, righteousness and holiness, the Bible to be worthy of being a revelation from God to man amid error, sin, selfishness and worldliness must contain that which will expose these evils and lead men away therefrom into the opposite good. Hence the Bible must contain controversial and refutative matter. Its very nature, purpose and results imply this its refutative use. Church history is replete with proof that it is so conditioned. Our experiences corroborate this need on our part and its office in this use of it. Hence it keeps the faithful free from injurious error and in the salutary Truth, and thus contributes to its office of sanctification (John 17: 17) and purification (John 15: 3). Let us praise God for this refutative use of the Bible as one of the all blessings that come from Him to us!
According to 2 Tim. 3: 16 the third use of the Bible is to correct the depravity of disposition in God's people and its resultant misconduct in motive, thought, word and act. This use of it is indicated by the word correction in the cited passage. The word implies that there is something that is not according to rule, that is not right, that is not straight, and that must be made in harmony with rule, with right, with straightness. The word is derived from the Latin verb corrigo, which in turn is compounded from the words cum, with, together, changed into cor by euphony, and rego, to rule, the idea being to reprove and to regulate the irregular disposition and conduct according to right standards. These standards are the principles and examples of the Word of God. Whoever observes irregular dispositions and conduct and reproves them and seeks to regulate them according to Biblical standards attempts the office of correction;
and whoever succeeds in securing the desired reformation accomplishes correction. Hence the word has several meanings: (1) to set right by the removal of faults and wrongs, e.g., a glutton setting right his eating habits; (2) to remedy from an evil to a good, e.g., amending a bad into a good character; (3) to chastise for an evil, e.g., a father correcting a bad son; (4) to point out evils and mistakes, e.g., a teacher correcting a pupil's composition; and (5) to reform a deviation from a right standard, e.g., to correct conscience, an error, a bill or a law, etc. Certainly the Bible can be used through its principles and examples to correct in any of these senses.
Man's fallen condition makes it necessary that the Bible have and exercise its office of correction. Man has hereditary depravity transmitted all the way from Adam, which gives him a corrupt disposition, inclining him to sin, error, selfishness and worldliness in various forms of these evils. This hereditary depravity, by leading him into various forms of sin, selfishness and worldliness, gives him an acquired depravity which expresses itself into worse forms of sin, worldliness and selfishness, and thus gives him further depravity. As a result we find him making the things to which his depraved affections dispose him his god instead of Jehovah. Thus he makes the objects of His selfish and worldly affections his god, like self-esteem, others' esteem, ease, life, safety, secretiveness, possessions, food, drink, self-defense, aggression, the opposite sex, husband, wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, home and native land. These forms of idolatry make him proud, ostentatious, lazy, life-crazed, cowardly, deceitful, covetous, gluttonous, drunken, contentious, vindictive, unchaste, suprahusbandly, suprawifely, supraparental, suprafilial, suprafraternal, suprasororial, suprafriendly, supradomestic and suprapatriotic, all of which are sins against God. This depravity makes some blasphemous, perjurial, irreverent and superstitious. It makes some doubters, atheists,
agnostics, materialists, pantheists, deists, evolutionists, higher critics and infidels. Thus depravity leads to many sins against God.
It likewise leads to sins against man. It often makes children disobey, distrust, despise and dishonor their parents and teachers. It frequently leads citizens to do these things against civil officials, subordinates to conspire and rebel against their civil rulers, and citizens, soldiers and politicians to be traitorous to the interests of their countries. It leads to anger, wrath, evil surmising, suspicion, evil construction of motives, malice, hatred, frequently arouses to violence against others as to life and limb, national animosities, revenge, wars, revolutions, feuds, party strife, sectarianism, etc. From it spring marital infidelity, provocation, bitterness, quarrels, neglect of support and care for the spouse, slander of spouse, desertion, divorce, fornication, pornocracy. From it grows the baleful tree of theft, kidnapping, confidence games, dishonesty in business, fraud, cut-throat competition, robbery, rapine, counterfeiting, forgery, embezzlement, crooked speculation, manufactured depression, profiteering, black marketing, bribery, corruption of politicians and ballot, stock market manipulations, depressed wages, inflated wages, wars between capital and labor, slavery, serfdom and white slavery—in a word the breakdown of the distinction between "mine and thine." From it also grows the evil of slander, gossiping, whispering, poison pens, perjury, lying, exaggerations, hypocrisy. And finally, from it grows the covetous spirit that unjustly desires to acquire a neighbor's property, home, wife, children, servants, animals, etc. Surely these facts show man's depravity. Of course, they are not present in all individuals, not even in any one individual. But they are present in the collective race. What was mentioned above is sinful and their mere mention is an evidence of the necessity of the corrective use of the Bible; and these show the necessity for
its corrective use—its use to correct sin in disposition, motive, thought, word and act.
