[R1238 : page 1]
VOL. XI. ALLEGHENY, PA., SEPTEMBER, 1890. NO. 10.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER and Herald of Christ's Presence
ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL
"Watchman, What of the Night?" "The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11
TOWER PUBLISHING COMPANY.
Arch Street, Allegheny, Pa., U.S.A.
C. T. RUSSELL, EDITOR.
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION.
DOMESTIC,--Fifty cents a year in advance, by Draft, P.O. Money Order, or Registered letter.
FOREIGN,--Two shillings per year. Remit by Foreign Postal Money Order.
TO POOR SAINTS.
This paper will be sent free to the interested of the Lord's poor, who will send a card yearly requesting it. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat--yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." And you who have it--"Wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently--and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness."--ISAIAH 55:1,2.
Entered as SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER, at the Post Office, Allegheny, Pa.
We have reduced the price of the Missionary Envelopes, so as to induce as large a use of them as possible. We will deliver them to you at 25 cents a hundred, or $2.00 a thousand. By this very low price, which is less than cost, it is hoped to stimulate the spread of truth in this form.
POEMS AND HYMNS OF DAWN.
This is the title of our new book. It is a volume of 494 pages, neatly bound, with red edges, in embossed cloth cover.
It contains 151 choice religious Poems and 333 select Hymns, many of which are from the well known pens of Whittier, Doudney, Titbury, Browning, Mackay, Bryant, Havergal, Reed, Janvier, Bonar, Guinness, Wince, Smith, Heber, Brown, Upham, Watts, Newton, Cowper, Bottome, Doddridge, Kelly, Pierpont, Taylor, Bliss, Oberlin, Toplady, Gates, Crosby, Wittenmeyer, Hastings, Grant, Palmer, Guyon, Phelps, Stennett, Brewer, Bowring and many others, including some by Sister Russell.
For a helping hand to lead our hearts very close to the Lord, in quiet, solitary meditations, and in songs of praise and worship, alone or in little assemblages of believers, we know of none so helpful as this volume of Poems and Hymns of Dawn.
The retail price through bookstores and news-agents is the same as the volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN in cloth binding, namely: One dollar a copy. The wholesale rate is fifty cents a copy.--ALL WATCH TOWER subscribers are supplied at the wholesale rate, for any desired quantity, without extra charge for postage.
The price is made thus low because we desire that all of the saints may have the assistance of this helping hand in their communion and devotion. It is good to know the truth; it is blessed to obey it; and it is then sweet to feed upon it in communion and worship. In order that the poor of the flock may enjoy the same opportunities for communion and growth in grace, we renew our offer to supply a copy to any who have been on our TOWER list for the past year as the Lord's poor, if they will write for it, saying that they are too poor to afford to purchase the volume.
Let us here remark, what some do not appear to understand, that we are now supplying Millennial Dawn in cloth binding to TOWER subscribers at half the retail price--fifty cents per copy--with no extra charge for postage. Order as many copies as you desire for your own use and for loaning to friends and neighbors.
EXCEPT A CORN OF WHEAT DIE.
It has been urged by some that this statement proves that the Lord's work for mankind was not that of a substitute. We hold the very contrary to be the fact: that it does teach substitution exactly.
The words were used a few days before our Lord's crucifixion, about the time that he began to show the disciples (Matt. 16:21-23) how he must suffer many things and be killed and be raised again the third day, when Peter rebuked him and said, "Be it far from thee, Lord," this shall not be unto thee, and was in turn rebuked. The Lord, in furnishing a reason for his death, drew an illustration from nature, likening himself to the seed grain whose death becomes a source of life to many grains of like kind.
It was the man Christ Jesus who gave himself into death, as the necessary means under God's plan of bringing other men into being. It is too well known to be disputed, that if a grain of wheat is planted and dies, it brings forth other grains like itself, and never produces grains of another kind or sort. Then so surely as it was the man Jesus who died, it will be a race of men like he was when he died that in due time will be developed as the result of his death.
The grain of wheat which dies never revives, never rises; it is gone forever, it has ceased to be; its life is given as a substitute for the lives of the grains which receive its life and nature instead of it. The seed grain gives up its existence as a grain that the others may become living grains. It goes into nonentity as the others were, that they may exist. The Lord's illustration is a perfect one, and in full harmony with his repeated statement that he would lay down his life for the life of the world-- that he would give his life a ransom (a corresponding price) for all.
Our Lord teaches that having left the higher nature and become a man, a "kernel of wheat," it was not his purpose to abide or continue to live as a man. Had he chosen to do so he might indeed have preserved his life; he needed not to die. But then the very object of his taking the human nature (that he might become the life-giver to all of Adam's death-sentenced race who would desire it upon God's conditions) would fail of accomplishment. He as the "kernel of wheat" might indeed preserve himself, as his life was not forfeited, and no cause of death was found in him, but thus he alone would have life and the race of Adam would continue dead or dying, under sentence of death without one hope of life. Only in one way could the many be brought to life--by the death of the one in whom was the germ of life. And our Lord Jesus himself was that one, the only kernel which had a germ of life, the only man who had a right to life since Adam lost his right by disobedience.
We have already shown at length that to secure for mankind forever the rights and privileges of restitution to perfect manhood, our Lord's laying down of manhood and its rights and privileges was forever; that he did not take them back in his resurrection; that on the contrary he was "put to death in flesh, but made alive in spirit," a new creature, of the divine nature, spirit and not flesh, heavenly and not earthly. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., page 175, and Vol. II., page 107.) This illustration of the kernel of wheat shows only the death of the man Christ Jesus as our ransom price; it does not show his previous condition as a spirit being, before he became a man; nor does it show his subsequent exaltation far above manhood and far above angels and principalities and powers, to be a sharer of the highest of all natures--the divine nature. But it shows well what the Master used it to illustrate, viz.: his death as a man to give life to many men.
As the grains which spring up as a result of his death receive from him only that which he surrenders for them, so all the blessings which result directly from our Lord's death are human and earthly rights, privileges and blessings--those lost in Adam are the ones redeemed for all by Christ. And it is those very blessings that he will restore to all the worthy in the "times of restitution of all things."
How, then, is it that the Church, called and drawn during the Gospel age by the Father, is offered and is to receive spiritual and heavenly blessings through Christ, and not a restitution of the earthly favors lost in Adam?
We answer, that is an additional favor granted now, or as the Apostle puts it, "favor upon favor;" a special call which ends with the close of the present age. But all thus called to the additional favor must first share in the favor of restitution, which Christ purchased for all. Justification in the present age is the equivalent of restitution in the next age, only that it is a restitution received by faith instead of an actual restitution. Restitution will be the making of men actually right or perfect as men, the actual restoring to them of all that was lost in and by reason of sin. Justification is the reckoning of men as right or as though perfectly restored to all the grand qualities and privileges lost by reason of sin.
As the restored race, in the end of the Millennium, will be fully back to harmony with God, as though there never had been any fall or condemnation, so those now justified (or reckoned restored, right and perfect) are treated as though there had never been a fall or condemnation. They are justified freely from all things--justified by his blood who redeemed them. They are thus restored to the human rights in advance of the world in general, though only by faith.
God's object in justifying us, through faith in the ransom, is to make us ready or fit to have offered to us the additional favor referred to above. That additional favor is the offer that the justified may, during the Gospel age, follow the example of their Lord Jesus and offer up (sacrifice) their justified selves--their justified manhood, after the example of the man Christ Jesus, with the promise to such as do so that they shall be counted in with their Master in the sacrifice (though his sacrifice, not ours, possesses the merit or value which pays for the sins of the whole world), and that as he was raised up from death, no more a man, but highly exalted to the divine nature, so they shall also be made sharers of the same high honor and glory with him, and under him as their Lord.
Now (says the Apostle, referring to the Gospel age) is the day of this great offer of this great salvation: "Now is the acceptable time"--the time when God agreed to accept such sacrifices--justified through faith in Jesus' blood and presented in his name and merit.
Brethren, I beseech all who have presented themselves thus and who have been received as holy and acceptable in Christ, that ye make good your covenant of sacrifice --even unto death, and that you let no man beguile you of this reward which God hath promised, by turning aside your pure minds from the simplicity of these good tidings, to human philosophizing and theorizing. For other hopes are merely the earthly, the human, though the promises made to the heavenly class be misapplied to them.
THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD.
In our present trial-state, while we walk by faith and not by sight, the question as to the leadings of divine providence is often a perplexing one to many. In many instances the discerning and experienced children of God can see very serious errors in the course of some who suppose they are following the leadings of divine providence, but who in fact are far astray from the Lord's expressed will.
Ah! says one, there was a peculiar coincidence in my life, or a peculiar train of circumstances which indicated to me my [R1239 : page 2] course of action, and I am so persuaded that the leading was of the Lord, that nothing can move me from my course. Who has not met some instances where the delusion was so strong that even the Word of God had no power to dispel it? The subject, therefore, is one worthy of very careful consideration; for certain it is that God does lead, direct and discipline his children not only by his written word, but also by making the circumstances of life work together for their good.
But how, then, shall we account for the misleadings as well as the true leadings of some who, we have abundant reason to believe, are God's children. From the Scriptures we learn not only that all things shall work together for good to them that love God, to the called according to his purpose, that God's eye is upon all their ways, and that not a hair of their heads shall fall to the ground without his notice, but we also learn that the prince of this world has power to deceive and to lead astray many, and that if it were possible, he would deceive even the very elect.
The elect, therefore, are the only class who cannot be deceived. God is pledged to see to it that they shall not be deceived either by circumstances, appearances or perversions of his Word. Who are these favored elect ones who are so guarded and protected on every side, that no weapon that is formed against them can by any means prosper? (Isa. 54:17.) We answer, they are the called and faithful and chosen ones. Many are called, but few are faithful to the conditions of the call, and few, therefore, are chosen. We are told that a thousand of the called ones shall fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand, but that that which shall cause their fall will not come near the elect. They cannot be moved.
In the fullest sense no one is elected to membership in the body of Christ until he has finished his course of self-sacrifice, even unto death. And yet from the moment of consecration we are reckoned as of the elect, and treated as such to the end, unless at some point in our course we prove unworthy of the favor, and as unfruitful branches are lopped off from our connection with the vine, which is Christ.
