page 33
February 15th
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

SEMI-MONTHLY.
VOL. XXVII.FEBRUARY 1, 1906No. 3


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower35
Evolutionists in Trouble35
The Confusion (Babel) of Christendom35
Johnstown and Binghamton Conventions36
Berean Study for February37
Australasian Branch Report37
The Battle of Temptation38
Tempted Forty Days39
Our Lord's Earnestness40
"Like As We Are"41
Misapplication of Scriptures43
"Him Only Shalt Thou Serve"44
Called to Higher Service45
Why Are We Not Subject to the Law?47

I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me. Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. -- Luke 21:25-28, 32.

[R3694 : page 34]

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

THIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed."--Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken;--according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the
Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and
the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished,
God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to
him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these
"living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready,
the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection;
and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting
place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth
"in due time."--Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as
his joint-heir.--1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's
witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of
the next age.--Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution
of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the
hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church.--Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




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FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.
TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS:--

All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each June stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.


ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.

THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE
FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.



YOUR WELCOME LETTERS.


We are always glad to hear from the dear brethren and sisters, and especially so when they write their business communications on a separate sheet, and when their writing is plain and easily read. Please be specially careful with the signature and address.

Friends in foreign lands will please not send us postal cards with writing on the face other than address, as there is a penalty attached here to all such cards. Also remember that letter postage from foreign countries to U.S. is the equivalent of 5 cents each one-half ounce, and any deficiency is charged to us at double rates. page 34

THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT.


Our announcements of this book in two bindings seem not to have been understood. The price in cloth binding is now $1.50; in leather binding, on thin paper, gold edges, divinity circuit, pocket size, $2.50. These prices include postage, and also entitle the purchaser to one year's subscription to ZION'S WATCH TOWER, gratis. If your subscription is already paid we will extend it one year. The Diaglott is not sold at less than these low prices, whether the TOWER subscription is desired or not.



[R3713 : page 35]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

EVOLUTIONISTS IN TROUBLE.


EVOLUTIONISTS certainly deserve some commiseration: they so frequently forget themselves and tell things against their own theory.

For instance, whilst telling us that Africa was the cradle of mankind from which by evolution various races advancing have spread over the earth; and while hunting in that field for a claimed "missing link" between the "least developed" of mankind and the monkey, they unthinkingly blurt out a completely different story.

In an article on Irrigation, Prof. A. W. Hadley now gives it as his opinion that Africa once had a wonderful civilization, whose "stupendous" plans and perfect "technical details" were so grand that "later efforts are paled into insignificance." If thousands of years have brought degradation to the inhabitants of Africa, does not this down the Evolution theory and exalt the Bible teaching of a fall? We quote from Prof. Hadley's article as follows:--

ENGINEERING PAST AND PRESENT.

"The ancient period has to do with that accomplished during the reign of the Pharaohs, kings of Egypt who ruled 4,000 years ago, and carried out irrigation plans so bold in conception and colossal in execution that modern works are dwarfed into practical insignificance.

"Recently discovered ancient writings and subsequent investigation by scientific explorers reveal substantial evidence to the effect that the famous six cataracts of the Nile between Assouan and Khartoum are not, as had been supposed for ages, mere works of Nature, but are, instead, the ruins of gigantic works of man, who constructed them for irrigation, power and navigation purposes.

If this be true, then is Egyptian irrigation, like its civilization and literature, but another of the "Lost Arts of the Ancients;" for so stupendous were the plans and so perfectly were the technical details of engineering carried out that later efforts paled into insignificance.

"For hundreds of miles over the barren wastes on either side of the Nile, where history tells us there once flourished populous cities, can now be found the traces of great canals extending northward to the Mediterranean and, in fact, radiating over the entire Soudan. These are found to lead to the vicinity of the several cataracts where the gigantic blocks of granite which form them extend for more than a mile across the river and are visible at low Nile. Furthermore, these blocks are of a peculiar formation of granite, totally unlike any other rock in the vicinity, and found only built up in this way at the several cataracts.

"As additional writings are discovered and exploration progresses the evidence continues to grow until we are now practically convinced that immense areas in the great Soudan, with its miles of trackless, sun-scorched waste, were once under the most intensive cultivation, and the support of a vast population.

"Who may say but that the surviving ruins of the pyramids, temples and tombs were but at the elevated gateway to such a region, and that there now lies hidden beneath hundreds of feet of silently shifting sand the graveyard of an empire, with its cities, towns and hamlets and its one-time fertile valleys; but with its inhabitants destroyed or scattered panic-stricken or degenerate to the four corners of the Earth?"

THE CONFUSION (BABEL) OF CHRISTENDOM.

We every now and then hear of some great scholar who has spoken or written things which have shaken the faith of many. Then we note announcements that his arguments have been met and refuted by some other professor: that Christian faith is saved, &c. The fact of the matter is that so much confusion reigns on theological questions in the minds of many that they know not what they are discussing. They will not look at the Truth, but will, without reading, denounce it on the strength of some one's opposition. They are blind and dote on things they do not comprehend.

For illustration, Prof. Haeckel, a German scholar, has been whacking away at all revealed religion in a publication, "The Riddle of the Universe." Because he attacked openly "Orthodoxy" could understand him and concluded it should be frightened because he so intimated. At once a champion is found in the person [R3713 : page 36] of "Sir Oliver Lodge, D.Sc., F.R.S., LL.D.," whose array of titles implies worldly wisdom. He declares that he can refute Haeckel. "Orthodoxy" grasps the suggestion with joy! not because Orthodoxy knows what he will say or cares much, but because he says he is on her side and he has influence and titles.

The Christian Commonwealth devoted an entire page recently to Sir Oliver Lodge's arguments and commented on them thus:--

"In view of the world-wide circulation of Prof. Haeckel's attack on the fundamentals of the Christian Faith--for that is what his "Riddle of the Universe" amounts to--the publication of Sir Oliver Lodge's reply is a matter of the first importance to all Christians, especially preachers and teachers."

With such indorsement what spiritual wisdom might we not expect. From among other unchristian and unscriptural presentations we quote below some extracts which, going out thus labeled "Orthodox," will no doubt do far more harm than Prof. Haeckel's nonsense, more plainly labeled infidelity. Thus it is everywhere: professors and ministers are posing as defenders of Orthodoxy who, most decidedly, are unbelievers in the fundamentals of Christianity.

Among other things Sir Oliver Lodge said, as quoted in "The Christian Commonwealth" (we are glad that we are not participators in its common wealth of error):

"I believe that the universe is struggling up towards something, and that we are agents, that God does not work without agents. We have to lend Him a helping hand; certain things will not be done on this planet unless we do them. We have the power to help and the power to refuse help or even to hinder."

Sir Oliver Lodge's vague ideas respecting a Nature God may be guessed from his statement following. He is wholly adverse to the Bible teaching of man's creation in God's image, his fall through sin, his redemption by the sacrifice of Christ and his hope of resurrection to more than was lost by obedience to the Redeemer when his Kingdom comes. We quote:-- [R3714 : page 36]

"I will just tell you the speculations that I have had reason to make on this subject, and I would recommend you to read Myers' two volumes on Human Personality. It is all wrapped up in that "subliminal self" notion--that "we are greater than we know," as one of the poets puts it; that not the whole of us is incarnated at any one time. If we are persistent and do not go out of existence, it follows that in some sense we never came into existence. The idea that we have persisted in the past and must persist in the future is as old as Plato--there is nothing new in it; it seems to me that at birth a bit of that large self was incarnated, and then as the body grew and could hold more, more and more as it were leaked into it--sometimes more, sometimes less. When more of it leaks into the body and displays itself here, we say, "There is a great man;" when only a little, a very little, we say, "He is not all there." We are none of us quite "all there," and when this body is worn out we rejoin the big lump, so to speak, and then another bit will be incarnated at another time, and so on. You may call that a suggestion of reincarnation, though it is not exactly that. The same individual John Smith will not appear again as William Jones, but it may be that different bits of that large lump will associate themselves with matter for a time for the training which it appears can only so be got--a kind of peculiar training that appears to be got by living on a planet, and utilizing material particles which we pick up out of this planet, obtained from beef and mutton and cabbages. We walk about for a time and utilize the things we find here, then we go back, and I should think it is very likely that another portion of us is incarnated, perhaps a bit of the same, perhaps a portion wholly different. Perhaps when a child dies in infancy and goes back it will have another chance. But I am not now talking science, I am talking speculation, but it is based on those facts which you find elaborated in Myers' book-- the facts of abnormal memory, multiple personality, trance states, unusual phenomena altogether, not by any means thoroughly understood, and yet which must be studied if we are to throw light upon this great problem."



[R3714 : page 36]

JOHNSTOWN AND BINGHAMTON CONVENTIONS.

THE One-Day Convention at Johnstown, Pa., on January 14, was an enjoyable event. Friends from the surrounding towns met us there with hearty greetings which we as fully reciprocated. About seventy-five were present at the morning rally, only a portion of whom could be present also at the evening session, others however taking their places to the total of about 100 of the interested.

The afternoon session was for the public--a cure for infidelity--"To Hell and Back." The dear friends had spared no effort to have the meeting well advertised by newspapers, window-cards, etc., and their labors were blessed and rewarded by the large crowd present at the Opera House --about 1400, some standing. We understand that special invitations were sent to all the ministers of the city, and were told that five of them, if not more, were present. One of them shook hands after the service, and most cordially approved what he had heard; another partially approved, but was argumentative. We hope for some results, though we may not know fully this side the vail. It seems impossible that so many people should give thoughtful attention for nearly two hours without being helped in some degree.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y., had its One-Day Convention on January 28. We missed the pleasure of the morning Rally, but know from reports, as well as from the zeal of those in attendance, that it was uplifting, helpful. It does the friends good to mingle their hearts and voices, and we consider these Rallies amongst the special blessings of such occasions --nearly all participate and nearly all get a special refreshing.

The afternoon session was in the Opera House, which holds about 1500. It was jammed, and it is said that nearly 500 went away for lack of room. Earnest faces indicated deep attention and thoughtful interest. The Lord only knows which hearts were ready for the Truth and the blessing which it surely carries with it.

The friends must have done excellent work in thoroughly [R3714 : page 37] advertising the meeting. It seems, too, that circumstances favored them: the newspapers made game of the topic, saying that it would be a "personally conducted tour by Pastor Russell to hell and back." This later they corrected at the instance of the friends, who explained that the topic would be treated in a most reverent manner. Then the Street Railway Company declined to allow the posters on their cars, and the newspapers took the matter up, claiming that they should have fulfilled their agreement.

The evening meeting was a heart-to-heart talk to the friends of the Truth, partially reported in the newspapers and thus accessible to those of you who desire it. The topic was, "Selling the Birthright."



[R3715 : page 37]

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY FOR FEBRUARY.

--FOR EXPLANATION SEE PREFACE OF WATCH TOWER BIBLES AND WATCH TOWER, MARCH 1, 1905.--

STUDIES IN PRAYER

11. How should we distinguish between worshipping God "in spirit and in truth," and mere lip-service? Matt. 15:7-9; Jno. 4:23,24; Z.'96-284 (2nd col. par. 1, 2); 285 (2nd col. par. 1); 287 (1st col. par. 2, and 2nd col.); E.478, (top of page).

12. Why should our petitions be for help "in time of need"? Heb. 4:16; Z.'98-23 (2nd col. par. 1).

13. Can we come too often to God in prayer, or is any affair of our lives too trivial to bring to his attention? Z.'95-214 (1st and 2nd cols); 215 (1st col. par. 1 to 4).

14. Why will not our Heavenly Father give us the things needful without our asking? Z.'03-8 (2nd col. par. 1); Z.'01-270 (2nd col. par. 1).

15. How may we learn not to "ask amiss," and thus have all our petitions answered? I Jno. 5:14,15; Z.'96-163 (1st col. par. 1 to 3); Z.'03-204 (1st col. par. 1, and 2nd col.); Z.'04-90 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'04-122 (1st col. par. 1); Z.'01-270 (2nd col. par. 3).

16. Why does God delay answering our prayers? Lu. 11:5-8; Z.'04-121 (2nd col. par. 2, 3); Z.'01-270 (2nd col. par. 2); Z.'05-343 (1st col. par. 2 to 2nd col. par. 2); Z.'05-346 (1st col. par. 1).

17. Should we strive to co-operate with the Lord in answering our own prayers? Z.'05-331 (1st col. par. 3, 4, and 2nd col. par. 1); E.244, par. 1, to 245, par. 1.

18. For what should we pray? For the Holy Spirit, Z.'05-346 (2nd col. par. 2); Lu. 11:13; E.242 to 245. For wisdom, Jas. 1:5,6; F.686, par. 2. For one another, I Thess. 5:25; Jno. 17:20; Eph. 1:16; Col. 4:2,3. For "the harvesters," Matt. 9:38; Z.'00-156 (1st col. par. 1). For our enemies, Matt. 5:44; Acts 7:60; "Manna," March 21. For "all men, for kings, and those in authority," I Tim. 2:1,2; Z.'05-222 (2nd col.). Special occasions for prayer,--see Z.'96-163 (1st col. par. 5) to 164 (1st col. par. 1); "Manna," June 25.

19. For what should we not pray? I Jno. 5:16; Z.'01-46 (1st col. par. 7); Z.'96-164 (1st col. par. 2); Z.'05-346 (2nd col. par. 1).

20. Is it proper to pray for the conversion of sinners? Z.'98-29 (1st col. [last sentence of first half], and par. 1); Z.'04-122 (1st col. par. 2).

Study Continued



[R3714 : page 37]

AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH REPORT.

MELBOURNE, Australia, Nov. 1, 1905. DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

It is again my duty and great pleasure to hand you the report of the Tract Fund expenditures and receipts, and of Publications circulated through the Society's Australasian Branch during a year.

As the years roll on, and Faith, grounded on the testimony of God's Word, comes the nearer to that realization of her conviction concerning the things as yet unseen, and in which she rejoices with joy unspeakable and full of glory, her sister, Hope, well instructed, learns to tinge with brighter hues for her the borders of the clouds of trouble with which the passion of selfishness in its greed of gain and power is rapidly obscuring the outlook on the world, ecclesiastical, social, political and commercial. And one of the greatest incentives to Hope to use her brightest colors on these ever-darker clouds is what those of the Lord's people whose spiritual perceptions have not been dulled by the cares of this world may now "see" and "hear" in the progress of the harvest.

Two classes of laborers are engaged in the great work: the one class, by far the greater, numerically, is working among the "tares," binding them by means of errors into their various bundles, religious, social and political; with these we have nothing to do. The other class of laborers seeks the "wheat," in order that by means of the Present Truth it may be gathered into one body, of which the Lord Jesus himself is the Head. "Gather my saints unto me," is the command to them, and this is the labor in which we esteem it an honor to be joined.

In the past year there has been a notable increase in the circulation of the MILLENNIAL DAWN Series in this portion of the field. The Colporteurs who came out from the United States and Canada, with the Australasians who have left all to join in the same service, have had their hands full of labor and their hearts full of joy as they have sought to thrust in the "sickle" by distributing the volumes, and subsequently have been brought into touch with eager inquirers after the Truth, desiring to know the way of the Lord more perfectly. Others are contemplating entry into this blessed service, and there is opportunity for still others to say to the Lord, "Here am I, send me."

Viewed from the practical standpoint, the best day's work done by a Colporteur in this portion of the field has been in securing orders for 105 volumes in one day; 103 of these were afterward delivered in a half day. The same colporteur maintained an average of 50 volumes per day for two consecutive months. Certainly, this is exceptional; but it may be taken as a straw, indicating the direction of the wind, and an encouragement [R3714 : page 38] to those who are asking what share they may have in the great doings of the harvest time.