Not only sin in God's people makes it necessary that the Bible have a corrective use, but this necessity also arises from natural selfishness and worldliness in the consecrated. While natural, as distinct from sinful, selfishness and worldliness are proper in the unjustified and justified, they are not proper for the consecrated whenever exercised contrary to the interests of the Lord's cause and people. They must be denied by the consecrated whenever they call for gratification at the expense of the Lord's cause and people; for, though in justification we agreed to be dead to sin and to be alive to righteousness, additionally in consecration we agreed to be dead to selfishness and worldliness and alive to godliness, i.e., we agreed to give up self-will and world-will and to accept God's will as ours in the interests of His people, truth, righteousness and holiness. For often to serve these we must say no to our cravings selfward and worldward; i.e., whenever our gratifying self or the world runs counter to the advancement of the Lord's people, truth, righteousness and holiness, which latter three are what we mean by the interests of the Lord's cause. In the present time Satan has created such conditions as are conducive to sin, selfishness and worldliness and inconducive to truth, righteousness and holiness and to the people who make these their chief interests in life. Hence he makes it easy to gratify self and the world and hard to deny these. And unfortunately almost all consecrated persons at sometime or other succumb to self and world indulgence and gratification at the expense of the Lord's people and cause. Hence, instead of saying no to self and the world, when they cry for gratification, in the forms of self-denial and world-denial, they gratify these at the expense of the Lord's people and cause, and thus they become unfaithful to their covenant of sacrifice; and repeated yielding to self and the world against the interests of
the Lord's people and cause develop in them a natural selfishness and worldliness which forms non-sacrificial dispositions, habits and acts, making them unfaithful in their consecration. Sometimes this self-indulgence will show itself in various forms of self and others' esteem, love for ease, safety, concealment, possessions, food, drink, life, self-defense and destructiveness, and this world-indulgence will manifest itself in an overweening love for the opposite sex, husband, wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, home and country. All of this is contrary to the covenant of sacrifice; and it shows the necessity of the Bible in its office of correction; for it is not only necessary to correct sin and error in all, but also to correct natural selfishness and worldliness in the consecrated. Thus we see the necessity of the Bible's use for correction.
These corrections are made by the Bible's teachings given in the form of dogmas, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types. Some examples will prove this: the Bible's doctrine of God, especially of His character as wise, powerful, just and loving, certainly individually and collectively corrects every form of sin, selfishness and worldliness. So, too, does the Bible doctrine of His plan and work do the same thing. Surely Jesus' ministry in its truth, righteousness and holiness is a constant correction of sin, selfishness and worldliness. The Holy Spirit as God's power and disposition is full of correction of violations of justice and sacrificial love. The doctrine of man's creation in God's image does this also. God's covenants are a direct correction of these three forms of evil in God's people. What a mighty correction of wrong is the doctrine of the fall of man and his experience with evil. The ransom sacrifice is perhaps the greatest of all rebukes of sin, selfishness and worldliness. Justification by faith certainly corrects sin both in its antecedent repentance and in its consequent practicing righteousness. Consecration, in its making and carrying out, is the direct opposite of self-indulgence
and world-indulgence. Baptism and the Passover, particularly the latter, correct sin, selfishness and worldliness. The doctrine of the Church's and world's judgment is certainly corrective, so, too, are the doctrines of final rewards and punishments.
