page 141
May 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. XXXIIIMAY 1No. 9

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


CONTENTS

1912--General Conventions--1912142
Why Christ Arose From the Dead143
The Bible Resurrection Reasonable143
The Harvest is the End of the Age145
"The Righteous Shall Shine as the Sun"146
Loyalty to God Necessary to Life Everlasting146
Vain Repetition in Prayer147
Truthful Words--Polite Speech148
No Man Can Tame the Tongue148
Praising God--Injuring Men149
Prayer a Great Privilege149
Vain Repetitions of the Heathen150
Requests for Visits of Traveling Brethren151
Some Interesting Questions151
We Die Daily by Laying Down Our Lives151
Justification Completed at Consecration152
Reports of Memorial Celebrations153
Interesting Letters154
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies155

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 142

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.


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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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1912--GENERAL CONVENTIONS--1912

It is proposed that the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION shall this year hold two General Conventions. One of these will be in the West, the other in the East. This arrangement seemed wise in order to permit many who would like to attend Conventions to do so at a moderate expenditure of railway fare.

The first of these will be held in the Chautauqua grounds at Pertle Springs, near Warrensburg, Mo., June 1-8. It will be followed by a public meeting addressed by Brother Russell at Kansas City, Mo., sixty-five miles northwest from Warrensburg, on Sunday, June 9.

Board and lodging accommodations, we are assured, will be quite satisfactory and will range in cost from $1.10 to $1.50 each person per day. These prices, of course, will not secure separate rooms for each person. We are assured of ample, comfortable accommodations for from fifteen hundred to two thousand people. All expecting to attend should notify us at once. Give full name of each person, which prefer to room together, and at what rate.

Warrensburg (Pertle Springs) is on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. We will have the usual summer rates prevailing to this point. Inquire of your local railroad ticket agent.

The second Convention will be held in the suburbs of Washington City, D.C., at the Glen Echo Chautauqua grounds--July 7-14. Arrangements for board and lodging will be made by our Committee on request at such prices as you may authorize from $1.10 per day upward. No pains will be spared to make you comfortable as possible.

The Committee of investigation say, "The location is ideal. The average Park temperature is ten degrees lower than that of Washington City. The Auditorium is still cooler by reason of its peculiar location and the fact that it is built over running water."

Washington City commands reasonable railway rates from all quarters. We do not expect any special concessions, therefore, although we will apply for them.

We will endeavor to have a good list of speakers at both Conventions, including Brother Russell.

We hoped to have been able to make the announcements re Conventions in January, but have been unavoidably delayed until now. We trust that both of these Conventions will prove convenient and profitable to considerable numbers of Bible Students.


[R5024 : page 142]

WE ALL NEED "POEMS OF DAWN"

This book of 286 pages contains nearly three hundred beautiful poems of consecration and encouragement for Christians. It is now in stock, and all orders have been filled to date. Cloth edition, corresponding in style to the new edition of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, will be supplied at 25c. each, postpaid; leatherette, red burnished edges, same size as Keratol STUDIES, 25c. postpaid; leatherette, gold edges, 35c. postpaid; full seal-grained leather, gold edges, corresponding in size and style with the India edition of SCRIPTURE STUDIES, 50 cents each postpaid. "Poems of Dawn" would make an excellent gift for any friend or relative not in the Truth, although most fully appreciated by the saintly. It is topically arranged, but you cannot open at random and read without being refreshed, comforted, drawn nearer to God.


page 142

"WE CANNOT DO AS WE WOULD"

These words of St. Paul recur to us, not only as applicable in the way he used them, as signifying our inability to do the Divine will perfectly because of weaknesses of heredity, but in other ways the words are applicable--for instance, as we now use them: the Editor has recently been made the recipient of so many kind messages of love-- letters, cards, telegrams and floral expressions--that he has been simply overwhelmed. Additionally he has had great pleasure in receiving many callers. Nothing could please him better than to write personal acknowledgments of all these kind expressions of Christian love, fellowship, sympathy; but to respond to each and all separately would mean a hindrance of the general work, which he is sure would be far from the wish of his many friends. He therefore takes this opportunity of acknowledging the many kindnesses of the Brethren and of assuring each of his loving appreciation of their many tokens and of his good wishes and prayers on behalf of them all and on behalf of all who are truly the Lord's in every place--known and unknown. The Editor hopes that all will accept the articles of THE WATCH TOWER instead of his personal letters.



[R5016 : page 143]

WHY CHRIST AROSE FROM THE DEAD

"If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith also vain; yea, and we are found false witnesses of God. ...Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."--1. Cor. 15:14,15,18.
THE FAITH ONCE delivered to the saints by Jesus and the Apostles in respect to the resurrection of the dead has been very generally lost. Christian people profess a belief in the resurrection, because they find it stated in the Bible, yet they are continually in difficulty in their endeavor to make the Scriptural teaching on the subject square with some of the unscriptural theories received into the Church, and incorporated into many of the creeds during the "Dark Ages."

St. Paul warned the Church against these human philosophies, and called them "science, falsely so-called," which makes void the Word of God. These errors have been instrumental in dividing the faith of God's people into six hundred denominations, with six hundred different professions. If God's people could all come back to the simplicity of the Bible's teaching in respect to the resurrection of the dead, all of these differences would speedily disappear. God's Word would be seen to be [R5017 : page 143] beautiful and harmonious, satisfactory to the consecrated intellect, as none of our sectarian creeds are.

Really the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead has been repudiated by all denominations, not willingly, not intentionally, but perforce, as it were. An opposite theory received and intrenched in the minds gives no place for the doctrine of the resurrection, as the Bible presents it. Consequently we have twisted the doctrine of the resurrection and recite, "I believe in the resurrection of the body."

Yet even this perverted view of the resurrection is not satisfactory to those who hold it. They wish many a time that the doctrine of the resurrection were not in the Bible, so much difference does it cause. For instance, how inconsistent it seems that they should say, "I believe in the resurrection of the body," and then say, as many do, Dying is but going home, getting rid of the mortal flesh, and being freed from its limitations. If it is a blessing to die and get free from the limitations of the body, how could it be a blessing to be reincarcerated in the body, and be obliged to keep it through all eternity? Such is the inconsistency of the resurrection, however, from the viewpoint of the creeds of men.

THE BIBLE RESURRECTION REASONABLE

There is nothing inconsistent in the Bible presentation of the resurrection. Not from the Bible, but from men, comes the suggestion of the resurrection of the body. The Bible invariably refers to the resurrection of the soul. It is the soul that dies; as we read, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Adam was created a living soul, but his living soul came under the death sentence because he disobeyed God. It was his soul that was redeemed from death, not his body. "I will redeem thy life from destruction."--Psalm 103:4.

To accomplish this redemption, we read that Christ Jesus "poured out His soul unto death"; "He made His soul an offering for sin." Moreover, we are particularly told that it was the soul of Jesus that was raised from the dead: "Thou wilt not leave My soul in sheol. St. Peter quotes this statement as prophetical of the resurrection of Jesus, that His soul was not left in hades; God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. With what body do the dead come? is a totally different question. Some dead souls, in the resurrection, will come forth with spirit bodies, and others with human bodies, according to the Bible. But the important part is, that it is the soul, the being, that comes forth, that is resurrected-- not the body. If the soul dies, as the Bible declares, then manifestly the soul should be resurrected.

The difficulty with us has been that we "have made void the Word of God" by our "traditions." We received from the Grecian philosophers a tradition which Socrates and Plato both advocated, namely, that when a human being dies he does not really die. The soul, it is claimed, cannot die, but, whenever the soul gets out of the body, the body dies. How strange it seems that we all, as intelligent, thoughtful beings, have accepted this heathen philosophy, without a word of Scripture for its support, and with hundreds of Scriptures to condemn it!

We can see how the heathen philosophers might be led to conjure up such a theory, because of their desire to believe in a future life, and because they had no revelation from God respecting a future life. They therefore tried their best to convince themselves that man really does not die--that no man can die. The Bible theory is the very reverse of this, namely, that a man does die; that he is a soul, a thinking, sentient being. Neither is he a bodiless being, and indeed he cannot be a being at all without a body. His body may change, as science declares it does gradually, hour by hour, until a complete change is effected in seven years. [R5017 : page 144]

Thus a man, a soul, a sentient being, may in a life of fifty years have sloughed off gradually sufficient matter to have composed seven bodies. But the moment the sloughing off of this dying matter and the substitution of living matter ceases, we have death; and as soon as the body dies the soul dies--that is, the intelligent being ceases. There can be no thinking without a brain, no breathing without lungs, no maintenance of life in any sense of the word without a body.

This would have been a total destruction of the soul had not God specially provided, as the Prophet declares, that He would redeem man's life from destruction, through the redemptive work accomplished by Jesus in giving His soul an offering for man's sin, and thus making possible man's resurrection from the dead.

It is in consequence of this Divine provision through Christ for a resurrection of humanity that the Scriptures speak of death as merely a falling asleep for a time, to wait for the new body in the resurrection, rather than to speak of us as dying as the brute beasts. The word sleep implies that in the Divine purpose a future life is intended, and will eventually be given.

"BUT NOW IS CHRIST RISEN"

St. Paul does not leave the matter of Christ's resurrection undecided. He positively affirms that, "Christ is risen from the dead," and that, thus risen, "He is the First-fruits of those that slept," which implies that when He was raised the others still slept. Jesus slept during a part of three days, from the time He died until the Father raised Him from the dead, from hades, from sheol, from the tomb, on the third day. He, as the First-fruits of the sleeping ones, is an example and a guarantee of the fulfilment of the Divine promise, that "there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust."

It behooves us to take a decided stand, either with the Grecian philosophers and their theories, or with the Bible. The two are in conflict and whoever attempts to hold both is in confusion. If the dead are not dead, then no human being is dead. And if no one is dead, how could there be a resurrection of the dead?

The inconsistency of the theory held respecting the resurrection of the body has invited a very reasonable and just criticism. The skeptic asks, "How could the body be resurrected, after it has gone to dust and after the dust has been scattered to the four winds?" They tell us of a grave that was opened near an apple tree, and it was found that a root from the tree had entered the coffin and practically absorbed the corpse, from which it had produced thousands of apples, which in turn had been shipped to various parts of the world, some of the poorer grades being fed to hogs, whose hams were cured and sent abroad and thus passed into other human beings, to become parts of still other human bodies. The question is a proper one, but it is an unanswerable one from the standpoint of our former misbelief and our poor attempt to combine human philosophy and Divine Revelation.

But such a question brings no consternation to the Bible student who follows the Scriptures alone. The Scriptures never speak of the resurrection of our bodies. They do tell of the resurrection of the soul, and that in the resurrection God giveth it (the soul) a body as it pleaseth Him.

How reasonable it will be for the world to be awakened in practically the condition in which they went down into death! And these will experience, if willing and obedient, a gradual resurrection or raising up to the image and likeness of Father Adam in his perfection. But some in the resurrection will receive spirit bodies like unto the angels, and some like unto the body of Christ in His resurrection, which Saul of Tarsus beheld--"shining above the brightness of the sun at noonday."

The class that is promised a resurrection in spirit bodies is the Church--the saintly few who walk in the footsteps of Jesus. The begetting of the Holy Spirit which comes to these changes their nature from earthly to spiritual. If they are faithful to their covenant their resurrection will be to glory, honor and immortality, as explained by St. Paul in the context, saying, "It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown an animal body, it is raised a spirit body."

This is a description of the resurrection which God has promised to all the members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. St. Paul declares that the members of this Body fall asleep to awaken in the glorious morning of the New Dispensation. But he adds, "We shall not all sleep"--some will be alive and remain till the second coming of Jesus. These, however, will not take precedence over the sleeping ones, for "The dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain" "shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," ...because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." As the death of Jesus was absolutely necessary as the atoning price for human sin, so the resurrection of Jesus was absolutely necessary, that He might not remain dead through all eternity, but be glorified, and in due time come again to effect the resurrection of His Church and, subsequently, the awakening and uplifting of all the families of the earth.

Hearken to the special promise made to the Church: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection; on such the Second Death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God, and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:6.) Also note the promise of the world's resurrection: "There shall be a resurrection, both of the just and the unjust." (Acts 24:15.) Again, "They that have done evil" shall come forth, that they may enjoy a resurrection effected by "judgments," disciplines, chastisements, which will develop in them character; and the glory which will be attained will be perfection--a raising up to all at first possessed by Father Adam, lost through disobedience, and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.--John 5:28,29, R.V. [R5018 : page 144]

"A KIND OF FIRST-FRUITS"

Every Sunday is a memorial of the resurrection of our Lord from the dead, and if a proper conception of the Master's resurrection were kept in mind we would not think of quarreling with the expression "Easter Sunday." But alas, this name Easter is associated with heathen philosophies and idolatries, which did so much to make the Word of God of none effect; and the fact should be noted that it is the name of a Greek goddess. The compromising spirit induced some of the early Church to admit the heathen philosophies and to commingle with these the inspired teachings of the Bible; but now there is the loud call to true Christians to rid themselves of science and philosophy "falsely so-called," and to return to the Biblical simplicity of the Divine Revelation.

Of this Revelation alone St. Peter declares, "It is able to make you wise unto salvation," and to "give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." And again, "The Word of God is sufficient, that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work." Let us today, then, rejoice in Him who died for our sins and who rose on the third day for our justification. [R5018 : page 145]

Let us rid our minds of the foolish thought that He did not really die, that He only seemed to die--that when the Roman soldiers crucified Him, He simply got out of His body, laughed at them, and said, "I have not died at all; I could not die; you could not kill Me." Let us remember rather the Divine Word on the subject: "Christ died for our sins"; "He poured out His soul unto death"; "He made His soul an offering for sin." Let us remember the assurance of the Bible that eventually "He shall see the fruits of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied." Let us rejoice also in the assurance of the Apostle that His soul was not left in hades, sheol, death, but that God raised Him from the dead on the third day.

NOTE AN ADDITIONAL PROOF

If Christ did not die, then the death penalty upon Adam and his race has not been met. Those who claim that He did not die, that merely His body died, are illogical. They profess to believe that Jesus accomplished for us a redemptive work, that He died, "The Just for the unjust." If Christ, the Redeemer, "poured out His soul unto death," and if His resurrection meant the recovery of His soul or being out of death, wherein is the logic in the declaration of some that it is not thus with the Church nor with the world? If Jesus did not go to Heaven when He died--if He went into hades, into the grave, into sheol, into death, who has the temerity to say that others go direct to Heaven or Hell or Purgatory? Let us be consistent. The wages of sin is not Purgatory, nor a Hell of torture, in some far-off place. On the contrary, "The wages of sin is death." The Redeemer died and rose; and this is the assurance, that He who raised up Jesus from the dead will raise us up also, by Jesus, through His spirit and power; and not only so, but also the world of mankind, all who were involved in the death sentence upon the first man.

Therefore, the entire world is included in the death payment made by the Great Redeemer, that "As by man came death, by a man also shall come the resurrection of the dead; for as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive." But, says the Apostle, while every man who will come into Christ shall be made alive, each will come forth "in his own order." The Christ company shall come forth first--"the Church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven." Afterwards will come those who will become His at, or during, His presence --during the thousand years of His Kingdom glory. The opportunity of that thousand years will mean to every man the privilege of coming into fellowship with the Redeemer and King, Emmanuel. Whoever will accept the opportunity will receive the blessing of an admission to Messiah's family. As the Apostle says, they will become His. Under His heavenly guidance and blessing and regenerating influence, all such may attain again to a full image and likeness of God, lost in Eden, redeemed at Calvary.



[R5018 : page 145]

"THE HARVEST IS THE END OF THE AGE"
"The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest."--Matt. 9:37,38.
FOR LONG YEARS many of us thought of the Bible references to the Harvest, our text included, as applicable to every time. We had not then learned that in order to be understood the Bible must be studied Dispensationally. Now we perceive that the time of our Lord's first advent was the Harvest of the Jewish Age; and that as a Harvest this text applied to that nation only. For more than sixteen hundred years the Law Covenant had been in operation between God and Israel. Under it they had been disciplined and schooled, instructed through the Law and by the Prophets.

Jesus came, not only to be the Redeemer of mankind in general, but also to offer Himself as King to the Jews, and to make them His joint-heirs in His Kingdom. Had there been a sufficient number of Jews in heart-readiness to receive the Gospel Message, according to Divine agreement, the entire Bride class would have been elected, or chosen, from that one nation and not a Gentile would have been invited to participate in the honors of these spirit-begotten ones, called in the Scriptures, the spiritual "Seed of Abraham." (Gal. 3:29.) Nevertheless, the Lord knew that Israel would not be ready to receive Him, and He provided for their rejection and the opening of the door to membership in the Bride class to worthy Gentiles.

At the close of the Jewish Age, at the time, therefore, that people should have and did have their greatest degree of ripeness and preparation, our Lord presented Himself and began to do the reaping work. He sent forth His disciples as His representatives, two and two; and later, He sent "seventy also." When these returned, our Lord declared to them, "I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor; other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors."--John 4:38.

The Great Teacher tells us distinctly that while His work was that of reaping, He blended with it a sowing. Seeing that the Jews were not ready for the Kingdom, seeing that eighteen centuries would be required for the calling and developing of the saintly, spiritual ones, the Father started the work of seed-sowing for the New Dispensation. Then, according to our Lord's parable, He left the work in the hands of His servants and went "into a far country"--even Heaven itself. Since then He has been supervising His work and been represented through the faithful members of His Church, His Bride. He and the Apostles sowed the "good seed" of the Kingdom, meanwhile gathering the ripe wheat of the Jewish nation into the Kingdom Class, through the begetting of the Holy Spirit. By and by the harvesting of the Jewish Age ended completely, when all the wheat of the nation were gathered into the Gospel Church of spirit-begotten ones, and then came the "burning of the chaff"--the great time of trouble with which the Jewish Age ended, in A.D. 70.