But for those who cannot seize opportunities like the above, there is the Volunteer Work of Tract Distribution. Our statistics show that this has had attention in the last twelve months; but we sometimes wonder whether the friends realize that a large supply, well assorted, is maintained here, and that the tracts are to be had for the asking. Indeed, in no other way are they supplied, no charge being made for them under any circumstance. We shall hope to be called on more largely than ever for these little messengers.

It has been the writer's privilege to make a Pilgrim Tour of about 5,000 miles in Eastern Australia and New Zealand. In all parts visited, it is plain to be seen that the "eagles" are being gathered to the "carcase." (Luke 17:37.) The largest attendance at meetings was at Sydney, where 200 to 300 came to the Chart Talks announced for the public. Besides this tour, there have been occasional extra meetings in and near Melbourne.

Yet, the influence exerted by the Truth, when compared with the enormous power of Error, seems very small; and were it not for the assurance that God's Word does not return unto him void, but accomplishes his good pleasure, and prospers in the thing whereto he sends it, one might feel discouraged. But we do not know all things. We do not know the way of the wind, [R3715 : page 38] or other wonders of the works of God; neither do we know how hearts here and there may be in process of preparation for the reception of the Truth. We cannot tell where the good-ground heart may be found. But as surely as clouds full of rain empty themselves upon the earth, and as surely as the fallen tree remains in the place where it fell, so surely shall the bread-corn (truth) cast upon the waters (peoples) be found after many days. Therefore, "in the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good."--Eccl. 11:1-6.

The financial report tells its own story. Without the generous cooperation of the Head Office, in this and other ways, the Australasian Branch could not go on as it does.

Seeking a continued interest in your prayers and those of all the dear brethren scattered abroad, I remain, dear Brother,
Your servant and His,
E. C. HENNINGES.

AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH SUMMARY

PUBLICATIONS CIRCULATED.
Copies of DAWN and TOWER DAWN................     17,703
Copies of Booklets...........................      1,996
                                              ----------
Total........................................     19,699
Tract Pages sent free........................  4,218,600
                                              ----------
Letters and Cards received...................      1,686
Letters and Cards sent.......................      2,490
                                              ----------
Total........................................      4,176

EXPENDITURES                                 L.    s   d
Pilgrim Work, expense of meetings, etc.     216   18   5
Cost of literature sent out free, rent,
 gas, etc., etc........................     256    5   0
Postage, freight, etc.,................      73   12   6
                                            ---   --  --
Total..................................     546   15  11
Receipts from Australasia..............     108   12   6
                                            ---   --  --
Deficit................................     338    3   5

[We should remark that the deficit above shown, also those of the German and English Branches previously reported, are all owing to the Headquarters at Allegheny. These were all included in our principal report and its statement of a deficit.--EDITOR.]



[R3715 : page 38]

THE BATTLE OF TEMPTATION.
--MATTHEW 4:1-11.--FEBRUARY 4.--

Golden Text:--"In all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."--Heb. 4:15.

WITH sin came selfishness--indeed "original sin" sprang from selfishness, which has marked its development at every step for now six thousand years. Selfishness is the mainspring of a battle not only against benevolence and righteousness but against everything that stands in its ambitious way. It has led to all the conflicts of the world, both personal and national. While it is evil and only evil in itself, it may, under God's providences, serve a useful purpose in the development of character. As God stands for every principle of goodness, righteousness, mercy and truth, Satan stands for or represents all the adverse principles of sin, covetousness, injustice, untruthfulness, unprinciple, selfishness in its every form. Sooner or later each individual esteemed worthy of divine favor and life must be tested along this line of principle --faithfulness to God and the principles of righteousness against lack of principle, selfishness.

The apostles record the temptation of Jesus along the line of selfishness, after his anointing with the holy Spirit. Doubtless as a child and as a young man he had temptations along this line such as are common to others, and doubtless his perfection of being made this as nothing, so inwrought must love have been in the very constitution of a perfect being such as he was. It may surprise some that his temptation could be as great, yea, much greater, after the anointing of the Spirit. This, however, was the case. Moreover, it is well to remember that our Golden Text, "Tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin," does not refer to the ordinary temptations experienced by our Lord in common with others before his anointing. It was our Lord's trials, temptations and victories as a New Creature that constituted him the Captain of our Salvation and our pattern--"Tempted in all points like as we [new creatures] are."

LED BY THE SPIRIT INTO TEMPTATION

We should never voluntarily go into temptation. Reverence, humility and caution should deter us. We should have such a realization of our own imperfection that we would seek to avoid temptation and pass by on the other side. Nevertheless, when temptations do come to us we should be of good courage, remembering that greater is he who is for us than all they that be against us, that he has promised never to leave or forsake us, and that his strength shall be perfected in our weakness if we will by faith accept of his aid.

We must not expect to escape temptations, trials, difficulties, [R3716 : page 39] perplexities, because only through these can we be developed, perfected in character. Only the tried ones could ever be declared overcomers. Sin, error, is all about us, and presented to us not only by the world and Satan but also by the attitudes of our own flesh. If we be without trials, without temptations, without difficulties, we may be sure that we will never be overcomers and never receive the crown of glory and joint-heirship with our Lord, the Head, the Captain, the Leader of the overcomers. We are not forgetting the request of the model prayer, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." But for the foregoing reasons we incline to prefer the rendering of this verse as given in the Emphatic Diaglott, "Abandon us not in temptation, but deliver us from the Evil one." As our Lord declared, "It must needs be that offences [trials] come."

Our Lord was led by his own spirit, his own mind, to go into the wilderness and thus indirectly into trials and difficulties there experienced. So it is with the Lord's followers. It is through their holy minds or dispositions, the result of their full consecration to the Lord and their reception of the begetting of his Spirit, that they, too, are led into temptations, trials, difficulties similar to those which our Lord experienced.

TEMPTED FORTY DAYS

The account in our lesson speaks of our Lord's temptation as occurring at the close of his forty days in the wilderness, but Mark and Luke in referring to the same forty days imply that our Lord was tempted for the entire period. Both thoughts are evidently correct: he was tempted during the forty days, tested, tried as respects his own mind, his own disposition to do the Father's will, while the temptation narrated in our lesson, which occurred at the close of the forty days, was a special conflict with Satan--Diabolus. And we here remark that this name Diabolus is always in the Greek used in the singular number, evidently referring to Satan, the prince of demons. The matter is confused before the mind of the English reader by the fact that our common version Bible uses the word devils, in the plural, whereas the Greek in such places is a totally different word, signifying demons.

Errors entertained by many hinder them from properly appreciating the matter of our Lord's temptation. Some, with the theory that he was a spirit being who merely assumed a human body and pretended for a time to be a man, can have no proper appreciation of this account until they drop their misconception and accept the Scriptural declaration that "he who was rich, for our sakes became poor"-- that "he was made flesh"--that he was actually the "man Christ Jesus" and no longer the spirit being; but humbly, voluntarily, stripped of his glory, honor and privileges as a spirit being, became subject to all the limitations of a perfect man, corresponding to father Adam and his perfection before he sinned and came under the divine sentence of death.

"ABOUT MY FATHER'S BUSINESS"

Some things our Lord knew most distinctly, other things had not yet been revealed to him by the Father. Even as the boy of twelve we find that he knew that he had proceeded forth and came from God, that he had come into the world on a special mission, and that he must be about his Father's business. Learning that he could not enter upon the Father's business, "the work thou gavest me to do," until he was thirty years of age, he patiently awaited the time and hid his identity and contented himself with being a faithful son in the humble sphere in which divine providence had placed him. But just as soon as he had reached the appointed age he hastened to make his covenant with God, symbolized by his baptism--namely, a full consecration of his every talent and power to do the Father's will even unto death. At the time noted by our lesson he had done this and had received the anointing and filling of the holy Spirit. He now stood at the threshold of his great work, and realizing its importance and that now it was due time for him to understand the divine plan which he was to execute, that he might do it thoroughly and in full accord with the divine will he sought the wilderness, that in solitude he might know thoroughly the proper course for him to take in announcing himself as Messiah to Israel and the world.

WORTHY THE LAMB SLAIN

Symbolically our Lord shows that it was not possible for him to know the completeness of the divine plan until after he had demonstrated his worthiness to be the heir of all things, and until that worthiness was proven by his obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. In the symbols of Revelation he points this out to us, showing how the divine plan had long been in the Father's hand a sealed scroll, and how that no one in heaven or earth had been found worthy to open that book or scroll or to understand the particulars of the divine program until he, as the antitypical Lamb of God, had been slain, and by his sacrifice had demonstrated his worthiness to receive wisdom, honor, dominion and might. Then to him was the scroll or book of the divine plan entrusted in its every detail, that in due time all the wonderful provisions of the divine plan might be fully executed in the glorification of the Church and the blessing of all the families of the earth.--See Revelation 5.

Those forty days, we may safely assume, were spent in meditation and prayer, our Lord being led to this course by his spirit of devotion to the Father, his anxiety to do the Father's will in the Father's way. He had neither Bible nor concordances nor other assistance in the study of the divine predictions, but he had instead the perfect memory and the eighteen years of hearing the reading of the Law in the Synagogue. We may safely say that he knew the entire Word of God by heart. He had known it for some time, and not only had exercised his own thought upon it but had also inquired of the most learned their views. He evidently realized that it was not due time for him to have a clear and full understanding of the prophecies until he had received the holy Spirit--that the divine revelations were only intended to be understood by those enlightened by the holy Spirit. He therefore now expected and doubtless realized newer and clearer views of the subjects he had been studying from childhood respecting his personal mission and the manner in which it was to be executed, as foretold in [R3716 : page 40] the shadows of the Law and in the veiled testimonies of the prophets.

"TEACH ME THY WILL, O GOD"

In fancy we may see our Lord meditating upon how he was to be the Mediator of a new Covenant, the antitype of Moses, who mediated the Law Covenant. In our minds we may with him watch the procedure of the going up into the mountain, the receiving of the commission and the preaching of it to the people under a vail, and how this transaction not only represented a first advent but a second advent in glory. We may presume that he studied carefully the type of the sin offerings, the Day of Atonement sacrifices, by which propitiation for the sins of the world was to be accomplished.

We may in our mind's eye see him unravelling the symbol of the typical Jubilee year and noting the blessings of the Millennial age which shall ultimately come to all who should become the Lord's people through him.

We see him studying the type of the Israelites bitten by the serpents in the wilderness of Sin, and how their looking with faith upon the brazen serpent was the cure.

We may see him endeavoring to apply this to himself as the antitype who should be made sin, treated as the sinner in the interest of the sin-smitten ones.

We may see him wrestling with the prophetic statements of Isaiah respecting the one who would be led as a lamb to the slaughter; how he should be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and that the people of Israel would be ashamed of him and hide as it were their faces from him, giving him no support, no assistance or cooperation in the work he had come to do; how the Lord would lay on him the iniquity of us all, that by his stripes we might be healed.

We see him wrestling with the statements made by the prophet Daniel, some of which were in process of fulfilment and therefore to be understood; others sealed by God and impossible to be understood by any--waiting times and seasons which the Father had put in his own power, of which neither the Son nor the angels of heaven, any more than others, were informed.

We see him studying the symbolical representations of the establishment of the Kingdom of heaven at the close of a certain period of the world's history, and how it would be with power and great glory; how previously Messiah would be cut off, not for his own sins but for the sins of the people, and how he would seal up the testimony, anoint the most holy, etc., etc.

OUR LORD'S EARNESTNESS

These studies--interspersed, we may be sure, with prayer--seemingly occupied our Lord's attention so completely, so fully, so thoroughly for those forty days that he had no thought for anything else. We may infer that he neither ate nor slept, for the record is that at the close of the forty days he afterward hungered. So intent was his perfect mind upon the great subject with which he wrestled that it absorbed all of his vitality, energy, in this effort to know the Father's will in order that he might do it. We can very readily suppose, too, that he experienced various temptations during these forty days of study; that although he was separate from sinners and all sinful thoughts or ambitions, nevertheless it would be quite a test to his loyalty of purpose to so interpret the Scriptures as to see in them the great sufferings, trials and disappointments which he afterward experienced. Continually there would be the opportunity of taking a different view of the matter--the opportunity of construing the course outlined for him another way than that which would mean so much of degradation and dishonor to the One despised and rejected of men even unto death, even the death of the cross. [R3717 : page 40]

"STUDY TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED"

There is a great lesson in all of this for all of the Lord's followers. If it was the wise and proper course for the Master to go aside for the study of the divine plan before beginning his public ministry, how much more should his followers feel it incumbent upon them as fallen beings with imperfect judgments to seek counsel of the Lord's Word and Spirit to ascertain what work the Lord would have them do in his vineyard before beginning any work. If this course were more generally followed there would be far less ranting done in the name of the Lord, fewer would feel that it was their privilege to rush in and work for the Lord without first studying carefully the divine will or program respecting that work--lest they should be hinderers of the Lord's plan which they desire to serve.

Let us more and more apply each to himself the Apostle's words to Timothy, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." Until we do study we will have every reason to doubt our preparation or usefulness in the Lord's service. First comes consecration, wholly, unreservedly; and secondly, as the first step in the fulfilling of that vow, comes the study of the divine will, the divine Word, the divine plan; and following that comes labor in the Lord's vineyard.

THE TEMPTER CAME TO HIM

At the close of the forty days of personal, earnest study, and when our Lord had reached a conclusion respecting the divine program as outlined through the Law and the prophets, and when in doing so he was exhausted in mind and in body, then the tempter came, the representative of all subtlety, a liar from the beginning. As the Lord's followers we can from experience say that this is the Adversary's general course--to intrude himself and his temptations at the opportune moment of our greatest weakness. While busily engaged in searching for the Father's will our Lord was not molested by the tempter, but as soon as he had digested the subject and reached a conclusion, and while his perfect but overtaxed human powers needed and sought refreshment, recuperation, that was the moment of the tempter's assault. Let us remember that it is the same with us who are his footstep followers, how he was tempted in all points like as we are.

We have found some of the Lord's faithful people surprised at first because they had so few trials, and we have always admonished such to use such a period of rest for study, for putting on the whole armor of God, that they may [R3717 : page 41] be able to stand when the assault shall surely come later on. Apparently the Lord's providences safeguard us at the very beginning of our experiences until we have sufficient opportunity for reaching a firm and definite conclusion in our own minds respecting his will, as presented to us in his Word. Whoever fails to use this period faithfully, earnestly, will find himself so much the weaker, so much the more liable to defeat, when the testings from the Adversary come a little later. It is also to be noted that these peculiar trials and temptations which come to us as the Lord's followers do not reach us until after we have attained the point of full consecration to the Lord. Neither do we have the privilege of coming to a clearer appreciation of the teaching of the Word until after such a consecration.

"AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT"

The account does not say and we therefore cannot know whether Satan appeared to our Lord personally or not. The fact that he was tempted in all points like as we [his brethren] are seems to imply that Satan did not appear to him personally, because he does not so appear to us in connection with our temptations. We may be sure, however, if there were any personal appearance it would be that of an angel of light, and not at all as Satan is vulgarly pictured, with hoofs, horns, etc. If Satan were to present himself in any vulgar form to any in harmony with the Lord, the effect would be to at once disarm the temptation. We may be sure, therefore, that Satan would adopt no such course at any time.

The Apostle puts us on our guard, that rather we are to expect the Adversary's temptations along the line of an angel of light--a minister of the Truth. He always affects to be a helper and not a hinderer of the Lord's people. He would show them how to get along in the world much more smoothly and more happily; he would bless them; he would turn their narrow, rugged path into a path of roses; he would be their friend, their counsellor, their guide. Only after they had followed him awhile would they find, when well under his power, that he is a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the Truth. As illustrations of some of his misrepresentations in our day note the claims of Theosophists, Spiritualists, and Christian Scientists. These all affect to lift mankind to higher planes, to free them from pains and trials, and to give them a higher wisdom, guidance and instruction than that which they might receive from the divine Word and the light which shines therein from the cross of Christ.