The precepts of the Bible have a corrective use. These are of two classes, negative and positive. By the negative precepts those that prohibit wrong are meant, like most of the ten commandments, e.g., the first forbidding putting any one or thing ahead of God, the second prohibiting idolatry, the third prohibiting misusing God's name, the sixth prohibiting murder, the seventh forbidding adultery, the eighth forbidding theft, etc. By implication these contain a positive injunction, e.g., the first by implication charges to put God first and supreme in our lives, the sixth implies that people do good and help preserve the neighbor's life, the seventh that one help people to keep the marriage bed pure and the unmarried to be chaste, the eighth that one help his neighbor in his property and goods. There are very numerous other negative precepts practically all of which by implication have a positive aspect. The other class of Biblical precepts is positive, i.e., charges the doing of good and right, e.g., the fourth commandment charges the rest of faith, the fifth charges to hold parents, teachers, civil rulers, employers, and other superiors in honor and esteem. But by implication the fourth forbids unbelief, worry, irreverence toward God's Word and worship; and the fifth prohibits dishonoring, hating, disobeying and distrusting parents, teachers, civil rulers, employers and other superiors. There are multitudes of other positive precepts in the Bible. Certainly these constantly exercise a correcting office along all lines of natural and acquired depravity and their expressions in motive, thought, word and deed.
The promises of the Word have a cleansing, a correcting office, as St. Paul says, "Seeing that we have these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness
of the flesh and of the spirit" (2 Cor. 7: 1). St. John adds his testimony when he declares: "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3: 3). St. Peter adds his testimony saying, "Ye have purified your souls in obeying the Truth" (1 Peter 1: 22). There are great numbers of promises in the Bible conditional on one's correcting himself, e.g., "He that confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall obtain mercy"; "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The second promise of the Oath-bound Covenant, "Thy seed shall possess the gates of his enemies," i.e., God would reward those faithfully fighting against the devil, the world and the flesh with victory over these as they seek to manipulate the various forms of sin, selfishness and worldliness against them. The Word holds out the promises of the glorious reward for those who overcome and these promises are a mighty correction of our sins, selfishnesses and worldlinesses and help us to overcome. Please note such promises in Rev. 2: 7, 10, 11, 17, 26, 27; 3: 4, 5, 12, 20, 21. Ps. 37 and 91 are good illustrations of the promises helping to overcome. That this is proper we can see from God's repeatedly promising blessing to those who forsake evil (2 Cor. 6: 17, 18; 2 Tim. 2: 21; Ps. 24: 3-6; 34: 18; 51: 17; 145: 18, 19; 147: 3; Ezek. 18: 21, 22; Matt. 6: 14; 11: 28-30; Luke 6: 37; Rom. 10: 9). Accordingly, from their very nature God's promises in the Bible have a corrective use.
In the nature of the case the Bible in its exhortations has a corrective use. Its exhortations have as parts encouragements, rebukes, warnings. All of the rebukes of the Word have a corrective use and that in their very nature. Its encouragements as against sin, selfishness and worldliness, stimulate us to fight against these, strengthen us in the fight, make us brave to conquer them and help us to overcome them. The warnings of exhortations arouse us against Satan's, the
world's and our flesh's traps, put us on the alert against them, keep our eyes open as to their tricks, doubly arm us against them. The prophecies have also this office of correction. When they prophesy the course of the man of sin, they correct our propensities to compromise with it. When they foretell the evils of sectarian Protestantism, they correct in us a spirit of sectarianism that we may cherish. When they forecast the war, revolution, anarchy, famine and pestilence with which the Age ends, they arouse us to avoid the way that will make them punishments to us. When they forecast the path of the wicked, they arouse us to eschew their ways, and thus act correctively on us. When they warn us of the great dangers and temptations of the Age's end, they arouse us to putting off what in us would expose us to fall into its dangers and to succumb to its temptations. Even its fulfilled prophecies warn us against pitfalls that endangered the former faithful and that tripped the unfaithful and the measurably faithful.
