August 23, 1914


"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen gathereth her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" ' Luke 13:34 Here we have another parable of the Kingdom. Today's lesson shows that God's promises and His providences toward Israel under the Law Covenant were designed to prepare that people to be God's holy nation, and especially to provide at the coming of Christ a sufficient number to constitute the elect church, His Bride. The parable shows that only a few were "Israelites indeed" not enough to constitute the Kingdom class; hence the call of this Gospel Age, selecting from the Gentiles a sufficient number of saintly character to be joint-heirs with the Jewish remnant in the Messianic Kingdom.

Jehovah Himself is the King who made a marriage for His Son arranging before the foundation of the world that there should be joint-heirs with Christ in His Kingdom. This marriage, of course, could not take place until the King's Son had, by His obedience unto death, made the way for His followers and for the Kingdom of which He was to be King. At the appropriate time God sent His servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding; but they would not come. John the Baptist and his disciples called to the attention of the Jewish people the fact that the King's Son was in their midst. Prophetically he foretold that the calling of the Bride class had come, although he himself could not be one of it. John 1:26; 3:29.

Then Jesus sent His disciples to the Jews saying, "All things are ready. Come to the marriage." But the people, under the guidance of the Scribes and Pharisees, the theologians of that time, made light of the Message and went their way one to his farm and another to his merchandise. Some did even worse. Not only Jesus was slain by the unbelieving ones invited to the feast, but His disciples were evilly treated and slain.

Then, as seen in another parable, Jehovah, wroth with Israel, sent forth His armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. The fact that it was the Roman army under Titus which destroyed Jerusalem in A D 70 did not make it any less the army of Jehovah; for He is able to use whom He may please as His messengers.


Meantime God said to His servants, the Apostles, and others through them, the wedding is provide; but the Jewish nation, which was especially invited, has not been found worthy of the honor. "Go ye therefore into the highways and as many as ye shall find, bring to the marriage."

Highways represent public concourses the world over. The Lord's ambassadors were no longer to restrict themselves to Jews, but were to make known everywhere the fact that God is now calling out of the world a little company, lovers of righteousness, eventually to become joint-heirs with the Redeemer in His Kingdom. Be it noted that these ambassadors were not to take all people, but merely to urge upon all whom they met in the highways, the concourse, the great privilege of the open door to the wedding feast.

All attending this wedding must be covered with the merit of Christ's righteousness. The wedding is thus furnished with guests every place filled. Thus and otherwise the Lord indicates that the number of the Elect is a definitely fixed one; and that as soon as the special number has been found, the call will cease.


The custom of the Jews, arranged by Divine providence doubtless, was that at every wedding feast each guest was to put on a white wedding garment, covering his own garments. So all who come to God's great feast must come acknowledging that they have an insufficiency of merit to be acceptable to God, and must accept the merit of Christ as making them worthy of the honor to which they aspire.

Each guest entering the house was supplied with the robe, and was expected to put it on immediately. To appear without that garment would be disrespectful to the host. Indeed, for any one to appear at the wedding without the robe would imply that he had taken it off; for none were admitted without it. This is the thought given in the parable.

The man found in the king's presence without a wedding garment we understand to represent a class, and not merely an individual. So we might find just such a class today, professing to be waiting for the marriage of the Lamb, yet telling us that they no longer trust in the merit of Christ's sacrifice. These have rejected Jesus as their Redeemer, the Atoner for their sins. They retain Him merely as their Teacher, and then accept only a part of His teachings. These are manifestly unfit to be members of the Bride of Christ.

The parable shows that all who reject the merit of Christ's sacrifice will be rejected from the kingdom class. They are unable to say how they came in without a wedding garment; for no one ever was admitted into the church, which is the bride, without first having on the wedding garment of Christ's merit, covering his imperfection. Those admitting thus that they have taken off the wedding garment are cast out summarily.

When our minds were filled with hallucinations of the Dark Ages, we assumed that the class represented by the man without the wedding garment would be cast into eternal torment. But now we perceive that as these guests came into the light of the wedding chamber from the darkness of the outside world, so the casting of one of them into the outer darkness would mean merely the taking from him of the knowledge and joys represented by the wedding chamber light.

Our Lord concludes the parable with the statement, "For many are called but few chosen." This does not mean, as we once supposed, that only an elect few will get any favor [HGL606] from God in the future, and that all the remainder of mankind will be eternally tortured. We must read it in harmony with the context. The Jewish nation was invited to the wedding and failed, except the few "Israelites indeed." For eighteen hundred years the message has gone to one nation after another of the Gentiles, until many have heard the call of the gospel age. Yet only a few have accepted and come into the elect condition; and of these there will still be a class which will be rejected.

The faithful Little Flock (Luke 12:32), composed of both Jews and Gentiles, will, later on, with their Lord be the Heavenly Father's agencies for blessing all the non-elect with the glorious opportunities of restitution to all the earthly blessings lost through Adam's disobedience.

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