"LIKE AS WE ARE"

Not like as the world was our Lord tempted, not like as we are tempted as natural men and women, but like as we are tempted who have become new creatures in Christ through a full consecration of our hearts, based upon our justification through his blood. Our Lord's temptations correspond to the temptations of this class only.

Our temptations are from three different quarters, well represented in the three tests put to our Lord by Diabolus. First the flesh, second the world, third the adversary himself. All of our Lord's trials as a New Creature were from these three quarters, and all of the trials of his followers as New Creatures are from the same. Let us, while following our Lord's experiences, apply the same to ourselves.

TEMPTATION FIRST--THE FLESH

Self-gratification is to some extent proper, but there are limitations. Those who are consecrated to the Lord may not seek to gratify themselves, their appetites, in any manner contrary to the divine arrangement--to do so would be sin. This rule applied to our Lord as well as to all his followers. After his forty days' fast he was very hungry, and the tempter's suggestion to him was that of a friend. Jesus was reminded that he was the Son of God, that he had every right to all the favors of God, that his hunger was a legitimate craving of nature, that there was nothing sinful in being hungry, and that he had therefore the right, the privilege, to reasonably gratify his appetite. All this was true. The next suggestion was, You have the power--you have just received the anointing of the holy Spirit--you may therefore at your pleasure command these stones and they would turn to bread; power to do this is vested in you by God. Use that power now for the supply of your needs. Why should you hunger? Take counsel of a friend, appreciate my interest in you; if I were an enemy I would prefer to see you starve to death or at least prefer to see you suffer.

How insidious was this temptation! It had in it many elements of truth, and apparently was kindly and well meant. There was just the one flaw which our Lord's keen mind at once discerned, and his loyal heart at once repudiated the advice. He reasoned, This holy Spirit, this power I have received in my anointing, was not intended to be used for self gratification; it was my begetting of the Spirit as a New Creature, to the intent that as a great High Priest I might lay down my life, might sacrifice myself as a human being. If now I should use this holy power, which was given me for the purpose of sacrificing, in an opposite direction, to heal, restore, to strengthen the mortal body which I have just delivered to death, it would be wrong--it would be using the power of God in an opposite direction from the divine intention. However hungry I feel I cannot do this. My life is in my Father's hands. I have been here these forty days under the guidance of the holy Spirit, seeking to know and to do the Father's will, I have not forfeited my life by disobedience, I may therefore conclude that while I am thus about my Father's business naught shall harm my Father's child. Hence I conclude that my hunger will not prove really injurious to me. My answer to this temptation of the Adversary will not impugn his motives in mentioning it, for that would be unkind and needless. My reply is: Bread is not the only thing by which man shall live; every word of God is a word of life. I have been feeding upon this heavenly food, I am strong in my spirit, in my determination to do my Father's will. I will not use improper means for my refreshment of body. The Father will be able to make up to me whatever disadvantage may accrue through my faithfulness to him. His will be done in me.

SPIRITUAL PRIVILEGES NOT FOR SELFISH USES

How are the Lord's followers tempted as he was in this respect? We have no power to turn stones into bread. No! But having received the holy Spirit, [R3717 : page 42] it is within the range of our opportunities to use the same contrary to our consecration, to use it for our physical benefit--for instance, to make merchandise of the Gospel, to preach that which would be pleasing to the natural man and bring us worldly applause and approval and wealth and social caste, etc. This would be selling our birthright for the mess of pottage. Those who see the matter in its true light, those who are in the right attitude of heart to appreciate the matter, will not do this but will say, Natural food alone will not sustain us. We cannot live except as we have the smile, the favor, the approval of the Lord our God. To live without that would not be living for us.

Another temptation coming to some of the Lord's consecrated ones along this line would seem to be in the teaching that to some extent prevails, that they should go to God with every ailment and pain and thus [R3718 : page 42] use their privileges as anointed members of the body of Christ for the healing of their mortal bodies, which they have already in consecration surrendered to death. Would this be right? Would it not be along the same lines as our Lord's temptation to use the privileges and opportunities and powers that were his as the anointed one to comfort, strengthen and upbuild his mortal body? We believe that the cases are analogous, and that it is highly improper for any of the Lord's people who have received of his Spirit, who have made a consecration of their lives, to ask for any special intervention of the Lord's power on their behalf, to attempt in any manner to use their privileges as members of the Royal Priesthood to minister to their flesh.

On the contrary, so far as their fallen flesh is concerned, they have all the rights and privileges of the whole world to food and raiment and anything that in the Lord's providence may come to their attention as being healthful, strengthening, call this food or call it medicine as we please. It is our holy Spirit privileges as Royal Priests that cannot be invoked for earthly advantage, because this relationship to our Lord was not granted us for such a purpose, but rather that under this holy Spirit relationship we might the more efficiently lay down our lives for the brethren. It is in vain that some reason that they merely desire physical health that they may better perform their sacrifices to the Lord. The Scriptures declare that obedience is better than sacrifice.

Let us accept such temporal, physical blessings and mercies as divine providence grants us with gratitude, with thankfulness, and let our holy spirits, our holy minds, intentions, so use our mortal bodies as to make the best use possible of our talents, opportunities, and conditions for the service of the Lord, not asking for resuscitation or special strength as our Lord did not, but accepting such favors as the Father might grant to us unsolicited--"Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him." "After all these things [food, raiment, health, etc.] do the Gentiles seek." --Matt. 6:8,32.

TEMPTATION THE SECOND--THE WORLD

Satan did not stop to argue the question; he saw that it would be useless as soon as he perceived that the Lord's stand had been firmly taken. And so we also have the promise, "Resist the tempter and he will flee from you."--Jas. 4:7.

But although Satan fled, desisted from the first temptation, he speedily brought another, still in a friendly manner. Paraphrased, his proposition was this: "I carry you in mind to the roof of the southern wing of the Temple, which overlooks the valley of Hinnom [Gehenna]. A leap from that altitude would attract the attention of all the people, especially the most religious class, if done at the hour of the day when large crowds gather in the Temple. It would be a wonderful way of announcing your mission and showing at the same time the divine power which is in you. And there is a Scripture which implies that this was to be the way you would make an announcement of your Messiahship. It reads, 'He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.' (Psa. 91:11,12.) This Scripture would undoubtedly be fulfilled by the leap I am suggesting, and the people, realizing its fulfilment, would apply the Scripture directly to you and would all give attention to you as Messiah. They would all as a whole become your followers, and your mission would be thoroughly launched in one day." Longfellow practically pictures the scene:

"Unto the holy Temple on Moriah,
With its resplendent domes and manifold
Bright pinnacles of gold.
Where they wait thy coming, O Messiah!
Lo, I have brought thee! Let thy glory here
Be manifest and clear.

"Reveal thyself by royal act and gesture
Descending with the bright triumphant host
Of all the highermost
Archangels, and about thee as a vesture
The shining clouds and all thy splendors show
Unto the world below."

Again the suggestion had the appearance of being a friendly one. Could it be that Satan was really interested in the Lord's mission? Could it be that whereas he had been the tempter at first he was now sincerely desirous of undoing his work and becoming a co-laborer with and a helper of the Lord Jesus in his mission? Would it not be a great item in itself to gain first of all the great tempter who had misled so many, and, by converting him, to begin the work with his co-operation? And were not his words wise? Would it not provoke a general comment all through Palestine, and awaken the people to a realization of the power of God in their midst in the person of Jesus?

THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT GOD

All of these thoughts and many more doubtless came to our Lord in connection with the tempter's suggestion. But his study of the divine plan during those forty days, and the conclusions he there reached, quickly settled our Lord's decision that he could not take such a course, that it would not be consistent with the divine plan which he saw outlined in the Law and the prophets, and that anyway such a procedure would not be according to proper lines, reasonable conduct; that in thus leaping from the Temple parapet he would in a measure be tempting God by going contrary to the established law of gravitation. He could readily see that if in the performance of some obligation, some duty, he should miss his footing and fall from the Temple, that the Lord would be able to protect him, that he would receive no [R3718 : page 43] injury; but it would be quite another matter for him to adopt a plan for serving God that was contrary to what he recognized to be a law of nature. Not by merely curious wonder-working was he to be known to the people, but by the working of the works of him who sent him; by giving illustrations, in the healing of the sick and the blind and the lame, of the great work of God in restitution which would be accomplished through him later, during the Millennial age. The Adversary had no more to say, it would have been useless; he left him so far as that temptation was concerned.

Have the followers of Jesus temptations along this line?

Yes, we answer. The world continually looks to those who confess their relationship to the Lord as sons and who profess to have received the spirit of adoption, and urges them to show or attempt to show some marvel in his favor, if they would prove that they are specially the Lord's children.

"THIS GENERATION SEEKETH A SIGN,"

said our Lord, and thus it is with every generation, every people--the whole world. The world wants miracles or outward show of sanctity and great professions. Some responding to this spirit of the world have adopted peculiar dress. Monks, nuns, quakers, and others make profession of wonderful powers received through laying on of hands, and would thus impress the world along worldly lines. Others claim the power by magic words to change the bread and wine into the actual body of Christ, and authority then to sacrifice him. We cannot suppose that sane people really believe that they do anything of the kind; we must suppose that they do it for a spectacular effect upon the world. Similarly the red and purple and gold and white and black robes, miters, not now enjoined.

The world seeks after signs of healing, wonder-working magic, etc., and the nearer the Lord's people approach to these things the more they may expect to influence the world. Romanists are leaders along these lines, and have relics of saints, garments, bones, etc., to which reverence is attached in the minds of all classes except in the most civilized lands. Many of these things are attempted also by the Mormons, Spiritualists, Christian Scientists, and magnetic healers, and there is a general tendency amongst all denominations to attempt something of the spectacular whereby to arrest and fix the attention of the public.

As our Lord avoided anything and everything spectacular so should also his followers. True, our Lord performed some miracles of healing, but we should remember that the numbers healed as compared with the whole number of the people was comparatively small. We should remember also that these were the foretold witnesses by which he should be recognized, that they were foreshadowings of his coming glorious work of restitution to all the families of the earth, which shall be accomplished in due time during the Millennial age. True, also, there were miraculous gifts and tongues in the early Church, which we see through the Apostle's statement were designed for the establishment of the Church until the work of grace should more thoroughly be developed in the hearts of the Lord's people, when the fruits of the Spirit should and did supplant the miraculous gifts of the Spirit.

The Lord's people should be on guard against any unreasonable procedures in the proclamation of the Gospel. The service of ambassadors for God is a reasonable service, and those who are in proper line in the footsteps of Jesus will be found to possess more and more of the "spirit of a sound mind."--2 Tim. 1:7.

MISAPPLICATION OF SCRIPTURES

Note in connection with this temptation of our Lord that the Adversary quoted Scripture in support of his position, and that our Lord met the temptation not only upon reasonable, logical grounds, but with the Scriptures also. The lesson in this is that we not only need [R3719 : page 43] to have the Bible in our possession and be able to read it, but we also need the guidance of the holy Spirit, the spirit of a sound mind, in our application of the Word to the affairs of life. Our Lord did not dispute that the Father could give the angels a charge over him to bear up his feet, to preserve him from injury, but he did reason correctly and in harmony with the Word that it would be wrong for him to tempt the Lord, to try the Lord, to test the Lord's ability. Instead of proving the Lord and having him co-operate with a wonder-working spirit, we should the more carefully investigate the teachings of the divine plan, to ascertain and follow the course marked out for us in the Lord's providences, our reasonable service, even to the extent of the using up of our mortal bodies in reasonable methods, in the promulgation of the Truth.

In the light of the unfolding of God's plan we see that the living members of the Church constitute the feet of the body of Christ--the last members. We see further that in the prophecy which Satan quoted reference is had to the serious difficulties and trials of our day which would precede the feet members, "The hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."--Rev. 3:10.

We see that in our day there is a stumbling-stone permitted for the testing of our faith and patience and loyalty; that whoever is of the proper character will be aided of the Lord to victory, so that the stumbling-stone to such will be a stepping-stone to higher riches of grace and blessing. We hear the Apostle speaking of our day and saying, "Who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:17.) And the answer is that all the faithful in Christ, all the true members of the elect body, will stand in this day of testing, because the Lord will give his messengers a charge, a message in their interest, that they may bear them up in their hands by their power, lest they should be stumbled in this time. Nothing shall be able to stumble, to deceive, the very elect.--Matt. 24:24.

TEMPTATION THIRD--THE DEVIL

All of these temptations were of the devil, but from different standpoints. The third one was Satan's own temptation in a special sense or degree, in that it was along the subtle lines which he himself has seemed to follow in all his work as an adversary of God and of righteousness.

In this temptation the Lord is taken, not physically but in the spirit of his mind, up into a high mountain-- a very exalted kingdom. Physically he was all this time in the desert near Jerusalem, and as a matter of fact there is neither in that desert nor anywhere in the world a mountain from which all the kingdoms of the [R3719 : page 44] world could be viewed except with the mind's eye. The very high mountain or high kingdom superior to all earthly kingdoms was Satan's own dominion of the world. For a long time by usurpation he has been the prince of this world, who now worketh in the hearts of the children of disobedience, and who blinds the minds of those who believe not the Gospel. (2 Cor. 4:4.) Not that Satan is known to be the ruler and is recognized as such, nor that God has given him this dominion, but by deceiving mankind he has usurped the control of their minds. He is the great deceiver of whom we read that in the Millennial age our Lord Jesus shall bind him that he shall deceive the peoples no more.--Rev. 20:3.

In this temptation Satan seems to have entered sympathetically with our Lord in his work, as though he had said to him, "I see that you are bent upon doing a thorough work, and that to some extent you realize the difficulties which are before you--the impossibility of bringing order out of present confusion. You see the world of mankind steeped in sin and ignorance and superstition, taking pleasure in war, licentiousness and falsehood. You long to recover them, to establish a dominion of righteousness in which all the people shall be blessed and brought to see the advantage of obedience to God, of lives of peace, sobriety and happiness. I am with you in this matter. I also deplore the wretched condition of the world; I have been a witness to its degradation for four thousand years, and am now ready to join with you or rather to have you join with me in the work of lifting the world out of its deplorable condition.

"It was not my original design to bring such a blight upon mankind. I wanted to have a dominion, I wanted to be a ruler; there was no chance in heaven, because everything there was strictly under the rule and guidance of Jehovah God; therefore I endeavored to establish a kingdom amongst men. I will admit that humanity as it is at present is no credit to me or to my reign of centuries. I am willing to turn over the entire matter to you, to exert all the influence and power which I possess amongst men and to thus give you the control of the whole world to lift them up, to bless them, to do them every good, if you will but recognize me in connection with this dominion of earth. This is the short road to all that you desire to accomplish for man, and it is the only road, for you may well judge that if you do not take up with my proposition I will oppose you at every step and you see what my influence is amongst men. Not only will you yourself have most rugged experiences, but all who will attempt to co-operate with you I would oppose, so that there would practically be no opportunity for doing the good you have come into the world to accomplish except as you have my assistance and co-operation."

"HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE"

Our Lord's answer came promptly; we might paraphrase it thus: "O, Lucifer, it is true that you have great power, that you could co-operate, that you could also on the contrary oppose the work in which I have engaged and to which I have just consecrated my life. You rightly judge that my flesh shrinks from such a terrible conflict as I realize is before me, and that if the work could be accomplished in an easy, peaceable manner it would be my joy to have it so. But I remind you that my life is not consecrated to the work but to the Father, my God, and from this standpoint you are not only God's opponent, adversary, but also my adversary, in that you are endeavoring to alienate my affections and loyalty from him. Get thee behind me, I will not recognize you, I must follow the right course, well expressed in the Scriptures which say, 'Thou shalt reverence the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve.' There can be no compromise. You are on one side of the matter and God is on the other side. You may oppose me in my work in every way within your power to the extent that the Almighty will permit you. No more can you do, and if this in the Lord's providence shall bring me trials, disappointments, pain, suffering, death, I have already pledged myself to God to the full extent of all this."

