page 257
September 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. XXVIIISEPTEMBER 1No. 17
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6035


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower259
Young Men and the Christian Ministry259
Looking the Facts in the Face260
The Race, the Prize, the Course260
Berean Bible Study in Tabernacle Shadows261
The Dying Message of a Great Man261
Earthly Prosperity and Reward262
The Chief or Primary Commandment263
"The Servant of the Lord Died"266
The Hidden Sepulchre267
The Meekest and the Greatest268
Quarterly Review269
The Chatauqua Salute270
Encouraging Words from Faithful Workers270

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 258

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I 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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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.


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THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE
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SAMPLE COPIES FREE.



KARATOLS NO MORE


Our supply of STUDIES, VOL. I., bound in Karatol is exhausted. Expect no more.

VOLUNTEERING METHODS, ETC.


An experienced Volunteer writes, suggesting that, instead of trying to slide the tracts under the doors, he puts them between the door-knob and the door-jamb so that they form a spring like the letter U. Then they will flutter to the floor just in front of whoever opens the door. He does not ring the bell, for this would be an annoyance and only prejudice the recipient against the tracts.

ABOUT ONE-DAY CONVENTIONS.


Whenever you see on last page that your invitation for a One-Day Convention has been accepted, and a date for it assigned, please proceed at once to make all necessary arrangements, --for hall, etc. As soon as you have these completed write to us, giving all particulars, so the full notice may be published in ample time. Hymn slips will be sent you, also a fair supply of tracts. These should be on hand for general use.


Colporteurs will please use our Order blanks and direct letters to "Colporteur Department."



[R4049 : page 259]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

YOUNG MEN AND THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY


THE fact that fewer young men than formerly are preparing for the ministry is arousing comment in nearly all denominations. We extract below from Rev. D. J. Burrell's comments on this question and concede that as an educator his opinion should have weight. Nevertheless we can agree with it only in part. From our point of view the loss of positive faith, induced by so-called "Higher Criticism" and the "Evolution Theory," make void the Word of God. The very few young men who come out of college with a remnant of positive faith in the Bible are perplexed and inclined to doubt their convictions, and see that anyway they are out of tune with the majority of those with whom they had hoped to colabor and to serve, and that the message they intended to give would no longer be palatable to the people they would address nor satisfactory to themselves.

They feel drawn more to some service like that of the Salvation Army, and yet they feel that somehow it is not right either, and certainly far from their original ideal when entering college. Several of these, as well as some ministers who have resigned their pulpits in Churchianity, are now having blessed times "harvesting" --colporteuring.

Those described, however, are seemingly but the few. The vast majority seem intent merely on choosing a profession; and law, dentistry, medicine, osteopathy call loudly to them, and business holds out still more inducements. Hence the smaller proportion offering themselves for the ministry.

Dr. Burrell's views from "The Christian Intelligencer" are as follows:--

"Put yourself in his place. With life before you, presenting its various avenues of usefulness, you would be likely to reason thus: 'I am urged to go into the ministry. What for? "To seek and to save the lost?" But they say there are no "lost." To preach the truth? What truth? A personal God? They say there is no God but law, energy, a "something not ourselves, that maketh for righteousness." The supernatural? They say the miraculous is played out, and all things are to be accounted for by natural law. A divine Christ? His virgin birth is denied, and he is affirmed to have been a mere excellent man. The atonement? The idea that sin requires expiation is pronounced unphilosophical and therefore untrue. Justification by faith? Justification from what and by faith in what? In the New Theology faith has no object and justification no ground. Well, then, since all the doctrines once regarded as fundamental are explained away, suppose I devote my life to the preaching of ethics? But where shall I find my ethics? In the Bible? Pooh, pooh! The Bible is merely one of the many volumes of the world's literature and by no means the truest of them. In the Decalogue? The Decalogue is declared to have no more authority back of it than any other portion of the discredited book. Is there, then, no ultimate authority for truth and morals? Only in the inner consciousness of the individual. The question of entering the ministry, then, resolves itself into this: Shall I invest the assets of my life in a profession which has no end but to persuade a man to believe what pleases him, to be what he would like to be and to do what, in his opinion, without any reference to "authority," he ought to do? And, that being so, is the game worth the candle?'

"If he is a really 'smart' young man he will be sure to answer, No. He knows that he has only one life to live in this world, and it behooves him to make the most of it. He would be a fool to put all his eggs in such a basket as the ministry of 'The New Theology.' It isn't worth while. The man who chops wood to keep people warm and bake their bread is a contributor to the general good, but the man who preaches when he has nothing to say is a non-producer. His profession ought to fail for want of candidates, because there is nothing in it.

"It is a mistake, however, to assume that 'bright young men' are not consecrating themselves, here and there and everywhere, to the work of preaching the straight gospel. The doubter drops out; why not? [R4049 : page 260] But the youth who believes in Christ and the Bible covets the privilege of treading in the beaten path of service; and he knows that the higher form of service is proclaiming a positive gospel, on the authority of a 'Thus saith the Lord,' with the supreme purpose of saving men."

LOOKING THE FACTS IN THE FACE


There are over 250,000 insane and imbeciles in the United States today. Statistics show that insanity is increasing three hundred times faster than the population. At the present ratio of increase, even if it gets no worse (in reality it is getting worse each year), it will require but 290 years to produce the utter destruction of the mental endurance of the race.

One death in every seven is from tuberculosis. Recent statistics issued by the German government show that one-fourth of all people dying of diseases other than tuberculosis, have had consumption at some time in their life. It would thus appear that very nearly one-half of the grown-up people have had or now have tuberculosis in some form or other.

The deadly cancer is terribly on the increase, and a prominent surgeon, appointed by the State of New York to investigate this disease some time ago, said that if it continues to increase the next ten years as fast as it has in the last ten years, it will claim as [R4050 : page 260] many victims as tuberculosis.

On every side there is abundant evidence of the rapid increase in the numbers of deformed, defective and degenerate human beings.

Nervous diseases and stomach troubles number their victims by millions, and very nearly three-fourths of the population are afflicted with one or other of these disorders.

It is an acknowledged fact that vice and crime are tremendously on the increase. The rapidly increasing army of dentists testifies to the fact that, as a race, we are tending toward toothlessness.--Exchange.



[R4050 : page 260]

THE RACE, THE PRIZE, THE COURSE

UNDOUBTEDLY the Apostle does in two of his epistles more or less clearly represent the Christian as running a race to win a prize. But as is usual with all figures and parables there seems to be room for slightly divergent views of his meaning, or rather of how to apply his figure of speech to the recognized facts. Let us be glad that the facts are generally very clearly seen. This is the important matter anyway.

Shortly before St. Paul was executed he wrote, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness." (2 Tim. 4:7,8.) If this was written six months before he died or even one month or only six days should we understand it to mean that the day before he wrote or the year before it would not have been true? We think not. We must believe also, that when, some time before, the same Apostle wrote, "I am in a strait betwixt two" as to choice between living and dying, he must have felt equally sure that he was at the mark which would win for him the great prize.

But we cannot assume that the Apostle was always at that mark which would win for him the prize. Surely he, like all of us, was first begotten of the Spirit and subsequently quickened of the Spirit. Surely during the period between the begetting and the quickening neither he nor we could be at the "mark" for the prize.

There must, therefore, be recognized a mark or standard of character necessary to the overcomers, which is not possessed at the beginning of the course nor usually for a considerable time thereafter--and a mark or character development which may be possessed a considerable time before death. Since "love is the fulfilling of the law of God" is it not proper that we consider it to be the mark or standard? We have, therefore, assumed that PERFECT LOVE is the standard of our acceptance with God to life eternal: and that to die before attaining it would insure our losing the prize, as death at any time after reaching this mark would insure us the crown of life.

Perfect love includes love for God, for the brethren, for our own, for our neighbors and for our enemies; and much of the teaching of the Scriptures is devoted to the outlining of this perfect love and to encouraging God's people to strive for it; for it represents the fruits of the Spirit which must be grown or developed as the fruits of the vine. The pruning of the branches is to bring this fruitage to perfection, for without it the branch will be cut off from the Vine.

True, some things are imputed to us from the time we become members of Christ; purity is imputed, but not the fruit of the Vine--Love. That must be developed. Hence it behooves every Christian to run, to strive, to attain this acceptable standard or mark. All of this is surely true whether the Apostle had in his mind a race illustration or not.

When the Apostle exhorts, "Having done all, stand!" it implies that the race has been run, the acceptable mark of character attained before death. And is it not thus with all the "overcomers?" Did we not begin our Christian experience with a mere duty-love toward God and the brethren? Did we not "go on unto perfection"--progressing toward perfect love? True, the Apostle says, "Not as though I were already perfect"--and we with him may well disclaim actual perfection. But from the time he in heart reached the mark of perfect love, the righteousness or perfection of the Law was reckoned or accounted to him. Hence he adds, "Let as many [of you] as be perfect be thus minded."

But what, if anything, is expected of those who reach this mark of perfect love? Ah! very much! Only after they reach it do they begin to tread in the footsteps of Jesus around and around that mark on its every side. Being actually perfect our Lord needed not to run to get to the mark, for he was actually there, even as the perfect man. It was for him to "stand" firmly and uncompromisingly at this "mark" as it is exhorted of us that after "having done all" we should stand complete in him. This standing at the mark is the real trial, the real test. To stand is to be an "overcomer" of the world, the flesh and the devil. The [R4050 : page 261] attainment of the mark is often tedious and slow, but it should not be. Since it is merely a state of the mind it surely might be attained speedily, whereas from lack of zeal many are long years about it and some never gain it,-- are never quickened, and will never, therefore, be born of the Spirit.

It is after we have reached the mark of perfect love that we, like our Lord, must endure hardness and fight the good fight. The encouragement held out is the "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" promised to those who display special valor in the King's service.

When the Apostle says, "A man is not crowned except he strive lawfully," he in other words is saying that a man must be at the mark of perfect love (the fulfilling of the law) ere his strivings would be meritorious or acceptable in God's sight.

Another possible view of the race is to suppose a line marked out and that line to represent perfect love, each runner being expected to keep as close to that line as possible to the end of life. But this view does not allow for or explain St. Paul's having finished his course weeks or months before he died, nor his "strait betwixt two," years before that.

So then whatever view illustrates the facts best to our minds let us enjoy it, and meantime rejoice that the facts are so clear and plain as to be beyond dispute.



page 261

BEREAN BIBLE STUDY IN TABERNACLE SHADOWS

"THE ASHES OF A HEIFER SPRINKLING THE UNCLEAN"

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1907

1. Was the sacrifice of the red heifer a "sin-offering" in any sense? How do we know this? Num. 19:1-5; T.105.

2. What was done with the ashes of the heifer? T.105.

3. Was this sacrifice in any way related to the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement? T.106, par. 1 (1st 5 lines).

4. Was it different from the sacrifices offered by the people of Israel after the Day of Atonement? T.106, par. 1 (6th line down).

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20

5. What, then, did this sacrifice of the red heifer signify? And what class was represented by it? And how would their sufferings have to do with the cleansing of the people of God, both of this age and the age to come? Heb. 9:13; 11:32-38. T.106, par. 3.

6. Is this class, represented in the red heifer, a part of the Body of Christ, the Royal Priesthood? Heb. 11:39,40; T.107, par. 1.

7. How can we be sure of this? Matt. 11:11; Heb. 6:19,20; 2:3; T.108, par. 1.

8. What was typified by the "ashes" of the heifer? T.108, par. 2 (first half).

9. What will be the station or position of the "Ancient Worthies"? Psa. 45:16; T.108, par. 2 (last half).

10. Who witnessed the burning of the heifer? and what did he do?

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27

11. What was typified by the "cedar wood," the "sprig of hyssop" and the "scarlet string"?

12. Why were they cast into the midst of the burning heifer? T.109.

13. Who would seem to be typified by the under-priest who approved this burning and took of the blood and sprinkled it toward the Tabernacle door? T.109, par. 1.

14. What was typified in the choosing of a red heifer which "never wore a yoke"? T.110, par. 1.

15. Why was a heifer chosen and not a bullock? And why must it be red? T.110, par. 1.

16. For what particular cleansings were the ashes of this heifer prescribed? Ex. 12:22; Lev. 14:4,49; Psa. 51:7; Heb. 9:19; T.111, par. 1.



[R4050 : page 261]

THE DYING MESSAGE OF A GREAT MAN
--DEUT. 6:1-15.--SEPTEMBER 15.--

Golden Text:--"Beware lest thou forget the Lord."

DEUTERONOMY is the title of one of the most important books of the Bible. From it evidently David and the other prophets of the Old Testament drew considerable of their inspiration, and from it our Lord and the apostles freely quoted. It may be said to be a grand summary of the whole Law of God. It presents to us a number of the orations of that great man of God and leader of Israel--the mediator of the Law Covenant. Its preparation may have been a gradual work on the part of Moses, but its delivery to the people of Israel was apparently reserved until shortly before his death, and about the time the Israelites were ready to pass over Jordan under the leadership of Joshua to take possession of the promised land. The grandeur of its language and figures of speech is freely conceded by all, and some have ranked its orations quite as highly as those of Demosthenes of ancient times and of Burke, the more modern. The evident object of the book was to impress upon the Israelites the glorious lessons of their past, and to inspire them with reverence for Jehovah their God, and thus to be to that people the voice of Moses and the voice of the Lord through Moses, encouraging and admonishing them and, through them, future generations.

Note carefully the loyalty of Moses to the Lord. He boasted not of Israel as "his people," as we frequently hear modern preachers do respecting their congregations--although Moses indeed might have been excusable had he used such language, because he [R4051 : page 262] was personally the mediator, the representative of the whole nation according to their covenant with the Lord at Sinai. Note well that his great work as a leader passes comparatively unnoticed, and that his exhortations to Israel are all along the highest conceivable lines of duty towards God and responsibility to him for all the comforts and blessings of the past, as well as for all the hopes they cherished for the future. The preparation and delivery of this oration to Israel reminds us of the words of the Apostle Peter in connection with his epistle when he says, "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though you know them, and be established in the present truth." (2 Pet. 1:12.) Not only did these orations of Deuteronomy have a valuable influence upon the Israelites at the important juncture of their passing from the guidance of an old leader to that of a younger one and into a new land, but Scriptural history tells us that six hundred years afterwards, when the nation had fallen into idolatry, when the Temple of Solomon was practically abandoned, and the religious worship of the people was at a very low ebb, the finding of this book, Deuteronomy, in the rubbish of the Temple, and the reading of it first in the ears of King Josiah and afterward at his command in the hearing of all the people, awakened one of the greatest revivals in the history of that nation, and led to the destruction of idols throughout the land and the reestablishment of divine worship.--2 Kings 22:8-20.

