page 205
July 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

VOL. XXXIIIJULY 1No. 13

A.D. 1912--A.M. 6040


CONTENTS

1912--General Conventions--1912206
Toronto, Canada206
Washington, D.C206
Glasgow, London and Halifax Conventions220
How St. Peter Was Punished for Denying His Lord207
We Should Copy the Master's Methods209
"I Come to Do Thy Will"209
Obedience to the Extent of Sacrifice209
"Delivered for the Destruction of the Flesh"211
Our Humanity Must Die212
The Christian Church and Her Mission213
The Earth to Be Man's Future Home214
"Contend for the Faith"215
Commendable Contention215
A Legion of Demons216
Jewess Restored to Life217
"All Live Unto Him"217
Pertle Springs Convention218
Interesting Questions218

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.

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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.




PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N. Y., U. S. A.

Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
SEND MONEY 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 May 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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SAMPLE COPIES FREE.


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1912--GENERAL CONVENTIONS--1912


TORONTO, CANADA, JUNE 30-JULY 6, 7

The second General Convention of the year will be most favorably located for the Canadian friends, although no doubt there will also be a goodly number in attendance from the United States. On the program there will be fourteen public speakers, including Brother Russell.

All sessions to be held in the Horticultural Hall at the Canadian National Exhibition Park, West Toronto, June 30-July 6. The Park is easily accessible by Grand Trunk Railway and by King Street and other trolley car lines.

Railway rates: Canadian railways give half fare rates for July 1 and the following day, possibly beginning June 30. American lines give low rates for a few days before and after July 4, available for friends in the border States. There are always special rates to Niagara Falls, which is only about two hours' sail by steamer to Toronto, at a moderate price. There may be other excursion rates good for even ten days. Ask your local agent a week in advance.

If no rate as low as 1-1/2c. per mile each way is available, purchase a single ticket to Toronto, and have the agent fill out a certificate and bring it with you. This will entitle you to a return ticket at a greatly reduced rate--perhaps free--to many Canadian points. The American railroads in the Eastern States have quoted a fare and three-fifths on the round trip certificate plan. Be sure to secure a Certificate Receipt when purchasing one way railroad tickets through to Toronto.

Lodging can be secured through the Committee at from 50c. each per day up. All expecting to attend should give prompt notice by addressing the Convention Committee, c/o W. G. Brown, Sec'y, 51 Tiverton Ave., Toronto, Canada. Give full name of each person and indicate which prefer to room together, and at what rate. Do NOT send in any money for rooms.

Brother Russell will deliver a public address in the Royal Alexandra Theatre, King St., West, at 3 p.m., July 7.

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 7-14

This Convention will be held in the suburbs of Washington City, D.C., at the Glen Echo Chautauqua Grounds, July 7-14. Accommodations, including meals, will be secured at Washington City at $1.25, $1.50, $2 and upward per day per person. Also for lodging only, two or more in a room, at 50c. upward per person. No pains will be spared to make you comfortable as possible. All expecting to attend should WITHOUT DELAY notify I.B.S.A. Committee, 17 Hicks St., Brooklyn, N.Y. Do NOT send in any money for rooms.

Washington City commands reasonable railway rates from all quarters at all times. Special I.B.S.A. rates of one and one-half fares for the round trip from points East of Pittsburgh, Parkersburg and Buffalo will be on sale July 5, 6 and 7; same rates and dates of sale from all points in the New England States. Return limit July 18.

From points in the Central States as far west as St. Louis a rate of 2c. a mile in each direction to Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Wheeling, Buffalo, etc., added to rate of one and one-half fares therefrom, will be in effect July 4, 5 and 6, except that from stations in the States of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, and from Bellaire, Bridgeport, East Liverpool, Martins Ferry, Steubenville and Wellsville, Ohio, tickets will be sold on July 5, 6 and 7. These tickets will have final return limit to reach original starting point not later than midnight July 18, and tickets will not be good for return passage unless presented for validation to the city or depot agent of the line at Washington, D.C., over which ticket reads. You may secure further information from your local ticket agent.

SPECIAL COACHES AND TRAINS

Arrangements are being made for "Special Coaches" and in some instances "Special Trains" to accommodate the friends who enjoy traveling together in numbers. Thus far we have received information as follows:

"Special Coach" service from San Francisco for benefit of Pacific Coast friends who will start from San Francisco via Southern Pacific train No. 4, July 2, 9 a.m., via Ogden, Cheyenne, Omaha and Chicago; leave Chicago July 5, 9:45 p.m., arriving in Washington, D.C., morning of July 7. Address C. W. Gerdes, 2552 Hyde St., San Francisco.

Chicago friends will have "Special Train" over Baltimore & Ohio R. R., leaving Chicago Grand Central depot, Harrison St. and 5th Ave., at 5:45 p.m., Friday, July 5, arriving Washington, D.C., Saturday, July 6; rate $30.75 for round trip. For those who prefer to make extra trip to New York City the rate will be cheaper--only $27 for the round trip Chicago to New York and return, with stop-over for ten days at Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Those who take this rate must go to New York and have the ticket validated by agent before it will be good for return. Address Dr. L. W. Jones, 3003 Walnut St., Chicago, Ill.

Pittsburgh, Pa., "Special Train" will start Saturday, July 6, 9 a.m., arriving in Washington, D.C., at 5 p.m.: round trip rate, $12. If eighty or more go and return on the same train a still lower rate can be had. Address Dr. W. E. Spill, 2509 Perrysville Ave., N.S., Pittsburgh, Pa.

Cleveland, Ohio, "Special Coach," possibly "Special Train," rate $17.30. Address C. B. Telling, 10,325 Empire Ave., N.E., Cleveland, O.

Special train will leave Boston, Mass., 5.30 p.m., July 5; rate $11.90 via Providence, Colonial Line steamer and B.& O. Address E. A. Leonard, 36 Van Winkle Street, Dorchester, Mass.

Atlanta, Ga., special party will start 1.15 p.m., July 5, via Seaboard Ry.; round trip rate, $19.35. Address W. S. Stevens, Box 169, Atlanta, Ga. Correspondingly low rates a/c I.B.S.A. from all points in Southeast. Inquire of your local ticket agent.

From New York City the special I.B.S.A. rate on sale July 5, 6 and 7, will be $8.50. All those desiring to join "Special Train" may page 220 get benefit of rate of $6.80 for the round trip. This B.& O. special train will leave the Central R.R. of New Jersey depot in Jersey City at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 6, arriving in Washington, D.C., at 3 p.m. For the accommodation of the Brooklyn friends a special ferry will leave from the foot of Fulton St. at 9:30 a.m., which will convey passengers direct to the Jersey City depot. Regular Central R.R. of N.J. ferry boats from 23d and Liberty streets between 9 and 9:30 a.m. will also make connection with this train. Returning will leave Washington Monday, July 15, at 9 a.m., arrive New York City, 2 p.m. In order to get the benefit of this $6.80 rate it will be necessary for the entire party of 100 or more to travel together, both going and returning. Promptly advise I.B.S.A. Convention Committee, 17 Hicks St., Brooklyn, N.Y.

A very low rate will be granted wherever a party of 100 or more can arrange to travel together on one ticket. Remember also that from the West in many instances a specially cheap excursion rate is in effect to New York City and return with stop-over privileges at Washington, D.C. Inquire of your local ticket agent for details.

HARVESTERS' DAY AT THE CONVENTION

The programme for each of the Conventions includes a "Harvest Workers' Day." Noting this, one dear friend who has received great spiritual profit through the Colporteur service has proffered assistance --to the extent of $5--to all who shall have been in the regular Colporteur work for at least three months prior to the Convention, and who have not been in attendance at any other General Convention this year. We have no doubt that this proposal will be helpful to some who might not otherwise be able to bear the expense. The money is deposited with the Colporteur Department and will be credited on the accounts or handed over in money, as may best suit the convenience of the receivers.



[R5052 : page 207]

HOW ST. PETER WAS PUNISHED FOR DENYING HIS LORD

"Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?"--John 21:15-17.
THE CONTEXT SHOWS that these words were addressed by the Redeemer to St. Peter on the occasion of His third manifestation to His disciples after His resurrection. This was presumably three or four weeks after the Master's resurrection from the dead. His manifestations to the women on the morning of His resurrection and His later manifestation to the two as they went to Emmaus are evidently not counted, but the manifestation the same evening in the upper room, when all the disciples except Thomas and Judas were present, is counted the first. And the manifestation a week later, Thomas being present, is counted the second.

The delay in giving this third manifestation was evidently for the purpose of testing the faith of the Apostles and of leading them to reach a conclusion respecting their future course, which Jesus wished to correct. So far as we can understand the record at least two Sundays passed without any further manifestation of Jesus to His disciples, and then, giving up hope, they decided to return to the fishing business and did so. The journey to Galilee and the resumption of business presumably took another week.

During all those thirty days the mental attitude of all the Apostles and the other disciples can be better imagined than described. They were perplexed, they had indeed had evidences of the Master's resurrection; they had had the Scriptures called to their attention which proved that this was necessary and that God had previously so arranged. They had hoped for further conferences with Jesus and that He would have told them definitely what to do.

Instead, left to themselves, the disciples were thoroughly disheartened. They had left all to follow Him, to tell the people that He was the Son of God, the long-promised Messiah, and that He would soon set up His Kingdom, which would bring blessings, primarily to Israel and, secondarily, through Israel, to all the families of the earth in harmony with the Abrahamic Covenant. Now apparently all of these hopes were dashed, frustrated. How foolish they thought it would seem for them to try to convince the people that a man, crucified as a malefactor, as a blasphemer, was indeed the Messiah! How foolish it would seem to tell of His resurrection! They felt that they could do nothing else than abandon the ministry as a lost cause; and the resumption of the fishing business was the logical conclusion.

THEY TOILED ALL THE NIGHT

Their first night was a discouraging one--they caught nothing. It looked indeed as though God was punishing them for the course they had taken in becoming disciples of Jesus--that everything was going wrong. But not so; they were merely being taught needed lessons.

In the morning they beheld a stranger on the shore who beckoned and shouted to know if they had any fish for sale. They replied, No, they had made no catch. The stranger suggested casting the net on the other side of the boat. And, although the suggestion seemed a foolish one, having been so unsuccessful, yet they did so, and immediately the net was filled with fishes! It did not require long for them to learn the lesson. They knew instinctively that the unknown stranger upon the shore was none other than their Master. They remembered a very similar experience at the time they were first called to leave their nets and to become fishers of men.

All interest had just centered in the fishing business, but now boats and fish and nets all lost their value in the estimation of these fishermen. Here was their risen Lord, for whose third appearance they had been waiting now nearly three weeks. Fearing that the Master would disappear, even before he could get to him, St. Peter plunged into the sea and swam ashore. To his surprise the stranger already had fish and had them cooked, and all were invited to join in the breakfast on the shore of Galilee.

The stranger had not the clothing by which they had known their Lord, neither did He have the marks of the nails in His hands and feet, that they might thus identify Him. This was a different manifestation. They knew Him as did those with whom He walked to Emmaus, who recognized Him in the blessing of the bread, and not by His features or clothing or wounds. They recognized that none other than He could have performed such a miracle. They did not ask who He was; they felt a restraint; as we read, "None of them durst ask who He was," but all knew that He was the Lord.

"LOVEST THOU ME MORE?"

The stranger addressed St. Peter particularly, saying, "Lovest thou Me more than these"--these boats and nets, etc., pertaining to the fishing business? St. Peter answered, "Lord, Thou knowest that I affectionately love Thee." He used a word expressing fondness of love. Jesus replied, "Feed My lambs."

Then came the question a second time, "Simon, son [R5052 : page 208] of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" A great pressure was felt by St. Peter. Why did the Master so particularly question his love? Why should He put this question more to him than to the others? Was it because he had been the first of the disciples to suggest the resumption of the fishing business? Was he to blame for this? But he answered, "Lord, Thou knowest that I affectionately love Thee." Jesus this time replied, "Tend My sheep." For the third time Jesus said to St. Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, dost thou affectionately love Me?" Here Jesus used the same word that St. Peter had used, as though He questioned the affection and depth of St. Peter's love. Ah! the third time must have sent the memory of St. Peter back to the scene in Caiaphas' Judgment Hall, when he denied his Master the third time, even with cursing. And now Jesus for the third time had asked him respecting his love and whether it was really a love of affection! St. Peter's choking reply was, "Lord, Thou knowest all things! Thou knowest that I affectionately love Thee!" The Lord's reply was, "Feed My sheep."

In harmony with these words of the Master to St. Peter the chief work of His followers has been to minister to the needs of the spirit-begotten sheep. It is in full harmony with this that St. Paul, addressing the Elders of Ephesus, counseled that they "feed the flock of God, which He had purchased with the blood of His own Son." There is a point here that perhaps is too frequently overlooked. If all of the Lord's followers could realize that the message to St. Peter is the same as comes to all of us, perhaps it would make a change in most of our preaching.

OUR MISTAKEN METHODS

Have not Christians in general overlooked this important lesson, namely, that the chief work of the ministers and under-shepherds of the Lord's flock during this Age is to "feed the flock"? Is it not true that comparatively little feeding is being done? On the contrary, the thought usually received by new converts is, Now you are saved; go, evangelize, and bring others to Christ--especially bring money, for with plenty of it we can convert the world. Work for Jesus by soliciting funds for church expenses, extension, etc., etc.

If the inquirer has thoughts or feelings is it not too often the case that his instructors know not how to answer them, but merely say, "Stop thinking, and go to work"? Alas, that this is so true! The "lambs" should be fed until they become "sheep." The sheep should be tended, cared for, guided, instructed, and the sheep should also be fed with the stronger meat than that which the lambs could appropriate. St. Paul gives this thought when on one occasion he urges his hearers to desire "the sincere milk of the Word that they may grow thereby."

But few seem to copy the great St. Paul in respect to their methods. Few seem to realize and apply to themselves the Master's words to St. Peter, "Feed My lambs," and "My sheep." As a consequence, the Church of Christ is in a languishing condition. Many, sincere at heart, know not what they believe. Many would find it impossible to follow St. Peter's admonition, "Be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you, with meekness and reverence."--I Peter 3:15.

REASONS FOR THE NEGLECT OF THE DOCTRINES OF CHRIST

There are two reasons which have led up to the neglect of "the doctrines of Christ"--the teachings of the Bible. These two reasons fully explain why so many are telling new believers, Never mind the doctrines of Christ, but go out and convert somebody.

The first of these reasons is the erroneous thought which gained ascendency during the Dark Ages, namely, that from Pentecost until the second coming of Jesus is the time allotted by the Heavenly Father for the world's conversion, and that this is the commission which He gives to His people, and if the world be not converted the responsibility for their eternal torture will fall upon His people.

All of this is a mistake. Not a word of Scripture tells that the Church was commissioned to convert the world before the second coming of the Lord. Quite to the contrary, the Scriptures show that at the Lord's second coming the world will be unconverted. The Apocalypse particularly tells us that when the Lord at His second coming shall establish His Kingdom, the nations will be [R5053 : page 208] angry and Divine wrath will come upon them, thereby introducing the great "time of trouble" with which this Age is to end, according to the prophetic Word.

These testimonies do not signify that holiness will perish, nor that all of the Lord's people will be unfaithful, but they do signify that the world in general will not be the Lord's people; they will still be enemies, Gentiles, unconverted. Nor are we urging that the Church has nothing whatever to do with the world. Quite to the contrary; while she has not been given the mission of converting the world in the present Age--while that work remains for her to do in the coming Age in connection with the Lord and His Kingdom--nevertheless she was commissioned to do a work of witnessing in the present Age.

The Church's witness was to be the telling of the Message of God's grace to those having an ear to hear, although they be but few. Secondarily, she was to witness to the world by her faithfulness to the principles of righteousness, and thus to show forth the praises of Him who called her "out of darkness into His marvelous light." But this witnessing was not in order to the converting of the world, but in order to gather out of the world the number necessary to complete the Divinely foreordained elect Bride of Christ.

THE SECOND REASON

As the first error was in respect to the world's conversion to the Lord, the second error was in respect to what would happen to the world if they were not converted to the Lord. When the erroneous idea gained credence that everyone who does not accept the invitation and become a member of the Bride of Christ is to be eternally tormented, can we wonder that it led many good people to a frenzy of error respecting what should be done to save their families and neighbors and the heathen millions from a supposed eternity of torture?

It was because of this supposed urgency that those coming to a belief in Jesus were exhorted not to stop to feed and to grow strong in the Lord and to study His Word, but to be moved by a frenzy of zeal to bring others to the Lord. This frenzy in turn led to most unreasonable teachings and practices, which we are only now gradually getting rid of as we realize that a great mistake was made.

How strange that we did not stop to think of the absurdity of our position and how it misrepresented the Heavenly Father, in a most detestable light! How strange that any should ever think that when the Heavenly Father sent out the call to those who have the hearing ear, to joint-heirship with Jesus Christ their Lord, He would consign to eternal torment any who would decline to accept the admittedly stringent rules and conditions appertaining to this "call"--the "narrow way" of the footsteps of Jesus--self-denial, etc.!

Well do the Scriptures assure us that the saints [R5053 : page 209] "wrestle not with flesh and blood merely," but rather "with wicked spirits in high positions" of influence. (Eph. 6:12.) Well does the Apostle tell us that it is the God of this Age who hath blinded the minds of those who believe not; that he is preventing the light from shining unto them. (2 Cor. 4:4.) Well can we see how he put light for darkness and darkness for light during the Dark Ages.

ANOTHER LESSON WE MAY LEARN

We must not leave the text without calling to memory a most wonderfully instructive lesson concerning the proper way to reprove and rebuke our brethren when the same is surely necessary. So far as the record shows, the three inquiries which our Lord made of St. Peter respecting his love for Him were the only rebukes ever given him as an offset, or punishment for his shameful denial of the Master on the night in which He was betrayed.