The temptation was ended, our Lord's firmness and uncompromising loyalty to the Father and to his plan were fully vindicated; he was prepared now for the ministry of three and a half years, and knew to expect that from start to finish he would have the opposition of the adversary in every sense of the word--even unto death, even the death of the cross.

SIMILAR TEMPTATIONS BEFORE HIS BRETHREN

In what respect are we tempted as was our Lord in this final temptation? We reply that similarly the adversary comes to us with suggestions respecting a compromise of the Truth. As the eyes of our understanding open to see to what extent evil has a dominating influence in the world, and that fidelity to the Truth will cost us all that we have, in that same proportion usually comes the suggestion to compromise, to try to accomplish the good by more or less fellowship and partisanship with the evils that are in the world. It is along this line that many in the nominal churches justify themselves in respect to the worldly forms and customs introduced. Fairs, private theatricals, games, etc., are all compromises intended to attract the worldly by having the Church approach as nearly as possible to the world's conceptions and ideals and standards, etc., and yet with a view not to degradation but to uplift the world. This was exactly the course which Satan proposed to our Lord and which he rejected. All who would follow in the footsteps of Jesus must also reject every compromise with the world--"Ye are not of the world even as I am not of the world, therefore the world hateth you."--John 17:16.

Let us remember the words of our Lord, that those who would be his disciples should sit down first and count the cost before they enter upon discipleship, before they make the consecration of their lives, before they take upon them the holy name, "members of the body of Christ," the Church. And having taken their stand with the full knowledge that the way in which they are going is a narrow one, full of trials and difficulties, and that its further end is death, they will, with this view before their minds and such a consecration, be less likely to be sidetracked by the deceiving oppositions of the Adversary. Rightly instructed by the Word of the Lord they know that no real blessing could have come to the world except through his death, and to whatever extent he might have yielded to the Adversary's proposition for an easy way would have been a hindrance to that consummation. [R3720 : page 45]

Likewise they know that all the Church, the elect of God, called to walk in his footsteps now, are to take up his cross and follow him and be faithful even unto death if they would have the crown of life. They see that in the divine order the blessing of the world can come only through the sacrifice of the Christ, Head and body. The more they come to understand the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of God's great plan, the more they see the wisdom of the divine arrangement and the impossibility of the success of any other. The sacrificing priesthood of the present time is to constitute the glorious Royal Priesthood of the future, through which all the families of the earth are to be blessed. All who would constitute themselves members of this Royal Priesthood must learn at the very beginning of their experience to say, Not my will nor my way, but thy will and thy way, O Lord, be done.

Let each of us as followers of the Master be prompt in giving our response to the Adversary's proposition of compromise. He who dallies with temptation increases its power every moment; hence the propriety, yea, the necessity, of an absolute consecration of the heart, the will, at the beginning: on that foundation the daily conflicts with the world, the flesh and the Adversary become much more simple and lose much of their power. Meantime let us pray as our Lord directed, "Abandon us not in temptation, but deliver us from the evil one," realizing that of ourselves we are no match for the Adversary, that our help is in the Lord, and that greater is he who is on our part than all they that be against us.



[R3720 : page 45]

CALLED TO A HIGHER SERVICE
--LUKE 5:1-11.--FEBRUARY 11.--

Golden Text:--"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children."--Eph. 5:1.

OUR lesson relates to the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John to be our Lord's constant companions, and the training for their work as apostles after his glorification. A period of about a year elapsed between the temptation in the wilderness and the scene of this lesson on the Lake of Galilee. In the meantime some of John's disciples and others had accepted Jesus as their teacher in heavenly things and were more or less in his company. Peter, Andrew, James and John being amongst these. It was about this time that John was imprisoned, and Jesus' ministry seems to have become more vigorous thereafter.

As the narrative shows, Jesus was on the shore of the Lake of Galilee, and the public attracted to him-- hungry for the word of life--pressed so closely as to inconvenience him, and he stepped into one of the fishing boats moored to the shore. It was Peter's boat, and our Lord requested him to push the boat a little from the shore, from which position he could the more easily address the large crowds on the shelving beach. Peter and his brother Andrew were managing one of the boats, and James and his brother John another of the same partnership, while hired helpers were also assisting (Mark 1:20.) They were cleaning and mending their nets, for they had been out all night; they were preparing for the next night's fishing, for at that time it appears that most of the net fishing is done. These fishermen and perhaps others in the same vicinity proceeded with their work while the Lord was preaching, no doubt giving earnest attention to his words at the same time.

"LAUNCH OUT NOW"

When our Lord had finished his discourse he suggested to Peter that he take the boat to deep water and let down his nets for a catch of fish. The response was that no fish were to be expected--that they had toiled all night without results; but through respect to the Master, if he desired it they would let down their nets again, without having any expectations as fishermen that they would meet with any success.

The result was a net full of fish, the weight of which began to break the meshes of the net. Their partners were signalled to come to assist, with the final result that both boats were heavily laden with fish, so as almost to endanger their safety. When Peter noted the miracle performed he fell at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." He realized that he was in the presence of one possessed of more than human wisdom and power, and correspondingly he felt afraid. Although he and his partners had known Jesus for now over a year, he had never before so thoroughly realized the wonderful power hidden in Christ.

A miracle was performed, however we may view it: we might suppose the creation of the fish on the spot, or the power of the Lord to at will bring a great school of fish to that vicinity, or the knowledge of the Lord that such a school of fish was in the vicinity. No matter which view we take, it would still leave the miracle intact; nor should we wish it otherwise, realizing that it is on a parity with others of Jesus' mighty works. Respecting the fishes of that lake we quote from a prominent writer as follows:--

"The Sea of Galilee was always famed for the number and variety of its fish. There are more than fifty kinds. The thickness of the shoals of fish in the Lake of Gennesaret is almost incredible to any one who has not witnessed them. They often cover an area of more than an acre; and when the fish move slowly forward in a mass, and are rising out of the water, they are packed so close together that it appears as though a heavy rain were beating down upon the surface of the water."

THE OBJECT OF THE MIRACLE

It is evident that this miracle was performed for the purpose of fully and finally convincing Peter, Andrew, James and John respecting the Lord's relationship to the Father, and his power of control in respect to things temporal as well as things spiritual. The lesson evidently had its designed effect, and our Lord clinched the matter by then and there inviting the four to become his permanent disciples--to become fishers of men. This was the opposite course from what Peter had suggested--that the Lord depart from them because he was perfect and holy and had direct intercourse evidently with the heavenly powers, while they were poor and weak and sinful, imperfect through the [R3720 : page 46] fall. Separation did indeed take place, but it was between the disciples and their earthly business, not between them and the Lord. "They forsook all and followed him." Similarly tests have come to all whom the Lord has called throughout this age.

MANY CALLED, FEW CHOSEN

There was a great multitude on the shore who heard the Lord's teachings, but not to all of them did his message come with the same force and to the same end. Only a few were specially chosen and called. Doubtless there were elementary conditions in the hearts of these four that constituted them the ones ready and worthy to receive the special message. There may have been Israelites indeed in the multitude on the shore who were not yet ripe for the special invitation of discipleship, just as these same four who now forsook all to follow the Lord had been with him more or less for about a year, yet had not until now reached the place where they were ready to forsake all.

All down through the Gospel age the Lord's invitations have been extended chiefly to those in the humbler walks of life--not many great, not many rich, not many wise, not many learned, not many noble, hath God chosen, but the mean things of the world, the things not esteemed--mainly the poor of this world rich in faith. (I Cor. 1:26-28; Jas. 2:5.) The Lord's dealing is practically the same with all. He does not invite them at first to a full consecration, but rather gives them leading and instruction along lines of justification, and after they have grown in knowledge to some degree they have the privilege of forsaking all to be his special disciples, to be fishers of men.

One difficulty with Christians in general of all denominations is that this second step of full consecration is rarely brought to their attention. Under the false teaching that it is a question respecting heaven or hell that they must decide, the majority seem to feel satisfied that if they are reasonably decent, reasonably honest, they will escape eternal torment, and are not ambitious beyond this. They thus claim themselves to be, and are reckoned by others as disciples of Christ, whereas in reality they still belong to the multitude who hear with more or less of joy and bear witness to the wonderful words proceeding from the Lord's mouth, but who fail to attain the position of special disciples, not appreciating and not taught that to be the Lord's disciples we must "take up our cross and follow him." O, how necessary to the saints is the Truth! How wonderful the Lord's words, "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth!" Error can never sanctify, and in proportion as it is mixed in our minds with the Truth, to that extent is the latter diluted and lacking in power.

FORSAKING ALL TO FOLLOW CHRIST

The narrative of our lesson would seem to imply that these four disciples had acted in a very irrational manner, leaving their boats and nets instantly without disposing of them or making provision for their care; but Mark's account informs us that the boats were left in the care of Zebedee, the father of James and John, with hired helpers. Nor need we suppose that the Lord and these four who became so prominent as his apostles started away from that vicinity that same hour or even that same day. It may have required time to make proper arrangements for the fish, for the business interests of the partnership, etc. The same is true of us: we have duties in life which it would be [R3721 : page 46] wrong to abruptly cast aside and ignore, responsibilities to others and a stewardship. The "spirit of a sound mind" is to govern the Lord's people in all of their affairs, both temporal and spiritual.

The important thing decided at the moment and decided positively and permanently was that they accepted the Lord's invitation to enter the Father's service with him--fishing on a higher and grander scale, for men--gathering them into the Gospel net, with a view to their ultimate glorification as New Creatures in Christ and participants with him in the glory, honor, and immortality of his Kingdom soon to be established. Let us each remember the importance of a positive decision respecting our consecration to the Lord, our acceptance of service under him as our Master and Captain. Let us then as wisely as possible arrange life's affairs so as to be without carefulness respecting earthly things that we may the more readily and more completely give all of our time and energy to the most important of all works, the service of God, tidings of great joy for all people.

OUR GOLDEN TEXT

However much we have heard of Jesus, however much we have rejoiced in the salvation which he died to secure for us, however much we have trusted in the merit of his sacrifice, we did not become his disciples until we had formally reached the point of giving our hearts, our lives, our wills to him--responding to his invitation, becoming followers of God as dear children under the guidance and instruction of our elder brother, Jesus. The opportunity does not come to all of us in just the same form that it presented itself to the four fishermen of our lesson, and yet there is a similarity. With many of us, as the Apostle explains, it is the Lord's will that we should abide in the vocation in which we were when the message of grace first reached us. (I Cor. 7:20-22.) Not all are called to an open, public ministry, devoting all of time, talent, effort and interest to the Gospel message. The majority of the called the Lord evidently intends to instruct as his disciples while they are about their ordinary business, the duties and responsibilities of life.

With these, however, it is necessary that there be a forsaking of boats and fishing tackle, etc., in the heart from the moment that a full consecration is made to the Lord. We cannot serve God and Mammon. We cannot have two objects in life, both equally prominent to our attention. The Lord will not have it so with those who are to be his joint-heirs in the Kingdom. This class must appreciate the privilege of fellowship in his labor, sufferings and hopes of glory to such an extent that their hearts will no longer be in the ordinary affairs of life, their ambitions will no longer be for wealth or name or fame from the world's standpoint. All such ambitions and hopes we must "forsake" if we would be his disciples. He must be first, joint-heirship with him must be our ambition; otherwise our hearts would not be in a condition that would be pleasing to the Lord or that would not be single for his service; we would be of the kind described as double minded, unstable in all our works and ways. (Jas. 1:8.) Undoubtedly [R3721 : page 47] this is a difficulty with a large number of those who have named the name of Christ and professed consecration to him and his service.

"AS DEAR CHILDREN"

It is high time that we learn that we cannot serve God and Mammon, and that we choose as between these. If we do not choose the Lord and his service and place these first before our hearts' affections, we will be counted as placing the others first,--the interests of the natural man; and the Lord's appreciation of us and the reward he will give us will correspond. He has indeed blessings for all the families of the earth, but the special blessing presented in the exceeding great and precious promises of glory, honor and immortality are for those who love him supremely, more than they love houses or lands, business or wealth, family or kindred or self.

Our exhortation to all who have forsaken all to follow the Lord is that we do not look back, that we estimate that we have made the grandest bargain imaginable, that we are in the way for obtaining the grandest prize imaginable, together with association with our Lord in his wonderful work and with the divine approval.

This seems to be the thought of the Apostle when he urges us to lay aside every weight and entanglement that we may run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author of our faith, until he shall have become its finisher. Let us as promptly as possible, at the beginning of our Christian experience, settle once for all the matter of surrendering our wills to be followers of the Lamb; let us once for all arrange as wisely as possible our temporary affairs and interests in accordance with the reasonable demands of others respecting the same, and let us then faithfully persevere to the end of the race course.



[R3721 : page 47]

AN INTERESTING QUESTION ANSWERED.

WHY ARE WE NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW?


Question.--Please make some further comments on the relationship of the Jewish Law Covenant to the Israelites, and explain why you assert that we are not subject to its provisions.

Answer.--The Law given by Moses was good in every sense of the word, but the Covenant to which it was attached was one which was insufficient to meet the necessities of mankind, weak through the fall and incompetent to keep the perfect Law. The original law given was written in man's very nature when he was created perfect, in the image of God, and when his conscience was a sufficient criterion of judgment as respects the right and wrong of any matter. God's Covenant with Adam was one of eternal life based on continued obedience, and any infraction of that Covenant meant death. God's law to Israel, under the Mosaic covenant, implied that all who were thus in Moses as the mediator of that covenant, were reckoned as lifted out from the remainder of mankind, and as separated from the sentence of death upon the race in general through Adam. This was to the intent that Israel might have a fresh trial. But because of the imperfections of their flesh, Israel was unable to keep the Law of their Covenant, and hence unable to keep their share of the covenant and thus came under a special sentence of death-- for that Law Covenant, which they thought would be unto life, they found worked death.

The New Covenant differs from the Mosaic Covenant specially in its provision that God will be merciful to those under it, whereas under the Mosaic Covenant he proposed simply to be just. Israel could not gain any special blessing under a covenant of justice, but whoever comes under the New Covenant of mercy obtains a great favor.

The New Covenant, as we have seen, differs from the Mosaic Covenant in placing its subjects under mercy instead of under justice. It has also a higher Mediator, one who was able to compensate justice and thus to extend mercy without infracting the Law. It was also established by better sacrifices--by the antitypes of bulls and goats, which were the sacrifices which sealed the New Covenant. While the Law of the New Covenant is in many respects the same in substance as the Law of Moses' Covenant, it nevertheless is a higher statement of that Law, and in full harmony with all the other higher features of the New Covenant. The highest statement of the New Covenant is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, strength and being, and thy neighbor as thyself," and although this highest statement of the divine Law was made known to Israel under Moses, they could not from their standpoint comprehend that statement of the Law, and a lower statement of the same Law was given them as a part of the Law of their Covenant, namely, the Ten Commandments.

Those Ten Commandments have nothing whatever to do with the New Covenant, sealed with the precious blood of Christ, nor with the spiritual Israel accepted of God under that New Covenant. Indeed we may properly say that although the Ten Commandments were suitable enough to the House of Servants, our heavenly Father would not insult any of his children by addressing to them the language of the Ten Commandments. When we remember that the New Covenant and its Law applies only at the present time to the new creatures in Christ Jesus, who know that they have passed from death unto life because they love the brethren, and who know that they are the children of God because they have received his spirit of adoption, then we are prepared to see that it would be wholly incongruous for the heavenly Father, who has already accepted them in the Beloved One, to address to these the language of the decalogue.