Since then the work of seed-sowing, evangelism, etc., amongst the Gentiles has gone on, not without difficulty, however. As our Lord's parable shows, Satan, the Adversary, came "while men slept"--in the night, the "Dark Ages"--and over-sowed the wheat field with tare seed. As a result, the field looked very prosperous, although, in reality, the "tares" had a choking and disastrous effect on the "wheat." Nevertheless, the Lord would not allow the separating of wheat from tares until the full end of the Age, the Harvest. The Bible intimates that the tares were so numerous and so intertwined with the wheat in their various interests that to have plucked them all up would have brought the disastrous "time of trouble" too soon. Hence, the decree that both should grow together until the Harvest. "The Harvest is the end of the Age." --Matt. 13:39. [R5018 : page 146]

"THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN"

Our studies together have led the majority of us to conclude that we are now living in the Harvest time-- in the end of this Age. Oh, how glad we shall be if this is true! How glad we are to believe it true! And, we think, on good evidence. If it is true, as we believe, that the forty years "harvest" of this Age began in 1874, the implication is that the trials of the Church are nearly at an end; that the faithful will soon be gathered to the heavenly garner. By the glorious "change" He will cause them to "shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father," for the scattering of the world's dark night and the ushering in of the New Day. Messiah's Day is to bring glorious opportunities for earthly blessings to Israel, and to all the families of the earth through Israel. If our hopes be true, then they mean a blessing, not for the Church alone, but for the entire groaning creation, which, if willing and obedient under Messiah's reign, will be released from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty appropriate to the children of God.-- Rom. 8:21.

As Bible students we have already seen that the Jewish nation as a people were prototypes of spiritual Israel in many particulars--that the period from the death of Jacob to the fall of Jerusalem, in A.D. 70, is the exact parallel to the period of the Gospel Church from the death of Jesus to 1915, A.D.

Surely it is not by accident that these two Ages correspond, nor by accident that Israel as a people typified spiritual Israel! Neither will it be by accident if the events of 1915 correspond to the events of A.D. 70. In other words, as the Harvest of the Jewish Age ended with a time of trouble, so our Lord's words assure us that this [R5019 : page 146] Gospel Age and its harvest will end with "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21.) That a crisis is nearing everybody admits. That socialists and anarchists are threatening the very fabric of society, nobody will deny. The Bible alone explains the situation and shows us that the work of the present Age is about completed; that the elect members of the Bride of Christ have nearly all been found and made ready. The blessings for the world will be along material lines and will be ushered in by the "time of trouble," which will eventuate in anarchy, according to the Scriptures--a general leveling of the human family as the initial step of the reign of the glorious Messiah, whom men will shortly see and recognize with the eyes of their understanding.



[R5019 : page 146]

LOYALTY TO GOD NECESSARY TO LIFE EVERLASTING

THE FIRST ESTATE of the angels who fell was the angelic estate or condition. The design of the Creator was not that they should be men, but angels. Any power granted them for materializing would be for some proper work amongst men which would be facilitated by materialization. Therefore, they were privileged to appear as men and, having accomplished the purpose for which they materialized, to disappear. But these angels, becoming enamored of the conditions in the world at that time, preferred to live as men and not as angels. In this, however, they did not abrogate their powers as spirit beings, but maintained these; but materializing and living as men, they ignored their former condition. On account of thus violating their nature they were punished, and not on account of merely using the Divinely granted power of materialization. They abused the power which it was proper enough for them to use.

We know that Satan's first misdemeanor was the deception of our first parents; but we do not know that he was the cause of the disobedience of the other angels. Probably he was; and, therefore, he was restrained in darkness. If it were not so, he might have been able to materialize all down through the six thousand years. Some people claim that they have seen materialized spirits. Martin Luther claimed that he had seen Satan. In the old Luther homestead they show visitors the mark of the ink on the door, where Luther threw the ink bottle at Satan's head. We do not know, however, whether there was a materialization, or whether Satan merely appeared to him as a man. And so, not being well informed on the subject, it is best not to take too positive a position, but simply to say that we do not know. The Scriptures state that these fallen angels were restrained in chains of darkness until the great Day. This would seem to imply that Satan will have no part in the Judgment of the Great Day, but would not, of necessity, prove it. Practically, we are left without any definite information.

When Satan beheld Adam and Eve placed under Divine favor in the Garden of Eden, and saw that they were the parents of an unborn race, the temptation came to him that, if he could get them on his side, then he would become a mighty one, a ruler. Why did this temptation come to him? He knew well that the thought was disloyal to his Creator. Why did he entertain it? Did it come to his mind in so powerful a manner as to make it irresistible? No. The Scriptures tell us that all of God's work is perfect. He made both man and angels perfect. Satan's deflection was through his own mind. While he knew that the thoughts in which he was indulging were unjust and unrighteous, he probably did not intend to do evil. No one intends to do wrong, but merely to see how the thing will "work out." So Satan thought how possible it would be and how pleasurable. Thus he allowed his mind to run on. And the things that he subsequently did he would not have allowed himself to do at the beginning.

So far as we know, this is the process of every mind. The fact that sin develops does not prove that there was a germ of sin. But an active mind always plans. God's mind is perfect and active; and so are the minds of the angels. As New Creatures it would be possible for us to cultivate or to allow to germinate in our minds certain thoughts, certain ambitions, certain imaginations, which would eventually lead us astray. It is the duty of every New Creature to repudiate every thought that is disloyal to God or to His Laws. The loyalty of the mind should be so great that anything contrary to God's will would be considered treason. This is the only safe position for the New Creature. Everything known to be disloyal should be discountenanced, fought against. For, as surely as evil things come in, progress is made toward destruction of the loyalty of the mind.

We see an illustration of this principle in a very marked degree in Christian Science. Very few people would say that sickness is health and that black is white. When first being instructed, the patient thinks that it is funny to have some one tell him not to think that he is sick. At first this seems absurd; but when people have practiced this deception awhile, they become imbued with [R5019 : page 147] a kind of self-hypnotism. They seem to be carried away with that wrong process of reasoning. With Christian Science, nearly everything is unnoticed and unreasonable --everything except money and the good things of this life. Everything is distorted. They make two and two equal nine--according to some things that come from Christian Science quarters. To our mind, two and two would never make nine.

Some people are given to exaggeration; for instance, to say of sickness, "That is awful!" We should learn neither to appreciate things too highly nor to underestimate them. With a great many people nearly everything they say contains a great measure of exaggeration. This should not be the case with the Church of Christ. They should by all means strive to speak the truth. "Let your yea be yea." If something is six inches long, let it be just six inches for six inches. Let your yea be yea, and your nay be nay.

There is no means of knowing whether or not any of the angels who, before the flood, had indulged in sin ever repented and reformed, coming back to the Lord. It would be unwise, therefore, to speculate. Even though God is plenteous in mercy, it seems to be a principle of His Government that when anyone sins, Justice will have some reckoning with the individual. This is not because of Divine desire to see the creature suffer, but because this is a healthful principle for the Divine Government-- that whosoever sins shall suffer. Even though the obliquity of the sin be forgiven, the sin must receive punishment. This principle, we think, holds with the angels. Even though they should be restored to Divine favor, it would not be until there was some kind of correction to show that sin is wrong and unprofitable.

Neither are we informed as to whether or not any of these angels have repented since their sentence and delivery "into chains of darkness." But we should not be surprised if it were true that some of them have repented. Our thought is that this repentance would not change their sentence, but that they would remain in Divine disfavor until their allotted period of punishment had ended; and then they would be tested and tried. Supposing this to be so, we think that none of these well-disposed angels would be inclined to violate the Divine command on the subject of materialization. Our understanding is that there are some good angels and some evil angels; that any who would communicate with mankind are not good angels--that those who are in harmony with God would not allow themselves to communicate with mankind; and that during these thousands of years since their condemnation the fallen angels have divided into two classes, one being sympathetic with Satan, and the other having reformed; that probably the latter have suffered from the others; that they would have the opprobrium and opposition of the evil ones; and that they would rather suffer for righteousness than indulge in retort and give evil for evil. From this standpoint we might suppose that they have been suffering all these thousands of years since they took their stand for the right. This, however, is merely speculation, and should not be held to dogmatically.



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"VAIN REPETITION" IN PRAYER
QUESTION.--In Matt. 6:7, our Lord tells us, "When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." The Apostle Paul, writing to the Church (Col. 4:2), exhorts that they "continue in prayer"; again we read of the widow who was heard for her importunity. (Luke 18:2-5.) Is this a suggestion that we should importune? How could we importune without repetition?

Answer.--We are to recognize a distinct difference between the "vain repetitions" of the heathen, which our Lord condemned, and the "continuing instant in prayer," "in everything giving thanks," in "praying and not fainting," acts which our Lord and the Apostles enjoined. (Rom. 12:12; Luke 18:1, etc.) This difference the Lord illustrated in the case of the woman who came to a judge repeatedly, asking that he avenge her of her enemy. Although the judge was not a man who would act justly, yet he did her justice on account of her persistence. In commenting upon her course, our Lord said that if an unjust judge be moved on account of importunity to do justice, how much more a just judge!

The thought illustrated in the parable is that of a person who cries to the Lord that injustice is being done--as with the Church at the present time. We all realize that we are suffering injustice. We cry, "O Lord, deliver us! deliver us from the Adversary!" Will God never deliver the Church? For eighteen hundred years the Church has been praying thus; and God has not answered this prayer. Will He never answer? Our Lord intimates that we should not lose faith. We are to have full confidence in His promises. Injustice will not forever obtain. The time will come, we are told, when Satan shall be bound and deceive the people no more.--Rev. 20:2,3.

Therefore we do right to pray, "Thy Kingdom come," week after week, year after year, century after century. To grow faint or grow weary in prayer would not be right. The proper course is to believe that God will fulfil what He has promised; and that all will come out in harmony with His will.

On another occasion our Lord gave a parable wherein one asked his neighbor for food and was refused. (Luke 11:5-8.) He asked again. Finally the neighbor gave it to him on account of his importunity, on account of his patiently persisting. This parable, also, emphasizes the thought of importunate prayer. God has the blessing, and not only is able to give it, but has promised to do so. The delay in granting the request is because His due time has not come. Hence we are not to give up nor to become weary, but to be constant in our prayers.

This is all very different, however, from the "vain repetitions" which our Lord condemned. But we do not think that our Lord desires us to use repetition in our prayers. Some people use the words, "Our Father," or "Our God," or "Heavenly Father" more frequently than would seem to be good form--even using them in every fourth or fifth sentence. Their prayer would sound better on earth if they did not use these repetitions; though, no doubt, the repetitions would be understood in Heaven; for these people seem to be as earnest as others.

Sometimes, after we have had morning worship and prayer, the one called upon to ask the blessing at table practically repeats the morning prayer. This course would imply that the person had forgotten that the general blessings had been asked in that prayer, and that he should be asking a blessing on the morning meal. To ask a blessing on the meal is not to pray in the ordinary sense of the word. Whoever "asks the blessing" should ask something in connection with the food and not attempt to pray for neighbors, relatives, etc. [R5020 : page 148]

But the repetitions which our Lord had in mind and which are specially reprehensible in the Lord's sight are formal prayers merely. To illustrate: the Chinese are said to have a praying wheel, which enables them to make many "vain repetitions" without the trouble of speaking a word.

It would seem that our Catholic friends also are given to a great deal of repetition in prayer. They repeat, "Hail, Mary!" and believe that God will save them from suffering in purgatory for their repetitions. Some of the poor creatures say, "Hail, Mary!" as often and as fast as they can.

So with the Mohammedans. They say, "Great is Allah! Mohammed is His Prophet! Great is Allah! Mohammed is His Prophet!" again and again. We do not know what good they are doing, for they are surely wasting a great deal of valuable time to no purpose. We do not wish to make light of these people nor of their conduct. But we are bound to think that with those who are intelligent such prayers are only form. With those who are not intelligent it is different. We believe that they are sincere; and so our course is to think sympathetically of them, but not to do as they do, not to pray as they pray. Prayer in private, in our own room, may be as long as we please; but prayer in public should be short and to the point.



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TRUTHFUL WORDS--POLITE SPEECH
--MAY 26.--MATT. 5:33-37; JAS. 3:1-12; 5:12.--

"Putting away falsehood, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another."--Eph. 4:25.
IN OUR LAST study we contrasted the teachings of Jesus with those of the Pharisees respecting obligations to the Law. Our decision was that "never man spake like this man." In today's study we note the contrast between His teachings and those of the religionists of His day. Others attempted to limit the habit of swearing, but the Great Teacher said, "Swear not at all." How foolish is swearing of every kind! We are not, of course, objecting to solemn affirmations or legal oaths as required by law.

Truly Saint Paul declares that those who receive the Spirit of the Lord possess the "Spirit of a sound mind." They soon begin to realize the senselessness and vulgarity of swearing or of supposing it necessary to substantiate their word. Quite to the contrary, the fact that one boisterously swears that what he says is true implies that he does not expect his hearer to believe his simple word, and this in turn presupposes that his word ordinarily is not worthy of belief.

Note the injunction of the Master, "Let your speech be yea, yea, nay, nay"--anything further implies evil. The Master's meaning evidently is, When you say yes, let it be yes; when you say no, let it be no! Tell the truth! Your friends and neighbors by and by will learn how to value your speech. In other words, be so truthful in all that you say that it will be unnecessary to swear to its truthfulness, or to use any kind of specially forceful language to prove your sincerity--that you are neither overstating nor understating the truth.

MINISTERS SHOULD BE TRUTHFUL

In the second portion of our study St. James exhorts, "Be not many teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive severer testing. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." St. James seems to say that, while all Christians need to bridle their tongues, those in the more exalted positions are all the more liable to error in this respect. They have a special gift of speech and another special gift of opportunity to use this speech, and so, exerting a wide influence, their responsibility evidently is proportionate.

It is not for us to judge ministers or others; there is One that judgeth, the Lord. We greatly fear, however, that many ministers, as well as Christians in humbler stations, fail to fully appreciate their responsibilities for every word they utter or have the opportunity of uttering. Many tell us that for years they preached what they did not believe. How terrible! How stultifying to their manhood! How serious a reflection upon their brand of Christianity! However, we should rejoice that finally their consciences triumphed.

A LITTLE MATCH STARTS A BIG FIRE

St. James gives some forceful illustrations. Christians should put a bridle of restraint into their own mouths, even as they put bits into the mouths of their horses. They should have a rudder whereby to steer their own course in life, even as they put a rudder upon a ship. They should remember that the tongue, although one of the least members of the body, is the most influential of all. A blow struck by the fist might injure one person near enough, but a bitter word, like a poisoned arrow, may strike afar off; yea, like a shell from a great gun, it may explode and do much damage. Yea, more! Its influence may pass through telephones, telegraph wires, cables and wireless apparatus to every nook and corner of the earth, and be reproduced in newspapers all over the world. What a tremendous power! what a sacred trust! what a talent for use or misuse!

Not all of us have such wide opportunities for good or evil, but in our own homes, in our own offices, shops, markets, we may send forth either good or evil influences, far reaching for either happiness or misery, either up-building or down-tearing character, either of helpfulness or of discouragement. Surely no Christian could be indifferent to this his most powerful member. St. James suggests that as a match will kindle a great fire, so the tongue might start a great flame, a great commotion and do much injury. He suggests boasting as being one of the most dangerous uses of the tongue. Our experience corroborates this. Boasting often leads us into error and fastens us there because we are not humble enough to acknowledge the fault. It often leads into untruth from which we may have difficulty in escaping. It is an evidence of pride, and therefore un-Christlike, improper.

Angry words, bitter words, sarcastic words, taunting words, may set ablaze the course of a whole life and impel it with angry force toward the Second Death, Gehenna. Hence St. James suggests that such evil-breeding words are like sparks from Gehenna, tending toward destruction.

NO MAN CAN TAME IT

The Apostle reminds us that beasts and birds and fishes are all subject to a taming power under man's direction, but that no man can tame another man's tongue. [R5021 : page 149] Yea, is it not safe to say that no fallen man can tame his own tongue? The only way by which to have our tongues brought into subjection to the Divine will and made useful as servants of truth and righteousness and love is by having them converted. And since the tongue is but the agent speaking for the sentiments of the heart, it follows that it is the heart that needs to be converted. The power of true conversion, true transformation of character, so that "all things become new," is of God.

The child of God, begotten of the Holy Spirit, has an assistance in the mastering and taming of his tongue that the unregenerate have not. How important then the message, "My son, give Me thine heart"! Out of the heart are the issues of life. Out of the abundance of the heart, of the heart's meditations, the mouth speaketh.

St. James declares that the tongue of the natural man is full of deadly poison. His illustration seems to be that of a serpent. Alas, that in our fallen condition it should be so true that "the poison of asps is under their lips!" It is when we become new creatures, with a new motive power and incentive of love instead of selfishness, that the poison fangs are drawn. The new mind, the new creature, can then use the lips to show forth the praises of God and to bless his fellowmen.

PRAISING GOD--INJURING MEN

But note that the Apostle calls our attention to the fact that some who have become people of God, some who do Him reverence, fail to take note of the fact that the same tongue with which they sing Divine praises and tell Divine mercy they use to backbite, slander, defame, crush, mortify, scathe, flay their fellowmen! Alas, we realize the truth of the charge! And to realize means to correct on the part of those who are seeking to do the Divine will and to be true disciples of the Redeemer. A fountain cannot send forth at the same opening pure water and brackish. Hence we may know that if with our tongues we are doing injury to our fellowmen we are deceiving ourselves with respect to our real attitude toward God. We may know that God will reject the prayers and worship coming from a heart full of bitterness, anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, and manifesting itself in acrimonious speech.

It was Carlyle who described sarcasm as being "the natural language of the Devil." It was Faber who wrote, "No one was ever corrected by sarcasm; crushed, perhaps, if the sarcasm was clever enough, but drawn nearer to God, never." Robertson wrote, "Love is the remedy for slander." Surely the Golden Rule needs to be applied to our speech as well as to our actions. Truly Bishop Jackson wrote: "From being the messenger of peace and love, the tongue has become the fomenter of jealousy and ill-will, the lash of uncharitableness and the weapon of hatred."



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PRAYER A GREAT PRIVILEGE
--JUNE 2.--MATTHEW 6:1-18.--
"Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father which is in heaven."--Matt. 6:1. (R.V.)
THE MASTER in today's lesson tells of proper and improper giving of charity. He extends the subject and explains proper and improper prayers and finally proper and improper fasting. In all these He denounces hypocrisy, theatrical display. His followers are to be actuated solely by a desire to please the Heavenly Father and have His approval. There may be times and places where the giving of charity in the presence of others would be perfectly proper, or praying in the presence of others would be entirely right, and where fasting might come to the knowledge of others without reproach.

