The National Labor Tribune January 24, 1915


Q' How can we reconcile with the love and justice of God the selection of only the consecrated believers of the Gospel age to be the bride of Christ, and not the overcomers of all ages?

Answer' To those who for many years have been under the impression that all the human family will be saved to the same plane, it is natural that the "diversity" (see Eph. 3:10, 11 Diaglott) of God's creation should be difficult to receive. But this does not alter God's plan. The attitude of our hearts should be that of hearty acquiescence in what we see to be taught in God's Word; and we must ever remember the Apostle's words, "Who are thou that repliest against God?" "Hath not the potter power over the clay to make one vessel unto honor and another vessel unto less honor?" [HGL690] What if the fish should say that it is unjust for them to be confined to the waters? What if the birds should object to their environment and wish to be as the fleet-footed hare or the graceful deer? What if the king of the forest should insist that it is unjust that he was not made man? What confusion there would be in creation! Is it more consistent for men to wish to be angels, when God never intended them to be such? Then why, since God has invited only a special few to be heirs of the Kingdom, should it be taken as a slight to others of mankind not to be invited? God has not arranged to injure any of his creatures. He has blessings in store for them all, but he reserves the right to bestow upon each one such a blessing as his wisdom dictates. All that we have is of grace. We have merited nothing of ourselves.

Q' Has the Devil a personal bodily presence aside from the power and influence which he exerts? And has he a central seat of government where he resides? If so, where is the account in the Scriptures?

Answer' There can be no personality without a body. "There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body" (1 Cor. 15:44). All of God's angels have bodies. Satan was originally one of these angels until he was cast down from his angelic position (Isa. 14:12, 18) because of his original lie through which he became the murderer of our race (John 8:44). He is now the prince or ruler of this world, proven worthy of eternal destruction (John 12:31; Heb. 2:14) which will overtake him at the close of Christ's mediatorial reign (Rev. 20:9, 10). During that thousand years Satan is to be bound, and will be loosed at the end of it, not for the purpose of discovering whether he is reformed but to test the human race which by that time will have attained perfection of human organism and be fully able to withstand Satan's wiles. Many have supposed that Satan's seat of government is an undiscovered "hell." This is an error for Isaiah (14:15) plainly states that his ultimate end will be in hell. He has never been there yet. Jesus is the one who went to hell (Acts 2:27, 31). To be brought down to hell means to go into death. Satan with the rest of the angels has been confined within earth's atmosphere since his deflection, and here has been his seat of government. A mistranslation in 2 Pet. 2:4 has caused much misunderstanding on this subject.

Q - "And I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever" (St. John 14:16). What was the Comforter before "another comforter" came?

Answer' The promise which you quote is one of the very precious ones of holy writ. For three and one half years Jesus had been the helper, the comforter of his disciples. During most of that time they had been daily with him and had realized the wonderful blessings of his protecting care and the comfort of his instruction in the Word of truth. It was with consternation that they received from his lips the intimations that he would leave them soon. They felt that they would be without a comforter. He said, "Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God (who though invisible has always been a sufficient protector to the Jewish Nation in all its vicissitudes) believe also in me (although I also become invisible; I still will be your powerful and loving friend)." He then intimated that he would leave them that he might do a great work on their behalf; he would prepare them a heavenly home and when that work was finished, return again to receive them unto himself (John 14:1-3). The comforting spirit of holiness has sustained the Church during the period of Jesus' absence. A great blessing has it been, but still greater blessings were assured to those who would be found faithful in the time of our Lord's return. They were to lift up their heads and rejoice when they saw the evidences of his early return, knowing that it meant their deliverance from the flesh and its bondage by the birth to the spirit plane which would give them spirit bodies suited to their spiritual minds, and would introduce for them an eternity of joy and blessing. Many fail to receive the blessing of the holy Spirit because they never learn what the holy Spirit is.

Q' Will the Saints in resurrection have human bodies in heaven?

Answer' A human being has a human nature and an animal body. Those who will compose "the Church" or "Overcomers" will have the Divine nature and bodies to suit. Concerning these the Bible says, "God hath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the Divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4). They will be spirit beings like unto our Lord Jesus after he was raised from the dead (1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 3:2). The human body is composed of flesh and blood and bones. The Apostle says, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 15:50). Some have unwittingly said the new resurrection body will be of flesh and bones, and therefore, can inherit the Kingdom. But Jesus, in disproof of this, said, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39). The Apostle points out (see 1 Cor. 15:35-54) that the "saints," in the resurrection, will have glorious spirit bodies.

Q' When did Jesus bring life and immortality to light; and what is meant by light? Would 2 Tim. 1:10 especially refer to the time of Jesus' anointing or the anointing of the Church?

Answer' The way to life and immortality was opened up, or brought to light, at the time of Jesus' anointing. This was his consecration to sacrifice. By the completion of that sacrifice not only was the way fully opened for the members of his body to obtain immortality through a faithful laying down of their lives with him during this Gospel Age but also a preparation was made for the providing of a way by which the world of mankind may attain life. They will never be offered immortality for that is a special prize for sacrificers, and the world is not invited to sacrifice. The length of the period in which the work of perfecting the church has been progressing has led many to forget the promises regarding the coming blessing of the world. The church is selected for the very purpose of being the ones through whom life will be given to the world of mankind. The ones who will have this great privilege must be partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4) and in order to attain that great prize they must prove themselves worthy through obedience even unto death.

Q' The Scriptures say all sins shall be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31). Could Judas go into second death when the Holy Spirit had not yet been given? [HGL691] Answer' It is quite evident from our Master's statement in Matt. 26:24 that Judas must have gone into the second death. Our Lord states that it would have been better for him if he had never been born. If he were one of the little flock, his blessings would be beyond comprehension. If he were to be one of the Great Company Class, made like unto the angels in their resurrection, he would still have blessings well worth the effort of a lifetime to secure. Were a resurrection to earthly life his lot, blessings would be his greater than most people imagine will be secured by those who attain heaven. Therefore, it is evident he must have gone into the second death. While it is true that the Holy Spirit had not been given for the begetting of a new creation (John 7:9), that Holy Spirit had been in a measure in the hearts of many for centuries past. All the good that is in man is that much of the spirit of holiness. Evidently those who sat daily under the ministrations of Jesus saw sufficient of the Holy Spirit manifested in him to be able to sin against it.

Q' In what sense are we to understand John 12:32: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" ? Although Jesus was raised on the cross, he does not draw everyone to him.

Answer' We understand the "drawing" to be future. The "lifting up" of our Lord was two-fold; first, upon the cross in shame and suffering (Gal. 3:13), but in his resurrection he was lifted up in glory and honor from the earth the human plane to the highest spirit nature. "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, wherefore God hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name" (Philip. 2:8-11). Referring to the present gospel dispensation, Jesus said, "No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me, draw him," but in "due time" (1 Tim. 2:6), when those whom the Father draws are united with him in glory, the Spirit and the Bride will give out the invitation to whosoever will. That will be the time of restitution of all things (Acts 3:20, 21). Our Lord speaks of himself as the antitype of the serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness (Matt. 3:14), which, when the people looked upon, they were healed of the sickness caused by the bite of the fiery serpents. So in the thousand-year's reign of the Lord the people shall look to him and be healed of their sin-sickness, the result of the deception of the serpent Satan, which brought sin and death into the world.

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