Consequently, those assurances of preservation in the midst of the pestilences and flying arrows of this evil day are only to the called and faithful--to those who have heeded the heavenly calling, presented their bodies living sacrifices, and who, true to their covenant, are keeping the sacrifice on the altar. These cannot fall; it is impossible to deceive them; and no weapon that is formed against them can prosper. So in this day when the pestilence of infidelity is raging, and the sanitary condition of the public mind forebodes a wide prevalence of the disease, and when the disease is taking on its most insidious and destructive forms, every consecrated child of God needs to look well to the spiritual condition of his system in general, to see that self-will is indeed dead, and that in simplicity of heart he is walking in the Master's footprints.
We need to bear in mind that the glorified church is to be but a little flock, possibly only a literal hundred and forty-four thousand (Rev. 7:4); that in all probability the majority of that number long ago finished their course and fell asleep in hope of the first resurrection, and that only a very small and very choice company is now desired to complete the church. The heavenly Bridegroom desires for his bride only those proved faithful under all the tests applied. But those rejected from that position are not cut off from all favor; they are simply not wanted in that near relationship. Consequently their deception is permitted for a time; and, like unfaithful Israel, for a time they stumble and fall; but if not persistently wilful they will yet be recovered out of the snare of the Adversary, though probably not until their opportunity to be of the bride of Christ is past.
Just as God permitted Satan to deceive Eve as to the result of her disobedience when she really desired to disobey God; as he permitted circumstances and surroundings to deceive unworthy Israel, who were too proud to receive the humble Nazarene as the promised Messiah and King, and to blind them to the spiritual blessings of the Gospel Age, reserved for the meek and faithful few; as he has for centuries permitted the delusions and deceptive appearances of Antichrist to flourish and deceive all who loved the world and desired the mere outward forms of godliness, so that the faithful few only would follow Christ through privations and persecutions; and as in the end of the Millennial Age he will again permit all those unworthy of life, because at heart disloyal to God, to be deceived with the delusive hope of life, regardless of that merit which alone can secure it; so we must not be surprised to find some now fully persuaded to a course contrary to the expressed will of God, on account of certain deceptions and delusions which have power over them because of some unfaithfulness on their part toward God and the covenant of consecration they had made with him.
While, therefore, the saints may and do rejoice in the manifest leadings of divine providence in the shaping of their course and their guidance in it toward the prize of their high calling, according to the precious promises above referred to, if they would not be deceived by a permitted counterfeit leading of the adversary, which will seem to be in the right direction, but which will actually be misleading, they must look well to it that they are carefully fulfilling the conditions under which alone such promises of safe leading can be claimed. They must see to it that they are still abiding in Christ, that they are faithful to their covenant of self-sacrifice, and hence still of the elect body of Christ, to whom the safe and sure leading is promised by him who will never leave us nor forsake us, so long as we humbly and faithfully abide in him. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 16:25)--if pursued to the end. But we may hope that many, who through some unfaithfulness are for a time beguiled into error of doctrine or of practice, may yet be recovered from the snare of the adversary.
And if one so ensnared should, on examination of his own heart, discover his deflection from the straight course and quickly repent of it, and again, from the standpoint of a thorough determination to greater faithfulness, view his course, God will indeed "show unto him the path of life" and give him grace to walk in it. For it is written, "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father." (1 John 2:1.) Consequently, while there is need for great watchfulness and carefulness, there is no cause for discouragement on the part of any who are faithful, or who in view of past unfaithfulness are sincerely repentant and very diligent in efforts to overcome weaknesses and hindrances.
The faithful, consecrated ones, therefore, may recognize the circumstances of their daily life, from the time of their consecration, [R1240 : page 2] as shaped by the Lord. If they have severe trials and testings of faith, of patience or of endurance; or if they have great obstacles and difficulties to surmount in accomplishing their fervent desire to do the Lord's will and the Lord's work; these should all be regarded as so many favors of God which thus afford them opportunities of overcoming and of proving their faithfulness. Or if in the faithful pursuance of their course an unseen hand gently smooths the way at times, and grants a sweet refreshment whereby new strength may be gathered for future trials, this too may be gratefully recognized as the same divine providence."If [for a time] on a quiet sea
To our haven we calmly sail,
With grateful hearts, O God, to thee,
We'll own the favoring gale.
"But should the surges rise
And rest delay to come,
Blest be the sorrow, kind the storm,
That drives us nearer home."
But if because of a decline of zeal for God, or a waning spirituality, we find ourselves smoothly drifting along with little to disturb or oppose us, there is indeed great room for fear. And though God may permit such for a long time to thus drift away, and even effectually separate themselves from the body of Christ, as surely as he loves them the surges of trouble will by and by rise about them for their discipline and correction.
Thus it will be seen that from the standpoint of faithfulness or unfaithfulness our experiences may be very differently regarded. Therefore, if any of the consecrated have been unfaithful to their privileges, let them beware of the leadings of circumstances, etc. But the faithful may rejoice in all things and in every thing give thanks; for "all things [whether seemingly favorable or unfavorable] shall work together for good to them."
MRS. C. T. RUSSELL.
THE FALL AND THE RESTITUTION.
The fall and the restitution of all things are more intimately associated than some seem to realize.
Some claim to believe in the "times of restitution" mentioned by the Apostle in Acts 3:17-19, who think of it as relating to the physical earth. They get the wrong idea from the Lord's words to Adam when he cast him out of Eden, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake." They somehow infer that the entire earth was like the Garden of Eden up to that time, and that there God caused a blight to come upon it because of sin. This is all wrong. It represents God as doing a great and useless work, as if he had not foreseen the fall of man and had been surprised by that sudden turn of events. It was because the entire earth was in a very imperfect [condemnable or cursed] state that God specially prepared or planted a garden or perfect spot eastward in Eden,* as a suitable place for the trial of the perfect man he was about to create, and as an illustration of what the whole earth shall be at the close of the Millennium, when the worthy of mankind shall have been tested and brought back to perfection. Thus seen, the earth, at the time God created Adam, lacked 7000 years of preparation, to make it all ready for man.
*The word Eden signifies delight--God planted the garden eastward in the most delightful portion of the earth as to climate, etc.
God's foreknowledge of Adam's course, while it was not allowed to influence Adam, did influence God's own conduct with reference to Adam. Seeing how man, inexperienced in the use of his great liberty, would soon disobey his law and come under its penalty, death, God arranged the entire plan of redemption and salvation with respect to this foreknowledge. He therefore introduced man upon the earth 7000 years before the earth would be properly ready for him, gave him a fair trial in the prepared "garden," and since, has let him have his experiences with sin and death in connection with the earth, and as a convict, to labor upon what God designs shall be the everlasting home of the obedient.
So then, a restitution of the earth would be far from a blessing--it would mean its return to a state of chaos.
Others who advocate an evolution doctrine use the word restitution with reference to man, and seem not to observe the inconsistency of such language in connection with other features of their theory. They believe that Adam was called man, not because he was really a man, but because he was the start or beginning of what would become a man. This evolution theory declares by one of its advocates that "If Adam fell at all, he fell upward."
For those who hold and teach such views to say that they believe in restitution is truly ludicrous. If Adam was not a perfect man, if he fell upward, and if his race to-day is more nearly perfect than he was, then the last thing to be hoped for, and the very thing above all to be if possible avoided, would be a time of restitution.
But how simple, consistent and plain all is when God's Word is the guide and the sophistries of error are discarded.
The fall from divine favor by the wilful sin of disobedience, the sentence of death, the ransom once for all, the only hope of salvation, the 6000 years of groaning and dying and hoping and longing on the part of mankind, the coming of the one who redeemed all with his own precious blood [life] to restore all things which God hath promised by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began--this is the Bible testimony. Do you believe it? Do you believe the testimony of the prophets, of the Lord, and of the apostles? Search and see; for this is the story of paradise lost, redeemed and restored, which they all declare.
FROM RUSSIA TO PALESTINE.
In consequence of the enforcing of an edict unfavorable to the Jews by the government of Russia, vast numbers of that people are emigrating to Brazil and to Palestine. The matter has attracted world-wide attention through the secular press, so that it is only needful to make mention of it in a general way as another step in the direction that all events are pointing-- to the fulfilment of God's prophecy concerning the events of the Day of the Lord in which we are living.
A NEW REQUIREMENT FOR CATHOLICS.
Under this heading, the Chicago Herald of Sept. 1st says:
"With the re-opening of the parochial schools to-day a new policy is to be inaugurated by the clergy of the archdiocese in relation to children attending the public schools. Hitherto there has been comparative liberality extended in the admission of children attending public schools to the sacraments of confirmation and communion. A few months' attendance at the parochial school was all that was thought necessary to insure a child's being instructed in religion sufficiently to be admitted to the sacraments. And, in some cases, even attendance at Sunday-school was considered adequate. But from to-day all this is to be changed.
"Children will not be allowed to receive the sacraments without previously attending for at least twelve months a parochial school."
Can this be the fulfilment of prophecy of Rev. 16:4-7, when the third angel poured his vial into the rivers (universities and colleges of learning), and into the fountains (the common schools and lesser institutions of learning, and perhaps including the books and newspapers) of water (knowledge, pure water, the truth, or knowledge of the truly muddy water, the truth or knowledge of it obscured by traditions of men), and they became blood (symbolic of strife and perhaps actual war)?
W. M. WRIGHT.
A SAINT IN THE SHADOW.I walk through darkened paths, yet know
My Father marks the way I go.
I cannot see his tender smile,
But feel his clasping hand the while;
And since he heeds the sparrow's fall,
I trust his love, in spite of all.
Borne through the dark by loving arms,
I sometimes shrink with vague alarms,
Yet closer cling that I may hear
The voice that whispers in mine ear.
"O trembling soul," it says to me,
"Rest in the love that clings to thee!"
I cannot tell if long the way
By which I go, through night to day;
But, soon or late, I know my feet
Will walk in sunshine, broad and sweet;
And, soon or late, before mine eyes
The radiant hills of peace uprise.
THE TABERNACLE'S TEACHINGS. (CONTINUED FROM THE AUGUST TOWER.)