How hurt the consecrated people of God might properly feel to have the heavenly Father address them, saying, "Thou shalt not kill!" They would look up to the Father in sorrow, saying, "Dear heavenly Father, we have received of your spirit of love and have no longer the spirit of hatred and murder." Similarly with all the various charges of the decalogue, proper to the House of Servants: they would all be insulting to the House of Sons, implying that they were not sons and had not received of the Father's spirit and were not accepted of him in the [R3722 : page 47] Beloved, for Love worketh no ill to his neighbor.

The fourth commandment is no different from the others of the ten. It is on a lower plane than would be proper for the House of Sons, and consequently was never given to them. It merely commands rest from labor, but under the comprehensive law of love to God and man, and through the possession of the Father's Spirit, the new creatures in Christ Jesus have a higher rest than had the natural Israelites. Ours is a rest of faith and trust in God, and in Christ our Lord through whom he is working all things according to the counsel of his own will. Ever since Pentecost this rest of the people of God, as it pertains even to the present life, is perpetual, and not merely one day out of seven.



page 49
February 1st

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

SEMI-MONTHLY
VOL. XXVII.FEBRUARY 15, 1906No. 4


CONTENTS.

Views from the Watch Tower51
Socialists Alarm British51
German Kaiser Fears Same Fate as Czar51
The Federation Idea52
Amalgamation of Three Strong Denominations in Canada52
Turning on the Light53
Home Missions and Some Census Figures53
About Foundations54
How Much of it is True!54
Reply to a Christadelphian55
The Wheeling One-Day Convention57
Capernaum Exalted to Heaven57
The Forgiveness of Sin60

I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me. Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. -- Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 50

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS MISSION.

THIS journal is set for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed."--Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken;--according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the
Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and
the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished,
God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to
him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these
"living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready,
the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection;
and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting
place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for man," "a ransom
for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth
"in due time."--Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as
his joint-heir.--1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's
witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of
the next age.--Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution
of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the
hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church.--Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




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[R3722 : page 51]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER.

SOCIALISTS ALARM BRITISH


LONDON, January 17.--The first almost boundless enthusiasm, with which official Liberalism greeted the results of the elections, is giving place to uneasiness, in which the whole of the middle classes are beginning to share, at the phenomenal and quite unexpected successes of the socialistic labor party. The purely labor members already number thirty, and there will probably be, for the first time in English history, a solid party of sixty labor members, whose admitted demands include the payment of members, abolition of the House of Lords, Irish Home Rule, and nationalization of land, telephones, railways, factories, mines, shipping and all other instruments of production. This is the proclaimed policy of the national administrative council of the Independent Labor Party, whose direct nominees these labor candidates are. In many of these proposals, the labor party has the support of both the Irish Nationalists, numbering eighty, and probably one-fourth of the new Liberal members, many of whom were elected on distinct labor pledges, making altogether a party formidable enough to terrorize the ministry and party which includes railway directors, chairmen of telephone companies, rich manufacturers and other representative capitalists. This is why elections are spoken of as more than a mere party landslide: they mean a revolution in English politics, the end of which no man can see.

The Times, which has been a thorough supporter of Mr. Chamberlain's fiscal policy, says that "while the Unionists and Liberals have been disputing about their own issues, fiscal reform, popularly controlled education, and Chinese labor in South Africa, another vast issue has been shaping itself quietly and silently, without observation. That issue is whether the working classes, who form the bulk of the electorate, are to dictate a policy they desire, or go on contented with choosing between the policies offered by the traditional parties." They decided for the first alternative, they are asserting their power. Hence the Times adds, the city of London, by the emphatic return of Unionists yesterday, shows that financiers and business men realize the greater economic dangers ahead, than any of the Chamberlain proposals could produce at their worst."--Montreal Star.

"LOOKING AFTER THE THINGS COMING"


That the British are greatly stirred over the peaceable "Revolution" just started by the Socialists and Labor party at the polls is evident. The London "Daily Mail" states the matter concisely, thus:

"Public curiosity is naturally excited as to what is the meaning of the return of so many Labor members to the new Parliament. So long as Labor and Socialist agitators had to confine their oratory and efforts to street-corner meetings and market-place demonstrations, the 'respectable' portion of the community looked upon them with contemptuous indifference. But when great industrial constituencies begin to send these agitators to Parliament the matter assumes a serious aspect. What does it all mean? Is it a revolution? Does it portend the overthrow of existing institutions? Is the country threatened with ruin by the coming of this new power into politics?

"It certainly means a revolution in the sense that the purpose of Labor Representation is to use political power in quite a different way and for quite a different purpose from its past uses.

"I am not concerned now to justify the policy and the object of the Labor Representation movement. We are satisfied of the wisdom of the policy and the justice of the object. I want now only to explain the policy and the object for the information of those who do not understand either. Then they may banish their fears or strengthen their defences, just as their wisdom or self-interest dictates."

GERMAN KAISER FEARS SAME FATE AS CZAR


One German authority says that the German emperor has been deeply impressed by the fate which has overtaken his royal relative, the czar of Russia. It would have been impossible, it is argued, for the Russia revolutionaries to have made any headway in Russia if it had not been for the unexpected defeat of the Russian armies and navies at the hands of the Japanese. A shock to the German arms, the destruction of German prestige, and the kaiser knows he would be as much at the mercy of the revolutionary forces as is the czar today. More than he fears France, more than he fears England, the kaiser fears the growth of Socialism at [R3722 : page 52] home. His increase in the army and the navy is really for the purpose of putting down rebellion at home. Except in the case of an extremity the kaiser would never appeal to a contest at arms to settle a difficulty with any of the great powers of earth. It is necessary for him to create the impression that the country is on the verge of war with great foreign powers in order to beat the Socialists, but war is the last thing the kaiser wants, and the last thing that he expects.

This same authority says the kaiser has learned other lessons from the Russian trouble which he will not be slow to act upon in the case of necessity. For instance, among the really first-class powers, next to Russia, the German Government has undoubtedly been the most autocratic and despotic. The kaiser has seen the collapse of an autocratic form of government, the complete breakdown of a state managed by the bureaucracy, and he is said to have deliberately told some of the elder statesmen of Germany that the policy of his government in the future must be more and more in the direction of a constitutional government.

OMINOUS SIGNS.


Should Russia, in course of time and after a glut of horrors, become a Socialist or a semi-Socialist state, the revolutionary wave would spread, for good or ill, to other nations.

Already we read of Austrians and Hungarians insisting upon universal suffrage, and a delegation of no less than 200,000 workingmen filling the Vienna ringstrasse to impress parliament with their earnestness in making the demand.

In Germany, the Socialists, inspired by events in Russia, have begun an agitation for the reform of the election laws which will give them the representation in the Reichstag, possibly a majority of that body, to which they are entitled. On Jan. 14 they will distribute 300,000 copies of a revolutionary manifesto, and on Jan. 31 they plan to hold 250 public demonstrations. The Kaiser's advisers are urging him to employ troops to suppress this menacing agitation. --Cleveland (O.) Press.

VERY SAD IF TRUE.


The daily press of New York has published the essence of an address given by President Faunce before the Baptist ministers of New York city. They say he utterly denied the doctrine of atonement and rejected it from his belief. The Doctor has not denied this version of his address and hence we suppose it is true. Is there any wonder that students go wrong when college presidents lead the way? Is not Dr. Patton right in saying that, with colleges as now constituted, there will be no Christianity left at the close of the twentieth century? But God can raise up his witness outside of the college in the future, just as he has done in the past, and he will witness outside of the college in the future just as he has done in the past.--Watchword and Truth.

REFORM IN PERSIA, TOO


"The dominion of the Shah is about the last in the world, now that Russia is abandoning autocracy and China is considering domestic reforms, where a demand for constitutional government would be expected, or, if made, would be granted. Persia is an absolute monarchy of the Oriental type, resting solely upon force, and the slightest whim of the ruler has been considered law. Yet the St. Petersburg dispatch, based upon reports by caravan, declare that a thousand merchants and mullahs, or priests, becoming dissatisfied with the Shah's rule, left the capital as a protest and were afterward reconciled by Muzafer ed Din's consent to the election of a representative body chosen by the merchants, priests and landowners to constitute a House of Justice, whose [R3723 : page 52] duties will be administrative and legislative."

THE FEDERATION IDEA


For religious interest in 1906 a close second to the evangelistic campaigns is the federation idea. Presbyterian North and Cumberland Presbyterians have just agreed in committee to unite, and no doubt is felt that their respective general assemblies, meeting in May next, will approve the action of these committees. There is a stubborn Cumberland minority, made up for the most part of the conservatives, with some of the vested or salaried interests, but nobody professes to fear any such outcome as that of the Wee Frees in Scotland. The union of these two bodies will make a denomination of nearly 1,500,000 members. Presbyterians South show little inclination to come into the union, but there is a chance that some of the smaller Presbyterian bodies may give up autonomy and join the others.

The first meeting of the national council of the Combined Congregational, Methodist Protestant and United Brethren churches is to take place at Dayton, Ohio, on February 7. This union differs little from the more inclusive plan, as yet called federation, proposed by the thirty bodies which met in conference in November, and proposed the formation of a federal council similar to, but larger than, the council about to meet in Dayton. If the Dayton council works out harmoniously the plans to come before it, there will be presented the first concrete example of a union of divided Protestantism.

Baptists have come together in a general convention, and their federation includes the Baptists of Canada. Big plans are in hand for the initial meeting of this convention in May, looking to still closer union and to aggressive and common work, especially missionary in the West. Baptists are reaching out towards the Free Baptists and the Disciples of Christ. They have changed their point of view markedly during the past ten years, particularly the views that relate to "close communion." With this change there seems, so Baptist leaders say, to be no good reason why immersionists should longer be separated. During the year now opening there will be further examinations of the doctrinal differences of Disciples and Baptists, looking to closer relations, and with the possible outcome of actual union in course of time. --Globe Democrat.

AMALGAMATION OF THREE STRONG DENOMINATIONS.


Toronto.--The central committee composed of representatives from the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches throughout Canada have agreed upon a code of doctrines that will unify the three denominations into one great church which shall be known as the "United Church of Canada." In arriving [R3723 : page 53] at the terms of doctrine, the revised confession of faith of the Presbyterian church was used in conjunction with the plan proposed by the Montreal committee and these have been so revised and amended as to contain all the great essential truths of the creeds of the three churches and the joint body have agreed that the Westminster confession of faith shall be practically a dead letter in Canada. The doctrine of election was the point about which the Presbyterian end of the committee were most concerned, while the predestination theory was another. So far as the Methodist church was concerned, the question of entire sanctification was the stickling point. These differences were so moulded that all objection by the members of the committee was removed. The doctrine on Arminianism, which is that a man is not predestined to perdition, but makes his own destiny and reward, has been adopted in the new church creed. The new church is to be acknowledged as "One Holy Catholic" as well as of the innumerable company of saints of all ages and nations. Every church throughout the world professing obedience to Christ is recognized and the Lord's supper and baptism are acknowledged to be personal obligations as signs and seals of covenant. The proper subjects for baptism are declared to be "believers and infants."

These matters will be submitted to the several denominations throughout the Dominion and the action of these bodies through the courts of the churches will reach the central executive next year. The new church is to be governed by a supreme body to be known as "The General Conference," after the Methodist form. The belief is that this is to be a Council after the Congregational idea with a chairman. The next body nearer the people is to be "The Presbytery."

Dayton, O., Feb. 9.--The United Church of America was launched today, representing the Congregationalists, United Brethren, and Protestant Methodists of the United States.

TURNING ON THE LIGHT


Pointing to our day the Master declared, there is nothing hid that shall not be revealed. The fulfilment of this is attested on every hand: in the insurance scandals of our land; in the Belgian cruelties in Africa-- the maiming and killing of the natives to increase the wealth of the rubber monopoly and others, in the practical slavery of the diamond-mine laborers of Rhodesia, etc. Now we have a horrible report of the doings of the "religious" "orthodox," "benevolent" Dutch Government in its colony in India.

It is one of the Deputies (Congressmen) who is there used to turn on the light. We quote the Denver Post:--

Van Deventer, the new Liberal deputy, continues his disclosures of Dutch atrocities in Dutch India. He says the queen authorized the formation of a special corps of uniformed murderers, known as the "Marechausee" regiment, whose motto is: "No pardon for the natives, and no prisoners." This regiment is commanded by European officers and consists of the most murderous blacks "in her majesty's colonies."

When sent on an expedition into the interior, they make it a point to bring back a portion of the body of at least one murdered enemy; some of these troopers own hundreds of such trophies. The troops, consisting of 300 men only, have the following record of murders committed on various expeditions: First expedition, 318 slain "enemies;" second, 612; third, 921; fourth, 1,815; fifth, 2,085; sixth, 2,853; seventh, 4,126.

The increase in the killings is due to the fact that murderous blacks gradually learned the trick of turning their Mausers into dum-dum bullets by filing off the points of the cartridges.

"And what causes these expeditions, commanded and sanctioned by her most gracious majesty?" demanded the deputy.

"They are undertaken to frighten the native chiefs into placing at the rich planters' disposal cheap labor, thousands and again thousands of Malay coolies, that must work for a pittance to swell the coffers of the monopolists and allow the native rulers to wallow in whiskey and white women."--Bulletin.


***

"The love of money is the root of all evil," says the Book. We see it exemplified everywhere. All these revelations are awakening the world to better ideas of Justice. But what about the Church, whose nominal representatives, financial and political princes are thus exposed? It is no worse perhaps, but merely exposed. But there is a true Church of "saints," though only "the Lord knoweth them that are His."

"ETERNAL TORMENTS" WILL REMAIN


The St. Louis Presbytery answered in the negative an overture from the Milwaukee (Wis.) presbytery suggesting the omission of the words, "be cast into eternal torments," from the creed. The overture stated that the phrase was not Scriptural and urged that the words, "everlasting destruction" were sufficient in the creed.

Evidently the "sweet morsel" of the dark ages is yet too valuable an asset to be discarded. The blasphemy of the divine character and word must continue, because it may be helpful to revivalists in country districts.

HOME MISSIONS AND SOME CENSUS FIGURES


BY REV. S. F. TENNEY, IN "CHRISTIAN OBSERVER."

The last United States Census shows that the twenty counties comprised in the Presbytery of Eastern Texas have an aggregate area of 17,548 square miles, --a territory more than seventeen times as large as Rhode Island, more than eight times as large as Delaware, nearly twice as large as Maryland, more than twice as large as Massachusetts, more than half as large as Maine, half as large as Indiana, nearly half as large as Tennessee, and more than half as large as South Carolina.

The population of these twenty counties in 1900 was 287,631, and is much larger now. The gain in population in these counties during the ten years (from 1890 to 1900) was more than forty per cent.--some of the counties doubling their population and some more than doubling. Within the past few years these counties have developed wonderfully in rice farming, in the saw-mill business, in the production of oil, in fruit-raising and truck farming, in the construction of a number of lines of important railroads. The town of Sour Lake, a few years ago, was an insignificant village away from any railroad. Now it has railroad connection, and will perhaps have several railroads soon, and is a city of over three thousand inhabitants. A Presbyterian Church has been organized [R3724 : page 54] there. Batson's Prairie, until recently, was only a country neighborhood, unknown to the world.

Now it is estimated to have a population of about two thousand, and is a great oil producing centre. Saratoga, another oil-producing centre, is not far from Sour Lake and Batson's Prairie. In Houston county where in 1871 I preached in a log school house in the midst of a pine forest, now stands the young city of Kennard and one of the largest saw-mills in the world.

ABOUT FOUNDATIONS


BY REV. J. R. JACOBS, IN "CHRISTIAN OBSERVER."

One of the handsomest structures in San Marco, Texas, is a church recently erected. But already its walls are badly seamed and fissured and a collapse seems not remote. The recognized cause of this lies in inadequate foundations. Is not like disaster threatening our Church's work?

The cry for ministers for vacant pulpits comes from all sides. But we fail to find them; that is, enough of them. We cannot find them; no adequate supply exists. If one church obtain it is often but by the robbery, or at least the deprivation, of another.....