The point which the Great Teacher makes is the motive actuating us. If we are actuated by a selfish motive, if we are seeking show and applause or earthly gain, the procedure cannot bring Divine approval or blessing --"Blessed are the pure in heart." We may be seen to do good or to pray or to fast, but we are not to do our charities, our praying and our fasting to be seen. Of such the Lord says, "They have received their reward"-- nothing more is coming to them; they get the publicity sought.

THE PRIVILEGE OF PRAYER

Prayer is a privilege. Jesus did not command His disciples to pray, nor did He even give them a form of prayer until they requested it. "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed." The Lord's people must feel their need of Divine grace and help in order to appreciate the privilege of approaching the throne of heavenly grace. The trials and difficulties, the sorrows and temptations of life frequently impel God's children to prayer. It marks a better, a higher Christian development when they love to come to the Throne of grace, not only in their sorrows, but also in their joys, to give thanks, to praise, to worship, to adore.

It will be noticed that our Lord did not tell about how the world should pray, but merely taught His disciples: "when ye pray." As a matter of fact, the Gentiles, the world of mankind in general, have no access to the Throne of grace. Only those in covenant relationship with God (Jews and Christians) ever had any Divine assurance that their petitions would be accepted by Him. This may cause surprise to some, so general is the custom of encouraging and exhorting everybody to pray. A brief glance at the situation, however, shows us the fixed principle underlying the matter. Let us note it. The world in general, the race of Adam, was alienated from God through wicked works. Adam was under a covenant with God by which he enjoyed the privileges of a son of God. This included fellowship, communion, prayer and Divine supervision and care even to the extent of everlasting life. But Adam's disobedience broke that covenant, abolished that covenant-relationship and all its privileges. (Hos. 6:7, R.V.) The only ones who now enjoy the privilege of prayer are those who have been accepted of God back into covenant-relationship. The natural Israelite was so accepted under the Law Covenant; hence the Temple at Jerusalem was called the House of Prayer. It was specifically for the Jewish nation, but all nationalities had the privilege of becoming Jewish Proselytes and thus of being received into all the privileges of Jews, which included the privilege of prayer.

Our Lord, on the basis of His better sacrifice for sins, made holy and acceptable to still higher privileges of prayer such as became His disciples, His footstep followers. These, from Pentecost onward, were called sons of God and enjoyed the begetting of the Holy Spirit. At first these were only Jewish believers, but in due time [R5021 : page 150] the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles was broken down, and all Gentile believers, from the time of Cornelius onward, were accepted as spirit begotten sons and granted all the privileges of prayer.--Acts 10.

These Gentiles did not come into relationship with God through the Mosaic Law Covenant, but through the Covenant of sacrifice, under which they were called and accepted as joint-sacrificers with Christ: "Gather together My saints unto Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) Only such Gentiles as accept Christ and enter with Him into this covenant of sacrifice can, during this Age, become sons of God and enjoy the privileges of sonship, of which prayer is one. The habit of inviting people out of covenant-relationship with God to pray is both unscriptural and unreasonable. God heareth not sinners (John 9:31); those who come to Him through Christ are acceptable only because Jesus is their Advocate. It is plain to be seen, then, that those who approach God in their own names--without having accepted the Advocate and His terms of discipleship--such can have no standing with the Father and their prayers are unacceptable.

Instead of exhorting our friends and neighbors to pray to God and to trust for the fulfilment of their prayers, we should give them the Scriptural counsel, to repent of sin and by faith to accept the forgiveness of their sins, according to the testimony of God's Word, by making a full consecration of themselves to be the footstep followers of Jesus. Then, as sons of God, they would have all the privileges of sonship in this present time as well as the glorious prospects hereafter.

VAIN REPETITIONS OF THE HEATHEN

All are heathens or Gentiles--all of the world who have not left the world and come into covenant-relationship with God through Christ. Such outsiders, not understanding the Only Way, the Only Door of God's favor, vainly suppose that they will be heard for their much speaking, and therefore repeat their prayers. Some use [R5022 : page 150] praying wheels; others use beads; and still others repeat hundreds of times certain ejaculations.

None are heard except those of Jesus' followers, and Jesus counsels these not to think that the length of their prayers would make them acceptable with the Father. They have no need to offer long prayers, because, as Jesus said, "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask Him." Why then should we ask at all? Because this is the Divine arrangement, and evidently with the purpose of stimulating our faith and of giving us the greater and the more frequent blessings. God thus deals with us as with dear children whom He loves and whom He would educate into the practices of life most helpful to themselves. When Jesus had long prayers to offer they were never uttered in public; He went apart into the mountain. So with His followers; they are to go aside and have their communion with the Father chiefly in private, although fellowship in public prayer in gatherings of the Lord's people is distinctly approved.

A FORM OF SOUND WORDS

Responding to the request of His disciples Jesus gave a sample of a proper prayer. We note its brevity, its simplicity, its directness, its orderliness.

(1) It opens with an ascription of praise and a plea that we are coming as children to a father: "Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed [adored, honored] be Thy name." God's Name represents His character, His Kingdom, His personality. First of all, then, we ascribe honor, reverence, majesty, glory to our great Creator, who through His appointed way we delight to call our Father in Heaven.

(2) Next in order we acknowledge the Divine rule, authority. This means that our hearts are submissive to the will of God, for joy or sorrow, for pleasure or pain, for life or death, and we are continuing to express our confidence in the Divine power and promise that ultimately the Divine will shall be as fully and completely done in the earth as it is now done in Heaven: "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven." In this we recognize the coming of Messiah's Kingdom and indirectly our own hopes connected with that Kingdom-- that we, if faithful, shall be associated with the Lord in His glorious Throne, in dispensing the blessings of Divine power and mercy to mankind, so as to effect the regeneration of all the willing and obedient of mankind.

(3) Our daily needs, our daily bread, is next the subject of request: "Give us this day our daily bread." How simple! God has promised that our bread and our water shall be sure in the sense that He will not forget us and our needs. In our petitions we merely suggest that we are waiting confidently upon the Lord, nothing doubting His willingness and ability to perform His promises. He has not promised, nor are we to ask for an abundance, wealth, riches, nor are we to specify fine food or luxuries. The thought is, Father, grant us daily such provisions for life's necessities as seemeth to Thee best for us. And should Divine Providence ever fail to make the provision, the believing soul is to recognize that it is neither from oversight nor from lack of power, but because Divine Wisdom sees best thus to deal with us.

(4) "Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors." Here is emphasized the Master's teaching that only the merciful shall obtain mercy, that only the forgiving shall be forgiven. This has no reference whatever to the forgiveness of their original sins--they are past and gone forever to those who remain under the blood; they were covered when we accepted Christ and entered into covenant-relationship with Him. But we have daily shortcomings, weaknesses, imperfections, frailties, trespasses against the Divine Law. These we are to acknowledge, and Divine arrangement has been made for their forgiveness in harmony with our prayers, with but the one proviso, viz., that we appreciate the matter so deeply that we ourselves are acting upon the same principle in our dealings with others.

(5) "Lead us not into temptation [to abandon us there]." We feel our own weakness, imperfection; hence, while knowing that we must be brought in Divine providence into positions of trial and testing, we may well pray not to be abandoned there, not to be left to our own strength, but that in harmony with the Lord's agreement His grace may be sufficient for us.

(6) The Bible assures us that there is an Evil One, and that he has great power and influence amongst men, that he is "the Prince of the power of the air," and "the god of this Age." How appropriate that we should request the Lord not to abandon us to the Devil's wiles!

The words, "For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen," are not found in the oldest Greek manuscripts, and are therefore properly omitted in the Revised Version as being no part of the Scriptures. The kingdom or rule of the present time are not of God. His Kingdom and power and glory are not in evidence. We await the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom for the overthrow of Satan's Empire, and the binding of the Adversary for a thousand years, and the ushering in then of the Divine Kingdom and power and glory, forever.



page 151

REQUEST FOR VISITS OF TRAVELING BRETHREN

FOR YEAR--MAY, 1912, TO MAY, 1913.

WITH THIS ISSUE of THE TOWER the annual requests for visits by the Traveling Brethren are due. All who are desirous of securing the service of these brethren during the ensuing year--May, 1912, to May, 1913--are requested to carefully consider the following suggestions and then to promptly notify us:--

The brethren chosen for this service are not sent forth as perfect, though the Society considers them worthy brethren in every way-- ensamples to the flock in doctrine and practice. They travel continuously, as per announcement on last page of TOWER, all their expenses being met by the Society. They do not solicit money nor anything else, neither for themselves nor for the Society. The service is free, the expenses being borne by the contributors to the Tract Fund. We seek Divine guidance as to who shall be engaged in this service and where it shall be rendered.

The increased attendance and manifest interest of the general public at the well-advertised meetings in good auditoriums claim special consideration. The Society will co-operate by making Sunday appointments for the Traveling Brethren at places where the friends desire to arrange for Special Public Meetings. By "Special Public Meetings" we mean a Public Lecture in a good auditorium and well advertised by a thorough house-to-house distribution of "Everybody's Paper," Window Cards, etc.

This does not mean that the service to the friends at other places should be curtailed, or that such service is less important, or that we desire to urge large public meetings, or that the public should not be welcomed at the less public meetings when a Pilgrim serves. Our thought is that meetings in cities and larger towns should not be specially advertised for any day excepting Sunday, and then only if a proper auditorium has been secured.

As new conditions arise we find it necessary to alter slightly the questions in order that we may be properly advised as far as possible as to the condition of each locality. You need not repeat the questions, but merely indicate them thus: (a), (b), etc. Please attend to this matter at once, in order that there may be no disappointment should a Pilgrim be coming your way. All letters referring to Pilgrim work should be marked "Pilgrim Department."

(a) How many Bible Students in your vicinity use the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES?
(b) Are weekly meetings held?
(c) How many are usually in attendance?
(d) Where do you now meet on Sundays? (Give full street address.)
(e) At what hours are the Sunday meetings held?
(f) Was a vote taken on the Pilgrim invitation?
(g) How many voted for the invitation to be sent?
(h) Do you desire Sunday appointments for Special Public Lectures?
(i) How frequently do you desire such Special appointments?
(j) What is the seating capacity of Auditorium you could secure?
(k) What attendance do you think could be secured for well-advertised public sessions in good Auditorium?
(l) Would a suitable place be found for meetings not specially advertised?
(m) Have the members of your class chosen leaders in accordance with suggestions of SCRIPTURE STUDIES,
Volume VI., chapters 5 and 6? If so, give name and full address of each.
(n) Give full names and full addresses of the two (2) to whom notices of Pilgrim visits should be sent. (Please notify us as to any change or removal.)
(o) If your town is not on a railroad give the name of proper railroad station at which to stop.
(p) How many miles from station is meeting place, and which direction from station?
(q) Would Pilgrim be met at station?
(r) If not, how should Pilgrim get from said station?
(s) Give writer's full name and address.
(t) Any additional remarks.



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SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS

IT IS AN INDIVIDUAL MATTER

Question.--"If any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cor. 5:17.) Are we to understand from this Scripture that The Christ, Head and Body, is the New Creature, or should we understand that this term, New Creature, applies to the individual members of the Church?

Answer.--Undoubtedly this is an individual matter. Individually we make consecration of our human nature in likeness to our Lord's consecration of His flesh. Individually we are begotten of the Holy Spirit. Individually we are on trial for everlasting life or everlasting death. Individually we must make our calling and election sure, or fail. Individually we must be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Individually, as we have borne the image of the earthy one, we shall bear the image of the heavenly.

Moreover, this New Creation includes not only our Lord, its Head, and the Church, His Bride, but also the "great company," the virgin companions of the Bride, equally spirit-begotten. They, too, will belong to this New Creation because they will no longer be members of the human family. This New Creation embraces all who belong to "the Church of the First-borns, whose names are written in heaven." (Heb. 12:23.) The chiefest in this glorious Church will be the Royal Priesthood. The lesser brethren on the spirit plane will be the antitypical Levites, the Great Company class.


WE DIE DAILY BY LAYING DOWN OUR LIVES

Question.--What is the Apostle's thought in the statement, "So, then, death worketh in us, but life in you"?-- 2 Cor. 4:12.

Answer.--We understand St. Paul to refer to the tribulations which he and his companions were experiencing as they journeyed about in the interests of the Truth. These persecutions, difficulties, trials by the way, were evidences that God was accepting their sacrifice. Thus their death was going on, as elsewhere he says, "We die daily." In this statement he expressed the object, or motive, that prompted him and his companions to act. What they did was done, not in a perfunctory manner, because they had a general mission, but from a heart motive and in harmony with the Divine will, that they might bring spiritual blessings to the Church. [R5022 : page 152]

The early Church perceived that the Apostles were very active in the service of the Truth; and St. Paul explained that their motive was an unselfish one. He exhorted the Church not to please themselves, but to lay down their lives for one another, as he and his companions were doing, as ensamples to the flock. All who are members of the Royal Priesthood are laying down their lives in the service. We are thus "building one another up in the most holy faith," until we are come to the New Jerusalem! --the glorious Kingdom of the great Anointed One, the great Prophet, Priest and King, of whose profession Jesus is the great High Priest!

Our Lord declared, "I come to do Thy will, O God"; "I delight to do Thy will." (Heb. 10:9; Psa. 40:8.) This was a part of the Divine will, that He should lay down His life, finish His sacrifice, that He might ultimately give it on behalf of Adam and all of his race.


HE WILL HAVE COMPLETED HIS WORK

Question.--In I Cor. 15:28 we read that when Christ shall have accomplished the work appointed for Him--the work of His Millennial Kingdom and reign--and shall have put down all enemies (the last enemy to be destroyed being death), the Son also will be subject unto the Father, who put all things under Him. In what sense will He be "subject" then more than during the Millennium?

Answer.--The special thought very evidently is that during Messiah's reign the Lord Jesus will be given full power and authority to control the world. That is the particular business appointed to Him. You will remember that the Father, speaking of that time, says, "Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance"; and He declares that they shall be ruled with a rod of iron.--Psa. 2:8,9.

This thousand-year period, known as the Millennium, is set apart for this work. Suppose that you were given a position by the Government, or the State, with commission to do a certain thing for a certain period of time, [R5023 : page 152] with the understanding that when it is accomplished you will be given a reward for doing it. You are instructed: "Everything is in your hands. Do the work, and you may have all of 1912 in which to do it. Attend to the matter." Then what? After having completed the work, you resign this special commission, this special office conferred upon you for the year. You will no longer hold it.

So at the end of the Millennium our Lord Jesus will no longer hold office as Mediator between God and men, as He will have done for the one thousand years. Why not? There will be nothing more to be accomplished. During the thousand years He will have done His work as Mediator so thoroughly that there will be nothing more to do. That special work will have been fully accomplished.


THEIRS WILL BE A HEAVENLY INHERITANCE

Question.--If the antitypical Levites have no inheritance in the land, as shown in the type, what will be their reward?

Answer.--The typical Levites were the whole tribe of Levi, a part of which was selected for a little company of priests. In the wilderness of Sinai, the Lord set the Levites apart for His service. (Num. 3:11-16.) Thenceforth, that one tribe represented the first-borns of Israel, who, the Apostle says, were typical of the Church of the First-born (Heb. 12:23)--typical of the spiritual class.

In the type, the entire tribe of Levi was cut off from having any possession in the land. No title to land was given them; no field was given them. The land was divided amongst the other tribes, but not amongst the Levites. God thus typified the fact that the antitypical Levites would not have an earthly inheritance, but rather the spiritual or heavenly inheritance. All the Gospel Church are called to heavenly conditions; and therefore they are cut off from their earthly rights as men, that they may have the heavenly rights as New Creatures. The Apostle says God has "called us with a holy calling," a "heavenly calling," a "high calling."--2 Tim. 1:9; Heb. 3:1; Phil. 3:14.

The tribe of Levi was divided into two classes, a priestly class and a Levitical or servant class. In the antitype are two classes on the spirit plane--the Royal Priesthood, composed of Christ and the Church, His Bride; and also the servant class, "the virgins, her companions, who follow her," and who are to enter into the King's Palace with rejoicing. As these do not come up to the high standard required for admission into the Bride class, they are not counted worthy of being in this class who are presented unto the King "in raiment of needlework." Nevertheless, they must all be grand characters, worthy to receive palm branches, indicating their victory over sin and all evil.-- Psa. 45:13-15; Rev. 7:9-17.


JUSTIFICATION COMPLETED AT CONSECRATION

Question.--Are we grafted into the olive tree when justified or when consecrated?

Answer.--Both. That is to say, the completion of justification is at consecration. No one has his justification complete, or full, unless he has consecrated himself. Our justification begins when we turn toward that which is just or right, and away from that which is unjust; and we get more justification, more nearly right (for justification means being right, as we proceed toward consecration. When our justification has progressed to the point of full consecration, only then are we recognized as begotten of the Spirit, and as branches in the Vine, pictured by the Lord in the 15th chapter of John. In the picture of the olive tree the same is true. Only spiritual branches are grafted into this "olive tree."

The question is doubtless based upon Romans 11:17, where the Apostle tells us that the Jewish nation represented the olive tree which had the good root. The root of the olive tree was the definite promise made to Abraham --"In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3.) The promise then began to produce branches. Every individual Jew claimed to be connected with this Abrahamic Covenant. The Apostle tells us that because of unfaithfulness many of these branches were broken off. The time that they were broken off was during that forty-year period which began with our Lord's ministry and ended with the destruction of Jerusalem.

During that time all the branches that were not fit to be kept in were broken off, and those that were fit to stay in were "cleansed by the washing of water through the Word," and transferred from Moses into Christ, and begotten of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle proceeds to say that ever since the Jewish branches were broken off God has been gathering branches out of the Gentiles, and that we are being grafted in instead of those broken off branches. Thus you and I may get into the olive tree. We who were by nature children of wrath, aliens, are now grafted into the real tree through which the blessing is to come. [R5023 : page 153]

If we can get into that olive tree, into that Vine, into Christ, the next thing to do is to abide in Him. There are certain tests applied; and those who do not conform to those tests will not be permitted to abide, but will be cut off. Respecting the Vine the Great Teacher said, "Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He [the Father] taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2.) So, if we have the trimmings and prunings that He gives to the fruit-bearing branches, let us rejoice that we are in the good Husbandman's care and are in good condition. If we abide in the true Vine the time is not very far distant when we, with the remainder of the Church, will be glorified and constitute the Kingdom of Messiah, which in turn shall bless natural Israel and, through natural Israel, all the nations of the earth.


