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August 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. XXXIVAUGUST 1No. 15

A. D. 1913--A. M. 6041


CONTENTS

The Peace of God227
God's Emotional Nature227
God's Peace Compatible With Sorrow228
Our Rich Legacy of Peace229
Cultivation of Unwavering Faith230
Why There Is Diversity Amongst God's People231
Doctrines More or Less Important231
God's Covenant at Mount Sinai232
The Royal Priesthood Proffered232
Typical of New Covenant233
Deliverance (Poem)233
God's Ten Commands234
God's Original Law to Man234
The Church and the Law234
Who Is My Neighbor?235
Trans-Continental Tour236
Four Great Conventions237
An Interesting Letter239
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies239

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 226

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.,
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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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POEMS OF DAWN

This book of 286 pages contains nearly three hundred beautiful poems of consecration and encouragement for Christians. It makes an excellent gift for any friend or relative not in the Truth, although most appreciated by the saintly. It is topically arranged, but you could not open at random and read without being refreshed, comforted, drawn nearer to God. The Karatol-bound edition is exhausted, but we still have a good supply on hand of the cloth-bound edition, 25c., and the India paper, leather bound, 50c.


PRIZE PUZZLES

We still have Prize Puzzles for judicious use. Order only so many as you can use, free. Lay a few each week on hotel writing tables and in other conspicuous places, where they will come under the eye of intelligent and good people.



BETHEL HYMNS FOR SEPTEMBER

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 September follow:

(1) 235; (2) 333; (3) 128; (4) 40; (5) 163; (6) 299; (7) 272; (8) 312; (9) 330; (10) 259; (11) 112; (12) 307; (13) 109; (14) 304; (15) 249; (16) 165; (17) 15; (18) Vow; (19) 313; (20) 209; (21) 42; (22) 155; (23) 4; (24) 238; (25) 82; (26) 16; (27) 12; (28) 3; (29) 25; (30) 166.



[R5284 : page 227]

THE PEACE OF GOD

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."--Phil. 4:7.
PEACE is defined to be a state of quiet, or tranquility, freedom from disturbance or agitation--calmness, repose. Such a state of mind our text affirms of God. His is a mind tranquil, calm, undisturbed, never agitated, nor even wearied nor perplexed by any of the cares of His vast dominion. Yet this perfect peace of God, the Scriptures show, is due neither to the fact that there are no disorders in His vast domain, nor yet to any stoical indifference to pain or pleasure, but rather to that perfect poise of His glorious attributes which makes Him Master of His situation as Sovereign of the whole universe.

Have we admired the coolness and calm self-possession of a great general, such as Grant or Napoleon, in the midst of the confusion and smoke of battle? or of a great statesman, such as Gladstone or Bismarck, in the midst of national perplexities and perils? or of skilled physicians or others in critical times and places? These are only faint illustrations of the peace of self-possession and self-confidence which rules in the mind of God. He is never confused, bewildered, perplexed, anxious or care-worn, nor in the least fearful that His plans will miscarry or His purposes fail, because all power and wisdom inhere in Him.

The scope of His mighty intellect reaches to the utmost bounds of possibility, comprehends all causes and discerns with precision all effects; consequently, He knows the end from the beginning, and that, not only from philosophical principles, but also by intuition. As the Creator of all things and the originator of all law, He is thoroughly acquainted with all the intricate subtleties of physical, moral and intellectual law, so that no problem could arise the results of which are not manifest to His mind. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."--I John 1:5.

God, the Creator of all things, is also the competent Sustainer of all things. In silent grandeur, from Age to Age, the whole physical universe fulfils His will, without a suspicion of disorder or mishap; and the same Power is pledged for its sustenance throughout the eternal future.

Thus from His own vast, inherent resources of Power and Wisdom, springs the peace of God. But not from this source alone is the Divine peace; for peace is the certain concomitant of inherent goodness. God is the impersonation of every virtue and every grace; and consequently He has the blessed satisfaction and peace of conscious moral perfection as well as inherent Wisdom and Power.

GOD'S EMOTIONAL NATURE

Yet we find this peace of God coexisting with much of disorder and trouble. As a Father He shows us that He bears a father's love to all His intelligent creatures --"the whole family [of God] in Heaven and in earth"-- and that for His "pleasure they are and were created." (Eph. 3:15; Rev. 4:11.) He created them in His own likeness--with the same mental and moral attributes, so that He might have communion and fellowship with them as sons, and they with Him as a Father, that thus, in mutual fellowship and communion, the Creator and the creature might find pleasure, happiness and delight.

This likeness of God includes in all not only the same mental faculties, but also the free exercise of the same in the formation of character. A creature incapable of thus forming character would not be in God's likeness. And for the purpose of developing character, the alternative of good and evil must be placed before him. The right and the wrong principles of action must be discerned and the individual left free to his own choice in the matter, that the pleasure of God may be realized in the virtuous character resultant from the free choice of righteousness.

Since the love of God for His newly created and innocent creatures is akin to, but much stronger than, the love of an earthly parent for an innocent infant; and since that loving interest and solicitude does not grow cold as the creature advances in years, but earnestly watches for the development of the principles and fruits of righteousness, it is manifest that, like an earthly parent, God experiences the sense of either pleasure or pain, according as His free, intelligent creatures choose the right course or the wrong. Of this we are fully assured, not only by thus reasoning from the fact of His Fatherhood, but also by all of those Scriptures which speak of some things as abominable, displeasing, hateful and despicable to Him and as giving Him no pleasure; which say that His anger burns against them, and that His indignation and wrath wax hot, even to their destruction. Other Scriptures speak of His pleasure, love, joy and delight in pleasing things--in the principles of righteousness and those who obey them--the appreciation of pleasurable emotions of an opposite character, for pain [R5284 : page 228] and pleasure may properly be considered the ebb and flow of the same emotion.

These exhibitions of the mind of God indicate clearly an emotional nature in the Divine Being, of which fact we might also judge from the realization of our own emotional nature, since man was created in God's image. No, dear friends, God is not a God of stoical indifference, insensible to the emotions of pleasure and of pain; but the perfect poise of His attributes preserves the equilibrium of peace under all circumstances, whether of pain or pleasure.

GOD'S PEACE UNBROKEN BY EXTERNAL DISCORD

With this thought, then, let us consider the circumstances under which the marvelous Peace of God has been perpetually maintained. The deep-laid Plan of God in all His creative works required long aions [ages] for its accomplishment. Across the vista of ages He saw in His purpose the glory of an intelligent creation in His own likeness, established in righteousness and worthy of His gift of eternal life. He therein saw the mutual pleasure of the Creator and the creature, and with a peaceful patience He resolved to wait for the glorious consummation.

As the Plan developed and time rolled on, the free moral agency of His creatures, misused by some, was enabling them to develop evil characters. By this means discord was introduced into His family--"the family [of God] in Heaven and in earth"--all His creatures, angels and men; and the family was divided, some holding to righteousness and some choosing to do evil. But such a contingency was one of the foreseen necessities of the far reaching Plan, the glorious outcome of which, was, in the Divine judgment, worth the cost of all the trouble and loss which He foresaw.

What a dreadful thing is family discord! How a prodigal son or a wayward daughter often brings the gray hairs of the human parent down with sorrow to the grave! Ah, the Heavenly Father knows something of such sorrow; for He saw Satan, one of His sons (Isa. 14:12), an angel of light, fall as lightning from Heaven. (Luke 10:18.) For six thousand years, at least, that son has been in open, defiant rebellion against God, and most actively and viciously engaged in inciting further rebellion and wickedness. He saw many of the angels leave their first estate (Jude 6) and become the allies of Satan, and then He saw also the whole human race fall into sin. Did ever any human parent find such a conspiracy--so virulent and hateful--spring up in his family? Surely not!

Then God found it necessary to perform the unpleasant duties of discipline. In His Justice He must disown the disloyal sons and deal with them as enemies. Though all the while His Fatherly Love was preparing to bless the deceived and fallen ones when the purposes of redemption should restore the repentant to His favor, Love must be veiled, while only stern, relentless Justice could be manifested. This has been no happifying duty, nor has the attitude of the sinner been pleasing to Him.

Consider the Love against which these recreants sinned. Though from God cometh every good and perfect gift, His favors have been despised, His love spurned, His righteous authority conspired against and defied, His character maligned, misrepresented, made to appear odious, hateful, unrighteous and even despicable. Yet, through it all the peace of God continues, and for six thousand years He has endured this contradiction of sinners against Himself. And still, O wondrous grace! His Love abounds; and it is written that He so loved the world, even while they were yet sinners, that He gave His Only-Begotten Son to die for them; and that through Him judgment (trial) is also to be extended to those angels that fell, with the exception of Satan, the leader and instigator of the whole conspiracy--the father of lies.--John 3:16; I Cor. 6:3; Jude 6; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:10,14.

GOD'S PEACE COMPATIBLE WITH SORROW

This gift of Divine Love was another indication of the cost to our Heavenly Father of His great and marvelous Plan. Not only did He behold the fall into sin of a large proportion of His family, but their recovery cost the sacrifice of the dearest treasure of His heart, and the subjection of this beloved One to the most abject humiliation, ignominy, suffering and death. Again the illustration of a parent's love assists us in comprehending the cost of this manifestation of Jehovah's Love. With what tender and yearning emotions of Love must He have made this sacrifice of His beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased! In addition to all the graces of character manifested since the very dawn of the being of the Logos, was now added the further grace of full submission to the Divine will, even when the pathway pointed out was one of humiliation and pain.

Ah, did the Father let Him go on that errand of mercy without the slightest sensation of sorrowful emotion? Had He no appreciation of the pangs of a father's love when the arrows of death pierced the heart of His beloved Son? When our dear Lord said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death," and again, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt," did it touch no sympathetic chord in the heart of the Eternal? Yea, verily; the unfeigned love of the Father sympathetically shared the Lord's sorrow.--Matt. 26:38,39.

The principle taught in the Divine Word, that true love weeps with those that weep and rejoices with those who rejoice, is one which is also exemplified in the Divine character. The immortal Jehovah could not Himself die for us, His Divine nature being proof against death. And even if He could have died, there would have been no higher power to raise Him out of death. Thus all creation would have been left forever without a Governor, and only disaster and ruin could have ensued. But God could and did sacrifice at great cost to His loving, fatherly nature, the dearest treasure of His heart; and thus He manifested (I John 4:9) the great Love wherewith He loved His deceived and fallen creatures. If this sacrifice cost Him nothing, if it were impossible for His mind to realize any painful emotion even under such a circumstance, then the gift of His Son would be no manifestation of His Love; for that which costs nothing, manifests nothing.

Our Lord Jesus also manifested His great sympathy for the Father in the misrepresentation of His character which He has so patiently endured for ages. It was the one effort of His life to glorify the Father and to rectify among men the false impressions of His glorious character --to show to men His goodness, benevolence, love and grace, and to lead them to love the merciful God who so loved them, even while they were yet sinners, as to seek them out and to plan for their eternal salvation.

GOD'S PEACE SELF-CENTERED

Yes, there has been great commotion in the disrupted family of God--commotion in which the Lord declares He has had no pleasure (Psa. 5:4); but, nevertheless, the Peace of God has never been disturbed. In the full consciousness of His own moral perfection, His unerring [R5284 : page 229] Wisdom, His mighty Power, and with the fullest appreciation of Justice and the keenest and most ardent love of the beauty of holiness, patiently and peacefully, and even joyfully in the midst of tribulation, He has endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself for six thousand years.

But during the seventh millennium, according to the Divine purpose, it will be the joyful privilege of our Lord Jesus fully to manifest to all creatures in Heaven and in earth the Father's glorious character. Then will the Father rejoice in the grandeur of His finished work and in the everlasting peace and happiness of His family in Heaven and on earth, "reunited under one Head."--Eph. 1:10. --Diaglott.

This blessed consummation will not be realized, however, until the incorrigible fallen sons of God, disowned and disinherited because they loved unrighteousness and would not be reclaimed, shall have been cut off. This will be the last unpleasant duty of the Creator and Father of all, who positively declares that it is a sad duty, yet nevertheless one which He will have the fortitude to perform in the interests of universal righteousness and peace. Hear Him: "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?"--Ezek. 33:11.

Thus we see that the Peace of God is compatible with great commotion and with sorrow and pain of any kind; for it is not dependent upon outward circumstances, but upon the proper balancing of the mind and the conditions of a perfect heart. Such peace--the Peace of God--was enjoyed also by our Lord Jesus in the midst of all the turmoil and confusion of His eventful earthly life. And this brings us to the consideration of our Lord's legacy to His disciples, when He was about to leave the world, as expressed in His own words:

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth [in stinted measure or in perishable quality], give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."--John 14:27.

OUR LORD'S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

Thus with abounding compassion and tenderness, did our Lord, on the last night of His earthly life, bestow upon His beloved disciples His parting blessing, His legacy of Peace. It was the richest legacy He had to bequeath, and was one of priceless value. It was the promise of that tranquility of soul, that rest and ease of mind, which He Himself possessed--the Peace of God. It was the same peace which the Father has Himself always enjoyed, even in the midst of all the commotion which the permission of evil has brought about; but it was not derived from the same source. In Jehovah this peace was self-centered; He realized in Himself the omnipotence of Power and Wisdom; while the peace of Christ was centered, not in Himself, but in God, by faith in His Wisdom, Power and Grace. So also if we would have the Peace of God, the peace of Christ--"My peace" --it must, like His, be centered in God by faith.

Yes, the peace of Christ was a priceless legacy. Yet how quickly the stormcloud of trouble, which was even then growing very dark, burst in its fury upon the heads of those very disciples to whom the words were directly addressed. It followed almost immediately the gracious bequest, and struck consternation, bewilderment, confusion, to their hearts and shook their faith from center to circumference. Then, where was the peace? While the Lord was speaking the words, the foul betrayer, Judas, was out on his murderous errand. Then followed the agony in Gethsemane, and the terror and consternation among the disciples as they began to realize the fate of their beloved Lord. Soon their almost breathless suspense deepened into more fearful forebodings as He stood alone before His merciless accusers and persecutors in the Hall of Pilate and the Court of Herod, while they were powerless to shield Him. Then came the tragic end--the horrors of the crucifixion.

WHAT HAD BECOME OF THE PEACE?

Where was the promised peace under such circumstances --when, overcome with fear and dread, they all forsook Him and fled; and when St. Peter, although anxious to defend Him, was so filled with fear that three times he denied his Lord and with cursing declared that he never knew Him? The explanation is, that the peace had not yet come; for as the Apostle Paul tells us, "Where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament [a bequest] is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." (Heb. 9:16,17.) But as soon as the tragic scene was over and the cry, "It is finished," fell upon their eager ears, strange as it may seem, there is evidence that peace began to steal into their grieving hearts. The darkened heavens, the quaking earth, the rending rocks, the torn veil of the Temple--all spoke to them a message of comfort which the world could not receive.

To the world (Jews and Gentiles, both participating in the crime) the language of these events was that of Divine wrath and indignation against them. And as fear fell upon the people, and the clamor and excitement of that awful day died away, they smote upon their breasts and returned to their homes. The Roman centurion and they that were with him, fearing greatly, said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

But to the disciples of the Lord these events spoke a very different language. The cause of their blessed Master was their cause and it was God's cause. To them these supernatural demonstrations were evidences that God was not regarding this matter with indifference; and though through the veil of darkness they could not read His bright designs, in these events there was to them a whisper of hope.

Three days later hope was revived by the news of our Lord's resurrection, confirmed to them by His appearance in their midst. Again forty days later hope was strengthened by His ascension after His parting counsel and blessing and promised return, and the instructions to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit of adoption, not many days thence--at Pentecost. Then the peace of Christ, the Lord's rich legacy, began to be realized, and the tarrying days of prayer and expectancy were days of abiding peace--peace which flowed as a river. But when on the day of Pentecost the promised Comforter came, the river of their peace found a deeper bed; and their joy knew no bounds!

"Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious in its glad increase.
Perfect; yet it floweth fuller every day;
Perfect; yet it groweth deeper all the way."

OUR RICH LEGACY OF PEACE

But not alone to the early Church was this legacy of peace bequeathed. It is the blessed inheritance of the entire Church, even to the end of the Age. The Lord showed His thought for us all on that very day, when in His prayer He said, "Neither pray I for these alone, [R5284 : page 230] but for all those who shall believe on Me through their word."--John 17:20.