ANOTHER TYPE OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT SACRIFICES. LEVITICUS 9.
This chapter seems to give a more condensed picture of the work and sacrifices of the Day of Atonement than the one already examined (16.), and in addition, it furnishes certain features which, after the consideration of the sixteenth, will be of interest to us. It is another picture of the Atonement.
"And Moses saith, This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you. And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the Altar and offer thy sin-offering and thy burnt-offering and make an atonement for thyself [the members of his body required it] and for the people" [the world].
This shows how Jesus [the bullock sacrifice for sins] was sufficient to redeem both his body, the "little flock," and also the whole world of mankind. Our share in the sin-offering could have been dispensed with entirely; we might have been saved from death and restored to perfection of human nature, just as all mankind will be. But it pleased Jehovah not only to choose Jesus to this great work of sacrifice, but also to make him the Captain or Head of his "Church, which is his Body," who, as well as their Captain, should be made perfect as SPIRITUAL beings, by suffering as sin-offerings, in the flesh.
Paul, referring to our intimate relationship to our Head, says: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places [the "Holy" and the "Most Holy"] in Christ; according as he hath CHOSEN US in him before the foundation of the world--to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath [justified or] made us accepted in the beloved." (Eph. 1:4,6.) God "called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thes. 2:14), so that "if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him."--2 Tim. 2:12.
To continue--After offering his own sacrifice once for all, he was to "offer the offering of the people [the goat], and make an atonement for them [all Israel] as Jehovah commanded." (This arrangement for our having part in the sacrifice of atonement was a part of our Father's original plan, as Paul also attests.)
"Aaron therefore went unto the altar and slew the calf [Heb., young bullock] of the sin-offering which was for [instead of, a substitute for] himself. And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; but the fat, [etc.] the flesh and the hide he burned with fire without the camp. And he slew the burnt-offering [a ram], and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar. And they presented the burnt-offering unto him; and he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt-offering on the altar, with the pieces thereof and the head." (Much the same account as in the 16th chapter, and having the same significance. See August TOWER.)
Thus the burnt-offering of Jesus has been burning all through the Gospel Age, giving evidence to all in the "Court" of God's acceptance of him and the acceptance of all the members of the body-- laid to the head, on the altar.
"And he brought the people's offering, and took the goat which was the sin-offering for the people [not for the Priests and Levites] and slew it and offered it for sin as the first," i.e., treated it exactly as he treated the bullock. This goat is the same as the "Lord's goat" in the other picture, the scape-goat and the other features being omitted in this more general view. It is, however, confirmatory of the teaching, that only those who follow the Lord's footsteps are participants in the sin-offering.
"And he brought the burnt-offering and offered it according to the [usual] manner. And he brought the meat-offering, and took a handful of it and offered it upon the altar beside the burnt-sacrifice of the morning."
"He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace-offerings which was for the people." The peace-offering, as already described, represents a vow or covenant. By this peace-offering, made in connection with the sin-offering of the High Priest, is signified the covenants and promises based on the sin-offering. In the type, the peace was established between Jehovah and Israel on this wise: The sin-offering having been made, also the burnt-offering showing the acceptableness of it to God, there was peace between Jehovah and Israel because their former Adamic sin was typically removed; and they were obligated to now live obedient to a covenant based on their forgiveness --i.e. they were to keep the Law--that he that doeth those things should live by (or as a reward for keeping) them. But as our sin-sacrifices are better than the typical ones, so with the peace-offering or covenant established by those sacrifices: it is a better covenant. Thus in this sacrifice of peace, or covenant-offering, the Priest is seen to serve unto the example and shadow of spiritual things--the mediator of a better covenant (Heb. 8:6-13), under which all people shall be blessed with RESTITUTION, and thus be enabled to obey the perfect law and live forever.
"And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people and blessed them and came down from offering of the sin-offering, and the burnt-offering and peace-offerings." Thus in the type we see illustrated the fact that though the blessing is not fully due to come upon the people until all sacrifices are finished, yet a measure of blessing comes upon mankind from the members of the Priest, even now during the age of sacrifice, before we all go into the "Most Holy" or spiritual condition.
"And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out and blessed the people."
When this day (age) of sacrifice is over, the complete Priest (head and body) will appear before God, and give evidence of having met all the claims of the law against the people (the world). It will be noticed that while the Type of Lev. 16th divides the work of the Atonement Day, and shows all the particulars of how the Lord's sacrifice first makes ours worthy of acceptance, etc., this type shows the entire work of the Gospel age as successive offerings, yet joined really in one--all the sufferings of Christ, when ended, followed at once by restitution blessings. The going in of Moses, also, seems to say, The Law is fully satisfied and its righteousness vindicated in the sacrifice of Christ. The Law (represented in the type by Moses) will testify on behalf of the world, that it is justified to life through the sacrifices of the Priest who "offered up himself."
When presented, the entire sacrifice was "holy, acceptable to God," and Moses and Aaron came out, and together they blessed the people. So in the incoming age, the Christ will bless all the families of the earth (Gal. 3:8,16,29; Gen. 12:3), yet not by setting aside or ignoring the Law of God and excusing sin, but by restoring men to perfection of humanity, in which condition they will be able to keep the perfect Law of God, and be blessed by it. Blessed by the Priest, made perfect and able to keep the Law, its condition of "do and live" will be a great blessing to all men; for whosoever will may then obey and live forever in happiness and communion with Jehovah.
"And the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people." As the blessing progresses (restoring and elevating the race mentally and physically) the results will become manifest. The people--the world in general--will recognize God's gracious love, more and more each day. Thus it will be, that "the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (Isa. 40:5.) They will come to see, gradually, the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God, which surpasseth all understanding.
It is worthy of note that the blessing here mentioned was not a blessing to the under-priests. No; they were represented in the blesser--in Aaron. The blessing came on all the people of Israel, who, in type, represented the world. It is this blessing of the world by the "SEED"-- the entire Christ, after all the afflictions are filled up by the Body (Col. 1:24) --that Paul refers to, saying, "The whole creation [humanity] groaneth and travaileth in pain together...waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God." Before they can experience deliverance from the bondage of corruption [sin and death] and restoration to the liberty of sons of God [freedom from condemnation, sin and death, etc.], as enjoyed by God's first human son, Adam (Luke 3:38), the Atonement Day sacrifices must be finished, and the priests who sacrificed must be clothed with the royal, divine authority and power to thus set them free.
It is doubtless this same blessing of all the people--salvation from death and its sting, sin--that Paul refers to, saying: "UNTO THEM THAT LOOK FOR HIM SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME WITHOUT SIN [without any contamination from those sins borne for sinners] unto salvation." (Heb. 9:28.) The world has seen the Priest--head and body--suffer as a sin-offering); during this age: Jesus was manifested to the Jews in the flesh (as a sin-offering); and as Paul could say, so can all the followers in his footsteps say, "Christ is manifest in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor. 4:11.) As the whole Christ has thus been manifest and suffered in the flesh, so they shall also be "glorified together" before the world; for the glory [the blessing and salvation] of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." When he shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory.-- Col. 3:4.
But this great High Priest of the world will be recognized only by "them that look for him." If he were to appear in the flesh, in the sky, or elsewhere, it would be an appearance to all, whether looking for him or not; but we have already seen that the Scriptures teach that the Head has been perfected as a spirit being, and that his "little flock" shall be made "like him," spirit beings, of the divine nature, which no man hath seen nor can see. (1 Tim. 6:16.) We have seen that the way in which the world will see the glorified Church will be by mental perception, in the same sense that a blind person may properly be said to see. In the same sense we now see the prize, the "crown of life," "while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen [by physical sight]; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18.) It is in this way that the entire Church of this age has been "looking unto Jesus;" thus "we see Jesus."-- Heb. 2:9 and 12:2.
This is the only way in which the human can see or recognize things on the spiritual plane. Jesus expressed this same idea to the disciples, that they who recognized his spirit or mind, and thus knew him, would be acquainted with the Father also in the same way. "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him and have seen him." This is the only sense in which the world will ever see God, for "no man hath seen God at any time" ["whom no man hath seen, nor can see"]--"the only begotten Son, he hath declared him." (1 Tim. 6:16; John 1:18.) Jesus revealed or caused his disciples to see him by making known his character--revealing him as the God of Love.
It was in the same way that the Papal system was shown by Luther and others, and seen by many, as the Antichrist; or as Paul had foretold, that wicked system-- the man of sin, was then revealed.
Thus also it will be in the Millennial day, when the complete Christ--the Priest --is revealed; he will be revealed only to those that look for him, and only those shall see him. They will see him, not by physical sight, but as we now see all spiritual things--Jesus, the Father, the prize, etc.--by the eye of faith. Men will not see the Christ by physical sight, for the same reason that they will never see Jehovah; because on a different plane of being-- one spirit, the other flesh. But we (the little flock) shall see him as he is, for we shall be like him.--1 John 3:2.
But, though only those who look shall be able to recognize the Christ as the deliverer who will save them from the dominion of death, yet this will embrace all the world, for the manner of revelation will be such that ultimately all must see. Every eye shall see him; and all in their graves, being then awakened, even they that pierced him will realize that they crucified the Lord of glory. "He shall be revealed [In the sky? No!] in flaming fire [judgments], taking vengeance on those that know not [acknowledge not] God, and that obey not the gospel of Christ." It will not take long for all mankind to recognize him under such circumstances. Now the [R1237 : page 4] good suffer; then shall ye discern between him that serveth the Lord, and him that serveth him not; for in that day the distinction will be manifested. (Mal. 3:15-18.) Then all, seeing clearly, may accept of him and have everlasting life; for "We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."--1 Tim. 4:10.
This the types illustrate--"And as it is appointed unto men [Aaron and his successors, who were only types of the High Priest of the new creation] once to die [typically, as represented in the animal slain], and after this [following as a result of those sacrifices] the judgment [of God, manifesting approval or disapproval of the sacrifice], so Christ [head and body, the true, Royal Priesthood] was once offered [never will it be repeated] to bear the sins of many ["every man"]; and unto them that look for him, he shall appear the second time, without sin [not blemished by the sins borne, nor to repeat the sin-offering, but] unto salvation"-- to give the redeemed life to all who desire it upon God's conditions of faith and obedience.--Heb. 9:27,28.
