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The Glad Tidings

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    The Biggest Not Always the Best

    Just as there is no man who has a monopoly of truth, so there are no places to which men must necessarily go in order to find it. The brethren in Antioch did not need to go to Jerusalem to learn the truth, or to find out if what they had was the genuine article. The fact that truth was first proclaimed in a certain place, does not prove that it can be found only there, or that it can be found there at all. In fact, the last places in the world to go to with the expectation of finding or learning truth, are the cities where the Gospel was preached in the first centuries after Christ, as Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, etc. Paul did not go up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before him, but began at once to preach.GTI 68.2

    The Papacy arose in part in this way: It was assumed that the places where the apostles, or some of them, had preached must have the truth in its purity, and that all men must take it from there. It was also assumed that the people of a city must know more of it than the people in the country or in a village. So, from all bishops being on an equality, as at the beginning, it soon came to pass that the “country bishops” (chorepiscopoi) were rated as secondary to those who officiated in the cities. Then, when that spirit crept in, of course the next step was necessarily a strife among the city bishops to see which one should be greatest; and the unholy struggle went on until Rome gained the coveted place of power.GTI 69.1

    But Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a place that was “little among the thousands of Judah” (Micah 5:2), and nearly all His life He lived in Nazareth, a little town of so poor repute that a man in whom there was no guile said, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” John 1:45-47. Afterward Jesus took up His abode in the wealthy city of Capernaum, but was always known as “Jesus of Nazareth.” It is no farther to heaven from the smallest village or even the smallest lonely cabin on the plain, than it is from the largest city, or bishop’s palace. And God, “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy,” dwells with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit. Isaiah 57:15.GTI 69.2

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