The contrast in this matter between conditions some thirty years ago and now, is startling. Take the years 1876 and now nearly 1906. In this thirty years our membership has grown approximately 120 per cent., our churches 72 per cent., our ministers in number only 50 per cent., and candidates and licentiates only 38 per cent. Then we had one minister to every one and four-fifths churches, now we have but one to every 2, even counting as active all aged, sick and infirm. Then we had preparing one candidate or licentiate to every six and four-fifths churches; now we have one only to every eight and one-half churches. The figures tell the tale.....

HOW MUCH OF IT IS TRUE!


BY REV. H. B. PRATT, IN "CHRISTIAN OBSERVER."

One of our religious weeklies has recently published a communication from beyond the Sea, entitled "Egyptian Civilization before 4000 years B.C.," on which, with humble confession of my own ignorance of such matters, I beg leave to ask the maturer judgment of the Editors of the Observer, or that of some one of its many well qualified readers. We are used to reading in the secular press statements of the kind there made in reference to the antiquity of the ancient civilization, which violently impugn the truth of Bible History; but when they appear in a religious journal, it seems to me the proper thing to do to challenge them, and ask what truth there really is in them. Like the rest of the School, the writer makes his statements with a degree of confidence which puts to shame the diffidence of many who profess to believe and even to teach the Bible. "There was at least (he says in reference to recent alleged Egyptian discoveries) before the world evidence of the close of the period previously considered prehistoric, showing the development of the arts, writing and civilization of Egypt, and the composition of a race which since has maintained its character during 6000 years. The question was, Where was all this civilization of 5000 years B.C. developed?"

With equal confidence Prof. Hilprecht is reported to speak of buildings and other remains of the ancient civilization of Assyria and Babylon which go back 6,000 or 7,000, and if my memory does not mislead me, 8,000 years before Christ. Now does even a remote degree of certainty attach to these ancient dates? Another writer placidly assures his readers that modern discoveries in Egypt compel us to recast our chronology in such a way as will locate Abraham "in modern rather than in ancient times;" or words to that effect. Now how much of all this is "gold," and how much is simply "brass?" We live in a day when, for many of the purposes of real or pretended scholarship and science, "brass is more valuable than gold,"--as many of our "Higher Critics" have taught us.

On the Cincinnati Southern Railway, the "High Bridge" passes, like a spider's web, over the Kentucky River, at a height of some 250 or 300 feet above the stream, on a single span of perhaps 1,200 feet from bank to bank. At first the trains passed slowly over the yawning abyss; but at the time I was there they told me that after making the terminals perfectly straight, so as to put the trains in exact alignment before they reached the bridge, it was found to be safest to put on all possible steam and go flying over the point of danger at the rate of 40 miles an hour. Now does that illustrate animus and modus operandi of our Higher Critics and their foster brothers, the archeologists of the same School?--most bold, where least secure!

The written history of the Bible dates back to the times of Moses; which I am old-fashioned enough still to place at about 1,500 years before Christ; and we have by divine revelation and by the pen of Moses (or of scribes who wrote under his inspection and superintendence), the authentic history of Abraham and Lot, which it will not hurt us still to place at about 1900 B.C. Now then, is it a fact, or is it fiction, that the monuments and written records of Egypt and Babylon, by any fair and reliable interpretation (for so far as I can see the translations vary very widely), carry us back 2000, 3000 or even 4000 years before Abraham was born? Is consecutive written history good for anything? or is it only clay tablets and hyeroglyphics (which our savants have only recently begun to decipher), with paintings and monumental inscriptions (made by unknown hands, and which Prof. A. H. Sayce avers have often been tampered with), and disconnected papyrus rolls, and the like, that are to be relied on?

We lay the written word of God to pledge, with Jesus Christ our Lord as sponsor for the reliability of the record (John 5:45,46), that (all systems of chronology apart) in the days of Abraham and Lot, "that goodly land" which Jehovah gave as an heritage to Abraham "his friend"--"the glory of all lands," as Ezekiel fondly called it, even in the days of its decadence and his own captivity, was so sparsely peopled that God bade him, with his immense encampment, or encampments, to "walk through the length of it, and the breadth of it," and survey it all, the land which his newly-found God had given to him,--as in fact he did with perfect freedom, without incommoding anybody; so sparsely peopled, that when the worldly-minded Lot, whose substance also was so great that their respective encampments could not, or would not, live in peace together (and therefore he preferred the society and fellowship [R3724 : page 55] of debased pagans to the altar of his godly uncle, in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed), Abraham could generously bid him to lift up his eyes from the top of the mountain-range back of Bethel and view the whole land, and choose what part he liked best, saying: "If thou will take to the left hand I will take to the right; or if thou take the right hand, I will take the left" (Gen. 13:9); so sparsely peopled, that one hundred years later, Abimelech, king of the war-like Philistines of that day, could with some show of reason, if not of truth, say to Isaac: "Go from us, for thou art much mightier than we!"--Gen. 26:16.

Now, this is written history, inspired written history; and is it believable by Christian men, to whom God has given the spirit of "little children," to believe unquestioningly whatever He tells them, that this goodly land, emptied and drowned out by the waters of Noah's flood, "a land flowing with milk and honey," though lying at the very door of Egypt, was still thus empty of inhabitants for a period of 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000 years after Egypt had become great in art, letters, riches, civilization, population and power. I freely confess that I am not well posted in the recently discovered and as yet but partially deciphered facts of ancient Egyptian history, and in this regard may be esteemed as far behind the times; and therefore I ask of those who have a better right to know, how much of all these supposed discoveries and these dates are reliable and true?

For my own part, I have more confidence in Moses and the Prophets than in all the monuments of Egypt, read and unread. It is easier for me to believe that these men are mistaken, that "much learning has made them mad," turned their heads, or that prejudice against inspired Scripture has warped their judgment, than to believe that the Bible record is untrue. I have far more confidence in the facts of Scripture history than in all the supposed "findings" of infidel or skeptical Egyptologists. I believe the Bible as it reads, and had rather pass for a fool all my days and be accounted wise in the day of judgment, than be accounted the wisest man in or out of Germany now and pass for a fool then!



[R3724 : page 55]

REPLY TO A CHRISTADELPHIAN.

MELBOURNE, December 21, 1905. DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Having had occasion several times of late to write to Christadelphian enquirers, I am sending herewith an extract from the latest, and copy of reply to it. If something on this subject could appear in ZION'S WATCH TOWER might prove interesting, and would at least save writing it in a letter.

With much love in the Lord,
Yours faithfully, in Him, E. C. HENNINGES.


WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY:

Dear Sirs:--We are exhorted to "try the spirits, whether they be of God," and this test I have carried out with your paper and its teaching, and have found it wanting in the necessary speaking according to the law and the testimony (Isaiah 8:20), so can only conclude that there is no light in it. You are right and scriptural in your contentions that man has not an immortal soul, and "the dead know not anything;" but contending that all will be raised, you teach a thing pleasing to the "flesh," no doubt, but not in accord with truth. [R3725 : page 55]

When quoting I Cor. 15:22, consider that altho we are all in Adam by descent, a way is prescribed whereby we may come into Christ, or put on Christ; hence all are not in Christ. Altho what Paul writes to Timothy about Christ dying for all is also true, the death will not benefit those who do not come into Christ in the way laid down. Can you in the light of your teaching explain the following, which show that, at any rate, some will not be raised, thus upsetting your pleasant theory?--Isaiah 26:13,14; Jeremiah 51:39,57; Proverbs 21:16; Psalm 49:12,20. And Ephesians 4:17,18 shows that ignorance alienates from God.

The Bible is the source of all wisdom, and is the basis of all that is true, so I hope that you will carefully examine the above, and will be pleased to receive a reply, if you deem this worthy of one.
Yours sincerely, TASMANIA.

REPLY

Dear Sir:--We are very sorry that the explanations of the Word given in the columns of ZION'S WATCH TOWER have not appealed to you more strongly than they seem to have done. Yet we are glad that you have not condemned it without having looked at it at least a little. Possibly you would have found more to commend, had you looked further.

Experience shows that in teaching the raising of all (both just and unjust), we are not giving out something that is pleasing to the "flesh." The "flesh" prefers to believe that it has a soul that lives while the body is dead, which of course makes the resurrection unnecessary, so that this doctrine is no more acceptable now than it was in the days of the apostles, who preached Jesus and the resurrection.

So far as you have expressed yourself on I Cor. 15:22, we are quite in harmony, for we also believe that no one will be made alive, except he have come into Christ in the ways of faith and obedience appointed thereto. The difference between us in this connection would be more in that we understand the Scriptures to teach that all will have an opportunity to come into Christ, and that none will be destroyed in the Second Death without having had this opportunity, and that if some have died on account of Adamic death before the "day" appointed in God's Plan for the bringing of the blessing to all the families of the earth by the Seed of Abraham (Christ and his joint-heirs), and without the enlightenment that God purposes to give to every man (John 1:9; I Tim. 2:4), such will be waked up out of their sleep, will be enlightened, and will be confronted with the responsibility of choosing either to obey the Great Prophet and live, or to disobey Him and perish; whereas your idea seems to be that those who have died in ignorance of the "Only Name," as most of our race have done, will never hear about him and his love for them, which would be contrary to the above Scriptures and many others, and would be a very great pity, as well.

If we understand your idea correctly, it would represent the Lord as having given a price sufficient to redeem the whole race, from Adam onward, yet getting an opportunity to bless only about one in a hundred of all those for whom he gave a sufficient price. (I John 2:2.) You would not be very well pleased with the result [R3725 : page 56] of a transaction which would return you 1 pound for every 100 pounds; is it any more reasonable to suppose that the Redeemer of the world should be satisfied with the opportunity to bless only one soul, when by the investment of his entire capital (Himself--I Tim. 2:6) he purchased with a price the right to bless a hundred? Would not such an outcome of the Great Transaction be a reflection on the Justice of the Almighty, to whom the price was paid? Could the first portion of Isaiah 53:11 in such a case be said to be accomplished?

We are quite prepared to believe that some now dead will never be raised, namely, those who have wilfully sinned against the sufficient enlightenment of the truth. (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:26-31.) And in so far as these conditions are met by those described in the references you cite from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Proverbs and Psalms, we are bound to believe that they belong to the class that will not be raised. But there were not many in Old Testament times (if there was one) that could fulfil the conditions mentioned in Hebrews, and even since Pentecost the greater part of the world has been left in so much darkness that for them to have come under these conditions has been impossible. A certain amount of enlightenment is necessary, and this has been withheld from the world as a whole.

Verse 14 of Psalm 49 seems to show that it is necessary to seek some interpretation of verse 19 that will not cause the inspired writer to be saying that they shall never be brought back from the dead; for how could the upright have dominion over non-existent persons? Does not the Psalmist rather seem to be saying that those who persist in the foolish ways of the world shall be allowed to go on so, without being enlightened concerning a better way? They shall never see light before death overtakes them; but who can say that they will not see a very great light when the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning? You will see that this is harmonious with all the rest of the Psalm, and with other Scriptures already mentioned; and should it not be the aim of every Bible student so to interpret the Word that all the parts harmonize, and no plain statement need be ignored?

Proverbs 21:16 seems to express exactly the sentiment elaborated in Hebrews. Observe that this is telling about the man who wanders out of the way of understanding. It refers, therefore to one who has been enlightened; and whatever it may say about him, it teaches nothing concerning those who have never been in the way of understanding, which has been the condition of most of the race.

In Jeremiah 51:39,57, the word "perpetual" is translated from the Hebrew word "olam." Now, I doubt not that you have often explained to those not so far enlightened that this Hebrew word does not in itself mean "endless," and quite likely you have cited references supporting this assertion. Yet you insist on applying an extreme definition of it in the case of these sleepers. Why do you do this?

The word "olam" seems rather to signify "lasting" or "enduring," and the length of the duration must be determined by the context, or by other Scriptures. That it comes short of meaning "endless," is readily seen by reference to the Scriptures, and it is instructive to place in parallel columns some texts which describe certain things as "olam," with other texts which tell of the doing away of the same.

"OLAM""OLAM" ENDED.
Exodus 29:9.
Here the Aaronic priesthood is "olam."
Hebrews 7:12.
Here the Aaronic priesthood is supplanted by the Melchisedec order.
Jeremiah 25:9.
Here the seventy years of desolation are "olam."
Jeremiah 32:15.
Here the "olam" desolation is ended.
Jeremiah 51:39,57.

The "olam" sleepers.
Isaiah 25:7; Ezekiel 37:12-14 with 16:53,55,61-63; Jeremiah 48:47; 49:6,39; Psalm 86:9; Phil. 2:10; Acts 3:24.
"Olam" sleepers awake.

The "perpetual" sleep of the Babylonian desolators of Palestine has not been interrupted as yet, but it is to be, for "he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations." That is to say, "He will swallow up death in victory." They have slept long; but they shall be waked up in due time, and with the Assyrians, Egyptians and Israelites (Isaiah 19:24,25), with the Moabites, Ammonites and Elamites (Jeremiah 48:47; 49:6,39), with the Samaritans and with the Sodomites (Ezekiel 16:53,55) and all the nations whom God has made, shall come and worship (Psalm 86:9), and with all the families of the earth shall receive the blessing through the promised "Seed," which is the Christ. (Galatians 3:8,16,29.) Yea, at the name of Jesus every individual knee shall bow, whether it be on the earth or under the earth; and surely those under the earth will need to hear his voice and come forth, and will need instruction before they can acknowledge the Lord Jesus, and confess to the glory of God the Father that he is the Lord. Surely, there is nothing in Jeremiah 51:39,57 that conflicts with the grand testimony of all God's holy prophets, Jeremiah included, concerning the "Times of Restitution of All Things."

The "lords" in Isaiah 26:13,14 we understand to mean the various nations and systems that have oppressed Israel. Some of these are dead, and the remainder will die, and as institutions they shall not rise; but this in no way antagonizes the thought that the individuals shall be brought back from death. How else [R3726 : page 56] shall this passage be understood in harmony with the Scriptures above cited?

Without doubt, ignorance has alienated and does alienate (as we are told in Ephesians 4:17,18) men from the life of God; but when, under the Kingdom, the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, all will learn to know God, and many, we trust, will gladly obey him, and will no longer be alienated, but will become members of his family. Indeed, the same Apostle assures us that the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, and shall then be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."-- Romans 8:21.

We hope, dear sir, that you will look further into the publications recommended, and particularly that you will carefully and prayerfully study the volume entitled, "The Divine Plan of the Ages." It will be a pleasure to lend it to you, if considerations of the small price stand in your way.

Yours in the Redeemer's service,
E. C. HENNINGES.



[R3726 : page 57]

THE WHEELING ONE-DAY CONVENTION

The gathering at Wheeling, W.Va., on Sunday, February 11, was a most interesting one, and will long be remembered by many of the dear friends. About 200 attended the Convention from outside points, apparently much to the joy of the little class at Wheeling. Their loving interest was heartily reciprocated by the Wheeling friends, who entertained the entire company at dinner. The morning session opened at 10 o'clock, and for an hour we heard splendid testimonies from various quarters, giving thanks to God for the light now shining upon the pathway of his people and expressing determination to press onward in the good way, and hope and faith and joy in respect to the precious promise of the crown of glory at the end of life's journey.

Promptly at 11 o'clock Brother Russell addressed the meeting, taking as the text of his discourse the word of the Lord to the Prophet Isaiah (29:13), "Their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men." Many of you have the report of the discourse through the daily press. For the benefit of others we would remark that he showed the proper fear in contrast with that which is improper--the fear of the Lord, the beginning of wisdom, in contrast with the fears inspired by superstition, which are the beginning of folly and trouble. Proceeding, he showed how perfect love casts out fear from the hearts of the Lord's people, and that the receiving of the love and the dispelling of the fear are proportionate and gradual, so that those who have most fully received of the grace of God have most fully lost the fear of man that bringeth a snare and the superstitious fears which cause so much torment in the world, but that proportionately they still have the reverence of the Lord and more than ever realize the meaning of the Apostle's words, "Let us fear lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest any of us should seem to come short of it."--Heb. 4:1.