Every time a Priest went into the Most Holy on the Atonement Day he risked his life; for if his sacrifice had been imperfect he would have died as he passed the second Vail. Neither would he have been accepted into the Most Holy himself, nor would his imperfect sacrifice have been acceptable as an atonement for the sins of the people. Hence any failure meant his death, and the continuance in condemnation of all whose sins he attempted to cover or propitiate. This was the "judgment." Jesus, our Priest, passed this judgment successfully; his sacrifice was acceptable, as evidenced in his sending the blessing at Pentecost, which was a guarantee or assurance that ultimately he [and we in him] would come forth to bless the people--the world, for whose sins he fully and acceptably atoned.
Many have been looking in an indefinite way for a good time to come, for the removal in some manner of the curse of sin and dying and general evil; but they have not understood the long delay. They do not realize that the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement is necessary before the glory and blessing can come. "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting [though in ignorance] for the manifestation of the sons of God."--Rom. 8:19,22.
"And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering and the fat, which, when all the people saw, they shouted and fell on their faces"--worshipped. This is the same thought expressed in another form. The fire symbolizes God's acceptance; its recognition by the people shows that the world will realize the sacrifice and its value in God's estimation as the price of their liberty from death and the grave; and when they realize it, they will worship Jehovah and his representative, the Priest.
How beautifully these types teach a restitution, and a full ransom for all the people, and a blessing to come upon all. Nothing in the types seems to make a distinction between the living and the dead, and some may be inclined to infer that when the sacrifices of the High Priest are over, and the blessing commences, only those who are then living will be greatly benefited. But we answer, Nay, in God's estimation the living and the dead are alike; he speaks of them all as dead; all died in Adam, and all the little spark of life which any man possesses is really but one stage of dying. It is a dead race because of the sin of Adam, and it will be a race justified at the close of the Day of Atonement, to the same life he enjoyed and forfeited; and all who will, may have back life, liberty, favor of God and all that was lost, whether they have gone all the way down into death, or whether they still linger on the brink--in "the valley of the shadow of death."
This is the object of the sin-offerings; to release mankind from the dominion of death and restore them to the perfection of being which is essential to perfect happiness and at-one-ment with the Creator. This is the blessing which comes to all the families of the earth through The Seed of Abraham. This is the good news which was preached to Abraham, as we read: "God, foreseeing that he would justify the heathen [all mankind--Gentiles] through faith, preached before the gospel [good tidings] to Abraham, saying, In thee, and in thy seed, shall all nations be blessed [justified]...which Seed is Christ [primarily the head, and secondarily the body]; and if ye be Christ's [members] then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" referred to--viz.: that these may bless all the families of the earth. (Gal. 3:16,19.) But the Seed must be complete before the blessing comes, as shown in the type just considered:--The sin-offering must be ended before all the blessings resulting can flow out.
While the sacrifices of the people (Israel --the world) belong to the next age, and will then be presented to the Priests, yet in a certain sense this has a very slight beginning now. Thus it is that the worldly man possessed of wealth is in that sense a steward of God's things, and can use that "mammon" and with it make for himself friends; that when this age of Satan's rule is ended, and the reign of Christ commences, in which he shall no longer be a steward, then those whom he thus favored will bless him. If the worldly stewards of wealth (the mammon or god of this age) were wise, they would use more of their means thus. For whosoever shall give even a cup of cold water unto one of the least of these (Priests) shall by no means lose his reward when the kingdom of Christ is organized and its rule begins.--Luke 16:1-8 and Matt. 10:42.
The restriction that the High Priest alone went into the Most Holy once a year to make an atonement should not be misunderstood to mean that he and the under-priests never went in thither during succeeding days--after the Atonement Day had made full reconciliation for sins. On the contrary, the High Priest went in there often in after days. It was into the Most Holy that the High Priest went whenever he would inquire for Israel, using the breast-plate of Judgment, the Urim and Thummim. Again, whenever they broke camp, which was often, the Priests went in and took down the Vails and wrapped up the Ark, and all the holy vessels, before the Levites could carry them. --Num. 4:5-16.
Again, whenever an Israelite offered a sin-offering unto the priests (after the "Day of Atonement" sacrifices were over), they all ate it in the Most Holy. (Num. 18:10.) So with the antitype, after the present "Day of Atonement" is over; the "Royal Priesthood" shall be in the Most Holy or perfect spiritual condition, and there accept (eat) the sacrifices for sin, brought by the world for their own transgressions--not the Adamic sins which were canceled on the Day of Atonement. There, in the perfect spiritual condition, the priesthood shall instruct in every matter, as represented in the decisions and answers given to Israel by the Urim and Thummim. [R1237 : page 4]
SACRIFICES, SUBSEQUENT TO THE DAY OF ATONEMENT.
Those sacrifices which do not belong to the class we denominate the "Day of Atonement sacrifices" illustrate offerings and sacrifices which belong to the Millennial Age.
As in the type the Day of Atonement sacrifices preceded all others, and were a basis of general forgiveness and acceptance with God for all Israel, but were followed by other sacrifices after that day, for individual sins, termed "sin-offerings," "trespass-offerings," etc., so it will be in the antitype. After the sacrifices of this Gospel Age shall have brought the world into a justified condition, there will still be sins and trespasses committed, which will require confession and reconciliation, making these after-sacrifices necessary.
The Atonement Day sacrifices represent the cancellation of Adamic sin by the sacrifice of the Christ, but during the Millennium, while the benefits of that atonement are being applied to the world, while they are being gradually restored to actual perfection and life and harmony with God, errors will be committed, for which they will be in some measure individually responsible. For such they must make some amend, accompanied by repentance, before they can be again in harmony with God through Christ their Mediator.
Consecration will be also in order in the next age, though, owing to the changed government of the world, consecration will no longer, as now, mean unto death, but on the contrary it will be unto life, for with the close of Satan's reign comes the end of pain, sorrow and death, except upon evil-doers. Consecration must always be a voluntary presentation of one's powers, and hence this is represented in some of the sacrifices after the Atonement-Day.
As the basis of all forgiveness of sins in the next age will be the "Day of Atonement sacrifices," it would be appropriate in the type for the sinner to bring some sacrifice which would indicate a recognition of those sacrifices, as the ground for forgiveness anew. And so we find that all offerings of the people after the Day of Atonement were of a kind which pointed back to, or recognized, the sacrifices of that day. These offerings might be of cattle, or sheep, or fowl (turtle doves or young pigeons), or of fine flour, the article offered depending on the ability of the offerer.
During the Millennial Age all men "will come to a knowledge of the truth," and be saved from the curse of Adamic death. (1 Tim. 2:4.) When we remember that this death includes all the sickness, pain and imperfection to which humanity is now subject, we see that God's plan includes a full restoration to human perfection; but perfection will come gradually, and it will require the co-operation of the sinner's WILL to ever reach it. He must do what he can to climb up again to perfection, and will have all the assistance necessary. This is shown by these sacrifices in general; they were to be according to every man's ability. If very much degraded by sin and very imperfect, he must, when he comes to a knowledge of the truth, present himself to God. If thus poor and degraded he may bring a dove, or pigeon; when less degraded, a goat; and when perfect as a man his offering may be a bullock. Just as a bullock was used to typify the perfect humanity (much fat) of Jesus' sacrifice, and as a goat (wayward and lean) was used to represent our imperfect human nature in the sacrifices of this Atonement Day, so those animals similarly represent the offerers (Israel-- typical of the then believing world) in their consecrations. But it should be remembered that these Burnt offerings and Peace offerings of the future represent the people as consecrating--giving themselves to the Lord. They do not represent atonement sacrifices as the sin offerings of the Atonement Day do.
When the whole world has been brought to perfection there will be no longer any who are poor in this sense--in the sense of deficiency of mental, moral or physical ability; all will be perfect men and their offerings will be their perfect selves, typified by bullocks. David, speaking of this, says: "Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness (of right doing), with burnt offering and whole burnt offering then shall they offer bullocks (perfect sacrifices) upon thine altar." (Psa. 51:19.) Yet that David's language should not be understood to teach the restoration of the literal, bloody, typical sacrifices is evident, for in the same connection he says, "Thou desirest not sacrifice" (the typical) broken spirit; and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." All these sacrifices must be of the free will and desire of the offerer.--Lev. 1:3.
The completeness of consecration is shown by the death of the animal; that is, each member of the race must consecrate his will; but it will be followed neither by the destruction of the human nature (the burning of the flesh outside the camp) nor by the taking of the life into a new nature--into the Most Holy; only the High Priest enters there, as shown in the Atonement sacrifices. No; when consecrated, they are accepted as human beings, their right to life as such having been purchased by the High Priest, in the members of whose body all the overcoming Church is represented. Their consecration represents their appreciation of their ransom and their acquiescence to the law of God as the condition upon which they shall continue to live everlastingly in harmony and favor with him.
THEIR BURNT OFFERINGS.
The burnt offerings of the Priests were to be kept up continually on the Altar, and the fire never suffered to die out. "This is the law of the Burnt Offering; it is the Burnt Offering because of the burning upon the Altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the Altar shall be burning in it....It shall not be put out, and the Priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it....The fire shall ever be burning upon the Altar; it shall never go out."--Lev. 6:9,12,13.
Thus is represented to the mind of each offerer the fact that the Altar was already sanctified or set apart, and their offerings acceptable because of God's acceptance of the Atonement Day sacrifices. To this Altar the Israelite brought his free will offering as narrated in Lev. 1. It was made in the usual way; the animal, cut in pieces and washed, was laid, the pieces to the head, on the Altar, and wholly burnt, a sacrifice of sweet savor unto the Lord. This would serve to typify a thankful prayer to Jehovah--an acknowledgment of his mercy, wisdom and love, as manifested in the broken body of the Christ--their ransom.
THEIR TRESPASS OR SIN OFFERINGS.