Had many of us been in the Master's place we would have felt that it was necessary to make St. Peter very humbly apologize before we would have anything further to do with him. We would have been inclined to speak of his weakness, of his ingratitude, of how he knew better, etc., etc. Our sense of justice would, in many instances, have entirely overshadowed our sense of mercy and sympathy. But not so with the Master. He knew the loyalty of St. Peter's heart. He knew that he had already gone out and wept bitterly over the matter. He knew what a sense of shame would be upon him and how much courage it would mean for him to think at all of meeting the Master whom he had denied.

Surely it was on account of this sympathy for St. Peter and this appreciation of the tendency he would have to become entirely discouraged that led our Lord to mention St. Peter first amongst the Apostles on the morning of His resurrection, saying to Mary, to whom He first appeared, "Go and tell My disciples, and Peter"--don't let Peter think that he is an outcast. Let him know that I think of him and love him and sympathize with him and have forgiven him, because I know he did it under stress.

WE SHOULD COPY THE MASTER'S METHODS

And if our Lord and Master has set us such an example of benevolence and forgiveness without request, how are we learning this lesson? To what extent do we forgive others their trespasses and to what extent do we go more than half way to let them know that we harbor no resentful feelings toward them? To what extent do we send them word that we think of them kindly, generously? And when the appropriate time comes and it is proper for something to be said can we not take a lesson from the Redeemer's loving forbearance and gentleness in His merely asking the erring one if he had a proper kind of love, and when he confesses special love, then to ask him if he is sure that he has the special love?

No doubt our success as the Master's servants in feeding the brethren, the flock, and helping instead of hindering them, will be in proportion as we remember and copy His style and methods. So, then, while feeding His flock, let us have continually before us the great Shepherd's example of how the flock should be dealt with.



[R5053 : page 209]

"I COME TO DO THY WILL"

"Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first that He may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all." "A body hast Thou prepared Me."--Heb. 10:9,10,5.
IN THE CONTEXT from which our text is taken the Apostle speaks of the "better sacrifices"--plural--and the "one offering" --singular. From his statement we feel justified in saying that St. Paul is contrasting the antitypical Day of Atonement with the typical Atonement day, on which was made one sin-offering on behalf of all the people, but consisting of two sacrifices-- first, the bullock for the priestly tribe of Levi, and then the goat for the other tribes of Israel.

In those offerings which were made year by year continually, God had no pleasure, for they did not satisfy or please Him in making satisfaction for sin. They were not the Divine expression of what was pleasing to God in the fullest sense. "A body hast Thou prepared Me" "for the suffering of death." This "body" was the human body of Jesus, which, through immaculate conception, was holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners and, therefore, capable of being the ransom-price for the sins of the whole world. But it is also true that God has provided a larger Body.

"JESUS, WHOM THOU PERSECUTEST"

This larger Body that God has provided is composed of human beings, whom He drew and called to be members of this Body of Christ, which is the Church. This drawing and calling was to the natural man and not to the New Creature. When Jesus accepted these members of His Body He accepted them as New Creatures. The invitation to them was before they became New Creatures. When, therefore, He accepted those whom the Father drew and called, He accepted them as members, or representatives, so that they might be His representatives throughout this Age. From this standpoint He spoke when upbraiding Saul of Tarsus, saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" (Acts 9:4.) So Jesus in the flesh (represented by His followers) was still in the world long after Jesus, as the Head of the Church, had ascended up on high. Thus we see that the sufferings of the Church all down the Age have, in this sense, been the sufferings of Jesus.

The Apostle speaks of himself as "always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus." (2 Cor. 4:10.) All of the followers of the Lord Jesus bear about in their body the dying of the Lord Jesus. As Jesus had experiences in sufferings, so have all of His disciples experience with Him in the suffering of this time, and communion with Him in spirit. "Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." --2 Cor. 4:16.

OBEDIENCE TO THE EXTENT OF SACRIFICE

We refer to our text again, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God"--everything written in the Book. Because born under the Law, Jesus was obligated to keep the Law. There was no sacrifice in keeping the Law. To do whatever is commanded is not sacrifice, but obedience. The Law did not say that one should love his neighbor better than himself. But Jesus went beyond this Law of Justice and laid down His life in behalf of the Church and of the world. Because He was thus obedient to the Father to the extent of keeping, not only everything in the Law, but everything written in the Book, in the Bible--on this [R5054 : page 210] account He was a sacrifice, and was afterward raised up to the Divine Majesty on High.

The things written in the Book were written in types and shadows, in allegories. To illustrate: Moses lifted up the brazen serpent. This is a picture illustrating how our Lord Jesus would be lifted up. The lamb slain at the Passover season is also a type of Jesus, the slain Lamb. The Day of Atonement sacrifices are also pictures. And as the Lamb was led to the slaughter, so He did not resist.

"THE HEAVENS WERE OPENED"

We are not informed how much our Lord knew, at the time of His consecration, respecting the Divine purpose. In His boyhood days our Lord knew that He had come into the world to do the will of the Father. But just what that will was He did not fully know. It was all written in the Book, but the Book was sealed; and until that will was revealed it could not be comprehended. He could not know until after He had received the Holy Spirit; and His consecration must be made before He could receive that Holy Spirit. Hence at the time He offered Himself at baptism He could not understand the "deep things." As St. Paul says, no natural man can perceive the things of God: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (I Cor. 2:14.) Jesus could not know the depths and importance of all the symbols which God had written in that very form for the special purpose of keeping them secret, until He had been begotten of the Spirit.

We understand that our Lord was the slain Lamb in the Divine purpose just as soon as He consecrated His life at Jordan and had bestowed upon Him the begetting of the Holy Spirit. We read that immediately after He had gone up out of the water the heavenly things were opened unto Him. Under the influence of that enlightenment He went into the wilderness and remained there fasting for forty days, that He might understand the will of God. But His consecration was to fulfill everything written in the Book. He was to be the great Messiah, the great Mediator between God and men. He made the full consecration of His life to this end. That consecration was accepted. It meant the fulfillment of all the details of the whole plan.

CONSECRATION MUST PRECEDE UNDERSTANDING OF TYPES

As before suggested, all these things written in the Book concerning our Lord were not understood by Him until the due time, which began when the Holy Spirit came to Him. Then, while He was in the wilderness, He began to see and to apply the various lessons to Himself. He had contracted to do everything written in the Book before He understood the meaning of these types. Evidently this was the Divine intention and there was a reason behind it.

Here was God's will, not written in commands, but in types and shadows, that the One who was to fulfill these things might see in them, not a Divine command, but the Divine will. "Lo, I come to do Thy will!" I am ready to do Thy will at any cost! Now the Apostle says that when our Lord thus came and presented Himself to God, "He taketh away the first (that is, He setteth aside the type), that He might establish the second," the antitype. The type was the serpent lifted up; the antitype was Himself "lifted up." The type was the lamb slain; the antitype was Himself slain. The type was the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement; Himself and the adopted Body, the Church, constitute the "better sacrifices."

After His return from the wilderness, our Lord began the work of taking away the first (the types). Part of the work was completed in the three years and a half of His earthly ministry. But the work is not yet finished. Coming down to our time, the Apostle says, "By the which will we are sanctified." (Heb. 10:10.) What will is this? The same will that our Lord had. He said, "I come to do Thy will"--not merely Thy Law. Now we who are the Church say that we are glad to follow Him. We are glad to be living sacrifices. God does not command us to be sacrifices.

THE CHURCH SET APART FOR SERVICE

The Apostle says, "I beseech you, brethren"--I put before you the fact that it is well worthy of your attention to present yourselves living sacrifices. Thus, by having the same will, the same mind, this same disposition that is in Christ, we are sanctified, we are set apart. We do not set ourselves apart. The Lord Jesus sets us apart. He it is who imputes to us His merit in order that the Father may accept the sacrifice and beget us to the new nature as members of His Body. The Apostle says, "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (for all being supplied). (Heb. 10:10.) What does this signify? We answer that the statement is true. The literal body of Jesus was the basis of our acceptance with God. The Church is the mystical Body of Jesus: "Why persecutest Thou Me?" "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest."

The offering of this Body of Jesus has progressed throughout the eighteen hundred years; and it is only as we are offered and only by being offered that we can become members and attain to joint-heirship with our Lord in the Kingdom--"So many of us as were baptized into Christ." (Rom. 6:3.) We are not merely baptized into the glorious Body of the future, the Messiah, but we are baptized into Jesus that we might share in the death of Jesus, the sacrifice, and share in the glory of Jesus, the Messiah.

THE BLOOD OF BULLS AND GOATS CAN NEVER TAKE AWAY SINS

"And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifice, which can never take away sins." (Heb. 10:11.) This refers to the fact that the Jewish priest offered the sacrifice continually and yet never accomplished anything with it. "But this Man, when He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God." (Heb. 10:12.) "This Man" is the glorious High Priest, Jesus, the Head, who, after He had offered one sacrifice for sin forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

But His offering was in two parts; the first of which was at Jordan, when He offered up Himself; and the second was at Pentecost, when He "appeared in the presence of God for us"--for us living today, as well as for those living then. At that time He accepted the Church as joint-sacrificers and offered them; and in offering them He offered the one antitypical goat. So His offerings were really completed at the time of Pentecost. What is He waiting for? The Scriptures say He has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High, waiting for the time to come when His enemies shall be made His footstool.--Heb. 10:13.

Meantime His Bride shall have been perfected and joined with Him in glory. When that time shall have come, His enemies shall be made His footstool. At the [R5054 : page 211] time of His death, we remember, He said, "I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine, and all Mine are Thine." (John 17:9,10.) And the promise of the Father to Him is, "Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession." --Psa. 2:8.

The Apostle says that He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High waiting until God would make His enemies His footstool. God is not prepared to give Him these things until the Church is completed. In other words, the Church is not a supplemental and additional part of the Divine Plan. This has been the "Mystery hid from ages and generations."--Col. 2:26.

THE MYSTERY UNFOLDING NOW

Now, under the revelation of God, we see the unfolding of the Mystery, that the Church are to be fellow-heirs with our Lord in the glories of the Kingdom. Hence, it is the Divine Purpose for Jesus to wait until the time shall come when the Church will have been perfected. This matter of sacrifice is all to be completed during the Gospel Age; and this one great Day of Atonement will also be completed. There will be no repetition of the sacrifice.

We remember that in Revelation 5 it is stated that no one was found worthy to open the scroll written within and on the back, and sealed with seven seals; not a soul was worthy. No; "No man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the Book, neither to look thereon." Jehovah had already said to Abraham that He would bless the world, but had not revealed how it was to be done. Then we read that John wept, because God had a great Plan, and because no one was to be the recipient of that Plan, to reveal it. The angel said, "Weep not; behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the Book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." (Rev. 5:1-6.) By [R5055 : page 211] this we understand that He was not born with this right, but that He acquired it--He "hath prevailed to open the Book." Therefore, on account of His obedience, God also highly exalted Him, giving Him dignity, power and honor.

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah was our Lord Jesus, to whom the Book was delivered. It is not due for any believers to understand any of the deep things written in that Book until they have come to the place of consecration. But God does not reveal them to us by His Spirit in the same manner as He revealed them to the Lord Jesus. John said that this is the "Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John." "All things are of the Father, and all things are by the Son, and we by Him."--Rev. 1:1; I Cor. 8:6.

"LIGHT SHINING MORE AND MORE UNTO THE PERFECT DAY"

It would not be becoming on our part to speak with positiveness of how much our Lord knew during His earthly ministry. For how could we know except as it was declared? He said that the times and the seasons were not at that time known by any but "the Father only." We cannot doubt that He knows all on that subject now. And if our surmises are correct, we know more on that subject now than our Lord did then.

Doubtless it would be impossible to understand many of the deep things pertaining to the Messianic Age long in advance of that period. Daniel tells us that the prophecies relating to the Time of the End were closed up, sealed until the end. (Dan. 12:4,9.) As these things became due to be understood they constituted meat in due season for the Household of faith. (Matt. 24:45.) For instance, it would be meat in due season in Noah's day to know about the flood; but that information would not be meat in due season today.

So then we are to walk in the light and be guided by the Lord's Word. "For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit," St. Peter tells us. Again St. Paul says, "These things...were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [ages] are come." (2 Peter 1:21; I Cor. 10:11; John 16:7,13.) And our Lord said of the Holy Spirit which He would send, that it would "show us things to come." (John 16:7,13.) Thus the pathway of the Church all the way down has been one of increasing light.

Our faith does not consist merely in believing in God's personality, God's righteousness. We fully believe in the personality of God, in the power of God. Nevertheless we need to exercise faith in the Divine providence in our own case; faith in the fact that God veils things from our mental and spiritual sight at the present time. He allowed things to come to Jesus which might have astonished our Lord if He had not exercised faith. He allowed our Lord to be maligned, slandered--to be crucified. It requires knowledge, faith, for everything that we are called upon to do and to undergo. We believe God; but, are we determined to be loyal to God and to His Plan? And are we willing to endure hardship and to sacrifice earthly interests in favor of these heavenly promises?



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"DELIVERED FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FLESH"

DURING THE GOSPEL AGE there has been but one condition upon which any may come to the Father. The Lord does not propose many ways, but only one way. "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life"--now. But when the Kingdom comes there will be a highway, a more favorable, an easier way, as the Lord states through the Prophet Isaiah. In it there will be no stumbling-stones; it will not be narrow and difficult, but comparatively easy; and throughout Messiah's reign of a thousand years, it will be the way by which the Adamic race may return to God. During that reign the whole world will be assisted, succored and disciplined, that they may be encouraged to go to the very end of the way.

In the present time, the only way is dark, narrow, difficult; the light has not yet begun to shine for the world. The Scriptures represent the Church of Christ in this Gospel Age as saying, "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet." In olden times men had little lanterns which they attached to the toes of their sandals, and as they walked each step would be in the light. So the Lord has been dealing with the Church during the Gospel Age. The narrow way has been dark; but we have had the "sure word of prophecy," which, as a lamp, shines on the pathway and will shine "more and more unto the perfect day."

When that day comes men will not need the lamp; for then there will be sunlight. Then the knowledge of God will fill the whole earth.

SACRIFICE ESSENTIAL TO DISCIPLESHIP

One of the narrowing features of this way is that at the present time no one is accepted of God unless he makes [R5055 : page 212] a definite covenant with God. If he does not choose to make that covenant he may think he is a Christian, but he is not. In the world today four hundred million people are counted as Christians. Many have the idea that if they join the Church or do some good deed, they thus become followers of Christ. But the Bible very plainly states: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matt. 16:24.) This self-denial and cross-bearing is the sacrifice necessary to discipleship in Christ at the present time.

Many people are not Christians because they have not entered into a covenant with God. The Lord speaks of the class now called to discipleship, saying, "Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice"--by a complete consecration of themselves; "Present your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God, your reasonable service." (Psa. 50:5; Rom. 12:1.) If we have been accepted in Christ, if we have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, it is because we have entered at this strait gate and upon this narrow way, and have made this covenant of sacrifice to the Lord, giving our wills and all earthly rights to Him, that His will may be done in us.

After having entered this strait gate and narrow way, we should continue therein--not necessarily without stumbling, not necessarily without making mistakes; if we can go on ever so falteringly, to the best of our ability and with hearts loyal to the Lord, we shall be granted to sit on His throne--members of His Bride class.

THE CARES OF THIS WORLD OVERCOME MANY

As we are all aware the Bible shows that some who make this consecration, afterward become involved with the world, the cares of this life, and the deceitfulness of riches. These fail to carry out their agreement. Thus they are holding back the very price necessary to make them joint-heirs with our Lord. Whoever rejects the cross will not get the crown. How many people are overcharged with the cares of this life! How many people are being deluded by the deceitfulness of riches!

There was a gentleman with whom the writer was once very intimate; we were like brothers. One day he said, "Brother Russell, I should like very much indeed to be out in the Lord's work and to do some kind of service for the Truth, but I have a wife, and I understand that the Lord holds me responsible for the care of my wife. I could not think of going out and leaving her dependent. But if the Lord in His providence should ever send me money so that I could go without my wife's suffering any serious inconvenience, I would be very glad to go out and preach the Gospel." The Lord took him at his word. He was then a bookkeeper; but the Lord opened the way, by the death of a member of the firm, for him to become one of the principal partners in that firm. Without any effort at all he prospered financially until he was worth at least half a million dollars.

One day we said to him, "Brother, we have a very serious matter that weighs on us a great deal." He said, "Tell me what it is and I will assist you, whatever it costs." You see how gracious he was! He thought that we were after his money! Dear friends, we thank God that we have never yet found it necessary to ask for money; and we do not suppose that we ever shall. We said, "Brother, we are in great distress, and no one but you can help us." "Tell me what it is," he replied. We said, "Dear Brother, we desire to call your attention to something which you said several years ago when you were poor." Then we recited our previous conversation as best we could, and said, "The Lord has given you the money; He has done His part; are you ready to do yours?" With streaming eyes he answered, "Brother Russell, I am so bound to my business--hand and foot-- that it would be impossible now." The cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, according to his own words, had bound him hand and foot; but his heart was still loyal [R5056 : page 212] to God.

We have no desire to be his judge, but we are inclined to think that dear brother did not get into the Kingdom. While we do not know, yet we fear that his being bound "hand and foot" may have stood in his way, though we think that he was truly a child of God. Are we to suppose that because he failed to make that sacrifice which he had agreed to make, he would go down into the Second Death? We hardly think so. We think that the Lord loved him and that he had a very loyal character. The Lord loves good characters. Our thought is that quite probably the dear brother will be in the Great Company; and we are very glad that there will be a Great Company class.

OUR HUMANITY MUST DIE

No one will get into the Little Flock class but those who faithfully lay down their lives in sacrifice to the end of the journey. God foreknew and predestinated that all who are of that class must be copies of His dear Son. If one is not a full copy of our Lord Jesus, if one has not left all to follow Him, then that one will not be of the Bride class.