The peace promised, observe, is not the short-lived peace of the world, which is sometimes enjoyed for a little season--while fortune smiles and friends abound and health endures, but which quickly vanishes when poverty comes in and friends go out, when health fails and death steals away the treasures of the heart. "My peace," the peace of God which Christ Himself by faith enjoyed, who, though He was rich, for our sakes became poor, who lost friend after friend, and in His last hour was forsaken by all of the few that remained--His peace endured through loss, persecution, scorn and contempt, and even amidst the agonies of the cross. This peace is something which none of the vicissitudes of the present life can destroy, and which no enemy can wrest from us.

What richer legacy could the Lord have left His beloved people? Suppose He had bent His energies during His earthly life to the accumulation of money; and that in so doing He had amassed an immense fortune to leave in the hands of His disciples wherewith to push forward the great work of the Age when He should be taken from them; money to pay the traveling expenses of the Apostles and to defray the numerous expenses incidental to the starting of the work in various places, such as the renting of lecture rooms, the payment of salaries to traveling brethren, etc., etc. How soon would it all have vanished, and how poor would be our inheritance today! "The Man of Sin" would surely have gotten hold of it in some way, and not a vestige of the legacy would have reached this end of the Age. But, blessed be God, His rich legacy of peace still abounds to His people!

The peace promised is not such as the world can always recognize and appreciate; for the possessor of it, like the Lord Himself, and like the Heavenly Father as well, may have a stormy pathway. Indeed, that it must be so to all the faithful until the purposes of God in the permission of evil are accomplished, we are distinctly forewarned, but with the assurance that through all the storms this peace shall abide--"In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in Me ye shall have peace."

FAITH THE BASIS OF PEACE

If we would know the foundation and security of this abiding peace which is able to survive the heaviest storms of life, we have only to look to the teaching and example of the Lord and the Apostles. What was it that held them so firmly and gave them such rest of mind while they suffered? It was their faith--their faith in the Love, Power and Wisdom of God. They believed that what God had promised, He was able also to perform, and that His righteous and benevolent Plan could know no failure. By the mouth of His Prophets He had declared, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure....Yea, I have spoken it and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." "The Lord of Hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it?" (Isa. 46:9-11; 14:27.) On the assurances of God they rested. In Him their faith was anchored; and it mattered not how fiercely the storms raged or how they were tossed by the tempests of life while their anchor still held fast to the Throne of God.

The language of our Lord's faith was, "O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee; but I have known Thee." He had been with the Father from the beginning, had realized His Love and His goodness, and had seen His Power, and had marked His righteousness and His loving kindness and Fatherly providence over all His works. And so it is written, "By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities." (Isa. 53:11.) The knowledge which He had of the Father gave to Him a firm footing for faith in all God's purposes concerning the future. Hence He could and did walk by faith. And that faith enabled Him to overcome all obstacles and to secure the victory even over death.

So also it is written for our instruction--"This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"--that faith in God built, in our case, upon our Lord's testimony of the Father; and again it is written that, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." It is only through steady, unwavering faith that the peace of God--the peace of Christ--will abide with His people. While the Lord was with His disciples, and they saw in Him the manifestation of the Father, their faith was strong and they had peace in Him, as He said, "While I was in the world I kept them." But not until after He had left them was their faith anchored in God. After Pentecost they experienced the same peace that Christ had enjoyed--the blessed peace that came from a knowledge of the fact that God acknowledged them as sons and heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ, if they would continue faithfully to follow in the steps of the Redeemer.

CULTIVATION OF UNWAVERING FAITH

Herein is also the basis of our peace. No matter how fiercely the storms of life may assail us, we must never let go our anchor and allow ourselves to drift, but always remember that "the foundation of God standeth sure"; that "His Truth is our shield and buckler"; that "what He has promised He is able also to perform," notwithstanding our human imperfections and frailties; that covering these we have the imputed righteousness of Christ, our Surety and Advocate; and that "the Father Himself loveth" us, "He considereth our frame and remembereth that we are dust," and so has compassion for the sons of His Love and is very pitiful and of tender mercy. Indeed, "What more can He say than to us He hath said," to assure our faith and to steady and strengthen our hearts to patient endurance in the midst of the trials and conflicts of the narrow way of sacrifice.

There is nothing which puts the Christian at greater disadvantage in the presence of his foes than for him to let go, even temporarily, his grip upon the anchor of faith. Let him do so for a moment, and of necessity darkness begins to gather round him. He cannot see the brightness of his Father's face; for "without faith it is impossible to please God"; and while he grapples again for the anchor, the powers of darkness fiercely assail him with doubts and fears. These attacks are generally based upon his human imperfections, which he should ever bear in mind are covered by the Robe of Christ's righteousness.

If we would have the peace of God reign in our hearts, we must never let go our anchor, "nor suffer Satan's deadliest strife to beat our courage down." The language of our hearts should always be, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." With this faith the peace of God, the peace which the Master bequeathed to us, ever abides. Thus "the peace of God which passeth all understanding will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"; for it is written again, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee."

In the midst of the Christian warfare let our hearts be cheered and our minds be stayed, not only with such assurances that all the Divine purposes shall be accomplished, but also with such promises of personal favor as these:

"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord [R5284 : page 231] pitieth them that fear Him; for He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust." "Can a woman forget her sucking child?...Yea, they may forget; yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have engraven thee upon the palms of My hands." "The Father Himself loveth you," and "It is the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." "Such as are upright in their way are His delight." "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart"--the peace of God, even in the midst of storm and tempest.



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WHY THERE IS DIVERSITY AMONGST GOD'S PEOPLE

"Who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive?"--1 Cor. 4:7.
WHILE it is true that all men are born with inalienable rights and privileges, yet no man is born without sin. The Scriptures very properly declare that the race in Adam was sold under Sin six thousand years ago. In this sense, therefore, we were not born free, but slaves of Sin. Neither are we born equal. No two persons are exactly alike in opportunity, talent and ability. We differ from one another. God did not create some better and some worse--some more richly endowed and some less richly endowed. We are to take the Bible statement of the origin of humanity, and understand that God made Adam perfect. All the imperfections which encumber the human race are the results of the dying process. Sin has made us all to differ, then, from the original image and likeness of God. Satan brought about this difference through Mother Eve.

In our text, however, the Apostle Paul has in mind a New Creation in Jesus Christ--a new order--amongst whose members there is a difference. Some in the Church have many talents, others, few talents; some have special talents, others have ordinary talents. But Satan is not charged with having given the greater or lesser talents to these. The Apostle says that it is God who has set the various members in the Body as it has pleased Him; and that both this setting, or apportioning, of the different members of the Body and the bringing forth of the different degrees of fruitage are manifestations of God's grace in our hearts. Thus we are made to differ from each other.

CAUSE OF DIVERSITY OF ATTAINMENTS

The matter of growth in the Holy Spirit is one that is dependent in large measure upon each one's zeal to know, to do, the will of God. We are put into the School of Christ to learn of Him. Some learn more rapidly, others less rapidly. In proportion as they learn, they have greater opportunities and blessings. All are granted a measure of the Holy Spirit--all granted some blessing. Those who are anxious to know the will of the Lord and to study it grow the more rapidly, and thus have more of the Holy Spirit. These are zealous to do the Lord's will. Their progress is not attributable wholly to themselves, but especially to the favor of God.

The Apostle goes on to say, Ye are God's workmanship; "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." We could not do this work ourselves. The power that is working in us is of God. He is preparing a glorious Temple. He has provided who shall be the chief corner-stone of this Temple, and who shall be the members of the Temple class. We could not choose the place for ourselves. But in God's providence we each responded to the call to be a living stone. The stones were first cut out of the dark quarry, and now they are being shaped and prepared for places in the glorious building.

DIVERSITY OF ANOTHER KIND

The great Master-Workman is doing a work upon us. He is chiseling and fashioning us. He is making us what we are. Consequently there is to be no boasting. There is a certain amount of personality connected with each one, however, and if there is too much cross-grain in the stone it will be abandoned. As the Apostle Peter exhorts, we are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt us in due time. The same Apostle also reminds us that we should look up to God and give Him praise for all that we have and are.--I Pet. 5:6; 4:11.

We are colaborers with God. We give God the praise that He has made us to differ from our former selves, that He is making us thus to differ more every day, and that He will continue the good work as the days go by and as we seek to do His will. What have we of ourselves? Nothing! We were wholly dead through Father Adam's disobedience; we were born in this condition, having no right to everlasting life. But God has a Plan which is world-wide in its scheme of blessing. He has proffered the blessings of the highest feature of this Plan to us, and invited us to come to Him in advance of the world. And this we receive through His grace.



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DOCTRINES MORE OR LESS IMPORTANT

THERE are certain features of the doctrine of Christ which are fundamental and indispensable, and without which none would be recognized of the Lord as one of His followers. There are other features which would seem to be useful, helpful, blessed, but not fundamental--not essential to membership in the Body of Christ. The fundamentals have been enjoyed by good, saintly ones from the Day of Pentecost until now.

We, the same class now, have the same fundamentals, and are permitted to have other privileges, truths, "meat in due season," for our strengthening. These latter are not necessarily essential to our membership in the Body of Christ; otherwise our forefathers who did not have them would not have been members of Christ, and there would have been no Christ Body for centuries.

The fundamental theory of the Atonement is as follows:

(1) All men--all of Adam's children--are sinners.

(2) None can be reconciled to God without a Redeemer's sacrifice.

(3) Jesus came into the world to be that Sacrifice-- and later to apply that Ransom-price for the sins of the world.

(4) On the basis of faith in the Redeemer's work, the believer may consecrate himself to the Divine service, in acceptance of the Divine invitation, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice."

(5) So doing, the believer may--up to the time of the [R5284 : page 232] completion of the Elect number--exercise full assurance of faith that his sacrifice will be accepted of the Father; and that he will receive a share of the anointing of the Holy Spirit--the begetting.

(6) Such as meet these conditions are to be accepted as brethren in the highest sense of the term. This much would seem to have been always necessary, and more than this we believe is not necessary today. But if by reason of our favorable day we have more knowledge, we may also have corresponding trials, which our greater knowledge will offset.

Our advice to the Lord's dear people everywhere is that they put no yoke upon each other, beyond the fundamentals specified above--that otherwise they stand free, and leave each other free, and fellowship and agree as much as they can with each other.

If there be a disposition to crowd each other on more than this basic faith, and if it be considered necessary to separate in order to the progress of either of the parties, then doubtless rather than a continual contention a separation would be the wise course.

We are not criticising the views of any one. Each has a perfect right to hold whatever he believes the Bible to teach, and our views are doubtless well known to all of our readers. Briefly stated, they are as follows:

(1) That the one that sinned was Adam, and that he and all his posterity were involved.

(2) That a Redeemer was necessary, that Jesus became that Redeemer, and "gave Himself a Ransom for all."

(3) That God has invited some of the redeemed sinners --not to be the Ransom-price, nor to redeem anybody else, but--to be associates of the Redeemer, members of His Body, His Bride.

(4) The terms and conditions upon which these may have fellowship are that Jesus as the great Advocate shall accept them as His members--their flesh as His flesh-- and that He shall impute to them the share of His merit which would be coming to them as members of the Adamic race. Then they are legally justified from all the shortcomings, weaknesses and imperfections inherited by them; and their own wills and all their remaining powers and talents being consecrated, their sacrifice may be acceptable to God--as part of the Sin-Offering by the great High Priest.

(5) Sharing thus in the Redeemer's death, these are privileged to share in His life, by the First Resurrection. The Redeemer does not now make application of His merit to the world, aside from the newly-accepted and added members. He will carry out the Divine Program, and sacrifice all His members before presenting, at the end of [R5285 : page 232] the Age, the merit of His sacrifice on behalf of the sins of the whole world, and will thereby seal the New Covenant for them.

In our judgment many err in attaching too much value to the Church's sacrifice; whereas other dear brethren err, we think, in that they do not see any value in the Church's sacrifice, nor that she is permitted a share in the Master's sacrificings at all. To us it seems like the swing of the pendulum from one extreme to the other; whereas our view lies in the center, as we have stated the matter.

If after fully considering these matters, a class finds that it cannot agree, and would make better progress as two classes, we would concur in that conclusion as a wise one, as much as we would deplore the necessity of a division. Such a separation would not necessarily alienate either class from the Lord's people, nor from the Society, because both acknowledge Jesus as their Redeemer, and both acknowledge that His blood is primarily efficacious.



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GOD'S COVENANT AT MOUNT SINAI
--AUGUST 31.--EXODUS 19:1-6.--

"Let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God, with reverence and awe."--Hebrews 12:28. R.V.
TWO months after the Passover deliverance, the Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai, but on their way they had two valuable lessons respecting God's Grace and Power. When they reached the Valley Rephidim, they were thirsty and found no water. Here Moses, in the name of the Lord, smote the rock with his rod, and from it gushed water, abundantly refreshing Israel at this time, and as a rivulet following them through much of their subsequent journey.

St. Paul, by inspiration, points out to us that that rock represented Christ, that the smiting of the rock represented the putting of Christ to a shameful death, but that only by this means is the Water of Life provided for those who desire to be the people of God. As the waters of that rock followed the Israelites, so the stream of God's favor, through the sacrifice of Christ, refreshes Christ's disciples throughout their wilderness journey.

Refreshed in body and in faith, Israel journeyed onward, but encountered new obstacles. The Amalekites, a warlike people, considered the coming of Israel as an invasion of their country, and attacked them in battle. A people used to peaceful pursuits, as the Israelites had for centuries been, would naturally be at a disadvantage in a conflict with such opponents. Yet God gave them the victory. He indicated, however, that it was not by their prowess or skill, but of His grace that they conquered.

Moses, stationed upon a high hill, lifted up his hands in prayer to God for the people. While he did so, success was theirs; but when he ceased thus to pray, the Amalekites were the victors. Perceiving this, Aaron and Hur assisted in holding up the hands of Moses until the battle terminated with success for Israel. God thus indicated that Moses was the advocate or representative of Israel, and that without him they could do nothing.

In the antitype, we realize that Spiritual Israelites have conflicts with enemies too mighty for them without the Lord's assistance. The world, the flesh and the Devil make common cause against all who are seeking the Heavenly Canaan. We who are followers of Jesus have success in our warfare only as we have Him as our Advocate --"We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." Through Him we may come off conquerors, yea, more than merely conquerors, victors in the highest sense--"through Him who loved us and bought us with His precious blood."

THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD PROFFERED

All of God's dealings with the Israelites were in accord with His great Covenant made with Abraham, and certified with the Divine Oath--"In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Neither Moses nor any of those who followed him could possibly have understood the full import of this great oath-bound Promise; for it is a double Promise, the spiritual portion of which was hidden until God's due time--at the First Advent. Even since then, St. Paul assures us, it is a [R5285 : page 233] hidden mystery, appreciated only by the very few. "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence Him, and He will show them His Covenant."

The Promise is divided into three parts: (1) Abraham himself (and all the Ancient Worthies, whom he represented) was to have a share; (2) Abraham's Seed was to be the chief agent, or channel, of blessing; and (3) all the families of the earth were to be blessed as recipients of God's favor through these channels. But only by the light of the Holy Spirit during this Gospel Age are these lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the Abrahamic Covenant made manifest.

When inviting the Israelites to come out of Egypt, God did not explain the Covenant to them nor tell them which portion they might have a share in. But when they had come to Mt. Sinai, God made inquiry as to whether or not they could keep the Divine Law, and thus prove themselves eligible to the highest favor included in that Covenant.

In other words, the Lord said to them at Mt. Sinai, Are you ready now to enter into a Covenant of full consecration to do My will? You have seen how I dealt with the Egyptians in delivering you. You have seen how, ever since then, I have borne you on eagles' wings over all the trials and difficulties of your journey to this place. Have you faith? Have you loyalty? Do you wish to enter into a Covenant? "If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My commandments, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people... and ye shall be unto Me a Kingdom of priests and an holy nation."

While the Israelites knew that they were the favored seed of Abraham, the natural heirs of the promises, it was proper that they should know also that they would be unsuitable for the Lord's use in blessing the other nations with His Law unless they themselves were able to keep that Law and to instruct others how to keep it. With this understanding, that they were ready to do the Lord's will and thus to be separated by Him to be the kings and priests of the whole world, a Law Covenant was made with them, and Moses was appointed its mediator. Whoever would keep those commandments might live forever; and in proportion as he kept them he would be entitled to earthly favors.

TYPICAL OF NEW COVENANT

St. Paul, in Hebrews 12:18-24, points us to the antitype of today's Study. As Israel was delivered from Pharaoh and his hosts, so ultimately all mankind is to be delivered from Satan and his hosts, the fallen angels, and from all evil influences. As the journey to the Promised Land brought the Israelites to Mt. Sinai and the Law Covenant, so the journey of God's people will ultimately bring all the willing, obedient and faithful to the antitype of Mt. Sinai; namely, Mt. Zion, God's Kingdom, for which Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom Come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven."

