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AN OPEN LETTER
Issue No. 1
The time of the Lord's return is at hand. For this reason we are reevaluating many matters in the light of the judgment seat. Are there not many publications today? Why add another one, The Present Testimony? If it were not of the Lord and if there were no special reason for its existence, The Present Testimony would just be a tiring reiteration of things already said, and it would be completely useless to those who are truly men of God. We publish this little magazine because we have received the commission from God to help His children specifically in matters relating to spiritual life and warfare. In every age there is a unique truth especially needed for that period. For those of us living in these last days, there must also be some specific truth which we especially need. By means of The Present Testimony, we intend to bear testimony to the truth needed in this present age.
Therefore, within the narrow confines of these pages, we would not present anything except "the deep things of God." We intend to make no mention of other questions. All general teachings or the meanings of scriptural passages are good, but they are outside our scope. You should not, therefore, expect to find articles on these categories in The Present Testimony.
We are deeply convinced that the present time is a preparatory period. If the children of God are to become a harvest that God can reap, they must first become ripe (Mark 4:29). We may say that the time of rapture is at hand. But the most important question is whether or not the church is ready. The Lord Jesus was caught up after His crucifixion; therefore, how can the church take a different path? We deeply believe that in the last days God will lead His children into a deeper experience of the cross of His Son so that they might ascend to the heavens. God's goal today is to quickly perfect the Body of His Son and destroy His enemy in order that He might usher in His kingdom. We can say that all of God's purpose in this age is being hindered by the church. We firmly believe that within a short period of time, God will surely gather His children into oneness so that His church might cease to be an object of hindrance, but rather would work together with God to accomplish His eternal ordination. We humbly desire that we might have a little part in this glorious work under God's hand.
All those who have eyes can easily recognize the darkness of the present age. It is heartbreaking to realize that if God's children were to rid themselves of all that is "of man," there would scarcely be anything left that is "of God." What is most apparent today is men's doings. Even in many good works which are considered to be spiritual, how much is there that is really God's own doing? The most pitiful thing is that many works which are done "for the Lord," "in the name of the Lord," "for the Lord's kingdom," and "for the church of Christ" are but activities of men's corrupted flesh. They are done by men without seeking the Lord's will, without listening to His command, and without trusting in the strength of God. The Lord's children do things merely according to what they think is good. Today, they have everything but God. Their thinking, planning, and working have replaced God. If the Lord's children do not turn back, they will find that they have no spiritual usefulness. They will damage the work of God and suffer loss themselves.
We know that we are unworthy; but by the grace of God, we would be faithful. We hope that the readers of these pages will not read with a critical spirit or with the intention of exploitation. If they have a humble heart and a prayerful spirit, they will inevitably receive some benefit. All that we write has but one aim: that the reader will give himself wholly to God in the new creation and become a person useful in the hands of God. Now we wholeheartedly commit our writing, our readers, and ourselves to God, who preserves men forever, and we hope that His Spirit will guide us into all His truths.