"If a soul [being] commit a trespass and sin through ignorance in the holy things of the Lord;...if he sin and commit any of these things which are forbidden [R1237 : page 5] to be done by the Commandments of the Lord, though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity." "And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock," and money according to the Priest's estimation of the trespass, with a FIFTH MORE, and this shall be their offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for him. And if any sin knowingly and damage or defraud his neighbor, he shall restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto [twenty per cent. interest] and give it to the wronged one. And he shall bring a ram for the trespass offering unto the Lord.--Lev. 5:15-19; and 6:1-7.
This teaches that for every wrong, restoration must be made with interest, and a repentance or asking forgiveness of the Lord through the Church (Priesthood); their recognition of their own imperfections and the value of their ransom being shown by the ram presented.
But notice the difference between the treatment of this sin-offering and the sin-offerings of the Day of Atonement: The latter were offered to God (Justice) in the Holy as the ransom or purchase-price of sinners; the former were offered to the Priests who, during the Atonement Day, had purchased the people. The acknowledgement of the people will be made to their Redeemer. The Priest took a part and offered it to the Lord as a memorial, as a recognition that the whole plan of redemption as executed on the Atonement Day (Gospel Age) was his, appropriating to himself (eating) the remainder.
The offerings of the Atonement Day, we have seen, were always burned (Lev. 6:30; Heb. 13:11), but the after sin-offerings are not to be burned, but eaten by the Priests. "This is the law of the sin-offering ....The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it....All the males among the priests shall eat thereof."-- Lev. 6:25-29.
The whole world, purchased with the precious blood (human life) of Christ, will present themselves, for forgiveness of trespass, to the Royal Priesthood who paid their ransom-price; and their acceptance of the gift will be the forgiveness. To this agree Jesus' words to his disciples: "He breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit. Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain [to them] they are retained."-- John 20:23.
While this "ministry of reconciliation" belongs in its fullest sense in the next age, when all the sacrifices of Atonement will have been completed, yet even now, any member of the "Royal Priesthood" may say to those who believe and repent, "Thy sins are forgiven thee"--as did our Head, by faith looking forward to the completion of the sacrifice for sins, which sacrifice he had begun.
THEIR PEACE OFFERINGS.
This offering must be of the herd or flock, and it might be made either in fulfilment of a vow (covenant), or as a willing "thank-offering." Part of it was to be brought to Jehovah by the offerer--"His own hands shall bring the offerings of the Lord made by fire; the fat with the breast; it shall he bring," and the priest shall burn the fat on the altar, and wave the breast before the Lord. But the breast shall be the priest's, also the shoulder. The offerer must eat the sacrifice. --Lev. 3 and 7:11-18,30-34.
This seems to show, that if any man would come into a condition of full peace and harmony (as all are to do or else be cut off in the second death), he must eat or fulfil a covenant before God, of entire consecration to him. If, after being thus perfected, he again becomes defiled with sin, he must die (the second death), as shown by the touching of unclean things. --Lev. 7:19-21.
With this sacrifice there was presented an offering of unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and anointed wafers, representing the offerer's faith in Christ's character, which he will copy; and leavened bread indicating his acknowledgment of his own present imperfection at the time of consecration--leaven being a type of sin. --Lev. 7:11-13.
THEIR MEAT OFFERINGS.
These, of fine flour, unleavened cakes, with oil, etc., were presented to the Lord through the priest. They probably represent praises and worship offered to the Lord by the world, through his Church. "Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages." (Eph. 3:21.) These were accepted by the priests. A sample being offered on the Altar shows that it was acceptable to Jehovah. [R1237 : page 5]
OTHER SIGNIFICANT TYPES.
In the preceding description we have purposely omitted an explanation of some interesting details which can now be better understood by those who have, through careful study, obtained a clear understanding of the general plan of the Tabernacle, its services, and their typical signification.
THE POSTS which stood in the court, and held up the white curtains, represent justified believers. They are in the "Court," the proper place for such, as we have already seen. They are of wood, a corruptible material. This shows that they are not actually perfect as human beings; for since human perfection is represented by copper, those posts should either be made of copper, or covered with copper, to represent actually perfect human beings. They were made of wood, but were set into sockets of copper, which teaches us that, though actually imperfect, their standing is that of perfect human beings. It would be impossible more clearly to represent justification by faith.
THE WHITE CURTAIN, which, held up by those posts, formed the Court, well illustrates the same justification or purity. Thus justified ones should continually hold up to the view of the world (the camp) the pure linen representing Christ's righteousness, as their covering.
THE SILVER HOOKS, by which the posts held up the curtain, are symbolic of truth. Silver is a general symbol of truth. They can really and truthfully claim that Christ's righteousness covers all their imperfections. (Lev. 27:11-17.) And it is only by the aid of the truth that they are able to hold to their justification.
THE POSTS at the entrance of the Tabernacle --at the "door" of the Holy-- were covered by the first vail. They were totally different from the posts in the court, and represent the consecrated saints. The difference between these and the posts in the "Court" shows the difference between the justified and the sanctified conditions. The consecration to death of a justified man we have seen to be the way into the "Holy"--passing through the death of the human will, the fleshly mind, the first vail. Hence these posts should illustrate this change; and so they do. They were covered with gold, symbol of the divine nature. Being set in sockets of copper represents how "we have this treasure [divine nature] in earthen vessels" (2 Cor. 4:7)-- i.e., our new nature is still based upon, and rests in, our justified humanity. This, it will be remembered, corresponds exactly with what we found the "Holy" to symbolize, viz.: our place or standing as new creatures, not yet perfected.-- Exod. 26:37.
THE POSTS in the "Most Holy" were just inside the second vail, and represent those who pass beyond the flesh (vail) entirely, into the perfection of the spiritual condition. These posts were so constructed as to fully illustrate this-- covered with gold, representing divine nature, but no longer set in sockets of copper--no longer dependent on any human condition; they were set in sockets of silver (reality, truth), which seem to say to us: When you come inside this vail you will be perfect--really and truly new creatures.--Exod. 26:32.
THE GOLDEN TABLE bearing the shewbread represents the church as a whole, including Jesus and the Apostles--all "holding forth the word of life." (Phil. 2:16.) The great work of the true church during this age is to feed, strengthen and enlighten all who enter the covenanted spiritual condition. The bride of Christ is to make herself ready. (Rev. 19:7.) The witnessing to the world during the present age is quite secondary and incidental. The full blessing of the world will follow in God's "due time."
THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK was all of one piece, hammered out; there was one central shaft with a lamp on top, and three branches on each side of it, each bearing a lamp, making seven lamps in all--a perfect or complete number. This represents the complete Church, from the Head, Jesus, to and including the last member of the "little flock" that he is taking out from among men, to be partakers of the divine (gold) nature. Jesus says, "The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches" (Rev. 1:20)-- the one Church whose seven stages or developments were symbolized in the seven congregations of Asia minor. (Rev. 1:11.) Yes, that candlestick represents the entire Church of the First-born--not the nominal but the true church--the Royal Priesthood.
The form of workmanship was beautiful --a fruit and a flower, a fruit and a flower following successively, which shows us that the true church ("whose names are written in heaven") is both beautiful and fruitful from first to last. The lamp part on top of each branch was shaped like an almond, the significance of which we shall see when considering Aaron's rod.
The oil for this lamp was olive oil-- beaten or refined; and the lamps were kept lighted always. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The light was for the benefit of the priests only, and represents the spirit or mind of God given to enlighten the Church, in the deep things of God, which are entirely hidden from the natural man (1 Cor. 2:14), even though he be a believer--a justified man (a Levite). None but the truly consecrated ones, the Royal Priesthood, are even to see into this deeper light, hidden in the "Holy." These always have access to the "Holy;" it is their right and privilege; it was intended for them. (Heb. 9:6.) The Levite class can not see in, because of the vail of human-mindedness which comes between them and the sacred things; and the only way to set it aside is to consecrate and sacrifice wholly the human nature.
The lights were to be trimmed and replenished every morning and evening by the High Priest--Aaron and his sons who succeeded him in office. (Exod. 27:20-21; and 30:8.) So our High Priest is daily filling us more and more with the mind of Christ, and trimming off the dross of the old nature.
We are sometimes puzzled to know why some religious people cannot see any but natural things and cannot discern the deeper spiritual truths of the Word. They can see restitution for natural men, but cannot see the divine, heavenly calling. These Tabernacle lessons show us why this is. They are brethren of the household of faith, but not brethren in Christ-- consecrated sacrificers. They are Levites --in the Court: they never consecrated as priests, and consequently cannot enter the "Holy," nor see the things prepared for the priestly class only. The natural "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard-- neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us [who, through consecration, have become "partakers of the divine nature,"] by his Spirit [light of the lamp], for the Spirit searcheth [revealeth] all things--yea, the deep [hidden] things of God."--1 Cor. 2:9.
The church nominal has always included both the justified and sanctified classes --Levites and Priests. In Paul's letters certain parts were addressed to the justified class (Levites) who had not fully consecrated. Thus, after exhorting in Gal. 5, he winds up by assuring them that the things he complains of are evidences that they do not belong to the Body of Christ, the Priesthood: for, he says, "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Verse 24.) In the same way he addresses the Romans (Chap. 12:1.): "I beseech you, therefore, brethren [believers--justified by faith in Christ--Levites], by the mercies of God [manifest through Christ in our justification], that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice [that you consecrate wholly-- thus becoming Priests], holy, acceptable unto God." Being justified freely by faith in Jesus, God reckons you as sinless, or holy; and he has agreed to accept every such sacrifice--"With such sacrifice he is ever well pleased." By so doing, you become Priests--members in particular of the High Priest's body.
The succeeding verse tells them what will result from consecrating--viz., the transformation of their minds. Their wills being renewed, they will be priests--new creatures possessing the spirit of Christ. The fact that at this time they had not the spirit of sacrifice is an evidence that they were not members of Christ--for "if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Rom. 8:9.) And it seems evident that by far the larger proportion of the early churches (much more so of the modern worldly mixture, the confused "Babylon" of the present day) were not consecrated, and consequently were not Priests, but merely Levites, doing the service of the sanctuary, but not sacrificing.