Meantime, Jesus has become the antitypical Moses and Leader of the people, and in harmony with Jehovah's program, He has been selecting the members, or associates and joint-heirs. St. Paul explains this to us, saying, "God gave Jesus to be the Head over the Church, which is His Body." St. Peter explains that this great antitypical Moses must be raised up from amongst the brethren first, before the blessing of Restitution can come to mankind in general.--Acts 3:22,23,19-21.

This entire Gospel Age has been devoted to the gathering of the members of the Christ Body. And when the last member shall have made his calling and election sure, this Age will end, and the more glorious work of the Messianic Age will begin.

SHAKE HEAVENS AND EARTH

The antitype of our lesson will be the inauguration of the New Covenant, at the Second Advent of Jesus. The basis of this new and better Covenant was completed at Calvary by our Lord's sacrifice of Himself. He has since been completing His "better sacrifices" by presenting the bodies of His saints, holy and acceptable, to God (Rom. 12:1). Soon the "better sacrifices" will be completed, and the greater Mediator will have been fully raised up from amongst the brethren. Then everything will be ready for the inauguration of the New Covenant, to bless the world of mankind with knowledge, and with opportunity for Restitution to earthly blessings and perfection.

St. Paul points out that this is what we are coming to --approaching--"the General Assembly and Church of the First-born," whose names are written in Heaven. He declares that we may expect an antitype of the stirring scenes mentioned in our lesson. As at Mt. Sinai the literal mountain shook, lightnings flashed, and the voice of God was heard as the sound of a great trumpet, so here the antitype will come. The great trumpet here will be [R5286 : page 233] the seventh trumpet, the trump of God. The storm and tempest and shaking here in the antitype will mean the shaking of the ecclesiastical heavens and the social, political and financial earth.

The Apostle prophetically assures us that everything shakeable will be shaken to its destruction, that only the unshakeable things will remain. That is to say, the Messianic Kingdom then to be established will completely overturn everything not in harmony with righteousness, justice and truth. This is merely a prelude to the great blessing of the Abrahamic Covenant then to be fully ushered in, for the blessing of all the families of the earth.

THE HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM

The Body of the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, of which Christ Jesus is the Head--His faithful, saintly followers-- are now being tested as respects their worthiness for so high a station. St. Paul's words in our Golden Text are very forcefully applied to these: "Let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God, with reverence and awe."


DELIVERANCE
"Still o'er Earth's sky the clouds of anger roll,
And God's revenge hangs heavy on her soul;
Yet shall she rise--though first by God chastised--
In glory and in beauty then baptized.

"Yes, Earth, thou shalt arise; thy Father's aid
Shall heal the wound His chastening hand hath made;
Shall judge the proud oppressor's ruthless sway,
And burst his bonds, and cast his cords away.

"Then on your soil shall deathless verdure spring.
Break forth, ye mountains, and ye valleys, sing!
No more your thirsty rocks shall frown forlorn,
The unbeliever's jest, the heathen's scorn.

"The sultry sands shall tenfold harvests yield,
And a new Eden deck the thorny field.
E'en now we see, wide-waving o'er the land,
The mighty angel lifts his golden wand,

"Courts the bright vision of descending power,
Tells every gate and measures every tower;
And chides the tardy seals that yet detain
Thy Lion, Judah, from His destined reign."--Heber.



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GOD'S TEN COMMANDS
--SEPTEMBER 7.--EXODUS 20:1-11.--

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." --Luke 10:27.
GOD'S COVENANT with Israel at Mt. Sinai was that if they should keep perfectly the Decalogue--the Ten Commandments--they would thereby demonstrate that they were perfect men, worthy of everlasting life. Then it would be possible for them to attain the chief blessing under the Abrahamic Covenant --to become the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, through whom God had promised that He would bless the world.

St. Paul represents to us the spirit of the worthiest of the Jews, who were anxious to do God's will and to obtain the blessing, as crying out in anguish of soul, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this dead body!" Their minds were certainly alive to the promises and prospects, but their flesh was imperfect, depraved through the fall--like that of all other people. "Ye cannot do the things that ye would."--Gal. 5:17.

Bible students look in amazement at the simplicity of the Decalogue, and at first wonder which of its features the Jews and others were unable to perform fully, satisfactorily. The whole matter seems very simple indeed, just as it did to the Jews, until we perceive that the wonderful Law of God, represented by the Ten Commandments, has a depth of meaning not seen on the surface.

The lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the meaning of this Law were apparently seen by none until Jesus "magnified the Law and made it honorable." He says that hatred toward a brother is incipient murder, and that adulterous desire in the heart is a violation of the seventh commandment. This throws a new light on the whole matter, and explains to us why none of the Jews or Gentiles have ever been able to keep this Law, except Jesus, since the fall of Adam.

The Great Teacher also explains that the first table of the Law, appertaining to man's duties toward his Creator, means more than merely avoiding image worship and profane swearing. It means that the True God shall be recognized and have first place in the human heart. It means "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind." Any division of the heart or strength or mind or soul violates this commandment.

GOD'S ORIGINAL LAW TO MAN

God's Law to man was not originally given at Mt. Sinai. Indeed, the Mt. Sinai statement of the Law was given not to mankind in general, but merely to the Jewish nation--as a statement of the terms upon which they might become God's Royal Priesthood for the blessing of all nations.

God's original Law to man was given in Eden, when man was created. God's Law was written in Adam's heart, in the sense that he was created in the Divine image --with attributes of mind and heart fully in accord with his Creator. He loved righteousness, and would have had a hatred for iniquity, had there been any to hate. But up to that time there was none.

We marvel at the change that has come, under which the children of Adam are not in God's image and do not love righteousness, but on the contrary, love sin. As the Prophet declares, "They go astray from the womb." He tells us where the change came in, saying, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; in sin did my mother conceive me."--Psalm 51:5.

After the fall of man, the work of degeneracy progressed so rapidly that Adam's first-born son, Cain, became a murderer. Doubtless the chagrin of Mother Eve in the loss of Eden, and in the battling with the thorns and thistles of the earth under the curse, embittered her mind, arousing anger and resentment, which marked her child. From then till now the course has been downward in general, with occasionally a well-born child less seriously marked by sin--less depraved. Still the Scriptures inform us that "there is none righteous, no, not one."

THE HOPE OF THE FUTURE

The experiences of the whole race for six thousand years forbid that we should expect that any could commend himself to God upon the terms of human perfection and of ability and willingness to keep the Divine Law. Jesus alone has kept that Law, and He, because His life was not derived from Adam--because His life was from the Father directly. He became a man by a change of nature. Because thus begotten miraculously He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners."

God refuses to grant everlasting life to any except the perfect, who will keep His law perfectly and gladly. What hope then is there for our race? There is one hope for the world in general, and another different hope for the Church of Christ, instituted at Pentecost. The hope for the world is that God in His own due time will establish the Messianic Kingdom. It will be a righteous Kingdom, its rulers and judges being the Royal Priesthood.

This Messianic Kingdom will begin by deposing the Prince of this world, and binding him for a thousand years. Speedily the iniquities of earth will be set aside, and the rule of the "rod of iron" will begin. Everything opposed to righteousness will be dashed to pieces. Instead of darkness, ignorance, superstition, doubt and fear, will come in the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Soon it will fill the entire earth. Under its influence everything sinful will be discouraged by chastenings, and everything righteous will be encouraged by rewards of blessing. The judgments of the Lord will be abroad in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.--Isa. 26:9.

As a result, soon every knee will be bowing to God and every tongue confessing His praise. But all of the wilfully rebellious, lovers of sin, will be destroyed in the Second Death--"everlasting destruction." Under that administration, the world will reach again the condition of human perfection from which Adam fell. The privilege to thus return to the image of God with His Law rewritten in their hearts, was secured for all by the sacrifice at Calvary. "Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man."--Hebrews 2:9.

These all, being perfect again as Adam was at first, plus the experiences of good and evil gained during the seven thousand years, when finally approved of God will have everlasting life, nor be in the slightest danger of ever again mistakenly choosing sin as the road to happiness.

THE CHURCH AND THE LAW

The Church of Christ is selected from mankind, who were born in sin. The members are not put under the Law of Sinai in the sense of being required to keep it perfectly in order to get everlasting life. "Ye are not under the Law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14.) Nevertheless, the Law is very precious to the Church; for, looking at the spirit of it, she sees what she ought to be if perfect, sees what she ought to strive for to the best of her ability, page 235 sees how far short of perfection she is in the flesh, and sees, additionally, how the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ covers her fleshly imperfections. So fully is all this true, that the Apostle declares that the righteousness (true import, or spirit) of the Law is fulfilled in us, who are walking not after the flesh, but after the spirit.-- Romans 8:4.

In other words, those who consecrate their lives to follow Jesus, sacrificing all of their earthly rights in order to do the will of God, are doing more than the Law could require. The Law required no man to lay down his life for another, but merely to love his neighbor as himself. Hence Christ and the Church, walking in the narrow way of sacrifice, are fulfilling the requirements of the spirit of the Law, and more, even though in the flesh of the Church, because of inherited weaknesses, there is no perfection. These having sacrificed the earthly nature are dealt with by the Father as New Creatures, and judged, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit-- according to their heart intentions.



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WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
--SEPTEMBER 14.--EXODUS 20:12-21.--

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."--Luke 10:27.
THE Ten Commandments delivered to Moses were written upon two stone tablets. One bore the first four commandments, which appertain to God; the other bore the remaining six, which appertain to humanity. The essence of these last six, constituting the Study of today, was expressed in Jesus' words, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The "thou shalt nots" might be multiplied indefinitely to fit the thousands of occurrences in daily life, but the one "thou shalt" covers the entire situation. Whoever loves his neighbor will not intentionally injure him, in act, in word or in thought. Hence love expresses the full measure of the Law's requirements. (Rom. 13:10.) Love is at liberty to do more than the Law requires, but it cannot do less.

While only Christians are credited by the Lord with fulfilling the requirements of the Law--and they only because of the allowance made for their weaknesses on account of their relationship with Christ--nevertheless, the Jews and many others have obtained partial blessings in proportion as they have endeavored to fulfil the Divine Law. The natural man, not spirit-begotten, and therefore not a son of God, but still in alienation, receives a blessing of character-development in proportion as he recognizes the principles of righteousness and seeks to conform to them. Hence it is wise and proper at all times and before all people to lift high the Divine standards.

HONOR FATHER AND MOTHER

No matter how old, or ignorant, or stupid, or vicious, parents may be, they are deserving of consideration from their children. Yet, of course, the kind or degree of respect must depend upon the character of the parent to some extent. With disobedience to parents rank and rampant everywhere, it may seem a hard saying, but we believe it a true one, that the disobedience is due to the parent, or the guardian, of the child.

The child may have been ill-born. Discontent and rebellion in the mind of the mother during the period of gestation may have marked the child before its birth, so that no amount of training may ever fully recover it. In such a case, the parents may well be patient and long-suffering with such unhappy, disobedient dispositions in their children.

And perhaps the parents were only partially to blame; perhaps their minister preached not the laws of God, their human operation and the penalties of their violation, but instead, gave flowery essays and anecdotes containing neither food for the spiritual nature nor assistance in understanding and combating the weaknesses of the human nature. Perhaps the fault was not wholly the mother's. The father may have forgotten that he, too, had a duty toward his offspring, chiefly served by assisting his wife at the critical period to thoughts of kindness, gentleness, nobility, etc.

At any rate, the conscientious parent has a wonderful task to train the perverted child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Those who strive faithfully in this direction cannot be too much appreciated and encouraged; and more and more we should think of esteeming the parents of every noble man and woman of our acquaintance. And if strangers should appreciate the parents, much more should the child.

THE EFFECT OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS

A modern writer of considerable force and influence holds that Sunday Schools, while accomplishing good in one direction, may have done considerable harm in another --by weakening the respect of the children for their parents, and by releasing the parents from an appreciation of their responsibilities toward their children. The parents are, in the Divine arrangement, the priests of God, particularly in respect to their children. To whatever extent they shirk this responsibility, or to whatever extent the honor of this station is ignored, their influence over the child is lost; and one hour's time per week in a Sunday School class can never take the place of a continual parental supervision.

Statistics show that boys of from sixteen to twenty years of age constitute about one-third of all the dangerous criminals, and that their proportionate number is increasing. Hence all benevolent people should be on the alert for the right training of the rising generation. All should especially co-operate with the Divine commandment by urging and encouraging parental authority and obedience thereto. Long life and prosperity were the rewards promised to the Jews under this commandment.

"THOU SHALT DO NO MURDER"

Nothing in this commandment forbids the killing of animals when necessary to the interests of the human family, either to abate pests or to sustain life. Neither does it forbid the execution of criminals; for thus it would be in conflict with the Divine Law elsewhere expressed, and practised under the guidance of Moses and by Divine direction.

This commandment, however, does teach that life is to be prized, not jeopardized. The spirit of this commandment, Jesus declared, includes the thought that we are not to have an angry spirit of murder, restrained merely by fear of consequences. We may thus see that the spirit of this commandment would make it incumbent upon those who employ labor or who have any supervision of their fellowmen to take all reasonable precaution for safeguarding against accidents of any kind. To allow self-interest or a love of money to perpetuate dangerous conditions [R5288 : page 236] would be to lack the proper spirit of obedience to this command--unchristian.

COMMIT NOT ADULTERY

One result of the fall has been a depravity of the sexual appetites. The result is impurity, unchastity, a lack of self-control. All of these tendencies lead away from God, from righteousness and from true happiness. The family unit of one husband and one wife, originally established by the Almighty in Eden, seems to be a cornerstone of righteousness, in the family and in national life. Purity, no adulteration, is the Divine requirement.

"THOU SHALT NOT STEAL"

To steal is to take from another his possessions. Had not inventions in the line of electricity and steam kept pace with our increase of knowledge, the world today would be a thieves' paradise. But while buccaneering, piracy, robbery, burglary are reprobated by all intelligent people, many have a chance for a more subtle form of stealing, through stock speculations, organization of fake companies with glittering prospects, according to description, but really organized to take advantage of the less informed or weaker minded. This is stealing.

Making false returns to tax assessors is stealing. Attempt to smuggle without proper payment of customs duty is stealing. Failure to give agreed upon services for wages received is stealing. But the worst form of stealing, the one that does more harm than all the rest combined, is the one indicated in Shakespeare's words:

"Who steals my purse, steals trash,
But he who filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And leaves me poor indeed."

The Scriptural instruction to "speak evil of no man" seems to be comparatively unknown. As a result, many defile their own characters ignobly, blight the happiness of others and add to the distress of the already groaning creation.

"BEAR NO FALSE WITNESS"

In a thousand ways the spirit of this injunction may be violated, and is violated every day, not only by misrepresenting the goods we sell, or the goods we wish to buy, but in a thousand ways of slandering a neighbor.

"THOU SHALT NOT COVET"

Covetousness comes in first before the stealing, before the murdering, before the injury of slander. Covetousness is a heart disease which has to do with every other crime; for all sins have their basis in selfishness, and selfishness is covetousness. Well is this placed at the conclusion of the list. Whoever would keep the spirit of God's Law must guard his heart against covetousness.



[R5288 : page 236]

TRANS-CONTINENTAL CONVENTION TOUR

CONTINUED FROM OUR LAST

We left Vancouver, B.C., near midnight, June 22. Many of the dear friends accompanied us to the train, loading us with flowers and bidding us God-speed. The journey to Calgary, Alta., required a day and a half. It afforded beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains and the glaciers, at the same time giving the Editor and his stenographer opportunity for literary work.

Calgary, June 24.--We were warmly welcomed by the brethren here and greatly enjoyed fellowshiping with them in the afternoon. The great interest centered in the evening meeting, which had been well advertised. We were not disappointed in the results. Approximately 1,500 heard with the closest attention the story of the Love of God--His wonderful provision for His Elect Church on the Heavenly plane, and His Restitution provision for the non-elect world on the earthly plane.

While pointing out the blessings of the coming Age for the world of mankind, at the hands of the glorified Redeemer and the saintly Church, His Bride, we failed not to call special attention to the great privilege of the present time--the only opportunity that will ever be offered to any for attaining glory, honor, immortality and joint-heirship with the risen Master, as "partakers of the Divine nature." (2 Pet. 1:4.) We considered the attendance very remarkable for a week night and a religious subject. That considerable interest was developed was manifested by the fact that 270 addresses were handed in making request for literature.