The Scriptures mention two classes--the one as a Little Flock and the other as a Great Company--both parts of the "Church of the First-borns." In the type the priests were members of the tribe of Levi; but there were others of that tribe who were not priests. The Levites as a whole represent, we understand, the Church of the First-born ones who will attain the spirit plane of being, but who will form two classes, a "Little Flock" or priest class, and a "Great Company" or Levite class.

The voluntary sacrificing of the flesh is for one to give himself of his own free will to the Lord and to submit himself to the Lord Jesus as the great High Priest to carry out for him the work of sacrifice. What of those who make this arrangement and then fail to make the sacrifice? Their earthly life is consecrated; God has given them the Holy Spirit of adoption, and has accepted the arrangement whereby they gave up all their earthly rights. Such can never get the world's salvation. They voluntarily gave up all right to life on the human plane. When God gave them the Holy Spirit, He accepted the contract, binding on both sides. They will get the heavenly nature or nothing.

"DELIVERED OVER TO SATAN"

Those who do not go on to give themselves fully in sacrifice are delivered over to the Adversary to buffet them until their flesh shall be destroyed--until these earthly, clinging tendencies which were holding them from full loyalty to God are broken down and their minds become fully submissive and in harmony with God. That which they refused to give voluntarily will be taken away from them.

The only knowledge we have of this matter is from the Apostle's words. St. Paul, addressing the Church at Corinth, said that they had amongst them a brother who was not living according to his covenant, but who was living in a measure of sin. The Apostle reprimanded the Church for not having done their duty by the brother. Then said he, "I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed...to deliver [R5056 : page 213] such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (I Cor. 5:3,5.) If the flesh is not destroyed, the spirit will not be saved, is the Apostle's argument.

This statement gives us an inkling of the Lord's will. In every case it is necessary that the flesh be destroyed. If the will is overcome by the flesh, the result will be the death of the will also; that is, the Second Death. But if the will desires to be in harmony with the Lord, then, although the enforced destruction of the flesh is not sacrifice, and such are not counted in with the sacrificers, yet they are saved "so as by fire" on the spirit plane, in the day of the Lord Jesus.--I Cor. 3:15.

Regarding the case that we have mentioned earlier in this article you might ask, Did that Brother lose the knowledge of the Truth? We will tell you; for this is a very interesting question.

In this Brother's case we do not know what were the sentiments of his heart, of course, for we are not able to judge those. But he left us and joined the Presbyterian Church. Then he joined the Christian Alliance people and tried to believe in faith-healing and to practice it, although he had possessed much knowledge of the Truth along these lines. After pressing along the line of faith-healing, etc., he had several attacks of sickness and had to call in a doctor, notwithstanding faith-cures. Finally, after very serious illness lasting a number of weeks, he passed away. We do not know enough about him to say to what extent his mind was turned toward the Lord. We had no opportunity of knowing; for his attitude had more or less cut us off from our previous intimate fellowship.

Another case was called to our attention by a brother who asked us this very question--"Do you think this to be a case of what we might call "the destruction of the flesh'?" It seemed to us that it was such a case. We cite it:

A brother living in a certain city received the Truth and rejoiced in it greatly. He found another brother, with whom he liked to meet and talk about the glad message. He seemed to show the right spirit, just ready for the Truth, and it was satisfying to his heart. But his wife was very indignant. She opposed him saying, "Choose between your religion and me; you cannot have both." She put the matter very squarely before him; and he chose his wife. It was only a little while afterwards, as the story came to us, that apparently the Lord put the poor brother where he was very sorry for his choice. He contracted some kind of loathsome disease, and in the midst of his terrible suffering his wife deserted him.

We hope that the Lord did not desert him and that eventually he was forgiven by the Lord; for it looked as if the Lord had taken that brother at his own proposition; that he was really a child of God, but not of the overcoming class. He loved his wife more than the Lord and was not worthy to be a member of the Bride class. So apparently he suffered such entire destruction of the flesh as he probably never expected to know. He must have loved his wife a great deal to give the Lord up for her.

Yet she deserted him at a time of great need! Even from the standpoint of the world it would seem wrong for a wife to leave her husband under those conditions. We may readily suppose that the brother came back to the Lord at the closing hours, learning his lesson well, and perhaps making certain promises to the Lord. If so we doubt not that his spirit will be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.



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THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND HER MISSION

THERE CAN be no question that the Church of Christ is an Ecclesia, a Body, and that Christ Jesus is the Head of the "Church, which is His Body." (Eph. 1:22,23.) There can be no question that the different members of the Church are being called--drawn by a selective process--from the world of mankind. The testimony of the Scriptures as to the object of the call seems also to be clear. The Apostle Peter says that the Church is a people for a purpose; that is, God has a special object or purpose in selecting the Church. They are to "show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light," "that men may see their good works and glorify their Father which is in heaven."--I Pet. 2:9; Matt. 5:16.

We ask respecting the object of this shining of the light, and the Scriptures answer that it will have an effect upon the world, reproving mankind and setting before them an example of better living, better thinking. We ask whether this is the ultimate object of the call. The Scriptures answer that it is not; that the Church is called out to be a privileged people and to become joint-heirs with her Lord in His Kingdom. We ask further, whether He really is to have a Kingdom. The Scriptures answer, Yes; at the end of this Gospel Age He will come, not as a Sin-Offering, but as a great King, Prophet, Judge, to dispense the blessings secured by His death. We ask respecting the share of the Church at the present time. The answer comes that those who faithfully follow the Lamb through good report and evil report, who take up their cross and follow Jesus, will be accounted worthy to be His associates in the Kingdom.

THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

We ask whether the Church will be able to combat the evil tendencies in the world. The answer is, Yes; Satan will be bound for a thousand years, that he shall deceive the nations no more till the thousand years shall have been fulfilled. During those years the Savior's mission will be to bless mankind as the "Sun of Righteousness," with "healing" in His beams; and the Church is to have a share with Him in the blessing of the world. We ask whether this is some new proposition God has made; and the answer comes, No; this was God's Plan and purpose from before the foundation of the world. This is the Gospel, or good tidings, first declared to Abraham: "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."-- Gen. 12:3, etc.

God intended to bless all the members of the human race, all nations and kindreds and tongues, and purposed that the blessing should come to them through the Seed of Abraham. The Jewish nation were merely the typical seed; the antitypical Seed is The Christ (Jesus the Head and the Church His Body), who will "bless all the families of the earth." But the world must wait for its blessing until the Church shall have been completed, shall have passed the veil, and shall sit with Christ in His Throne.

Asked as to the success of the blessing which will attend the work of the Church, the Scriptures answer that "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess"; [R5057 : page 214] and that the knowledge of God shall fill the whole earth. As to whether this means a universal salvation--that everybody will be saved--the answer is that God has provided that as all died in Adam, so all are to be revivified, brought back to the privilege of attaining everlasting life, through the merit of Christ's sacrifice; but that the attainment of everlasting life will depend upon the manner in which the privilege is used. None will be coerced or compelled.

The majority of mankind have such respect for righteousness that if its rewards were as sure and as desirable as are those of sin, unquestionably they would prefer to do right. Many tell us that they have been almost forced to do evil. Only the very few are willing to renounce sin and to walk in the narrow way of obedience and self-sacrifice. While those who do so in this Age are to have a very special reward, others who love righteousness and hate iniquity will, under the rule of Christ's Kingdom, have every assistance without compulsion. They will have co-operation in their endeavors for righteousness. The Scriptures, however, with equal force declare that as death was the original penalty of sin in Adam's case, so it will always be the penalty for sin; and that whoever during the future Age sins wilfully shall die the Second Death, from which there will be no resurrection, no redemption, no hope of recovery.

THE EARTH IS TO BE MAN'S FUTURE HOME

Before sin had entered into the world, the Divine provision for our first parents was the Garden of Eden. As we think of this, let our minds turn to the future, guided by the Word of God; and in mental vision we see Paradise restored--not a garden merely, but the entire earth made beautiful, fruitful, sinless, happy. Then we recall the inspired promise so familiar to us--"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain," for the former things of sin and death will have passed away, and all things will have been made new!--Rev. 21:4,5.

Recalling St. Peter's words of assurance respecting these glorious "Times of Restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy Prophets since the world began," we see that in God's "due time" the earth is to be brought to the perfection primarily designed for it, and typed in Eden. We believe that time to be near at hand. We see the promised blessings coming. What are our vast irrigation schemes by artesian wells and by aqueducts but fulfilments of the prophecies pertaining to the reign of Christ and the blessing of the earth! "In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose."--Isa. 35:6,1.

The Scriptures tell us that after God had created various orders of spirit beings He made man, "a little lower than the angels." (Psa. 8:5.) The human race began with Adam and Eve, who had ability to grasp and appreciate the Divine arrangement, as the brute creation have not. God made man in His own likeness. The fact that sin came in and brought Father Adam under the sentence of death does not signify that the Heavenly Father had changed His arrangement. The purpose which He had "in the beginning" has never changed.

We can see a reason why the entire world was not made an Eden; namely, God intended to give the race a trial. According to the record of the Scriptures, if the first pair had maintained their righteousness, their holiness, [R5058 : page 214] they would have continued to be perfect and would have propagated a perfect race; and if sin had not come in, God would have been responsible for their maintenance. But God, foreseeing that sin would come in, merely made Eden perfect, and allowed the remainder of the earth to continue in an unfinished condition. Consequently God said to Adam, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread."--Gen. 3:17-19.

EARTH'S IMPERFECTION IS FALLEN MAN'S BLESSING

God could have made the entire earth perfect as easily as He "planted" the little garden in Eden. But He foresaw that if the earth were perfected the death-struggle would be longer, and the degradation of man greater. The poverty of the world has assisted in keeping mankind back from greater depths of iniquity. The sentence, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," was evidently intended as a blessing, that man might learn lessons of experience by battling with the earth for his living. As the Creator said to the man regarding the curse of the earth, it was "for thy [man's] sake." So man has learned that "The wages of sin is death." The Heavenly Father has not, however, changed His Plan. When the Kingdom is set up, the earth shall yield her increase; and God assures us, "I will make the place of My feet glorious."--Isa. 60:13.

Edison has been the instrument of Providence in giving us wonderful electrical devices. Burbank and others have, under Divine guidance, worked miracles in horticulture. What beautiful fruits and flowers have followed as results! It is difficult to imagine anything nearer perfection either in Eden of old or the world-wide Eden to be established! In referring to the "Times of Restitution" the Prophet declares that "the earth shall yield her increase." (Psa. 67:6.) We behold preparations for the fulfilment of this promise.

A few years ago a Virginia farmer found an abnormal stool of wheat--one hundred and forty-two stalks, each bearing a well-developed head--the offspring of a single grain of wheat! Under the name of "Miracle Wheat" it is now being developed slowly in various parts of the country. The average yield appears to be about twelve hundred grains from one kernel. This very year the same peculiarity in oats has been found, a stool growing wild by the roadside. The same Divine Providence is, additionally, guiding our chemists in economical methods of extracting nitrogen from the atmosphere for feeding the soil, and thus to increase earth's blessings, in fulfillment of God's promise that He will make His footstool glorious.

Why has not the earth been already made glorious? The answer is that God is allowing the race to propagate first. Had mankind been perfect, they might have learned the lesson of the sinfulness of sin in the same way that the angels have learned. But hastening to commit sin, they have learned evil first and have been subject to all the vicissitudes of sin and death. The angels have learned the other lesson--what righteousness is, what good is-- not merely in the abstract, but in an appreciative sense.

MANKIND WILL LEARN A SECOND LESSON

God is now selecting the Church. As soon as the Church shall have been completed, then mankind will have opportunity to learn the lesson of righteousness, the knowledge of God, and will be raised up out of sin and death, out of the weaknesses that have come to them through sin. This uplifting time is definitely marked out in the Scriptures as "Times of Restitution"--the restoration [R5058 : page 215] of that which was lost. Since that which was lost was human perfection and Edenic bliss, mankind will not get heavenly things, but earthly blessings. God's will shall be accomplished. The world will be brought to perfection during the thousand years of Messiah's reign. The most important piece of Restitution work relates to man. The hard, stony selfishness of heart, which is world-wide, is neither God-likeness nor to God's glory.

"Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn."

Nineteen centuries of preaching show that the cure for this malady is not in our power; and that only the few even desire to seek for the Lord's spirit of gentleness and tender-heartedness. But the great King of Glory is also the Good Physician. He alone can cure the disease of sin and its results. Through Him God's promise to Israel will be fulfilled: "I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezek. 36:26.) This work will proceed from Israel to all the families of the earth, uplifting all the willing and obedient out of sin and death to all that was lost in Eden and redeemed at Calvary. Thank God, the unwilling and disobedient will not be consigned to endless torture, but to the "Second Death"--"everlasting destruction." The perfected earth will abide forever for the glorious being, man.

THE HEADSHIP OF CHRIST

God has purposed to make a New Creation. Incidentally He takes the opportunity to call the Church to be associated with her Lord in the divine nature, far above principalities and powers and every name that is named. Thus eventually, when all wilful sinners shall have been blotted out, we find, as the Scriptures state, that "every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and such as are in the sea" will be heard saying, "Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever." (Rev. 5:13.) Thus the Lord will gather together all the faithful, both in heaven and in earth, under the headship of Christ, whose Head is Jehovah.--Eph. 1:10.



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"CONTEND FOR THE FAITH"

"Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."--Jude 3.
THE CONTENTION which the Scriptures reprobate is that of selfishness--contending for place, for power, for our friends against some one else's friends, for our ideas against those of others. And the implication is given that those who are thus contentious will never enter into the Kingdom; for this contentious spirit indicates a wrong attitude or condition.

It is one thing, however, to be inveigled into something or to be overtaken in a fault, and quite another thing to contend along selfish lines. Amongst the Lord's people, even in the Apostles' day, there was a tendency at times to fight each other rather than to fight the Devil and the spirit of the world and the weaknesses within themselves. The organs of destructiveness and combativeness, which would serve a Christian soldier in good stead if directed against his own weaknesses and blemishes, are sadly out of place when, ignoring his own weaknesses, he merely becomes contentious with the brethren--often over nothing or over questions whose importance he exaggerates, because of his contentious spirit. Such should remember the Scriptural statement that "he that ruleth his spirit is greater than he that taketh a city." --Prov. 16:32.

The Apostle Paul reprehends that misdirection of Christian energy which "bites and devours" one another and warns against it as tending to the destruction of all that is spiritual amongst the Lord's people. Not that the Apostle favored slackness as respects the important principles of Divine Revelation, for he showed always his determination to contend for righteousness; as one instance of this we recall his own words regarding his rebuke of one of the other Apostles, older in the Christian faith than himself--"I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed."

COMMENDABLE CONTENTION

But while all of the Lord's people should be on guard against the spirit of contention, watching closely lest anything be done in a biting and devouring manner, instead of manifesting patience and long suffering, brotherly-kindness, love, yet they have enlisted as New Creatures, spirit-begotten, to walk after the Spirit, and they must [R5057 : page 215] continually recognize this fact and keep watch that they are always walking in line with the spirit of the Truth; and our text tells us of a contention which is not only proper, but necessary for all who are walking in this way. They are to "earnestly contend for the faith"--for the Word of God, for the promises which God has made, for the good things for which God has arranged.

The necessity for this course lies in the fact that this world is no friend to grace; no friend, therefore, to the people of God. Selfishness, which is the spirit of the world, lies on the side opposite to the Holy Spirit of love; and our own selfish interests are in line with the world in general. Consequently, no one could properly contend for the faith with a selfish motive, for the "faith once delivered unto the saints" would forbid such a motive and condemn it at once. One reason, undoubtedly, why the Lord has permitted His cause to be in disesteem and subject to the attacks of the world, and particularly of evil spirits in the world, is that He desires to have for His people in this "little flock" a tried people, a people of character. Character implies such fixity of purpose and intention that the individual would fight a "good fight" against every influence tending to lead away from the Lord's Word and the Lord's brethren.

The world and its theories are in opposition to the saints; therefore, we must contend against the selfish human and devilish arrangements which prevail at the present time. It is possible for one to be contentious in religious matters, and to "earnestly contend," and yet such a course be not contending "for the faith once delivered to the saints." One might be contentious for some pet theory of his own rather than for those principles of righteousness which the Bible inculcates.

Sometimes it might seem like contention for the faith once delivered to the saints for one person to argue with another on Scriptural subjects, and yet his real motive in so doing might be pride. Pride is a part of selfishness; therefore in contending for his own ideas one might be cultivating pride. The contention which God would approve is that earnest desire to have whatever God's Word teaches. We must not contend with the tongue improperly, nor speak slanderously. In all of our contentions we should manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit-- gentleness, brotherly-kindness, love. Thus the proper contention would not partake of anger, hatred, malice or strife.



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A LEGION OF DEMONS
--MARK 4:35; 5:20--AUGUST 11.--

Text: "God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present help in trouble; therefore will we not fear, though the earth be changed, and though the mountains be cast into the midst of the sea."--Psalm 46:1,2.
THE FOREPART of today's study is an account of a very severe wind storm on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus, tired from His teaching and healing, in which vitality went out of Him for the relief of the people, had gotten into one of the boats formerly used by some of His disciples in the fishing business and still owned by them. The purpose was to cross the lake for a season of rest and refreshment. The Master in the hinder part of the boat on a cushion was soon fast asleep. Suddenly a terrific storm set in which appalled even those accustomed to such scenes. The winds were blowing and the waves were tossing over the gunwales. It was an emergency; they could not bale out the water fast enough, and they wondered that the Master slept through it all. They came to Him and aroused Him saying, "Master, carest Thou not that we perish?" and He awakened and rebuked the wind saying, "Peace, be still." And immediately "there was a great calm."