IT IS NOT SCRIPTURAL

Question.--Is it scriptural to say that the glorified members of the Church have reigned at any time up to the present?

Answer.--No! They have not reigned at any time. At least, if they have reigned, we have not found it out, and they have made a poor reign of it so far. All the reigning we have seen in the world thus far has been a rather poor kind. We would say, however, that the kings of the earth are doing the best they can do; they are doing just as wisely as they know how to do under the circumstances and conditions. We are not specially faulting them.

Take the Czar of Russia, for instance: the poor man does not know how to do better than he is doing. Probably the same is true of the Emperor of Austria, the President of France, King George of Great Britain, Emperor William of Germany, etc. These would all rather see their people happy; but they are imperfect men with imperfect subjects and are surrounded by such conditions as are almost impossible to overcome. Therefore we are not to fault them that their reign is not perfect. If they had perfect subjects, doubtless the world's condition would be very much better.

The reign of Christ did not in any sense begin in the past. Our Catholic friends claim that Christ began His reign some time ago; and that for over a thousand years the Pope has been the representative of Christ as King of Earth; that it is not Christ Himself who is to reign, but His vicegerent, a title which they give to the Pope, meaning the one who rules instead of Christ.

CHRIST'S KINGDOM STILL FUTURE

We think that our Catholic friends are laboring under a misapprehension. They do not get the proper thought. You remember the Apostle says of some, Ye have reigned as kings in the earth; you are getting along very prosperously; you have had no trouble or persecution at all. Then, after making fun of them a little, he says, I would to God that ye did reign; for if you did, we would reign with you.--I Cor. 4:8.

We hold that this is still true. When the reign of Christ begins, you will find it such a thorough reign that all the members of His Body will have some part in it. So we assume that when our Lord's Kingdom shall begin its reign conditions for the whole world will be very much changed. If the reign of Christ should begin today, the saints would be with Him; for He is to be the great Judge, the saints the under-judges; He is to be the great King, the saints the under-kings; He is to be the great Priest, the saints the under-priests--"A Royal Priesthood," "Kings and priests unto God," who "shall reign with Christ a thousand years."

With His reign will begin the reign of righteousness, for the Scriptures intimate that sin will be suppressed promptly. Nothing shall hurt, or offend, or destroy, in all God's holy Kingdom. (Isa. 11:9.) Nothing will be allowed to do so. The Great Judge will know how to inflict such punishments and so promptly as to prevent the reign of evil; and then the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness; for instance, if some one wished to speak evil of his neighbor and a punishment, such as paralysis of the tongue, should come upon him merely for the intention, before he spoke the evil, do you not suppose that he would learn the lesson that he must not think evil? He would not speak the evil, for his tongue would be paralyzed before he even spoke the word. The Bible says that he will learn the lesson. "When the judgments of the Lord are in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." (Isa. 26:9.) It will not take them long to learn. They will not need to have calamity overtake them many times before they will learn that it would be better for them not to do wrong.

This will not, of course, affect the heart; but it will enable them to learn to do right, to see the effect of righteousness in the world. Thus they will have the opportunity of either loving or hating that condition. If they learn to love that condition they will get into the right attitude of heart, pleasing and acceptable to God; and so at the end of Christ's Millennial reign they will be ready to have the full blessing of eternal life; but, even though not permitted to do the wrong thing, if at heart they still love iniquity, with all the knowledge before them and experience behind them, if they will not learn to love righteousness and hate iniquity, they will be of those worthy of cutting off in the Second Death, from which there will be no recovery.



[R5019 : page 153]

REPORTS OF MEMORIAL CELEBRATIONS

The reports received show that the Memorial of the Redeemer's death on its anniversary, March 31, 1912, was very generally observed. We give the numbers of those who have reported participants above 50, up to the time of our going to press:--

Brooklyn, N.Y..........1,100
London, Tabernacle, Eng. 410
  "     Forest Gate, "   252
Chicago, Ill......(est.) 500
Pittsburgh, Pa...........375
Glasgow, Scot............363
Los Angeles, Cal.........270
Boston, Mass.............269
Barmen, Germany..........150
Cleveland, Ohio..........148
Seattle, Wash............146
Minneapolis, Minn........140
Toronto, Ont.............139
Washington, D.C..........129
St. Louis, Mo............128
Providence, R.I..........117
Kingston, Jamaica........114
Berlin, Germany..........105
Vancouver, B.C........... 96
Detroit, Mich............ 92
Kansas City, Mo.......... 88
Copenhagen, Denmark...... 88
Oakland, Cal............. 85
Bristol, England......... 85
Lancaster, Pa............ 84
Columbus, Ohio........... 81
Orebro, Sweden........... 81
San Antonio, Tex......... 80
Louisville, Ky........... 79
Stockholm, Sweden........ 77
Baltimore, Md............ 76
Cincinnati, Ohio......... 74
Buffalo, N.Y............. 73
West Lynn, Mass.......... 69
Camberwell, Jamaica...... 65
Newark, N.J.............. 63
Toledo, Ohio............. 60
Milwaukee, Wis........... 60
Helsingfors, Finland..... 60
Grand Rapids, Mich....... 59
Worcester, Mass.......... 58
Binghamton, N.Y.......... 55
St. Joseph, Mo........... 54
Tacoma, Wash............. 54
Siegen, Germany.......... 53
Richmond, Va............. 52



[R5024 : page 154]

INTERESTING LETTERS

TRAVELING NOW IN THE MORE EXCELLENT WAY

TO THE WATCH TOWER SOCIETY:--

DEAR BRETHREN--Tardy though it may be, it is nevertheless with the greatest pleasure that I am writing you an expression of my appreciation of your thoughtful courtesy to me during my visit to New York City early in 1910.

I was a stranger and you took me in, and to your kindness to me (not only then a stranger, but a sceptic as regards Present Truth) is, under God and His grace to me, due the glorious fact that I am now in the Truth.

Last January, while prospecting in the Yukon delta country, I made my consecration, and while in Nome this summer I received from Brother Bayne a copy of The Vow, and after consecration and prayer I made "My Vow to the Lord."

And, bless His name, He has been very gracious to me, as I have stumbled dreadfully time and again; but still He gives me assurance that I may yet be worthy to serve Him in some humble way. And I will earnestly pray daily that I may have the strength and the grace to renewedly endeavor to keep my Vow to the letter, to the end that "His rule may come into my heart more and more" until the glorious day when I can keep the old man under all the time and do God's will and His alone.

From Brother Bayne I also received a few copies of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES" and other of our literature. I believe it has pleased God to give me opportunities to place some of these in the hands of those who "hunger and thirst after righteousness."

Many times it has been a source of much pleasure to me to tell my friends and acquaintances of my visit to the Tabernacle and Bethel and what "manner of men" you all are. You may have forgotten that your kindness to me included the privilege of having tea with the Brothers and Sisters, with our dearly beloved Pastor Russell at the head of the table. The atmosphere there--of clean simplicity, earnest humility, old-fashioned virtue, quiet strength, brotherly love and true reverence--is one of my most fragrant memories.

And I want you to know, too, that each day brings home to me more and more what a special privilege it was, after tea, to meet Pastor Russell personally, and feel the magnetism and loveableness, and (though then not in the Truth) to sense the Spirit of God in this man who has labored so long and steadfastly and to such wonderful purpose in the vineyard.

No one who has read of the Man Christ Jesus, and His marvelous life, could, I believe, meet or hear Brother Russell speak without feeling that in him, at least, the world has one man of God, who, like the Savior, is "touched with a feeling of our infirmities."

I remember one dear Brother there telling me (in answer to a remark of mine that the sacrifice of himself and family of the good things of this world to be colaborers at the Brooklyn Bethel was at least worthy of surprise and perhaps commendation) that he had gained joys and pleasures of life far beyond what he had experienced in work-a-day business and conventional home.

I could not see it then, but now I know it. Just to serve Him is life itself. What joy it must be to feel and to know that "They that be 'teachers' (margin) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever."

Dear Brethren, it would please me very much if at some suitable time you would recall to Pastor Russell the fact of our having met, and tell him that I am now striving to travel in the "more excellent way."

God's blessing on our dear Pastor and on all the dear colaborers at Brooklyn Bethel and in the Harvest Work everywhere, is the earnest, daily prayer of,

Yours in His service,
FRANK H. WASKEY.--Alaska.


page 154

THE TRUTH INCREASINGLY PRECIOUS

MY VERY DEAR BROTHER AND PASTOR:--

I have prayed for you daily grace for your every need, and that peace and joy and love be your portion. But I want to express to you, my dear brother, my very deep love for you. I have followed you through THE TOWER and the public press as you have gone from one nation to another with the "good tidings" which delights your dear heart and ours. God bless your every effort to glorify His name.

God has greatly used you this last year in helping us to have our faith increased and our holiness stimulated. Now that another anniversary of your natal day has come, we pray that the Lord will continue to use you as that "Faithful Servant," and that His blessings upon you, dear brother, may also reach us.

We are assured that neither men nor demons can rob you of your body until your work, entrusted to you, is finished.

The Truth is increasingly precious to us and is helping us to be prepared for the fiery ordeal into which God's little ones will pass.

We wish to assure you that every opposition to you is considered by us as opposition to the message which you present, and, therefore, opposition to us also.

We are glad to be your companion in tribulation, as well as to rejoice with you in this Present Truth, and in the future joys which it so clearly portrays.

Again, accept of my deep love and my gratitude for your sacrificing efforts to serve the dear Lord, and thus to serve us.

Your brother in the patient waiting unto Obedience and its reward,
A. M. SAPHORE.--Pilgrim.


[R5024 : page 154]

ALMOST LED ASTRAY BY SATAN'S DEVICES

MY BELOVED BRETHREN IN THE ANOINTED:--

I wish to thank you for sending me THE TOWER. A year ago I requested that you send it on credit, promising to pay for same later. I found it impossible to fulfil my promise, but will again promise to meet my obligations as soon as I secure a position. I am at present unemployed. Please continue sending THE TOWER, for to me it is worth its weight in gold.

I could not have said this awhile ago. I must confess that during the past couple of years I have been very unfaithful. I was anything but a humble, faithful follower of the dear Lord. I was serving sin and self. I had no desire for "Present Truth," still I had enough respect for it to not combat it. I did not meet with the dear brethren. In short, I was very nearly trapped beyond hope of regaining freedom, in one of Satan's most successful devices, viz., Spiritism. I was induced to purchase a "ouija" board, "just for amusement"; but I dare say that that "amusement" almost cost me my "crown."

I spent all my spare time in operating the "board," and became so skilled in its manipulation that it would perform rather difficult feats with the least solicitation. A neighbor, having become fascinated upon seeing what the "little thing would do and say," purchased one for his own use. After trying to operate it (without success, however), he came to me, requesting that I "try my hand." Strange as it may appear, it did all I asked of it, and told me that it was a cousin to my board, and would "do anything" for me.

I can easily see that Satan, the chief operator of all "ouija" and planchette boards, was only trying with all his might to get me more firmly into his clutches. My good morals were not entirely destroyed, however, and the Adversary, knowing this, advised me not to neglect my brethren or my Bible. I then asked whether the DAWNS are a correct interpretation of God's Word. To this the reply came, "Yes; the DAWNS are correct, not only in doctrine, but in chronology as well." I then asked by what power the board was operated. It answered, "By evil, spirit power." It further confessed to me that the spirits who operate the board have no other mission than to hinder all of the Lord's people. It further stated that they took "special delight in buffeting, hindering and endeavoring to ensnare Brother Russell and his colaborers at the Bethel Home."

After thus confessing, I concluded to destroy the board, which I finally did. Before the destruction it pleaded for mercy and tried every way to work on my sympathy. It told me that it would much rather be given away or sold.

Before closing, I wish to add that, shortly after I bought the "ouija," I asked it if there was any possibility of my ever becoming as accomplished as "Hermann the Great." The answer came, "No." This answer rather surprised me, and I wanted to know why it answered me thus. I used untold persuasion before I received the reason for the "No." And when I did get the answer, I got it a word at a time. The answer in substance follows: "Because God will not permit it." In order that I might not be mistaken I inquired as to what "God" was meant. I was informed that it meant "the Almighty."

I need not explain that such a reply shocked me. It bewildered me to think that Satan had to confess thus. If Satan, or any of his force, ever told the truth it was then. Yes, dear, beloved brethren, I am a miracle of the dear Father's grace, through the wonderful merit of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Oh, how my yearning heart [R5024 : page 155] goes out to Him for His love to me!--I, the least of the least!

Dear ones, pray for me that I may stand all the tests that will come upon me to try me from now on. And if this letter should reach the remainder of the Lord's fold, I solicit all their prayers. I feel I need them. I feel my nothingness. I feel my need of a Savior now more than ever. And while I begrudge all the time I wasted in foolishness, I thank the dear Father for the lessons learned. I tried to write you several times during the past wasted years, but it seems as though it was not the proper time to do so. The battle was not yet completed. I feel that I have at last broken away from the Adversary, and, trusting to God's grace, I expect it to be final. I am sorry I consumed so much of your needed time by writing so lengthy a letter, but I could not keep quiet any longer.

In closing, I will request that you continue THE TOWER, for I need it, I want it, and I will pay both years' subscription as soon as possible. Thanking you for all past favors, and always making mention of you all in prayer since I have taken the blessed "Vow," I remain,

Yours in the only Hope,
HARRY W. DAVIDGE.--N.J.


page 155

DELIVERED FROM DARKNESS INTO MARVELOUS LIGHT

DEAR FRIENDS:--

In reply to the postal received today, I am so happy to say that just three years ago today--after much prayer and thought--I took the Vow, and wrote Pastor Russell that I had done so. I had not, however, withdrawn from the nominal Church at that time, so considered myself merely as one of the Household of Faith, although I had read and was studying the SCRIPTURE STUDIES, and had ceased to attend Church. I went to every meeting of the friends and was earnestly praying for and seeking the light. The particular Church of which I was a member was feebly struggling along and I hesitated about withdrawing, knowing it would be a still further weakening, and thinking it best to wait till circumstances would take us away from Bangor, where I then resided.

On coming to Worcester, as soon as a new pastor was installed at Bangor, I sent the letters provided by your Society for that purpose, with a few words of explanation to the pastor and deacons and various members with whom I was acquainted. No notice was taken of them except by a few personal friends, who regretted my action, but declined to discuss the matter with me. Since then the Church building (First Baptist of Bangor, Me.) was burned in the great fire which swept clean a large section of the city.

I am unable to express the joy and thankfulness I feel that I have been delivered from "darkness into this marvelous light." I am glad to have the opportunity to say how great a blessing the Vow has proved. As I awake each morning it is my first thought, and it becomes more significant and precious as various testings and trials show me how weak I am, and force me to lay hold upon the "precious promises" more and more firmly, as the way proves steeper and more dangerous, nearing the end. I have much help in the thought that everywhere the "very elect" are praying for each other, whether they have met in the flesh or not, and that our Great Head is with us in all our joys and sorrows in a closer, more personal way than at any time before since He walked among men in the flesh. Our dear Pastor celebrated his birthday among strange people in a foreign land, testifying as he is "to many peoples and nations and tongues"--giving them the message which has made so many call him "blessed of the Lord," and has excited the bitter animosity of such as are too occupied with the cares of this world to "rightly divide the Word of Truth."

May God bless him and daily strengthen him till his great task is done. "Now are we the sons of God, and it hath not yet been seen what we shall be" when we gather at the "Great Convention," the "General Assembly of the First-borns." We know, however, that when "He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." How we will praise Him! And as we gaze in rapture and wonder perhaps He'll say, "O, ye of little faith, wherefore did ye doubt?"

The Dove bookmark was very thankfully received. Yours in the love and service of the King,
EVELYN T. WEBB.--Mass.



page 155

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES

Series VI., Study IX.--The Judgment of the New Creation.

JUNE 2

(1) Who is the great Supreme Judge of the Universe? and why could He not reverse His sentence upon the disobedient race? Support the position taken by Scripture quotations from Old and New Testaments. Pp. 395, 396.

(2) Through what channels has the Heavenly Father arranged for the judging and blessing of mankind? P. 397, par. 1.

(3) Because of what attitude and standpoint upon Jehovah's part was it possible for Jesus to make the statement recorded in John 5:22? P. 397, par. 2, first half.

(4) Strictly speaking, however, what was the precise moment when all judgment was committed by the Father unto the Son? P. 397, par. 2, last half.

(5) What prevents the Father from exercising further judgment with respect to mankind? State briefly what arrangement has been made for mankind's judgment. P. 398, par. 1.

JUNE 9

(6) What two offices will our dear Redeemer fill during and at the close of the Millennium, and what are the peculiar characteristics of these two parts of the Judgment work? P. 398, par. 2.

(7) What relationship between the Father and the Son should be kept in mind as respects all these judgments, etc.? P. 399, par. 1.

(8) When does the judgment or trial of the New Creation take place? P. 399, par. 2.

(9) Who is the Judge of the New Creation? and what is the Law by which it is being judged? P. 400, par. 1.

(10) Are the New Creation children of Christ or of God? Give Scriptural proof. P. 400, par. 2.

JUNE 16

(11) Explain how the Father "pruneth us," and the work of the Son in this connection. P. 401, par. 1.

(12) Read from Revelation 2 and 3 the words showing the supervision of our glorious Head over His Body, the Church. Pp. 401, 402.

(13) Harmonize the parables of the Pounds and Talents, in which the Son is represented as giving the rewards, with the Apostle's statement that rewards and punishments come from the Father. P. 402, par. 1.

"JUDGE NOT THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED"

(14) Why are the members of the New Creation not competent to judge one another? P. 402, par. 2.

(15) Explain the philosophy of the Lord's rule of dealing with us as we deal with others. P. 403, par. 1.

JUNE 23

(16) What would seem to be almost "the besetting sin" of the Lord's people, and how necessary is it that we realize and correct it? P. 404, par. 1, 2.

(17) What is the explanation of this state of affairs, and how does the fallen nature play the hypocrite? P. 404, par. 3.

(18) What course of reasoning should the Law of Love suggest to our minds? P. 405, par. 1.

(19) Enlarge upon the qualities of the Spirit of Love as described by the Apostle in I Cor. 13:4-13. P. 405, par. 2.