Edmonton, Alta., was our next stop. It was our most northern appointment, and was our first visit to that city. Out of a total population of 55,000, the attendance at our public address included 2,000 adults; very astonishing results for a week night religious meeting. Who will say that the public has no interest in religion! More and more we are convinced that may souls are hungering because unwilling to feed upon the chaff of human speculations evolved into creeds and nonsense of the Dark Ages. The real Message of the Gospel, "good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people," has a charm, an attraction, for intelligent, thinking people. Here we had 372 addresses handed in expressing desire for further information.

We spent a pleasant time with the friends here also, and left them apparently encouraged, as we, of the Excursion party, were encouraged also by meeting them. We had another long ride to Regina, Sask. The mountain scenery was gone and, instead, we traversed vast prairies. A full day's journey afforded another good opportunity for literary work.

Regina we should have reached at 5 p.m. Our schedule at Regina was, too, a limited one. The meeting had been arranged for 8 p.m. Anxiety increased as we ascertained that the train would be an hour, and yet another, and another, late. We could not hope that an audience assembling from 7:30 to 8 o'clock would remain long under such uncertainties, especially not until 10 o'clock! We were disappointed, and wondered why the Lord had allowed matters to be so. But on arriving we were met by some of the friends who advised us that the meeting was waiting for us! Street cars and automobiles soon hurried us to the place of meeting.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Editor of the local newspaper had taken the platform in our interest; this had helped to entertain the audience during the waiting period. Already we were introduced before going on to the platform. Without preliminaries--other than a brief supplication for the Divine blessing--we proceeded with the topic announced, BEYOND THE GRAVE. Our audience numbering altogether about 800, remained to the close, 11:30 p.m., and handed in 168 requests for further information.

We considered the meeting a very remarkable manifestation of interest. The very Editor who presided explained that some time ago he had published our sermons weekly, but under certain arrangements made with him by local ministers he had discontinued them. The ministers had not been able to point out anything wrong with the sermons, but they had taken up certain slanderous misrepresentations [R5288 : page 237] regarding "Pastor Russell," and shot out at him their evil "arrows, even bitter words."--Psa. 64:3.

Brandon, Manitoba, was reached the next morning. It was not a favorable time for a public meeting, but was the only time at our disposal and the friends there had arranged for a public meeting at 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 27, in the Sherman Theater. We were surprised at so good an audience as 900, with 88 requests for further information handed in. For a small city, on a week-day and for a religious topic, was not that a wonderful attendance at a morning meeting? Thus it seems to us. Our Convention party constituted nearly 200 of the above number.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, was reached the same afternoon, and a public address was given at the new Convention Hall. The attendance was estimated at 3,000. Closest of attention was given and 314 requests for further information were handed to the ushers. On the next day we had quite an interesting little Convention at Odd Fellows Temple. These meetings were not advertised and were attended only by already interested Bible Students. The friends were very enthusiastic and appeared greatly to enjoy the addresses, not only from Brother Russell, but also from several of the Convention-Train party.

Saturday evening when we were leaving, many of the local Bible Students crowded about the Convention-Train of eleven cars, singing hymns to us and we to them, respecting the precious tie that binds our hearts in Christian love, and praying in song, "God be with you till we meet again!"

Sunday, June 29, brought us to Minneapolis for the afternoon meeting and to St. Paul, the sister city, for the night meeting. A wave of hot weather met us there and much decreased the attendance at both meetings. In the afternoon we had approximately 1,200; in the evening about 900--a phenomenal attendance for such extremely sultry weather. We were not discouraged, nor were the dear friends who had worked very earnestly and faithfully, expecting cooler weather, in which event the attendance at these meetings would have been at least 3,000; 290 requests for further information were handed to the ushers.

At midnight we left for the Madison, Wisconsin, Eight-Day Convention; a car-load of Minneapolis and St. Paul friends accompanied us. We stopped but one day at Madison, and then the Convention-Train made its next appointment at Rockford, Illinois. Here, approximately 1,000 of the public gave us the closest attention, after we had been introduced by His Honor, the Mayor. Requests for further information here handed in, numbered 74. The Convention-Train then returned to Madison, terminating thus our Trans-Continental Convention Tour.

Almost the entire party declared that Dr. L. W. Jones, the conductor and manager of the Excursion and train, deserved great credit for the way in which he handled every detail of the trip. They agreed, as with one voice, [R5289 : page 237] that the Convention Tour had been one of the greatest events of their lives--spiritual from first to last. Their association with the dear friends at different points on the way had done them good, and their endeavors put forth to refresh and encourage others had also done them good.

The Editor expressed to Dr. Jones special thanks for his many kindnesses en route--among other things, putting at his disposal for the entire journey a most comfortable compartment. This latter not only conduced to rest and refreshment as to sleeping, but the better enabled him to utilize his time in dictation during the journey. And for all this the doctor refused to receive compensation, declaring that it was a privilege to be thus permitted to serve the Lord's Cause.



[R5289 : page 237]

FOUR GREAT CONVENTIONS

We believe that the result stamps approval on the method adopted this year of having a number of Conventions, instead of one or two. We have already reported General Conventions at Pertle Springs, Missouri; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Los Angeles, California, and San Francisco, California. They were all large enough to be good, deeply interesting, spiritual, profitable. The four we are now reporting, being more favorably located as respects population and railroad facilities, had larger attendance, yet were not too large for comfort, and afforded abundant opportunities for social entertainment and spiritual fellowship.

MADISON, WISCONSIN, JUNE 29-JULY 6

The Madison Convention seemed to be greatly enjoyed by all in attendance--about 1,400. We have never had a Convention more comfortably situated than was this. Madison itself is a beautiful little city, surrounded by small lakes. The Convention grounds being just across one of these lakes from the city, were in every way ideal. Little gasoline launches conveyed the Conventioners to and from the grounds, which were supplied with a fine auditorium, well adapted for Convention purposes. The auditorium is owned by the city, and was placed at our disposal, gratis, when the invitation to hold the Convention at Madison was given.

Following the custom of the last few years, we avoided evening meetings. The full day was spent in Convention, with merely an adjournment for luncheon, which was supplied nearby at moderate price. There were about six addresses daily, during the Convention--eight days. The public doubtless wondered at the enthusiasm of the friends --as they always do--not knowing, generally, what it means to have a real live religion; one which has for its center and inspiration "exceeding great and precious promises," from an exceedingly wise, all-powerful, just and loving God.

Brother W. E. Van Amburgh served as chairman during the entire eight days' Convention. The Conventioners surely had a grand, though quiet season of spiritual refreshment. There were no side attractions or disturbances. Every day was a quiet, joyful, happy Sabbath, and there was surely a "feast of fat things." The evenings were spent in the city with the parties with whom the friends were lodged. Some were invited to go out with their hosts for a boat ride on the lake; some took automobile rides; others went to give Chart Talks and explain the Divine Plan. Still others of the friends visited with each other, renewing former acquaintances and cementing new friendships.

We heard some very complimentary remarks passed in respect to the Conventioners. The owner of the gasoline launches was heard to say that there never had been such a Convention there before. Some of those who entertained the friends, meeting the sisters who had engaged the rooms, thanked them for sending such nice people, and said they had appreciated them much. Surely this was only as it should have been. As the Apostle Peter questioned, "What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy living and Godliness?"

If those who have a true knowledge of God and who have consecrated their lives to the service of righteousness, [R5289 : page 238] and to opposition of iniquity do not manifest the fruits of the Spirit--meekness, gentleness, patience, longsuffering, brotherly kindness, love--then where, pray, should we expect to find these graces exemplified?

Those who attended the Madison Convention unanimously declared it to be the "best ever!" Yet this is the same general sentiment attaching to our Conventions. The last always seems to be the best. And why should it not really be so? If the Lord's people are growing in grace, knowledge and love daily, as we trust is the case, then each Convention should be a little better than its predecessor.

SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS, JULY 13-20

Brother J. F. Rutherford served as chairman during the eight delightful days of this Convention. The list of speakers was excellent, numbering in all about forty. Several dear friends were heard to remark that this was the "sweetest" Convention they had ever attended, in that everything passed off so quietly, comfortably, happily. Our comfortable meeting place undoubtedly contributed greatly to the charm of this Convention. The city of Springfield invited the Conventioners to be their guests, and placed at the disposal of our Association for the period of their sojourn their elegant new Auditorium, just finished. It is handsomely decorated in white and gold, is spacious and the acoustics are good.

Our Convention attendance averaged about 2,000, the Sunday service running the attendance up to 2,400 or 3,000. The Convention proper, without the public, numbered about 1,800. The majority of the Bethel family attended this Convention and were the guests of the Springfield Class of I.B.S.A. Thus being left free, the Bethelites had all the better opportunity for rendering service to others. But, indeed, this spirit of service seemed to pervade all the dear friends in attendance. Each seemed on the lookout to see in what manner he or she could serve others and make them more happy or more comfortable. As a result, all were happy. A sweet spirit of peace and order prevailed, which reminds us very much of the Great Convention which we are all hoping soon to attend.

Although the Convention Hall is in the very center of the city, it is so roomy and of such excellent construction that it was pleasantly cool and was in every way a delightful place for a Convention. The people of this city treated us very cordially, although not very many of them attended our meetings, of course; nor did we expect them so to do. These Conventions are particularly intended to give opportunity for Bible Students to become specially acquainted with each other, with their Bibles and with its great and glorious Plan of salvation, which more and more appeals to their hearts, and assists them in making their calling and election sure.

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CONVENTION, JULY 20-27

We have had a Convention in Toronto before. Indeed, the city, so far as respects the attendance of our Canadian brethren, is very centrally located. Favorable railroad rates are always granted. This year's Convention surprised us by its size--about 1,200. We had not expected nearly so many when the appointment was made. Of this number about one-half were from the United States, the friends taking advantage of some of the low priced excursions.

Notwithstanding certain adverse conditions, stirred up by those Scripturally termed "sons of Belial," the Convention was in every way a success. If some of the public had their minds poisoned by slanderous misrepresentations and were thus hindered from availing themselves of the opportunity of sharing the blessed privileges afforded them, others, we are sure, were profited thereby. Some attended this Convention largely because they perceived that an evil spirit of slander and misrepresentation was for some reason endeavoring to do injury to a religious work. Satan and his blinded and misguided servants overdo in their endeavors to injure the Lord's cause. Sometimes the Lord overrules the wrath of man for His own praise and for the forwarding of the Truth. As for instance, in the case of a man who, being told that Pastor Russell was Antichrist, went to see what Antichrist might look like. Hearing the joyful Message of the Gospel, his heart was captured and now he rejoices.

Brother A. I. Ritchie served as the chairman of the Toronto Convention. A strong corps of speakers was provided, and the more than forty addresses at the Convention were up to a high standard, both for grace and truth, spirituality and power. That "It is good to be here" was surely the sentiment of many hearts; and the season of refreshing undoubtedly provided blessings not only for those in attendance at the Convention, but for other thousands at their homes, upon whom doubtless was poured forth a share of the blessings. The Lord arranges it so that those who give out to others grace and truth received by themselves have an increased supply, even as with the widow's cruse of oil.

ASHEVILLE, N.C., CONVENTION, JULY 20-27

All in attendance at the Asheville Convention will surely agree that the Auditorium so kindly placed by the city at the disposal of the Association furnished a delightful Convention hall. Situated high up in the mountains, Asheville has a delightful climate greatly enjoyed by the visitors, who were estimated at 1,200, the larger attendance at the public meeting being principally made up of people from the city and immediate vicinity. The railroads gave us specially good terms, as gradually they are [R5290 : page 238] learning that our Conventions are quite worth their while --larger than the majority of Conventions and always up to advance statements.

If some of our enemies did seek to poison the minds of the public in advance, the prejudice easily broke down as the hosts became acquainted with their visitors. There is a power to the Truth, and it gives the spirit of a sound mind, which surely commends itself to all thinking people. It gives moderation, meekness, gentleness, brotherly kindness, love. These graces of the Spirit are growing, developing, ripening amongst the Lord's people, and proportionately their influence is stronger, deeper, better. We feel sure that the people of Asheville have received a quiet testimony from their visitors which will be helpful to them, just as at the other Convention places. We feel confident, too, that the inhabitants in all these places would make us very welcome should we desire to return at a future time.

This Convention was a model one in every respect. Brother C. J. Woodworth served as chairman, and a fine corps of speakers gave, approximately, fifty addresses. They were spiritual, Biblical, uplifting. The hearers were certainly refreshed, and undoubtedly carried with them to their homes a blessing to be poured in turn upon those who were not privileged to be in attendance.

As was expected from the first, it was especially a Southern Convention. It gave opportunity for some of the dear friends, who had never before had such a privilege, to attend a Convention. Indeed this was true respecting all of this year's Conventions. On the whole we feel sure that the Father was glorified, that the Savior was honored, and that many of His followers were refreshed, as Bible Students, in grace, knowledge and Truth. [R5290 : page 239]

The Editor remarked that at one Convention this year he shook hands with three men the same day, who at one time in their lives had been sadly blinded and were under the control of the Adversary. Now they were all clothed in their right minds--safe and sane, saints, jewels, children of the Highest. Two of them are Church Elders and leaders of Berean Bible Study classes; the third may be one also, but of this we are not positive.

The brief history of these three men shows the transforming power of the Truth. One was a highway robber. The Truth reached him in prison. Another was an Atheist and his wife a Catholic. He kept a liquor saloon in connection with a railroad contractor's gang. The third was also at one time a saloon keeper and his wife was a Catholic. The wives of all three are with them fully in the Truth.


"It may not come to us as we have thought,
The blessed consciousness of sins forgiven;
We may not hear a voice that shall proclaim
Our title clear to the sweet rest of Heaven.

"But like the winter merging into spring,
Or gently as the trees put forth their leaves,
May come to us the impulse of that life
Which God bestows on those sin truly grieves."



[R5290 : page 239]

AN INTERESTING LETTER

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

When passing through Dayton the other day, I was delayed in the station long enough to serve the people going out on two trains. With one or two exceptions all seemed very glad to get the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY. The thought occurred to me, Why could not every station in the large and small cities in the country be served at every train time? In some of the cities I have observed Methodist Deaconesses rendering assistance to incoming and outgoing passengers. Maybe railroad companies would grant such privileges to Deaconesses of the I.B.S.A.?

When at __________ last winter, Sister __________ told me about the successful work done at a booth conducted by the I.B.S.A. at the big Fair held in that city. The booth was rented at a nominal sum and was under the immediate charge of that very zealous and clever Sister. The booth was made very attractive by great piles of SCRIPTURE STUDIES in the various bindings, Mannas in many styles, Bibles galore and Tracts treating a variety of subjects. In this way everybody entering the Fair grounds could be served with some memento of the I.B.S.A. Would it not be a good thing if every Fair in the country could have an I.B.S.A. booth, conducted by either a local or a nearby class or by some representative of your selection?

I am still serving the trains with good success. Conductors have occasionally objected, saying something like this: "A rule of the company prohibits the distribution of advertising matter on trains." A ready reply to this effect, has with one or two exceptions silenced the objection: "This is not advertising matter--it is a little religious paper." I have always gone on then, as if that settled the matter. The opposition of one of the two hardest conductors I have run up against was turned into friendly support when he observed my zeal in getting out at every station in a run of over 100 miles on a local train. I gained the impression, from a very fine conversation I had with him toward the end of the journey, that he had sneakingly read something he liked in one of the Tracts. My stop was the end of his run and he invited me to his hotel to have supper.

Much love and many prayers for you and for all the Madison Conventioners. In His dear name,
R. H. HIRSH.



page 239

BEREAN QUESTIONS IN SCRIPTURE STUDIES

Series VI., Study XV.

THE FOES AND BESETMENTS OF THE NEW CREATION

SEPTEMBER 7
Read p. 642 to p. 646, par. 1.

LOVE RIGHTEOUSNESS--HATE INIQUITY

(62) How shall we understand the philosophy of God's dealings with the New Creation in subjecting them to such peculiar and fiery trials? P. 642; P. 643, par. 1.

(63) What illustration in nature may help us to understand God's providential dealings with the New Creation, and what hope have we in the ultimate overthrow of evil when it has served the Divine purpose? P. 643, par. 2.

(64) What special purpose have sin and sickness served in the case of the world, as well as in that of our Lord and His "little flock"? P. 644, par. 1.

(65) Since the New Creation was typified by natural Israel in many respects, why should they not expect to be free from the trials and difficulties of the world, even as Israel escaped them? P. 645, par. 1.

(66) What special consolation do the Scriptures offer New Creatures who suffer divers afflictions and fiery trials? P. 646, par. 1.

SEPTEMBER 14
Read p. 647 to p. 654, inclusive.

(67) Should our confidence in the Lord's protecting care lead us into indifference with regard to temporal matters? And how should we examine ourselves when physical or financial calamities come upon us in spite of our best endeavors? Pp. 647, 648.