PROPER FEAR OF THE LORD

Our lesson of today is generally recognized as belonging to the second oration (Deut. 5:11). Some surmise that at the close of this oration the "Book of the Covenant"--the Law contained in Deut. 12:26--was recited or read. Later the book was placed beside the Ark of the Testimony in the Holy of Holies, as described in Deuteronomy 31:24-29.

This lesson opens with the statement that the book is a summary of the divine commandments, the statutes and judgments which the Lord commanded to be taught and to be performed in the land of promise. The word "judgments" here, as in many other places in the Scriptures, signifies decisions as to right and wrong. The object of these is stated (v. 2): "That thou mightest fear Jehovah thy God, to keep all his statutes." This was not only to apply to those who entered the land, but to extend to all their children, and their favor in the land and their continuance in it were made dependent thereon. The Apostle counsels us that perfect love casteth out fear, but the Scriptures also show us that the "fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Nor are the two statements in disagreement, for a proper reverence carries with it a fear to displease or offend one who is loved and reverenced. Moreover, it is only the perfect love that fully casts out all fear, and the perfecting of love is a gradual matter. A beginning of love is not incompatible but quite harmonious with the spirit of deep reverence, and, as related to the Almighty, a feeling of reverential awe as respects his greatness and perfection and in contrast with our own littleness and imperfection. It is as the Christian grows in grace and knowledge that he is enabled to "perfect holiness in the reverence of the Lord" and at the same time to perfect his love-- the latter eventually entirely swallowing up every feeling of fear, although reverence will remain an integral part of the love, for who could fully love God without reverencing him?

EARTHLY PROSPERITY AND REWARD

There is no doubt about it that in this lesson (v. 3), and in many other parts of the Old Testament Scriptures, the Lord distinctly sets before that people earthly prosperity as reward for their obedience and loyalty to him and his laws. This to some has been a stumbling-block; and not recognizing the fact of the dispensational change from the Jewish Age to the Gospel Age, they have applied this promise equally to Spiritual Israel, and their error has resulted in confusion of mind, for it is plain to be seen by any one that earthly prosperity in the present age does not attend the Spiritual Israelite, but rather, as the Apostle expressed it, "Yea, all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12.) Ah! how important it is, as the Apostle suggests to Timothy, that we learn to "rightly divide the Word of truth"--that we notice which Scriptures belong to the Jewish Age, which to the Gospel Age and which others still to the Millennial Age. Observing this rule, everything is plain. Fleshly Israel had earthly promises and not heavenly ones, while Spiritual Israel has heavenly promises, and merely the assurance of bread and water as respects their earthly interests, and no assurance beyond these as respects their temporal prosperity.

So far, therefore, as this teaching of earthly rewards is concerned, instead of reflecting against the book of Deuteronomy and its inspiration, it supports them. The promise to Natural Israel, that they would be blessed in basket and in store, in flocks and in herds, in long life and many children, finds its counterpart in Spiritual Israel on a higher plane. The heavenly Father was pleased to give Natural Israel earthly blessings because they were of the earthly seed, and because the dealings of their dispensation foreshadowed the divine dealings with the world during the Millennial Age in rewarding every good deed and punishing every misdemeanor. To God's people, begotten of the holy Spirit at Pentecost and since, belong the "exceeding great and precious promises," the heavenly glory, honor and immortality as members of the New Creation, spiritual. Your Father is more willing to give the holy Spirit to them that ask him than are earthly parents to give earthly good things to their children. Spiritual Israel, therefore, is to seek to grasp, to appreciate, to enjoy spiritual things by faith now, and, if faithful to the end, will enjoy these actually throughout eternity by participation in the First Resurrection as New Creatures.

As the opening statement of the most important of [R4051 : page 263] all truths, the great Prophet, Moses, cried to the people, "Hearken, O Israel!"

"JEHOVAH OUR GOD IS ONE--JEHOVAH"

If this statement was true at the time of its utterance, it is still true; if its importance put it at the very top of the list of injunctions, it should still be regarded as the most important amongst the doctrines or teachings of the Lord's Word. Yet what do we see? We see as respects Fleshly Israel that they soon forgot the words of Moses, and time and again they were punished on the score of idolatry--for recognizing other gods, for forgetting the declaration that there is but the one, and his name Jehovah. Quite similarly we find amongst Christian people a tendency to forget this great integral truth that there is but one God and his name Jehovah. Our Roman Catholic friends make many gods: the Father, the Son, the holy Spirit, Saint Mary, all the apostles and saints, are gods of higher or lower dignity, with various degrees of reverence, and objects of adoration and prayer. And even Protestants, while rejecting many of the lesser gods of Romanism, yet, contrary to this Scripture and every other Scripture and without any reason, persistently declare that we have three Gods in one; nevertheless they reject this statement also and reverse it, saying, that there is one God in three persons! If we attempt to question them and to ask a reason for their hopes and beliefs on this subject they are silent, except to say that it is a great mystery, which neither they nor any one else can understand--how there could be three Gods in one person or one God in three persons. No reasonable mind could grasp this; it would be a mystery indeed. But why should we make a mystery out of the plain, simple statement of God's Word? Why not accept the inspired statement of Moses that there is but one God, and that he has not three names but one name, Jehovah.

Nothing in this need hinder us from recognizing our Lord Jesus as a god also, a "mighty God." Thus the Scriptures describe him, and clearly tell us of his greatness, his wisdom, his love, his power, his full harmony with the heavenly Father, Jehovah, and his full submission to his heavenly Father's will in all particulars. As he himself said, "Of mine own self I can do nothing," "My Father hath sent me," "I came not to do mine own will but the will of my Father"; and again, "The Father is greater than I." (John 5:30,36; 14:28.) Is it not the part of true wisdom and faith to take the inspired Word on this subject as on every subject, and not to trust to wild theorizings of our own or those of other men, which admittedly make confusion and mystery and darken the counsels of the Lord's Word? How beautiful the thought presented in the Scriptures in the language of the Apostle, "All things are of the Father--all things are by the Son." (I Cor. 8:6.) How beautiful the thought that the Son was the very "beginning of the creation of God," and that "by him all things were made," that he was the active agent and representative in all the great work, not only as respected man but angels also. The Bible teaching of the relationship between the Father and the Son honors both, does violence to neither Scripture nor reason, but leaves the teachable in a happy frame of mind, the more ready to be taught of the Lord on all subjects.

How beautiful the thought that Jehovah God presented to his first-begotten Son--our Lord Jesus, in his prehuman condition--the proposition that he should be the Redeemer of the world, and that this should be accomplished by the humbling of himself to man's nature, and then the further humbling of himself even to death, even the death of the cross; and that as a result of this humiliation and this evidence of loyalty to the Father, he should be raised from the dead to a plane of nature above and beyond his original glorious estate, made partaker of the divine nature, and share in all the glories of that nature. How grand the thought that the dear Redeemer did thus manifest his love and loyalty, and that he is now exalted and is set down at the right hand of the majesty on high, awaiting the time when in the Father's name he shall take possession of the dominion of the world to rule, to [R4052 : page 263] bless with light and knowledge, and to uplift the willing and obedient from the mire of sin and death to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed at Calvary. Truly all who really hearken to the Word of the Lord are made both wiser and happier thereby. "The secret of Jehovah is with them that reverence him, and he will

"SHOW THEM HIS COVENANT"

That wonderful Covenant, shown to all who are seeking the Word in honesty and sincerity, assures us that as our dear Redeemer humbled himself for our and the world's redemption and has been highly exalted, so, if similarly faithful, we may suffer with him now and by and by share his glory and be co-laborers with him in the Kingdom which is to bless all the families of the earth. O, what riches of grace! what loving kindness! what tender mercy! what evidences of divine wisdom, skill, justice, love and power! How this view of the Only Begotten of the Father shows him to us as our Redeemer and also as our Lord and Head, who by and by, according to his promise, will present us as his Bride, blameless and irreprovable before the Father in love. Viewed from this standpoint the recognition of Jesus, our dear Redeemer, the Sent of God, the Savior of the world, is not in derogation of the command of our text, "Jehovah, our God, is one"; for the Apostle assures us that, according to divine authority, all should reverence the Son even as they reverence the Father--not reverence him as the Father, but reverence him as the Son whom the Father has appointed heir of all things, and who, as the Father's associate, is to bless all the families of the earth, and who a thousand years later will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, that he may be all in all.

THE CHIEF OR PRIMARY COMMANDMENT

After calling attention to the one true God, Jehovah, we are exhorted, "Thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy [R4052 : page 264] might." This is the summary of the first great commandment, as approved by our Lord himself. (Matt. 22:37.) It is not in conflict with this that we love our Lord Jesus also, for the Apostle declares, "Every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." (I John 5:1.) He who loveth the Father must love the Son also, who is the Father's express image and who has manifested to us in his own flesh the glorious character of the Father. As the Son loved the Father, prayed to the Father, and felt that he must be about the Father's business, and finally died in the accomplishment of the Father's will --the work unto which the Father had sent him--so with us, imbued with the Spirit of our dear Redeemer, our Head. We as his members must have such a reverence for the Father and for his will as is here specified. The nation of Israel could not love the Lord with all its heart, with its soul, with its might; this exhortation must be understood to be of an individual kind. Similarly the Church, Spiritual Israel, is not called upon to love the Lord with heart, soul, being, strength, but the individuals who are the Lord's and who are seeking to please him, to serve him, to lay down their lives in obedience to his will and in the forwarding of the divine purposes, are called upon so to do.

"And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart." It is not sufficient, as the Lord subsequently pointed out, that we should make a profession to be his people, for the "Lord looketh upon the heart." The complaint of the Lord through the Prophet against Spiritual Israel of today is the same as against Israel of old--"This people draw night unto me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me" --not all, but apparently the great majority. (Isa. 29:13; Matt. 15:8.) The lesson to us as Spiritual Israelites is contained in the Apostle's words that this command of chief love shall be in our hearts. If so, this love for God will permeate everything; we will love him and his service better than we would love sin and its pleasures, better than we would love friends, kindred, houses or lands or any other thing; and whoever has this first great commandment in his heart and is living in harmony with it, will be sure also to have the second commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

THE FRUITS OF SUCH A LOVE

That the Lord and Moses, his mouthpiece, did not seek to inculcate the mere nominal professions of love for God is clearly attested by the next verse, which declares respecting these divine commands, "Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." One whose mind and heart would be so filled with love for God and the glorious attributes of his character would indeed be a saint. What time would he have for sin or frivolity? What a model home his would be! how well instructed his children would be in the dealings of divine providence and all the gracious promises of the divine Word! What moderation of word and of act would result from this intimate fellowship with God, and yet how the light would shine out from such a life!

The highest attainments under this exhortation were not reached under the Jewish dispensation, as the Apostle most clearly sets forth. The Jew did recognize a grandeur in the Mosaic Law, but it was so far above him and all his abilities that he gradually drifted into mere outward and formalistic observance of its propositions. But the Apostle explains that the highest attainments under this Law may be made by Spiritual Israelites during this Gospel Age. He declares, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit."-- Rom. 8:4.

In other words, although we are not more able to accurately keep that grand law than were the Jews, we who are in Christ, having his righteousness imputed as a covering for our blemishes and being made partakers of his holy Spirit, are able to approximate in spirit this grand position. And, although there are not many such "saints" in the world, we believe that WATCH TOWER readers represent a considerable number of those of whom the description in the verse before us is a fitting one. (v. 7.) And a still larger number are awakening to a realization of the true standard which the Lord has set for those who are following in the footsteps of Jesus. These are more and more watching and praying for the fulfilment in themselves of the Lord's will as here expressed. They are seeking to teach the divine statutes, laws of righteousness, etc., to their children by word and by example. They talk of them continually in their leisure moments, in the house, on the train, on the street--and thoughts of the Lord and his wonderful plan of salvation come first into their minds on awaking in the morning and are last in their thoughts as they retire to rest at night.

We are glad to testify that our increasing knowledge of the readers of this journal leads us to believe that they are in their hearts and in their lives seeking to approximate the condition of mind and heart here set forth as the ideal one, most pleasing to the Lord. At conventions this is particularly noticeable, and many have remarked that, with from five hundred to a thousand gathered from various parts, very rarely is there a word heard respecting business or pleasure or any other matter except as associated and connected with the Lord, his character, his plan and the service of his Truth. Strangers have commented upon this and marveled at it. Nevertheless, what else might we expect amongst those who are growing in grace and knowledge and love--amongst those who are coming nearer and nearer to an appreciation of the divine standards and whose hearts are full of the desire to know and to do the divine will.

Nor would we discourage those who have not yet attained to anything like this, the proper standard for the Lord's people. Rather would we bid them be of [R4052 : page 265] good courage and continue the fight against the world, the flesh and the Adversary, and to continue to watch and to pray, and to strive to attain the conditions here set before us as those pleasing and acceptable to our Father in heaven. To have the desire of heart is the first condition, and to heroically carry this forward in all the affairs of life is the second step. The two constitute overcoming the world. Thus God works in us first of all to will aright, and subsequently as we become stronger in faith and knowledge and grace the spirit of the truth works in us to do his good pleasure, so that in all our ways we acknowledge him and request that he may direct our paths. The family worship, the Heavenly Manna at the table--if we give it as important a place as the earthly food--and the study of the divine plan are channels through which the divine blessing is more and more entering the hearts and lives of many of our readers, and we trust that the good work will continue to go on and progress. Proportionately each one is a burning and a shining light in his home or amongst his acquaintances, whether they acknowledge this or make little of it. His testimony is pleasing to God and hopeful to himself, and ere long the Lord's favor will be abundantly manifested.

THE JEWISH PHYLACTERIES

Our Lord Jesus referred to a custom amongst the Jews of his day which still prevails--of binding the phylactery upon their foreheads and their arms, while making void the law of God through their traditions. The eighth verse is the foundation for this custom. It says, "Thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine [R4053 : page 265] hand and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes."

A phylactery is a little square leather box attached to a leather strap about a yard long. In the cubical leather box are placed parchments containing four passages of Scripture in four columns. (Exodus 13:1-16; Deut. 6:4,11,13-21.) These the Jews at times fastened upon the head, the box coming above and between the eyes; or again they fastened the box at the inside of the elbow, and wrapped the strap about the arm, holding the end in the hand. Poor Jews! they grasped with fervency an outward form, but, as the Lord pointed out, they missed the real kernel of the Law, namely, love out of a pure heart for God and for their neighbor. The wealthy and infidel Jews have of course abandoned this custom, but it is still in vogue amongst the most earnest or orthodox, who usually spend one hour in prayer every day and in putting on and off the phylactery.