The experience was a valuable lesson to the Apostles, showing them the wonderful power of God exerted through their Master. And the same lesson comes down to us today. There are storms of life which sometimes sweep over ourselves and the brethren and over the whole household and imperil us, and which seem sure to sink us in despair. Then is the time for us to exercise faith in Him who said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Then is the time to remember the Master's words, "My grace is sufficient for you; My strength is made perfect in your weakness." Whoever can by the exercise of his faith take hold upon the Lord will find a great peace, a great calm come into his heart and into all of his affairs. Then he can remember the Master's promise that "all things shall work together for good to those who love God, and who have been called according to His Purpose."--Rom. 8:28.

The text at the head of this study draws to our attention another storm. It pictures the great storm of trouble which in the close of this Age will suddenly burst upon the whole world of mankind and in which "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots," "like a great millstone will be cast into the midst of the sea." This same "time of trouble," in some Scriptures, is spoken of as a "whirlwind," the result of letting loose "the four winds of heaven," that will be held until that time.--Rev. 17:5; 18:21; Jer. 25:32; Rev. 7:1.

Again, this trouble is symbolized by a "fire" which will burn not only the earth (symbolical of organized society), but also the heavens (symbolical of ecclesiasticism). This symbolical fire, this great anarchistic blaze, will leave present institutions in "ashes." Upon the ruins, the ashes, of the blasted hopes and ambitions of society, political, scientific and religious, will arise the glorious Kingdom of Messiah to bless the world; and it will be as prophesied: "The desire of all nations shall come." It is really what all nations desire, although they do not realize how their desires are to be accomplished by Divine interposition [R5059 : page 216] through Messiah's Kingdom.

Our text pictures that coming "time of trouble" as a great "storm," which will entirely remove, or change the earth, or the present construction of society, and carry the "mountains," the kingdoms of this present time, into the sea of anarchy. God's people will to some extent be associated with all of these troubles; but they are not to fear, they are to realize that God is at the helm. "When all around their souls give way, He then will be their Hope and Stay." Although sharing with others in the great disaster, the troubles will not invade their hearts. With them will dwell faith in God and in the glorious promises of His Word, and they will be kept in peace thereby.

"JESUS GAVE THEM LEAVE"

In the heading we have connected this study with the demons, because the Scriptures intimate that the demons will have considerable to do with stirring up the great "time of trouble" and discontent with which this Age will close and Messiah's Kingdom be established.

On the other side of the Lake, as they landed, a man came running toward them, having seen them afar off. He was obsessed--that is to say, demons, the fallen angels mentioned by St. Jude (Jude 6) and St. Peter (2 Pet. 2:4) had gained access, and were in control of him. It was these that recognized Jesus and that spoke through the man's lips, saying, "What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of the Most High God? I adjure Thee by God that Thou torment me not." This was the answer to the command of Jesus that the fallen spirits should come out of the man. It transpired that not merely one demon had gained access, but many of them, a legion.

The demons realized that they were subject to the commands of Jesus and requested that they be allowed to enter into the swine--to obsess them. The Bible's explanation of how some angels fell from their original perfection and harmony with God, and of why they seek to gain control of humanity and commune with them through mediums, and why they personate the dead, we have not the space to present in this study; but as there are many today more or less under the influence of demonism--spiritism --we will send further information upon postcard request.

Jesus gave the demons the privilege they requested, of passing from the man into the swine, of which there were about 2,000. The swine, like the man, were crazed by the strange outside influence which took possession of their brains. They ran violently down a steep place into the sea and were drowned. Meantime, the man, released from his obsession, was again in his right mind, and praised God for his deliverance. He desired to go with Jesus to become one of his disciples. He wanted to preach to others of the great deliverance which he had experienced and to tell them of this further proof that Jesus was the Messiah. But this was not in harmony with the Lord's judgment of the Father's will, and He refused his company, instructing him to go unto his own house and to tell his friends what great things the Lord had done for him.

He did so, and the people from all the region around who had known him as a crazy and obsessed man, marveled at his recovery and took note of the fact that Jesus had healed him. Those familiar with such matters claim that probably one-half of all the inmates of our insane asylums are persons obsessed by evil spirits, demons, without any organic disease of the brain. And alas! we see evidences on every hand that these evil spirits are paving the way for a great onslaught upon humanity.

Under the title of Psychic Phenomena spiritism is being examined by some of the prominent college professors of our day. They, like other spiritists, are deceived in [R5059 : page 217] supposing that the manifestations which come to them are from their dead human friends. The Bible alone makes the matter perfectly clear. It assures us that the dead have no power to thus communicate, and that all such communications come from the demons, who do not dare to tell who they are, for if they did, humanity would be on guard against them; and they, desiring to come closely in contact with humanity, personate and represent variously the dead.

Hypnotism, mesmerism, clairaudient power and clairvoyant power are all part and parcel of the same great deception.



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JEWESS RESTORED TO LIFE
--MARK 5:21-24, 35-43.--AUGUST 18.--

Text: "And He took the damsel by the hand and said unto her, Talitha cumi, which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise."--Vs. 41.
WHEN JESUS and the Apostles returned to the vicinity of Capernaum, the people were on the lookout for them, especially Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue. He came and fell at Jesus' feet in great distress. He besought Him to come and heal his little daughter who lay at the point of death. As they went to the house of Jairus the multitude followed and thronged and delayed the procession. Meantime a messenger arrived from Jairus' house, telling that the child was dead. But Jesus said to the bereaved father, "Be not afraid, only believe."

The multitude was left, and only three of the Apostles, Peter, James and John, went on with Jesus and Jairus. When they arrived they beheld a great tumult connected with the customary weeping and wailing. Jesus astonished the mourners by telling them not to weep, that the child was not dead, but asleep. What did He mean? Did the Great Teacher prevaricate? He spoke in the same manner in respect to His friend Lazarus, saying, "Lazarus sleepeth," and then later He explained that he was dead. How shall we understand these words? What were the facts? What was the truth in the case?

"ALL LIVE UNTO HIM"

The key to the matter is given us in our Lord's own words to the Sadducees, a class who denied that there would be any resurrection of the dead or any future life. The Sadducees asked Jesus a question about a woman who had had seven husbands, and who died after them all. They thought to make the teachings of Jesus respecting the resurrection of the dead look ridiculous by this question, but our Lord answered, "You do err, not understanding the Scriptures, nor the power of God."

Jesus proceeded to give them a proof that the dead are not really dead in the sense that the brute beasts are dead, because God in His Plan had made an arrangement for the resurrection of humanity from the death state, whereas He has made no arrangement for the resurrection of the brute beasts. The provision for man's resurrection was that God would provide a Redeemer to satisfy the claims of Divine Justice against Adam and all his race, and who thus would become the Great Deliverer, and, establishing His Messianic Kingdom, would release all mankind from the power of death.

From this standpoint, God's standpoint, no human being is dead in the sense of being extinct like the brute beast. Their awakening will be accomplished by Messiah's Kingdom, and all will then have fullest opportunity of coming to a knowledge of God's character and His will respecting them; and all will be assisted back to harmony with God, if they so desire, that they may thus reach again the perfection of life lost by disobedience. It is in view of this Divine intention, the awakening of the dead, that Jesus spoke of death as a "sleep," a period of rest, of quiet, of unconsciousness.

Jesus' declaration to the Sadducees evidenced all this when He stated that God said to Moses at the burning bush, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." Jesus pointed out that God does not thus speak of Himself as being the God of a being absolutely extinct, destroyed, as brute beasts. The expression therefore signifies, in harmony with all the Scriptures, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and that mankind in general are merely sleeping, waiting for Messiah's Kingdom and the morning of awakening, the morning of a better day, in which righteousness will prevail and in which Messiah will be the Great King.

This same thought respecting the sleep of the dead prevails throughout the Bible. We read, for instance, that "Abraham slept with his fathers"; "When Stephen, stoned to death, fell asleep" (Acts 7:60); St. Paul declared that the Church "sleep," but that some of its members, alive in the end of the Age, at the second coming of Christ, would not need to "sleep," but instead would "be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." (I Cor. 15:52.) Again he mentions all that "sleep in Jesus." Figuratively, both good and bad, are thus asleep in Jesus, because all of God's provision for their awakening is in and through Jesus' work of Redemption and Restitution. --Acts 3:19-21.

We are not to surmise that these sleep in heaven, because both good and bad sleep. For instance, in the statement, "Abraham slept with his fathers," we see two classes--Abraham, the friend of God, and his fathers, heathen men. Besides, Heaven is not a sleeping place, [R5060 : page 217] but a place of joyful activity and life. Neither could we imagine mankind as sleeping in a Catholic purgatory, nor in a Protestant hell of eternal torture.

Looking into the Bible for an answer as to where they sleep we hear the inspired words, "They that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake." (Dan. 12:2.) Ah, that is it!--"Dust to dust," as God said in the beginning to Father Adam, upon whom the sentence fell and through whom we inherit our share: "Cursed is the earth for thy sake," "thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee wast taken." (Gen. 3:17-19.) Thus God has provided for Adam and his family a redemption from the power of death and a deliverance from the tomb, by the power of the resurrection; and it is Jesus who declared, "I am the Resurrection and the Life." The Church will be the first from humanity to receive eternal life, and they will be granted a share with Jesus in His resurrection to glory, honor and immortality, as His Bride, His Joint-heir under His Headship. Then, as said the Apostle, will come the world of mankind, "every man in his own order."

THEY LAUGHED AT HIM

Jesus put the statement about the maid's being asleep in a forceful way, in order to impress the great lesson that death does not end all, even though it appears so to do. The awakening which He was about to perform was to be a [R5060 : page 218] lesson and illustration of Divine power, which will be exercised toward the entire race under the Messianic Kingdom. Thus, as He declared, "All that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and come forth." This statement applies not merely to the saintly Church, who will come forth first, sharers in the First Resurrection, and whose trial and testing are already past, and whom Divine approval has already sealed. The promise of coming forth applies also to the remainder of mankind; all except the spirit-begotten will come forth in a secondary or general resurrection, which will include nearly all mankind, not only the civilized, but also the heathen.

The world will come forth, Jesus said, that they may have a resurrection or raising up, up, up to perfection, to all that was lost in Eden, to all that was redeemed at Calvary. The awakening will be but a preparatory step. It will be accomplished instantaneously, but the further raising up, to mental, moral and physical perfection, will be a gradual work for which a thousand years has been apportioned, and in which the individual will be obliged to cooperate for his advancement and instruction in righteousness. This resurrection of mankind in general Jesus styled, "The resurrection by judgment," by disciplines, by trials and testings. Only those who wilfully reject the Lord and His way will die the Second Death, from which there will be no resurrection. Christ died once for all, and, according to the Scriptures, He will not die again.

Let us not forget that our Lord's miracles were merely illustrations of the great work which He will do on a world-wide, gigantic scale by and by--through the power and influence of His Kingdom. He and the Church, as spirit beings, will, of course, be invisible to men, but through earthly Agents the great burden of sickness and sorrow and pain and death will gradually be rolled away, so that by the end of Messiah's reign of a thousand years all the willing and obedient will have attained full human perfection; and the earth, meantime, will have been made to "blossom as the rose," and, as the Lord's footstool, thenceforth it shall be glorious.



page 218

PERTLE SPRINGS CONVENTION

ABOUT ONE THOUSAND of the "household of faith" gathered at Pertle Springs, Mo., in harmony with announcements in these columns. A most delightful season of fellowship was experienced. Some could not remain the entire time, but others, probably two-thirds, took full benefit from start to finish. About twenty speakers participated in the services. The location is quite favorable for a Convention of that size. Any more would have overcrowded our Auditorium and the comfortable capacity of the hotels and cottages. At the conclusion a vote of thanks was given to the various entertainers and the local railway for their attentions to the Convention, which helped to make it the success it was. We hesitate to say that it was the "Best Convention yet," but truth demands the statement. This certainly was the testimony of everyone from whom we heard. The reason generally given was that the number in attendance being small made the opportunity for Christian fellowship greater, and that this, in conjunction with the fact that we had the place to ourselves without annoyance or outside distractions, constituted it the most blessed of all our Conventions from the standpoint of Christian fellowship and helpfulness.

The Editor quite agrees with the reasoning, but believes that it is safe to conclude that the improvement of one Convention over another rests in the fact that the Church in general is growing in grace and knowledge and love as the days, weeks and years go by. "What manner of persons ought ye to be!" continually rings in our ears. What manner of Conventions ought we to have! what fellowship of spirit! Our hope is the same in respect to the other Conventions yet to be held--in Toronto, Canada, June 30 to July 6; at Glen Echo, Washington City, July 7 to 14; Glasgow, Scotland, July 25 to 28; London, England, August 2 to 5; Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 29 to October 1.



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SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS

GREAT COMPANY NOT SHOWN IN THE PYRAMID

QUESTION.--Is there nothing in the Great Pyramid to represent the Great Company-- the Bride's virgin companions, who will follow her? (Psa. 45:14.) We understand your interpretation to teach that the Queen's Chamber symbolically represents those who will attain perfection on the human plane, and that the King's Chamber symbolically represents those who will attain to the divine nature. Is the Great Company not shown in the Pyramid, or have you merely neglected to call attention to the feature which symbolizes it?

Answer.--God, during this Gospel Age of nearly nineteen centuries, has been calling the Church to glory, honor and immortality. During the next Age, under Messiah's Kingdom, He will open up a way of Restitution and return to earthly perfection for all the willing and obedient of mankind. God did not call any to be of the Great Company Class. Those who will ultimately be of that class, "saved as by fire," will get a reward to which they were never called, or invited. There is but one call during this Age; as we read, "Ye are called in one hope of your calling." (Eph. 4:4.) That call was to self-sacrifice--to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Only by making that covenant of sacrifice were any of us accepted or begotten of the Holy Spirit or privileged to call ourselves the elect of God.

In view of these things it would seem quite appropriate that the Great Pyramid does not show a place for the Great Company, as though they had been invited to such a place.

The ante-chamber, as we have already pointed out, marks the experiences of the Church in the School of Christ, which are necessary before any could pass, by the power of the First Resurrection, into the Divine perfection symbolized by the King's Chamber. We may, therefore, assume that the Great Company class all come into this Ante-chamber, or School, but that only the "faithful unto death" pass beyond it under the granite leaf into the King's Chamber.


SIGNIFICANCE OF PLANES L AND K ON CHART

Question.--In describing the Chart you say, Vol. I, page 211, "These, when born from the dead in the resurrection, will have the divine nature and form." Please harmonize this statement with another found on page 235, which reads thus: "We know not how long it will be [R5060 : page 219] after their change, or perfecting, as spirit beings (plane L), before they as a full and complete company will be glorified (plane K) with the Lord, united with Him in power and great glory."

Answer.--The two quotations are in perfect accord. The questioner's difficulty is in respect to what is signified by plane "L" and plane "K" on the Chart. Plane "L" represents the personal glory of our Lord and the Church by the power of the First Resurrection, from human nature to divine nature. We understand that all the members of the elect Church will experience such a change, from mortal to immortal conditions, from human to divine nature, from weakness to power, from dishonor to glory, from animal to spirit conditions (I Cor. 15:44), before being ushered into the glory of power and dominion represented by plane "K." In other words, the first quotation refers to the personal exaltation of all the spirit-begotten, overcoming class in the First Resurrection, to plane "L," and the second to their exaltation to plane "K," which will come when the Heavenly Bridegroom shall present His Bride complete, without fault or blame, before the Heavenly Father, as pictured in the 45th Psalm.


THE RESURRECTION POWER NOW AT WORK.

Question.--Does the resurrection power now work in the lives of the saints?

Answer.--The resurrection power is now working in the lives of the saints. In Romans 8:11 the Apostle says, "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit indwelling." This does not refer to future resurrections. It refers to the energizing of your mortal body. The Apostle argues that we were alive unto sin once, but that when we made our full surrender to the Lord we became dead to sin; that when we were begotten of the Holy Spirit we became New Creatures, in this earthen vessel; and that the body is reckoned dead to sin and the New Creature alive to God. Now, the Apostle says, the Spirit of God is able to so quicken our mortal body that instead of being a servant of sin, as it once was, it will be a servant of righteousness.

There is a great difference between the immortal body which we shall have by and by, and the quickening of the mortal body. The new body will not be a flesh body at all. "It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spirit body." (I Cor. 15:42-44.) This animal body is to be quickened by the Spirit of God that dwells in us; and by degrees this resurrection process in which the New Creature is engaged becomes stronger and stronger. If this continues, our resurrection progresses; and the time will come, at the end of our course, when the Lord will count us worthy of the glorious change, to be like Him and share His glory on the high, spirit plane.


THE DIVINE PLAN NOT FINISHED

Question.--When on Calvary our Lord said, "It is finished!" to what did He refer as being completed?

Answer.--This did not mean that our Lord had finished [R5061 : page 219] all the work of the Divine Plan, for both the work of calling out the Bride and presenting her blameless, and the work of the Millennial Age were yet future. Our Lord had come into the world to do a work of personal sacrifice. When He was thirty years of age, He presented Himself in consecration at Jordan. During the three and a half years of His ministry He continued to offer Himself; and this course, figuratively, became a sweet incense ascending before God beyond the veil. This work was one which could not be accomplished in a day. It required three and a half years. To this He referred when He said, "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" (Luke 12:50.) He was anxiously awaiting its completion, which was reached at Calvary.


GOD IS MAKING THE WRATH OF MAN TO PRAISE HIM

Question.--If the Kingdom of Christ is not yet set up on earth, how may we explain the various reforms, charities, etc., of our time?

Answer.--Apparently, the Adversary is trying to run things in his own direction, but the light itself which we are enjoying today is the promised light of Divine Providence. We read that "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased," and that "there shall be a time of trouble such as never was."--Dan. 12:1,4.