(68) How may we prove that the Scripture, "Who healeth all thy diseases," (Psa. 103:3) does not apply to physical diseases of the New Creation? P. 648, par. 1.

(69) How does the foregoing harmonize with Mark 16:9-20? P. 649, par. 1.

(70) What were the experiences of our Lord and the Apostles with respect to physical infirmities? Pp. 650 to 652, bottom of page.

(71) Do we have any record of the Apostles' using Divine Power for their own relief or that of other consecrated followers of Christ? How should we accept and follow their example? Pp. 653, 654.

SEPTEMBER 21
Read p. 654 to p. 657, par. 1.

THE NOMINAL CHURCH AS AN ADVERSARY OF THE NEW CREATION

(72) How is the Nominal Church distinguished from the True Church of Christ? P. 654.

(73) Is a wide difference between these two classes disadvantageous or beneficial to the True Church? P. 655, par. 1.

(74) What has always been the position of the truly consecrated while in the nominal systems, and what service has "Babylon" rendered unto these? P. 655, par. 2.

(75) In what manner is the New Creation continually subject to temptation from the Nominal Church? P. 656, par. 1.

THE ARMOR OF GOD

(76) What is the exhortation of the Apostle with respect to the Armor of God? What is this armor, and why is it necessary to put on "the whole armor" in the present day? P. 657, par. 1.

SEPTEMBER 28
Read p. 657, par. 2, to p. 658, par. 2.

(77) What does the Girdle represent? P. 657, par. 2.

(78) What does the Breastplate signify? P. 657, par. 3.

(79) What do the Sandals represent? P. 657, par. 4.

(80) What is the Shield, and why is it absolutely indispensable? P. 657, par. 5.

(81) What is the Helmet of Salvation, and why is it so especially important in this day? P. 658, par. 1.

(82) What is the only piece of offensive armor possessed by the New Creation? And how can it be obtained and used? P. 658, par. 2.



page 241
August 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. XXXIVAUGUST 15No. 16

A. D. 1913--A. M. 6041


CONTENTS

God Manifest in the Flesh243
Our Lord's Beauty of Holiness244
Incarnation Theory Not Scriptural245
The New Covenant245
Sealing the New Covenant246
The Sin Unto Death246
Future Rewards and Punishments247
The Church Not Under the New Covenant247
Typical Distribution of Blessings248
"The Spirits of Just Men Made Perfect"248
Spiritual Promises to Natural Israel249
Fear a Cause of Great Nervous Tension250
Individual Conquest of Our Inheritance250
The Conquest of Canaan a Type251
Practical Lessons From the Life of Eli251
The Flaw in Eli's Character251
The Golden Calf253
"Keep Yourselves From Idols"253
Tables of the Law Replaced254
An Interesting Question255

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 242

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

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

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

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

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

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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




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[R5290 : page 243]

"GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH"

"Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels."--1 Timothy 3:16.
GOD, the great Origin, or Fountain, of Life, is pleased to manifest Himself in various creations. And all of His intelligent creations which He recognized as sons were in His likeness. The Logos, the beginning of God's creation, was in the Divine likeness. Not only was He a spirit being (and God is a Spirit), but more than this, He was a spirit being in the character likeness of His Father, His Creator.

Moreover, when the Logos became the active agent of the Father in creating the various orders--angels, cherubim, seraphim--they were all created in the image of the Father. The angel sons of God sang together and shouted for joy as they saw the different creations. When it came time to make a still different order of creatures, an order that had never before existed, namely, human beings, God carried out through the Logos His purpose of creating man in His own image, His own likeness. And God declared Himself well pleased with man.

A description of the first man is given us in the Eighth Psalm: "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet; all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea." Adam was the master or king of all these. He represented something that the angels did not represent; for none of them were ever set over anything. God Himself is the Ruler of all, and Adam and the Logos were the only ones who were in any sense of the word set over anything.

When God made man, He made him like Himself in this particular--that he had a dominion. When the angels were created, they were God manifest in different orders of beings--cherubim, seraphim and the lower orders of angels. When it came to the creation of man, he was made in God's image. God was manifest in flesh. But we cannot say that God is manifest in fallen flesh now. The original likeness to God has been obliterated by sin. The reign of Sin and Death has to a considerable extent erased these traces of God's image. And the Scriptures plainly show us that we have lost this image and likeness of the Creator.

Adam was called a son of God because he was in covenant relationship with God; but when he became a sinner, he lost this relationship. None of the Jews were sons of God. Abraham was styled a friend of God. Although God had approved of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Prophets and others in Israel, and indicated that a great blessing would be theirs, they could not be treated as sons. God said, in substance, when speaking to Abraham, My friend, I will make with you My Covenant. "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

GOD MANIFEST IN PERFECT HUMANITY

But everything must wait until that great antitypical Seed of Abraham should come. We have the record of how this One would come who was to be the Deliverer, [R5291 : page 243] the Antitypical Seed of Abraham. After reasoning about the Logos--how He was made flesh and dwelt amongst them--St. John declares that Jesus had the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, full of truth. This was the way above all others in which God was manifest in the flesh.

When the lower animals saw Adam, they saw the very best representation of God possible to them. Nothing could be made in the flesh that would be more like God. And when the time came for God to send His Son into the world, He set before Him the great privilege of being man's Redeemer. And when He was made flesh, all those who beheld Him saw the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father. When any looked upon Him, they saw the Father in the most absolute sense in which it would be possible for them to see Him.

God said to Moses, "No man shall see My face and live." Saul of Tarsus merely had a glimpse of Jesus glorified, and yet the glory was so great that if he had had a full look he would not have lived. Jesus was the express image of the Father. Jesus is the express image of the Father. And if no man can see God and live, then he cannot see the glorified Jesus and live.

GOD MANIFEST IN THE PRINCES

But God has made a provision that when Christ's Kingdom shall be established amongst men, there will be earthly representatives through whom Messiah will govern and uplift mankind during the thousand years. God has just such a class prepared and ready for this work-- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the other Ancient Worthies. These are to be counted worthy of an instantaneous awakening to human perfection. These experience no change of nature in their resurrection, because they were not begotten of the Spirit. There was no one begotten of the Spirit until Pentecost, except our Lord at Jordan. "The Holy Spirit was not yet given, because that Jesus [R5291 : page 244] was not yet glorified." Therefore those Ancient Worthies had merely the testimony that they pleased God. Because of their loyalty to God and the principles of righteousness, some of these Ancient Worthies "were stoned; some were sawn asunder; some were tempted; some were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy."--Hebrews 11:37,38.

These, although they had received God's Promise, received not the things promised them. For instance, God had promised Abraham, "All the land which thou seest will I give unto thee." Abraham must have a resurrection in order for God's Word to come true. He must get that land. But there was no suggestion to Abraham of glory, honor, and immortality--no suggestion to him of becoming a partaker of the Divine nature and a joint-heir with Jesus. See Acts 7:5; Hebrews 11:8-10,17,39,40.

This began with Jesus. Christ has not only brought to men the knowledge of life and immortality, but also that there is a privilege of gaining this life with Him: "Which salvation began to be spoken by our Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him." (Hebrews 2:3.) But the Ancient Worthies had the faith to believe God, to trust His Promise and to wait for the fulfilment of that Promise. They merely had the intimation that God would roll away the curse. And Abraham's Seed was to be the glorious channel of God's blessing--"In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." So St. Paul tells us that they received not the things promised them, "God having provided some better thing for us [the Gospel Church], that they without us should not be made perfect."--Hebrews 11:40.

The Ancient Worthies cannot get their blessing before we get ours. The Bride must be glorified, and then the faithful of the past can come in and get their blessing. Then forthwith the Kingdom will be established. And Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the other Worthies will be the first children of Christ. Instead of being the fathers, they will be the children, and He will make them princes, rulers in all the earth. (Psalm 45:16.) Being resurrected perfect men, they will be the perfect images of God. In each one of these Ancient Worthies God will be manifest in the flesh. They will be princes at that time and will rule the earth, under Christ's Kingdom.

Jesus corroborated this thought when He said, "Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets, in the Kingdom of God." (Luke 13:28.) Of Himself He said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more." (John 14:19.) If we should not be changed to spirit conditions by the power of our resurrection, we would not see him any more than will others who will continue on the human plane. Those who have died in Christ, and those "who are alive and remain," will, at His manifestation, be made like Him, be "changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." At the moment of our change we shall see not only our Lord, but all the holy angels--all on the spirit plane, who are now invisible to us. They can see humanity, but humanity cannot see them.

God was manifest in the flesh; first, in the case of Adam; secondly, in the case of Jesus; and thirdly, He will be manifest in the flesh of those Ancient Worthies, who will be reckoned deserving of a better resurrection than the rest of the world.

OUR LORD'S BEAUTY OF HOLINESS

When in derision the soldiers placed upon the head of our Lord a crown of thorns, and arrayed him in a purple robe, and led Him into the judgment hall, Pilate looked upon Him in admiration, and exclaimed, "Behold the Man!" or (see Strong's Concordance) "Behold the countenance!" I am a Gentile and not of your race, but here you have sent to me for sentence the most glorious Jew on earth! None can have a really beautiful character without the inner beauty being reflected in the face. If a man be a vicious character, he cannot hide it from his features. If he be of a loving disposition, it will show in his face. What, then, shall we think of our Lord! His face must have been one of marvelous beauty! No wonder the people flocked to see Him because of His graciousness of speech and His wonderful beauty--the image of God!

The Psalmist has asked, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest [carest for] him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor." (Psalm 8:4,5.) But man has fallen into sin, alienation, darkness! The Satanic influence works sin and has brought about man's fall from the image of his Creator. It is God's great purpose to bring humanity back from sin and imperfection. He will uplift all those who desire to be righteous.

"We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor [the perfection of human nature]; that He by the grace [favor] of God should taste death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9.) We see the broad basis of God's Plan laid in the redemptive work at Calvary. We see that it must be the Redeemer's life that would be the price of human redemption. "For since by man came death, by man comes also the resurrection of the dead. For as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ [the Anointed, the Messiah class], the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at His Coming [Greek, during His presence]." (I Corinthians 15:21-23.) Jesus says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection." Such shall be kings and priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.--Rev. 20:6.

So, then, "God manifest in the flesh" was clearly exhibited in the Man Christ Jesus, in His perfection. But God was specially and more particularly manifest in the flesh of Jesus when He presented Himself to John at Jordan, as He reached the period of thirty years of age, and there gave Himself sacrificially. "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God." There He offered Himself without spot, in harmony with God's will. And the Divine acceptance was indicated in the form of a dove coming upon Him--not that the Holy Spirit is like a dove, but that God gave the outward manifestation so that John would have some means of identification of the Messiah, so that he could say, "I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven, like a dove, and it abode upon Him."

From the time of Jesus' baptism God dwelt in Him in a peculiar manner; as the Apostle John says of the Church, God dwelleth in us and we in God. (I John 4:16.) The Father took up His abode in Jesus, and qualified Him to make known the Divine Plan. Our Lord said, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."--Luke 4:16-21; Isaiah 61:1-3.

OUR LORD'S TEMPTATION IN THE WILDERNESS

From the time when Jesus received the Holy Spirit, we read that the Heavenly things were made known unto [R5292 : page 245] Him. For as the Apostle says, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God...neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." When Jesus, therefore, received the begetting of the Holy Spirit, He received spiritual discernment. He came to see how the types of the Old Testament fitted to Himself. He saw that the serpent in the wilderness represented Himself.

When He saw these things, we remember that He was in the wilderness. He had the entire Scriptures in His mind. From childhood He had been in the habit of attending the synagogue; and with His perfect mind, the Scriptures would be thoroughly engraved there. He could quote any Scripture ad libitum. And when Satan quoted the Scriptures, Jesus understood them.

At the end of the forty days, when Jesus was weak from fasting, was the most favorable time for the Adversary to tempt Him. When He had before Him the thought of all the shame and ignominy connected with His sacrificial death, it would be enough to make any one's heart quail! The moment when He realized that He was to be counted as a blasphemer, and contrary to God, was the most opportune moment for Satan. And the Father permitted Him to be tempted--permitted the Adversary to tempt Him at this particular time.

Then Satan addressed himself to the mind of our Lord: I know you very well. We had a long acquaintance in the past, and I know the mission on which you have come. You do not realize, I know, the power that came upon You when You were baptized. I beheld how the power of God came upon You. You have need only to command these stones to be turned into bread. I realize that You can do a great work, and I would like to join with You in the matter. But first of all, You should have something to eat.

Jesus knew Satan--He knew that Satan was Lucifer, who had rebelled against the Divine Government, and who was imprisoned on this planet. When Satan appeared to Jesus, we may be sure that he tried to appear as an angel of light, and to pretend that he wished to be on God's side, and that he now wished to co-operate with God. But Jesus knew that His power was not given Him for the purpose of sustaining His life, and He would not yield to the temptation.

Therefore Satan next took Him to a high mountain-- this was in the spirit of their minds--and showed Him how he--Satan--was "the prince of this world" and all the kingdoms thereof. And he said, You see, then, that I have the power to help You. Can You afford to be without such assistance? I am in sympathy with You. You will save mankind and deliver them all from death. Instead of your having to suffer, as God's Plan is, we will work together, and You shall not have to suffer. But first, You must acknowledge me. That was the way I started out. I wanted to show what kind of a kingdom I could set up. I said, "I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High," I will have an empire of my own. I advise You to come in and share with me. I will give You all the glory You could ask. I intend to be the prince of this world. Do You not see that everything is in my hands?

But in these temptations Jesus conquered. And the victory was so complete that Satan thought it not worth while to tempt Him again! He thought that if He could not move Jesus when He was on the verge of starvation, it was of no use to try any further. So he never made another attempt, so far as the record goes.

THE INCARNATION THEORY NOT SCRIPTURAL

After this, as Jesus went about doing good, healing the sick, and preaching to the people, everything was in perfect conformity to the Father's will. If the Father had been there incarnated in a fleshly body, He could not have done His own will more perfectly. But Jesus was not incarnated. The incarnation of our Lord is only a theory invented during the Dark Ages. For He humbled Himself to become a man, and "became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow (both in Heaven and in the earth)...and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."--Philippians 2:8-11.



[R5292 : page 245]

THE NEW COVENANT

"Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah."--Jeremiah 31:31.
THE New Covenant is the Scriptural name for the new arrangement between God and man, by which God purposes to receive mankind into harmony again with Himself. Harmony with God was the covenant relationship which Adam originally enjoyed, but which he lost by His disobedience, and which was renewed typically at Mt. Sinai with Israel, although they could not get the blessing of life out of it.

The mediation of the Law Covenant was effected through Moses. (Exodus 19:3-9; 24:3-8.) God agreed that if Israel would keep His Law they should have everlasting life. The inauguration of that Law Covenant was effected by the mediator, Moses, through the sacrifices which he offered. In the typical arrangement of the old Law Covenant, these Atonement Day sacrifices were repeated year by year continually.

While the mediation of the old Law Covenant brought Israel into typical relationship to God, the mediation of the New Law Covenant will bring all mankind into actual Covenant relationship, into a position of Divine favor, provided that they will continue to keep the Divine Law. God will introduce this New Law Covenant through the Mediator of the New Covenant, in whom the whole arrangement centers, and through whom it will be carried out. For a period of one thousand years this Mediator will do a work for mankind. As a Priest, He will uplift humanity; as a King, He will rule them in righteousness. It will take a full thousand years to bring the people out of their degradation, and restore them to the image and likeness of God, lost by Adam in Eden.

The basis of mediation on the part of the better Mediator will be the better sacrifices of this Gospel Age. In the antitypical arrangement these sacrifices will never be repeated. Through the better sacrifices, the antitypical Mediator will have the power to start the people with a clean slate, as it were. So it is written, "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12.) Again, "I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."--Ezekiel 36:26.

Thus Adam's sin and condemnation, which came to mankind [R5292 : page 246] by heredity, will no more be remembered by anybody. But the work of taking away the stony heart will be gradual. The disciplinary processes of the Kingdom will gradually relieve mankind of hard-heartedness, and make them tender-hearted and affectionate. All who enter that new condition of things will no longer be held accountable for Adam's sin. We read in Ezekiel 18:2-4, "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." Under the new order of things he who dies will die for his own sin.

Since all mankind are in a condition of imperfection, all will still be liable to sin. The only arrangement by which they can attain everlasting life will be by their adoption into the family of the Mediator--The Christ. He will quicken their mortal bodies. No Divine condemnation will hold over against them from the past. Only such as come into this relationship will receive the Divine blessings. Under the New Covenant, the special favors of the Lord will be only for the obedient. Whoever rejects the opportunities for upbuilding will be destroyed from among the people.--Acts 3:23.