(20) What are the least and greatest violations of the Law of Love, and under what conditions only are we justified in believing evil? P. 406, par. 1.

JUNE 30

WE SHOULD JUDGE OURSELVES

(21) How should the Golden Rule settle this disposition to gossip? P. 407, par. 1.

(22) How great is the influence of the tongue? P. 407, par. 2.

(23) How does the tongue indicate the heart condition? P. 408, par. 1, 2, 3.

PROPER JUDGING OF OURSELVES

(24) What exhortations are given us by the Apostle with respect to the proper judging of ourselves? P. 409, par. 1.

(25) It is possible to bridle the tongue if we neglect the heart? How may we purify our hearts, and is absolute cleansing expected of the flesh? P. 409, par. 2.



page 157
May 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. XXXIIIMAY 15No. 10

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


CONTENTS

Jesus No Longer Flesh--Now "That Spirit"159
What Went to Heaven?159
The Sabbath Day161
The Seventh Day Still a Sabbath162
A Faith Foundation Necessary164
Humility a Character Foundation165
Grapes Off a Bramble Bush165
"Least In the Kingdom"166
Not the Bride, But the Friend166
Curiosity Is Not Religion166
And She Was a Sinner167
Two Debtors and Their Love168
General Convention--June 1-9168
Interesting Questions169
Messiah's Kingdom Will Be Spiritual169
Perfection Will Insure Against Accidents169
Some Interesting Letters170
"Are Ye Able?" (Poem)171

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 158

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.




INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS AT WHICH BROTHER RUSSELL WILL BE PRINCIPAL SPEAKER


FRIENDS FROM NEARBY PLACES ARE CORDIALLY INVITED.


WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 12

Morning Rally for Praise, Prayer and Testimony at 10:30 o'clock, and Discourse for the interested at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Masonic Temple, 9th and F Streets. Discourse for the Public in the New National Theatre at 3 p.m.

BOSTON, MASS., MAY 19

Morning Rally for Praise, Prayer and Testimony at 10:30 o'clock, and Discourse for the Interested at 7:30 p.m. in Ford Hall, Ashburton Place. Discourse for the Public in the Boston Theatre, Washington Street, at 3 p.m.

The Boston Class has arranged for a Supplementary Convention, to be held May 20, 21, in Marie Hall, Pratt Building, 142 Pleasant St., Malden, near Boston. Visiting friends will be welcomed. For lodgings, etc., address A. Ogston, secretary, 44 Wyllis Avenue, Everett, Mass.

ELKHART, IND., MAY 25

At 7:30 p.m. Brother Russell will address a Public meeting in Bucklen Theatre, cor. Main and Harrison Sts.

(Continued on last page.)



1912--VOLUNTEER MATTER PLENTIFUL--1912

Our financial deficiency noted in our Society's Report for 1911 has been much more than made up! We are prepared to supply I.B.S.A. Classes everywhere with this year's free literature in unlimited quantities. There is no need for any to be idle. The harvest is plenteous, the laborers are comparatively few. Let us extend our efforts and increase our own joy and usefulness. We desire earnestly our Master's "Well done, good and faithful servant." We have this year's special issue of PEOPLES PULPIT ready now for shipment, and its message, "The Handwriting on the Wall," is timely. Everybody can have a hand in this branch of harvest work. "He that reapeth receiveth wages."


LOANING MONEY TO PROFESSED BRETHREN

Caution along this line is rarely needed by the majority of people; but our readers are very sympathetic whenever Christian brethren make an appeal. We are glad that this sympathetic feeling exists and would not destroy it for a great deal. Frequently, however, we receive letters from brethren telling how they were deceived and asking us to warn others to be on guard against deceivers.

This is a matter in which we can do nothing. Each individual must use his common sense and strive to do the Lord's will with whatever money talent he possesses. One good thought to have in mind is the Bible instruction that nothing be loaned which we could not afford to lose.


WHEN WILL SATAN BE DESTROYED?

The above words are found on the first line of the second column, page 45, of our issue of February 1. They are wrong and give an entirely erroneous coloring to the statements following. About two thousand copies of THE WATCH TOWER were printed with this mistake. All the remainder, however, had the sentence properly, as written by the Editor, namely, "When and how will this be done?" Please look up your copy of that issue and make it correct, as it might be misleading to a stranger, although the error is so glaring that anyone familiar with the Truth should recognize it at once.



BETHEL HYMNS FOR JUNE

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 June follow:

(1) 112; (2) 30; (3) 130; (4) 203; (5) 36; (6) 229; (7) 109; (8) 222; (9) 114; (10) 46; (11) 127; (12) 12; (13) 299; (14) 73; (15) 259; (16) 27; (17) 209; (18) 58; (19) 333; (20) 313; (21) 307; (22) 91; (23) 145; (24) 60; (25) 165; (26) 4; (27) 107; (28) 238; (29) vow; (30) 260.



[R5025 : page 159]

JESUS NO LONGER FLESH--NOW "THAT SPIRIT"

"With what body do they come?"--1 Cor. 15:35.
IN THE MAY 1 issue of THE WATCH TOWER we discussed the fact of the resurrection and showed from St. Paul's words that without God's purpose of a resurrection those who have fallen asleep in death would have perished as brutes. We followed with the Apostle the assurances that Christ did rise from the dead and did become the First-fruits of all those who have gone into the sleep of death. Others, indeed, were awakened temporarily--as, for instance, Jairus' daughter, Lazarus the friend of Jesus, and the son of the widow of Nain.

Yet none of those instances is counted as a resurrection, for it is said that Christ is the First-fruits of those who slept. Their awakening was merely of a temporary nature, and they soon relapsed into the sleep of death. They did not have a full resurrection--anastasis--a raising up to perfection of life, such as the redemptive work of Jesus guarantees to Adam and to all his race willing to accept the same under the terms of the New Covenant.

You will recall that in our last issue we demonstrated from the Scriptures that it is not the body, but the soul, that is promised a resurrection--that it was our Lord's soul that went to sheol, to hades, to the death state, and that God raised Him up from death on the third day. We noted a difficulty into which all Christendom was plunged by the unscriptural theory that it is the body that is to be resurrected. We now continue to search and note well further difficulties into which this error plunged us as believers in the words of Christ, particularly in connection with our Redeemer's resurrection.

WHAT WENT TO HEAVEN?

The ordinary thought in Christian minds in respect to Jesus' death and resurrection is that when He seemed to die He did not die; that He, the being, the soul, could not die; that, instead, He went to Heaven, and then, on the third day, came back to get the body which had been crucified; and that He took it to heaven forty days later; that He has had that body ever since; and that He will have it to all eternity, marred with the print of the nails in His hands and feet, the thorns upon His brow, and the spear mark in His side. What a ghastly thought! How strange that we should ever have been misled into so unscriptural and unreasonable a theory! Some endeavor to gloss the matter by suggesting that our Lord's flesh is glorified--that it shines--the shining presumably making the wounds all the more conspicuous.

ABSURDITY OF THEORIES RECEIVED FROM DARK AGES

Our Methodist friends have not yet changed their statement of the matter, namely, "He ascended up on high, taking His fleshly body with Him, and all that appertained thereto, and sat down on the right hand of God." This medieval statement correctly admits that the fleshly body was not the Lord's, but that He, the soul, took it with Him as luggage. The statement, "and all that appertained thereto," presumably would refer to our Lord's sandals, walking stick and such clothing as the soldiers did not divide amongst them at the time of His crucifixion --if indeed He had any others! But our dear Methodist friends want to be sure that nothing was left behind.

All this is of a piece with the theory that the saints when they die go to heaven, and then, later, come back and get their bodies, "and all things appertaining thereto" --the inconveniences that they have been rid of for centuries! How many trunkloads of "things appertaining thereto" may be taken by some, and how mixed an assortment by others is not stated. Neither are particulars given respecting those whose clothing, etc., have meantime worn out. But we have had enough of this, if it has helped us to see the absurdity of our theories received from the "Dark Ages"--if it has awakened us to thought and to Bible investigation on this important and interesting subject.

WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES?

The Bible presentation of this subject is every way reasonable, consistent and harmonious. St. Paul points out that "there is a natural body and there is a spirit body." He does not mean and he does not say that the spirit body is a human body glorified. Quite to the contrary. He declares that "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God"--no matter how glorified it might be. A human being is so totally different from a spirit being that, as St. Paul says, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be," in our resurrection change; and the Scriptures do not even attempt to give us an explanation.

The Bible merely declares that as we now bear the image of the earthy, Adam, we shall, by the glorious resurrection change, be given a share in the nature and likeness of the Second Adam, our glorious Lord. We shall be like Him and see Him as He is; and, be it noted, we must change from flesh and blood conditions to spirit [R5025 : page 160] conditions by resurrection power, in order that we may see Him as He is. Surely this proves that our Lord Jesus is no longer flesh, as He once was--"in the days of His flesh."--Hebrews 5:7.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEAVENLY AND EARTHLY BODIES

Our text calls attention to the difference between celestial bodies and terrestrial, or earthly bodies, and declares that they have different glories. It tells us that the first Adam was made a living soul, a human being, but that our Redeemer, who humbled Himself and took the earthly nature, "for the suffering of death," thereby became the Second Adam--the Heavenly Lord. The wide distinction between the Second Adam and the first Adam is clearly set forth. One was earthy and the other heavenly. As we now bear the image of the earthy, we shall, if faithful, bear the heavenly image of our Lord, the Second Adam, after our resurrection change.

St. Paul illustrates by saying that we know of many kinds of organisms on the earthy or fleshly plane--one flesh of man, another of beasts, another of birds and another of fish. But however different the organisms they are all earthy. So, on the heavenly plane, the spirit plane, there are varieties of organisms, but all are spirit.

Our heavenly Father is the Head or Chief--"God is a Spirit." Cherubim, seraphim, and the still lower order of angels are all spirit beings; and Christ Jesus, our Redeemer, after finishing the work of sacrificing appointed to Him, was resurrected to the spirit plane--far above angels, principalities and powers--next to the Father; and thus we read, "Now the Lord is that Spirit." And again that "He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened (or made alive) in the spirit."--I Pet. 3:18.

The more we examine the subject the more foolish and unscriptural the views handed to us from the Dark Ages appear. For instance, the Scriptures clearly set forth that our Redeemer, prior to becoming a Man, was a spirit being --"the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." His leaving the spirit plane to become a Man is Scripturally described as a great stoop or humiliation. Is it reasonable to suppose that the heavenly Father would perpetuate to all eternity that humiliation, after it had served its intended purpose? Surely He would do nothing of the kind!

The Bible tells us why Jesus humbled Himself to the human nature--"a little lower than the angels." It was because a man had sinned, and the Redeemer must, under the Law, be on the same plane of being as the one whom He would redeem. Thus Jehovah particularly specified, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life." Hence the death of an angel, or of our Lord in His pre-human condition, could not have effected the payment of man's penalty and the consequent release of the condemned race. Thus again we read, "A body hast Thou prepared Me," "for the suffering of death."-- Heb. 10:5; 2:9.

GOD HIGHLY EXALTED HIM

No one questions that this applies exclusively to our Lord's experiences during the years in which "He who was rich for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich." Surely it is unsupposable that the Father would arrange a Plan by which our Redeemer's faithfulness in accomplishing man's redemption would cost Him an eternity of poverty, humiliation, degradation to a plane "a little lower than the angels," while the Church would be made rich, and would attain a spirit state "far above angels"--be made "partakers of the divine nature."--2 Peter 1:4.

On the contrary, the very same Apostle who tells us of our Lord's humiliation carries the matter to the climax, telling us of His faithfulness, as the Man Christ Jesus, unto death, even the death of the cross; and then he adds an assurance of the heavenly Father's faithfulness in not leaving His Son on a lower plane: "Wherefore," says the Apostle, "God also highly exalted Him, and hath given Him a name above every name." This, too, is in harmony with our Lord's words in His prayer to the Father. A joy had been set before Him by the Father--a joy of pleasing the Father, of bringing a blessing to mankind, and the joy also of exaltation, as a special reward for obedience.

But the Redeemer, ignoring all the promises of a higher glory as a reward for His faithfulness, merely prayed to the Father in these words, "Father, glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." In humility He asked no reward. He did not pray, Remember that you promised a still greater [R5026 : page 160] exaltation in glory! No, He would be quite content to have served the Father's purpose and plans and then to return to the glorious state in which He was before He left the glory, and for our sakes became poor and took upon Himself the human nature. And what said the heavenly Father in response to that prayer? Oh, we remember the words of Jehovah were, "I have glorified Thee, and I will glorify Thee again," or further--the implication is that of a still higher glory than the one which He enjoyed before He was made flesh.

HE APPEARED AND DISAPPEARED

Two lines of difficulties present themselves, one of which can be answered and the other cannot. The unanswerable difficulty is where a natural-minded man undertakes to reason the subject out. He finds it impossible of comprehension as he finds other items of Divine revelation. St. Paul explains this, saying, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The Apostle proceeds to tell us that all men are natural men, except such as have been begotten by the Holy Spirit. All natural men will, in their resurrection, receive earthly, or human bodies, while all spiritual ones, New Creatures in Christ, will receive spirit bodies, as St. Paul explains in our context, verses 36-50.

Those of our readers, therefore, who have never accepted Christ, and made a full consecration of their all to be His disciples, following in His footsteps, may know that they have not been begotten of the Holy Spirit (because only upon these terms are any begotten of the spirit). These, therefore, we will ask to consider what we say, and hold it, if they please, tentatively, until such time as, in God's providence, they may be begotten of the Holy Spirit, and thus be enabled to understand spiritual matters such as this.

Another class who have difficulty on this subject are the spirit-begotten ones who have been entangled in their reasoning by the declaration of the creeds respecting the resurrection of the body. It is difficult to unlearn error. When visiting various lands and learning of the hold of superstition upon the heathens, we said to ourself, we believe that we Christians experience just as much difficulty in unlearning our errors as these heathens do in getting free from theirs.

THE UNCONSECRATED CANNOT UNDERSTAND SPIRITUAL PROBLEMS

Coming to the point of what is to be resurrected, we note the fact that our Lord appeared in a body of flesh, [R5026 : page 161] and showed the disciples the print of the nails and the hole made by the spear. But we, perhaps, failed to note that only twice did He thus appear, and but for a few moments each time. His other six or seven appearances during that forty days were also very brief, and in various bodies--once as a gardener, another time as a traveler-- His third time as a stranger on the shore, and to Saul of Tarsus, as a spirit being of more than angelic brightness, "shining above the brightness of the sun at noonday." We overlooked the fact that these appearances, if all put together, would probably not have exceeded four hours out of the entire forty days in which our Lord tarried with His disciples after His resurrection and before His ascension. We were not critical students when we overlooked these things, and forgot to ask ourselves why these things were so.

Now we see more distinctly why our Lord did as He did. His disciples were natural men and therefore could not appreciate spiritual things. Furthermore, they could not receive the guiding of the Holy Spirit until the Lord's ascension and appearance in the presence of the Father on behalf of His Church, to make satisfaction for their sins, and to make them acceptable joint-sacrificers with Him. Meantime, had Jesus not tarried those forty days --had He ascended immediately after His resurrection-- the disciples, stunned and bewildered, would have had no assurance of His resurrection. They would have found it impossible to go out and tell the people that He had risen from the dead when they had no proof to this effect.

And even if Jesus had appeared to them as He did to Saul of Tarsus, above the bright shining of the sun, this would not have been convincing and satisfactory. They might have said, Here is a phenomenon, but how can we positively associate it with the life and death of Jesus? Matters were different with Saul of Tarsus. He needed something to thoroughly arouse him and to teach him for all time, and others through him, that the Lord is not a Man, but "that Spirit." Besides, some of the disciples who already believed were able to give Saul of Tarsus assurances of what they knew respecting the resurrection of Jesus and His ascension.

NO FOOLISH SUGGESTIONS IN BIBLE ABOUT THE RESURRECTION

The Lord adopted the only reasonable way of helping His disciples to understand that He was no longer dead-- that He had risen from the dead--and that He was no longer human, but had been glorified, and had become a spirit being. The two things were necessary and they were done at the same time.

Even on the occasions when our Lord appeared in a body like to the one crucified, He took care that the manifestation should be under such conditions as would positively prove that He had become a spirit being. He came into the room where they were while the door was shut, and after a few words with them He vanished from their sight, as no human being could have done and as He never did during His earthly career. That the Apostles caught the thought is well evidenced by St. Paul's argument on the subject in the context. There is no foolish suggestion in the Bible about Jesus having a fleshly body in heaven-- that is all in our creeds and hymn books, prepared for us by our well-meaning but mistaken forefathers, who used to burn one another at the stake if they failed to promptly agree together on such propositions.

We mourn the dead, but they shall wake;
The lost, but they shall be restored!
O! well our human hearts might break
Without that sacred word!
Dim eyes, look up! sad hearts, rejoice!
Seeing God's bow of promise through,
At sound of that prophetic voice:
"I will make all things new."



[R5026 : page 161]

THE SABBATH DAY

SEVEN IS a very prominent number in the Bible--in everything relating to the Divine Program. In the first chapter of Genesis the Sabbath Day is referred to in a figurative way in speaking of the Seventh Epoch of God's creation on our earth--bringing order out of chaos. Not until Mt. Sinai, however, when the Law was given to Israel on two tables of stone, was the Day Sabbath made obligatory on anybody. And since that Law Covenant was made with the one nation (Israel) and none other, the Sabbath requirements of that Law apply to that nation only. This does not signify that the setting apart of a certain time for rest would be of advantage only to the Jew, nor that a special Seventh Day devoted to God would be disadvantageous to all people. It merely means that God entered into Covenant relationship with the one nation only, and hence to them only He told His Will, His Law--obedience to which He made the foundation of the blessing He promised to that people. There is no room to question the import of the Fourth Commandment of the Jewish Law. It distinctly commanded that the Seventh Day of the week should be to the Jews a rest day, in which no work of any kind should be done, either by parent or child, employer or servant, male or female, ox or ass or any creature owned by a Jew. It was a rest day pure and simple. Divine worship was not commanded to be done on that day--not because God would be displeased to have Divine worship upon that day or upon any day, but because there is a reason connected with the matter which related, not to worship, but to rest, as we shall see. The strictness of this Law upon the Jews is fully attested by the fact that upon one occasion, by Divine command, a man was stoned to death for merely picking up sticks on the Sabbath Day. It is plain, therefore, to be seen that the Law given to Israel on this subject meant what it said to the very letter.