But God has supervised the matter of inventions, such as the printing press, the power of steam, and the effects and influences of these in the world. It seems, too, that the movements in the way of better government, etc., are influences based upon the general enlightenment and the efforts of mankind to do as well as they can by each other--specially in ways that selfishness does not hinder. But selfishness has, no doubt, much to do with all manner of reform.

In speaking of the present time, our Lord said that the secrets should be proclaimed on the housetops. Today we see that many real exhibitions of vice, immorality and wrong-doing are brought to light--proclaimed from the housetops. While we do not say that the Adversary brings these things to light, yet we can see how the Adversary may have had to do with the movement toward communism that once had sway, as well as the movement toward socialism and toward anarchism. These are the things which will tend to bring on the time of trouble. So the wrath of man is made to turn to the praise of God. He is able to make the wrath of man praise Him. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee; the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain."--Psa. 76:10.



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PASTOR RUSSELL'S SERMONS IN GERMAN

Six newspapers in Ohio are now publishing the sermons weekly in the German text--two columns; also one in N.S. Pittsburgh, Pa., one in Aberdeen, S.D., and one in Waco, Texas. We are sure that many of our readers will be glad to know of this for their own convenience and for the sake of their German friends. Lorain, Chillicothe, Fremont, Zanesville, Sandusky and Port Clinton are the cities of Ohio favored in this respect. Do not forget to encourage these publishers with subscriptions and with occasional letters, letting them know that you appreciate the sermon feature.


TABERNACLE SHADOWS IN FRENCH

For our French readers we now have a supply of the TABERNACLE SHADOWS in the French language in paper binding, similar to the English edition, and at the same prices--5c. per copy, 50c. per dozen.


BROTHER RUSSELL'S SERMONS IN SWEDISH

The Newspaper Syndicate handling Brother Russell's sermons have selected a Swedish journal in the Central West for a Swedish translation of the sermons, namely, "The Kansas City (Swedish) Tribune," Kansas City, Mo. The paper is a weekly, and one dollar will secure it for a year. We hope our Swedish friends will patronize the Tribune and occasionally give its Editor an encouraging word and an address for a sample copy or a neighbor's order.



page 221
July 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

VOL. XXXIIIJULY 15No. 14

A.D. 1912--A.M. 6040


CONTENTS

Views from The Watch Tower223
Social Unrest Grows Apace223
Increase of Knowledge the Cause224
Politicians Are Seeing Things224
"Men's Hearts Failing Them for Fear"225
Baptists Divided on Communion Question225
Victorious Christ Heads Procession226
Leading Forth Captives227
"He Gave Gifts Unto Men"227
Not Given to Convert the World228
"The Word Was Made Flesh"229
A Body Given for the Purpose of Death229
"I Come to Do Thy Will"230
Deliverance to the Captives232
The Truth That Angered232
Faithful Unto Death233
Bound by an Unholy Oath233
Some Interesting Letters234
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies235

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 222

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.




PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N. Y., U. S. A.

Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
SEND MONEY 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 May 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.



ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.


ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE. ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.

THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE

Those of the friends who are using the Bibles containing our special Berean Helps write that they are in love with them more and more as the days go by and they learn their usefulness. Some, however, forget what a valuable assistance to Bible study they have close at hand, with comments or other information on the major portion of God's Word and references to SCRIPTURE-STUDIES, THE WATCH TOWER, and our other publications.

We have these WATCH TOWER BIBLES in two different styles and five different grades--the cheapest as low as $1.65, the very best and most complete at $3.65.



BETHEL HYMNS FOR AUGUST

After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for August follow:

(1) 60; (2) 4; (3) 109; (4) 47; (5) 91; (6) 145; (7) 152; (8) 111; (9) 110; (10) 127; (11) 260; (12) Vow; (13) 209; (14) 320; (15) 105; (16) 155; (17) 93; (18) 136; (19) 7; (20) 137; (21) 307; (22) 114; (23) 222; (24) 109; (25) 305; (26) 215; (27) 130; (28) 213; (29) 19; (30) 62; (31) 60.



[R5061 : page 223]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

SOCIAL UNREST GROWS APACE

OUR READERS know better than do the majority of people the meaning of the present social unrest. Many of them have been studying this subject with us from the standpoint of the Divine Plan of the Ages for more than thirty years. Steadily the unrest which the Bible predicted for the present time--the Harvest of this Age-- is culminating. Many know our expectations respecting October, 1914--that thereabouts the Time of Trouble will gain full headway and sweep the social structure as a besom of destruction.

While pointing out these things from the Word of God our journal has done all in its power to counsel peace, contentment, faithfulness of heart, appreciation of our multiplied mercies and blessings, the like of which humanity never before enjoyed. More than this, THE WATCH TOWER has striven faithfully in all these thirty-five years past to establish the foundation for true peace amongst the Lord's people--an exact knowledge of God, a correct understanding of the Divine Word and an appreciation of the Divine attributes.

To some extent the Divine blessing has attended our labors. Thousands of Christian people have been awakened, enlightened and brought back to the firm foundation of faith in God and in the Bible. Tens of thousands who have not come to a full consecration of their hearts to the Lord have, nevertheless (according to their letters), taken their stand for righteousness and truth, against sin and error. In these and through these to their families, friends and neighbors a testimony has gone out respecting "Love Divine, all love excelling," which has brought many into closer relationship with God, to a greater reverence of His Word and to a considerable faith in respect to the Divine Plan of the Ages. Hundreds of thousands no longer believe that God used His wisdom and power in human creation to bring into being thousands of millions doomed to eternal torture.

The glorious character of God is shining more resplendently in the world than ever before. The light is going forth in about twenty different languages and to practically every nation. We have not succeeded in effecting great things for the world. We did not so convince the nations that they turned from selfishness and sin to righteousness and love. We have not gotten them to "beat their swords into plowshares, nor their spears into pruning-hooks" (Isa. 2:4), nor have we reason to expect that kind of success to follow our labors. From the very beginning we announced the Scriptural Program to be that only the wise should understand and that "none of the wicked should understand" (Dan. 12:10) and that during this Age only the Elect class will be brought into full harmony with God.

We pointed out from the beginning that the world, full of selfishness, would wreck the present civilization and that God, according to the Bible, will use that great Time of Trouble--anarchy, confusion--as a means to an end, and upon the ruins of the highest civilization the world has yet known, wrecked by human selfishness, God will in His own due time erect the Messianic Kingdom, which for centuries He has promised and which eventually will bring the foretold blessing to Israel and to all the nations of the earth. If we were obliged thus to prophesy evil things, we were glad that we could also prophesy glorious things, everlasting blessing, the silver lining to the cloud.

A little more than two years remain before the climax of trouble we anticipate--if we are exactly right about the time. If we are not exactly right, surely we are not far astray, our enemies themselves being the witnesses.

Look at the state of the world. Europe is seething with a Socialism which indeed numbers amongst its hosts many men of noble impulses who fancy that the course they are taking is the only one to bring about a more equitable distribution of the rapidly increasing wealth of the world. Other less noble men in the ranks of the Socialists are thinking evidently less of justice, of a general betterment of society and of a more equitable arrangement of the world's riches, than of their own selfish interests. Others in this growing army of Socialism appear to be wholly demagogic--ignorant prattlers upon subjects which they do not comprehend.

The wage-workers of the world, under the names of Syndicalism, Socialism, etc., have finally realized that the progress of the world really depends upon the coal miners, engineers, machinists, etc. They do not dispute, of course, that brain capacity is also necessary, but they are inclined to say, and still more to think that brain power and Capital have appropriated the lion's share of earth's bounties for a long time and that now Labor must have the lion's share, even if force be required to obtain it.

The governments of Europe are in perplexity. They wonder and fear what a day or a year may develop, but hope for the best. Their chief consolation seems to be to claim that "all things continue as they were from the foundation of the world" (2 Pet. 3:4), and that no radical [R5062 : page 224] change in the affairs of humanity need be expected. Indeed, while Labor feels its power, Capital also feels its strength. Capital says that if Labor should attempt to block the wheels of industry and progress, Labor would be the first to feel the pangs of hunger and would be glad to compromise the situation. It is this confidence on both sides of the question that gives the situation the most serious aspect. When the struggle comes, both parties will feel so confident that neither will be ready to compromise and the results will be the more terrible.

INCREASE OF KNOWLEDGE IS THE CAUSE

Strange as it may at first appear, it is unquestionably true that the troubles upon us are the results of increased knowledge amongst the masses. When people did not know their power, they were content. The ascertainment of their power has brought them discontent and is leading on to anarchy. Had the knowledge come a thousand years sooner, the trouble would have come a thousand years earlier. Had the knowledge come two thousand years sooner, so would have come the discontent, the trouble. It comes now because Divine providence has been gradually lifting the veil of ignorance as the morning of the New Dispensation is nearing. We have not yet experienced the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, but we have with us the early gray dawn.

The world is awakening before the Master-Hand of the Messianic Kingdom, the Controller of earth's affairs. Civilization will wreck itself in its ignorant use and selfish abuse of the wonderful riches which Divine providence is showering upon mankind today through the increase of knowledge. The lesson is evident--the recompense also. All the blessings which we have would do good and not harm were it not for the selfishness and hardness of heart which have come upon humanity. Strange to say, this selfishness and hard-heartedness is more manifest amongst the civilized nations than amongst the peoples of India, China and Japan, although all have it, and although the more civilized of mankind cloak their selfishness in many ways.

Selfishness is never grateful. It never cries Enough! Even its gifts and benefactions are likely to be selfishly bestowed. All this is the result of original sin. Disobedience to the Divine Word has brought gradual opposition to the Divine Spirit of love, kindness, mercy. Tender-heartedness has given place to hard-heartedness. The strife that is coming will undoubtedly be most severe amongst those possessed of large knowledge and great blessings--and this means Europe and America, although the same malignant influence will assuredly exert itself throughout the world.

Just at the appropriate time religion lost its power. Churchianity came instead of Christianity, forms of godliness instead of the Spirit of the Lord. What led up to this? The educators and preachers of the world lost their faith in the Bible. Gradually the spirit of unbelief and the theory of evolution (that man was evolved from lower forms of life and not created) have spread through all the colleges, seminaries, schools and school-books. Now the person who possesses faith in a personal, intelligent, just, wise, powerful and loving God, is considered a simpleton.

Wealthy men have endowed colleges and schools to teach unbelief and Evolution. And now these same men stand aghast with wonder that the people whose faith has been destroyed by Higher Criticism and evolutionary doctrines have no longer faith in God's Word nor in God's providence and are determined to take matters into their own hands. Is it strange? Is it not merely the logical outcome that should have been expected? Do we not see here fulfilled the words of the Prophet Isaiah, "The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall not be manifest"? (Isa. 29:14.) The prudent men are the wealthy, whose generosity has been showered upon these colleges which are doing so destructive a work in the minds of men and preparing them to destroy the very foundations of our present civilization.

POLITICIANS ARE SEEING THINGS

Two great political conventions have been held which have had an awakening and enlightening influence on the minds of many. The candidates have spoken out with considerable freedom. The charges generally made and generally believed are that in each of the two principal parties there is a warfare in progress between a "stand-pat" element (willing to yield nothing) and a reform element. The former have apparently the more particular backing of the financial world and the Church influence, Catholic and Protestant. The other, or more progressive party, realizes in some measure the real condition of things in the world today--realizes that Capital must make concessions to Labor and must improve Labor conditions or else a social revolution is inevitable. Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Bryan are the prominent standard-bearers of the progressive thought in the two great parties. They represent millions of the middle-class people and millions of sympathizers in religious circles and in the world.

The Boston Globe quotes Mr. Roosevelt as saying, "With unflinching heart and undimmed eye, we stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord." Then the Globe quotes the Scripture to which Mr. Roosevelt refers in Rev. 16:16-18: "And He gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the Temple of Heaven, from the Throne, saying, 'It is done.' And there were voices and thunders and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great."

We cannot but wonder how much of what he said Mr. Roosevelt believes and appreciates. But the same thought is in the minds of others who profess little knowledge of or faith in the Bible. The Cincinnati Post, for instance, commenting on the same subject, says:

"And no one knows what it all means now or next week or before another generation has begun to crawl.

"Men talk among themselves--experienced newspaper men, men who have attended political conventions for years. But they don't print what they talk and don't talk all that they fear.

"There is a feeling that history is being made in a more mysterious manner than any of us can understand --that something is moving more powerfully than any of us can comprehend--and however much men predict or hazard guesses, nobody knows.

"Sometimes one forgets it is a Republican convention and sees only two tremendous forces about to clash. It is people who are stirring, not mere partisans. And it is the same spirit of unrest, the same mysterious uprising and breaking forth from beneath of a wonderful and awful power that has been breaking forth in spots all over the world."

If, however, it be conceded that the financial powers have set themselves in opposition to progress, those who know the power of money may well fear that the chances of the progressives are small. The money power, through the banks and bankers, has its influence upon all borrowers of money. There lies the danger. The power which can thus control nearly all of the influential is in danger of carrying its power too far and sitting upon the safety-valve [R5062 : page 225] until the explosion takes place--just such an explosion as the Bible warns us to expect.

What should be the attitude of God's consecrated people at this time? They should remember the Master's words and not be alarmed. He said, "When ye see these things begin to come to pass, lift up your heads, for your deliverance draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28.) This does not mean that we should ever act or feel boastfully, or even carelessly, respecting the welfare of humanity so seriously at stake. It means that with quiet confidence we may look up to God, and, realizing His omnipotence, wisdom and love, we may trust Him where we cannot trace Him and rest assured that all things are working together for good--especially for the Church, but indirectly also for the interests of all humanity.

God's consecrated people should more than ever "set their affections on things above and not on things on the earth." (Col. 3:2.) More than all, we should spend time and influence in the service of God, of the Truth, of our families and of all men, so far as we have opportunity. We should do them good, calming instead of arousing their fears. Instead of dilating particularly upon the trouble coming, we should expatiate especially upon the time beyond the trouble, encouraging them to faith in the Omnipotent One who has promised that through the Seed of Abraham "all the families of the earth shall be blessed." --Gal. 3:29.

Today we have wonderful opportunities. The world is waking up and inquiring about the meaning of the wonderful things of our day. Intelligent people are perplexed. They need the very light upon the Divine Plan which we have for them. The Golden Rule bids us do toward them as we would have them do towards us, if we were in the dark and they in the light. The Class Extension work is being greatly blessed and is reaching many. The Colporteur work is gathering, we believe, many ripe grains.

On the whole, the Lord's blessing seems to be specially manifest thus far this year. No doubt many who are now receiving the Truth respecting the Harvest time, etc., have been God's children for a considerable time, and under Divine providential guidance, direction, discipline, in preparation for the Kingdom. To these Present Truth comes as a special blessing and refreshment and as a [R5063 : page 225] special ripening for the Kingdom. Today's opportunities become tests also of our love and loyalty to God. "He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life eternal." (John 4:36.) Freely have we received, freely let us give to others the glorious light of Present Truth.--Matt. 10:8.

MEN'S HEARTS FAILING THEM FOR FEAR

There is a general apprehension of something unusual and fearful. Religious people of all denominations are distressed, as well as politicians and financiers. Large sums of money are still forthcoming, but chiefly from the wealthy. And these are growing weary of their trials as the supporters, "pillars," of their respective systems. Church attendance grows more slim, and many who do attend service confess that their worship is largely a form of godliness and custom and habit rather than an intelligent appreciation of their privileges. The people believe --they know not what. The "new thought" offered them as a soul-satisfying portion is, "Our forefathers generations back were monkeys." There is nothing soul-satisfying in this statement. The true-hearted are starving, not for bread, nor for water, but for hearing the Word of the Lord. (Amos 8:11.) The formalists are discouraged because of lack of numbers. All are in dread lest some one should ask questions respecting the various creeds of Churchianity, knowing that no one of intelligence can defend even one creed of Christendom.

Various schemes have been tried. Various good endeavors have been made to awaken the public to an interest in religious things. The public interest in Churchianity has died out. Evolution and Higher Criticism have undermined faith. The public say, "The preachers themselves do not believe the Bible. Why should we?"

Finally, the solemn thought is being pressed home daily that a great trial time has come upon Christianity as a whole--a day of judgment; and that in harmony with the adage, "In union there is strength," all Christian people should draw together for mutual support. The cry is, "A federation" (a confederacy--Isa. 8:12). This movement, foretold by the Scriptures, is now nearing a fulfilment, much as the matter was disputed when we called attention to it thirty-five years ago.

As we write, the Conference in Lambeth Palace, London, is in session. The chief representatives of the churches in Great Britain and the United States have assembled to see to what extent they can let down the bars of custom and superstition and recognize Protestant Christians of all denominations as fellow-Christians of the one Body of Christ--the one Church. Very soon there is to be a general meeting in the United States to which the proposals of the Lambeth Conference will be submitted.

The feeling of fear, uncertainty, need of union, is so generally felt that undoubtedly many Christians of various denominations will be glad to be associated, federated. The hope is that thus they will present a solid, religious backing to the Government and that the Government will give them in return a support. It will not surely amount to a union between Church and State, as in the old world, but it will amount to an understanding between Church and State, for the State also is feeling its need of backing. The result will be an apparently triumphant Churchianity, a brilliant flare-up of success. However, according to our understanding of the Bible, their prosperity will be short-lived, for it has no real foundation of Christian faith, but merely the excuse of necessity for its federative existence.

With the flare-up of Churchianity's apparent prosperity all not joining in will be esteemed as enemies, however conscientious. And they will have hard experiences for a little while, until the Master shall say, "It is enough. Come up higher." "To him that overcometh will I give power over the nations"; "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne"; "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."--Rev. 2:26; 3:21; 2:10.