SEALING THE NEW COVENANT

God cannot enter into a covenant with people who are under His own sentence of death. Therefore, under the typical arrangement of the Law Covenant, the death of bulls and goats was accepted as a sacrifice to God. This did not mean that the blood of bulls and goats was sufficient to take away sin; but the it was a typical representation of the real sacrifices, under the real Covenant.

If the New Covenant were now sealed, then all the blood of the Covenant must have been previously prepared. If this were already shed, then we could have no chance of sharing in the death of Christ. It is evident, then, that the New Covenant is not sealed. The antitypical Bullock has been slain, and His blood taken into the Most Holy. The antitypical goat is in process of being slain. When its sacrifice shall have been completed, all of the blood will be in the hands of the great High Priest. Then will come the application of the blood as an offset to Adam's sin. At the end of this Gospel Age the great Mediator will be ready to do the work assigned to Him.

The first work of the New Dispensation will be the antitypical application of the blood in the antitypical Most Holy, upon the Mercy-Seat, to make a reconciliation for the sins of all the people. Until that shall have been done, the New Covenant cannot be inaugurated. Our High Priest has been commissioned to inaugurate the New Covenant. The application of the blood will be the sealing --the making valid.

The New Covenant has been promised for centuries, but it has not yet gone into effect. As soon as this Blood of Atonement shall have been applied for the sins of all the people, the New Covenant will be inaugurated. We see, then, that the blood is to be applied in cancelation of the sins of the whole world as an offset for the sin of Adam-- [R5293 : page 246] which includes his race.

At the beginning of the New Dispensation the world begins life anew, so to speak--not individually, not personally, but collectively, through the Mediator. The merit of the Mediator is to be applied. It is the Mediator who makes satisfaction for the sins of the world; and all the resulting blessings come through the Mediator's hands. Throughout the Millennial Age whoever would have life must get it through the Lifegiver, who will give it under the terms of the New Covenant. (I John 5:12.) None can get his share of the blessing except by acceptance of the terms of the New Covenant, and by endeavor to live up to them. All who do so will be helped, and granted grace sufficient through the Mediator.

While the sprinkling of the blood upon the Mercy-Seat on behalf of all the people takes place before Restitution begins, or before the right to live can be given to any of the Ancient Worthies, nevertheless, those who would get God's blessing, His uplifting influence, must become Israelites--that is, become believers in God, by believing in the Mediator, who will be God's Representative. This Law will be applicable to the whole world. If mankind would get everlasting life, they must accept Christ and join themselves to this earthly Kingdom class. Christ's Kingdom must rule the earth until all the wicked are destroyed. --I Corinthians 15:24-26.

NEW COVENANT BENEFITS WORLD-WIDE

All mankind will receive some benefit from the New Covenant, irrespective of acceptance of Christ. That benefit will be that they will be awakened from the tomb. As the Scriptures tell us, as by one man condemnation passed upon all, so likewise through one man justification to life is to pass upon all. (Romans 5:12,18.) Therefore, we would say that the benefits of the New Covenant will be applicable to everybody. If God had foreseen that nobody would adopt this arrangement, that fact no doubt would have altered His Plan.

All of the accounts against humanity having been canceled by Justice, mankind will be turned over to the Mediator. If man were not put under the Mediator, if he were kept under Divine Justice, he would immediately be condemned, because of his inability to do right. Therefore the Father will not take cognizance of sinners. They will be left to the Mediator. All who will be obedient will receive the blessings of the Kingdom, and those who do not become obedient under those conditions will go into the Second Death.

THE SIN UNTO DEATH

During the Gospel Age, the only ones who can commit the sin unto death, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, are those who have been enlightened of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul says, "As touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the Heavenly Gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the Age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance." (Hebrews 6:4-6. R.V.) Their sin would be wilful, otherwise called "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit."

Therefore only the Church are on trial now. We who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit are on trial for life or death. Those who now die the Second Death will have no opportunity in the future. If these begotten of the Holy Spirit are faithful, they will be granted to be of the Little Flock class. Those of the spirit-begotten class who fail to attain a place in the Little Flock, will, if overcomers eventually, receive life on a lower plane. They will be the Great Company. But if they fail to attain either of these positions, the only thing remaining for them is the Second Death.

As for the world, their Day of Judgment has not yet come. The world is still in condemnation through Father Adam--not recognized as having any rights at all. Some of the world are excellent people; but even these have neither part nor lot in the salvation of the present time. The blessed arrangement for them is in the Millennial Age, when all of their sins and iniquities will be forgotten.

Just as our sins are now canceled, so likewise will the whole world go free from the condemnation of sin absolutely, [R5293 : page 247] when the world shall have accepted of Christ, the great Mediator.

But they will, nevertheless, suffer certain judgments, or punishments, or stripes, for the deeds of this present life. This will not be because Justice will hold over anything against them, but because the weaknesses of human nature will have left wounds in their flesh. With them also it will be true that if they shall sin against the spirit of holiness, the Holy Spirit, knowingly and wilfully, the penalty will be condemnation to the Second Death.

Our Lord Jesus said that all manner of sin should be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But the Pharisees, to whom these words were addressed, could not commit this sin, because they had not the fulness of knowledge.--Matthew 12:31,32.

FORGIVENESS OF SIN ABSOLUTE

When God recognizes the satisfaction of Divine Justice and cleans the slate so far as sinners are concerned, this does not mean that He has merely transferred the account to Jesus, who will hold it against them. Our Lord Jesus will not hold against mankind the things which the Father has forgotten. On the contrary, as the Representative of the Father, the Lord will be glad to give mankind the benefit of that forgiveness, merely holding them at a distance from the Father--standing between as Mediator--to give them time for restoration, development of character, etc., taking away the stoniness of their hearts.

The Lord says through the Prophet, "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." The Apostle Paul calls attention to this statement. He points out that under the Law Covenant this was not done, but that the sins remained; for atonement was made afresh for them year by year. The inferior sacrifices could not take away sin, but the original sins remained. (Hebrews 10:1-4.) This New Covenant in Christ, however, will absolutely take away sins. See Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-29.

FUTURE REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS

The Scriptures tell us that "out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:3.) The Ancient Worthies are to be made princes in all the earth. (Psalm 45:16.) This, of course, would appeal first and primarily to the Jew, who would naturally be the first to come under the new regulations. We may not say that all of the Jews will do so, but we believe that a considerable number of them will. In time others will join them. There are many good people who have not taken the vow of consecration to the Lord, but who would like to help rather than to hinder others. Such will in due time attach themselves to the Kingdom, which shall be "the desire of all nations."

In the case of the Ancient Worthies their freedom from imperfection will make them conspicuous. As the world comes to know about these, they will say, Are not these God's people? Mankind will perceive that God has rewarded the Ancient Worthies by giving them a better resurrection, and will learn that their better resurrection was given because of faithfulness in the past.

COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD CONDITIONAL

Christ, having laid down the price of the sins of the whole world, will eventually hand that price over to Justice. The price having been accepted by Justice, the sins of the whole world will be remitted; and everything will be turned over to the great Mediator. After the inauguration of the New Covenant, it will be the part of the people to strive to come up to the requirements of that Covenant; although if they then unwittingly violate God's Law, they will not be amenable to that Law, during the Mediatorial Reign; for the Mediator will stand between them and the Law.

The Mediator will not hold against any one the transgressions of this present life. This does not mean that mankind will have bodies which will give them no trouble; but that under the arrangements of the New Covenant, this better Mediator purposes to help them out of the difficulties that are theirs by reason of their fallen condition. He will help the people to understand the requirements of the New Covenant.

The satisfaction of Justice is necessary before any one can experience Restitution. Even the Ancient Worthies cannot be blessed without this satisfaction of Justice. After the Mediator has made satisfaction to Divine Justice, and has been privileged to inaugurate the New Covenant, the Ancient Worthies will be the first to be blessed under it. They will have in their resurrection complete Restitution to human perfection; for during their lifetime they had this testimony, that they pleased God.--Heb. 11:5.

The Ancient Worthies cannot, of course, enter into the New Covenant arrangement until they shall have been awakened from the sleep of death; therefore, as stated in the foregoing, the claims of Justice must be met before they are awakened. As soon as God will have made the New Covenant with them, these Ancient Worthies will form the nucleus of the earthly phase of the Kingdom. The earthly seed of Abraham will be added to, from all the different families, or nations, of the world.

Covenant relationship with God means perfection. Mankind will be reaching this perfection during the thousand years of Christ's Kingdom. But they will not enter into it until the end of the thousand years, when the Mediator will turn them over to God. At the close of that time, they will be privileged to enter into this Covenant [R5294 : page 247] relationship with Jehovah. Then they must stand or fall individually. As we read, at the end of the thousand years Satan shall be loosed for a little season; and all that love unrighteousness will be deceived by him. The remainder of mankind, having passed their test successfully, will be received into everlasting life. Then they will be in covenant relationship with God--without a Mediator--just as Adam was in covenant relationship with his Creator before sin entered into the world.

THE CHURCH NOT UNDER THE NEW COVENANT

The Church is not under the New Covenant; therefore it is not proper to speak of the Church as being blessed by the New Covenant. But the Church receives a great blessing and privilege in respect to the New Covenant. If there were to be no New Covenant, there would be no need of a Mediator, or of the Better Sacrifices whereby it is to be instituted.

St. Paul states that God has made us able ministers of the New Covenant, thus indicating that we have something to do with the preparation for it. (2 Corinthians 3:6.) Unless there were Better Sacrifices, there would be no basis for that New Covenant. The sufferings which the Church undergo at this present time are a blessed privilege to us; for we are ministers of that New Covenant, in the sense that we are serving it by training for future service--after it shall have been inaugurated.

Suppose that there was a great building in process of erection. The men working upon the construction of that building might be said to be greatly benefited by that building--not that they would be benefited in the future, [R5294 : page 248] when the building is in use, but they are being benefited during its construction. So now the Church class receives certain blessings and privileges in connection with the New Covenant. Later, the entire world will be blessed thereby, in a very different way.

During this Gospel Age, God is dealing merely with the Church, not with the world. There is, however, some resemblance between the blessings of God now coming upon the Church and those coming upon the world by and by. Then the Lord will rewrite His Law in the hearts of mankind, as it was originally written in Adam's heart. At the end of the thousand years, all mankind will be fleshly images of God, except those found unworthy and destroyed in the Second Death.

The Church are said to have new hearts now--right views of things. In the case of the Church, however, there is not a taking away of the stoniness of heart, but there is a new nature, a new heart. This, of course, has something to do with the flesh, since the flesh has something to do with the New Creature. The Law of God is recognized in the flesh, under the compulsion of the New Creature.

TYPICAL DISTRIBUTION OF BLESSINGS

The New Covenant is the blessing which the Church gives to mankind. It is God's Covenant, of course. God promised to arrange this matter; and He has so arranged that it shall go to the world through Christ the Head and the Church, His Body. It is by the Better Sacrifices that the giving to the world of this New Covenant blessing is possible.

If, then, the Church are to give these things, they must first have had them. No man can give away what he did not first possess. This thought that the New Covenant is a testament, or gift, of Christ to the world is made very prominent in the Scriptures. It is a gift in which the Church shares; for "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we be dead with Him, we shall live with Him"; and all things are ours because we are His.

These things are clearly set forth in the Old Testament types. St. Paul explains that Isaac was the heir of Abraham, and was typical of The Christ. Isaac did not receive his inheritance by a New Covenant, but by the primary, or original, Covenant. This Covenant was not the Law Covenant.

In Micah 4:1-4 we read that in the last days, "the mountain [Kingdom] of the House of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains [kingdoms], and many people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, and to the House of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths."

The succeeding verses of the chapter show the influence that will be exerted. The blessings and prosperity will then be with those who will be in harmony with God. But now it is different. "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12.) They "shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My name's sake." (Matthew 5:11.) These things indicate that those faithful to God during this Age will have more hardship than have those who are unfaithful.

Many of the worldly, even the wicked of the world, have great prosperity at the present time. (The world thinks that we are making our lives miserable by the course which we pursue. But we are not doing this; on the contrary, we are enjoying ourselves and are having a good time. We have much advantage every way.) In the future, God tells us, it will be different. Then, whoever does wickedly shall suffer; and whoever does righteously shall receive blessing. When that time comes, the blessing of Restitution will be of God; and the only way to gain that blessing will be by coming into harmony with the new order of things in the Kingdom of Messiah.



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"THE SPIRITS OF JUST MEN MADE PERFECT"

"But ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the City of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the General Assembly and Church of the First-born, which are written in Heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect."--Hebrews 12:22,23.
THE Apostle is here addressing the Church, and is pointing down to the end, or consummation, of this Age. The context indicates that at the end of this Age everything that can be shaken will be shaken--all will be shaken out except that which is unshakeable. And the unshakeable thing is the Kingdom, which will then be ushered in. The Apostle likens the time of its inauguration to the inauguration of the Law Covenant at Mt. Sinai, when all the people heard the thunderings, and the noise of the trumpets, and saw the lightnings and the mountain smoking; and when Moses "drew near unto the thick darkness where God was"; and Moses went up into the mountain. All of this was typical--the sealing of the Law Covenant at the hands of the typical mediator, Moses.--Exodus 20:18-22.

The antitype is what we are approaching--what will be reached by the Church at the end of this Age. There will then be commotion, strife, in the world--thunderings, lightnings. And as in the type, so in the antitype, the people will be discouraged, and in great fear and trouble. By the end of the time of trouble, the New Covenant will be inaugurated. The Mediator will be Jesus the Messiah, as the glorified Head, and the Church His Body.

The Apostle says [see Diaglott rendering] that we are approaching the General Assembly of the Church of the First-borns. In this will be included Christ, the Head, and all the faithful of this Age, of the past and of the present. It will include both the Little Flock and the Great Company; for together they constitute the Church of the First-borns, whose names are written in Heaven. Consequently this demonstration will be made after the Little Flock shall have been gathered. We are every day approaching nearer to this time--are getting into it somewhat even now.

The Apostle also says we are approaching the place where "the spirits of just men" will be made perfect. It would not be reasonable to suppose that he would first mention the Church of the First-borns, including them all and then mention a part of them. Hence we conclude that this phrase refers to another class. Our minds naturally go out in inquiry, thinking of the Ancient Worthies --a class who are merely waiting until the Church shall be glorified. Thus these come in here in proper course, or order. So after telling about the assembling of the Church of the First-borns, St. Paul tells of this other class--"the spirits of just men made perfect." But there is another reason why these could not be the Church, and would be the Ancient Worthies--and that is that neither the Church nor the Great Company will be "men made perfect." The very condition on which the Church become [R5295 : page 249] of the spirit class is that they give up the human nature.

But how shall we apply this expression to the Ancient Worthies? We do this by the transposition of a few words, thus: "We are coming to the perfect men whose spirits are just." And the Ancient Worthies were just, although they had fleshly imperfections. The Apostle has referred to this class and told us that they will have a better resurrection, though not so good a resurrection as the Church will receive. The Ancient Worthies will attain the better resurrection in that they will be perfected flesh when they come up from the tomb. As they were just in spirit, so will they be perfect men in the beginning of the Restitution time.

The figure of a mountain is one commonly used in the Scriptures for a kingdom. Mount Zion represents the Kingdom of God. This Mount Zion Kingdom is to include the whole earth. This Kingdom is about to be established. Its establishment is what the Apostle is discussing. A kingdom is in figure also called a City; but strictly speaking, a mountain represents the nation, and a city represents the government of that nation. This figure of speech is very common today. If we read that Berlin does thus and so, we know that the German Government is referred to; or if we read of St. Petersburg's doing thus and so, it means the Russian Government; similarly, Washington would represent the Government of the United States, and London, the British Government.

Our text has reference to the holy Kingdom of God. And then, not to lose its identity, but to carry the thought that the City represents the whole Kingdom, the Apostle speaks of the City of God as the Heavenly Jerusalem. Thus he carries our minds to the thought that as the literal Jerusalem was the capital of the typical Kingdom of God, so there will be a New Jerusalem--a higher Government --which is to be God's Kingdom to rule over the whole earth. Thus these various pictures are used to show us the antitype of the kingdom of earthly Zion, of Jerusalem. Then follow the other statements, and the one that appertains to the righteous in spirit made perfect. These were already righteous in spirit, and now they will be made perfect, by having this better Resurrection which the Lord has promised.

In connection with this we have the statement, "an innumerable company of angels." These we think will be the spiritual angels of God, who have had to do with so much service for God. We think they are the same angels of whom our Lord spoke when He said that He would confess us before His Father and before the Holy angels--those who have been ministers to the saints all the way down through this Age. It is very fitting that they should meet us, and that they should see our introduction to the Father.