There is a lesson for us in this failure of Natural Israel to catch the spirit of the divine command. Our Lord said that while they thus made an outward show their hearts had vicious thoughts, unloving, unkind thoughts, and hence they were merely drawing nigh to God with their lips in a formal manner and were not acceptable. We Spiritual Israelites do well to remember that, while we do not use the same outward forms, we might bow the knee and pray long and much and yet be far from acceptable to the Lord unless we allow his spirit of grace and truth to enter into our hearts and there produce that transformation which he tells us is alone pleasing and acceptable to him--a transformation which will make us less selfish, more generous, less proud, more humble, less children of this world, more the children of the Kingdom, seekers less of the things of this present time and more of the Kingdom of God and of the righteousness which it represents and will in due time enforce.

OUR OUTGOINGS AND INCOMINGS

"And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house and upon thy gates." It is doubtful if the Lord meant this to be understood and practised literally. It is probable that, instead of introducing to the people phylacteries, the meaning of the Lord's word was that they should consider the divine laws as overshadowing everything that they saw and as affecting everything that they did with their arm (strength) and as affecting every affair of life, in the home and outside of it. However, if the spirit of the matter could have been retained by the Jews, their phylacteries, we presume, would have proved no interference to the divine blessing nor their method of complying with the last requirement (v. 9). They complied with the letter by fastening in a prominent place in the doorway what they termed "mezuzah." This is a square piece of paper or parchment inscribed with Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21. It is rolled and placed in a small cylinder usually of wood or tin. It is the custom of the pious Jew to touch this with his finger on each occasion of his passing it, and say in Hebrew (Psa. 121:8), "The Lord preserve thy going out and thy coming in," etc.

The real thought which we attach to this injunction is that everything pertaining to us who are the Lord's, especially everything pertaining to the Church, which is the house, the family of God, is sacred to him and under his blessing, and we must confess him in every matter--"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Next (vs. 10-12) Moses exhorts on the blessing and prosperity soon to come to them in the Lord's providence should they not turn their hearts away from the source of their blessing. And we as Spiritual Israelites --especially we who at this time are enjoying so much refreshment at the Lord's hand in spiritual things--should never forget while enjoying these that they have all come to us through the Father. True, the Father, now as ever, uses means, agencies, Pilgrims, Colporteurs, books, tracts, etc., for bringing his grace and truth to his family, and everything that God is pleased to use for our blessing should be appreciated by us if we are in the proper attitude of heart and truly thankful to him. But neither the good things themselves nor those who bring them to us are to distract our attention from the great fact that all these blessings are of God, who giveth to us liberally, richly, and upbraideth us not for our seeking of them, but [R4053 : page 266] rather rewards us richly. As Israel was exhorted continually to remember how God had brought them out of the house of bondage, so we should continually remember how the Lord brought us out of the house of bondage--bondage to sin and error, and that this was accomplished through the great antitypical Moses, our Redeemer.

The closing verses of the lesson are exhortations again for reverence for the Lord and his name, and the repudiation of all other gods or rulers, and the assurance that instead of divine favor would come reprobation if we, after having been recipients of his favors and blessings and the spirit of adoption, should forget our obligations or turn from him unto sin. These lessons, so appropriate to Natural Israel, we recognize as still more appropriate, still more important, to us as New Creatures. Let us then take a valuable lesson, gird up the loins of our minds and strive patiently to the end of the way, when we shall be crowned if we faint not.



[R4053 : page 266]

"THE SERVANT OF THE LORD DIED"
--DEUT. 34:1-12.--SEPTEMBER 22.--

Golden Text:--"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."--Psalm 116:15.

MOSES had faithfully fulfilled the work of the Lord committed to his care down to and including his orations, mentioned in our last lesson, in which he urged upon Israel faithfulness to God similar to that which he had illustrated in himself. The Lord's time had come for a change in Israel's leadership, and Moses was instructed to go up into the mountain called Nebo, whose culminating peak is Pisgah --about nine miles east of the northern end of the Dead Sea. There God gave him a vision, a view of the glorious land where the people he had loved--and in whose interests he had sacrificed the honors and dignities and luxuries of the Egyptian Court--were to have their home as the people of the Lord, under the terms of the Covenant which he had mediated at Mount Sinai. In the clear atmosphere of that country any eye may see much of the land of promise, but under divine blessing and assistance, as in Moses' case, we can readily realize that the vision, the view, could be a very comprehensive one. It was a part of this great leader's reward, which doubtless greatly comforted his heart, enabling him to see that his labor for the Lord had not been in vain, but was destined finally to bring forth great fruitage.

The mental vision of Moses probably took in more than was visible to his natural sight. He understood that the Lord's blessing upon the nation, including that upon himself, was all a part of the great Abrahamic promise. He understood that the coming of Israel into this land which God had given to them was merely one step in the development of the divine plan. He understood that Israel was to become very great in the world, and ultimately be used as the Lord's instrumentality in guiding and instructing all the other nations. He understood that ere this would be accomplished a greater teacher than himself would come, a greater lawyer, a greater leader, a commander of the people --the Messiah. He could see in the promise made to Abraham--"In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed"--the ultimate results, but he could not see, we may be sure, the intermediate steps of divine providence as they are now open and plain before the eyes of those who are guided by the Lord's Word and Spirit to an understanding of the "deep things of God," which other eyes have not seen nor ears heard.

"THE HIDDEN MYSTERY"

The Apostle tells us that the riches of God's grace revealed during this Gospel Age were mysteries hidden from past ages and dispensations. (Col. 1:26.) Due time for their revealment had not come. Nor were they ever intended to be understood except by the Elect--To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom, but to outsiders these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings.--Mark 4:11.

The mystery of the divine plan, which Moses saw not, but which we now see through the apostolic explanation provided by the holy Spirit, is that the natural seed of Abraham, though it will have a part in the blessing of all the families of the earth, will not have the chief part except as it is represented by Jesus and the apostles and members of the early Church, who according to the flesh were of the natural seed of Abraham, but according to the spirit were the spiritual Seed-- the true heirs. Neither did Moses nor others of his time see that to this spiritual Seed, which originally was of the Jews, would be added members gathered out of every nation, people, kindred and tongue during this Gospel Age. Nor was it necessary that Moses should see or understand or appreciate more than he did. Greater knowledge would have been confusing to him instead of favorable. Thus, "God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform." And again, as the poet declares: [R4054 : page 266]

"Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will."

As we in mental picture see the great Moses looking over the land of Canaan and feasting upon the gracious promises of God to Israel--as we note his faithfulness in his long and arduous service and his peaceful resignation of his life into the hands of the Lord at its close, in full confidence of the fulfilment of the Oath-Bound Covenant, it points a lesson for us. We similarly are standing at the close of a great epoch. The antitypical Moses, Christ the Head and the Church his Body, has arisen amongst men, and for eighteen centuries has been leading onward in the direction of the [R4054 : page 267] Millennial Kingdom. The journey is almost concluded.

By the Lord's direction the living representatives of the Body of Christ, the antitypical Moses, are already on Mount Pisgah, and, looking beyond, are getting the antitypical vision of the glories of the age to come--of all the blessings that shall come to the world of mankind during the Millennial reign of Christ. With the eye of faith we perceive the blessing of all the families of the earth through the faithful ones of Spiritual Israel and the Ancient Worthies. We see gathering to their leadership and instruction, not only Israel, but all the families of the earth. We perceive the blessing of the light of the glory of the Lord as it shall fill the whole earth and make it no longer necessary for each to tell his neighbor and his brother, Know thou the Lord, because all shall know him. We perceive the fall of Babylon, the antitypical Jericho, and the rescue at the time of the Great Company of the Lord's true people who there were represented by Rahab. With the eye of faith we perceive the victory after victory which the people will gain over their various foes under the Spiritual Joshua, the Christ of glory. We perceive that ultimately, with still continued victories, even the last enemy shall be destroyed, and the whole groaning creation brought to the glorious place where there shall be no more sighing, no more dying, no more crying, because all the former things of sin and condemnation shall have passed away. This is our present vision from Mount Pisgah, and surely it is glorious and heart-inspiring. Soon in our changed condition beyond the vail we shall be members of the great Joshua, leading all the families of the earth to the victories and blessings promised through faith and obedience.

The prophecy of Baalim might properly be considered as the sentiment of Moses, as, looking down into the future he endeavored to discern the shadowy outlines of the coming blessings of God's Covenant, namely:

"I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not nigh:
There shall come forth a Star out of Jacob,
And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel."

"So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died...according to the word of the Lord: This is the land which he sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed. I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither." As we look into the beauties of the Millennial epoch, the Lord tells us that we shall not go over to possess it, but that it shall be for mankind. But he tells us more, namely, that he has "provided some better thing for us." (Heb. 11:40.) He tells us that we must die, that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (I Cor. 15:50.) The glorious vision shown us is merely for our comfort and strengthening in connection with the closing scenes of this age.

In the Hebrew language the expression, "according to the word of the Lord," would literally be, "by the mouth of the Lord," and Jewish rabbis have given this a poetic turn and say, "by the kiss of the Lord." It is a beautiful thought, for while Moses was about to pass to the extreme limit of the curse--death--he was recognized of the Lord and dealt with as a faithful servant; and in view of the fact that the divine plan had arranged for his redemption from sheol, the grave (Hosea 13:14), his death is appropriately described as a sleep. And thus we have the picture of a father kissing his child to sleep, and the other picture of the glorious morning of the resurrection in which the antitypical Moses, as the Father's representative, will awaken him to the blessings and eternal rewards which are his in the divine plan because of his faithfulness.

"THE DEATH OF HIS SAINTS"

This is the signification of the Golden Text, "Precious in the sight of Jehovah is the death of his holy ones." In a prominent sense our Lord was the Holy One of God, and his death was in the sight of the Father very precious, and his soul was not left in sheol, in hades, in the state of death. He was "raised again from the dead on the third day." And through him not only the faith and obedience of the Church are counted for righteousness, but likewise the faith and obedience of Moses and the Ancient Worthies. It is on this account that these may be called saints, holy ones, because in the divine plan the merit of the Redeemer is imputed to them, and through him all these are now in divine favor. Consequently, precious in Jehovah's sight was the death of all such; and of all now walking by faith and seeking to do his will.

From this standpoint we may understand that the death of our dear Redeemer, like that of all of God's consecrated ones who have died, and much more so, was precious in the Father's sight, and that even though he died as the sinner, crying, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me," nevertheless he died with the Father's kiss. So may it be with all those consecrated to walk in the footsteps of their Redeemer. Covered with his robe of righteousness they are all precious to the Father, and their death under whatever circumstances will really not be accidental, but a kiss of divine approval and seal of the coming blessing in the First Resurrection.

THE HIDDEN SEPULCHRE

The Lord himself buried Moses, hiding the place of his sepulchre. The primary reason for this probably was to hinder the Israelites from carrying his corpse as a mummy, which in after time might have become a temptation to idolatry. The passage in Jude 9, which mentions Michael contending with Satan concerning the body of Moses, is a hint along this line, that Satan desired to have the corpse to use it for the further misleading of the people, but that the Lord through Michael the archangel hindered, prevented this, and kept the burial-place a secret from the Israelites.

But there is another view of this matter which is interesting because it relates to Spiritual Israel. Jesus and the Church unitedly constitute the antitypical, or greater Moses--the Spiritual. Their inheritance is not [R4054 : page 268] to be earthly but heavenly, and a grave is a symbol of hope as respects an earthly resurrection. Hence it was appropriate that the type should not show an earthly grave since the antitype has no hope in that connection. Our hopes are not fleshly, not restitutional hopes, but hopes as New Creatures of glory, honor and immortality in joint-heirship with our glorious Head.

THE MEEKEST AND THE GREATEST

The Scriptures write down Moses as the meekest man, and history has written him down as one of the greatest of men. Our Lord and the apostles and others of the Church are not introduced in this comparison because their greatness is not as men but as New Creatures. They sacrificed earthly occupations, etc., that they might preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and suffer therefor.

When one hundred and twenty years old Moses' eye was not dim, his vigor had not fled! This is a remarkable statement in whatever light we view it. Forty years was he schooled in all the learning of the Egyptians, a member of the Court and a general. Forty years more he was hidden from view in the desert region as a herder of sheep, learning, we may be sure, lessons of patience, endurance, self-control and humility. And now, finally, the last forty years of his life he was used mightily of God, and yet maintained humility and exemplified the wonderful qualities of a judge and lawgiver, and later a general, a prophet, a priest, a teacher. The poet has said of him:--

"This was the truest warrior
That ever buckled sword;
This the most gifted poet
That ever breathed a word.
And never earth's philosopher
Traced with his golden pen
On the deathless page, truths half so sage
As he wrote down for men.

"And had he not high honor?
The hillside for his pall,
To lie in state, while angels wait
With stars for tapers tall;
And the dark rock pines, like tossing plumes,
Over his bier to wave,
And God's own hand, in that lonely land,
To lay him in the grave."

Our lesson says of him that there has risen no prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, because not only was his birth and development specially under divine blessing and guidance, but he fully submitted himself to the Lord in meekness, in humility, and was therefore specially used of him as a type or picture of [R4055 : page 268] the still greater Prophet--the Christ of glory. (Acts 3:22,23.) Let us use the words of others in describing this great servant of God:--

Moses, the Statesman: "Inspiration apart, Moses possessed all those endowments and qualities which form the consummate statesman and chief magistrate; an intellect of the highest order; perfect mastery of all the civil wisdom of the age; a penetrating, comprehensive and sagacious judgment; great promptness and energy in action; patriotism which neither ingratitude, ill treatment nor rebellion could quench or even cool; a commanding and persuasive eloquence; a hearty love of truth; an incorruptible virtue; an entire freedom from selfish ambition; an invincible hatred of tyranny and injustice; a patient endurance of toil; a courageous contempt of danger, and a greatness of soul in which he has never been surpassed by the most admired heroes of ancient or modern times. Comprehensiveness, grasp, force, sagacity, were the predominant characteristics of his mind; magnanimity, disinterestedness, an enthusiastic devotion to liberty and an ardent but rational piety, were the leading qualities of his heart."

As a General: "Moses delivered his people from the most powerful nation on earth; maintained them amid the perils of the desert for forty years, and led them in confidence against a country settled by fierce tribes, which they conquered."

As a Lawgiver: "However much may have been added by the development of the people, like the amendments to the Constitution and laws of the United States, yet through Moses was instituted the great system of civil and religious law."

As a Poet: "The two songs in Deut. 32 and 33 and Psalm 90."

As an Orator: "The great orations in Deuteronomy stand among the few greatest masterpieces of eloquence in the world's history, if not at their head."

