Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly

Acts 6:4

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word."



1 Timothy 4:6-16

" If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim 4:6-16 (KJV)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Volume 22—Studies in the Scriptures—January, 1943 
As we launch out into another year there  is little visible prospect of a smooth and  
pleasant voyage. To the natural eye the clouds are dark and fierce storms seem imminent.  

The very uncertainty of what the morrow may bring forth fills many with uneasiness and 

trepidation. But how different should be the state of God’s children: an all-sufficient Object is presented to the eyes of their faith from which unbelief derives no comfort. 

If the poor worldling is concerned with what  lies before him, it is the blessed privilege of the   believer to be occupied with Who  goes before him—the One who is his Captain, his
Guide, his Forerunner. “The Lord! HE it is that doth go before thee” (Deut. 31:8).

 What a
difference that makes! O that writer and reader may be enabled to lay hold of this grand 

Truth as we enter another period of time and keep it steadily in mind throughout the coming days!   

1. The Lord has gone before you in the grand decree of His predestination. Last year 
was one of suspense and sorrow, of trial and trouble and perhaps you tremble at what this one has in store. Well, here is solid comfort. Your future has all been marked out for you.   
You shall not tread a step which is not mapped on the grand chart of God’s foreordination. All your circumstances have been Divinely ordered for you. Ah, Christian reader, 

what an immense difference this makes that you are not a child of chance, that your lot is 
not decided by the caprice of fickle fortune. Infinite wisdom and infinite love have arranged everything. You will go nowhere during 1943 but where God has decreed, His 
“goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2), planning your path, 
your life. A predestinating God has appointed “the bounds of your habitation” (Acts 
17:26). You may be thrust into the furnace of affliction, yet you will not be deserted. You 
may be brought low, yet it will be for your future blessing. You may be chastened, yet 
the rod is in the hand of your Father. 

“Your times of trial and of grief,  
Your times of joy and sweet relief,  
All shall come and last and end  
As shall please your heavenly Friend.” 

2. The Lord has gone before you  in the preparations of His Providence.  “My god 
shall supply all your need” (Phil. 4:19): full provision has already been made for it. Jehovah does not have to improvise. No unexpected emergency can overtake Him: “known 
unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). Therefore is 

it written, “And it shall come to pass that before they call I will answer” (Isa. 65:24). Before we reach a place, God has provided for us wherever the road leads, all has been 
made ready. “Who went in the way before you,  to search you out a place to pitch your 
tents in” (Deut. 1:33); and He will not do less for His people today. Canaan was fully 
prepared for Israel long before they arrived there: “when the LORD thy God shall have 
brought thee into the land which He sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to 
Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which  thou buildest not, and houses full of 
good things which thou filledst not, and wells digged which thou diggedst not, vineyards 
and olive trees which thou plantedst not” (Deut. 6:10, 11). Here is comfort for the 
preacher too: “The LORD, He  it is that doth go before thee,” to prepare hearts for the 
message, for the reception of the Truth. 

3. The Lord has gone before you in Person. The path which He calls you to tread has 
first been traversed by Himself. None other than the Lord of Glory became incarnate, entered this world of ours and tabernacled here  for thirty-three years in the flesh, that He 
might be the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10). “When He putteth forth His own 
sheep, He goeth before  them” (John 10:4). Are they required to tread the way of obedience? Well, their Shepherd has Himself preceded them therein. Are they required to deny  
themselves and take up their cross? Well, He Himself did nothing less. Are they called  

upon to be buffeted, not for their faults but when they do well, to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake? Well, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should 
follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). What comfort is there here: that the trials we endure for 
the Truth’s sake, that the unkind treatment we meet with from professing brethren because we dare not compromise are an essential part of the process of our being conformed to the image of God’s Son! Shall we be called upon to pass through the valley of  
the shadow of death? Well, the Christian has nothing to fear, for Christ has gone before 
Him and extracted the sting of death.