In the New Testament Jesus is supposed by some to have taught a laxity in the matter of Sabbath observance, but this is quite a misunderstanding. Jesus, born a Jew, "born under the Law," was as much obligated to keep that Law in its very letter as was any other Jew. And He did not, of course, violate the obligation in the slightest degree. The Scribes and Pharisees had strayed away from the real spirit of the Law in many particulars. Their tradition, represented at the present time by their Talmud, attempted to explain the Law, but really, as Jesus said frequently, made it void, meaningless, absurd. For instance, according to the traditions of their Elders, it was breaking the Sabbath, if one were hungry, to rub the kernels of wheat in their hands and blow away the chaff and eat the grain, as the disciples did one Sabbath Day in passing through the wheat field. The Pharisees called attention to this and wanted Jesus to reprove the disciples, because, according to their thought, this simple process was labor--work--reaping and thrashing and winnowing. Jesus resisted this absurd misinterpretation of the Law and by His arguments proved to anyone willing to be [R5027 : page 162] taught that they had mistaken the Divine intention--had mistranslated the Law of the Sabbath. On several occasions He healed the sick on the Sabbath Day. Indeed, the majority of His healings were done on that day, greatly to the disgust of the Pharisees, who claimed that He was a law-breaker in so doing. We cannot suppose that Jesus performed these miracles to aggravate the Pharisees; rather we are to understand that their Sabbath Day typified the great Sabbath of blessing and healing --the antitypical Sabbath which is in the future--the period of the Messianic reign and the healing of all earth's sorrows.

Jesus clearly pointed out to the Scribes and Pharisees that they were misinterpreting the meaning of the Divine arrangement, that God did not make man merely to keep a Sabbath, but that He had made the Sabbath for, in the interest of, mankind. Hence everything necessary for man's assistance would be lawful on the Sabbath Day, however laborious it might be. Indeed, Jesus carried the thought still farther and pointed out to His hearers the absurdity of their position--for, he said, if any of you should have an ox or an ass fall into the pit on a Sabbath Day, would you leave him to die and thus suffer loss, as well as allow the animal to be in pain? Assuredly they would not, and assuredly they would be justified in helping any creature out of trouble on that day. Then said Jesus, If so much might be done for a dumb creature, might not a good work of mercy and help for mankind be properly enough done on the Sabbath Day?

THE SEVENTH DAY STILL A SABBATH

A mistake made by many Christians is the supposition that the Law Covenant which God made with Israel ceased, passed away. On the contrary, as the Apostle declares, "The Law hath dominion over a man so long as he liveth." The Jewish Law is as obligatory upon the Jew today as it was upon his fathers in the days of Moses. Only death could set the Jew free from that Law Covenant until, in God's due time, it shall be enlarged and made what God, through the Prophet, styles a New Covenant --a New Law Covenant. That will take place just as soon as the Mediator of the New Covenant shall have been raised up from amongst the people. That Prophet will be like unto Moses, but greater--the antitype. That Prophet will be the glorified Christ--Jesus the Head and the completed Church, who are frequently spoken of as members of His Body, and sometimes styled the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. This antitypical Mediator (Acts 3:22,23), under the New Law Covenant which He will then establish, will assist the Jews (and all who come into harmony with God through Him) back to that human perfection in which they will be able to keep the Divine Law perfectly in every particular. This great Mediator, Messiah, will for a thousand years carry on this great work.

This Mediator is not yet completed. The Head has passed into glory centuries ago, but the Body, the Church, awaits a completeness of membership and resurrection change--to be made "like Him and see Him as He is" and share His glory and His work.

Meantime the Law Covenant is still in force upon every Jew; but it is not in force upon any but Jews, as it never has been in force upon any other people. During these eighteen centuries, between the death of Christ and the inauguration of the New Covenant, Jesus, as the great High Priest, is offering the "better sacrifices" mentioned by St. Paul (Hebrews 9:23) and described in type in Leviticus 16. The first part of the great High Priest's sacrifice was the offering of the human body which He took for the purpose when He was made flesh--"a body hast thou prepared Me" "for the suffering of death." (Heb. 9:5; 2:9.) The second part of His "better sacrifices" is the offering of His Mystical Body--the Church. This work has been in progress since Pentecost. To the consecrated ones who approach the Father through Him He becomes the Advocate. He accepts them as His members on the earth; and their sufferings thenceforth are His sufferings so fully that He could say of them to Saul of Tarsus, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." These, accepted as His representatives in the flesh, their blemishes covered by their Advocate's merit, are begotten, by the Heavenly Father, of the Holy Spirit to be members of the New Creation--the spiritual Body of Christ, of which He is the Head.

We remarked that the Sabbath Day, still in full force and its observance obligatory upon the Jew, is not upon other nationalities. We should modify this statement by the remark that there are some who mistakenly endeavor to be Jews and try to get under the Law Covenant provisions as Sabbath-keepers, etc. St. Paul recognized this tendency in his day. Note his words to the Christians of Galatia, who were not by nature Jews but Gentiles. He says, "Ye that desire to be under the Law, do ye not hear the Law?" "Oh, foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you?" He proceeds to show them that the Jews are in bondage to their Law and can never get eternal life under it until the Mosaic Law Covenant shall ultimately be merged into the Messianic New Law Covenant. His argument then is that if the Jew cannot get life in keeping the Law, it would be foolish for Gentiles to think that they could secure Divine favor and everlasting life by keeping that Law. He declares, "By the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in God's sight." The only way to obtain justification in God's sight is by the acceptance of Christ and by a full consecration to be His disciples and to join with Him in His Covenant of sacrifice --as it is written, "Gather together My saints unto Me, saith the Lord, those who have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice" (Psa. 50:5); and again, "I beseech you, brethren, present your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, your reasonable service."-- Romans 12:1.

CHRISTIANS AND THE LAW SABBATH

St. Paul did not mean that Christians should not strive to keep the Divine Law, but that they should not put themselves under it as a Covenant, nor think that by striving to oppose the Law Covenant they would get or maintain harmony with God and gain the reward of everlasting life. On the contrary, he declares in so many words, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us who are walking, not after (or according to) the flesh, but after (or according to) the spirit." (Romans 8:4.) His meaning is clear. The Decalogue was never given to Christians, but it is quite appropriate that Christians should look back to that Decalogue and note the spirit of its teachings and strive to conform their lives thereto in every particular.

But what is the spirit of the Decalogue? Our Lord Jesus clearly set it forth to be--"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy being, with all thy strength, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." St. Paul says that our Lord not only kept that Law, but that He magnified it, or showed it to have greater proportions than the Jews ever supposed it had--length and breadth, height and depth beyond the ability of fallen humanity to perform; moreover, the Apostle declares that our Lord Jesus made that Law [R5027 : page 163] honorable. The Jews having tried to keep the Divine Law for more than sixteen centuries had reason to doubt if anyone could keep it in a way satisfactory to God. But the fact that Jesus did keep the Law perfectly, and that God was satisfied with His keeping of it, made the Law honorable--proved that it was not an unreasonable requirement--not beyond the ability of a perfect man.

Jesus showed the spirit or deeper meaning of several of the commandments; for instance, the command, Thou shalt do no murder, He indicated would be violated by anyone's becoming angry and manifesting in any degree an injurious or murderous spirit. (See also I John 3:15.) The commandment respecting adultery our Lord declares could be violated by the mind without any overt act--the simple desire to commit adultery if an opportunity offered would be a violation of the spirit of that command. It is this magnified conception of the Ten Commandments that the Apostle says Christians are better able to appreciate than were the Jews, because of having received the begetting of the Holy Spirit. And it is this highest conception of the Divine Law which is fulfilled in us (Christians --footstep followers of Jesus) who are walking through life, not according to the flesh and its desires and promptings, but according to the spirit--the spirit of the Divine Law, the spirit which the Father hath sent forth into our hearts--the desire to be like Him who is the Fountain of Love and Purity.

THE SPIRIT OF THE SABBATH

And there is another or deeper meaning to the other commandments than was understood by the Jews; so it is also with the Fourth, which enjoins the keeping of the Seventh Day as a day of rest or Sabbath. The word Sabbath signifies rest, and its deeper or antitypical meaning to the Christian is the rest of faith. The Jew, unable to keep the Mosaic Law and unable, therefore, to get everlasting life under the Law Covenant, was exhorted to flee to Christ; and, by becoming dead to the Law Covenant, by utterly renouncing it, he was privileged to come into membership in Christ--become sharer in the Covenant of sacrifice. So doing, he was promised rest from the Law and its condemnation, because "to them that are in Christ there is no condemnation"--the merit of Christ covers the shortcomings of all those who are striving to walk in His steps, and the Divine Spirit and Word give them the assurances of Divine favor, which ushers them into peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ--ushers them into rest. Thus the Apostle declares, "We which believe do enter into (Sabbath) rest."--Hebrews 4:3.

Moreover, the Apostle indicates that although we enter into a rest of faith now, through faith and obedience to [R5028 : page 163] Christ, Christians have a still greater rest awaiting them beyond their resurrection, when they shall enter into the rest which is in reservation for those that love the Lord-- the rest, the perfection, on the spirit plane, attained, as the Apostle describes, by resurrection--"sown in weakness, raised in power; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown an animal body, raised a spirit body."

FIFTIETH DAY AND FIFTIETH YEAR

Here we are reminded that Israel had two systems of Sabbaths--one of Sabbath Days and the other of Sabbath Years. The Sabbath Days began to count in the Spring. It was a multiple of seven. Seven times seven days (forty-nine days) brought them to the Jubilee day, the fiftieth day, which was styled Pentecost. It is scarcely necessary to call attention to the fulfilment of the antitype of this. Pentecost never had its true meaning until the Lord, as "the First-fruits of them that slept," arose from the dead. Then immediately the seven times seven, plus one, began to count, and on the fiftieth day the Holy Spirit was shed abroad upon all those "Israelites indeed" who, already consecrated, were waiting in the upper room for the antitypical High Priest to make satisfaction for their sins and to shed forth upon them the Holy Spirit, as the evidence of their restoration to Divine favor. Immediately they had peace with God. Immediately they entered into rest. Immediately they realized that they were children of God, begotten of the Holy Spirit, that they might in due time become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord. And is it not true that all down throughout this Gospel Age all who follow in the footsteps of Jesus and the disciples, all who renounce sin, trust in Jesus and fully consecrate their lives to Him, become recipients of the Holy Spirit and similarly enter into His rest? Only those who have entered into this rest and joy of the Holy Spirit can fully appreciate the matter.

Now let us glance at the year Sabbath. Every seventh year the land had its rest. And seven times seven (forty-nine) brought them up to the fiftieth year or the Year of Jubilee, in which year all debts were cancelled and each Israelite returned to his own inheritance. It was a Year of rest, peace, joy. That Jubilee pictures the glorious Restitution Times of Messiah's Kingdom, which, we believe, are nigh, even at the door. When these times shall be ushered in, all the faithful followers of Jesus will have reached the heavenly condition, to be forever with the Lord. Their rest (Sabbath keeping) will have reached its completion, its perfection, and throughout that antitypical Jubilee the blessings of Divine favor will be gradually extended to the whole world, that every creature desirous of coming into harmony with God may enter into the rest which God has provided for the poor, groaning creation through the great Redeemer.

THE CHRISTIAN'S SUNDAY SABBATH

From what we have already seen it is manifest that God has put no Sabbath obligations upon the Christian-- neither for the seventh day nor for any other day of the week. He has, however, provided for him a rest in the Lord, which is typified by the Jewish Sabbath Day. Do we ask upon which day we should celebrate this rest? We answer that we should be in this heart attitude of joy, rest, peace in the Lord and in His finished work, every day. So, then, the Christian, instead of having a Sabbath rest day, as the Jew, has rest perpetual--every day. And instead of its being merely a rest for his body, it is better --a rest for his soul, a rest for his entire being. It can be enjoyed wherever he may be, "at home or abroad, on the land or the sea," for "as his days may demand, shall his rest ever be." This is the spiritual antitype to the spiritual Israelite, of the Law Sabbath given to the natural Israelites. Whoever quibbles for the day Sabbath of the Jew shows clearly that he has not understood nor appreciated as yet, to the full at least, the antitypical Sabbath which God has provided for the spiritual Israel through Christ.

But is there not a compulsion to the Christian to observe one day in the week sacred to the Lord? Yes, we answer; there is an obligation upon him such as there is upon no one else in the world. He is obligated by his Covenant to the Lord to keep every day sacred to the Lord. Every day he is to love the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his mind, with all his being, with all his strength; every day he is to love his neighbor as himself. And while striving to the best of his ability to conform to this spirit of the Divine Law, and while realizing that the blood of Jesus Christ our Redeemer cleanses us [R5028 : page 164] from all the imperfections contrary to our intentions-- these may rest in the peace and joy of the Lord continually. "We which believe do enter into rest."

There is no day of the week commanded to the spiritual Israelite as respects physical or mental rest--the latter they may have always, and the former may be ordered by human regulations for one day or for another. The Christian is commanded to be subject to the laws that be, in all such matters as are non-essential, not matters of conscience.

THE RIGHT USE OF LIBERTY

Let us remember, however, that our liberty in Christ is the liberty from the weight and condemnation of sin and death. Let us not think specially of a liberty from the Jewish restraints of the Seventh Day nor think especially of the fact that no day above another has been commanded upon Christians in the Bible. Let us rather consider this liberty as of minor consequence and importance as compared with our liberation from the power of sin and death.

If one day or another be set apart by human lawgivers, let us observe their commands. Let us be subject to every ordinance of men. In Christian lands generally the first day of the week is set apart by law. Shall we ignore this law and claim that God has put no such law upon us and that we should have our liberty to do business, etc.? Nay, verily; rather, on the other hand, let us rejoice that there is a law which sets apart one day in seven for rest from business, etc. Let us use that day as wisely and as well as we are able for our spiritual upbuilding and for assistance to others. What a blessing we have in this provision! How convenient it makes it for us to assemble ourselves together for worship, praise, the study of the Divine Word! And if earthly laws provided more than one Sabbath (rest) day in the week we might well rejoice in that also, for it would afford us that much more opportunity for spiritual refreshment and fellowship.

Nor should our knowledge of the liberty we enjoy in Christ ever be used in such a manner that it might stumble others. Our observance of the Sabbath enjoined by the law of the land should be most complete--to the very letter--that our good be not evil spoken of--that our liberty in Christ and freedom from the Mosaic Law be not misunderstood to be a business or pleasure license, but a privilege and opportunity for the worship and service of the Lord, and the building up of the brethren in the most holy faith, "once delivered to the saints."

WHO CHANGED THE SABBATH DAY?

Often the question is asked, Who changed the Sabbath Day to Sunday? The proper answer is that nobody changed it. The seventh day (Saturday) is still as obligatory upon the Jew as it ever was.

The early Christians observed the seventh day for a long time because it was the law of the land, which gave them a favorable opportunity for meeting for praise, prayer and the study of God's word. In addition, the fact that Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week, and that He met with them on that day, led them to meet again and again on the first day, in hope that He would again appear; thus gradually it became a custom for them to meet on that day for Christian fellowship. In this way, so far as we know, both the first day and the seventh day of the week were observed by Christians for quite a time, but neither was understood to be obligatory--a bondage. Both days were privileges. And as many other days of the week as circumstances would permit were used in praising God and building one another up in the most holy faith, just as God's people are doing, or should be doing, in this, our day.

Are we told that a pope once designated that the first day of the week should be observed by Christians as the Christian Sabbath? We answer that this may be so, but that neither popes nor any beings, not even the Apostles, could have right to add to or to take from the Word of God. St. Paul particularly warned the Church against coming into bondage to the Jewish customs of observing new moons and Sabbaths as though these were obligations upon Christians. The Son of God has made us free-- free indeed. But our freedom from the Law Covenant of Israel enables us the more and the better to observe the very spirit of the Divine Law daily, hourly, and to present our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God through the merit of our Redeemer.



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A FAITH FOUNDATION NECESSARY
--JUNE 9.--LUKE 6:39-49.--

"Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."--Jas. 1:22.

THE GREAT TEACHER in today's lesson emphasizes the necessity of knowledge and of a faith built thereupon. The blind leading the blind represent the ignorant leading the ignorant into difficulties, into the ditch. In the mental blindness of the past many Christians assumed that the Master here taught that the blind leaders and the blind followers of our day would all fall into the pit of eternal torment, but not so. The thought is that they will stumble and experience injury instead of reaching the desired destination.

The destination sought by the Jews was fellowship with and relationship to God--His highest favor, mentioned to Abraham, saying, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." St. Paul says of that promise, "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh, but the election hath obtained it and the rest were blinded." (Rom. 11:7.) The entire Jewish race was blinded and turned aside and fell into the pit--into confusion, darkness, separation from God. This was the very matter against which Jesus forewarned them. They were following the lead of the Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of the Law, all of whom were blind leaders who misled their too trusting followers. The disciple or follower will not fare better than his master or leader or teacher; he cannot hope for better results than his leader.

How important, then, that God's people recognize the true Leader, Jesus, that they hear His voice, and heed not the voice of others. In the present, in the ending of this Gospel Age, we have a condition of things very similar to that which obtained in the end of the Jewish Age. We have many great, learned and wise men in all the denominations of Christendom, as the Jews had in Jesus' day in all their different sects. It is equally important that we take heed that we do not follow blind leaders today--in fact, it is much more important. Why should we follow any of the creeds when now we have the Word of God in such convenient form and when all are able to [R5029 : page 165] read it? Who cannot rejoice that recently the Pope issued instructions that the Roman Catholic bishops should encourage Catholics to study the Bible? How it would rejoice us to find the Protestant leaders similarly urging the Word of God upon their peoples!

Alas! on the contrary, we find that many of the great and wise of the principal pulpits of the world are undermining the faith of the people by telling them that the Bible is not Divinely inspired, that Moses and the Prophets did not write the books ascribed to them, and hence indirectly saying that Jesus and the Apostles were deceived when they made quotations from the Old Testament and ascribed them to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses, Habakkuk, etc. These great men style themselves Higher Critics and endorse the theory of Evolution, that humanity is undergoing a process of evolution from monkey-likeness up to God-likeness. They are thus indirectly telling their people that there was no fall from God's image and likeness, that there was no sin committed, no sentence for sin, no Redeemer from sin and its sentence and that restitution is not to be hoped for nor to be desired.--Acts 3:19-21.