"WHOM THE LORD KNEW FACE TO FACE"

To others of the prophets the Lord usually manifested himself through visions or dreams or by angels in human form, but seemingly Moses was granted a still closer approach to the divine presence. When thinking of the expression, "face to face," we should understand it to signify that Moses enjoyed a closeness of fellowship and favor with the Lord rather than that he really looked into the face of Jehovah, concerning which it is written, "No man can see my face and live" (Ex. 33:20); and again, "Whom no man hath seen or can see." (I Tim. 6:16.) It may be that our Lord Jesus as Michael especially represented the Father with Moses, as it was he who prevented the Adversary from having Moses' body after death. But in any event, applying the matter antitypically to the Christ, we see that in a special sense the antitypical Moses in the flesh throughout this Gospel Age has had a favor in connection with the divine presence not enjoyed by any others of previous times.

We see the Lord's face with the eye of faith, for we have seen our Lord Jesus, who represents the Father, and who declares that whosoever hath seen him hath seen the Father--has enjoyed the best possible revelation of the Father whom no man hath seen. Again he declares respecting the Church, his Body, "Their angels [messengers] do always have access to the face of my Father," as though he would tell us that all of our interests and affairs are brought directly to the Father's attention, so that there is no danger of any delay and any peradventure that all things will work together for good to them who love him. Again we see the Father's face in the sense that we see his love, which is displayed to us through a knowledge of the Truth by the holy Spirit granted to us. Not merely divine [R4055 : page 269] power do we see, not merely divine wisdom do we see, not merely divine justice do we see--but God himself is love, and he has shown us his love. We who with the eyes of our understanding have seen our Redeemer and come to a knowledge of him have seen the Father and become acquainted with him proportionately, for all things are of the Father and all things are by the Son. "Let me die the death of the righteous--let my last end be like his."--Numbers 23:10.

Our Lord Jesus was the Righteous One, and when we think of death we are to think of him and his death, and to remember that as he laid down his life we also ought to lay down our lives on behalf of the brethren. As he sacrificed earthly interests and advantages and privileges and pleasures that he might die the sacrificial death in accord with the divine plan, so let us remember that we have covenanted similarly to be "dead with him." For if we be dead with him we shall also live with him; if we suffer with him we shall also reign with him. Our hope of participation with him in his resurrection to glory, honor and immortality, is based upon our faithfulness in participating with him in his death, which means also a share with him in the sufferings of this present time. But standing as we do with the Pisgah prospect before us, strengthened by might in the inner-man, why should either death or its attendant sufferings deter us? Nay, in all these things we will rejoice and triumph through our Lord and Redeemer, our Head!

"MEN OF LIKE PASSIONS WITH YOURSELVES"

These were the words of the Apostle Paul, and his humble statement respecting himself and his companions is true also of Moses and all the Ancient Worthies, and is in full harmony with the Scriptural declaration, "There is none righteous [perfect], no not one." We here quote the words of another respecting the blemishes of Moses' career:--

"Two or three items to his fault are attributed to Moses, as every saint has failed in some point at some time. There is no garden but has some weeds. But the most unjust thing we can do is to measure its value by its weeds and not by its fruits. 'By their fruits ye shall know them.' Moses' few faults are such as will never be noticed at all by a worldly man. They are like a broken limb on a tree loaded with magnificent fruit. All God's works through men are done by imperfect instruments."

"There's a fleck of rust on a faultless blade--
On the armor of price there is one.
There's a mole on the cheek of the lovely maid;
There are spots upon the sun."



[R4055 : page 269]

QUARTERLY REVIEW
--SEPTEMBER 29.--

Golden Text:--"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy."--Psalm 103:8.

BEFORE starting the studies of a new quarter we are urged to take a glance back over what we have seen during the present one. It discloses an interesting panorama and a profitable one. Israel's history therein depicted is in sharp contrast with that of any other nation of earth. How consistent with the facts is the Scriptural declaration concerning Israel, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth." (Amos 3:2.) God, of course, knew of the other nations, and in a general way caused his sun to shine upon the just and the unjust, the evil and the good. He has supervised the affairs of the nations to the extent of hindering conditions which would be inimical to his gracious plans for the ultimate blessing of all the families of the earth; but, as declared, he revealed himself to and was in active cooperation with the nation of Israel alone, the seed of Abraham, up to the time that they were cast off, when they rejected Messiah. Since then, as we have seen, the divine care, blessing, promises, revelations, etc., have been turned to Spiritual Israel--the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, Christ and the Church, the new nation, the Royal Priesthood, the Holy People.

We get the most good from the experiences of fleshly Israel by seeing through them as types, figures, illustrations, the Lord's providences toward Spiritual Israel. Thus Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage corresponds to our deliverance from the bondage of sin, condemnation and death. Their deliverer, Moses, corresponds to our deliverer, Jesus. Their trial and testing at the Red Sea correspond to the test of our full consecration to the Lord at the beginning of our journey--the entrance upon the narrow way. The springs and oases of their desert journey to Sinai correspond well with the times of refreshing of a spiritual kind granted to us in the midst of our trying experiences, resulting from our following our Leader and finding as a consequence the world against us. Their coming to Sinai corresponds in some measure with our growth in knowledge and our greater responsibility therefor, and our fuller realization of the greatness of our God and the responsibilities of the relationship to him into which we have entered. Their daily portion of manna, God's supply, but painstakingly received, corresponds well to our spiritual sustenance received of the Lord from his storehouse, the Bible. Although the supply is sufficient, time and patient perseverance are requisite for securing it, for gathering it. The fact that their manna came every day, and in the proportion necessary, well illustrates the fact that our spiritual food must be partaken of daily, must be gathered daily --"meat in due season."

The short journey to Kadesh-Barnea, from whence spies went forth, indicates the short time which should elapse with us before we should enter into the riches of God's favor by faith. The viewing of the land enjoyed by Caleb and Joshua represents well the joyful experiences of those who fully trust in the Lord and fully [R4056 : page 270] consecrate to him and are already able even on this side the vail to enter into the joys of the Lord by faith. The evil report of the other spies, and the unwillingness of the Israelites to go forward in faith to possess the land, represent well the condition of the majority of the Lord's people--they cannot enjoy because they cannot believe, because they have not sufficient faith in the power of God and in the certainty of his promises.

MERCIFUL AND GRACIOUS, SLOW TO ANGER

Our Golden Text reminds us that the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, and we see this well illustrated in the case of fleshly Israel in the wilderness experiences, in the history of the Lord's people of this Gospel Age, nominal spiritual Israel, and also in the cases of the faithful ones. Can we not all realize how patient and merciful the Lord has been to us in our various experiences in life? Can we not see how he would have been fully justified in canceling our Covenant long ago, and that only of his mercy and love have we been permitted to come thus far on the way toward the heavenly Kingdom? Surely a realization of these things should make us both humble and trustful. Moreover the Lord informs us that he has a still further requirement, namely, that if we would appreciate his greatness and mercy through Christ in our own cases we shall exercise similarly mercy and forbearance toward others who may transgress against us. Indeed, so earnest is the Lord in impressing this matter upon us that he positively declares that none of us can maintain relationship with him except as he shall develop this spirit, this character, in relationship to his brethren and fellow-servants. How generous, how considerate, how moderate, how forgiving, all this should lead us to be in our dealings with the brethren, especially with those who have in any measure wounded or injured us or our interests.

Finally, let us remember Moses on Mount Nebo looking across Jordan into the promised land--and preparing for his burial. Let us more and more realize that this should be our attitude; that as the Body of Christ in the flesh we are soon to die, and that beyond the vail we will be New Creatures. Let us remember that the mountain-top of Christian experience should now be our portion, and that from thence the clear eye of faith should be able distinctly to discern the outlines of the glorious inheritance which the Lord hath in reservation for them that love him, the possession of which we are hoping so soon to share.



[R4056 : page 270]

THE CHATAUQUA SALUTE

Question.--To our surprise a "Brother" found fault with our giving the Chatauqua salute when Brother Russell appeared at the Denver Convention. I ask for information whether or not any evil significance attaches to such a form of salute?

Answer.--There is no evil significance to the "Chatauqua salute." It is one of the most decorous and civilized salutes known. It was started as an offset to hand-clapping, foot-stamping and cheering; and surely it is much more polite. An audience must have some method of expressing its greeting, and a less objectionable form surely could not be imagined by anybody. True, the Scriptures do not command or even mention the "Chatauqua salute"; but then neither do they commend handshaking, which is merely a private salutation as the other is a general one. However, let us recognize each other's right to shake the hand or the head or the handkerchief or not, as each may choose.

Let us remember, too, that "Your Adversary the devil goeth about as a ferocious lion, seeking whom he may devour--whom resist," says the Apostle. We may be sure that he attends all the Conventions; and that his influence is continually exerted to sow discord, strife and every other work of the flesh and of the devil. He works upon our imperfect heads and hearts. "We are not ignorant of his devices," writes the Apostle, and we well know that wrong-heartedness is far more dangerous than wrong-headedness. The latter the Lord has promised to protect us from, but not from the former: we must be "pure in heart," else we will not long be reckoned amongst the branches of the True Vine, but be cut off; for Love is the fruit of the Spirit--the fruit of the Vine. And "herein is your Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." Oh! then, how we should watch and pray against the spirit of envy, malice, wrath, strife, contention; and cultivate meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly kindness, Love. Thus, as directed, let us keep our hearts in the love that is of God; keep them with all diligence, for out of them are the issues of life--the decision as to our everlasting future of Life or Death eternal. Let us all be on guard. And let those who have on the whole armor and who know how to use the sword of the Spirit assist the weaker to overcome the Tempter's snares and wiles.



page 270

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS

MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I am thinking of you all this morning as being at breakfast while I write--discussing the Heavenly Manna text for the day: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee," and I am sure the discussion going on is reminding all of the greatness of the privilege of that perfect peace. I am trying to the more thoroughly bring my own heart into that state of staying (fixing) upon the Lord that I might enjoy still more completely the perfect peace.

I am having a great blessing in association with the dear ones here. The community is a country one, and great opposition is manifest by the people, but there is a gathering here which would shame many large cities--about fifty persons. The population is only about 8,000 persons. Bro. S__________, the leader, used to page 271 be a chemist and druggist, but has recently given up his business entirely, so that both himself and wife might engage in the Colporteur work, which they are determined to make the best of, although some conditions here make the work far more difficult than in America. They are aided very much in reaching small towns by an automobile, capable of holding two, the expense of maintaining which is less than the railway fares of one person would be, and they are thus able to carry their books with them while canvassing, and to deliver at once.

I am trying to get as accurate an idea of the Colporteur situation as I can while here, that I may give you an intelligible report of it when I get home, and have been out myself to do some canvassing, that I might know from actual experience the attitude of the people. I find that one of the greatest hindrances here is the absolute indifference of the great majority to any kind of religious matter, and the engagement to a remarkable degree in the pursuit of pleasure. I shall make some canvassing experiments in other parts where time will permit.

The friends everywhere are longing to see you. Many of them have come into the Truth only recently, and they are very anxious to express personally their gratitude to God in bringing the knowledge of his plan to them through you. They love you most sincerely and when I have mentioned your hope to be able to come next year a wave of joy seemed to pass over them all. One dear sister here tells me she wanted to tell you her feelings of gratitude for what the Lord had given her through you, and she wrote seven letters, one after the other, in an attempt to put her thoughts into words, but she never sent you any of them, because she thought they weren't good enough. Doubtless in the Kingdom she will be able to express all she feels.

The zeal and love of the friends is a constant lesson and reminder, and I feel that I am learning very much by my association with them all. I pray that I may have heavenly wisdom to apply the lessons learned.

With much love to you, dear Brother Russell, and to every one of the dear ones at the Bible House, and asking that you will kindly remember me specially in prayer that I may use and not abuse my precious privileges in the Lord's glorious service, and assuring you that every day I remember yourself and the dear ones with you,

Your brother and servant in our Lord,
A. E. WILLIAMSON,--England.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

It is with pleasure I pen you these few lines, just to inform you of the blessings received in the service granted me in the harvest field, "not of merit but of grace," and never did I feel so weak in myself as of late, but the Apostle so clearly brings the matter to our view, saying, "When I am weak, then am I strong," etc.

Knowing of your love toward all the Lord's people, I am glad to be able to express, on behalf of those whom it has been my privilege to meet, their love toward you, dear brother, which has been manifested in so many ways.

I firmly believe that those who are having the greatest joys "in the Lord" at the present time are those who have first made a careful and prayerful study of the DAWNS, with Bible in hand, thereby putting on the armor, and having done so are active in service to the extent of their ability, in whatever position the Lord has placed them. These seem to be the clearest in Present Truth, and find the yoke easy, rejoicing that they have the privilege of suffering with him.

I enclose a part of a letter received yesterday from a very dear Colporteur brother who has a family to support. It reads as follows:--

"I often think what an opportunity there is for those of our single brothers of good ability and with no encumbrance. I would not think of using my time in secular employment, while the opportunity was afforded of doing "harvest" work, if I were single. I am glad that the dear Lord has given me the privilege of using a little time this way, and trust I will be able to put in a few more months. In the last seven days I have sold 250 books.

"'Lord, if I may,
I'll serve another day.'"

A dear sister has also written me, saying: "Since you were here the Lord has opened the way, and now I am in the 'harvest field.' And oh, the blessings that come from day to day! How unworthy I am of such favors!"

And now, dear brother, may the Lord continue to bless you, as you endeavor to serve the household of faith. As ever,

Your brother in our Redeemer,
W. M. HERSEE,--Pilgrim.


DEAR BRETHREN:--

I ask the prayers of the office household that I may be emptied of self and filled with the holy Spirit and wisdom of our Father for this work.

I would like to tell you of the condition of the Church in A__________: I can say as a class they are growing in grace and knowledge, and from what I have seen and heard from other places I think that there is more of grace and peace than in many classes, and I attribute it to our being willing to partake of what is "meat in due season," as it is given to us from the "storehouse" by the appointed servant.

There is none in our company who is pushing ahead for meat not yet due, so that all the little disturbances that come from differences of opinion on such points are avoided--that is, we might say, spiritual dyspepsia, cramps and pains from undigested food.

Nearly all the class a short time ago started to reread the set of DAWNS, twelve pages a day, and are being blessed in it. We have three and sometimes four elders, so avoid strife on that line, and develop new material.

Your brother and servant in the service of our Lord and Redeemer,
J. H. HENIKA,--Georgia.



page 273
September 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. XXVIIISEPTEMBER 15No. 18
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6035


CONTENTS

Views from the Watch Tower275
Zionists at the Hague275
Back to Palestine275
The Niagara Falls Convention276
The Voices of the Three Signs276
What Shall We Say to These Things?280
Not Now, My Child (Poem)281
"Be Strong and of Good Courage"281
"I Will Be With Thee"282
Very Courageous to Observe the Law284
Entering the Land of Promise285
The Lord Went Before Them286
"Led Forth by the Right Way"287
An Interesting Question Answered287

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 274

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly 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." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I 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.




LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
--ADDRESS TO--
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
"BIBLE HOUSE," 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
--OR TO--
BRITISH BRANCH--24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W.
GERMAN BRANCH--MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD.
AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH--EQUITABLE BLDG., COLLINS ST., MELBOURNE

PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE. MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. 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.



[R4057 : page 274]

TRUTH LITERATURE--VARIOUS LANGUAGES


DAWN, VOLS. I. and II., IN GREEK; also "Parousia" booklet, 5c; and free tracts Nos. 38, 40, 53, 59, 66.

DAWN, VOL. VI., IN GERMAN in TOWER form is ready: cloth bound, postpaid, $1.50. We have plenty of German tracts and TOWERS for free distribution--the former need to be separated.

ITALIAN, FRENCH, HOLLANDISH, NORWEGIAN and POLISH tracts for free circulation amongst your friends, we can now supply.

TABERNACLE SHADOWS IN ENGLISH, GERMAN and SWEDISH we now have in good supply. 10c each; $1.00 per doz.

SPIRITISM-DEMONISM IN ENGLISH, NORWEGIAN, AND FRENCH are now in stock, 10c each; $1.00 per dozen.

VOLUNTEERING METHODS, ETC.


An experienced Volunteer writes, suggesting that, instead of trying to slide the tracts under the doors, he puts them between the door-knob and the door-jamb so that they form a spring like the letter U. Then they will flutter to the floor just in front of whoever opens the door. He does not ring the bell, for this would be an annoyance and only prejudice the recipient against the tracts.



[R4056 : page 275]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

ZIONISTS AT THE HAGUE


THE hundreds of delegates who are attending the Zionist Congress now in session at The Hague have come from every country in the civilized world and from some lands which are still far from the van of human progress. The potential strength of will and of spirit represented by such a gathering makes a strong appeal to the judgment as well as to the imagination. These delegates and the people they represent have long since passed the argumentative stage in dealing with the movement in which they are proud to be enlisted. It is "a condition and not a theory" that confronts them. To many, indeed to the great majority of them, Zionism is a part of their innermost selves. They imbibed its influence from the moment when they were able to comprehend the prayers which they reverently repeat. Their ancestors for eighteen centuries have prayed for the restoration of the glorious state, and the hope has become imperishable in the hearts of an imperishable people. To others the propaganda is only in a minor degree representative of this sentiment. It is rather their response to the ostracism, the bigotry and the proscription, which are not confined to the benighted lands of the East, but have given the lie to the professions of our civilization in nearly every other part of the earth. It is a reassertion, in men whose religious principles are often lax, of the unconquerable spirit that has refused to bow before the might of a host of bigots, of despots and of inquisitors.

The large section led by Ussischkin, one of the leaders of the Russian delegation, is determined to ask the delegates to declare in favor of immediate practical work in Palestine. Nordau and his followers are equally determined to adhere to the original plan of concentrating all efforts towards securing the Palestinian charter so as to secure a legally assured home in that country for the Jews before undertaking extensive operations there. The impatience of the Russian contingent is easily understood when the terrible pressure at home is considered. The danger of embarking on extensive plans without a proper guarantee from the Sultan and his government is so great, however, that impetuosity without foresight is not to be encouraged. Those who are already in Palestine might be aided without danger by the institution of legitimate enterprises. The evils of the Halukah might be done away with, and the entry of the shiftless and the poverty-stricken discouraged. Further than this, practical work is not safe at the present time. Whether the organization can continue its numerical strength in the absence of definite and striking results is a question that has given ardent Zionists much concern. At the present writing there is no reason to anticipate a cessation of interest in the cause.--Jewish Exponent.

BACK TO PALESTINE


"A very large gathering of Hebrew citizens assembled in the St. Urbain St. Synagogue, Montreal, on Sunday to hear the official report of the International Zionist Conference recently held in Cologne, and of the program adopted by that conference for immediately proceeding with the work of re-settling the Jewish people in Palestine, in consequence of the Holy Land now being opened by the Sultan to Jewish settlement.

"Mr. Clarence I. de Sola, in his capacity as a member of the Actions Committee, or Chief Executive Council of the Zionist movement, submitted the program of the work in Palestine that had been decided upon at the Cologne conference. He stated that the news that the Turkish government was no longer enforcing those laws which had hitherto militated against Jews settling in Palestine, was the most momentous news which had greeted Jewish ears in a century. In consequence of the lowering of the barriers, a stream of Jewish immigrants from Russia into the Holy Land had now set in, which was assuming large proportions.

"At the very moment when persecution in Russia was driving hundreds of thousands of Jews from the [R4057 : page 276] dominions of the Czar, Mr. de Sola remarked, the gates of Palestine were being opened to them. They could see the hand of divine providence in all this, and it was the paramount duty of every Jew to seize the opportunity which now presented itself of settling, not only tens of thousands, nor hundreds of thousands, but millions of Hebrew colonists in the Holy Land, with the result that they would soon again be in possession of the land that had been promised to their forefathers. It was in order to give practical shape to this idea that the Zionist leaders of the Cologne conference had decided on the program of work in Palestine.

He said that the program arranged was one which must produce such a revolution of conditions in Palestine as to make it rival any country in the West in enterprise and in prosperity. This is what the Zionists are now undertaking, but to carry out the program the Jews of the world must contribute liberally to the funds of the movement. He therefore strongly appealed to them to subscribe to the funds of the Jewish Colonial Trust and the Zionist National Fund, and also to the fund of the Palestine Commission, the committee specially charged with the work, and to the Bezalel Technical Institute of Jerusalem, which was training the new generation in Palestine in arts and handicrafts. These were the financial instruments of the movement, and it was only by supporting them that they could accomplish their work.

"Rabbi Herman Abramowitz was the next speaker. He pictured in glowing periods the happy conditions to which the Jews would be restored if they but took advantage of the opportunities now presented to them for re-settling their people in Palestine.

"Rabbi Meldola de Sola then addressed the audience, and made a most powerful appeal to them to assist in the work now being undertaken in Palestine. He said that the first words that the Prophet Jeremiah uttered in mourning their captivity were words of grief for the destruction of Zion, and that for two thousand years they had never ceased to cherish love for Zion, and to pray for a restoration thereto. The opening up of Palestine by the Turkish Government to the Jews was an event of such tremendous significance that it should be ranked in importance with the edict of Cyrus, King of Persia, when he allowed the Jews to return to the Holy Land after the Babylonian captivity, and with all their hearts should they thank God for having preserved them alive and sustained them to enjoy this season. By many Biblical quotations he showed that it was their duty to assist this work of restoration."-- Montreal Journal.

NIAGARA FALLS CONVENTION


We could not make arrangements for rooms, etc., at Niagara until near Convention time--lest details should miscarry. Besides, many did not advise us early of their intention to go.

We have engaged apartments for all who have notified us, and will have a Bureau of Information at the New York Central R.R. depot, where each can obtain the address of the quarters secured, as per instructions sent us. This will be open the evening of Aug. 29th and all day of the 30th. When closed a similar office will be established at the "Auditorium" of the Natural Food Co., Buffalo Ave., where all the Convention sessions will be held.



[R4057 : page 276]

THE VOICES OF THE THREE SIGNS

WHEN preparing the Sunday School lessons relating to Moses and his two presentations of himself to the Israelites, as their deliverer from Egyptian bondage, we noted the fact that "these things were written aforetime for our admonition upon whom the ends of the ages are come." (I Cor. 10:11.) And, considering the matter from this standpoint, we perceived, as we had never done before, that the three signs by which the Israelites were convinced that God's deliverance of them was at hand, at Moses' second presentation, must have been intended to typify some corresponding three signs or testimonies at the second advent of Christ; testimonies which will be convincing to the true Spiritual Israelites. In the type these three signs or testimonies preceded the plagues upon the Egyptians; and this in the antitype must mean that the three signs or testimonies to Spiritual Israel respecting the second advent of our Lord and respecting the great deliverance which he is to accomplish, must precede the plagues, the great time of trouble, coming upon the world in general shortly.

At first we were perplexed, and said to ourself: "The Scriptures clearly show us that we are now 'in the days of the Son of Man;' our journal has borne as its sub-title, HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE, since its institution, 1879; yet where are these three signs? Already thirty-four years of the forty-year harvest are in the past, and but seven remain, in the last of which we confidently expect the plagues upon the world--antitypical Egypt. Where are these signs or testimonies, which the type teaches us we should expect at this time, to convince all the true Israelites?"

For a time we were inclined to look for miraculous tokens, but subsequently realized that this would be out of the Lord's order, as the antitype is always on a higher and grander scale than the type: as for instance the typical Passover lamb but feebly foreshadowed the Lamb of God, and the great things accomplished through his sacrifice. Feeling confident of the times in which we are living, "in the parousia of the Son of Man," we concluded that in all probability these signs had already been given, or were in process of giving at the present time. Still we could not recognize them, and, feeling that the matter must now be to the Lord's household "meat in due season," we besought the Lord earnestly and repeatedly for light upon the subject, [R4058 : page 277] while continuing our studies. No light coming, we mentioned the matter to the Bible House family at the dinner table, requesting the prayers of all upon the subject, and that if any had suggestions to offer they should feel free to present them. Seemingly it was in line with the divine purpose that we should thus come to the point of making confession of inability to solve the riddle, and that our reliance for wisdom was wholly upon the Lord: for within two hours after this acknowledgment the entire matter became clear and lucid to our mind, as we shall endeavor now to lay it before you all.

(1) Our Lord declares Moses to have been, in some particulars, in some of his transactions, a type of himself, saying, "Moses wrote of me." Moses himself declared, "A prophet [teacher] shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me." Peter quotes this last expression in his sermon, and emphasizes it. (John 5:46; Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22.) Moses did not typify Christ in all of his doings, however, nor was his life as a whole a type of the life of Christ. For instance, in his smiting of the rock, contrary to the divine command, he became a type of those of Christ's followers who put him to an open shame, and who, in consequence, will die the Second Death; and as a type of these Moses was not permitted to enter into the land of promise. (Num. 20:11; Deut. 32:51,52; Heb. 10:29.) He typified Jehovah at times also; but in the present instance we are specially interested in considering his conduct with the Israelites in connection with their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. In this type we see him distinctly as a representative of Christ Jesus. Moses was rich, a prince in high honor, learned in all the learning of his times, but for Israel's sake he renounced these, left them all, and they being bondmen, he took his place amongst them, to be their leader and deliverer. How like this is to the description given us in the Scriptures of our Lord's course! He left the glory of the heavenly condition and spiritual plane of being; he took a bondman's form and was found in fashion as a man. He came to deliver his brethren from bondage. --Phil. 2:6-8, Diaglott.

When Moses came to his own people they rejected him, and he fled for his life to the land of Midian, from whence he came to them a second time. So Christ came to his own, and his own received him not (John 1:12); and he went into a far country, even heaven itself, from whence he has now, a second time, come, and will deliver all who are true Israelites indeed from the bondage of sin and death. Moses was forty years in coming to the point where he offered himself to Israel the first time; then he was absent from them an equal period of time, forty years, and came again and delivered them. There is a type or parallel in this time feature also; it illustrates the length of the Jewish and the Gospel ages, as being equal. From the time of the beginning of typical Israel as a nation, waiting for the coming of Messiah, down to the time when Jesus actually presented himself, was a period of 1845 years, and from that time, when he died and left them, until the period which the Scriptures show us marked his second coming (October, 1874) was a like period of 1845 years,-- corresponding exactly to the two periods at which Moses offered himself in the type.*

*MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. II., Chap. VII.

THE VOICE OF THE FIRST SIGN

(2) At Moses' second presentation to Israel he did not address them personally and directly, as at the first, God having said to him, "Aaron shall be thy prophet or mouthpiece, and thou shalt be a god unto Aaron." This item of the type would seem to imply just what we see to be the fact of the case now, viz., that the Lord Jesus does not address himself to the true Israelites in person now, as at the first advent, but through his agent, through a mouth-piece. Aaron, the mouth-piece or agent of the Lord, we would understand to represent the Royal Priesthood--those of the Lord's consecrated people still in the flesh, still sacrificing, --who have not yet passed beyond the vail into glory. The type, then, seems to say that the signs or testimonies which will convince all true Israelites now living respecting the presence of the Lord and his mighty power to deliver, his ultimate victory over Satan, sin and death will be of or from our present Lord, but by or through the living members of his Body, his brethren, represented in Aaron.

(3) The first sign or testimony to Israel was the casting of the rod upon the ground, and its becoming a serpent, and the taking of the serpent by the tail, and its becoming a rod again in the hands of Aaron. It was Moses' rod, and Aaron was merely his representative in every act. The Natural Israelite merely saw this as a miracle, and discerned in it no teaching; but the Spiritual Israelite is not to expect a larger rod and a larger serpent as the antitype, but should expect to comprehend the meaning of the rod and of the serpent as an antitypical instruction or testimony today.

A rod symbolizes authority. Moses' rod was frequently used in connection with the plagues, as well as in connection with the signs, as signifying divine authority. A serpent is a symbol of evil--of sin and all its consequences, evil in general. The lesson for the Spiritual Israelite today is that he is now to understand that all the evil there is in the world is the result, directly or indirectly, of God's having let go of his rod or authority; and they are to understand further that it is God's intention or purpose, as it is also his promise, to take hold upon the present evil conditions, which have lasted now more than six thousand years, and to bring order out of confusion--to re-establish his authority in his own hand.

These acts or signs are said to have "voices" or to be testimonies. (Exod. 4:8,9.) Hence our query must be, Is this sign or testimony now being given to God's people throughout the world? We answer, Yes. Has it been always recognized and presented thus? We answer, No. Was it ever thus presented before this harvest [R4058 : page 278] time? We answer, No. Heretofore it has been a matter of speculation amongst peoples and theologians of all classes and shades of Christian belief, but a question without an answer--Why did God permit evil in the world? Some have blasphemously held that God has caused the evil, that good might follow; but this God himself most emphatically denies, and everything pertaining to his character refutes it. He declares that every good and every perfect gift is of him, with whom is no changeableness or variableness. "His work is perfect." Others have claimed that a conflict is in operation between God and Satan, between good and evil, and that each side is doing its utmost to conquer the other--with evil and Satan predominant in the world, on account of which it is spoken of as "the present evil world," in which there is "none righteous, no, not one." But whatever the standpoint of view, it has been confusion only until the harvest-time, when the true light upon the subject began to shine forth, showing that when sin entered the world God gave mankind over, let them take their course, let the rod of divine authority drop, "rested from his own work," permitting sin and evil to flourish--not, however, intending that it should flourish forever as a serpent, but fully intending, predestinating, and even foretelling, that in due time he would set up his Kingdom in the person of the Messiah, who should lay hold upon that old serpent, the devil and Satan, and restrain his power. Showing, too, that he will ultimately bring all evil conditions back to subjection and harmony with the divine authority and law --destroying the evil connected therewith. This teaching, then, is the sign whose "voice" or testimony was typified by Aaron casting the rod upon the ground, its becoming a serpent, and his taking it back into his hand again. How much grander the antitypical teaching than the typical sign! How much more forceful! Who of the true Israelites who has heard this testimony is any longer in doubt respecting the speedy deliverance of all of God's people from the power of Satan, sin and death?