The Bible's histories also have a corrective use. This is especially seen in its examples of evil ones, which warn us against following a similar course. Eve is a warning against believing those who belie God. Adam's willfulness cautions us against willfulness. Cain is an example warning against envy, presumption and hatred. The sin of the fallen angels warns us against following good intentions in disregard of God's arrangements. The antediluvians warn us against wickedness and violence. The builders of the Tower of Babel caution us against following a course at whose bottom is distrust of God. Sodom and Gomorrah caution us against luxury, laziness and wickedness. Hagar and Ishmael are warning examples against presumption and persecution. Esau exhorts against worldliness; Isaac against partiality; Laban against crooked business dealings; Joseph's brethren against envy and lying; Pharaoh against tempting God; Israel against murmuring; Aaron against submitting to popular
clamor for wrong-doing; Miriam against self-exaltation and envy; Korah, Dathan and Abiram against unholy ambition and opposition to God's eye, hand and mouth; the ten spies against discouraging God's people by over-emphasizing the difficulties of the way; Balaam against making merchandise of one's religious calling, against covetousness, and prostitution of one's privileges from God to the use of His opponents and the opponents of God's people. Saul is a warning example against good beginners becoming progressively bad enders in Divine matters. David's sin as to Uriah and Bath-sheba cautions us against failing to watch and pray and to keep oneself unspotted. Solomon corrects in the ways of keeping oneself free from worldly entanglements. Jezebel is a fearful example of furthering false religion. Ahab rebukes those who yield their official powers to the evil designs of others. Benhadad I dissuades from boasting. Sennacherib recalls from fighting against God. Nebuchadnezzar's course corrects boasting, pride and arrogance. Haman's and King Herod's life is a correction of conspiracy. Herod the tetrarch's evils reprove adulterers and murderers; Judas', treachery; Peter's, overweening self-confidence which leads to a fall. Caiaphas' course corrects envy, prejudice and injustice in a judge; Pilate's, weakness and lack of principle in a ruler; Simon of Samaria, the spirit that would buy spiritual powers. The course of the mob at Lystra corrects the fickleness of mobs; that of Felix, the bribe-seeker; that of King Agrippa, the putter-off of making peace with God; that of Demas, the world-lover, etc. Thus the histories of the Bible have a corrective use.
Finally, the types of the Bible have this office in their antitypes. E.g., all of the Biblical, historical personages referred to in the preceding paragraph type persons, classes or movements, or two, or all three of them, in which similar evils are committed by the antitypes, and thus convey the same corrections, e.g., Moses and Aaron smiting instead of speaking
to the rock at Kadesh-barnea type, the former, the Parousia, the latter, the Epiphany, ransom-deniers and sin-offering-deniers and thus warn against the no-ransomers and no-church-sin-offeringers. Aaron making the golden calf types infidelistic speculators developing their creed gods, and thus corrects such practices. Korah types Romanist controversialists during the Reformation resisting our Lord working through His reformation mouthpieces, and thus warn against any similar sin. Dathan types the papacy, and Abiram Protestant sectarianism and on cooperating civil powers guilty of the same evil, and thus warn against it. Balaam represents the apostasy's theologians of the Ephesian to and including the Laodicean period teaching for money, honor, luxury, etc., and, therefore, warns against such persons and practices. Saul in his evils types crown-lost leaders as heady, disobedient and envious and, therefore, is a warning against such qualities. Jeroboam I types the Lutheran movement as a clericalistic and sectarianistic developing movement and, therefore, warns against these qualities. Jezebel types the Roman Church and, therefore, in her evils types the evils of that church and thus warns against them. Ahab united with Jezebel types the civil power united with the Roman Church, a gross wickedness, and thus corrects the evil of union of state and church. Their persecuting the prophets types church and state persecuting God's Gospel-Age servants in their proclaiming the Truth as due, and thus warns against such practices. Sennacherib types the French revolutionists in their excesses, and hence warns against such correctively. Belshazzar in his excesses types church and state in their excesses in the end of the Age, and, therefore, warns against such excesses. Herod the tetrarch, in his relations with Herodias, types the policy of the illicit quasi-alliance between American politicians and the Romanist Church, and thus the antitype suggests a correction of this evil; and his beheading John the Baptist at Herodias' direction and Salome's
request types that policy at Rome's dictation and sectarian Protestantism's request cutting off God's faithful from mouthpieceship to the public. The above are a few from many illustrations of Biblical types exercising the office of correction. Our study, therefore, proves that all seven parts of God's Word exercise a correctional office.