The afternoon meeting was in the fine new "Court Theatre." The dear friends had been both wise and energetic in the matter of advertising: cards for the windows, posters for the street cars and small cards for distribution amongst the friends, combined with liberal newspaper advertising, made the meeting very widely known. As a result the Opera House, seating 1500, was crowded, and about 400 stood throughout the service and probably five or six hundred were unable to gain admittance, the doors of the theatre being locked by the management for fear of accident. The topic was our cure for infidelity--"To Hell and Back." The large audience gave excellent attention and we have every reason to hope that at least some of the number had hearing ears of the heart as well as of the head. The gathering apparently represented the most intelligent people of the city and was probably two-thirds men. Some one suggested that all the churches of Wheeling at all their services on Sunday had not as many men present.

It is for us to proclaim the good tidings to those who manifest any disposition to hear: we know not, however, in which it will prosper. It is far from our thought that the Truth will ever become popular with the world during this Gospel age. We can, however, rejoice that the opportunity for hearing, the opportunity for getting rid of some of the smoke and confusion of the "dark ages" is reaching out amongst intelligent people in every direction. The testimony is being given them, whether they accept or reject it, showing the divine justice, wisdom, love and power, that the Bible is the foundation for this conception of the divine character, and that the fallacies of superstition came from the "dark ages" and not from God's Book.



[R3726 : page 57]

CAPERNAUM EXALTED TO HEAVEN.
--MARK 1:21-34.--FEBRUARY 18.--

Golden Text:--"He healed many of their sick."

OUR Lord declared of Capernaum that having been exalted to heaven it should be brought down to hell. (Matt. 11:23.) Our lesson tells us how it was exalted to heaven--that great mercies and blessings and privileges were accorded to its people early in our Lord's ministry of healing. Nevertheless few there accepted him as Messiah, and, as he predicted, the city was brought down to hell-- not to a place of burning or torture, but to hades, a grave condition, a death condition. The city so completely disappeared that its location is not definitely known now. A certain pile of stones is credited with being its former site.

Capernaum was on the Lake of Galilee, near the scene of the miraculous draught of fishes noted in our previous lesson. On the next Sabbath day, Jesus, accompanied by the four fishermen who had left all to become his disciples, entered into the synagogue at Capernaum. Jewish synagogues were very liberally governed, and afforded an opportunity for nearly any one of reverent manner to present his views respecting the Law and the prophets. Our Lord availed himself of the opportunity and taught the people, who were astonished at his doctrine, his teachings. They were accustomed to hearing the scribes and Pharisees haggle over the Scriptures, guessing and confusing their meaning and generally mystifying them, but Jesus taught as a master who thoroughly understood his subject--"as one having authority."

True, our Lord had come down from heaven and had knowledge of things of which others were ignorant; but it was not respecting these that he taught, we may be sure from his remark to Nicodemus, "If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not, how could you believe if I told you of heavenly things?" On the contrary, our Lord's discourses were along the lines of divine revelation--the Law and the Prophets, and the fulfilment of these. This is clearly indicated by his declaration, "I speak not from myself; but the Father which sent me he hath given me a commandment what I should say and what I should speak." (John 12:49.) Again he said, "My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me."--John 7:16.

We pause here to remark that the teachings of all the Lord's representatives should be along this same line--not human speculations and philosophies, but the Word of God-- [R3726 : page 58] "He that hath a dream let him tell a dream, but he that hath my Word let him speak my Word." (Jer. 23:28.) "To the Law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word it is because they have no light in them." (Isa. 8:20.) "Teach the Word, be instant in season," and even when inconvenient to yourself. (2 Tim. 4:2.) "The Word of God is powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword." (Heb. 4:12.) "Sanctify them through thy Truth, thy Word is Truth." (John 17:17.) They took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus," and learned of him. (Acts 4:13.) Thus it is that those who are faithful and loyal to the Lord and the word of his testimony speak not vaguely and indefinitely to the world, but declare the message of God, the "good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people," "in due time."

"I KNOW THEE WHO THOU ART"

Whilst Jesus was speaking, or probably at the conclusion of his discourse, the congregation in the synagogue was startled by the words, "Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God." The speaker was a demoniac; today he would be called a crazy man, and would be confined in an asylum. We would [R3727 : page 58] not say that all insanity is demonism--that all insane persons are possessed of evil spirits, as in the case under review. Quite evidently there are cases in which the brain is diseased, but we believe that fully one-half or more of all those who are dealt with as insane are cases of demoniacal possession--"obsession."

As we have shown in other writings, the evil spirits or demons who thus obsess humanity were once angels--"those angels which kept not their first estate" (Jude 1:6), but who in the days of Noah fell from divine favor through sin, and have since been under chains of darkness pending the judgment of the great day, the Millennial day, when the Christ --Jesus and the Church in glory--shall not only grant a trial or judgment to man but also to those fallen angels. (1 Cor. 6:3.) Meantime their endeavors to communicate with humanity, and to obtain control over them through the submission of their wills, seems to be incessant. Throughout the Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testaments, all who reverence God are warned against having anything whatever to do with mediums, seances and every form of spirit communications as being of these demons--Satanic. It is our duty to reiterate this, because these influences are more active today than ever before, and because the Scriptures show that they will be increasingly active and powerful in the near future as a part of the great trial coming upon all Christendom in this our day. We learn that in Australia Spiritism is much more advanced and more powerful than in either Europe or America, but it is making rapid strides everywhere.

The demon of our lesson seems to have had the thought that at the coming of Messiah all evil was to be abolished and destroyed. One account says, "Art thou come to destroy us before the time?" as though the demons had some information or premonition that the time for the manifestation of power through Messiah was still future. Another Scripture represents an evil spirit as crying out, "Art thou come to torment us?" The word for torment in that case signifies hasten, punish. We may be sure the inspired writers up to that time had not indicated the nature of the punishment that would be inflicted upon the fallen angels, and that the latter merely surmised that it would be their destruction.

The Apostle Peter seems to imply that when the fallen spirits witnessed our Lord's death as the sin offering, and his resurrection with divine power, they realized a love of God and a power of God on behalf of humanity that they had not previously appreciated, and the thought of God's mercy to come in due time to men gave ground to some of them for hoping also that in due time the repentant ones of their number might be the recipients of a share in divine mercy through Christ. And this indeed we know is a part of the divine program--for not only fallen men but also fallen angels are to be judged or tried at his appearing and kingdom.--1 Cor. 6:3.

Our Lord commanded the demon to leave the man--to give up his hold upon his mind and body. The demon was powerless to resist the authority vested in Jesus, but was not hindered from causing the man considerable torture in going from him. Luke says (4:35) the demon threw the man down in the midst of the crowd--thus and in every way the malignity of these evil spirits is manifested. There are no such obsessions or possessions by holy spirits. God recognizes the individuality of each member of the race and does not intrude upon it, nor do the holiest angels thus intrude. God through his holy Spirit operates not as do the demons, to the overthrow of reason and the subjugation of the will, but on the contrary operates only in accord with reason and the will. The fully consecrated believer in Jesus may receive of the holy Spirit, and this more and more abundantly as he comes into glorious touch and relationship to the Lord in thought and word and conduct. But any neglect of the divine teachings or principles in the exercise of self-will in opposition to the recognized will of God, is sure to that extent to quench the spirit of holiness, the spirit of a sound mind, the Spirit of God, which is in no wise forced upon us, but must be entertained, must be held on to, must be desired if it would be retained and increased.

AMAZED AT THE TEACHING

No doubt in our Lord's teachings he had explained the cause of sin and sorrow and pain and death--that these were the results of original disobedience, the curse, and that in God's due time and way this curse would be lifted from the world, evil spirits would no longer have power and authority to deceive and infest, and sickness and pain and death would all be wiped out in the glorious morning of blessing which God has promised through the Messiah. These astounding teachings, so much more clear and distinct than anything they had ever heard from their scribes, and so full of inspiration and hope, when backed by the demonstrations of the Lord's power over the evil spirits, caused all the people astonishment. They sufficiently realized that the one who had been teaching upon their seashore was a great teacher, a great prophet, if not the Messiah himself.

Although more than a year had elapsed since Jesus began his ministry, although the miracle of Cana of Galilee was in the past, and although he had taught to a considerable extent in that region, "The Kingdom of heaven is at [R3727 : page 59] hand," yet this seems to have been the first illustration of our Lord's miraculous power over disease and evil spirits. Otherwise the people of that city who had heard Jesus' teaching would not have been so astonished. We may be sure that the four fishermen who had left all to be his disciples were less surprised than the others, because of their knowledge of the increase of the wine at Cana, and their knowledge also of the miraculous draught of fishes a few days previous to this casting out of the demon.

Leaving the synagogue, Jesus and the four disciples went to Peter's home, where his mother-in-law lay sick of a fever. They entreated Jesus on her behalf (Luke 4:38), and he healed her. Evidently the casting out of the demon suggested to the minds of the disciples the power of our Lord to heal diseases, otherwise they would have entreated the Lord to heal the woman before going into the synagogue. Our Lord took the woman by the hand and raised her up, and immediately the fever left her. Other than this she was not weak and enervated, as fever patients usually are when the fever is stopped. On the contrary, she had her wonted strength, and was able at once to minister to the guests of the home, to serve them with dinner, etc.

"HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES"

At even, at sunset, not only because it was the close of the day, but because according to the Jewish custom the Sabbath ending at sunset made it in the eyes of the people the more proper time, they brought to Jesus the sick and those possessed with devils that he might relieve them. He did this, expending in the service his own vitality, we may be sure. This much is not only intimated by the Apostle's declaration that himself bore our infirmities and carried our sorrows, but it is directly stated in connection with one of his healings that "Virtue [vitality, power, strength] went out of him and healed them all." (Matt. 8:17; Luke 6:19.) Thus our Lord fulfilled his covenant of consecration and began to lay down his life for others. The using of strength for the assisting of others continued to the end of his ministry, when through non-resistance, submission to the Father's will, he permitted himself to be crucified for sinners, the just for the unjust, that he might redeem us with his blood, his sacrificed life.

The account says, "He suffered not the devils to speak because they knew him." How evident it is, not only from this statement but also from the case in which Paul rebuked the damsel who cried, "These are the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of eternal life"-- how evident it is that the Lord does not desire the testimony of devils respecting himself or his plan. The same is true of all the unregenerate. The Word of the Lord is to such, "What hast thou to do to take my word into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction and casteth my words behind thee." (Psa. 50:17.) It is the special privilege of those who are the Lord's consecrated ones to be his ambassadors, his mouthpieces --it is a special honor conferred upon such; hence the declaration again, "None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand."--Dan. 12:10.

Only those wise toward God and seeking to live in harmony with his will may be expected to have clear discernment of the true plan of God; all others will be confused and in more or less of darkness. It is in harmony with this that the prophet declares respecting the entire body of Christ, the Anointed, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach the good tidings." None are to be considered teachers of God's message except they have the anointing, and all who have the anointing, to the extent that they possess it, are privileged to be representatives and mouthpieces of the Lord according to their opportunities and willingness under the reasonable limitations of the Word. [R3728 : page 59]

The next morning the multitudes, enthused with the thought that they had a great teacher and healer in their midst, sought Jesus again, but he had departed early into a wilderness place, saying that he must preach the gospel in other cities also--he must be about his Father's business, he must attend to the necessities and interests of the entire flock. Evidently our Lord's intention was to merely give such evidences of divine favor as would convince all who were Israelites indeed respecting his true character and work as the Father's representative, as the Messiah. Hence he would leave after giving these miraculous tokens--leave, that those who were not in a proper condition of heart might forget, might lose their interest, might cool their ardor, while only the Israelites indeed, waiting for the consolation of God promised through the Law and the prophets, would continue to watch and hope and wait and pray for the Kingdom he had announced.

So it is in every case: the Lord is seeking only the elect class, those who worship him in spirit and in truth; he seeks not the multitude, their time is not yet. In due time all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped, and the knowledge of the Lord shall be granted to every member of the race, but now it is only for the special class whom the Lord is seeking to be members of the Bride, the Lamb's wife.

HE HEALED MANY

While our Lord undoubtedly healed many diseased ones during the two years and a quarter following this lesson, we have no thought that he healed all the sick of Palestine. His mission was not to heal the sick but to preach the gospel. The healing of the sick was merely incidental, to attract the attention, to assist the faith, to point him out as the finger of God. For instance, we remember the cure of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, where there were many sick folk, and he alone of them all was healed (John 5:1-9.) The account would seem to imply that many if not all the sick at Capernaum were healed, but it was a little city, and, besides, it was granted, we are told, wonderful blessings and privileges and opportunities and favors above other cities--it was exalted up to heaven in point of privileges, blessings and opportunities, and this largely through so general a healing of its sick and devil-possessed ones.

"THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW"

Many in studying this lesson will doubtless call to mind the arguments of some who claim that all of the Lord's people who truly trust him should heal each other through prayer and should never be sick. Many who thus argue quote these words, "These signs shall follow them that believe: [R3728 : page 60] in my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover."--Mark 16:17,18.

These dear friends should note two things: (1) That these words, and indeed all of the sixteenth chapter of Mark from the ninth verse to its close, are not found in the old manuscripts of the Bible, and are recognized as being additions to what Mark wrote, and hence wholly without inspired authority. All scholars know this, and many who quote these words we would suppose are intelligent enough to have this knowledge. Why then do they quote them as Scripture when they know they are not Scripture?

(2) These words are not true of the Lord's followers, and those who quote them as applicable show that they do not believe them. They will not take up serpents, they fear to drink deadly things, they cannot cast out devils, nor can they all heal the sick by laying on their hands.

Our Lord's miracles not only served as an instruction to the people but also typified or illustrated the power which he ultimately will use on a higher and grander scale in the blessing of all the families of the earth. He did not use his power, so far as the record shows, upon any of his followers, his disciples. Their call implied that they would follow in his steps, and instead of seeking restitution and recovery of physical health they would seek to lay down their lives for their brethren in the service of the Truth. Whoever has got the idea that the Lord's followers are called to get physical health and freedom from trials and difficulties, aches, pains and sorrows, has gotten the wrong thought. True, godly living and a heart at peace with the Lord are very conducive to physical health, but it is also true that to be instant in season and out of season in the service of the King will mean a considerable amount of wear and tear, physically, and imply a measure of physical discomfort at times, and this injury in one way or another should be considered as a part of our sacrifice, a part of the "all things" of our experience which God is able to overrule to our profit.

Very many indeed of the Lord's people have received most wonderful blessings at his hands under the chastening rod of affliction, sickness. Thus an evil thing, an element of the curse, has in many instances been overruled for good to those who loved the Lord and were properly exercised by their experiences. True, there is no sickness in heaven, and there will be no sickness on earth after the Millennial Age shall have fully rolled away the curse and brought in restitution and perfection to those who will accept them on God's terms of obedience and shall have destroyed all other members of the human race. But that time has not yet come; we are still walking not by sight but by faith; we still have the weaknesses, mental, moral and physical, which came to us as our share of the general fall. The Lord may grant us special immunities or special refreshment according to his wisdom, according to his knowledge of the necessity of the work he would have us do, but it is not for us to attempt to withdraw our sacrifice by asking for earthly favors and immunities. Rather we are to ask for the spiritual blessings, realizing that the Father is more willing to give the holy Spirit to his children than are earthly parents to give earthly good things to theirs.