We would avoid personality as far as possible, but believe it to be in the interest of the Truth and of the true Israelites that we point out that this sign has already been given. ZION'S WATCH TOWER AND HERALD OF CHRIST'S PRESENCE was founded in 1879, and the "voice" therefrom, to the true Israel of God, announced that the second advent of our Lord, as the deliverer of the world, had already taken place--that he was present but invisible, a spirit being not possible to be seen by any, even his Church, until they should be "changed" and made like him in the First Resurrection. The message further declared that he was present for the purpose of establishing his Kingdom and delivering his saints and the whole groaning creation from the bondage of corruption--as many as will obey him. And it is very remarkable that very shortly a special number of this journal was issued, bearing the significant title, "Food for Thinking Christians--Why Evil Was Permitted."* This voice or testimony was spread abroad amongst the Spiritual Israelites in an extraordinary manner--over a million and a half copies being [R4059 : page 278] circulated through the mails and at Church doors in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. And the voice or testimony of this first sign, token, teaching, is still being repeated from one to another of the Lord's people throughout the world, and now in various languages. In that pamphlet for the first time, so far as we know, was shown that the evil in the world, the bondage to sin and death and the reign of iniquity and the various oppressions to which the whole groaning creation is subject, are the results of God's having let go his authority (rod), and not the result of his inability to hold the authority, nor in any sense the outworking of the authority in his hand. It showed also how complete will be the restraint of evil and its complete annihilation when again the Lord shall take unto himself his great power and reign. Could there possibly be a greater or a grander antitype for the sign which Moses and Aaron presented to Israel through the rod and the serpent? Is not the truth on this subject much more convincing to the Spiritual Israelite today than any natural signs or wonders or miracles could possibly be? Does not the knowledge now granted the Lord's people respecting the divine plan of the ages, and its purpose, and the result, satisfy our longings as nothing else could do, and assure our hearts that deliverance is nigh?

*Since this publication two other tracts have been issued, bearing portions of the same title: No. 62, "The Divine Plan of the Ages: Why Evil was Permitted"; No. 52, "Food for Thinking Christians: Our Lord's Return," etc.

THE VOICE OF THE SECOND SIGN

(4) The second sign to be given to the Israelites was that of the leprous hand. Hidden in the bosom, when revealed it was leprous; but when hidden again, and revealed a second time, it was whole. Again, we say that the Natural Israelite discerned nothing but the natural sign, but it was intended of God that the Spiritual Israelite should discern a much grander lesson, and that a testimony through this grander lesson would be still more convincing to him than was the typical sign to the typical Israelite. A hand is a symbol of power. In this case the hand represented divine power. Leprosy is a symbol of sin. The teaching, therefore, would seem to be that divine power was first manifested without sin or imperfection or blemish; secondly, that the same divine power, hidden for a time, was afterward manifest in sin and imperfection; and thirdly, that the same divine power, hidden again for a time, will subsequently be manifest without sin.

What teaching or testimony is this? We answer that it is in harmony with the previous teaching respecting the permission of evil, but does not apply to evil in general, but rather to sin in particular; does not apply to the world in general, but specially applies to the people of God--to those whom God uses as his agents or representatives, his hand, his power in the [R4059 : page 279] world. God's power originally was manifested unblemished. But during this Gospel Age he has been represented by his consecrated people, the members of the Body of Christ, who are his ambassadors and representatives; but they are leprous, actually imperfect, though reckonedly perfect in Christ. As the world sees them they are blemished, but from the divine standpoint their blemishes are all hidden, covered with the merit of Christ's righteousness. Nevertheless, these have been the hand or power of God in the world for more than eighteen centuries; but by and by they are to be received into his bosom, and "changed" in the First Resurrection, so that when manifest again in the future they will be without sin, "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing," and will again be used of the Lord as his agent in stretching forth his rod and bringing the plagues upon Egypt, and delivering the residue of God's people from the bondage of sin and death.

And is this also a sign or a testimony peculiar to this time in which we live, and was this subject never clearly seen before? We answer, it is peculiar to our day, and was never clearly seen before. In the past many have seen something of justification, something of sanctification, something of a coming deliverer; but never before have these subjects been seen in the clear light in which they are now seen as related to each other. Never before was the relationship distinctly seen between justification and sanctification and deliverance; that justification is of divine grace, accepted through faith; that sanctification implies works and sacrifice, based upon justification; and that to these justified and consecrated ones who faithfully overcome, by the grace of God in Christ, shall be granted a share in the "glory, honor and immortality" of the divine nature in the First Resurrection.

But has the voice or sign of this testimony gone forth in any particular channel, as did the preceding voice or testimony? We answer, Yes: in the MILLENNIAL DAWN series of volumes, the first of which was published in 1886. The united testimony of these relates to the Church, showing original sin, the first step out of it into justification through faith in Christ, the second step of sanctification and sacrifice, and the ultimate change in the First Resurrection to the divine nature and glory and joint-heirship. These volumes deal specially with this subject from its various standpoints, the ransom-sacrifice of our Lord, on account of which the cleansing will come to us in due time, being everywhere prominently set forth; and also the fact that no absolute purity is to be expected until the Lord shall take us to himself in our "change."

Supplemental to the teaching of the DAWNS on this subject, and to assist in emphasizing their "voice" and making clear their testimony, the Pilgrim service has been instituted under which various brethren travel from place to place explaining and demonstrating the lesson taught by the leprous hand and its healing, and all of our readers, having heard the testimony, are daily giving it forth to others.

THE VOICE OF THE THIRD SIGN

(5) Another sign was to be given, the Lord clearly intimating that it would be necessary, and that all of his true people would not hear or heed the "voice" of the first two testimonies. To Natural Israel the third sign was the taking of the water from the river and pouring it upon the earth, where it became blood. They saw merely the sign, the miracle; they read not its meaning, as the Spiritual Israelite must seek to do. In explanation of the symbolical teaching of this type we suggest that water is here, as elsewhere, a symbol of the Truth; and that the earth is here, as elsewhere, a symbol of society.* The pouring of the water upon the earth would ordinarily mean the refreshment of the earth, a blessing; and the pouring of the Truth upon society would ordinarily be expected to mean a blessing to society; but in the symbol the water turned to blood, repulsive, abhorrent, symbolizing death; and this, in the antitype, would signify that in the present time the pouring out of the Truth upon society will produce an effect contrary to what might ordinarily have been expected. Society, civilization, has been claiming, especially within the past century, to be searching high and low for the Truth. But this type says that the time has come when these professed truth-seekers (the word science signifies truth) will reject the truth, disdain it, and to them it will seem obnoxious, loathsome, intolerable. Our readers will here possibly call to mind our Lord's words respecting this present time, "The sun shall be darkened and the moon shall be turned into blood." We have elsewhere shown the significance of this:+ that the moon is the symbol of the Jewish Law, as the sun is the symbol of the Gospel message; and that the Gospel message will become darkness to the eyes of society in general through the sophistries of Higher Criticism, Evolution theories, etc., of this boastful day; while the Law, represented by the moon, will be viewed as bloody--that its sacrifices will not be esteemed as types nor appreciated as such, but be regarded as the work of misguided Jews, who slaughtered their animals by the thousands because of their ignorance and superstition, and that the commands which they obeyed were not of God, but of their own conjecture and of priestly connivance. The same thought attaches to this sign or testimony of the water of Truth being poured upon the social earth. It will be resented as bloody instead of being absorbed as Truth.

*MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., pp. 66-71.

+MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. IV., pp. 590-594.


Is there anything corresponding to this sign now in progress in the world that could be esteemed a sign or testimony to the True Israelites, such as never was before given? We answer, Yes, there is. A very remarkable movement has been in progress amongst us during the past sixteen years, during which the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has supplied tracts free in any quantity to those who would promise to use them judiciously. You have the annual reports showing the millions of pages which have thus been circulated [R4060 : page 280] --the Truth being thus poured upon the symbolical earth, society, liberally in many lands and in many languages. But especially has this pouring out of the water, Truth, progressed wonderfully during the past nine years under what we have designated the "Volunteer" work, in which hundreds of the Lord's consecrated people have systematically, season after season, distributed to Christian people tracts and booklets which our Society has supplied freely--the donations covering the expense coming in without urging or even request.

But what is the effect of this pouring out of the water upon the most enlightened peoples of the world, professed truth-seekers? Is it gladly received, joyfully absorbed? Only by the few--the vast majority seem to be angered, as the Scribes and Pharisees and doctors of divinity at the first advent were angered when they perceived that the Lord and the apostles were teaching the people, and that without money and without price. (Acts 4:2.) Nothing can be more evident than that the professed teachers of Christendom do not want to be taught themselves and do not want their people to be taught the Truth. They bitterly oppose it and persecute and speak evil of those who in this way are seeking to do good. More and more they are getting so changed from the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ to the theory of Evolution and Higher Criticism and sectarian pride and worldliness that the Truth seems repulsive to them, undesirable, bloody. They not only view the typical sacrifices as bloody, but they resent the thought that the antitypical sacrifice for sins was the death of Christ--they resent the thought that divine justice required this sacrifice, and that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins," as the Apostle declared. (Heb. 9:22.) It does not fit with their theories. According to their theories man was created next to the monkey, and has been evolving as a race grandly up to the present time, and will continue to evolve and develop until he becomes a god, and hence needs only to be let alone, needs no Savior, no deliverer from the present condition of things, which is not seen to be evil. They put evil for good and good for evil, darkness for light and light for darkness. To these the truth of God's Word respecting the fall, respecting the ransom, respecting the coming deliverance and restitution blessings which God has provided in Christ, through the Millennial Kingdom, for all the families of the earth--these are all objectionable, contradictory to their theories, hateful, bloody.

As the "voice" of the third sign or testimony was to bring conviction to all of the true typical Israelites, so in the antitype this last testimony or evidence will ultimately bring conviction to all of the Lord's true people today in the world. They will discern that the systems and theologians in whom they have trusted are going further and further, day by day, away from the appreciation of the true Gospel--the truth as it is in Christ Jesus--into the outer darkness of the world. All who are loyal to the Lord, as they perceive this condition of things, as they recognize the cleavage between belief and unbelief from the Scriptural standpoint will thus be helped, convinced, and enabled to take their stand for the Truth accordingly.

It will be remembered that when Moses and Aaron presented themselves before Pharaoh they performed the first of these signs in his presence--the rod turned into a serpent and being reclaimed was a rod. Pharaoh called for his magicians (types of theologians of today, whose minds, not morals, have become corrupted, and who are reprobates, not morally, but as respects the faith--2 Tim. 3:8), and explained to them that Moses and Aaron claimed that this sign was an evidence of divine power and favor, and asked them if they could not show the same evidences. They replied, Yes, and cast their rods upon the ground and their rods also became serpents; but Aaron's rod-serpent swallowed up all of these. What would this signify? It might mean that so far as the world is concerned the first sign or testimony which convinced the Hebrews will be claimed to be nothing new; it will be claimed that theologians all along have declared and thought that God blesses evil things so that they result in good. But we answer that the view of this subject which God has now displayed to his people is so much more complete that it quite swallows up all these suggestions and theories of the past. What the Lord is now showing proves to his people conclusively not only that some accidents are overruled of the Lord for good, but that all evil of every kind is the result of absence of the divine control, and that when the Lord shortly shall put forth his hand and again take control of earth's affairs, its evil conditions will give place to conditions in accord with the divine character and authority.

It will be remembered also that the first plague which came upon the Egyptians was the turning of all the water of Egypt into blood--the river, ponds, etc.-- so that the Egyptians could not drink of the water, but digged for themselves wells near the river. As the water represents truth, the thought here conveyed would be that from the worldly standpoint very soon all truth will become repulsive--every feature of truth connected with the divine plan as represented in the Word of God will become abhorrent; and the digging of wells would seem to imply that, rejecting the Word of God, the world (Christendom--Churchianity) will seek for truth in various ways of their own.

WHAT SHALL WE SAY TO THESE THINGS?

It should be a great encouragement to us all to find so clearly expressed in the type what we had vaguely and indistinctly hoped for, viz., that the Lord's people of the Royal Priesthood on this side the vail are being used of him in various ways in the accomplishment of his purpose of separating the people of God from others--the wheat from the tares. It is remarkable in this connection that none but the consecrated have ever been successful in connection with the circulation of any of these testimonies. Of the more than two millions [R4060 : page 281] of copies of MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I, now in circulation, remarkably few have been circulated by any but those who are believers in their testimony and who have circulated them through a desire to be instruments and mouthpieces of the Lord in giving forth his Word--even as was Aaron to Moses.

Let us, then, dear brothers and sisters, feel encouraged as, looking into the type, we see so clear a fulfilment in our day of the things written aforetime for our admonition. Let us with fresh courage show forth to all those whom we have any reason to believe are Israelites indeed the secret of the divine plan--Why Evil Was Permitted. Let us prosecute also the work of showing them respecting the hand, the instrumentalities which God has used during this Gospel Age in this service; respecting the justification which covers, in God's sight, though it does not transform us in the sight of men, pointing out also the final victory of the consecrated. Let us persuade the first-born of Israel to faithfulness until our "change" comes, when we shall be made like the Lord and fit to be his servants and representatives. Let us continue also to pour out the water of Truth; whether others hear or whether they forbear. The Lord's assurance is that this sign, this testimony and its contrary results ultimately shall influence all Israelites indeed. Let us remember that the opposition of the worldly even will prove to be cooperative influence in deciding the Israelites indeed that the deliverer and the deliverance are at hand. And finally let us apply to ourselves the Lord's assurance to Moses respecting himself and Aaron, "Certainly I will be with thee." [R4057 : page 281]

NOT NOW, MY CHILD
"Father, I long to spread thy Truth o'er land and sea!"
I listen, and there comes to me
His answer, tender, loving, mild,
"Not now, my child."

"Father, my heart is sad; I fain would leave this wilderness,
Go forth earth's groaning ones to bless!"
I hear again his answer mild,
"Not now, my child."

"Father, I yearn to break these fleshly fetters and be free,--
As pants the hart, I pant for thee."
His voice, how sweet, how tender, mild,
"Not now, my child."

"Father, thy will be done; I humbly leave it all with thee,
Thou knowest what is best for me!"
I hear his voice, so low, so mild,
"Come now, my child."
--G. W. Seibert.