BAPTISTS DIVIDED ON COMMUNION QUESTION

"Toronto, Ont., June 15.--The question of restricted communion was discussed by the Toronto Association of Baptist Churches in Parkdale Baptist Church yesterday. The leading speaker on the subject was the Rev. J. J. Ross, who maintained that "the ordinance of the Lord's Supper is unmistakably a restricted ordinance, and those who partake of it unworthily will bring judgment upon themselves.

"The debate was opened in the morning, but gave way to other topics until it was resumed by arrangement in the midst of the Women's Missionary Conference in the afternoon. A lively period of three-quarters of an hour was given up to it. Mr. A. M. Denovan took the view that it was never proven that Christ did not baptize infants a span long. Rev. T. T. Shields quickly retorted [R5063 : page 226] that it certainly had been proven that He had never done so.

"A heated discussion followed between those who maintained that the love of God in people's hearts entitled them to a place at the communion table, and the others who rigidly held that the only passport was immersion.

"An extra session was held at 6:30 p.m., when the discussion was vigorously continued. No decision was reached."--Woodstock, Ont., Daily Express.

Our Baptist brethren are having their troubles. After more than eighteen centuries they are half inclined to believe that they have made a huge mistake! Perhaps all the heathen who have not been baptized did not go to hell and are not still there roasting! Perhaps the Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Methodists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, etc., are not in hell for similar insufficiency of water!

Perhaps, after all, it has been a mistake that our Baptist friends have been excluding others from their communion table--claiming that, not being completely immersed in water, these are not members of the true Church of Christ, not eligible to heaven, etc. It is certainly time that our dear Baptist brethren became established with definite ideas about baptism, or else they should take that particular word from their denominational name.

The foregoing suggestion from the Daily Express respecting the baptism of infants is an outgrowth of the general misunderstanding of the subject of baptism.

The Bible teaches clearly enough that Christians are baptized into the Church, which is the Body of Christ, but nowhere does it say that it is the water baptism which inducts the believer into Christ. On the contrary, it most explicitly declares that the real, true baptism is baptism "into Christ's death." To be immersed into Christ's death plainly enough means to have a participation with the Redeemer in the death which He died--death to self-will, death to earthly hopes and aims and prospects. Only such as are thus immersed into His death will be in His likeness in the resurrection. "If we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him"; "If we be dead with Him, we shall live with Him."--Rom. 6:4-6; Col. 2:12; 2 Tim. 2:12,11.

If our Baptist brethren come to see what the true baptism is, they will all the more appreciate the water baptism as merely a symbol of the true immersion. Our baptism into Christ's death inducts us into the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, whose names are written in heaven.--Eph. 1:22,23; Heb. 12:23.

Throughout this Age some Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Episcopalians and others have had this real baptism into Christ's death, and accordingly have had their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life. These constitute the members of the One Church. Some of them were confused on the subject of baptism and used sprinkling--incorrectly, unscripturally. Others used immersion unscripturally--the Disciple friends thinking it the same as the Jewish baptism practised at the first advent of our Lord, for the remission of sin and for bringing Israel back into harmony with the Law Covenant. Others used water immersion improperly instead of the real immersion into Christ's death. The true view of the subject shows that we all in the past have been more or less in error. Humiliating as this fact is, it needs to be learned if we would make any progress.

YET ANOTHER LESSON

Another lesson we need to learn is that not merely the Church, which is the Body of Christ, is to be saved, but that God has a salvation--although a very different one-- for others.--Heb. 2:3; Jude 3.

Under the creeds formulated during the Dark Ages we supposed that since the whole world is under Divine condemnation, therefore every infant is so condemned. We were right in this, but wrong in respect to the character of the condemnation. None of our race were condemned to eternal torment or purgatory. The Bible explicitly tells us that we were condemned to death. (Rom. 6:23; Gen. 2:17; 3:19.) As a consequence mankind are a dying race. The dying processes of the six thousand years have affected the race mentally, morally and physically.--Psa. 51:5; Jer. 31:29,30.

Only those baptized into Christ's death and thus vitally united to the living Head of the Church, have as yet escaped from the condemnation which rests upon the world. But God's provision, which begins with the Church, will proceed, after her glorification, to bless the world. (Gal. 3:8,16,29.) Then all the non-elect, all the unbaptized, all out of Christ--infants, heathen, all--will be subjects of the blessed Millennial Kingdom. All will have the opportunity, not to be baptized into the Body of Christ, but to experience the promised restitution to human perfection and earthly paradise--all that was lost in Eden, all that was redeemed at Calvary.--Acts 3:19-21.



[R5066 : page 226]

VICTORIOUS CHRIST HEADS PROCESSION

"When He ascended up on high He led a multitude of captives."--Eph. 4:8.
THIS GRAND EXPRESSION respecting the glorious outcome of the Savior's work is quoted by the Apostle Paul from the Psalms. (68:18.) The figure thus thrust before our mental eye is that of a great Conqueror whose victory is being heralded. With the Romans we know that it was a custom that generals returning from various wars were granted what were termed "Triumphs"-- that is to say, triumphal processions, that the people might have tangible evidence of their victories.

Thus, for instance, Titus, returning from the war upon the Jews in A.D. 70, brought with him certain notable persons and the Golden Candlestick from the Temple, and these were displayed to the eyes of the people following the conqueror. They were subsequently sculptured on the Arch of Titus, still standing in Rome. And evidently the custom was still older than the days of the Romans, since it was so prophetically set forth by the Prophet David.

Let us permit our mental eye to feast upon the scene presented in our text. Jesus, in fulfilment of the Divine Program, had left the heavenly condition and descended to earth, taking a bondman's form or nature in order "that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for every man" (Heb. 2:9); in order that He might rescue Adam and his race from the dying and death condition in which they were--under Divine sentence and under the power of Satan.

Therefore the Redeemer counted not His life precious to Him, but freely delivered Himself up for our offenses and died, "the Just for the unjust," that He might bring mankind back into harmony with God. His humiliation ended in death, but His triumph began when, as is recorded, God raised Him from the dead by His own power, and set him at the right hand of His own Majesty--"far above angels, principalities and powers and every name that is named, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow." [R5066 : page 227]

HE THAT ASCENDED FIRST DESCENDED

The prophecy says nothing about our Lord's descending from the heavenly glory to the earthly nature, but St. Paul supplies this feature saying, "He that ascended, what is it but that He first descended, into the lower condition of the earth?" (Verse 9.) Thus the Apostle asserts that He that descended is He that ascended above all heights, that all things may be fulfilled through Him.

An important thought here noted is that our Lord not only left the heavenly glory, but that He returned to a still more excellent glory--He did not suffer the disastrous loss of the heavenly nature as a result of His obedience in taking the human nature. As He left the heavenly nature to take the human, so in returning He left the human nature to ascend again to that which He had before, with the additional glory of the divine nature.

LEADING FORTH THE CAPTIVES

With most of the conquerors in olden times the captives were made slaves. Not so, however, will be the result of Jesus' victory. He leads forth to liberty and eternal life those who have been slaves of sin and death. His train of captives is a long one indeed; the procession has already occupied eighteen centuries, and is yet to be the great work of the thousand years of the Messianic reign!

First of all in the procession are the saints--"the Church of the First-born, whose names are written in Heaven." In the forefront of them we see the twelve Apostles, St. Paul taking the place of Judas. The Apostles are to be Kings who are to reign with Christ in preeminent positions; but following them are some others of the saintly company of Kings--in all a "little flock."

Then will come a company, more numerous, but less heroic--"a great multitude," uncrowned, but with "palm branches," not antitypical Priests, but antitypical Levites, associates and servants of the Royal Priesthood, the Bride. Then will follow (Heb. 11:38-40) other faithful ones of the past, the Ancient Worthies. The Prophet speaks also of the "rebellious house." The classes previously specified were not rebellious, but gladly and willingly forsook all to do the will of the Father and to attain the liberty of sons of God, as the first-fruits of the triumph of the Lamb.

But during the thousand years of Christ's reign He will lead forth the "rebellious house"--the world of mankind-- not all of them, we may be sure, for some, the Scriptures positively declare, will die the Second Death, because, after realizing their deliverance, they will love sin and will therefore be destroyed as enemies of righteousness. But it is a blessed thought that many of those who are now aliens, strangers and foreigners from God through wicked works, are in this condition of opposition, not willingly, not intelligently, but by reason of the ignorance and weaknesses which came to them by heredity, under the reign of sin and death.

It is to be a distinct feature of the great Triumph of Immanuel that every eye shall be opened and every ear unstopped, that "the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth," during His glorious reign of righteousness. Are we not distinctly told of the time that will follow, in which all the willing and obedient shall receive the Holy Spirit, which then will be poured out "upon all flesh" even as now, during this Gospel Age, it is poured out upon God's "servants and handmaidens" only?-- Joel 2:28.

Oh, that will be a glorious Triumph for the great Redeemer! In the language of the Bible, "He shall see the fruitage of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied." (Isa. 53:11.) What a glorious fruitage!--not only His own exaltation--not only the exaltation of His faithful Bride class, and the additional exaltation of "the virgins, her companions, which follow her," and the exaltation of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the Prophets, but finally the deliverance to human perfection of all the groaning creation willing to accept the same upon the Divine terms of loyalty to God and to the principles of His Government, as these shall be made known to them.

"HE GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN"

It was the custom in olden times that a king coming into authority and power should give gifts according to His wealth. Governors and princes would be needed and he would dispense the honors of these offices to those found [R5067 : page 227] faithful in his service, loyal in the defense of His cause. So, in this prophetic reference to our Lord's ascension, it is declared not only that He would lead forth a multitude of captives, granting them freedom, liberty, blessings, but also that He would confer certain gifts.

We might have spent valuable time guessing the nature of these gifts which the great Redeemer would dispense, but such a waste of time is unnecessary, since the Apostle proceeds to explain the matter and tells us what gifts are meant. He says, "And He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers."

There is an astounding thought connected with this statement--that the Apostles were not self-appointed, and that they had no successors, and that the work of evangelizing, or making known the "good tidings," and the pastoral work and the teaching work amongst believers, are all under the supervision of the Head of the Church, the great Victor, who redeemed us with His blood, and who proposes, first, to lead forth a Bride class, and subsequently all the willing and obedient.

It behooves us to notice that the Apostle does not intimate that Jesus gave to some Methodism, to others Presbyterianism, and others Roman Catholicism, etc. No, when we held such thoughts it was because of more or less misunderstanding --because we failed to see first that there is but the "one Church of the Living God, whose names are written in heaven," and second, that that one Church is not any of the various sects and parties, but includes the saintly in all of these; "the Lord knoweth them that are His."

NOT GIVEN TO CONVERT THE WORLD

Noting carefully the Apostle's argument in connection with our text, we perceive that the Master did not give these gifts for the conversion of the world. He does specify, however, what they were for, namely, "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ"--the Church, the Bride class. Is it supposable that the Apostle erred in this statement and that the fact is the reverse--that these gifts were provided for the conversion of the world, and that the Apostle thoroughly misunderstood the matter and supposed that they were given for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the Body of Christ? No! We are to be taught by the Apostle and may be sure that there is no mistake, no error in his statement.

Notice the force of the expression, "the perfecting of the saints." It is not sufficient that believers have a little knowledge, a little faith, and a measure of sanctification or devotion to the Lord, for after they have received and attained all of these things they still need the instruction of the Apostles and ministers, pastors and teachers, provided by the great Head of the Church for their perfecting. Ah! there is a force and depth of meaning in that word perfecting. We remember that of our Head it is written, "Being made perfect through suffering, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey [R5067 : page 228] Him." So His followers are made perfect through suffering.

The Master's perfecting, indeed, was a little different from ours, and yet there is a similarity between the two. He was perfect before He humbled Himself; He was still perfect as the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself; but as a result of His consecration He received a begetting of the Holy Spirit to the divine nature, and His development as a New Creature required that He faithfully carry out His vow, or covenant of sacrifice, in the doing of the will of the Heavenly Father. By such faithfulness He perfected Himself on the divine plane--that is, He proved Himself worthy according to the covenant--"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive glory, honor, dominion and power."--Rev. 5:12.

Similarly the followers of Jesus are to be sharers with Him in the sufferings of this present time and in the glories which shall follow, for "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him." (2 Tim. 2:12.) Although we are imperfect in the flesh, while He was perfect, yet the robe of His righteousness, the merit of His sacrifice, covers all of our blemishes and makes us, as His footstep followers, holy and acceptable before the Father, as joint-sacrificers with Jesus.

The begetting of the Holy Spirit starts us in the life divine. We are not to be perfected in the flesh, but in the spirit, and our perfection and acceptance with the Father will be demonstrated by our loyalty of heart and the fulness and thoroughness with which we submit our all to the Divine will and seek to glorify God in our bodies and spirits which are His. (I Cor. 6:20.) Our justification comes to us as a reward of faith, regardless of works, but our glorification will follow as a reward for faithfulness.

THESE GIFTS ARE LASTING

Not merely for a few days or years were these gifts to the Church provided; on the contrary, they were to endure throughout this entire Age, until the Church perfected shall pass beyond the veil and be forever with her Redeemer, to share His glory, honor and immortality. The Lord from time to time has raised up evangelists, pastors and teachers for this glorious service of preparing the "chaste virgin," the Church, to be the Bride in glory. But the Apostolic office, as represented in The Twelve specially provided by the Father, has continued and needs no replenishment. We still have their instructions as fully as the early Church, "that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work."-- 2 Tim. 3:16,17.

That the Apostle did not understand the matter to be merely for a day, but throughout this Age, until the completion of the Church, is clearly evidenced by his statement, namely, that all these gifts were for the edification of the Body of Christ and the perfecting of the saints to the last--"until we all come to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

This is a wonderful statement, however we view it. Shall we say that it applies to each individual member of the Church of Christ, and that each individual must come into that full unity of faith, and that full knowledge of the Son of God, and the perfection of manhood in Christ, and to a developed stature of maturity in Christ? Or shall we understand the meaning to be, until the entire Church of Christ shall have reached a full knowledge and shall, as a whole, have come to the condition of a perfect Man, of which Christ is the Head and we are the members --to the full development or stature of the Anointed, the Messiah, Head and members? We believe that the latter is the Apostle's thought.

Nevertheless, it cannot be disputed that the selection of these members all the way down the Age must have been along the lines here indicated. Individually, one partially developed would not be fitted for the Kingdom. One not in the unity of the faith would not be suitable. One not developed to the proper measure or stature as a Christian would not be suitable. Nothing is more plain than that the individual Christian needs a great deal of instruction, edification, building up in the holy faith, testing, proving, chiseling, polishing, fitting, preparing before he shall be ready for a place in the Kingdom.

GOD'S PEOPLE NO LONGER NEED BE MISLED

This thought is confirmed by the succeeding verses, in which the Apostle tells us that by the assistance of these, the Divinely provided gifts, teachers, etc., God's people need no longer, like children, to be tossed to and fro, and be misled by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness of those who would deceive. On the contrary, being sincere, and speaking the truth in love, they are to grow up into membership in the Anointed One in all things--coming fully and completely into fellowship and obedience, under the Head, even Christ.--Verses 14,15.

Proceeding, the Apostle tells us that all who are recognized as members of the Body of Christ must be properly joined to the Head--by a proper compact, or covenant, intelligently made and fully intended. This union must be compacted, and it requires the entire Gospel Age to effect this development and compacting as members, that the whole Body of the Anointed may be one--symmetrical, beautiful, co-operative--making increase in its members and edifying itself in love--growing in grace and in knowledge and in character-likeness to the Head.--V. 16.

In conclusion, then, the Captain of our Salvation has gone before, He has accepted us as His joint-heirs, and we are following on, blest by the gifts which He dispensed when He ascended up on high; and we, in turn, will be His gifts to the world of mankind. When as Priests and Kings we shall be associated with our Lord, we shall bless all the families of the earth with a glorious opportunity of knowledge and obedience, that they may, if they will, attain life everlasting, "the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord."--Rom. 6:23.



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"THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH"

OUR FINITE MINDS have difficulty in understanding some of the deep things of Scripture because of our insufficiency of knowledge and of experience. All that we know of our Lord's pre-human existence is revealed in the Word of God. The Scriptures state that our Lord was rich and became poor; not that He remained rich and seemed to become poor, but that He actually became poor that we might become rich. The Apostle says that He divested Himself of those conditions that He had before He became human, and that He took a bondman's form. He was made flesh. The explanation is given, "A body hast Thou prepared Me," a human body, and thus He was made "a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death."--Heb. 10:5; 2:9.

Putting together the Scriptural statements on the subject we have this: In His pre-human existence our Lord was the Logos, "the beginning of the creation of God," the Alpha of all God's creation, and the Omega in that Jehovah created only this One. Of the Logos it is written, "All things were made by Him, and without Him [R5064 : page 229] was not anything made that was made." (John 1:3.) He was on the spirit plane, next to the Father.

In the Divine Plan of the Ages, formulated long before, a proposition was made our Lord with a view to the redemption of mankind; provision was made that if obedient to the Father's will, the Logos would receive still further exaltation, even to the divine nature. For this joy set before Him, our Lord took the various steps necessary to complete the great work of redemption. The contract into which He entered with the Father was one which involved much humiliation. While there was a sacrifice of power, of honor, of glory, yet no sacrifice of life was involved in the first step taken; namely, His acceptance of the Father's arrangement that He should be made flesh; that He should become a human being, that He should give up His existence on the heavenly plane.

Originally, as the Logos, our Lord was a soul on the spirit plane, in the sense that any intelligent being is a soul; for the word "soul" signifies being; and the transfer of the life principle to a human body brought Him to the earthly plane. The life principle was the same that He had before, therefore the personality was the same. It was important to have identity of mind; and this He had by Divine arrangement.

A BODY GIVEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEATH

The Scriptures do not explain how the spark of life belonging to the spirit being known as the Logos became transferred to the human plane. When our Lord was thus changed, He merely took the step of getting ready to become the sacrifice for sinners. In His pre-existent state He could not have given the corresponding price for Adam; for He had not the human life to offer. But when He became a human being and had reached the age of maturity, He was in condition to be the Sin-offering.