Looking back at the type in the Law, we find that there were 8,580 Levites appointed in the typical service, while only five Priests were appointed for the typical sacrificing. (Num. 4:36,40,44,48; Exod. 28:1.) It may be that this, as much as the other features of that shadow, was designed to illustrate the proportion of justified believers to self-sacrificing, consecrated ones. Though now the nominal church numbers millions, yet when an allowance is made for hypocrites, and one in every seventeen hundred of the remainder supposed to be living sacrifices (a correct proportion according to the type), it seems quite evident that the Lord did not make a misstatement when he said that those who would receive the kingdom (the Royal Priesthood) would be a "little flock."--Luke 12:32. [R1237 : page 6]
The fact that we see believers who are trying to put away their sins is not of itself evidence of their being Priests, for Levites, as well as Priests, should practice "circumcision of the heart"--"putting away the filth [sins] of the flesh." Nor is a spirit of meekness, gentleness, benevolence and morality always a result of consecration to God. These qualities belong to a perfect natural man (the image of God), and occasionally they partially survive the wreck of the fall. But such, in the nominal church, not infrequently pass for proofs of full consecration.
Even when we see believers practicing self-denial in some good work of political or moral reform, that is not an evidence of consecration to God, though it is an evidence of consecration to a work. Consecration to God says, Any work, anywhere; Lo, "I delight to do thy will, O God"--thy will, in thy way, be done. Consecration to God, then, will insure a searching of his revealed plan in his Word, that we may be able to spend and be spent, for him and in his service, according to his arranged plan.
Marvel not, then, that so few have ever seen the glorious beauties within the Tabernacle; only Priests can see them. The Levites may know of them only as they hear them described. They have never seen the hidden light and beauty; never eaten of the "bread of presence;" never offered the acceptable incense at the Golden Altar. No; to enjoy these, they must pass the Vail--into entire consecration to God in sacrifice, during the Atonement Day.
THE GOLDEN ALTAR seems also to represent the entire (consecrated) church in the present sacrificing condition. From this altar ascends the sweet incense, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ--the willing services of the priests: their praises, their willing obedience; all things whatsoever they do, to the glory of God. Those who thus offer incense acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:5) come very close to their Father--close up to the Vail which separates from the Most Holy; and if they have requests to make they may be presented with the incense-- "much incense with the prayers of saints." (Rev. 8:3.) The prayers of such priests of God are effectual. Jesus kept the incense continually burning, and could say "I know that thou hearest me always." (John 11:42.) So we will be heard always, if we continually offer incense of faith, love and obedience to God; and none should expect to have requests recognized who do not thus keep their covenant --"If ye abide in me and my words [teachings] abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you."* --John 15:7.
*The necessity of a clear apprehension of Christ's teachings as a guide to our requests and expectations, that we may not "ask amiss" and out of harmony with God's plan, is clearly shown by this Scripture--but seldom noticed.
We have learned, through types previously considered, something of the glory of the "Most Holy" (the perfect, divine condition), which no man can approach unto (1 Tim. 6:16), but to which the "new creatures in Christ Jesus"--partakers of the divine nature--will finally come, when the incense-offering on the part of the entire Body of Christ, the Royal Priesthood, is finished, and the cloud of perfume goes before them into Jehovah's presence, that they may live beyond the Vail, being acceptable to God by Jesus Christ their Lord.
THE ARK. Let us now consider what God designed to symbolize by the "Ark of the Testimony," the only article of furniture in the "Most Holy." (See Heb. 9:2,3 and Diaglott foot note.) Its name suggests that it illustrates the embodiment of Jehovah's plan, which he had purposed in himself, before even the head of the Christ had been created, before the beginning of the creation of God, before the minutest development of his plan had taken place. It represented the purpose of God to develop a little flock, to be partakers of the divine nature and to be imbued with power and great glory-- the prize of our high-calling; the joy set before our Lord, and all the members of his body.
As before stated, it was a rectangular box overlaid with gold, which represents the divine nature. It contained the two Tables of the Law (Deut. 31:24), and Aaron's Rod that budded (Num. 17:8), and the Golden Pot of Manna (Exod. 16:32). The Law showed how the Christ should meet in full all the requirements of God's perfect Law, and also that legal authority should be vested in him as the Law-executor.
The righteousness of the Law was actually fulfilled in our Head, and it is also fulfilled in all those new creatures who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit; that is, who walk in obedience to the new mind. The infirmities of the old nature which we are daily crucifying, once settled by our ransom-price, are not charged to us as new creatures.
When it is written that "the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us"--the end of our course (perfection) is reckoned to us, because we are walking toward or after that spiritual perfection which, when we reach the Ark condition in the "Most Holy," will be complete.
AARON'S ROD that budded shows the elect character of all the body of Christ, as members of the royal priesthood. By reading Numbers 17, the meaning of the budded rod will be seen to be Jehovah's acceptance of Aaron and his sons--the typical priesthood representing Christ and the church--as the only ones who might perform the priest's office of mediator. That rod, therefore, represented the acceptableness of the "Royal Priesthood" --the Christ, Head and Body. The rod budded and brought forth almonds. A peculiarity about the almond tree is, that the fruit-buds appear before the leaves; so with the "royal priesthood:" they sacrifice or bring forth fruit, before the leaves or professions are seen.
THE GOLDEN POT OF MANNA represents immortality as being one of the possessions of the Christ of God. Jesus doubtless refers to this, when he says: "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." (Rev. 2:17.) Manna was the bread which came down from heaven--a life-sustainer; so God through Christ provides life for all Israel (the world) that they may live forever--continually eating of it; but he offers to those who become Christ's joint-heirs, members of the Anointed Body, that they shall have a peculiar sort of manna, or life principle, the "hidden manna." One peculiarity of this pot of manna was, that it was incorruptible; hence, it well illustrates the immortal, incorruptible condition promised to all members of the "Seed" --which is the Church. The manna fed to Israel was not incorruptible and must be gathered daily. So all the obedient except the "little flock" of priests will be provided with life everlasting, but conditional, supplied and renewed life; while the little flock, who under present unfavorable conditions are faithful overcomers, will be given an incorruptible portion --immortality. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., page 181.)
Here, then, in the golden Ark, is represented the glory to be revealed in the divine Christ; in the budded rod, God's chosen priesthood; in the tables of the Law, the righteous Judge; in the incorruptible manna in the golden bowl, immortality, divinity.
Above this Ark, and constituting a lid, or head over it, was the Mercy Seat--a slab of solid gold, on the two ends of which, and of the same piece of metal, were formed two cherubim, with wings uplifted as if ready to fly--their faces looking inward toward the centre of the plate on which they stood. Here, between the cherubim on the Mercy Seat, a bright light indicated Jehovah's presence.
To our understanding, as the Ark represents the Christ, so the Mercy Seat, Glory-light and Cherubim together represent Jehovah, God. As with Christ, so with Jehovah, he is here represented by things which illustrate attributes of his character. The light reminds us of Paul's words: (1 Tim. 6:16) God "only hath immortality, dwelling in light, which no man can approach unto." Humanity cannot enter his presence; hence, the priest-hood, Head and body, represented by Aaron, must become new creatures, "partakers of the divine nature" (having crucified and buried the human), before they can appear before that excellent glory.
The slab of gold called the Mercy Seat (or more properly the Propitiatory, because on it the Priest offered the blood of the sacrifices which propitiated or satisfied God's just demands), represents the underlying principle of Jehovah's character --JUSTICE. His throne is established upon JUSTICE. "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne."-- Psa. 89:14; Rev. 15:3; Job 36:17 and 37:23; Isa. 56:1.
The TWO CHERUBIM represent two elements of our Father's character as revealed in his Word, viz.: Love and Power. These attributes, Justice the foundation principle and Love and Power of the same quality and lifted up out of it, are in perfect harmony with each other. They are all made of one piece; they are thoroughly one. Neither Love nor Power can be exercised unless Justice is fully satisfied. Then they fly to help, to lift up and to bless. They were on the wing, ready, but waiting; looking inward toward the Mercy Seat, toward Justice, to know when to move.
See the High Priest as he approaches with the blood of the Atonement sacrifices. Will he put it upon the Cherubim? No, neither the Power nor the Love of God independently require the sacrifice. He need not, therefore, sprinkle the Cherubim. It is the Justice of God that will by no means clear the guilty. It was Justice that said: "The wages of sin is death." When, therefore, the High Priest would give a ransom for sinners, it is to Justice that it must be paid. Hence the appropriateness of the ceremony of sprinkling the blood upon the Mercy Seat or PROPITIATORY.
Love led to the whole redemptive plan. It was because God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son to redeem it by paying to Justice the ransom-price. So Love has been active, preparing for the redemption ever since sin entered; yes, from "before the foundation of the world."--1 Pet. 1:20."Love first contrived the way
To save rebellious man."
When the Atonement Day sacrifices (bullock and goat) are complete, Love tarries to see the results of its plan. As the blood is sprinkled, Justice cries, It is enough; it is finished. Then comes the moment when Love and Power may act, and swiftly they wing their flight to bless the ransomed race. When Justice is satisfied, Power starts upon its errand, which is co-extensive with that of Love, using the same agency--Christ.
The relationship and oneness of that divine family--the Son and his Bride, represented by the Ark, in harmony and oneness with the Father, represented by the Cover--is shown in the fact that the Mercy Seat was the lid of the Ark, and hence a part--the top or head of it. As the head of the Church is Christ Jesus, so the head of the entire Christ is God. (1 Cor. 11:3.) This is the oneness for which Jesus prayed, saying: Father, "I pray not for the world, but for those thou hast given me"--"that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may [then] believe."--John 17:9,21.
It is significant, also, that any member of the priesthood that had a blemish of eye, hand, nose, foot, or in any way, could not fill the office of Priest [High Priest]; neither any man having any superfluity, such as an extra finger or toe. This seems to teach us of the perfection of every member of that body; they are all "overcomers." And furthermore, it shows that when the body of Christ is complete, there will be no additions permitted --no superfluity. If, then, we are called, if we have heard the invitation to become members in particular of his Body, and have accepted it, let us seek to make our calling and election [as members of that "little flock"] sure, by so running as to obtain the prize. If we miss the prize some one else will win in our place, for the body will be complete; not one member will be lacking, and not one superfluous. Take heed, "let no man take thy crown."--Rev. 3:11.
