"Judge this, rather, that no man put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall, in his brother's way." "He shall give his angels [messengers, servants] charge over thee; ...they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."—Rom. 14:13; Psa. 91:11,12.
EVERY gathering of the saints, even of two or three, is an assembling of the members of the body of Christ. So that the entire number of saints in the world to-day, or in any day, represents the one body; and yet the entire body is but one. Looked at still another way, we see the head first, and the succeeding members following in order, leaving those members of Christ who are alive and remain unto the presence of the Lord to represent the last members—the feet.
It is to these that the prophet refers above: not to the literal feet of Jesus, but the feet members of his body. (Many improperly accept Satan's interpretation of this passage, notwithstanding Jesus' rejection of it—Matt. 4:6,7.) The prophet makes the statement that the Lord will make special provision for the help and support of the "feet," just after giving a description of the evil day which the "feet" class will experience—the dark day, when the arrows of error will fly thick and fast; when the pestilence of Infidelity will stalk abroad; when all, except the "feet" class, shall fall—thousands on every hand. The question will no longer be, Who will fall? but, "Who shall be able to stand?" These, the real feet members, shall not fall; these shall have special help; God will send them messengers, whom he will specially instruct or charge that his will shall be accomplished, and the true overcomers be upheld, and neither stumble nor fall.
Blessed assurance! cause for trust and confidence, that if we abide under the protection with which he has covered us, we shall be safe and come off conquerors, and more than conquerors, through him who loved us and washed us in his own precious blood. But the thought specially in mind is this: Not only are those who scatter the pestilence, and shoot out the arrows of error, and cast stumbling-blocks in the way, men in the flesh, but those messengers whom God will use to bear up the "feet," and keep them from falling, are also human agents. Both classes are servants—serving some cause, either of truth or error; serving some master—the God of truth, or Satan, the father of lies and errors. No matter whose uniform we wear, his servants we are to whom we render service. If Satan can get into the service of error those who profess to serve the Lord, he is the more pleased, and the more successful in reaching others of the same class. As the Apostle advised us, so we find it in this evil day—the ministers or messengers or servants of error will appear as messengers of light, and their influence will thereby be the greater; and all not fixed upon the rock foundation of Christian hope will be sure to fall. All not protected by the armor which God's Word supplies are sure to fall pierced with the arrows of error.
Of two things then be assured:—We each must serve one side or the other in this battle of the great day of God Almighty, which has to the Church a different phase from that in which it will present itself to the world. Our strife is with spiritual adversaries, a battle between truth and error on religious subjects, while there is a conflict also between right and wrong, truth and error, as relates to political and temporal affairs. On which side are you serving? Are you scattering error by words of your own, or reading matter, or in other ways doing that which will smite down and stumble your fellow pilgrims? or are you giving the more earnest heed to the special "charge" God has given us regarding the dangers and pitfalls of this day? and are you thus "bearing up" the fellow members of the body—the feet? Are you earnest in rightly dividing the word of truth? and are you careful to put before others only that which you have thoroughly examined and proved to the extent of your ability by the Word of God? Are you one of Satan's messengers, being used of him to overthrow the faith of some, and to remove "the feet" from the grand rock of faith—the ransom? or are you rendering yourselves as servants of righteousness and messengers of God, [R1637 : page 104] serving and blessing the feet? If the one, you are stumbling and defiling the "feet;" if the other, you are bearing up and "washing" the "feet."
True, the errors will test the armor of each, whether you shoot any of them or not; and it is also true that the "feet" shall be borne up and not dashed, whether you assist or not; but the question is none the less important to each of us, and will demonstrate our own faithfulness or unfaithfulness, our own worthiness or unworthiness to be members of the feet class of the body.
Blessed shall be that servant whom the Lord shall find giving meat in due season, to the household of faith. (Matt. 24:45,46.) Such, as messengers of God, are serving, strengthening and bearing up the "feet" of Christ. The same thought is beautifully expressed in Rev. 19:7. The bride makes herself "ready" for the Bridegroom: each member assisting the others results in the preparation of all. Not that we could make ourselves ready of ourselves, but that we aid each other in the cultivation of those traits of character which the Lord has stipulated shall distinguish all who become his joint-heirs.—Rom. 8:29.
Judge—examine yourselves—that none of you "put a stumbling-block, or an occasion to fall, in his brother's way."—Rom. 14:13.