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SPIRITUAL PROMISES TO NATURAL ISRAEL

IN THE Scriptures the word spiritual is generally used in a particular way referring to those who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit, as our Lord and all those who accept Him and consecrate themselves to do the will of God. All promises and all things which appertain to these are particularly classified and styled as spiritual promises and spiritual things. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (I Cor. 2:14.) So, then, if God gave anything spiritual to the Israelites before the Spiritual Dispensation, they did not appreciate it, since none could do so except through spirit-begetting.

Nevertheless, there were spiritual things given to Natural Israel, which they were unable to receive. The Apostle says, "The Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under Sin." (Rom. 7:14.) That Law given at Sinai came from the Spirit Being of the highest order--God Himself. It did not take hold merely of the fleshly instincts, and control the body alone, but it took hold of the heart, the mind, the will. None of the Jews could keep that Law because they were sold under Sin. It was a spiritual Law that could be kept only by a spirit-begotten person or a person in the image of God.

SPIRITUAL LESSONS IN THE LAW

Certain of the lessons of the Law were spiritual, also; as, for instance, the rock in the wilderness, which, when smitten, gave forth water abundantly, and the manna, each afforded a spiritual lesson. But Israel did not understand anything about the Spiritual Rock or the Spiritual Water of Life. So of the Law that was given to them: they could see only the outer part, or shell. Nor could any see further until the due time for the begetting of the Spirit. We may say, then, that a great many spiritual things were given to Israel, but only such of them as were Israelites indeed, and in harmony with God would be made able, in due time, to see these.

The spiritual things were in the Law all the time, but they were not disclosed, not manifest, not seen by the Jew, because of his own condition of mind; and the first Israelite who was permitted to see spiritual things was Jesus Himself, after He was begotten of the Spirit and able to appreciate these things. But the Jewish nation, not coming up to the required standard, was not able to appreciate them. Certain ones who desired to walk in Jesus' steps received through Him a covering, and they also were begotten of the Holy Spirit and could appreciate spiritual things. Thus the Apostle says that the righteousness of the Law is "fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." We cannot keep the Law in our flesh, but in our hearts, our minds. "With the mind I serve the Law of God."--Rom. 8:4; 7:25.

BASIS OF SPIRITUAL INSIGHT

When God made a Covenant with Abraham, saying, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," He said that Abraham's seed should be as the stars of heaven and as the sand of the seashore. This is a spiritual Promise, which, of course, the Jews at that time were not able to appreciate, as the Apostle Peter intimates. When realizing that as a nation they had crucified the Son of God, many said, What shall we do? St. Peter said, "Repent...for this Promise is unto you, and to your children." (Acts 2:38,39.) It was a spiritual Promise and belonged to them, but on condition that they would take certain steps.

Only a few of the Jews were in the proper attitude to meet this condition. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power [the privilege, the right] to become the sons of God. (John 1:11,12.) And these, coming into the relation of Spiritual Israelites, were enabled by this begetting of the Holy Spirit to appreciate [R5295 : page 250] the spiritual things given to such Israelites. All the truths that we have are drawn from those things God gave to the Natural Israelites. And we can understand them, though the Natural Israelite could not. The Apostle says, "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the Election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." (Rom. 11:7.) So then, they were seeking for the spiritual, whether they understood it or not. Except the few, however, they did not attain the spiritual, because of an improper condition of heart. But the spiritual must have been there for them to seek after, else they could not have sought it.



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FEAR A CAUSE OF GREAT NERVOUS TENSION

"The Lord is My Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."--Hebrews 13:6.
FEAR is one of the greatest evils in the world, causing much nervous tension and distress. It is a result of man's being out of harmony with the Creator. We may be sure that the angels have no fear. God maintains them in their peaceful condition because they are in harmony with Him. We may be sure, also, that this was the case with our first parents. When they were created they had no fear. Divine protection was over them. But when sin came in, the curse followed. Being for six thousand years under the reign of Sin and Death, man has become very fearful. He realizes that there are forces outside of himself with which he cannot cope. And this knowledge robs him of much of the pleasure of life.

There are a few people who have lost this fear, but these are the exceptions. Our text tells us of some who do not fear, and shows us why this is a reasonable condition. They no longer fear what man can do unto them, because the Lord is their Helper. The fear of man is a greater fear than the fear of beasts. As the poet wrote,

"Man's inhumanity to man

Makes countless thousands mourn." On account of sin many have become murderers. Though they are restrained by the law from committing the overt act, they have the murder spirit, the selfish spirit. This leads to all kinds of wrong-doing--unrighteousness. Those who will not actually take life, may commit murder by the use of slanderous words. Thus they inspire fear in the minds of others.

THE SOURCE OF RELIEF

The Psalmist speaks of some who had gotten rid of this fear of man--of such were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Prophets. And what was true of them should be true of the consecrated Body of Christ. The reason for this peace of mind is that these have come into special relationship with God. By the Covenant of Sacrifice, made possible to them by the Savior, they have become sons of God; "and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, [R5296 : page 250] and joint-heirs with Christ," their Lord. God thus being their Father has a deep interest in them; and so they learn to trust His Love and Wisdom and Power.

With this confidence in God, then, these have no fear. He has assured them that He is able to make all things work together for their good. If at first they found that as followers of Jesus they had more trials, more difficulties from the world, the flesh and the Adversary than any other people in the world, this realization may have filled them with alarm and intimidated them. But as they have gone to the Father in the spirit of prayer and hearkened to the message which He has sent through the Prophets and Apostles, they have learned that He is dealing with them as New Creatures. Gradually they learn that "no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly."

The Father will not withhold anything necessary for the proper development of His children. He also promises that we shall not be tempted above that we are able to endure, lest some injury come to us. Thus we see that He is supplying all our needs, enabling us to lay down our earthly lives. And as we learn the proper lessons from our experiences, we find that perfect love casts out all servile fear of our Heavenly Father; for we love and trust Him. We have no fear of the Adversary, because we know that the Lord will not permit the Adversary to injure us, if we keep close to Him. And if God permits us to have experiences of trial from the Adversary and our fellowmen, He does so to the intent that these may work out good to us.

"My God, I set my seal that Thou art true,
Of Thy good promise not one thing hath failed!"



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INDIVIDUAL CONQUEST OF OUR INHERITANCE

"Be thou strong and very courageous."--Joshua 1:7.
THE words of our text were addressed by the Lord to Joshua, who was leader of Israel after the death of Moses. He had special need of these encouraging words. The Israelites were a stiff-necked generation. It was difficult for any one to be their leader. Especially difficult was it because Moses had been for many years with them. It is always difficult for a smaller man to take a larger man's place.

In some respects it was easier to direct Israel while they were anticipating the coming into the Promised Land, before they had entered it. During the forty years in the wilderness they had learned to depend on the Lord. In a few brief words we have given us quite a clear idea of the Lord's manner of dealing with His people during these forty years. Moses, in exhorting the people to fear and love the Lord, and in recounting their provocations of Him, tells them that they shall possess the Land, and adds, "And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no. And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

"Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee." (Deut. 8:2-5.) Israel had very few battles during the time of their wandering. The Amalekites had had some little skirmishes with them, but on the whole they had experienced very little trouble, [R5296 : page 251] and yet they had rebelled against the Lord and against Moses more than once.

Now, their enemies were entrenched in the Land of Canaan, and it would require strength and courage to take the Land. Their instructions from the Lord were that they should occupy Canaan. God was taking the land from the Canaanites because, like the Sodomites, they had gone as far in their wickedness as Divine Wisdom saw best to permit. Instead of taking the Canaanites away as the Sodomites had been taken away, the Lord caused the Israelites to conquer them and to wrest the land from them.

THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN A TYPE

In Israel's taking possession of the land of Canaan, we believe there was a typical significance. In some respects the Israelites, warring against the Canaanites, typified the war that the New Creature has with the flesh. In proportion as the New Creature takes possession of the entrenched positions of the old creature, it overcomes and gets possession of the land. The New Creatures, God's people, are under the leadership of the antitypical Joshua. They are to overcome the weaknesses and meannesses of the fallen nature, to the best of their ability.

In the case of Natural Israelites with the Canaanites, the latter were strongly entrenched in the land, and they were not to be overcome without many battles. The Canaanites had their mountain fastnesses, to which they could retreat. These typify the fastnesses in our nature to which the fallen inclinations retreat when we find it impossible as New Creatures to vanquish them. As St. Paul says, "Ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Gal. 5:17.) But our ability to gain the victory will be in proportion to our faith in God and our reliance on Him.

Thus it was with the Israelites. In proportion as they trusted the Lord, they had success in getting possession of the land, conquering their inheritance. With the exception of the tribe of Levi, a certain inheritance was given to each tribe. So with us as individual New Creatures. There is a certain inheritance to be apportioned to each of us. We cannot conquer for each other. Each must conquer his own inheritance individually.

The words of our text were addressed to Joshua, the leader of Israel. The words can be understood as referring to all the Israelites, but especially to Joshua because he was their leader. The word Joshua means savior, deliverer. The Greek form of the Hebrew word Joshua is Jesus. As Joshua was to deliver the Lord's people, and give them possession of the Land of Promise, so Jesus is to deliver God's Spiritual Israel, and give them their inheritance.

The words of our text then implied that there would be trials and difficulties connected with the conquest of Canaan: "Be thou strong and very courageous." Those trials and difficulties would require strength and courage in the typical Israelite. Likewise this is true of all who would be sharers with our Lord in the antitypical Promised Land.

There is a difference between being strong and being courageous. One might be strong, invulnerable in the position he has taken, and yet not be courageous for further conquests. The difference between these two qualities is particularly illustrated in the Little Flock and the Great Company. The Lord's true people should be strong in their determination to lay down their lives in self-sacrifice, that by laying down the earthly life they may become partakers of the Divine life. God has no blessing for those who will not put forth earnest effort.

Even the Great Company must be strong, or they will not get the palms of victory. The difference between the Little Flock and the Great Company is that while the Great Company will finally overcome, with the Lord's help, yet they will not have been very courageous. Therefore they cannot be of the Little Flock, who are close followers of the great Leader, our Joshua, in battling for their life, gladly laying down their lives in the service of Jehovah. Joshua represents the "more than conqueror" class. The strength of the Lord is supplied to this class. Therefore they are very courageous in overcoming everything that is in opposition to the Divine will.



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PRACTICAL LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ELI

"It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth Him good."--1 Samuel 3:18.
THROUGH Samuel the Lord had sent Eli a message indicating that disaster would come to his house. The words of our text were spoken when he heard that the calamity was intended of the Lord, and indicate therefore submission before the disaster rather than afterward. So these words represent humility on the part of Eli.

Eli had been a judge in Israel for many years; and so far as the record goes, he was thoroughly exemplary himself--just, in all his dealings. But his sons were styled "sons of Belial"--they were wicked in various ways. While, therefore, Eli's own influence was for the benefit of the nation of Israel, here was a contrary influence which grew up under his protection, under his sanction. Had these evil-doers been others than those of his own family, doubtless Eli would have dealt with them according to his authority as a judge. We have here an illustration of a man who, though godly himself, was weak as the head of his family. As the head of his household he should have trained up his children in the way they should go. He should have trained them up in righteousness; otherwise they should have ceased to be members of his household, and should have come under certain restraint, which he, as a law-giver, should have enforced. [R5297 : page 251]

THE FLAW IN ELI'S CHARACTER

From this story we may draw a lesson as to what God expects of us and our families. If a child were meddlesome, thieving, immoral or otherwise an injurious person, the Christian parent should not allow such things to go on. He is obligated to bring the matter to some kind of termination. If, however, a child has a thought different from our own as to what constitutes reverence to God, we are not to assume that he should be brought under restraint.

We are to recall that this message came to Eli through the boy Samuel. Samuel had, after the manner of a Prophet in those days, heard the voice of the Lord calling him and speaking to him. Thinking it was Eli's voice, he had gone to him and asked, What will you have? And Eli replied that he had not called him, and directed him to lie down again. This was repeated three times, and Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child. He therefore instructed Samuel again to lie down, but that if the call was repeated he should answer, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth," indicating his readiness to do Him service. Samuel did as he was directed, and the [R5297 : page 252] Lord told him that because of Eli's carelessness in respect to the doings of his family, they should be cut off from the priesthood.

ELI'S BEAUTIFUL SUBMISSION

It was quite a remarkable thing that Eli should manifest no resentment against the channel the Lord had used! Eli had received Samuel into his family when the child had been consecrated by his parents. Now, finding that apparently God was passing him by and communicating with him through the child, the circumstance would have furnished sufficient cause for a proud spirit to rise up in resentment. But Eli's course proved that his own heart was tender. He answered, when Samuel explained what the Lord had told him, "It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth Him good." It is the Lord's judgment. It is surely right! surely good! Let the Lord do what seemeth to Him good, even though it means disaster to my own family, even though it means the cutting off of my own family from the priesthood.

This cutting off from the priesthood would mean that the sons of Eli would die, for they were the priests in the regular lineal order of the Aaronic priesthood. This is a very beautiful example of absolute submission. If Eli was weak in some respects, he was strong in others, as is shown in his humility and submission. Those who are meek and teachable themselves, often find great difficulty in being sufficiently positive in their dealing with others who are properly under their control. The quality of character which would tend to make them meek and submissive toward the Lord, would tend to make them kind and lenient toward others. But it is good to be able to carry out with firmness the will of the Lord in respect to others, and at the same time be meek and submissive in respect to the Lord, His providence and arrangements.

LESSONS FOR THE CHRISTIAN

As Christians we may learn valuable lessons from this incident. We should make sure as to our willingness to receive the Truth in whatever way the Lord is pleased to send it to us, whether from the mouth of a little child, or whether unlearned men, like St. Peter and St. John, may bring it.

It may have been difficult for the priests of the Apostles' day to hear those unlearned men speaking with power the Message from God; and they would say, Surely God would not speak through such stammering lips! God would surely not pass us by--we who have spent years in study, and who are recognized as priests of the Divine order! Being in this wrong attitude of heart and mind, they rejected not only those humble men with their Message, but also the Lord Himself.

This is also the spirit of the world. Whoever is faithful in speaking the Word of God from the Bible will have less and less attention from the worldly-wise. An ever-increasing number of people are thinking of the works of creation as having come about by processes of Evolution. More and more they are thinking that the Bible is not the Word of God; but that the Apostles were merely deluded men, deceived men; that Jesus Himself did not know what He was doing. They think that He was a good man, that doubtless God Himself was with Him, because of the good that flowed from His teaching. And yet they think that they could give forth better wisdom-- these great teachers who would like to make a new Bible after their own heart!

In our own day, the worldly-wise are looking from the wrong standpoint. They are looking in the wrong direction, they are not looking to see the New Dispensation now coming in. They will not recognize what is now taking place until the sunlight of Truth begins to flood the world. Then, turning about, they will perceive the real Sun of Righteousness, and begin to grasp the whole situation. We are glad that they will turn about and take a view of matters from a different standpoint. But all who are God's true children are ready to receive God's Message from whatever source it may come to them.

A specially important thought in our text is that Eli was submissive to the calamity. This was a good condition of heart for him. Thus, not striving against the Divine will, but meekly bowing to it, he showed that his trouble was merely that of weakness of the flesh. We find that there is now a similar condition existing. It is the duty of the Lord's people today to recognize that the present order of nominal church systems is passing away, and will presently be overthrown in the great time of trouble. This message naturally enough causes resentment in the hearts of a great many. They have been boasting of their great financial power, their strength, etc. And the mention of the fall of this would naturally awaken their opposition. We must not be surprised, therefore, that their anger is aroused against us, as we tell them of the time of trouble that is before us.

HEART LOYAL, BUT WEAK

To Eli, this message that his family would be cut off from the priesthood was a severe blow. And so our Message about the Royal Priesthood is not a palatable message to nominal Christendom. But some of the Lord's people among them today are not in sympathy with the trend of affairs. These are the ones who will say, "It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth Him good!"

This will be the attitude of the Great Company. They are weak in standing forth for the Lord, and yet submissive in the time of trouble, and loyal to the Lord's cause and the interests affiliated therewith.

Samuel would seem to represent more clearly the Little Flock class, and Eli the Great Company class--the latter being weak in some respects, but loyal at heart to the Lord. But it is the Samuel type that we should seek to copy--so fully out of sympathy are we with unrighteousness and sin, and so fully in accord with righteousness. We are ready to speak God's Message, which must necessarily be a very unpleasant one. As it is unpleasant for us now to tell forth the approaching disaster that will involve both Church and State, so to Samuel it must have been a very unpleasant duty to go to his best friend, his benefactor, bearing from the Lord a message of disaster to himself and his family.