4. The Lord has gone before you  in the directions of His Precepts. “Thy Word is a 
lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105), revealing the way of peace 
and blessing through this dark world. Especially is that true of its preceptive portions, for 
they make known the paths of righteousness which we are to tread. Ignorance of God’s 

will concerning the way we should go is inexcusable, for He has already clearly and definitely made known His will. The highway of holiness does not have to be made by us: it 
is there plainly enough before us in the Word and it is ours to walk in it. “Thou shalt 
guide me with Thy counsel and afterward receive me to glory” (Psa. 73:24). A “guide” is 
one who goes before us, directing our course and the “counsel” of our Divine Guide is 
contained in His prohibitions and commandments and according as we heed them shall 
we escape the dangers around us and be kept in the narrow way which leadeth unto Life. 

5. The Lord has gone before you in the provisions of His promises. What are the Divine promises but so many anticipations of our varied needs and guarantees that God 
stands pledged to supply them? They are so many proofs of His omniscience which foresaw what would meet our requirements. They are so many tokens of His lovingkindness 
to manifest His tender concerns for us long before we had any historical existence. They 

are so many evidences of His faithfulness that He will withhold no good thing from them 
that walk uprightly. Whatever tomorrow may hold, the Divine promises assure the Christian that the Lord has gone before and made every provision for him. No dire situation, 
no pressing emergency, no desperate peril can possibly arise but what there is one of the 
“exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4) exactly suited to our case. Their 
value lies in the fact that they are the word of His who cannot lie and “this God is our 
God forever and ever: He will be our Guide even unto death” (Psa. 48:14).

6. The Lord has gone before you into Paradise. Did He not expressly announce ere 
He left this scene, “In My Father’s House are many mansions: if it were not so I would 
have told you: I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2)? Not for Himself but for His 
redeemed: nor would He entrust this task unto the angels. How it tells of the love of the 
Bridegroom for His Bride! Christ has entered Heaven on our behalf, taking possession 
thereof in our name: “whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus” (Heb. 6:20). 
His entry ensures ours. “Father,” He says, “I will that they also whom Thou hast given 
Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me” 
(John 17:24). 
“He and I in one bright glory 
Endless bliss shall share: 
Mine, to be forever with Him,  
His, that I am there.” 
Here, then, is real substantial comfort, and what shall be my response thereto? “The 
LORD, He it is that doth go before thee” (Deut. 31:8). Then, first, my eye should be 
constantly fixed upon Him: “looking unto  Jesus” (Heb. 12:2)—looking away from all 
else, trusting none other. Second, then it is my business to follow Him—for what other 
purpose is a Guide?—“When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, 
and the sheep follow Him” (John 10:4). And as they do, so they find that He makes 
them to lie down in green pastures, that He leads them beside the still waters. Ah, who 
would not follow such a Shepherd! O that the Lord may say of us as He did of Caleb, 
“he hath followed Me fully” (Num. 14:24).  

Third, then fear should be entirely banished from my heart. And will it not be so if 
faith really lays hold of this: “The LORD, HE it is that doth go before thee, He will be 
with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee; fear not, neither be dismayed” 
(Deut. 31:8). 
7. The Lord has gone before the preacher. This little message would hardly be complete if we failed to include a special word for the minister of the Gospel. Nor has God 
overlooked him at this very point. “Behold HE goeth before  you” (Matt. 28:7), is addressed immediately unto the servants of Christ and it is for their faith to appropriate the 
same. According as they do so will their hearts and hands be strengthened. If you are 

really the servant of Christ, your Master has not called you to draw a bow at a venture but 
has appointed your specific place in His vineyard and has ordered everything in connection therewith. That does not mean all will be smooth sailing. It did not mean that for the 
Apostles, as the book of Acts shows. But it did mean that they were not left without a Pilot. HE not only went before them but gave assurance, “Lo, I am with you, alway, even 
unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20). That is the grand consolation of this writer. 

May it be yours, too.—A.W.P. 


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