Surely the Great Teacher's advice not to follow blind leaders was never more needed than in our day. Blessed will they be who heed the warning, and by it will be guided back to a more thorough study of the words of the Great Teacher, His Apostles and the Prophets.

HUMILITY A CHARACTER FOUNDATION

The parable of a man with a beam in his own eye trying to pick a mote out of his brother's eye was a forceful method whereby the Master inculcated the necessity of humility on the part of those who would be taught of God. Humility is here as elsewhere put as a foundation virtue. The Latin word for humility is humus, ground. This implies that it is the soil out of which other virtues are produced. Those who think they know everything can learn nothing. As Chalmers has said: "The more a man does examine, the more does he discover the infirmities of his own character." As Wheatley remarked, "Ten thousand of the greatest faults in our neighbors are of less consequence to us than one of the smallest in ourselves." A knowledge of our sins and imperfections should make and keep all humanity humble; but how beautiful it is to realize that the perfect Jesus was humble and that all the holy angels are so!

GRAPES OFF A BRAMBLE BUSH

While the Scriptures forbid God's people to judge one another, they do commend to us another kind of judging. We are not to judge in the sense of condemning, sentencing, etc., those who claim to be honest, sincere, reverential, merely because they differ from what we would expect; God knows their hearts and to his own Master each servant must stand or fall eventually.

But while not condemning the heart we are to judge of the outward conduct. The parable which our Lord in this lesson gives respecting the gathering of grapes from bramble bushes illustrates this point. God's people are likened to the grape-vine, which produces no thorns but luscious clusters of fruit. Mankind in general are likened to bramble bushes, ready to scratch, tear, injure, on the slightest provocation, and are merely self-sustaining, not bringing forth fruitage that would be a blessing to others. We are to distinguish between such characters and God's people: "By their fruits shall ye know them."

It is said that at times a bramble bush will be entirely covered by a vine, so that the grapes would appear to be coming from the bush. We are not to be mistaken. A good tree cannot bring forth an evil fruitage, neither can an injurious tree bring forth a good fruitage. The lesson, applied to humanity, is that those who are really God's people cannot live injurious lives or fruitless lives; they must be fruit-bearing else they are none of His. And should we find some of the fruits of the spirit commingling with a thorniness of life, an evil, injurious disposition, we are to assume that in some sense of the word the fruitage is merely put on and does not belong to the bramble-bush character.

It is therefore useless for any man to tell us that he has given his heart to the Lord in fulness of consecration and that he has received the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit and yet find him rejoicing in sin, taking pleasure in iniquity, injustice, selfishness and a course of life injurious to his neighbors. If his heart be changed the results will be manifest in his daily life, because "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

THE HOUSE ON THE ROCK

The closing parable of this lesson is in full tune with its opening verse. In the first parable the blind who trust to the leadership of the blind fall into the ditch. In the parable now before us the picture is that of a householder. If he be wise he will not build upon the shifting sands, which either a wind storm or a rain storm may undermine, and cause a wreck, but he will seek a solid, rock foundation which will endure the storm.

This parable illustrates two classes of believers. Both hear the Great Teacher's instructions and both believe and both rear faith structures and entertain heavenly hopes. But the one is more prudent, more careful than the other. One seeks for the doctrines and principles of the Divine Word, and builds his faith structure upon that true foundation which the Divine Revelation affords. His faith cannot fail whatever storms may assail; it is surely founded on the Divine promises.

The unwise believer takes too much for granted and builds upon the traditions of the elders, the creeds of the Dark Ages, etc. He fails to appreciate the necessity for having a proper foundation for his faith and his works. In the time of stress and storm with which this Age will end all such will find the foundation swept from under their faith structure. There will be a general fall of Babylon, as the Scriptures declare--everything not well founded upon the sure Word of God will give way; "That day shall declare it." St. Paul mentions the same class and applies the lesson specially to our day in his letter to the Corinthians. Those whose faith structure will fail will thereby suffer great loss, though they themselves may be saved as by fire--through great tribulation.-- I Cor. 3:13-15. [R5028 : page 165]

DEEDS, NOT WORDS
"They do the least
Who talk the most,
Whose good designs,
Are all their boast;
Let words be few.

"They do the most
Whose lives possess
The sterling stamp
Of righteousness;
For deeds are true."



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"LEAST IN THE KINGDOM"
--MATTHEW 11:2-19.--JUNE 16.--
"Amongst them that are born of women there is none greater than John; yet the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he."--Luke 7:28.
IT WOULD BE difficult to express in words a higher tribute to John the Baptist than Jesus paid him in our text. Again He said, "There hath not risen a greater Prophet than John the Baptist." If then John was so holy a man, so great a man from the Divine standpoint, why did our Lord in this text declare that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven would be greater than John? This text has puzzled Bible exponents for many a day. It has seemed to many to be contradictory.

But just as soon as we turn on the light contained in that word "Kingdom," the entire subject becomes clear. God had promised a Messianic Kingdom, and Jesus had come that He might be the Head of that Kingdom. The steps leading to the Kingdom honors and glories were steps of obedience to God, even unto death, and these steps Jesus had begun to take. On the cross He declared, "It is finished." He had finished the work of proving Himself loyal to God and to the Truth even unto death on the cross.

Jesus thus became the Great Conqueror, the great High Priest, the great King of Glory, being exalted to the Heavenly state in His resurrection. But, as the Great King, He was to have associated with Him in His Throne, His Bride class. As the Great Priest, He was to have an under-priesthood, a "Royal Priesthood." As the Great Judge of the world, He was to have associates; as St. Paul declares, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?"--I Cor. 6:2.

In the Divine Plan this company of associates with Jesus in His glorious Kingdom were as much foreknown and foreordained as was He and His share in the Kingdom. As it was necessary for Him to undergo trials and testings of loyalty unto death, so it must be with the class called to be His associates--"He was tempted in all points like as we are." Thus His Message is, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I overcame and am set down with My Father in His Throne." These would be followers in His footsteps, none could precede Him. His work was necessary first, to open up for His followers a new and living way, through the veil--that is to say, through His flesh-- through His sacrifice.

"SOME BETTER THING FOR US"

While about five hundred brethren became Jesus' consecrated followers during His earthly ministry, they were not then accepted of the Father as sons, and not begotten of the Holy Spirit until Pentecost. God would not recognize any as sons until Jesus had finished His sacrifice, and, as the great Advocate, "Appeared in the presence of God for us"--as our Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. John did not belong to this class, just as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the Prophets did not belong to it. In God's providence their reward will be different from that of the Church--theirs will be an earthly reward. They will be resurrected to human perfection. They will have to do with the human phase of the Kingdom, which amongst men will represent Messiah and the Church, who will be spirit beings, but invisible to men, and whose dealings with mankind will be through those noble characters, the Ancient Worthies.

We are not to infer that those glorious characters mentioned in the Scriptures who lived before Christ's time were ignoble or less faithful than the Gospel Church, but merely that God promised them the earthly perfection, while He has promised the Bride of Christ the heavenly perfection. They will not, like the remainder of mankind, come forth to imperfection, to attain perfection gradually during the thousand years of Messiah's reign; the record is that they will come forth as perfect human beings. That will be the reward of their faithfulness. St. Paul explains the entire matter in Hebrews, the 11th chapter. He tells of the faith and heroism of those Ancient Worthies and that "they had this testimony, that they pleased God." There will be no necessity for testing them in the future. Their acceptance with God is already proven and declared.

Nevertheless, in God's order the earthly Kingdom and restitution blessings for the world cannot begin until the Kingdom class, Christ and the Church, shall first be completed. Thus the Apostle declares, "All these died in faith, not having received the (earthly) things promised to them, God having provided some better thing for us (the Church), that they, without us, should not be made perfect." The glorification of the Church, her resurrection to perfection, must first be accomplished before the blessings through them can proceed to the natural seed of Abraham, and then through Israel to all nations.-- Heb. 11:38-40.

NOT THE BRIDE BUT THE FRIEND

John the Baptist seemed to either comprehend the situation, or else he spoke the truth by prophecy when he declared, "He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom, but the friend of the Bridegroom, hearing His voice, rejoiceth greatly. This my joy therefore is fulfilled." He perceived that in God's providence he had a very honorable and blessed station and work to accomplish, but he was to be neither the Bridegroom nor a member of the Bride class.

This does not imply that John was disappointed at the time, nor that he and the other Ancient Worthies will be disappointed when they come forth in the resurrection to find a Bride class selected to a higher place than theirs. On the contrary, their cup of blessing being full, and never having been begotten of the Holy Spirit to a spirit nature, they will not be able to comprehend or appreciate any blessings higher than their own. Just, for instance, as a fish in the water, seeing a bird flying in the air, would not be jealous of the bird and its greater freedom, but, on the contrary, would be better satisfied in the water, its natural element, so all natural men, not begotten of the Holy Spirit, will appreciate more the earthly blessings which Divine providence has provided for them.

In this very lesson Jesus intimates all the above, saying, "The Law and the Prophets were until John." He was the last of the Prophets. He introduced Jesus, the Head of the Kingdom class. Jesus further declared, "If ye are willing to receive it, this is Elias which was to come." That is to say, Those of you who are able to appreciate the matter may understand that John the Baptist did a work which was in full accord with the prophecy which declared that Elijah must first come and do a reformatory work before Messiah would come.

CURIOSITY IS NOT RELIGION

Addressing the multitudes the Great Teacher inquired, Why did you go out to the wilderness to see John? Was [R5031 : page 167] it to hear his message? Was it because God spoke through him as a Prophet as the wind makes music through the reeds? Or did you go out to see a man in fine clothing and of kingly state?

What really drew to the wilderness to John's teaching was that he was God's Prophet; as it is written, "Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, who shall prepare the way before Thee." This preparation for Jesus John made with the Jewish nation. His message was that the Kingdom of Heaven was about to be offered to them, and that only the holy would be ready to receive it.

But neither John nor his hearers fully realized in what way the Kingdom would be offered to the people, namely, that it would be an offer, first, of a place or share in the Kingdom, and that the terms would be full consecration to the Lord, to walk "the narrow way." Jesus again testified, "If ye had received John ye would have received Me."

In other words, all who received John's message were such as were in heart condition to receive Jesus; and the same spirit of indifference which permitted Herod to imprison John and to finally behead him marked the Jewish leaders and their unbelief. John as a Prophet was abstemious to the extreme, and they said, "He hath a devil." Jesus presented Himself less peculiarly, eating and drinking and being clothed as other people, and of Him they said, "Behold a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." Thus was it demonstrated that the fault was not in the manifestation of God's providence, but in the hearts of the majority of the Jews.



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AND SHE WAS A SINNER
--LUKE 7:36-50.--JUNE 23.--
"Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." --1 Timothy 1:15.
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST is the Message of Divine compassion toward sinners. All religions recognize sin and propose reconciliation with God--by works of charity, by voluntary self-torture, or by future torments. None of the heathen gods have any touch of sympathy for humanity; they are cold, cruel, vindictive. The Bible, of all the religious books we know of, alone tells of a God touched with the feeling of human infirmities and with sympathy toward sinners. "God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly."--Rom. 5:8.

Note the expressions of the Scriptures indicating Divine compassion: "God looked down from His Holy Habitation to behold and to hear the groaning of the prisoners"--the suffering of humanity under the death penalty, and the incidental aches and pains of our fallen condition. He did more than look, He did more than pity; His right Arm of divine power in due time began to bring deliverance for the captives of sin and death. Already He has sent His Son and thus provided a Ransom price for the sins of the whole world. Already His Son has been glorified, and merely awaits the time for the establishment of His Kingdom.

Meantime Divine grace has been still further manifested in the invitation granted to a "little flock," to be justified by faith and to be sanctified by the High Priest's offering of them, and thus to become New Creatures, joint-heirs in His Kingdom. Still the Scriptures tell us of God's pursuing Love and Mercy. He is unwilling that any should perish, but wills, on the contrary, that all shall have an opportunity to turn to Him that they may have everlasting life. It is for this very purpose that Messiah's Kingdom will be established in great glory and with full power. God's right Arm is not shortened. In due time it will bring the salvation for which the poor groaning creation has so long waited. It will come with the manifestation of the Sons of God in Kingdom power.-- Rom. 8:19.

Eventually the Redeemer "shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied." Eventually the Heavenly Father's Plan will be so outworked that every creature in heaven and earth and under the earth shall be heard saying, "Praise and glory and honor, dominion and might be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb, forever." Eventually God, through the Messianic Kingdom, "shall wipe away all tears from off all faces," and cause the reproach of being His people to disappear from the earth. (Rev. 21:4; Isa. 25:8.) So superior is this God of the Bible and of Christianity to all the misconceptions of heathendom and Christendom that, when the glorious Day of Messiah's Kingdom shall have been fully ushered in, the glory of our God will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.--Isa. 40:5.

A WOMAN WHO WAS A SINNER

Our Redeemer possessed and exemplified the Heavenly Father's love and mercy. He declared that He was merely the exponent of the Father's will, and hence of the Father's love and sympathy. Our Lord's sympathy is presented not only in this lesson but also in many others, and all of His followers do well to cultivate the same spirit. Jesus was not sympathetic with the sins of the people, but with the people themselves. He realized as few do the real difficulty with the majority of sinners. "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, in sin did my mother conceive me!" exclaimed the Prophet. We are sinners by heredity. We have inherited partially depraved minds, partially unbalanced brains and morals.

St. Paul, speaking of the very noblest class, declares, "We cannot do the things which we would"--any of us; hence all humanity are sinners. "There is none righteous, no, not one." Therefore it is merely a question of the degree of sinfulness, and the degree is often measured by the degree of inherited weakness, or the degree of surrounding temptations. The really reprehensible and blameworthy sinners are those who sin wilfully, deliberately, knowingly, intentionally, without either will or effort to resist sin. But it is not ours to judge which these are. Indeed, we are incompetent to judge, we cannot read the heart, we cannot fully appreciate the degree of the temptation and the weakness of the tempted. Hence the Master said, "Judge nothing before the time." In due time the saints will judge the world, but not now.

Now we must follow the Master's example; and we may well do this because, although He knew what was in man, as we could not know, He was very charitable, which leads us to suppose that if we were perfect we would be all the more charitable towards sinners, though not at all sympathetic with sin.

Who can read the New Testament Gospel narratives [R5032 : page 168] without realizing that Jesus was indeed a "Friend of sinners," as was charged against Him by the Pharisees? And is not this the feature of the Bible which specially commends it to humanity? With the exception of the wilful sinners, whom we must hope are few, there comes a time when sin is seen in its true color and is detested. Then is the time when the gospel Message from the Friend of sinners specially appeals to such. All seem to know instinctively that Jesus stands ready to be the Friend and Helper of all who come to the Father through Him.

Jesus had accepted an invitation to dine at a Pharisee's house. The dinner had begun. Resting upon one arm they used the other for handling the food. After the custom of the times, they reclined upon low tables or couches, their heads toward the center where the food was placed. A curtain separated the dining room from the outer court.

While the dinner was progressing, a woman "who was a sinner," a harlot, deeply penitent, entered. She had in her hand some precious perfume, with which she intended to anoint the Savior's feet, as was sometimes done with dignitaries of that time. Her heart was full, and tears gushed from her eyes while she sought to open the bottle; they fell like rain upon Jesus' feet, evidently quite contrary to the woman's intention. She was dishonoring the very feet she intended to honor. Loosening her hair, she used it as a towel, entirely regardless of the fact that for a woman at that time it was considered dishonorable to let down her hair in public; but intent upon her errand she dried the feet and poured the precious perfume upon them, presumably as an honor to the One from whom she had heard "wonderful words of life"-- words of Divine compassion and pity for sinners, words of hope for herself.

TWO DEBTORS AND THEIR LOVE

The host of the occasion watched Jesus to see how He would receive this manifestation of loving devotion, saying in his heart, If this Man were a prophet, He would know that the woman offering Him this honor is disreputable. He would denounce her and bid her, "Begone," and not to touch Him. Jesus knew his thoughts and answered him in parabolic form, saying, "A certain creditor had two debtors, one owed five hundred pence and the other fifty. Neither could pay and he forgave them both. Which of them will love him most?" The Pharisee replied, "I suppose he to whom most was forgiven." Jesus agreed with him.

Then Jesus made application of the matter; turning to the woman, He said to His host, Seest thou this woman, who washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair? You are the host of the occasion, yet you did not offer Me water for the washing of My feet, as is customary in our land to do to those whom we desire to honor. You gave Me no kiss, as is customary amongst friends, but this woman has repeatedly kissed My feet. "You did not anoint My head with oil, but she hath anointed My feet with ointment. Therefore, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." And He said to the woman, "Thy sins are forgiven."

Is not this to some extent an illustration and an explanation of the fact that the majority of those who love the Lord most are such as realize their own sinful and fallen condition most and who appreciate most the forgiving love of God manifested in Jesus? Is it not true today also that those who are most moral, and therefore might be said to have less to be forgiven, have correspondingly less love?

This should not be the case, however. The less degraded ought naturally to be the more able to love and to appreciate Divine goodness and love and the more willing to present their little all in Divine service. [R5033 : page 168]

Those present not improperly began to inquire, Who is this that even forgives sins? The only satisfactory answer is that He is the one He professes to be, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. He was then in process of rendering up His sacrifice according to His covenant, and on the strength of that covenant and sacrifice He had authority to tell the woman that her sins were forgiven, because He was making the Atonement which would be applicable to her.



[R5029 : page 168]

GENERAL CONVENTION JUNE 1-9

PERTLE SPRINGS, MO. (CHAUTAUQUA GROUNDS).

THIS CONVENTION has been specially arranged for the convenience of Bible students within a radius of a thousand miles from Kansas City. We have no doubt, however, that many will be in attendance from still greater distances. The place itself is ideal and strictly first-class in every particular. It borders a beautiful lake and has free access to the health-giving Spring from which it takes its name.

Many will be able to attend this Convention who could not conveniently come to one in the East by reason of the cost in money and time. Our expectation is that this will be one of our most enjoyable Conventions. We never had [R5030 : page 168] a better situation as respects conditions surrounding, quiet, etc.