[R4060 : page 281]

"BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE"
--JOSHUA 1:1-11.--OCTOBER 6.--

Golden Text:--"I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."--Joshua 1:5.

JOSHUA, the divinely appointed leader after Moses' death, is calculated to have been eighty-three years old at the time. His name originally was Hoshea, the same as that of the prophet. The name signifies "Salvation" or "Help." Subsequently this was changed to Jehoshea (Numbers 13:16) which signifies "Jehovah is salvation." This was afterwards shortened to Joshua and later modified to Jeshua. (Neh. 8:17.) The latter name in its Greek form in the Septuagint is Jesous, Jesus, the significant name given to our Lord at his birth. It is reasonable to infer that in some respects Joshua typified him.

Joshua was evidently a great man, although that greatness does not so much appear until after the death of Moses and his appointment as his successor. Previously, in harmony with the divine will and arrangement, his greatness was overshadowed by that of Moses, whom he served as general assistant, private secretary, etc. This training was evidently most valuable to him as a preparation for his future work. It made him familiar with the divine plans and methods as understood and practised by Moses, whose confidence he seems to have had in a remarkable degree. It will be remembered that to him was entrusted the command of the people in their first battle, in which they, unused to war, worsted the Amalekites by the Lord's providential assistance. It was Joshua who went with Moses into Mount Sinai, it was he who led one of the companies of spies through the land of promise and who brought back a good report, and who courageously stood with Moses in advising that the people have faith in God and proceed to conquer and [R4061 : page 281] possess the promised land. He must have been either the oldest man in all the nation or next to the oldest, for only himself and Caleb of all the nation that were above twenty years of age at the exodus remained alive. In every way, therefore, Joshua was peculiarly fitted to be the Lord's servant in leading the Israelites into Canaan, and in every way he must have had the confidence of the people for such a position and service more than any other man in the world.

JOSHUA DIVINELY COMMISSIONED

It was not sufficient that Moses had given Joshua a course of training preparing him for this service. It was necessary that the Lord, who proclaimed himself the real leader of Israel, should specially authorize Joshua to take command and to lead the people into Canaan. The intimation is that Joshua, like Moses, was a meek man, humble minded, and that instead of attempting to grasp authority he needed rather that the Lord should encourage him to undertake the responsibility of the position of leader. Happy would it be for all of the Lord's people if they were similarly meek and backward. All should criticise their own hearts and motives along these lines, and such as find in themselves an ambitious spirit should remember its [R4061 : page 282] dangers to themselves and to the Lord's people with whom they have to do, because the Lord resists the proud, the self-conscious, the boastful and ambitious, and shows his favor to the humble. The self-conscious need to be restrained, and cannot be permitted of the Lord to come so close to him nor to enter so fully into the secrets of the Lord as can those of more humble mind, who indeed need his encouraging words and gracious promises of assistance ere they could have strength and courage to proceed with his work. Realizing their own littleness and insufficiency and the greatness of the Lord and the importance of his work, these

"fear to touch
Things that involve so much."

The nation of Israel needed to be encouraged, because, although they had been forty years in preparation for this very event, still they realized that great difficulties stood before them. The river Jordan was to be crossed, and at this particular time it was swollen and large; the enemy, ready to repulse their advances, was keen and on the alert and better used to warfare than they. If they should succeed in crossing the river in the face of their enemies it would appear to mean a great expenditure of energy and a great loss of life. They had no bridges nor pontoons from which to construct temporary bridges; and on the other side, if they ever reached it, they knew that the cities were strong walled, with a view to withstanding attacks and sieges, and they were comparatively unprepared as respects military equipment, battering rams, etc. What wonder if the people of Israel needed encouragement to undertake such a conflict--to take possession of the land which God had given them. The Lord began this work of encouragement by strengthening the heart of Joshua as the leader, by reminding him that he had promised the land, and assuring him that "every place that the sole of your foot shall tread, to you have I given it, as I spake unto Moses." Nevertheless this promise implied that nothing was theirs except as the soles of their feet claimed possession. It was theirs by faith in that promise--a faith that would lead to works. And is not this a general illustration of all of God's dealings with us of Spiritual Israel? He gives to us better promises, exceeding great and precious promises, but they are ours only in proportion as we take them and appropriate them and act upon them, and through such exercise of faith and obedience gain the desired strength and blessing.

Next the Lord outlined the promised land (v. 4), and practically gave the very boundaries which subsequently marked the possessions of Israel at the close of David's reign and throughout that of Solomon--from the Arabian wilderness on the south and Mount Lebanon to the river Euphrates on the north and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. This definiteness in statement of the boundaries would prove strengthening to faith, and would indicate to them clearly when they had attained possession of all that the Lord had given them. We may reasonably suppose that had their faith and courage been equal to the task they would have been capable of taking possession of that land promptly, but as it was they took possession of only a portion, and Amalekites and Canaanites still dwelt with them in the land and subsequently gave them trouble.

Some have used this as an illustration of how the Christian's full consecration means the surrender of everything to the Lord, that his Spirit and his will may have full control in our bodies and spirits, which are his. In proportion as we have faith and avail ourselves of the Lord's assistance we may equally take possession of our mortal bodies, and transfer our talents to the service of the Lord and his cause; but if through fear or sympathy with sin we permit the will of the flesh to dominate us here and there in this, that or the other affair of life, we will always have trouble in proportion. The sins and weaknesses which we fail to fight against will be sure eventually to fight against us and to injure us as New Creatures. Hence our consecration and our faith should be so full and so strong that we would fight a good fight against sin and meanness in every avenue of our natures and in our sentiments, at last bringing every power of our natures into captivity to God. In proportion as this new mind fails to take possession of the mortal body and to rule it, in that proportion will we be weak when we should be strong, troubled when we should have peace, overcharged and ensnared when we should have the full smile of God's favor. Not that we are advocating the thought of it being possible to reach actual perfection in the flesh, but that we do advocate as Scriptural the thought that we should have perfection of heart, of will, of intention, and that quite early in our Christian experience, and that only such as attain this are overcomers and may expect joint-heirship with the Lord in the coming Kingdom.

"I WILL BE WITH THEE"

God's encouragement of Joshua was not along the lines common amongst men. He did not say to him, "Remember your age and long experience and previous successes as a general," etc., but he did give to him the better counsel, the assurance that as he had stood by Moses as his servant so he would be with him and would not forsake him and would not fail him in any hour of test and trouble. As a consequence of the Lord's assistance he was assured that no one would be able to withstand him all the days of his life, nor would any Israelite be permitted to occupy his place as the captain of the hosts during his lifetime.

Was it not thus with our Lord Jesus, too? And is not the Lord's message a similar one to all the members of the Body of Christ--"I will be with thee. I will not fail thee nor forsake thee"? In this let us rejoice while realizing that of ourselves we can do nothing. Remember the Master's words to the disciples returning joyful when they had been used in his service. When they recounted how in his name they had been able to heal the sick and even cast out devils the Lord [R4061 : page 283] said to them, Let not your rejoicing be on this account, but rather that your names are written in heaven--rejoice rather that your Father himself loveth you, that you have been accepted of him, and that he is on your part as you are enlisted in his service.

"BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE"

Attention has been called to the fact that the Hebrew word here rendered strong is one which rather implies strength of the arms and of the shoulders, and thus gives the thought of aggressive warfare, while the word rendered courage has an association with the lower limbs and thus implies defensive or resistive power, steadfastness. So then the Lord exhorted Joshua to be strong, to have confidence, to lay hold upon the blessings he and the Israelites were commissioned to take and to possess; and he urged him to be of good courage, to be firm in the resistance of opposition and very steadfast in the face of difficulties. And how much all the people of God today need to apply to themselves this same encouragement and to remember that Joshua and the Israelites and the promised land were merely foreshadowings of the greater and more wonderful antitypes. To us the Lord has given still greater blessings and promises. If the typical Joshua needed to be strong and firm, bold and courageous, what shall we say of the Spiritual Israelites, who must not only wrestle against the world and the flesh, but also, as the Apostle says, must contend with wicked spirits in influential positions?

How much strength and courage we must have if we would come off more than conquerors through him who loved us and bought us! And here is the point necessary to be remembered, viz., that this is not our battle but the Lord's, that we are not fighting at our own charges but with his commission and with his promised assistance and support. "I will be with thee, I will not fail thee nor forsake thee." No wonder that the Apostle, gaining a clear view of this situation, exclaimed, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." (Phil. 4:13.) And so it is with all the true followers of the Lord: we do not know how much we can accomplish, we do not know if there would be any limitations to our powers within the limits of the Lord's commands and while upheld by his promise. We must remember, however, the limitations, "Without me ye can do nothing," and again, that what we are to do is clearly indicated in the divine Word, and that we are not to look for nor expect divine aid beyond those limitations: just as in the case of [R4062 : page 283] Joshua and Natural Israel. Had they gone outside the boundaries of Canaan specified in the Lord's Word they could not have expected the divine assistance. Here again we remember the Master's words, "If ye abide in me and my words abide in you"--under these limitations we can do and be and pray anything and everything, but outside these limitations we must expect nothing.

Courage is always admirable, but there is a moral courage which should rank higher far than physical. This moral courage is greatly needed amongst the Lord's people; without it they can do nothing, and many of their difficulties in the Christian way are because they fail to appreciate this matter and fail to develop this courage. It requires real courage of the highest order to stand for the Lord's Truth and his people when these are misunderstood, misrepresented, antagonized. It takes real courage to stand for the light when the great Adversary with a world-wide influence brands it as darkness and leads an assault against it. It requires real courage to denounce the darkness, meekly, persistently, when it has on its side wealth, culture, influence and Churchianity.

The story was recently told of a general in the United States army, returned from the Philippine war, who received the Truth into a good and honest heart. Anxious to serve the good tidings to others, anxious to honor the great Captain of our salvation, the general inquired respecting opportunities for serving the Truth and was promptly informed respecting the various methods by which its propaganda is going forth in this harvest time. He was not so situated that he could take hold of the Colporteur work, and hence he concluded that he must be a sharpshooter and a volunteer tract distributor under the banner of his King. The Bible class of which he is a member elected him the captain of the Volunteer work for this year, and thus the duty of districting the city and assigning the various quarters for tract distribution fell into his hands. What portion did he assign to himself, a brigadier-general in the army, and widely known throughout the city? Instead of choosing some out-of-the-way place, where few would recognize him, he assigned as his district the very one in which he lived and in which he would be most widely known and recognized, his argument being, "I am not ashamed of the Lord, and if I have any influence amongst my fellow men, I want that influence to tell for the Lord and for his Truth." Surely this dear brother was strong and of good courage, and just as surely his faithfulness to the Lord and to the Truth must have brought him rich spiritual blessing and help to crystallize his character as a New Creature in Christ. Doubtless it requires courage in the field of battle, facing enemies and dangers of every kind; but surely it requires still greater, still more honorable courage to thus take one's stand for the Lord and for an unpopular Truth and to be seen and known as a tract distributor of the same.

Other cases somewhat similar might be mentioned, illustrating the same principle. We believe that the Lord has so ordered his work that it will always cost something to be soldiers of the cross and always serve to test the loyalty, the strength, the moral courage, of every member of the Body of Christ. This Volunteer tract distribution is certainly serving a valuable purpose in connection with the Lord's people, however much or little it may be accomplishing for those who receive the tracts. [R4062 : page 284]

VERY COURAGEOUS TO OBSERVE THE LAW

There is a peculiar force in the language of the seventh verse of our lesson--"Only be strong and very courageous to observe and to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee." Whatever of strength and courage may be implied in the sixth verse as necessary to the conquering of the land of promise, this seventh verse evidently refers to moral courage--strong and very courageous in obedience to the divine commands. The injunction implied that Joshua would find obstacles and difficulties before him, and discouragements in respect to the observance of holy things. It is so with the Spiritual Israelites, the Body of Christ today: while some are lacking in courage as respects the outward things, a still larger number lack these qualities in their own hearts, in their own lives. They see and to some extent appreciate the divine will as being righteous altogether, but the self-denial necessary to a full obedience they are not willing to render. Perhaps the greatest battles any of us have to fight are those of which none may know except ourselves--our mental battles. As a Methodist brother once put the matter, "My greatest battle is to gain the consent of my own will." However, no Christian should be in this attitude. This should be our first battle--to gain the consent and full cooperation of our wills with the divine Word. Then let us go on to victory after victory, battling against the world, the flesh and the Adversary. Once our hearts are fully surrendered to his law it should never again be necessary to have a battle there; the victory should be so thorough, so complete, so far-reaching.

MEDITATING DAY AND NIGHT ON GOD'S LAW

The Lord explained to Joshua what would lie at the foundation of his success, and that neglect would mean his failure--"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and thou shalt make good success"--v. 8.

No clearer expression of the divine will could be made to the antitypical Joshua and the members of his Body than is given in this Scripture. Its teaching is that there is no safety, no real success for those addressed, except in obedience to the divine will, as recorded in the divine Word. Thus also the Lord Jesus is represented as saying, "I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is written in my heart"; and again prophetically--"O, how I love thy Law! It is my meditation all the day." (Psa. 40:8; 119:97.) Meditation on the divine law day and night is not, of course, to be understood literally--that we should do nothing else day or night than think upon the Scriptures. We are to understand the Lord to mean that we should ever have in mind, in connection with all of our life's affairs, the thought that we are his, and that he is our guide and director in all things, and that the slightest matter that would pertain to our lives and our interests, day or night, should be undertaken with due consideration of the Lord's will respecting the same.

In other words, as elsewhere expressed, whether we eat or drink or whatsoever we do, we should do all to the Lord's glory; and this implies not merely a haphazard wish to do the Lord's will, but a studying of the divine Word that we may know what that will is-- not merely a studying of the creeds and traditions of the past, however we may honor those who made them and believe in their sincerity. It is for us rather to prove all things that we accept, and then to hold fast that which we have proven to be the good, the acceptable, the perfect will of God. As Joshua was told that his good success would be in proportion to his attention to the divine Law, so Spiritual Israelites similarly are informed that their success in making their calling and election sure will be proportionate to their loving, zealous obedience to the divine message. Meditating on the Lord's Law day and night implies a study of the Scriptures, a course which some of us at present are endeavoring to follow, using such helps as the Lord's providence has supplied to us--not relying upon any helps to the abandonment of the Word, but rather using these helps and proving everything received by the divine standard.

"HAVE I NOT COMMANDED THEE?"