The giving to us of the holy Spirit will generally imply lessons in patience, meekness and in love development through sufferings and trials, moral or physical. The obedient child of God, developed through the knowledge of the Word and the possession of its spirit, will delight to acknowledge the Lord's wisdom and to trust him for such blessings of a temporal kind as may seem to him best. Our special advantages are of a spiritual kind, which did not begin at Capernaum or at all during our Lord's ministry, but on the contrary began at Pentecost after he had ascended on high and received of the Father his reward and the authority to endue his followers with the spirit of begetting to the new nature.

Let us not seek for the loaves and fishes and physical healing, for after all these things do the Gentiles seek; but let us seek the spiritual health, strength and vigor, and all temporal things shall be added unto us according to divine wisdom and love.



[R3728 : page 60]

THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
--MARK 2:1-12.--FEBRUARY 25.--

Golden Text:--"The Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins."

IT was but a short time after the incidents of our last lesson and our Lord's subsequent preaching to other cities of Galilee that he returned to Capernaum, which was now his home city, for Matthew informs us that leaving Nazareth he came and dwelt in Capernaum. (Matt. 4:13.) The people heard that he was at home, and a crowd assembled at the house. The houses of the middle classes of that time are understood to have been usually of one room only, in size about 20 x 40 feet, with a flat roof formed by heavy timbers about two feet apart, on which were placed slabs of either wood or stone, the whole being covered with earth or sod closely rolled. The roof was usually accessible by an outside stairway and was often used as a summer sleeping place.

To the crowd of his fellow-citizens--who had but recently awakened to the fact that Jesus was a great prophet, endued with miraculous powers--the Lord was discoursing, doubtless respecting the Kingdom of God long promised, and which he proclaimed to be nigh, even at the door, if the people were willing to receive the message and its blessing. At this juncture four men, bearing on a litter a young man paralyzed and utterly helpless, approached the house with a view to having the sick one healed. His helpless condition probably hindered the ailing one from applying to Jesus on the day when so many of the sick at Capernaum were cured. Now he had found friends and helpers and had come within sound of the Master's voice, yet was unable to gain access to his presence because of the crowd who were unwilling to make way for him.

But the faith which had brought him thus far insisted [R3729 : page 61] that some way of presenting his case before Jesus would be found. Finally he was carried to the roof of the house the earthy covering was dug away from a portion, the slab lifted, and by improvised ropes he was let down into the very presence of Jesus. He must have had a strong faith not only in the Lord's power to heal but also in his gentleness and goodness, that so far from resenting the rude intrusion he would have patience and realize his deep necessity.

And so it was: instead of finding fault, threatening them with arrest, accusing them of rudeness, etc., our Lord was so pleased with the faith manifested that he overlooked the intrusion entirely and greeted his uninvited guest most graciously, saying, "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee." Perhaps the young man was thinking less of his sins and their forgiveness than of his hope for recovery, but in any event our Lord put the most important thing foremost. He was primarily the sin-bearer and teacher, his work of healing being a secondary one at the time, a mere exercise, so as to emphasize the lessons given.

WISE AND UNWISE ALERTNESS

The people present were alert to notice everything that Jesus did and said, and amongst them were some of the learned, the Scribes, who were well informed respecting the Law and looked up to as authorities by the masses. These with the others had been attracted by the wonderful miracles and teachings of Jesus and they were watching his words and deeds. Here they thought they had found a flaw--that Jesus was arrogating to himself a power and authority which could belong to God alone. Indeed we may suppose that it was partly to start this very line of reasoning that our Lord expressed himself as he did. Then, reading their hearts, he answered their queries, saying, "Which is the easier for you to believe, that I am able to forgive sins or that I could heal this man of the result of his sins? But to prove my power to forgive the sin I will perform the cure, and its performance will testify that I have not blasphemed; that I have not arrogated to myself authority which is not properly in my control; that I am not misrepresenting the Father when I declare that I am his special agent and representative." Then Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Arise, take up thy couch and go to thy home!"

When the man did arise and carried forth his stretcher on which he had lain the people were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything of the like before." Luke adds that they said, "We have seen strange things today." They had heard the Messiah explain about his Kingdom and declare his power to forgive sins and demonstrate that power by a miracle. How could they help but wish that the Kingdom of God might immediately be established, that divine favor might reach the whole world and increase in restitution blessings until there should be no more sickness, no more pain, no more dying, no more crying, no more sin, no more death. However, a particular work must be accomplished before the Kingdom could be set up and begin its restitution work: first the elect of God, a little flock, the Bride of Christ, must be selected. Palestine and the favored nation did not supply a sufficient number to fulfil the divine arrangement, and hence after the selection of all the Israelites indeed the favor of God turned from natural Israel to the Gentiles, to gather out of them a sufficient number to complete the very elect.

Our hope, our confidence is that this election is very nearly accomplished; that soon the second coming of Christ will bring forth his Church in the first resurrection to glory, honor and immortality and joint-heirship with him in the Kingdom, and that subsequently the restitution blessings of the Kingdom will go forth to the natural seed of Abraham, yea, unto all the families of the earth.

Sin and its forgiveness may be considered the essence of this lesson: to this subject, therefore, we turn our attention.

Not only is sin generally common to the world of mankind, as the Scriptures abundantly declare and explain, but a consciousness of sin is general. The world in general recognizes what the Bible emphasizes, namely, that all unrighteousness is sin, all imperfection is sin. The Jews under the Law, realizing their inability to keep its requirements, would be bound in all honesty to admit that they were sinners, transgressors of its requirements. Christians, recognizing God's law on a still higher plane, realize still more fully their own blemishes and shortcomings of the perfect law which says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, with all thy mind, with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself. But those who have not the Jewish Law nor the Christian law and instruction have nevertheless a sufficiency of conscience, a sufficiency of the original law written in man's constitution, though largely obliterated through the six thousand years of the fall: by this they realize that they have shortcomings, and, as the Apostle points out, they confess that they are sinners against their ideals of righteousness in that they sometimes attempt to excuse their conduct while at other times they clearly and plainly acknowledge wrong-doing.

The remarkable thing is that our consciousness of sin increases with our education in the school of Christ--increases in proportion as we cease to do evil and learn to do well. Accordingly, the most advanced saint has a clearer discernment of and a greater repugnance for sin than has the most degraded sinner. Thus it is, too, with God, who hates sin and cannot look upon it with allowance. He has placed his ban, his sentence, his edict against it, and declares [R3729 : page 62] that it shall be utterly rooted out, and that all intelligently and wilfully in sympathy with it must be considered as part of it and be destroyed with it.

The more we see of sin, the more we realize its contaminating character and destructive tendencies, the more we appreciate the divine justice which on account of sin condemns sin in humanity. (Rom. 8:3.) The more advanced our conceptions of righteousness, truth, holiness, purity, the more we are enabled to appreciate the divine view of sin and to say of the Lord and his sentence against sin and sinners, "True and righteous are thy judgments, O Lord."--Rev. 15:3.

THE OPERATION OF DIVINE MERCY

But the more we come to appreciate divine justice and the righteousness of the sentence of death against our race, the more also we come to appreciate the love and mercy of God toward us, and to rejoice that he was not willing that any should perish, and hence made provision wide enough, high enough, deep enough, that all might turn unto him and live--have everlasting life. This provision of mercy cannot ignore the sin nor can it permit the sinner to ignore it. It is necessary that the redeemed should know, should appreciate, their fallen condition, the justice of their sentence of death, and that their recovery is wholly a matter of divine mercy. Unless they learn this lesson they could never appreciate the divine arrangements and the only terms upon which God could grant them everlasting life--terms of acceptance of God's grace and forgiveness and their obedience to him and his principles of righteousness.

"NONE OTHER NAME GIVEN"

It is to this end that the heavenly Father arranged his plan for the recovery of our race as he reveals it in his Word--a plan by which he extends mercy to all, yet requires all to accept that mercy through Jesus, "through faith in his blood," or not at all. (Rom. 3:25.) This insures that every one coming to the Father must admit that he is a sinner, must admit that he cannot meet the penalty of his own sin and live, must admit that his salvation is purely of divine mercy through Christ; and it insures that the terms and conditions which Jesus the Redeemer will establish as the Mediator between God and sinners must be thoroughly understood and accepted and complied with. He proposes to help back to perfection and to full fellowship with the Father all who sincerely repent of sin and will use their best endeavors under his guidance, instruction and assistance to return to God. To such and to such alone will perfection be granted. Such alone will attain the everlasting life through the assistance as well as through the redemption of him who bought us with his precious blood.

SINS BLOTTED OUT.

It is well that we mark a wide distinction between the blotting out of sin, which the Scriptures assure us will be accomplished at the second coming of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins which may be enjoyed now by all who will exercise the necessary faith and obedience. The blotting out of sins at the second advent of Christ will be applied first of all to the Church: not a trace of sin in any sense or degree will remain upon these from the time that they share in the glorious blessings of the first resurrection. In the present time they are actually imperfect, blemished, marked and marred by sin, and continually need the covering of the robe of Christ's righteousness so freely granted to them; but with the resurrection change all the blemishes of sin will be gone. As described by the Apostle, that which was sown in weakness will be raised in power, that sown in dishonor will be raised in glory, that which was sown a natural body will be raised a spiritual body. No longer will they need imputed righteousness, but each will individually be absolutely perfect, absolutely righteous.--1 Cor. 15:42-44.

The blotting out of the world's sins will not be thus instantaneous, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, but will progress throughout the Millennial age gradually. As [R3730 : page 62] each individual recognizes sin and falls in line with the rules of the Kingdom he will find himself growing stronger as a reward for his endeavors in the ways of righteousness, the highway of holiness. Day by day, year by year, he will increase in mental, moral and physical development, or failing so to do will, after the abundant opportunities of that time, be cut off in the Second Death as unworthy of any further opportunities for gaining life eternal through the Redeemer's Kingdom. Those who will may avail themselves of the privileges of that time and have their sins entirely blotted out--reach absolute perfection of mind and body by the close of the Millennial age, and then be tested as to their heart loyalty to the principles of righteousness as shown in Revelation 20:10. That final test will be general to the human family: it will correspond to the trial given to Adam in Eden, except that these will have had experience with sin and the fall, and with the recovery and with the reign of righteousness. They will, therefore, all be in a proper attitude to enable them to pass the examination satisfactorily, and any failure so to do will demonstrate that the heart had not come, under all the favorable conditions, into that harmony with God which would be indispensable to eternal life. Such the Scriptures show us will be destroyed with Satan as those who have some elements at least of his disposition.

FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

In our lesson the Scribes are represented as reasoning that the only one who could forgive a sin is the one against whom the transgression is committed. If A commit a transgression against B it is not in the power of C to forgive it. B alone has the right to feel offended and he alone can forgive. The Scribes were reasoning along correct lines: while we do as individuals transgress the rights and liberties of each other at times and thus sin against one another and need to have one another's forgiveness, yet all sin is primarily against God, whose law of righteousness is infringed. All unrighteousness is sin--against God, against his laws. He alone sets the standard of right and wrong by which his creatures are to be measured or judged and he is the Judge. How, then,

COULD JESUS FORGIVE SINS?

We answer that our Creator had so fixed the matter of sin and its penalty that Jesus was the only one who could forgive sins--or the heavenly Father through him. The [R3730 : page 63] divine arrangement was so fixed that the Father had even put out of his own hands the power to forgive sins, because he had fixed a positive, absolute, unchangeable penalty against sin in the case of Adam and his posterity. He could have done differently: he could have dealt with mankind as he dealt with the angels that fell, and merely put them under some kind of restraints without imposing directly the death sentence. But once the death penalty had been imposed, nothing could alter or annul it. God himself could not change his unchangeable laws.

But that unchangeable sentence against mankind was made by the Creator with full knowledge of how he could, and in due time, would negative or nullify the sentence, not by withdrawing it but by meeting its requirements through a Redeemer. Thus it was that in the divine plan our Lord Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. In other words God had in mind the plan of redemption before he imposed the death sentence which made necessary that redemption.

DIVINE FAVOR EARLY MANIFESTED.

It may be urged that God manifested his favor to Abraham and others before our Lord Jesus came into the world and presented man's ransom price. We reply that this is so, that divine favor was manifested, but that its manifestation was based upon the divine intention that in due time the ransom for sinners would be paid. But even then the favor granted was not the blotting out of sins. No! that could not have been done prior to the ransom, and is to be done by God through the Redeemer glorified. All the ancient worthies could possibly have was such measure of divine favor as their faith in God would justify, and the only favors which God could grant to them would be such as his intentions through the Redeemer would make reasonable.

SIN UNDER MOSES' LAW.

Under the Law Covenant God arranged with the nation of Israel a certain kind and degree of forgiveness and reconciliation through Moses, the mediator of that Covenant. Under these arrangements the sin offerings year by year made a picture, a type, an illustration of the coming blessings under the New Covenant and its Mediator, the Christ. Israel as a nation enjoyed God's favor to a limited extent through faith, as did the patriarchs, but neither did they have a blotting out of sins. On the contrary, the Apostle points out that it is evident that Israel's sacrifices and sin offerings never really took away sin, but were merely typical of better sacrifices through which sin will actually be cancelled and ultimately blotted out.--Heb. 10:1-4; Acts 3:19.

THE MEASURE OF JESUS' FORGIVENESS.

If the heavenly Father were bound by his own law and could not blot out sins without the payment of the ransom price, could our Lord Jesus do so? Had he greater power in this respect than the Father? We answer, No! His words to the paralyzed man in this lesson did not refer to a blotting out of man's sins, but merely to such a forgiveness of sins as the Father had already extended to Abraham and others in the past. When the Lord had uttered the words, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," the man still lay helpless, his sins not blotted out though forgiven; he was still a picture, an illustration of the terrible effects of sin. And our Lord's later words, "Arise, take up thy bed and walk," although in the nature of restitution, were not a blotting out of the man's sins. To have blotted out his sins completely would have meant the lifting of him completely out of all the imperfections of the fall up to the full perfection of a perfect man mentally, morally and physically. Jesus did not do this for him; he merely healed him of a measure of his special difficulty.

Besides, in these words our Lord did not refer to original sin and its death penalty. He was speaking of sins in the plural, the man's own sins additional to his share in father Adam's sin and father Adam's penalty. The man was a Jew, under the Mosaic Covenant. His share in original sin, in common with that of all Jews, was atoned for every year, and on the basis of this atonement he as a Jew had a standing with the Lord, and the Lord's engagement with that people was that under their Covenant they should be free from sickness, etc., so long as they were obedient to the Lord. To every Jew, therefore, sickness meant, implied, personal guilt, personal transgression, because the Lord had so covenanted with them, as he had not done with other peoples and nations.

OUR LORD ALREADY SACRIFICED.

But even as respects Adamic sin and its penalty our Lord would have had the right to have spoken peace and forgiveness and to have given an assurance of an ultimate blotting out of sins, because although he had not yet finished the work which he came to do, although he had not yet finished the ransom sacrifice, he had begun it. At his baptism he had consecrated his life, had laid down his life, presented it to the Father in sacrifice, and the Father had in a measure accepted it and had signified his acceptance of the contract by giving to our Lord the holy Spirit, the first-fruits of the glorious blessing which he received at his resurrection.

It was by virtue of his already having made this sacrifice, which he fully intended to carry out to the very end, that our Lord was authorized in saying to his believers, "He that hath the Son hath life, he that hath not the Son shall not see life." "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 3:36; 6:54) --that is, he who believes in me and becomes my true, faithful follower may reckon that he has already begotten in him the new life, and that I will assist him and carry him through, so that in the very dawning of the Millennial morning he may have a share in the first resurrection and thus obtain the eternal life under its perfect conditions.

The entire operation of this Gospel age so far as the Church is concerned is one of faith--"We walk by faith not by sight." By faith we realize our sins forgiven, by faith we look into the future and believe that in the first resurrection we shall share our Master's glory, honor and immortality. And by faith we are satisfied and rest in hope--yea, actually, we shall be satisfied when we awake in his likeness.-- Psalm 17:15.



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