We would do well to speak sympathetically of these things, rather than coldly, rather than exultingly. We do sympathize with them, both in the condition of things at the present time and also regarding the things we recognize to be coming upon them. More and more do we receive word of ministers, telling us that they perceive that the power of God is departing from their congregations, and that evidences are on every hand that they have been wrong doctrinally, and that the general trend of the present time is toward social unrest and upheaval.


"O! teach me, Lord, the art
With Wisdom to remove
The errors that deceive the heart,
And Truth to clearly prove.

"O! arm me with the mind,
Meek Lamb, that was in Thee;
And let my fervent zeal be joined
With grace and charity."



[R5297 : page 253]

THE GOLDEN CALF
--SEPTEMBER 21.--EXODUS 32:15-20,30-35.--

"Little children, keep yourselves from idols."--1 John 5:21.
THE Israelites experienced a severe trial of faith and obedience soon after they had entered into covenant relationship with God. In their trial they failed utterly. The Covenant was broken. However, after punishing them, God renewed the Covenant with them. This constituted a fresh manifestation of Divine Mercy.

The circumstances of this testing are a part of this lesson. Moses, by Divine direction, after the making of the Covenant, went up into Mt. Sinai, taking with him Joshua as his servant. He was gone forty days--a comparatively long period, under the circumstances. The Israelites felt themselves very much like children in the hands of Moses. To them he was God's representative in a very special sense. His prolonged absence gave room for the cultivation of faith, patience, trust. [R5298 : page 253]

They remembered the trying experiences through which they had passed. The Egyptians and slavery were behind them; the Amalekites, who already had attacked them, were still their enemies and might renew the attack. What would they do in the absence of Moses whose upheld hands had brought them God's favor and prosperity in battle?

Here worldly wisdom came in. Aaron, the high priest, the brother of Moses and his representative in leadership, was perplexed as to how to keep the people from utter discouragement, fear, etc. They seemed to need and to call for a representative of God visible to their eyes. They apparently were unable fully to trust to the God whom they could not see, after His special representative, Moses, was out of their sight.

The leaders of the people took counsel together and determined that they would make a representation of Jehovah--an image which the people, looking upon, could use as an instrument of worship. We are not to suppose that the Israelites recognized the golden calf as their God Jehovah, but used it merely as a symbol, or representation, just as the heathen use idols as representatives of their gods, and just as some Christians consider it proper to use the crucifix as a representation of Christ--not to worship, but merely to assist the faith and to hold the attention.

Today's lesson seems clearly to indicate that God was greatly displeased with their symbolical representation of Himself. This was one of His commands given to the Israelites: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness" of God, or of anything, to bow down before it and worship it as a symbol of God.

MAKING THE GOLDEN CALF

We are not to suppose that the calf was made of solid metal. It is not at all probable that all the jewelry of all the Israelites, gathered together, would have been nearly enough to make a calf of any size of solid metal. The supposition is that, after the manner of that time, the calf was made either of clay or wood and then laminated, or covered over with the molten metal--the gold which had constituted the jewelry of the people. This in turn doubtless was graven, or tooled. Having made the idol, the people rejoiced in it as an evidence of God in their midst. They gave themselves up to a season of frolic--singing, dancing, feasting.

This was the condition of things at the end of the forty days spent by Moses in the mount with God. As he came down from the mountain with the tables of the Law, he heard the shouts of the people, and then beheld them worshiping the golden calf and offering sacrifices and incense to it. Moses was angry. He was the mediator between God and Israel--the representative of both. He had a right to be angry; for he was charged by God with the responsibility of that nation, and he realized that a serious crime against the Divine Covenant had taken place during his absence.

Moses dashed the tables of stone--the tables of the Law--into fragments, indicating that the Covenant was broken. He went down to the people, angry against them, as God's representative. Armed with Divine authority, he let fall upon them a just penalty for their departure from God and rapid retrogression into sin.

Still, as the representative of the people, Moses was a patriot of the highest order. He went to God in prayer, and besought that if the penalty of this sin was the casting off of his people he might be blotted out instead. This was in response to God's proposition that Moses alone seemed to be loyal, and that God would make of him the nation who should inherit the promises made to Israel. Such patriotism as Moses here evinced has surely not often been equalled. It meant loyalty to his work as Israel's representative and mediator, and at the same time loyalty to God, whom he also represented.

"KEEP YOURSELVES FROM IDOLS"

Let us now apply the lesson to Spiritual Israel. After the Christian has left the world, the slavery, the sin, after he has passed the bitter experiences of Marah, after he has had manifestations of God's favor, after he has partaken of the Bread from Heaven, after he has entered fully into Covenant relationship with God--there comes a time when he must walk by faith, and not by sight. He is being proved by the Lord. If he fails in this lesson, as the typical Israelites did, it will be a serious matter for him.

We are not meaning to suggest that any Christian would be liable to make a golden image literally. We do mean to say, however, that this matter of making images, and of allowing them to divert and absorb our worship of God is one of the greatest trials and tests which comes to Spiritual Israelites. The golden calf which some set up to worship is business. They give themselves wholly to it, sacrificing their time and energy. They treat it as a god. The love of money and of the things which money can procure leads into idolatry, and thereby breaks their covenant with the Lord.

Others idolize the opposite sex, and give all that they possess for its favor and fellowship. They worship the creature more than the Creator, as the Apostle explains. They are making a great mistake. Jesus declared this, saying, He that loves father, or mother, or children, or self or any other creature more than Me is not worthy of Me.

Still another idol is to be noted--the idol of sectarianism. St. Paul warned against this idol, saying, "One of you says, I am of Paul; another, I am of Apollos; another, I am of Peter." (I Cor. 1:12; 3:4.) Then he inquires, Is not this reverencing of men a form of idolatry? putting it, "Are ye not carnal?" The same principle we may apply to ourselves today, and guard ourselves against sectarian worship. If one says, "I am of Calvin"; another, "I am of Luther"; another, "I am of Wesley"; etc., are not these evidences of carnality? And worse than this, is there not danger of worshiping the human institutions which bear these human names, and thus of having something to come [R5298 : page 254] between the soul of the Christian and his God? We believe that there is a serious danger along this line. We urge Spiritual Israelites that they cease to worship the creed idols, and that all God's children turn from idols of every kind, and worship and reverence God alone.

The tendency to formulate and reverence the creeds instead of the Bible has been manifest ever since the first one was made--the Nicene creed--A.D. 325. Every creed tends to take the place of the Bible, just as the Talmud does with the Jews. Jesus spoke against this, saying, "Ye do make void the Word of God through your traditions."

The creeds of Christendom are our Christian traditions respecting the Truth. God's intention evidently was that His people should have no creed except the Bible as a whole. They were to believe all of the Word of God and to search the Scriptures daily, to ascertain its teachings. Thus God's people were to grow in grace and knowledge, as would not be possible were creed idols to be set up and divert the attention of the Lord's people in various directions.



[R5298 : page 254]

TABLES OF THE LAW REPLACED
--SEPTEMBER 28.--REVIEW.--

"Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness."--Nehemiah 9:17.
WHOEVER fails to see that Moses and Israel and the Law were types fails of getting the real lesson out of them. Moses was not merely a type of Jesus; but as St. Peter explains, he was a type of the entire Church of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head--the Church of Glory. St. Peter's words are, "Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me."-- Acts 3:22,23.

Jesus was raised up first, and since Pentecost the raising up from amongst the brethren has progressed. The work will be consummated when the full number of the elect Church shall have been found, tested, proven and accepted to glory. Then the antitypical Moses will begin His great work of delivering all of mankind who desire to come back into harmony with God--all of whom were represented in the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Church of this Gospel Age is, as St. James declares (1:18), "A kind of first-fruits [to God] of His creatures." Otherwise it is called the Church of the First-borns, and was typically represented in the tribe of Levi, all of whom represented the first-borns of Israel, saved in the Passover. These first-borns were divided into two classes--the priests and their servants. The priests represented The Christ--High Priest and under priests. The Levites represented the remaining number of the overcomers.

The antitypical Priests will be made a Royal Priesthood. Jesus, the great High Priest, invested with kingly honors, will have associated with Himself the faithful Little Flock, a Royal Priesthood, His joint-heirs. The remainder of the overcoming Church are colaborers on a less glorious plane, yet spiritual. The work of all will be primarily to bless the people of the earth desiring to come into harmony with God, and typically represented in the remaining tribes of Israel.

THE FIRST TABLES OF THE LAW

The first tables of the Law were prepared by the Lord Himself, as well as written by Him. This represents how man in his creation was a perfect image of his Creator, [R5299 : page 254] formed, created, in full accord with the Divine will and fully expressive of the Divine Law. Adam needed no further preparation, and he needed no other law than that which was in and of himself as a perfect being.

But by reason of sin this Law was broken. Poor humanity no longer has a proper judgment respecting sin and righteousness. The original tables are shattered and have grown illegible. Man needs the great Mediator, to make reconciliation for his iniquity and then to rewrite the Law of God in his flesh.

Moses was instructed to hew out the two tables of the Law. This would represent that The Christ of glory is fully commissioned to prepare the hearts of mankind for the rewriting of the Divine Law. To prepare man to obey God's Law will require that they shall experience Restitution --lifting up out of sin and degradation. This work, committed to Moses in the type, is in the antitype committed to Christ.

The second coming of Moses down from the mountain with the two tables of the Law was peculiarly different from the presentation of the first tables, which were broken. Coming with the second tables, Moses' face shone; and it was necessary for him to put on a veil, which thereafter he wore when in the presence of the Israelites, but removed when going into the presence of God.

This is understood to signify that Christ's work as the Mediator, at His Second Advent, will be accompanied by a veiling of His glory, so that the world will not see Jesus. This He declared, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye shall see Me." However, the Apostle explains that the Church will be prepared to see Christ in His glory by being changed from the earthly nature to the Heavenly nature. "We shall see Him as He is"; for "we shall be like Him"--"changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (I John 3:2; I Cor. 15:50-52.) We remember that Saul of Tarsus saw Jesus thus in His glory "shining above the brightness of the sun" at noonday. Seeing him unveiled, Saul was smitten to the earth and seriously blinded.

The putting on of the veil (Exodus 34:1,4,28-35) represented that at the Second Advent of Christ, when He will accomplish His great work as Mediator for man and become their Leader into the Land of Promise--Paradise restored--He will veil His glory from mankind, and speak to them through the veil, and not directly from the spirit plane. While mankind will see Jesus no more, it will be to their advantage. Instead, they will see Him represented in the Ancient Worthies; as He declared, "Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets."-- Luke 13:28.

Nor will that mean that mankind will merely see the Ancient Worthies as they were. Rather, the world will see them resurrected in human perfection, and therefore perfect, in the image of God, samples of what all mankind may attain unto, if they will but give heed to the words of the great Prophet--the antitypical Moses.

St. Peter tells us of that time, saying, "It shall come to pass that the soul that will not hear [obey] that Prophet [The Glorious Messiah] shall be destroyed from amongst the people."--Acts 3:22,23.

OTHER FEATURES OF THE TYPE

The anointing of the priests of the Aaronic priesthood typified the anointing of Jesus and His Royal Priesthood. [R5299 : page 255] As in the type, sacrifices were necessary to be offered before the anointing and consecration to the offices were possible, so it must be in the antitype. Jesus needed to offer up Himself, and by that offer of Himself to show His devotion and loyalty to God by sacrificing even unto death.

Similarly, those called to be members of the Body of Christ, the under priesthood, of which He is the High Priest, could consecrate to their office only by sacrifice. In the case of the typical High Priest the sacrifice was a bullock. The antitype was the Lord's own body. In the case of the typical under priests the sacrifice was the goat. The antitype is the flesh, the human nature of the Church. Thus when St. Paul exhorts the Church in respect to their portion, he says, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, and your reasonable service."--Rom. 12:1.

The same sacrifices which proved the loyalty of the typical high priest and the under priests became also sacrifices of atonement for the sins of the people--typical of the real sacrifices which are the basis for the forgiveness of the sins of the world and thus for the reconciliation of the world, in God's due time. These are the "better sacrifices," mentioned by St. Paul. (Heb. 9:23.) In other words, everything in the type was on a small scale, inferior to the antitype. The typical mediator offered typical sacrifices. The real Mediator offers "better sacrifices." The typical mediator led the typical tribes of Israel into the Land of Promise. The antitypical Mediator, during the thousand years of His Reign, will lead all who become people of God back to the blessings and privileges lost through Adam's disobedience, and redeemed by the Sacrifice at Calvary.

A MERCIFUL, GRACIOUS GOD

Our Golden Text describes the God who appeals to our hearts--the merciful One, gracious, ready to pardon, slow to anger, abundant in loving-kindness. It is difficult for us to imagine how much Christians and the world in general have lost through our miserable misconceptions of the character of God, handed down to us through the creeds of the Dark Ages.

The thought that God has been intent upon torturing His creatures at the hands of demons throughout eternity has doubtless been the cause of much of the infidelity now prevalent, as well as a great hindrance to the cause of Christ amongst the heathen. Mankind of today cannot worship and appreciate Brother Calvin's misconception of the Almighty's character. The whole world should breathe freer since our Presbyterian friends have repudiated that feature of Calvin's doctrine which declared all non-elect infants bound for eternal torture.

In the past, God manifested His mercy and kindness in a typical way to the typical people, merely chastening them for sins, but forgiving them, and permitting them to go on and try further. Yet God never fully manifested to the world His Love and Mercy until our Lord's First Advent. Of that great event we read, "Herein is manifested the Love of God toward us, in that He sent His Only Begotten Son into the world," that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Up to that time Sin and Death had reigned without cessation for 4,124 years. The sending of His Son was the first expression of God's purpose of forgiveness. But He has not yet forgiven the world's sins. He has only made the proper provision for them through the death of His Son, that the sins of the world may be cancelled in God's own due time. The whole world is still "lying in the Wicked One"--slaves of Sin and Death. The world's hope lies beyond, in the glorious Reign of Messiah's Kingdom. It centers in Him as the antitypical Prophet, Priest and King. Messiah, as the Seed of Abraham, according to the Promise, will bless, uplift and assist back into harmony with God all the willing and obedient of all the families of the earth.

The only work yet done is the calling of the Church to be Messiah's Bride, and joint-heir and co-worker with Him in that glorious Messianic Kingdom, for which we wait and pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven." In that Kingdom God's Loving-kindness, as well as His Wisdom and Power, will be abundantly witnessed to angels and to men.


"The remnant saved from Israel's race,
Redeemed from Israel's fall,
Shall praise Him for His wondrous grace,
And hail Him Lord of all.

"Gentiles shall come, and coming sing,
Throughout this earthly ball,
Hosannas to our heavenly King,
And hail Him Lord of all."



[R5299 : page 255]

AN INTERESTING QUESTION

NOT BY RIGHT, STILL BY GRACE

Question.--Did Christ's death give to every person a right to a resurrection?

Answer.--No! Christ's death gave nothing to any person except to Christ Himself. Our Lord's faithfulness unto death gave Him a right to a better resurrection, according to the Father's promise. Having received that better resurrection, He no longer needs the earthly life and earthly rights, which He "laid down" in obedience to the Father's Program. However, since He did not forfeit those earthly rights, and did not give them away, they are still His.

Not needing them Himself now, because He has the better, the spiritual, as His reward, the Lord has those earthly rights in the Father's hands to His credit on the books of Justice. He is holding that credit on the books of Justice, and intends, according to the Father's arrangement, to use it in due time for the purchase of the world. In the end of this Gospel Age, He will present the merit of His sacrifice "for all people." We are assured that [R5300 : page 255] it will be accepted by Justice and that all mankind will come forth, will be turned over to the Redeemer, who will then take unto Himself His great power and will reign for a thousand years, as the Mediator between God and man. This mediation will reach mankind through Israel, with whom the New Covenant will be inaugurated.

While waiting for the time to come when He shall give His earthly rights as a Restitution blessing to mankind, the Redeemer in carrying out the Father's Program makes use of His merit in the interest of those whom the Father draws and calls to be the Church of the First-borns. To each called and obedient one who turns from sin and presents his body a living sacrifice to the Father, the Redeemer, as his Advocate, imputes a sufficiency of His Merit to make the sacrifice acceptable. Then, as soon as the sacrifice is accepted and completed, the imputed merit of Christ will be thereby freed and returned, so that in the end of the Age, after the Church has been assisted by the imputation of Christ's merit, the original amount in the hands of Justice will be unimpaired--sufficient for the sins of the whole world--sufficient to give Restitution blessings to Adam and all of his posterity.

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