This question is asked by way of stimulating Joshua's thought--that he might realize that he had not commissioned himself nor been commissioned of man to undertake this great work. Similarly the Apostle points out that our Lord Jesus took not the honor upon himself to be the High Priest of our profession, but that he was called of God to this position. Similarly, also, we who are seeking to walk in the footsteps of Jesus are to consider that we have not chosen him but he has chosen us, commissioned us and authorized us, so that we can go forth in his name as ambassadors for him and the Kingdom which he represents. What strength and courage this gives to the true soldiers of the cross--to realize that his labor is not in vain in the Lord. How it nerves him to be and to do in harmony with the Word and Spirit of his Master.

No wonder that these are in the Scriptures termed "more than conquerors." And no wonder, either, that the Lord has made the conditions of their present experiences such as to necessitate a good fight and a victory. He seeketh such, strong, courageous--not in themselves, but in the power of his might and through faith. As soon as Joshua got this message from the Lord he proceeded to put the people in order for an aggressive campaign, and instructed the proper officers to prepare the people and to prepare victuals and to be ready within three days to obey the divine command to enter in and possess the land which the Lord had given them. The promptness and zeal here displayed are worthy of emulation. We may be sure that, as we read, "The Lord loveth a cheerful giver," so he loveth those who are prompt and energetic in everything they undertake to be and to do for him and his cause. Let us who are members of the greater Joshua, the antitype, be very courageous also, very prompt, very zealous, that we may be used and useful more and more in the Master's service.



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ENTERING THE LAND OF PROMISE
--JOSHUA 3:5-17.--OCTOBER 13.--

Golden Text:--"He led them out by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation."--Psa. 107:7.

FINALLY, after appointed officers had directed in the matter of the packing of goods and preparation of victuals for the change of camp, the people of Israel were all ready to enter the land of promise in hope of which they had left Egypt forty years before. The time selected for the entrance was the tenth day of the first month, Nisan (April), originally Abib. It was on this date the Israelites under Moses set out from Egypt for Palestine forty years before.

Viewed from the human standpoint it was a most unfavorable time of the year, because, although it was the harvest time and favorable as respected the crop of the land into which they were entering, nevertheless it was flood time in the Jordan, when the melting of the snows in the Lebanon mountains caused the river Jordan, ordinarily about one hundred feet wide at this place, to overflow its banks for sometimes several hundred feet. And of course its current was swift and dangerous. However, the Israelites had evidently learned something in the forty years of God's dealings with them, and they were therefore prepared for Joshua's announcement that a great miracle was to be wrought, which would demonstrate to them that God was for them and would drive away all fear from their hearts and impress the fear of them upon their enemies.

JOSHUA SAID, SANCTIFY YOURSELVES

We are reminded of a similar instruction given to the Israelites when they approached Mount Sinai at the time of the giving of the Law Covenant. The word "sanctify" is well known to mean "set apart," and the specific directions given at Mount Sinai show that this meant that they should purify themselves from sin, and in general from all earthly things, and abstain from all except necessary food, with a view to being in the heart condition which would enable them to best appreciate their dealings with the Lord and his personal interest in them. Thus they were prepared to realize that the mercies and favors coming to them were not of accident but of divine providence, and to be strengthened in heart and in faith accordingly.

Profitable lessons may be drawn by Spiritual Israelites from this narrative. For instance, we might think of the entrance into Canaan under the leadership of Joshua as corresponding to the entrance of all who love the Lord into the blessings and privileges of the Millennial Age. In this illustration we might think of Joshua as representing the Lord, and the priests bearing the Ark as representing the little flock, and the passing over of the Israelites as representing the passing of mankind into the new dispensation, where indeed there will be enemies still to be conquered, weaknesses of the flesh still to be overcome, and full possession is to be granted only at the close of the Millennial Kingdom. In this view the Jordan might represent Adamic death, and its being dried up picture the cessation of Adamic death to all those desiring to be the Lord's people and to enter into his favor, while the return of the waters of the Jordan behind the Israelites, shutting them within the land of promise, might represent the Second Death, which would be the portion of any who would renounce the goodly heritage which the Lord has provided for the redeemed world.

But there is another application we may make, also Scriptural, which will be still more forceful in some respects to ourselves of this Gospel Age. We may suppose the people of Israel who accepted Joshua to represent justified believers in Jesus, who have accepted him as their Pattern and Leader, and who propose to follow where he leads, obeying his commands. We may consider the swollen river Jordan as representing consecration unto death, which is required of those who will become New Creatures in Christ Jesus and heirs of the exceeding great and precious promises. To us consecration means so much and seems so formidable, but under the Lord's guidance and leading all the faithful may quickly cross over and begin by faith a new experience as New Creatures in Christ. From one point of view the consecrated, the sanctified, after having passed from death unto life, from earthly ambitions and joys to heavenly ambitions and pleasures, still find enemies that must be conquered--indeed that their fightings have just begun. Now it is that they must war a good warfare to exterminate the enemies of the New Creation--the weaknesses, the imperfections, the evil attitudes and desires of the old nature, which are yet in conflict with the divine will and law, and which, as the Apostle declares, war against the soul, against the New Creature. Whichever view we take we are to remember that the first command for preparation is, "Sanctify yourselves," and note the fact that God is with you and for you and ready to aid you. But the sanctifying or setting apart to the Lord and his service is not only a condition to the call of the present time, but it will also be a condition necessary to the blessings of the Millennial Age by those then favored of the Lord, for whoever will not separate himself to be the Lord's can have no part nor lot in any of the blessings which God has provided for them that love him.

"PASS OVER BEFORE THE PEOPLE"

We should have in mind that the Israelites were encamped along the eastern side of the river Jordan for several miles, a mighty host. Joshua's directions were that the people should look out for the Ark of the Lord, that it--representing the Lord--would precede them. According to these directions about three-quarters of a mile intervened between the Ark and the people, it going to the north of them and they following it within that distance. At the proper place it stood, and its bearers, the priests, walked down to the river until their feet touched the water. The Israelites were intently watching what would be the program, and to the [R4063 : page 286] astonishment of all, when the priests' feet touched the water the river began to shrink. Step by step they went onward into the channel, while the river grew smaller and smaller, until it was entirely dried up, and then the Ark rested in the middle of the river-bed, while--according to the directions of Joshua--the people on the bank crossed over quickly into the land of promise. Thus so large a body of people crossed the river quickly, to the surprise and terror of their enemies, who supposed themselves surely safe from an attack behind such a barrier as the swollen Jordan.

But, Do you believe it? some one asks. We could readily see that if the waters above could be made to stand up in a heap a very swift river like the Jordan would speedily empty itself and leave a very dry channel; but what kind of a miracle would this be that would cause the waters of a whole river to stand up in a heap? Many will read the account with unbelief.

Let us who have gotten so many precious things from the Bible learn to not discard any of its presentations lightly, but rather to anticipate that they must be true and seek a reasonable explanation of them. In this case we have not very far to seek, for the account says (v. 16) that the waters which came down from above stood and rose up in this heap, a great way off at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. Thus we see that the waters did not pile up within a few feet or a few inches of the priests and the Ark, but that they piled up a great way off. Following this cue, Professor Wright examined the bed of the Jordan some miles above the place of this miracle, and found that near the town of Adam the river passes through a deep gorge, and that a land slide at this point had probably stopped the river and caused it to form into a lake or a great heap of waters north of the obstruction. Such a cutting off of the waters from above speedily drained the river bed, and the filling of the lake to the level of the obstruction or the giving way of the latter allowed the river to rise again after the Israelites had passed. But some one may say, You are doing away with the miracle altogether. We answer, No! God's miracles are merely the operations of his power in material ways not understood at the time. The matter is none the less to be understood as a miracle, because what overruling power caused the landslide to take place at the particular time when it would begin to affect the current of the river at the moment that the feet of the priests touched the water? The lesson to us is that our God is equal to any emergency, and can use any and all of the forces of nature for the accomplishment of his will. Similarly the fact that we can now account for the flood in Noah's time, as shown in "Scripture Studies," Vol. VI.--that it was the breaking of the last of a series of earth's rings similar to those of Saturn-- does not invalidate the thought that the flood was a miracle directed in harmony with the affairs of the world and the divine plan to the very moment. So far from weakening our faith, such interpretations of the miracles of the Bible refresh and strengthen us, and teach us to look for the fulfilment of the promises which relate to the future in marvellous ways known to our God and fully under his power and control. In Encyclopaedia Biblica, under the caption of "Jericho," we find an account of a similar damming up of the Jordan in A.D. 1266:--

"A lofty mound which overlooked the river on the west fell into it and dammed it up at a time when the Jordan was in full flood as in Joshua's day. The waters [R4064 : page 286] above spread out into a great lake while the river below ran dry. The dam below held from midnight until the fourth hour of the day."

THE LORD WENT BEFORE THEM

A general lesson is taught by the fact that the Ark preceded and remained in the river-bed until all of the people had passed over. This to them was the Lord's guarantee of the safety of their passage, and the evidence that their privilege and opportunity of thus quickly entering into possession was of the Lord.

A lesson to all Spiritual Israelites should be, "In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:6); and again, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5); and again, "My help cometh from the Lord" (Psa. 121:2); and again, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13); and again, "All things are yours, for ye are Christ's and Christ is God's." (I Cor. 3:22,23.) Let us in the strength of these divine promises enter into the blessings of the Lord more and more day by day, and allow his leadings past and present to give us courage and fortitude for the future.

"Who led us last will lead us still,
Be calm and sink into his will."

There was a limited time in which those who had faith and a desire to cross over could do so, after which the passage would be impossible. So with us there is an acceptable time, a day of favor, in which, if we will, we may present our bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, our reasonable service. We know not how long the Lord will allow this favorable opportunity in any measure to stand open--we know not how soon the number of Elect will be complete. But as many as are of courageous heart should proceed at once to a full consecration and to an entrance by faith upon the new life--as New Creatures. Let us not be deterred by fear of the giants with whom we will be obliged to contend, in fighting against the weaknesses and sin-habits of the old nature. Let us not be discouraged with the thought of the high walls and fortifications of entrenched sin. Let us remember that if God be for us he is greater than all that could be against us. As the Lord promised the Israelites that he would be with them to drive out before them the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Gergashites, the Amorites and the Jebusites, the proper course for the Israelites would have been to have waged at once a warfare of extermination against these peoples of the land, for this was the divine command. Those people typified the sins with which we must contend earnestly and over which we must have a victory of extermination. For various reasons the Israelites compromised with [R4064 : page 287] their enemies and as a result suffered from them in future years, sometimes being dominated by them.

Similarly Spiritual Israelites who compromise with sins in their own flesh are sure to have difficulty therefrom and to find the battle between the flesh and the spirit sometimes won by the flesh. We are to remember in this connection that the destruction of Israel's enemies did not signify the sending of them to eternal torment. The Lord thus allowed them to be consigned to the prison-house of death to await the Millennial morning and an awakening by the Redeemer from the sleep of death under much more favorable conditions than they had ever previously enjoyed. Their death would mean no disadvantage to them--indeed in some respects it would be much more merciful than a death by wasting disease. We are to remember that these people, like the remainder of the race, were all under death sentence anyway, and that our Lord's declaration is that their wickedness had come to a full, and that he chose not to allow them to live longer, but to take from them the land and to give it to Israel, his typical people.

"LED FORTH BY THE RIGHT WAY"

In applying these matters to ourselves, let us have in our minds the precious words of our Golden Text, "And he led them forth by the right way." With Spiritual Israel it is particularly true that the Lord leads in the right way, in the best way; and that therefore all truly his people should be careful to note his leadings and quick in following them. In the end we will surely see that he has led us in the right way, however different that way may be from the one we would have chosen for ourselves. The difficulty with many is that the way that they take is not the one which the Lord led and hence not the best way, even though the Lord may overrule their waywardness so that it shall not work to them a great injury which otherwise might have been theirs. The more of the true knowledge of the Lord we possess--the more of the knowledge which perfects our love for the Lord--the greater will be our faith, the more precious will be the results in this present life as well as in the life to come, in which--as star differeth from star in glory--the more faithful of the Lord's people, and more zealous and more Christlike will have the more shining, the more blessed part and experience. Let us then, with full faith in him who has led us hitherto, go forth through the coming days conquering and to conquer, fighting against the world, the flesh and the Adversary, strong not in ourselves but in him who has called us and led us hitherto.



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AN INTERESTING QUESTION ANSWERED

QUESTION.--I have recently sustained a severe bereavement in the death of a loved one, and am much exercised regarding the future,--where our loved ones will be and whether we may hope to know them beyond the grave. In this connection please consider John 14:1-3.

ANSWER.--The Scriptural citation referred to reads: "In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself." All creation is the heavenly Father's house, and upon different planes of being he has in it creatures made in his own likeness, called sons; and for each of these a provision has been made suited to their conditions, nature, etc. (1) The angelic sons of God have heavenly conditions provided for them. (2) When Adam was created an earthly son of God provision was made for him and his family of human sons. The fact that these human sons of God fell into sin and under sentence of death will not hinder the ultimate outworking of the divine plan, to have a household of human sons, for God has provided a ransom for all, and ultimately will grant eternal life to "all those who obey him," when "they hear his voice." The provision for these is the human nature in an earthly paradise.

Our Lord was not speaking to nor of the natural man when he used the words of this text; he was speaking to the New Creatures, begotten through the Word of Truth to heavenly promises. Thus far no provision existed for a family of sons on the divine plane; our Lord Jesus was the first born to this condition, and it is only through his merit and by his assisting grace that his Church can become meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. Our Lord's departure was to this end--that he might not only present the ransom sacrifice on our behalf, but also that he might, as our Head, succor and help us to the eternal city, and might correct and discipline us, and thus prepare us for the new conditions, as well as by his sacrifice make possible our attainment to those new conditions.

QUESTION.--Shall we know each other there?

ANSWER.--Yes; the restored world will know each other, for the blessing is to come to them through restitution, and each will begin his new life on practically the same plane of thought, experience, etc., that he quitted at death. As for the elect Church, the Apostle informs us that "It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him." To be like him will mean to be partakers of his spirit-nature, as described by the Apostle in 1 Cor. 15:43,44, in glory, in power, a spiritual body. Earthly beings will not see these spiritual beings with their natural eyes, for the same reason that we cannot see angels now. They will know of them, however, in the same way that we know of our Lord and of the heavenly Father, and this knowledge will be as satisfactory to them as our knowledge of the Lord now is satisfactory to us. "We see Jesus" and are "looking unto Jesus," etc., the eyes of our understanding being opened. But these glorious spirit beings will see and recognize each other, as it is written, "We shall know even as we are known," and they will be able to see their earthly friends, though we do not see them. The glorified class will be able to care for and bless their earthly friends more particularly than they could do if they were with them in the flesh. The Scriptures exhort us to lay aside every weight and to run with patience to obtain this great spiritual blessing, and while we see many of its advantages we may rest assured of others which we cannot now so fully realize, because "Now we know in part" and "see through a glass obscurely."



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