It does such correctional work by certain methods that it prescribes. Some of these methods may be called general and others special methods. We will briefly point out how these two kinds of methods exercise the Bible's corrective use. The Bible arouses us to watchfulness against our inherited and acquired depravity and its expressions in motive, thought, word and deed, and by so doing it puts us on the alert and arouses us to action against them, which conduces to their uprooting. It shows us our weakness against such depravity and its expressions and leads us to prayer and supplication for their suppression; and this conduces to our uprooting it and them; for watchfulness and prayer arouse us as Christian soldiers to fight it and them, and help much to victory over it and them. A third general method is very helpful in carrying forward the corrective use of the Bible: faith in the Spirit, Word and providences of God as an arrangement sufficient to correct such depravity and its expressions. The Spirit of God gives us the character that can and does successfully correct these evils. The Word of God gives the necessary enlightenment to expose these evils to view and the ways to overcome them, as it also, by the power inherent in it, energizes the mind, heart and will unto the needed correction of these evils according to the Bible. And the providences of God furnish us with the needed experiences and supports to effect these corrections. We must have such a degree of faith as will heartily believe that these three things, faithfully used, will correct the evils. Such a faith will lead us faithfully to use these for corrective purposes.
Hope that by the use of the Bible corrections we will be able to cleanse ourselves from the inherited and acquired depravity and its expressions in motive, thought, word and act helps to make these corrections operate. If we hope for this, we will ardently desire it as a most valuable acquisition, and expect to obtain it. The despairing person never attains such an object, nor does the discouraged and despondent person. One must very strongly hope to employ this use of the Bible in order to gain victory thereby. Love for correcting our depravity and its outcroppings will also incite to a using of the Bible in its correcting office. Love for such a use of the Bible will make that use easy to practice, as well as will strongly urge to its practice and will sustain one against all obstacles to its practice; for love lightens every task, eases every burden, makes its difficulties easy, brushes aside every obstacle in the way of its gaining its goals and makes the almost impossible actual. Hence love to use the Bible in its corrective office will conduce to its realization. Persistent determination to use the Bible in its corrective office will inure to its attainment. People who have a wishbone instead of a backbone in the use of this or any other office of the Bible are not going to make a success of that work. Our depravities and their outflows are so strong and persistent to work in the ways of their cultivation that they put up a fierce fight against their correction. Hence persistent determination to use the Bible correctively must be engaged in, in order to secure the correction. Finally, the general method of exercising oneself to carry out in one's life the corrective use of the Bible will help toward its proper and successful use. We learn to do by doing. Thus we learn to walk by walking, to run by running, to cook by cooking, to write by writing. Almost nothing can be learned without doing it. Therefore, exercising the use of the Bible in its corrective office will enable us to practice and profit from its corrective use. So far the general methods.
Very briefly will be set forth the special methods of operating the Bible's use for correction. The first of these is detaching the affections from the things to which our depraved affections cleave. Does one love others more than God, does he love idols, does he love irreverent things, love the things of doubt and unbelief, love to distrust, disobey, dislike, or dishonor his parents, teachers, rulers, employer, etc., dislike or hate his neighbor, love lust, thievery, slander and covetousness, let him detach his affections from these and all other forms of depravity, and this will have a corrective effect on these depraved affections. Another helpful method of correcting one's depravity is to abhor its objects. This method is a step beyond the preceding one. The former makes the objects of one's depravity unattractive. This one makes them repellent, abominable, disgusting and hateful; for it sees their unutterable wickedness, injuriousness and cursedness. Let the mind, heart and will dwell upon these inamiable qualities of the objects of one's depravity, and that will arouse abhorrence for them. A third special method helpful to make operative the corrective use of the Bible is avoidance of the persons and objects of, and conditions conducive to the exercise of one's depravity. This means that he go away from the persons, objects and conditions that tend to arouse his depravity into activity; that he evade any and all association with them as he would a rattlesnake, a viper, a scorpion, that he eschew every contact with them as he would a pestilence, a contagion and a blight, and that he avert his attention therefrom as one would divert his attention from a charming serpent. A fourth method of operating the Bible's corrective use is to oppose his depravity and all conditions, persons and objects that arouse its exercise. This means to fight every effort that it makes to indulge itself, that he war a good warfare against the persons, objects and conditions that tend to bring it into play, that he fight the good fight of
faith against it and them, taking to himself and effectively wielding in the fight the armor of God.