The proprietors of the Chautauqua are also the owners of a large hotel there and of rooming flats in Warrensburg. They guarantee comfortable accommodations for a thousand persons at $1.50 per day. Aside from this we are arranging with private householders in Warrensburg for as many more at $1.00 each, two in a room. The round-trip fare to Pertle Springs daily will make the amount $1.10. However, none would best reckon on less than $1.25 per day.

Excursion rates are already in operation, but these are being extended so that a fare of not more than four cents per mile for the round-trip may be expected to be in operation by the time you receive this notice.

The speakers for the Convention will include some of the very best. Brother Rutherford will be Chairman, and Brother Russell will be in attendance also. The sessions will begin Sunday, June 2, at the Springs, continue there throughout the week and adjourn to conclude at Kansas City June 9.

Decide as quickly as possible whether or not you will attend this Convention. If you decide to attend, write immediately to the Society's representative, N. Engle, Warrensburg, Mo., stating what priced accommodations you desire and, if you will not be staying the entire time, which days you will be in attendance.

We hope for a grand reunion at Pertle Springs and for a season of spiritual refreshment. To this end we exhort all who attend to come praying that the Lord will bless them, not only in receiving a blessing, but also in dispensing one to others. We are sure, as on other occasions, [R5030 : page 169] not to go away empty, but to carry with us spiritual blessings for the refreshment of those at home not permitted to attend.

HARVESTERS' DAY AT THE CONVENTION

The program for the Convention includes a "Harvest Workers' Day." Noting this, one dear friend who has received great spiritual profit through the Colporteur service has proffered assistance to all the Colporteurs of the Society in attendance 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. 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.



[R5031 : page 169]

SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS

MESSIAH'S KINGDOM WILL BE SPIRITUAL.

Question.--What is meant by Messiah's Kingdom?

Answer.--Our understanding is that Messiah's Kingdom will be a spiritual one, invisible to mortals, yet all-powerful for the accomplishment of the great things promised in the Law and the Prophets. The Empire which He will establish, invisible to men, will take the place of the Empire of Satan, likewise invisible. The King of Glory will replace the Prince of Darkness. Principal amongst Messiah's earthly agents and representatives will be Abraham, Isaac and all the Prophets, raised to full, human perfection. Instead of their being, as heretofore, the fathers, they shall be the children of Messiah, whom He will make "Princes in all the earth." (Psa. 45:16.) To this Kingdom the nation of Israel will speedily unite. Eventually every nation will come into harmony with Messiah, and all people will be privileged to come in under Israel's New Covenant, then established by the great "Messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in."--Jer. 31:31-34; Mal. 3:1-3.

The glorious Messiah, whom the Jews identify with "Michael, the great Prince, which standeth for thy people" (Dan. 12:1), the Mohammedans also expect, and identify Him with Mohammed of the past. The Free Masons also expect the same glorious personage and, in their traditions, identify Him with Hiram Abiff, the great Master Mason. This same great Messiah, Michael, the Archangel, the antitypical Melchizedek, Priest as well as King, we identify as "the Man Jesus Christ, who gave Himself a Ransom-Price for all, to be testified in due time."--I Tim. 2:6.

But when the Great King shall appear in His Glory and establish His Kingdom with Israel, He will be, as promised by the Prophets, "The desire of all nations." (Hag. 2:7.) Then all the blinded eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped. (Isa. 35:5.) Then, who He is, and how He should be identified with Abraham's Seed and David's line, will be clearly known to all in Heaven and all on earth. Not now, but when the King shall reign in righteousness, all shall fully understand the significance of Zechariah's prophecy (12:7-10) and of Psa. 22:16. Content that Messiah shall show the Truth in His Day of revealment, we are glad to point Jews, Mohammedans, Christians, all, to the glorious Messiah, and the great work of blessing for all the nations, which God will accomplish, through the Seed of Abraham, according to His Covenant and His Oath.


PERFECTION WILL INSURE PROTECTION AGAINST ACCIDENTS.

Question.--Will there be accidents and death during the Millennium aside from those of sinners going into the Second Death?

Answer.--While the reign of Christ will be a reign of righteousness unto life, we are not to understand that Adamic death will be at an end as soon as Messiah has begun His reign, for it is stated that He must reign until He has put down all enemies. (I Cor. 15:25,26.) It is understood that people will be more or less in the Adamic death during the thousand years and will rise gradually out of Adamic imperfection and death to the perfection of the human nature. We should remember that the Kingdom as it will be established in the beginning of the Millennial Age will consist of the New Jerusalem--that is, the glorified Church, of which Christ is the Head. (Rev. 21:1-8.) During the thousand years the world will be coming into accord with this arrangement. For all such as will come into harmony there will be a blessed arrangement by which they will be protected from any penalty for imperfections. We may reasonably suppose that after perfection is reached there will be no more accidents, just as we have reason to suppose that in heaven there is no necessity for surgeons, doctors, ambulances, etc. "Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain [Kingdom]." (Isa. 11:9.) God's will shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven. We read that there shall be no more sighing and no more crying and no more dying.


THE FINAL TESTING WILL DETERMINE IT.

Question.--Will restitution include the right to everlasting life, or will the right to everlasting life be determined by the final testing that will come at the end of the Millennial Age?

Answer.--Perfection was given to Adam originally; and by virtue of his perfection he had a right to continue to live, if he were obedient. But as God saw fit to test Father Adam, so He will test the human family. And the final test, after the Kingdom shall have been turned over to the Father, will be by way of testing their worthiness to attain these life-rights and to keep them everlastingly. The thousand years of Christ's reign will be for bringing mankind to perfection. At the end of that reign those who have reached perfection will be delivered over to the Father. The New Covenant will have accomplished for them all that it was intended to accomplish. But before God determines them worthy of the fulness of His everlasting life, He will see that all are tried individually and without any Mediator between. We may be sure that the test will be a crucial and a just one.


APPLICABLE TO TWO CLASSES.

Question.--To whom is the Apostle speaking when he says, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies living sacrifices"?--Rom. 12:1.

Answer.--These words are properly applicable to two classes. First, they apply to a class termed "brethren," in the sense that they are no longer opponents, but sympathetically in harmony with the consecrated. The Apostle was urging these to complete the work of grace which they had already begun. Secondly, the text applies to those who have made the consecration, and urges them to complete the work. I urge you, brethren, that day by day you attend to this matter of presenting your bodies living sacrifices [R5031 : page 170] until the work be accomplished. This, he says, is a reasonable service, acceptable to God.

Although St. Paul does not say how the great Advocate will make the sacrifice acceptable, yet this is to be understood by Christians, who know that they are accepted in the Beloved. After that class have given up their lives, after they have put all in the Lord's hands, they understand that they, themselves, as members of the Body of Christ, are to die daily. Hence it is that daily an opportunity comes to us to lay down life in the Lord's service. While this is a daily dying, yet, in another sense of the word, it is a sacrifice to the end of life. Our Lord Jesus said, "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished!" (Luke 12:50.) In one sense, His sacrifice was accepted at Jordan. In another sense it was day by day until that baptism was completed on the cross and He cried, "It is finished!"


MAY HAVE TWO APPLICATIONS.

Question.--"For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water." (Isaiah 3:1.) What does this mean?

Answer.--There was a famine which came upon Judea. The people did not have enough to eat or to drink. They are still in very much the condition of Ishmael at the time when Hagar laid him down to die. During the Gospel Age the poor Jews have been famishing. They have been without any communication whatever with God.

The same Prophet, from whose inspired writings the above text is taken, tells us of another class whose "bread shall be given them, whose water shall be sure." (Isa. 33:16.) They will be well cared for, well protected, and will have both bread and water. This text may have applied to the Jews at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and may apply to any Jews and others who, since that time, have put their trust in the Lord and to [R5032 : page 170] whom He has supplied what was needed for the strengthening of their lives. As we look about us today we find many of nominal Israel hungry, thirsty. They endeavor to make themselves think that they are well fed; and the majority of them do not realize that they are poor and naked and unfed and blind. In the meantime the Church of Christ is in the protected place. Everything is working together for good to them. Their bread and water is sure. "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly"; "the meek will He guide in judgment; the meek will He teach His way."



page 170

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

DEAR FRIENDS:--

Your recent favor came duly to hand and I lack words to express my appreciation. I can only say that I sincerely thank you and think the bookmark both beautiful and helpful.

A sense of my own unworthiness, my semi-invalid, "shut-in" condition and other adverse circumstances have caused my hesitation in taking the Vow; but I have finally decided to take it, trusting the grace of Christ to enable me to keep it faithfully.

As I read these wonderful STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES my heart is filled with praise to our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus that such loving-kindness has been shown me in the gift of these marvelous treasures of the Divine Revelation, so enlightening my mind by the Spirit of Truth that I am able to understand and appreciate the Scriptures.

To believe the wonderful truths unfolded to us through STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES separates one from kindred, friends and even "Christian" companions; they think one more dangerous than an infidel. To believe MILLENNIAL DAWN teachings is to be ostracized by the nominal church. But Christ welcomes those who are cast out for His Truth's sake!

I have been prayerfully re-reading the STUDIES and have just taken up Vol. V., in which I find so much to study out. I find, now and then, little ways in which I can give my testimony to those being ensnared by Evolution, etc.; it is my greatest joy and comfort to be able to offer this small service.

Earnestly praying for all the brethren and sisters who are laboring for the Master.

Yours in The Faith,
(MRS.) MARY CHAFFEE.--R.I.


DEAR FRIENDS:--

For the benefit of any whom you might know to be afflicted with cancer, I have much pleasure in informing you that recently a dear friend of mine was cured of cancer. The agency in this case was radium; and the process was painless. I also know of another instance of a very much worse case being entirely cured.

Is not this another instance of the bringing to us of restitution blessings by the Lord?

Your sister in Christ,
MRS. J. P. ALLGOOD (M.D.).--Ala.


DEAR BRETHREN:--

I recently received Vols. IV. and VI., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, and am reading them with great joy. I now have five volumes, and am highly pleased with all.

For some time I have been looking for God's people on earth, according to the Scriptures, but until now have failed to find them. Though a member of the Methodist Church, I could not find them there, as I understand their description in the Bible, and my own desire for their companionship.

I extend my hand to you in joyous welcome, and greet you with love. I shall offer as much support, financially and otherwise, as lieth in me, and desire to secure further literature from you as soon as money matters permit.

There is great joy in the prayer of our Lord: "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as in heaven!"

I ask your prayers for me and my household, assuring you of mine.

I remain your friend and brother,
CHRIS. ACHERSOLD.--Ark.


BELOVED PASTOR AND BROTHER:--

When the Vow came, I was new in the Truth, and it was not received by me as "meat in due season."

In asking advice of the brethren older in the Truth, I was cautioned to wait, and to weigh all these things, which I foolishly did, instead of taking the matter seriously to the Lord and asking guidance of Him.

But I did tell the Father that I would not let it interfere with my study of His wonderful Plan, nor with my fellowship with His earnest workers, and that I would wait upon Him till He should show me the way.

He surely took me at my word, for it was nearly two years later that the eyes of my understanding were opened so that I realized how much I had lost in not taking this precious Vow sooner!

Then it was that I and my two dear younger brothers, who with me symbolized their consecration, and have grown up with me in the Truth, and whose letters accompany this, took the matter up seriously and called upon our dear Brother Sherman. He so clearly showed us the way that at that time we made the Vow our own before the Lord, and have since been wonderfully blessed.

We did not, until now, realize that we had not done our part by you in acknowledging its acceptance; but we do so at this time, hoping that sending our names may bring the greater encouragement to you.

Our earnest prayer is that you may be kept most precious in the Father's sight! May God bless you, dear brother!

Yours in the one Hope,
W. D. CHAPIN.--Calif.


BELOVED BROTHER IN CHRIST:--

I have been negligent of my duty and privilege of sending in my name as one who has taken the Vow.

Since taking it I have received so many rich blessings that my appreciation and love of it are greatly increased. It helps me each day in the Christian warfare, reminding me of my page 171 consecration and of my weakness and dependence upon the Lord for the promised grace to help in every time of need.

It has brought very near to me the remembrance that all the Lord's dear Harvest laborers are praying for me because of our common membership in the Body of Christ! It forcibly brings to mind the need to watch and pray lest I "become a castaway," and thus helped I have been enabled to overcome, but know that I fall far short of my high aim.

Being quite young and in contact with the world, this precious Vow has helped me to keep myself pure--"unspotted from the world." Sometimes heart-sick and discouraged, then come the sweet words:

"As thy days so shall thy strength be"; "I will never forsake thee"--the promised grace to help! "Praise ye the Lord for all His benefits!"

Praying for your highest spiritual welfare, I remain

Your brother and fellow-servant in the Lord,
K. E. THOMPSON.--Calif.


OUR DEAR BROTHER:--

Your kind letter of Christmas and New Year greeting with enclosures, just received and much appreciated. We join in most hearty reciprocation of these good wishes. May the dear Lord abundantly bless and continue to use you in His glorious work. We will prize very highly the book-mark with your picture and the beautiful poem and Vow-cards. We also thank you for the book of poems.

Indeed, our hearts fill to overflowing with gratitude to our dear Heavenly Father as we learn more and more of His wonderful "Truth" and each day realize more fully what blessed privileges we are enjoying at the present time. We greatly appreciate, too, your kind assurances that you have our interest at heart. However, we already felt this to be the case.

We note your remarks in your letter that 1912 will doubtless be the most momentous year of the harvest in many respects. This awakens in us fresh zeal and more earnest prayer that we may all be able to stand in the evil hour and prove faithful unto the end.

Praying the Lord's richest blessings upon you in your tour, and that He may "keep you under the shadow of His wings," we are, with Christian love,

Your sisters in His name,
M. B. CLEVELAND,
P. B. CLEVELAND.


[R5033 : page 171]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I have just finished reading your sermon in the Manila Times, and it has given me much peace and happiness. I want to learn more of the Bible, but find it obscure so much of the time. In the past I can truthfully say it has been a sealed book to me. But from now on I am going to diligently search the Scriptures for Truth and spiritual guidance.

Any reading matter you can send me to help me toward enlightenment will be most gratefully received. If you will tell me where to secure all of your writings on the Bible I shall gladly send the required amount to get them.

We will leave here in June for San Francisco, Cal., where we expect to remain nine or ten months. While there I desire greatly to take up the systematic study of the Bible. Could you recommend to me some school (or person) there under which I could place myself as a Bible student?

May God bless abundantly your great work is my prayer.

Faithfully yours,
MRS. J. DUCKWORTH-FORD.--Philippines.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

You will be interested to know a little circumstance which illustrates how the HEAVENLY MANNA can be used of the Lord to draw attention to the Truth.

A brother and sister staying at a strange house left their MANNA on the dresser during the day, so that it might be seen. The help looked at it and liked it very much. This led to the sale of several first volumes and the arousing of considerable interest in the Truth.

Lovingly your brother,
WALTER H. BUNDY.


DEAR BROTHER:--

If you will pardon me for taking a little of your valuable time I would be pleased if you will answer the following question:--

In DAWN, Vol. 1, page 232, par. 1, we read as follows: "Our sins He consented to have imputed to Him, that He might bear our penalty for us, and He died on our behalf, as though He were the sinner." In Vol. 5, page 109, line 23, we also read: "Not imputed to them, but imputed to Him, who bore our sins in His body on the tree." In Vol. 5, page 444, par. 2, we also read: "That God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, but imputing them unto Him."

Please be kind enough to inform me at your earliest convenience if you have changed your mind as to these teachings, or do you still hold the same views? With earnest prayers that God will be with you and keep you unto the end, I am,

Yours in His dear name,
P. L. DERRING.--Va.

IN REPLY

Your favor of March 25 is before me. I am pleased to answer its question as follows:

The work of Christ is presented from a variety of standpoints, some showing modifications of one kind and some of another; some stating the matter from the human standpoint and some from the Divine. What we need in all Scriptural matters is to get at the real import.

From God's standpoint human sin is imputed to Jesus; that is to say, He was provided to be the sinner's Representative --to pay the price for the release of man from the death sentence; thus God pictures Christ as the serpent raised upon the pole. Thus the Apostle says He was made sin for us, although He knew no sin--He was a sin-offering.

Viewing the matter from the other standpoint, from the human standpoint, we see our own weaknesses and shortcomings, realizing the necessity of our Master's imputing to us the merit of His sacrifice to make up for our deficiency. Thus the facts agree, whether we state them from one standpoint or another. Our sins were reckoned against Jesus when He died for sin. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us when we offer ourselves to God and our Great Redeemer and High Priest makes good our deficiency.

With much Christian love,
YOUR BROTHER AND SERVANT IN THE LORD.


"ARE YE ABLE?"
Are ye able to walk in the narrow, strait way,
With no friend by your side, and no arm for your stay?
Can ye bravely go on through the darkening night?
Can ye patiently wait till the Lord sends the Light?

Are ye able to crush your soul's longing for Love,
Will ye seek for no friendship save that from above?
Can ye pass through this world, lone, unnoticed, unknown,
While your faith faintly whispers, "He knoweth His own?"

Where the feet of the Blessed One stood, can ye stand?
Can ye follow His steps to a wilderness land?
Are ye able to cast aside pleasure and fame?
Can ye live but to glorify His precious name?

Can ye smile as His dear voice says tenderly, "No,"
When "the field is so white," and your heart yearns to go?
Can ye rest then in silence, contented and still,
Till your Lord, the Chief Reaper, revealeth His will?

Are ye able to lay on the Altar's pure flame
That most treasured possession, your priceless good name?
Can ye ask of your Father a blessing for those,
Who see naught in your life but to scorn and oppose?

When the conflict twixt Error and Truth fiercer grows,
Can ye wield the strong "Sword" against unnumbered foes?
Can ye lift up the "Standard" e'en higher and higher,
While His praises ye sing in the midst of the fire?

When ye see the Lord's cause going down to defeat,
Will your courage endure in the seven-fold heat?
Will your faith keep you steadfast, though heart and flesh fail,
As the New Creature passes beneath the last "Veil"?

Ah, if thus ye can drink of the Cup He shall pour,
And if never the Banner of Truth ye would lower,
His Beloved ye are, and His crown ye shall wear,
In His throne ye shall sit, and His glory shall share!
GERTRUDE W. SEIBERT.



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