It has been a matter of surprise to some that the glory and beauty of the Tabernacle --its golden walls, its golden and beautifully engraved furniture, and vails of curious work, were so completely covered and hidden from view of the people; having no sunlight from without, even, to illuminate it. But this is all in keeping with the lessons we have received from its services. As God covered the type and hid its beauty under curtains and rough unsightly skins, so the glories and beauties of spiritual things are seen only by those who enter the consecrated condition --the Royal Priesthood. These, too, enter a hidden glory which the world and all outside fail to appreciate. Their glory and also their standing as new creatures are hidden from their fellowmen."Ah, these are of a royal line,
All children of a King,
Heirs of immortal crowns divine,
And lo, for joy they sing!
"Why do they, then, appear so mean?
And why so much despised?
Because of their rich robes unseen
The world is not apprised."
A German woman, a Romanist, residing in New York, on leaving her native land had received from her priest a charm, which was to preserve her amid the perils of the voyage, and to protect her in a land of strangers. Such a charm is generally procured by German Catholic immigrants before coming to America. Sometimes it consists of a small crucifix; sometimes of a mere picture of the Saviour on the cross, enveloped in a leather case; sometimes of an image of the Virgin. In this case it was an image of porcelain. Its possessor [R1240 : page 7] having reached New York in safety, and thus proved the virtue of her crucifix, kept it suspended upon the wall of her chamber as an aid to devotion, if not itself an object of grateful adoration. But one day, as she was adjusting the furniture of the room, a sudden jar brought down the crucifix to the floor, and broke it into fragments. Alas! What could she do now? For a time she gave herself up to weeping and self-reproach. But in her grief, she sought counsel of a neighbor in an adjoining apartment. "What shall I do?" she cried, "for my dear Christ is broken to pieces." [R1241 : page 7]
It happened that this neighbor was one who had experienced the grace of Christ in her own soul. She said to her distressed friend, "Do not grieve, and I will tell you how you may make up your loss. I keep the Saviour always in my heart."
She then explained to her the Scriptures and invited her to go to preaching on the next Sabbath. The invitation was accepted; the eyes of the poor disconsolate woman were opened, and she too found a Christ whom she can keep always in her heart, and of whom no casualty can ever deprive her.
Faith in the historic evidences of Christianity may be shaken at times by doubts and fears, creeds assailed or undermined, ecclesiastical systems exploded into fragments, but nothing shall ever deprive us of Christ, if he be in us "the hope of glory."--Selected.
THE MEANING OF WORDS.
"I don't take a dictionary when I want to know the meaning of Bible words: I take the Bible and look up all the texts in which the word of doubtful meaning occurs, and judge of its meaning by its use in the Scriptures, irrespective of the definition given by dictionaries."
Thus writes one who, we doubt not, thinks he has stumbled upon the true method of study, and who does not see the nonsense of his conclusion. People who take such a position have little use for dictionaries or helps to accuracy of any sort. Ignorance is the strength of their position, and they not only do not wish to know the accurate meaning of the words they use, but they would like to keep others in the dark in order that their theories may not be endangered. And it is evident that any man who is afraid to have the true sense of a word understood has a theory to support which the true meaning of words would contradict and overthrow. Alas! that such a spirit of dishonesty should be found in any manner associated with the name Christian or the doctrines of Christ.
If we read an English translation of the Bible and do not fully understand the meaning of all English words, or are in doubt about any, there is but one proper way to do--Go to some one who does know their meaning and inquire. This is just what sensible people use a dictionary for. Thus even if the English were the original tongue of the Bible, a dictionary would be necessary.
But the fallacy of rejecting a dictionary is the more evident when we remember that the Bible was not written in English, that the English version is not the original Bible, but a translation of it. And the translators put the thoughts of the original as nearly as they could into the English language, using English words with their true significance as used by educated people and defined in dictionaries. If, therefore, a man relies upon the English translation, the best he can do is to try to get the exact meaning of the English text.
But while the use of a dictionary is the best method of getting at the exact meaning of the English translation of the Bible, it is not infallible; for the translators, we find, did not always select the best English words to express the sentiments of the original.
Unless you have a thorough knowledge of the original languages of the Scriptures, or else some confidence in the statements of others, you had best stick to the English translation and the interpretation of it by Webster's Dictionary. But God has provided some very valuable aids to the study of his Word in the original languages for persons of even ordinary common-school education. These are found in Young's Greek, Hebrew and English Concordance and other similar works, of which it is the cheapest and best suited to the ordinary student. This book is a dictionary as well as a concordance. It shows the Greek or Hebrew word and gives its meaning in English. And any one, therefore, who desires to be more accurate than the English translation and the English dictionary needs the original languages and a dictionary of them.
To illustrate this subject, take the word hell in the New Testament.
First, follow the plan suggested by the one whose method we criticize--look up all the occurrences of the word hell in the New Testament and see what light you would be likely to get. None.
Second, take Webster's Dictionary and look up the meaning of the English word hell. There you would get much more information than you probably had at first, or could get from merely comparing the texts in the English Testament. You would find that the original meaning of hell was "to conceal, to hide." You would find the primary meaning of the word given thus:
"The place of the dead, or of souls after death; the lower regions or the grave; called in Hebrew sheol and in Greek hades."
True, Webster gives a secondary meaning, or another sense in which the word hell is used, as "The place or state of punishment for the wicked after death; the abode of evil spirits."
The latter, however, the intelligent student will see, proceeds largely from the modern prevalent theological view and not from the true, primary significance of the word. We submit that most people would reach clearer views of the meaning of this by taking Webster's definition than by comparing all the texts of the Bible, with the ordinary and false meaning of the word in mind.
Third, take Young's Concordance and Dictionary (a standard work by an acknowledged scholar, an eminent Presbyterian in Scotland). It will show you that three totally distinct Greek words, with totally distinct meanings, are all translated hell. It separates the texts and shows which are from each of the three Greek words, hades, gehenna and tartaroo, and gives what he, as a Greek scholar, understands those words to signify. He shows also the word from which hell in the Old Testament is translated--sheol.
Here, then, after getting the different Greek and Hebrew words classified and the texts under each, is the time when a comparison of the several texts in each class will help the intelligent student to arrive at the true significance of any word by noting the usage by the inspired writers. And yet this is only a very limited comparison; and such as have the necessary education or other books to show the matter will find other texts in which the same Greek and Hebrew words occur and are translated by other words than hell, namely, grave and pit. And a comparison of the texts thus translated, with those translated hell, will increase the light many fold.
In choosing the word hell as an illustration, we have taken one of the simplest, and not one of the most complex: other words in our English translation represent many more Greek words; for instance our words come and came represent 192 Greek and Hebrew words with various shades of meaning. And on the other hand a Greek or Hebrew word is often translated by a great variety of English words. For instance, the Hebrew word nasa is rendered in English by 64 different words, and the Greek word ginomai is rendered by 47 different English words.
But what could induce any one to disregard the exact meaning of words which every one knows is necessary to a correct understanding of any subject in any language? Ah! It was to support a theory--a theory which it was seen would not stand if the light were turned on, and the real meaning of words accepted; a theory which could best succeed if people were ignorant of the meaning of the key words, and would allow certain teachers to twist words so that death would mean life, and second death would mean second life. Yes, the theory which relies on this advice is the no-ransom theory; and the very word its teachers would most prefer should be misunderstood is the English word ransom and its equivalent antilutron and lutron anti of the Greek.
EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--Opportunity presenting, I sent the enclosed letter to a Brother in Christ, who yet believes in eternal torture; have sent him Tract No. 1, and if it seems wise will send him some of the TOWERS later. I send the letter as an evidence that the Lord lets me do a little. Christian love to all the household.
W. E. PAGE.
[The letter may be of interest to others, so we publish it below. Writing letters to your friends is an excellent way of serving them and the Truth--provided you have the talent for this work. Let each zealously use the best talents he is possessed of.--EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER:--Your kind and highly esteemed letter of the 2nd inst. was duly received, but press of many important matters has prevented earlier reply.
I have met Mr.__________, of whom you speak; he and I study the Word together once a week, and receive much comfort together. Treasures new and old are abundant in this "Treasure House," and the faithful steward must ever have something for the "household of faith." I am led to realize more and more how small this "household" is, and how easy it is to "let the things heard slip away." The testimony of Isaiah, applied by "our beloved Brother Paul" to both the Jewish and gospel churches, is that a "remnant only" will believe the report, and lay hold of the honors offered under each dispensation. As I daily learn more and more of our heavenly Father's mind, and of his purpose to have a "New Heaven and a New Earth in which dwell righteousness," and, in contrast, appreciate more fully present conditions, where evil reigns, I cannot express how my desire for the full consummation of our Father's plan grows. As you say, it seems to me that the thoughtful student of the Word must see that there are plain and specific promises that our Lord and Master will come again in person and reign; and also that the nations will mourn because of him on his arrival; that clouds and thick darkness will be round about him; that only "children of the day" will first know when he has arrived (as only such knew of his resurrection and ascension); that with the government on his shoulders a reign of righteousness will ensue from which will come the fulfilment of the prophecies that "All shall know the Lord, from the least even unto the greatest;" that a Highway of Holiness will be opened up in which there will be no "lions" or "wild beasts" and from which the "stones" will be removed. How like our God such conditions will be! How much higher are his ways than our ways, and his thoughts than our thoughts. The more I contemplate the ransom given by our Lord the more complete and ample it appears. He "once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." "By his stripes we are healed." "The Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all." He gave "His life a ransom for all." "Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins."