A fifth method of operating the Bible's corrective use against one's depravity is to displace its faults by the opposite graces. Does one abound in unbelief or doubt, let him displace it by faith. Is one inclined to despondency and despair, let him put hope in their place. Is one inclined to irresoluteness and unruliness, let him drive them out by putting self-control in their place. Instead of fickleness and giving up under obstacles, let him fill himself with patience, perseverance. If he is inclined to impiety, let him by displacement operate piety against it. If one is inclined to dislike or hate his neighbor, let him put them aside by love for the neighbor. If one is self-centered, let him displace it with disinterested love, and let him so treat all his other disgraces by displacement through their opposite graces, and thus will he cause the Bible's office of correction to hold good sway in him. A sixth method of making the Bible's corrective use operative is restraining one's faults by graces other than the opposites of these faults. The fifth special method is a frontal attack on evil; the sixth is a flank attack thereon, e.g., if one's fault is pride let him restrain it by working against it a grace that has a counteractive effect on it, like the higher primary graces: faith, hope, self-control, patience, piety, brotherly love and charity. Certain of the lower primary graces would be helpful thereto, e.g., cautiousness, self-defensiveness and aggressiveness. Likewise certain of the secondary graces will help therein, like self-obliviousness, peace, tactfulness and liberality. The same thing is true of certain of the tertiary graces, like zeal, reverence, sincerity, obedience and meekness. Each and all of these will exercise a restraining influence against one's faults, and thus operate against evil the Bible's corrective use. And finally, the seventh special method of making the Bible's corrective use operative is presenting an impenetrable front to our depravity and its expressions.
By an impenetrable front we mean an all-round developed Holy Spirit that has every grace, every will expression, every mental equipment and every good affection operative in every pertinent situation, and those so filling one with the Spirit that the evil can have no entrance or exit, because its way is blocked and brought to a standstill. This method can be used only by the advanced child of God in its fullness, though it can be used by the graces already had individually; by their giving no room to the devil, the world and the flesh; for any grace that blocks and brings to a standstill a fault that seeks to operate, partakes of the character of this method. It is like a round piece of steel that rebuffs every marble thrown upon it; it is like the knight's armor that sheds every arrow that strikes it, and is like a granite wall that causes every rubber ball striking it to rebound. Thus this method will make operative the Bible's corrective use.
Our investigation certainly proves that the Bible has this corrective use, and arouses us, each and all, to make use of it in this its office, overcoming the devil, the world and the flesh, as they seek through our inherited and acquired depravity and their expressions to defile us with evil, uncleanness, in the various forms of sin, selfishness and worldliness.
Having in the light of 2 Tim. 3: 16, and other passages, studied the first three uses of the Scriptures, its doctrinal, refutational and correctional uses, we now come to the study of its fourth and final use, its character-training use. As we look at these four uses of the Bible we can readily see that they are exhaustive; for its doctrinal use shows us what we ought to believe; its refutational use shows us what we ought not to believe; its correctional use shows us what we should not be in disposition or do in motive, thought, word and deed, and its training use shows us what we ought to be in disposition, and do in thought, motive, word and act. Hence the four uses of the Bible, covering everything of faith and error, and everything of evil
and good in character and conduct (2 Tim. 3: 16), cover the whole sphere of faith and practice, both for the Church as a whole and for each of its individual members. By this we are not to be understood to mean that this verse gives all the pertinent details. These the Bible gives elsewhere, in harmony with its statement of its method of so doing: "line upon line, line upon line, precept upon precept, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little"; but by this statement we are to be understood to mean that this passage contains an exhaustive statement of the general lines of the Bible's uses. It will be noted that we use the expression character-training as designating the fourth and final use of the Bible. This term was designedly used; for the A. V.'s translation here, "instruction," is not sufficiently broad. The idea of instruction is implied in, and is a part of the meaning of the original word here used, paideia, which here means training, and the run of thought in this and the following verse proves that it here means character-training; but, of course, instruction is the foundation part of training, since it gives the knowledge that is to be woven into, and made to produce character-training. Hence here the word, paideia, should be rendered training, training in righteousness, i.e., character-training is the Bible's fourth use.