We would say that our Lord as a human being was the same soul as in His pre-existent condition; for He had the same life principle as before; and that when He became human He did not die as a spirit being. The Scriptures declare that our Lord was "made flesh," a human being; and that the difference between Him and mankind in general was that He was perfect--"holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners"--separate from the remainder of the human race. (Heb. 7:26.) The Scriptures also explain that this difference resulted from the fact that He was specially begotten. The life principle by which He was conceived came directly from the Heavenly Father.

This explanation is altogether different from the theory known as Incarnation. The thought of the theory of incarnation is that a spirit being took possession of an earthly being--became incarnate, dwelt in the flesh, in the same way that some are possessed of evil spirits which dwell within them. This, we believe, is a wrong thought respecting our Lord which has come down from the "Dark Ages." There is nothing in the Scriptures about incarnation. The Scriptures do not say that our Lord's body died, while the spirit being within it remained alive. But the Bible says that our Lord left the glory which He had with the Father and was found in fashion as a man; that He humbled Himself unto death, even unto the death of the cross; that He was "put to death in the flesh."--John 17:4,5; I Pet. 3:18; Phil. 2:8.

"MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US"

From what we know of childhood we recognize it as the period of development. And so we read of our Lord: "And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him...And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." (Luke 2:40,52.) His was not a mind that had all the experiences and intelligence of His pre-existent state. We read that He grew in wisdom. His mind grew. Of course, being perfect He would learn much more rapidly and accurately than would others; and this accounts for the fact that as a child He was able to confound the Doctors of the Law. With His natural qualities of mind He was able to grasp the situation, to take in things rapidly.

St. Luke tells us that at the age of twelve years our Lord accompanied His mother and Joseph to Jerusalem. The Jewish children were accustomed to attending religious services; and it was a custom that Jewish boys should make a consecration at the age at which Jesus did. Jesus knew that He was different from other boys. Very likely He told them the facts relating to His miraculous birth. It is assumed by some that He was even charged with having an illegitimate birth. But since we do not know definitely about this, we must confine ourselves to the Scriptures.

Our Lord came into the world in a miraculous manner for the purpose of fulfilling the prophecies, which were all to attain fulfilment in Him. Naturally He would avail Himself of the first opportunity of ascertaining the requirements. When at twelve years of age He learned from the Doctors of the Law that He could not assume the priestly function as a boy, He made no further attempt, but was subject to His parents, or to Mary and her husband, who properly enough were His guardians until He reached thirty years of age, when His first step was to make full consecration of Himself.

"I COME TO DO THY WILL"

Our Lord at thirty years of age certainly had much knowledge that Adam did not possess when he was on trial. Our Lord had some knowledge of what constitutes sin and its penalty. He had also knowledge of the fact that God had arranged for the redemption of mankind, through the great Mediator of the New Covenant--a Savior, a Redeemer, a Deliverer. He knew that the inability of others to keep the Divine Law written in the Decalogue and His ability to keep that Law, constituted the difference between Himself and others.

Doubtless our Lord's mother had told Him of His miraculous birth and of the message that had come through Gabriel and of the prophecy of Anna and of Simeon. And He had in mind the prophecy respecting Himself and the future of the great Messiah that was to come and deliver the world. All this knowledge was very valuable.

But the thing that our Lord evidently lacked was the knowledge of the deeper things of the Scriptures. He evidently found perplexities in the Bible; for He had not received the Holy Spirit. Although He might be better qualified to understand these things than were the fallen race, yet, as the Apostle says, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God,...neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (I Cor. 2:14.) Jesus had not been begotten of the Holy Spirit; therefore He did not have the understanding of the prophecies and symbols.

"THE HEAVENS WERE OPENED"

All this knowledge began to come upon Him when He was begotten of the Holy Spirit. He began to understand the higher things, the deep things of God. He had understood in a measure about the Lamb that was slain as [R5064 : page 230] the sin-offering and the things about the putting away of sin, but nothing to identify the One who was to be the great Deliverer or to explain the wonderful pictures in the Scriptures. Just as soon as He was begotten of the Holy Spirit He began to see that if He would reign, it would be by a manifestation of loyalty to God and to righteousness. As soon as He was illuminated He saw the things pertaining to the suffering.

During our Lord's earthly ministry He learned obedience through the things which He suffered. (Heb. 5:8.) And thus He received the great illumination which was so powerful an addition to Him--just as it is a great illumination to us to see the terms and conditions of our calling--that we must walk in the steps of our Lord if we would reign with Him.

Just in what manner the higher things were revealed to our Lord we may not know. St. Paul tells us of wonderful revelations which were made to him. Doubtless our Lord also had revelations, but just what was revealed to Him thus, in order that He might understand His pre-human conditions, etc., we may not know. Nor do we know how all the acts and experiences during the previous period of His existence before He became flesh could have been impressed suddenly upon His mind. The same God who is able to give us a spirit body which will assimilate all the experiences of the present life, could also [R5065 : page 230] impress upon Jesus all the previous experiences which He had had.

The impress of previous experiences did not come to Him during His boyhood; for He was then growing in knowledge and in stature, and in favor with God and man. We believe that the impress came at the time of His consecration at Jordan; and that not only had He there given to Him the impress of His previous experiences with the Father and of the remote past, but also that He had light given to Him upon the Scriptures so that He could grasp the full purport of what He had done when He gave Himself in consecration.

As the "heavens" continued to open to our Lord, He would see that the experiences of the Messiah, which could not have been commanded under the Law Covenant, were nevertheless to be His privileges as He would see these to be the Divine will, as He would see these to be the Divine Law in the Prophecies. As a sheep would be dumb before its shearers, so He would not rebel as His rights were taken from Him. He would know that He was to be put to death; and that He was to be an innocent victim. He was to be the crucified One, the antitype of the brazen serpent.

Having consecrated to fulfil all things written in the Book Jesus was fully prepared for His every experience. This we see also is the purport of that beautiful picture in Revelation of the scroll sealed with seven seals. The proclamation was made, "Who is worthy to open the Book, and to loose the seals thereof?" (Rev. 5:2.) Up to that time no one had been found who could open the Book. But at that time our Lord was found worthy to open the Book, and to Him was given all the knowledge in the Divine Plan, that He might carry out these things in the sacrificing of the flesh.

At His consecration at Jordan our Lord gave up the human life--He gave up all rights and privileges as a human being. The ultimate purpose of this full surrender of His life was that He might bring everlasting life to mankind. The Father's arrangement with Him, however, was such that He might retain His personality, His identity. But after He was begotten of the Holy Spirit, He was a New Creature; and as a New Creature He had the human body in which to develop character, in which to have His experiences. This New Creature was developed to perfection during the three and one-half years of His ministry, and was ready for the spirit body which had been promised to Him.

If our Lord had not been found perfect, faithful, loyal, in His pre-human condition, He never would have had this privilege of becoming a man and the Redeemer of men. Because of His obedience as a man He received the greater glory, immortality. He was perfect under all the favorable conditions before He became a man; He was faithful as a man, and being glorified, He is still faithful. Therefore He maintains the same relationship to God and to righteousness that He ever had. Consequently He would not specially need any of those things which assist in making character; for He has never shown any defects to be rectified. But we may suppose that the experiences which He had in His pre-existent state, and while He was a man, and since He was glorified, all cooperate to make His character intelligent and loyal in the very highest sense.

HE "MANIFESTED FORTH HIS GLORY"

Let us examine some Scriptures which might be understood to imply that our Lord had a clear recollection of His pre-human experiences with the Father.

(1) "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (John 5:19.) These words were used in connection with the healing of the sick. They do not, of course, mean that the Lord had seen the Father healing the sick, but that He had seen the Father's will, the Father's Plan.

Our Lord was simply carrying out the Father's will concerning Him: "The eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped; then shall the lame man leap as an hart"; etc. (Isa. 35:5,6.) These miracles of healing were some of the things that He was to do, as written in the Scriptures. He knew that He was to do these miracles and that they were a foreshadowing of the things to be done by and by. As we read, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus... and manifested forth His glory."--John 2:11.

(2) "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth." (Prov. 8:23-25.) This passage may be viewed either as a prophecy of what our Lord understood of His previous condition, or as a figure of speech setting forth the Wisdom of God all through the ages. But since the Wisdom of God is specially revealed in our Lord Jesus, so this was a foreshadowing of what Jesus might know respecting His pre-human condition.

(3) When our Lord at twelve years of age asked, "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49) He would have in mind the Heavenly Father, just as any consecrated child of God might think of Him. From the information which He had received from His mother, Mary, He would know of His miraculous birth and of His special mission in the world. His mother knew that He could not be true to Himself and His mission unless she told Him about these things. Having been told that He was specially holy and miraculously born for this very purpose, He now turned to Mary and asked, Is it possible that you should not know that I should be about My Father's business? Did not you tell me of this thing? He was surprised that Mary [R5065 : page 231] and Joseph should not understand that this was the very thing for Him to do.

MEMORY THE MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION

(4) Our Lord's statement, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58), serves to identify the man Jesus with His previous condition as the Logos before He was made flesh and dwelt among us. He is the same today, although He has been received to the spirit plane. He says, "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive forevermore." (Rev. 1:18.) Originally He was on the spirit plane. Later as a man, He lived; He died. At His resurrection He was made alive on the spirit plane, far above angels, principalities and powers. But the identity, the personality, is the same.

And we can readily believe that the memory of things past is still with our Lord. We also think that He remembers the experiences which He had in the flesh and also those which He had before He became flesh. Otherwise, He could not identify Himself. Memory seems to be the means of identification of our personality. Nothing in this Scripture would seem to imply that our Lord was born into the world with the knowledge of all His previous experiences. After His consecration He received the knowledge by some means which we are not great enough to understand--by some power the Father used; for the Father has all power.

(5) "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." (Heb. 13:8.) This statement would not identify our Lord with His previous condition; for in His pre-existent state, He was not Jesus. He was called Jesus at His birth. He became Jesus Christ at His baptism. "By His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities." (Isa. 53:11.) Our Lord began to bear the iniquities of the world at His consecration, and finished so doing at His crucifixion. Since then He has been reckoning certain persons to be members of Himself. When the Holy Spirit came upon Him and the heavens were opened unto Him, He probably received the knowledge which would enable Him to overcome.

Before His consecration, when our Lord was a perfect man just as Adam was, we know not what force Satan's temptations would have had; but when His mind was opened, then Satan came to tempt Him along the very line of His work, along the line of the consecration which He had already made. Satan attempted to overthrow His consecration and to thwart its completion. How much knowledge our Lord had we do not know; but the Heavenly Father gave Him sufficient to enable Him to come off conqueror. And so with us. Our Lord gives us knowledge of Himself and of the Father. He shows us the relation between the sufferings of this present time and the glories that are to follow. Thus by knowledge all the members of the Body of this Great Righteous Servant will be permitted to come off "more than conquerors" by His grace.

THE NATURAL MAN CANNOT PERCEIVE SPIRITUAL THINGS

(6) "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness." (John 3:11.) The intimation is that our Lord could tell heavenly things, but that He was not disposed to do so, because Nicodemus and others found it difficult to receive even the earthly things. How could Jesus tell of the heavenly things? By that time He may have had the impress of memory in respect to His pre-existent condition.

We are to tell the heavenly things, but not to the natural man. "Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." (Matt. 7:6.) Our Lord said that He had many things to tell His disciples, but that they could not receive them until the Holy Spirit came. (John 16:12,13.) And, "The Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:39.) "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"; "but God hath [R5066 : page 231] revealed them unto us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." (I Cor. 2:14,10.) Now if the Holy Spirit reveals some of the deep things to us, how much more could the perfect mind of our Lord enter into the holy things?

"THE GLORY WHICH I HAD WITH THEE"

(7) Our Lord's words, "Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine Own self, with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was" (John 17:5), would not signify that He had no knowledge of His prospective share in the divine nature. He had the assurance of the Scriptures, one of which was that He should be very high; another that the Lord would give unto Him the Kingdom; another says that Jehovah God would "divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death" (Isa. 53:12); still another says, "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." (Psa. 110:4.) He was to be both a Priest and a King of very high state and honor.

Probably our Lord knew these things fully after He was begotten of the Holy Spirit, even as St. Paul was caught away to the third heaven and received knowledge of wonderful things "which it is not lawful for a man to utter." (2 Cor. 12:4.) And so it is most probable that our Lord Jesus had some special revelation; for we read that He said that "as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself" (John 5:26); thus indicating His knowledge of the fact that both He and the Church would share in the divine nature and inherency of life.

Our Lord's words show that He was not wishing to aspire to these glorious things. Very humbly He said, "Father, I have come to do Thy will. Father, I shall perform the work Thou hast given Me to do and I shall be glad to be returned to the glory I had with Thee-- to ask nothing as a favor. I am glad that I have had this privilege, and I think that I shall not suffer by reason of My obedience to Thy will. I shall be glad, therefore, to be with Thee in the glory that I shared with Thee before the world was."

He did not say to the Father, "Do not forget to pay Me; do not forget what Thou didst promise." No. He did the Father's will without any thought of compensation connected with it. So with us. Anyone who looks for the divine nature merely as a reward and feels that it is due him, is taking an improper view. We should feel that to be on the side of righteousness and to be identified with our Lord Jesus is a great privilege, if there be no reward of the divine nature at all; but the thought of the reward is a great incentive to run patiently for something super-abundant, exceedingly beyond what we could have asked or thought.



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DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES
--AUGUST 25.--LUKE 4:16-30.--

Text: "He came unto His own, and they that were His own received Him not."--John 1:11.
THE CHILDHOOD HOME of Jesus was Nazareth, although He was born in Bethlehem. The people of Nazareth would of course feel a certain sense of pride in their fellow-citizen whose fame was spreading throughout all Galilee and Judea. Hearing [R5068 : page 232] of the mighty works and wonderful teachings given at Capernaum, they not unnaturally said to themselves, Well, of course He will soon return to His own town and give us a sight of His wonderful power. And yet, they reflected, Is not this Jesus, whose mother and brethren we know, and who has for a long time been identified with Joseph's carpenter shop?

They could scarcely believe what they had heard. How could it be that so soon after leaving home He had become so famous and so powerful? He never did such miracles in all the years that we knew Him, said they. They did not, of course, understand as we do that He received His power as a special benediction when He was thirty years of age, as a result of His full consecration of His life to the Divine service, that devotion being symbolized by His immersion in Jordan.

THE SYNAGOGUE AT NAZARETH

At length He came to Nazareth. It was on a Sabbath day. For long years He had been recognized as one of the few able to read, and had done the congregational reading of the Holy Scriptures. This was therefore just what they wished and expected Him to do on the Sabbath day of His return. He went into the synagogue and received from the custodian the scroll bearing the lesson, and read the lesson for the day.

Thus far all went well; but when Jesus began to comment upon passages of Scripture there was a commotion; first whisperings of disapproval, and finally an outburst of wrath against Him. Ah! they thought, this young man has quite lost His head since He left us! We know indeed that His people of Nazareth have a mean name throughout the country, that ours is reputed to be a mean city of little learning; but who would expect that one of our own citizens would return to our midst and tell us to our faces that we are not worthy of having an exhibition of His power--such as He has given to other cities and to their people!

Their pride and patriotism made them wild. They drove Him out of the synagogue with angry demonstrations. They insulted and jostled Him and led the way toward the rear of their city, not daring to lay hands on Him, but merely as a mob gnashing upon Him and pushing onward in a direction in which they desired that they might lead Him to the brow of a hill, and then push Him over.

For a little way Jesus went, but then He turned and passed through their midst, overawing them by the dignity of His presence, and perhaps realizing that their course toward Him was merely a corroboration of what He had said respecting their unworthiness to have a share of the blessing of God which He was distributing.

THE TRUTH THAT ANGERED

What were the words that thus angered them? At first we read, "All bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth." What, then, made the change? It was the plain declaration that because they did not appreciate Him enough, because they did not believe in Him fully, therefore it would not be God's will that He should perform any miracles for them. He backed up His statement with illustrations from the past which angered them still more. He said that in Elijah's day there was a famine in the land, and that Elijah was not sent to the widows of Israel, but to a widow across the border, in a Gentile city.

Again, Elisha was not sent to cleanse the lepers of Israel, but did cleanse a Gentile, Naaman. Alas, for the power of pride! "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Instead of the people of Nazareth getting angry and resenting these things, they should have said, Tell us, then, of our faults and help us to overcome them. If God has blessings, surely we, as Israelites, may have our share if we will but come into the right attitude of heart. Instruct and pray for us. But the proud cannot see their difficulties, hence the Scriptural declaration of the special favor and blessing to the humble.

THE LESSON FROM ISAIAH

The lesson for that Sabbath was from Isaiah 61:1-3. It was an excellent text, and the sermon on it was from the very ablest of all teachers. The whole difficulty was with the heart condition of the hearers; and this is true of many a sermon and many a lesson. How His hearers should have rejoiced to know that they were living in the day of the fulfilment of these words! He had been anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit, that He might declare good tidings to the poor. Surely many of them were poor and needy!

We read further that Jehovah sent Jesus to heal the broken-hearted. Oh, how those words ought to have appealed to all in that audience! How they would have appealed to any that were broken-hearted! The difficulty probably was that they were hard-hearted. Satan has hardened the hearts of mankind in general. God's promise is that under Messiah's glorious reign He will take away the "stony hearts" and give them "hearts of flesh."

The declaration further was that the blind would receive their sight, that liberty would be granted to the captives, that the bruised and injured would be healed, and that "the acceptable year of the Lord" would be proclaimed. These were indeed wonderful words of life! No wonder we read that "they wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth."

"DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES"

This part of the message might have been applied in part to themselves. Were they not captives, bound by the fetters of sin, bound also by the fetters and chains of heredity, sickness, imperfection and death? Were not some of them actually blind also, as respected the eyes of their understanding? Evidently the time for them to see had not arrived--they were not in the condition to receive the blessing of the anointing of their eyes of understanding. Were they not all bruised by the fall, imperfect, blemished, wounded, sore--mentally, morally and physically-- and was not the Great Deliverer there to set them at liberty, in part at least, from these difficulties? Surely that was a favorable moment, and they were a favored people!

But the work that Jesus was doing was merely the proclamation of these things, with a few illustrations or examples of healing, etc. The real time for Him to accomplish the deliverance of the captives, the liberating of the sin-bruised, and the giving of sight to the blind, that all might sing the praises of God and appreciate His [R5068 : page 233] favor--these actual blessings belonged to the Messianic Kingdom time. What Jesus was doing was merely a foreshadowing of the great things to be accomplished future --"In the Times of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy Prophets."-- Acts 3:19-21.

PROCLAIMING "THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR"

This brief expression, so little understood, pointed out the special work of Jesus, far more important than the miracles. The term, "acceptable year," or acceptable time, refers to this entire Gospel Age of more than eighteen centuries. It is "the acceptable time" in the sense that during this period God is willing, through the merit of Christ's sacrifice, to accept from amongst the sinners a Little Flock of joint-sacrificers to share with their Redeemer in His Kingdom.

No opportunity had been granted in the past to become dead with Jesus, to present their bodies living sacrifices, to walk in His footsteps, to fill up the afflictions of Christ, to suffer with Him. The proclamation of this opportunity waited until Jesus had made His own consecration, and all who accepted His Message and became His followers did so under this invitation or proclamation. It was the privilege of becoming the sons of God by a begetting of the Holy Spirit. (John 1:13.) The acceptance of these sacrifices began at Pentecost and still continues. Who can say how soon the door of privilege to offer acceptable sacrifices may close? Then the door to the High Calling, to the Bride class, will be shut--forever. Other blessings God has, but not other privileges than those of this Age for suffering with Christ and for participating with Him in His reign of glory.



[R5068 : page 233]

FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH
--SEPTEMBER 1.--MARK 6:14-29.--
Text: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."--Rev. 2:10.
TODAY'S STUDY includes the tragedy connected with John the Baptist's death. King Herod had put away his own wife, and was living unlawfully with the wife of his brother Philip--Herodias--a vain woman apparently and without conscience, who, for ambition's sake, had dared everything that she might occupy the place of a queen. John the Baptist, a fearless teacher, in his preaching had referred to the fact that King Herod was living in violation of the Divine Law, and that this was likely also to bring upon the people a war, for his wife whom he had put away was the daughter of King Aretas.

Herodias heard of John's teaching, and was both angry and fearful--angry that he should dare to speak so of her relationship to the King--fearful, lest the words of this eloquent man, which greatly moved the masses, might alienate her from the King, or that perhaps the King himself [R5069 : page 233] might come under the influence of John's searching words. Had Herod put her away, as would have been his duty, she would have been an ashamed and a disgraced woman in the eyes of the world, for the Herods and their affairs were well known in Rome and elsewhere. So a denouement would have left her a pitiable spectacle, and in her pride she was ready to do murder, or anything that would divert such a calamity.

Herod feared John and feared the people who believed John to be a Prophet, but Herodias feared neither God nor man. However, in deference to Herodias' wish, Herod had John arrested for his temerity. Even then Herod liked to hear John talk, though he still kept him a prisoner. All the more Herodias feared the influence of John. She brooded and she schemed. The King's birthday came, and she encouraged him to make it a great day, a festival, and to ask to the banquet his principal friends. In the midst of the carousal she dressed her own daughter in the airy costume of the dancing girls of the East, and sent her in to dance before the King and his friends.

So great a condescension implied that the King should make some return. He asked the girl what he should give her, promising anything that she would ask, even to the half of his kingdom. This was exactly what the wicked mother had planned; and true to her agreement the child returned for instructions. Herodias had gotten Herod into her net. He had refused to kill John in spite of all her endeavors. Now, in the presence of his friends, on his own birthday, at his own suggestion, he had obligated himself to do anything that might be asked. If the daughter demurred to ask for the head of John the Baptist, the mother probably told her that if John lived both of them would probably sooner or later be outcasts; that his death was necessary.

BOUND BY AN UNHOLY OATH

When the maiden returned and made her request, the King was grieved, yet, not being a humble man, nor a God-fearing man, but merely a proud man with a man-fearing spirit, he felt himself bound to comply with his oath given in the presence of those great men. Was he not King? Was it not his birthday? Had he not freely promised, even though under the influence of intoxicating liquor, and should he now draw back and show the white feather, and simply that he had some confidence in this peculiar Prophet? No! The execution was accomplished; the head was delivered to Herodias; the King's honor (?) was maintained.

Alas, poor world! How many are its snares of pride in the wrong things, and in fear of the wrong person! How many are its attempts to preserve and increase its pleasures and honors!

In a previous study we heard Jesus' words, that no greater Prophet than John had ever arisen. We fully agree that he was a great man, a holy man; a Prophet of the Lord was he. We fully agree that he will have a great reward in the future--with all the holy Prophets, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he will come forth from the death-state perfect as a man, because he was found faithful, even unto death. He will be one of the class mentioned by the Lord through the Prophet David--"Instead of Thy fathers, shall be Thy children, whom Thou [Messiah] shalt make Princes in all the earth." (Psa. 45:16.) John will be one of those glorious Princes on the earthly plane, one of the representatives of Messiah and the Church, who will be on the Heavenly and invisible plane, like unto the angels, partakers of the divine nature.

Those who selected our lesson text evidently overlooked the fact that John the Baptist is not one of the Church class referred to in the Lord's words, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev. 2:10.) John will indeed get life everlasting as a glorious portion, but he will not be a member of the Bride [R5069 : page 234] class, as we have shown. This honor belongs to us who have received Jesus and become His disciples and been begotten of the Holy Spirit, since Pentecost. We again quote St. Paul's words concerning the Ancient Worthies: "All these died in faith, not having received the things promised them," "that they, without us, should not be made perfect." (Heb. 11:13,38-40.) We, the Church, the Bride class, the Little Flock, called to be joint-heirs with Jesus in His Kingdom, must get our share of the blessing first. The Bride and the Bridegroom must be perfected in the First Resurrection before the Kingdom can be established; and it must be established before the blessing can go to any others--even to the Ancient Worthies.

WHEREIN IS THE DIFFERENCE?

If John the Baptist was faithful unto death, just as faithful as those will be who have lived since Pentecost, wherein is the difference, and why should he receive an earthly reward and the Bride class receive the heavenly reward? There are several reasons for this. In the matter of justice God could not justly, not properly, show any preference to one person, or to one class; but in matters of grace, of favor, as the Scriptures declare, He may do what He will with His own. If A owed $5 each to B and C, he could not justly give the entire $10 to one of them and repudiate the debt to the other. But if he wished to make presents, gifts, he may give B $1 and C $9, or give the entire $10 to B and nothing to C.

So far as the world was concerned, God was under no obligation whatever to do anything to help Adam and his race; hence the entire matter of redemption is of grace. But since Jehovah entered into covenant with His Son that the latter should pay the redemption price for the world, and then become its Restorer, Jesus, having laid down His life, the matter has passed from being purely of grace, and has connected with it a certain measure of justice between God and Christ.

So far as man is concerned there is a measure of obligation, because God has already stated what the results of the redemption work shall be--"all the families of the earth shall be blessed"; there shall be a "restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets." God is therefore bound to humanity by principles of justice, because He has made these promises. Yea, He has given His oath that all the families of the earth shall be blessed. St. Paul's argument on this subject is that God has thus bound Himself by two immutable or unchangeable things--His Word and His Oath.

But nothing in God's promise bound Him to give John the Baptist a place in the Bride class. The Apostle Peter declares that God foreknew this class, predestinated it as a class, but not as individuals, from before the foundation of the world; and He is now making a selection according to principles, to determine who may be of this class. He gave no opportunity to John the Baptist to be of this class, but in His providence permitted him to die when he had accomplished the work specially intended for him. None could be of this Bride class who died prior to Pentecost, for there the Holy Spirit of adoption and begetting was first given, and without that none could occupy the plane of sons; those under Moses and of his House were servants.



[R5069 : page 234]

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

My husband and I have entered the Colporteur work and the Lord has wonderfully blessed us.

As we are working in another brother's territory, I write to ask if Shiawassee County, Mich., is being worked. If not, will you assign us this county as soon as possible?

We have taken orders for nearly four hundred books in six days. We each took orders for nine full sets in one day. I never believed I could sell a book and dreaded to go into the work because of my inability to explain the Scriptures; also because I am not much of a talker. But I have found that God can use very poor material to do His work.

We have been greatly blessed and are thankful that we took your advice and entered the work. May the dear Lord bless you in your work!
MRS. S. H. GRIFFIN.--Ohio.


DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD:--

Many of the smaller classes, and perhaps some of the larger ones, do not realize the importance of order in regard to addressing only the brother occupying the chair. As a class we have about overcome this difficulty. We also used to think that it was not necessary to be strict in this because we were so few in number, but I always felt that I should be ashamed if anyone from an orderly class should visit us and witness the disorder.

The Elder of a disorderly class is especially in danger of displaying his lack of obedience to this rule when he visits another class, for he forgets that he is not occupying the chair and unconsciously comments on every expression to the annoyance of the class. I feel that it would not be easy for the leading Elder to correct him, for it would be like correcting your friends' children for misconduct.

Perhaps these friends overlooked the importance of addressing the chair as given on page 327, Vol. VI., and included in a past study. It would surely be beneficial to them to turn to it again with a spirit of obedience in their hearts.

May the Lord continue to bless you as you strive to carry out His will.

Your sister in the dear Redeemer,
__________


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Words cannot express my appreciation of the "Meat in due season" committed to your charge to dispense in "My Vow unto the Lord."

What a comfort it has been to me! what a help in keeping on "the whole armor of God"! to keep my heart with all diligence; to bridle my tongue!

Surely it is a wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father, for in every temptation and trial, in every thought, word and action, it helps us to remember our covenant to be dead with our Lord--to endeavor to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ."

I must confess my tardiness in writing you; I took the Vow a year ago and testified to blessings received, promising then to send in my name. I feel that I have lost a blessing in withholding it so long.
J. A. THOMPSON.--Calif.


[R5070 : page 234]

FAITHFUL BARKING COMMENDED

DEARLY BELOVED PASTOR:--

When first reading the article in a past TOWER illustrating our "Old Creature," by a dog, it seemed a little amusing; but recently circumstances here in the Philadelphia ecclesia brought forth the need of studying the parable of the "Sheep."

We learn that all shepherds keep a good "sheep dog," which is gentle, kind, never vicious, but does considerable barking when the sheep are inclined to stray; and all sheep belonging to the dog's owner are very dear to the dog. Its sense of smell is very acute; if a sheep had been near a wolf the dog would detect it and bark at the wayward one.

Learning the above facts partly answered a puzzle in my mind, namely, whenever any "sheep" in our ecclesia strays from any of the doctrinal points, he or she is usually very composed about it, but those watching for such danger-places make a big fuss over it. It is talked and talked about. They seem very restless, disturbed, even to loud words.

Questioning the different "barkers" I find each ready to suffer anything if only the wanderer may return--have his eyes opened. So I have concluded that it belongs to the faithful "dog" to bark and bark at even the smell of a wolf, and that to err in the "dog" nature is nothing to compare to erring in doctrine. In other words, dogs would better bark too much than not to be watchers and warners of the approach of the wolf. __________ [R5070 : page 235]

BEREAN QUESTION STUDIES

DEAR BRETHREN:--I have been for many years much impressed with the importance of Berean methods of study-- indeed, ever since the Society began to bring them to our attention as specially desirable methods. I have since then aimed to follow them closely in my personal studies, but have realized all the while that, as classes, we were not getting hold of them properly.

A recent visit of the dear brethren, coupled with careful consideration of a letter (Tower, Sept. 15), has impressed the matter upon me as never before. I trust a new impetus has been given to "class" study and, with the thought of possibly adding somewhat to the impression, I am sending out to Ecclesias in this vicinity some suggestions, of which the enclosed is a copy:--

(1) Berean Study is as old as the Church.
(2) The volumes--STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES--like the Scriptures themselves, are full of interrogation points--that is, they suggest questions everywhere.
(3) The average mind is not competent to make the best arrangement of these questions--linking them together in their proper, logical order.
(4) The arranged Questions, furnished by the Brooklyn Tabernacle, supply this lack.
(5) These "Question" Studies have been with us for years.
(6) The Bethel "Table Talks" are on the same general plan--surely a forceful demonstration and endorsement of the method.
(7) They foster concentration of thought, and give a definite aim in study.
(8) They develop ability in analyzing subjects.
(9) They assist all the members of a class to study along uniform lines.
(10) The Church being made up of separate Ecclesias, in proportion as the method is followed by the different Ecclesias, the Church as a whole is studying along uniform lines.
(11) We acknowledge the value of uniformity by our unanimous adoption of it in use of Daily Hymns and Daily Manna.
(12) They make the leader of a Class less a teacher, thus dividing up with the class, more fully, the responsibility for development.
(13) It encourages Class study, which is surely discouraged in proportion as the leader, either from inclination or as the result of less practical methods, monopolizes the explanation of Studies.
(14) It supplies the best basis for study of the lessons beforehand, and neglect of this spells proportionate failure in any method of Class work.
(15) Each member of a Class has a responsibility in this respect which he or she cannot afford to ignore. (It is our opinion that where Classes fail to make the method practical the main difficulty lies (a) in a lack of preparatory study; (b) in failure of the leader to impress its importance.)
(16) Where an Ecclesia lacks "speaking" talent, it supplies a good substitute, and we believe in many cases more than a substitute. We incline to the conviction that less dependence on preaching and more on "class" study should be the order.
(17) Should the appointed leader be absent from any "study," the Class thus equipped could carry along the Study without interruption, any member reasonably well-informed being competent to take charge.
(18) If for any reason it should not be deemed wise to have a regularly appointed leader, different members would be prepared to lead in turn--each member recognizing such a one as leader, while filling the office, directing all questions and answers to him--thus holding the Class to order as effectually as though they had a regularly appointed leader.
(19) Any answer to a question should be supported by at least two good Scriptures. If each member recognizes his or her responsibility in finding these Scriptures, it will guarantee a study which should make any subject interesting to any visitor present who is interested in the Bible.
(20) Should any question come up on any paragraph, after those prescribed for the study have been dealt with, the leader, by turning it over to the Class, instead of answering himself, will make the study the more helpful. (This method of turning questions over to the class would often avoid a delicate situation, should the question be such as would call for an answer which might not be acceptable to the questioner. The leader, in thus sharing the responsibility with the class, could express himself the more freely, and no special objection
could be taken.)
(21) With the "Berean Question" method uniformly followed, in any "study" where a specific number of questions are marked off, and kept up with, we would be at home if temporarily present with any Class the world over.
(22) Additionally, we all desire to be as closely in touch with the "isolated" ones as possible, and it would seem that nothing could operate more effectually in this direction than the widest possible application of this principle of oneness in study.
(23) The fact that the Society is continually urging this method gives the unmistakable inference that WE NEED IT.

Your brother in service,
W. W. BLACK.



page 235

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES

Series VI., Study X.--The Baptism of the New Creation.

AUGUST 4

(1) What is the general consensus of opinion among Christian people regarding baptism? P. 421, par. 1.

(2) As a result of the great falling away from the faith once delivered unto the saints, what were the views regarding water baptism as held by the nominal Church in the second century? and why were "sponsors" required. P. 421, par. 2.

(3) How was the rite of water baptism performed during the third century? P. 421, par. 3.

(4) Describe the Roman and Greek Catholic baptismal ceremonies. Pp. 422, 423.

(5) Why was infant baptism introduced into the Church, and what privileges in this respect were granted to the laity? P. 423, last par.

AUGUST 11

(6) What is the attitude of the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches toward baptism? P. 424, par. 1 to 3.

(7) What significance does the Church of England attach to infant baptism? P. 424, last par. and P. 425, top.

(8) Explain the Presbyterian view of baptism? P. 425, par. 4, 5.

(9) What is the position taken by Methodists, Episcopalians and other denominations in general upon this question? Relate an anecdote illustrating the popular idea with respect to infant baptism. P. 425, par. 6, 7.

(10) What does Church history show as respects the origin and development of these erroneous views regarding the necessity and efficacy of baptism? P. 426, par. 2.

AUGUST 18

(11) What is the Scriptural attitude taken by some with respect to infant baptism and immersion in water? P. 427, par. 1, first half.

(12) Explain the unscripturalness of immersing three times, face forward. P. 427, par. 1, latter half.

(13) What is the view of baptism accepted by the "Disciple" denomination? P. 427, par. 2.

(14) Why is this position both unscriptural and unreasonable? P. 428, par. 1.

(15) What is the attitude of "Baptists" with respect to water baptism? P. 429, par. 1, 2.

(16) What would it mean if the Baptist theory were correct? P. 429, par. 3.

AUGUST 25

(17) Is it reasonable to conclude that any one of the denominations includes all the "wheat" and excludes all the "tares"? P. 430, par. 1.

(18) What name is given in Scripture to these divisions among the professed followers of Christ? and what message has gone forth to them? P. 430, par. 2.

(19) What conclusion should prepare us to appreciate the Scripture teaching in re baptism? P. 431, par. 1.

(20) Did the Mosaic Law provide for any ceremonies similar to baptism as preached and practiced by John? P. 431, par. 2, to P. 432, line 12.

(21) What was the motive back of John's preaching and baptizing? P. 432.

(22) Unto what did John baptize his believers? P. 432, par. 1.



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