I rejoice not only that our Lord was a great example, but more in the knowledge that he is a great Redeemer. I realize that I am "not my own" but have been "bought with a price," even by the "precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish." Having received this light, I further realize what a fearful thing it would be to deny the "blood" that "bought me," and account it a common or unclean thing. Surely should any commit such sin, the "wrath of God must abide on him." "God is not mocked; that which a man soweth he shall also reap. He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, and he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting." How fearful a thing it must be to "fall into the hands of the living God" unprotected by our dear Redeemer's robe of righteousness. And yet, how ample that robe is for ALL who accept it, though but few have any conception now of what our great Redeemer is, or what his wondrous work will be when he "takes His great power and reigns." Through the Word, we know that "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." "We trust in the living God who is the Savior of ALL men, especially of those that believe." (Glorious special salvation; prospective members of the "Little Flock" and inheritors of the Divine Nature.) "As in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive." "As by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men unto condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Thus we learn that while you and I and every one understanding God's present offerings--and how few such there are--are now on trial, having our probation; yet how glorious to see further that our Father's love, wisdom and power have made full provision so that in His own "due time" every creature shall have a full insight into Christ's complete work, when, if they but accept the ransom, IT will be ample enough to cover them; the gift then offered --perfect humanity--will be all those accepting it will want, and though not as glorious as the one now offered--the Divine Nature--it will be glorious and satisfactory. We thus learn how the logical conclusion, that if the ransom is a ransom its effects must become co-extensive with the effects of the fall, is, in God's providence, attained in fact as well as in theory. Thus all rejectors of God and his salvation will be punished on the ground of individual sin, apart from weakness due to heredity or surroundings. How we can appreciate anew and more fully than ever before that "God is love," as well as the message that "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
W. E. PAGE.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I saw and read the TOWER for the first time sixteen month ago, and I thank God that your preaching has not been in vain. Since then, by joining in with several Brethren here, I find from week to week, when we meet together to praise God and study his Word, we get abundantly blessed and fed. Thank God, we are growing in knowledge, and page 8 in love of the truth, by hearing what he has to say to us through his Word.
I enclose four shillings, a small offering to the Lord, which please do with as you think best. I have read January TOWER over again and see clearly the divine plan it sets forth, to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, the whole plan of Jehovah to the whole race of mankind. We each have a few friends (friends of God we hope they will be), who, we think, if they will read the January TOWER, with God's blessing, will see some light, and so lay hold on the truth. Please send us about twenty copies (if you have so many to spare). May God bless you and Sister Russell, and all our dear brethren and sisters across the waters.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER:--The July and August TOWERS have followed me here, also the tracts sent. I disposed of one package before I left home, with my boy colporteur's help. In July TOWER Bro. R.'s answer to the Iowa letter was of special interest to me, and still more so was the article, "The Undefiled One." It brought out to me such a clear view of the strong, sweet, spiritual connection between the Bridegroom and the glorified church, the Bride--besides clearing up some scientific points which were not clear before. There is not a sentence in the TOWER which I do not devour. I am so hungry for the truth, and they are feasts indeed. Hardly a day passes that I do not have an opportunity to present the truth in some way to others, by giving out the tracts by hand or by mail, and by talking the good tidings.
I was invited to give a missionary talk to the Presbyterian M. Society here, and I read to them Bro. R.'s article, "I will draw all unto me," from July TOWER. Also in adult Bible Class, when the lesson was on the parable of Lazarus and Dives, I gave them our view of the parable and some copies of O.T. Tract, No. 1.-- "The wages of sin," which explains that parable.
Of course all this is more or less of the going without the camp to Christ--part of my sacrifice--holy and acceptable to God. In doing this work I have great joy. This scattering of the "hail" is delightful work and so convenient; many will take a tract when they will not listen to a conversation.
The August TOWER came yesterday, and this is the first I have had of the "TABERNACLE TEACHINGS." It makes me more earnest to have the "goat" killed--willingly sacrificing all of the human for love of Christ, and the prize offered-- Immortality.
MRS. M. FAIRCHILD. Northern Prison, Michigan City, Ind.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL.--DEAR SIR:--It is with sincere gratitude that I acknowledge the receipt of your very interesting paper, ZION'S WATCH TOWER. I have been studying MILLENNIAL DAWN together with the Bible, and it has thrown a new and cheerful light on the subject of religion which I have never discovered before. You may wonder at convicts being interested in such matters, but let me assure you that all convicts are not the hardened criminals they are supposed to be. The present state of society, with all its evil influences, is making many so-called criminals; for a very large proportion of the convicts, here and elsewhere, owe it to the saloon, which is upheld by society. I am 42 years of age, and I had never a trouble in life that did not come through the saloon. I have spent upwards of $20,000 in my time, and finally occupy a convict's cell; but how mysterious are the ways of the Lord. If I had not come here I should eventually have filled a drunkard's grave, but now the power of Satan is broken, and when I leave here next September, it will be to use the talent the Master has given me for the spread of his Gospel.
DEAR SIR:--Your wonderful book, the "MILLENNIAL DAWN," has been placed in my hands by a friend, to read carefully and give my opinion of the same.
I have read the book carefully; I have studied it prayerfully, and find that to give my opinion and be honest, I would have to say that I never understood the Bible before. A new light has been thrown on its pages that has become to me joy unspeakable.
I have been a leader in one of the churches at this place for years, but to make public my views as I now see through the pages of MILLENNIAL DAWN would certainly place me in the attitude of a heretic by the church to which I belong. [The Lord help you to be faithful to the truth, Brother, to let your light shine; and give you grace to endure the reproaches of Christ.] For the last ten years, I have given much time to the study of social and political economy as a pastime. I have certainly found in MILLENNIAL DAWN the only rational solution of those much vexed problems.
As far as I can see, your conclusions are logically chained to the premises laid down in what we all agree to be the Word of God. What a revolution in thought! and what a dark background the general theology furnishes the scene less!
I must proceed slowly along the golden line of truth, which, I pray God, we may all find at any cost. I write you this letter in hope that I may find out more of you and your "strange doctrine." I understand you are publishing a paper in the interest of the same. Please send me a sample copy of your paper. I should like also to get your suggestions as to what I should read of all your works. May God's blessings be added to you and yours, your work past, present and future. I am yours for truth,
J. W. SWINDLER.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--The July TOWER came, as always, well filled with God's precious hope and promises, and it was very helpful in many ways. Days after I had read it found me still contemplating and feasting on its contents. As a result I now understand more clearly several of the articles it contains, and to-day I consider the one article, "The Undefiled One," alone worth more than many years' subscriptions. It is to me invaluable. I never before understood perfectly why the race was lost in Adam, not in Eve. With this light it is clear, and I see fully the reason why the Redeemer was undefiled while being born of a woman.
Another article inquires, "Do you believe in the Ransom?" I answer, yes, fully, and may I ever rest securely there. Thank you for much of the light that has enabled me to be so sure.
Dear Brother, preach the whole truth as you see it, not fearing man. It is light to those who are seeking for truth. Brother Tavender says he never saw the Ransom so clearly before.
Although I should much like a personal letter from you, I do not expect you to take the time to answer my letter. The TOWER will come as your answer, but I could not forego the wish to say these things to you, that you may know how truly you are doing the good work of building up our most holy faith.
I enclose an order for TOWERS, envelopes, tracts, etc. What remains of the money I send, please put into the TRACT FUND.
MRS. J. H. PATTERSON.
DEAR SIR:--I received your book and paper safely and was glad to get them much sooner than I expected. I approve highly of the book and am very glad I came in contact with its pages. When I went over to America, about five years ago, and stayed in different places, a while here and a while there, I got acquainted with a man of about seventy years of age, whose life was spent in a most careless way. All this came up before him, driving him to deep despair, thinking he would have to give account for a life so ill spent. But one day a young man came in with a few books which he was selling. He asked the young man the name of it. He said, Millennial Dawn. He had heard before of the Millennium, so he thought he would buy one. The young man told him if he would read it and believed it, he would get a great blessing from it, which he has, for he is a different man altogether, no longer dreading, but longing for the Lord's kingdom.
I myself was a Roman Catholic at the time I went to him, and after reading its pages I saw in it the truth; and whenever I found a text which looked very deep, I went and looked in the Bible, which I had never read before, and found it to be in harmony.
I am very glad of the help your work has afforded me. I feel sure all Bible students, when they read it, will acknowledge it to be the most reasonable presentation of God's plan ever set forth. I am anxious for the third volume: send it as soon as ready.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL:--Dear Brother, I have read the TOWERS and tracts that you sent me with much interest, and wish you to send me the TOWER for two years, The MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vols. I. and II., in paper cover, the Emphatic Diaglott and Leeser's translation of the Old Testament. To pay for the above, I send post-office money order.
I am much interested in the Old Theology, and wish to give it an impartial examination. I have Young's Analytical Concordance, and therefore do not need to send for it. I am 30 miles out in the jungles, preaching and teaching the word of life to those who are now hearing it for the first time.
E. CHUTE, Missionary.
DEAR SISTER RUSSELL:--You will be glad to hear that we are still rejoicing in the truth. It becomes each day more and more dear to us. We are filled with gratitude and praise to God for all the countless favors we are enjoying, both temporal and spiritual. He has done for us exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think. Although we are not at liberty to give all our time and strength to the truth, the Lord has very graciously opened up many channels through which we may do a little at the work which lies nearest to our hearts. There are not many here who see and believe as we do, but then that makes us look the closer for the Master's footprints to make sure we are in the right way.
Some, we find, will not read anything we give them, or listen to anything we have to say, but they go and warn others to beware of us. Others listen a few times and say, "Well, I hope it is true," then busy themselves with something else. Some who heard gladly at first and rejoiced with us for a while seem now to be more interested in other things. But, thank God, through the all-sufficient and precious blood of Jesus we have, so far, been able to stand.
We have had to endure some trials since we came home (things don't always run smoothly), but the dear Lord has never hid his face from us. Our little boys have the same keen interest in God's plan that they have always had. I can tell them everything as far as I know in such a way that they can grasp the meaning. They would rather hear a Bible story anytime than the most thrilling fairy tale. They have to spend several hours every day herding sheep; that brings them into closer sympathy with the Shepherd of the Bible. Bro. T. is toiling on, sometimes on the mountain-top of joy and sometimes in the valley. We expect Bro. Z. to-morrow on his way to Ontario to begin the colporteur work.
The delay of Vol. III. is giving us time to make our own all of the good things contained in Vol. II. We anticipate a feast when this month's TOWER comes; it brings us joy and comfort every month.
We send with this our heartfelt love and gratitude to yourself and Brother Russell, not despising but greatly esteeming all the food and training we have received through you. And we know that God will abundantly bless you and give you strength to finish your work. The boys send their love. Yours in the glorious light,
MRS. S. WEBB.
Top of Page