The thought just expressed that the Bible's fourth use is to train God's people in righteousness, i.e., to give them character-training, is to be insisted upon as the proper thought expressed in the last part of 2 Tim. 3: 16. To give it as instruction in righteousness, as the A. V. gives it, makes the thought too narrow. Indeed, it deprives it of its chief import; for the thought, instruction, reduces it to a matter of the head, the intellect, merely, while the true thought, including the idea of instruction for the head, lays the main stress on the heart, will and life, training in righteousness. Accordingly, these words imply that the Bible is adapted to give the necessary knowledge to the head and the necessary training to the heart, will and life for God's people
to develop proper dispositions and exercise proper motives, thoughts, words and acts, i.e., it teaches the proper ethical principles and enables one to weave into his character and conduct the expression of these principles. It is, therefore, intended to promote the knowledge and practice of proper character. It is to produce Christlikeness in head, heart, will and conduct. And the Christian head, heart and will, studying the expression thoroughly in itself and in its relation to the other three uses of the Bible set forth in 2 Tim. 3: 16, will fully come to recognize that the thought of the last part of this verse is not one limited to the head merely, as the rendering instruction implies, but is one that embraces the head, heart, will and life. These remarks will enable us to see more clearly what is meant by the fourth use of the Bible—it is to train God's people in righteousness, to teach them the principles of Christian character and to work in them such a character and its expressions in thought, motive, word and act.
Its fourth use, first of all, is to teach them proper principles of Christian character and their expressions in thought, motive, word and act. It, therefore, instructs them, first of all, in the principles of justice as embracing duty love, first, to God and Christ with all the heart, mind, soul and strength, which is piety, and, second, to the neighbor as to oneself, which is brotherly love, i.e., to love God and Christ with all one's affections, with all his intellect, with all his being and all his will power, and to think, feel, say and do as to one's neighbor as he would wish his neighbor to think, feel, say and do as to him, if their places were reversed. It secondly instructs him in the principles of charity, disinterested love, as distinct from justice or duty love. It shows him that out of a delight in good principles one is to appreciate God and Christ with all his heart, mind, soul and strength for their harmony with good principles and to be in hearty oneness with them in their characters, words and works. It further shows him that out of such delight in good principles he should sympathize
with God and Christ because of the mistreatment that they have received from wicked angels, and weak, ignorant and wicked men; and finally it implies that out of such delight and sympathy he lay down life unto death to vindicate their persons and characters, and to further their words and works. Justice, i.e., piety and brotherly love, and charity, are the chief graces. But there are other graces: four other higher primary graces, 17 lower primary graces, 17 secondary graces and at least twelve tertiary graces. Additionally there are the heavenly affections and the good earthly affections. On all of these the Bible gives the necessary theoretical knowledge enabling one to know what they are, why they are and how they are to be developed and exercised. It also gives the necessary knowledge on justification as a theory and practice, on consecration as a theory and practice, on sanctification as a theory and practice in its deadness to self and the world and aliveness to God, in the study, spread and practice of, and endurance for God's Word in watchfulness and prayer in harmony with God's Word. It also gives the necessary enlightenment on deliverance in theory and practice, as victory over the devil, the world and the flesh and the hope of victory over death and the grave. In giving the instruction on these principles and practices the Bible fulfils the first part, i.e., as to the head, of its fourth use, training in righteousness.
But its character-training use goes further than the head; it reaches through what it gives to the head into the affections and will, along the lines of character-development and its expressions in thought, motive, word and act. And it begins this feature before one has experienced justification, i.e., the Word works repentance toward God as, e.g., St. Peter's preaching worked repentance in Israelites (Acts 2: 37), Jesus called, by the Word, sinners to repentance (Matt. 9: 13), even as Paul did the same (Acts 20: 21); and even in the Old Testament this was done through the Word (Matt. 12: 41). Accordingly this fourth use of the Word effects