What Pastor Russell Said

Question Book


ADAM--Living Soul vs Lifegiving Spirit.

QUESTION--The first man Adam became a living soul (1 Cor. 15:45; Gen. 2:7), the last Adam (the Lord from heaven, 1 Cor. 15:47) at His resurrection became a life giving spirit also?

ANSWER--The Scriptures in outlining the Divine Program as it relates to the salvation of mankind plainly teach that the present Christian Era, from the time of our Lord's first advent to the time of His second coming, has been set apart for the purpose of selecting and developing a special class, the members of which in the resurrection will be changed from fleshly to spiritual conditions. In this present life these are said to be begotten of the spirit, then quickened of the spirit and finally born of the spirit in the resurrection morning. These are to be like their Lord and see Him as He is, changed from mortal to immortal conditions. All others, Adam included, are to be awakened unto a resurrection by judgment (John 5:28,29--not damnation. See Revised Version), a raising up to perfection as human beings, and these are to inhabit the earthly plane of existence. Only the Lord Jesus and His joint heirs, the Church of Christ, will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, the heavenly or spiritual honors and blessings, while the world of mankind in general will obtain blessings and life eternal as natural or fleshly beings. See 1 Cor. 15th chapter.

ADAM--Where Did He Go at Death?

QUESTION--What became of Adam when he died; did he go to heaven or hell?

ANSWER--We may be sure Adam did not go to heaven at death, because three thousand years later Jesus said, "No man hath ascended up to heaven" (John 3:13). The judgment, or sentence, of death was passed upon Adam by the Lord, who said, "For dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:19). This judgment, of death was gradually enforced during a period of 930 years, by Adam being denied access to the life giving food in Eden (See Gen. 3:23,24), at the end of which time Adam was completely dead. He therefore went into the death condition. He went to hell--not the hell of the Dark Ages, which has been represented as a lake of fire and brimstone, but to the hell of the Bible, which word is translated from the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word hades, and properly translated into the English word grave, tomb, or state of death. Likewise all of Adam's children, inheriting this death sentence, have followed him, at death, to the tomb. The entire race would have been exterminated had it not been that God provided for the redemption and resurrection of the race through Christ, Jesus. "Who gave His life that we might have life."

ALTAR--In the Midst of Egypt.

QUESTION--"In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt." (Isa. 19:19,20.) What may we understand by this Scripture? [Q743]

ANSWER--There is but one structure in all the earth that could by any possibility fulfill the requirements of the text, and that is the Great Pyramid in Egypt. The whole of northern Egypt forms a sector shaped country the center of which is marked by the Pyramid. To mathematicians and scientists the center of a sector is also at the border thereof, and thus, as to location, the Pyramid is clearly indicated. It has always stood as the greatest wonder in the world because of its enormous dimensions, great antiquity and marvelous exhibition of engineering skill. With its original casting-stones in position, all highly polished like white marble, and so accurately joined together that it was almost impossible to distinguish the joints, this immense structure of solid masonry, covering over thirteen acres of ground and nearly five hundred feet in height, was truly a magnificent spectacle as it glittered in the rays of the dazzling Egyptian sunlight. To the ancients it was known as "The Terrible Crystal." Recent investigation of the interior passage ways and chambers has revealed the fact that these form a wonderful system of symbols in which the entire plan of salvation as presented in the Scripture is outlined. Because it is such a great "witness," in that it so clearly corroborates the teachings of the Lord's Word, it is now becoming generally known as "The Stone Bible," Melchizedek, "a Priest of the Most High God," is reputed to have been the builder, and the date of its construction has been well established as being the year 2170 B.C. It is, therefore, the oldest building on earth.

ANSWER--We may be sure Adam did not go to heaven at death, because three thousand years later Jesus said, "No man hath ascended up to heaven" (John 3:13

ANGELS--Re Hell (Tartarus)

QUESTION--In 2 Pet. 2:4, Revised Version, we read, "For if God spared not the angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness to be reserved unto judgment." What is the meaning of the word, "Hell" or as the marginal reading gives it "TARTARUS," which is the Greek word translated "hell?" (C.V.B.)

ANSWER--The translators of the Revised Version of the Scriptures erred when they planned in the marginal readings the word "Tartarus" for that is not the word contained in the original Greek manuscripts. The word tartaroo, used by Peter, very closely resembles tartarus, a word used in Grecian mythology as the name for a dark abyss or prison. But the word tartaroo seems to refer us more to an act than to a place. The fall of the angels who sinned was from honor and dignity, into dishonor and condemnation, and the thought seems to be--"God spared not the angels who sinned, but degraded them, and delivered them into the chains of darkness." This is the only place in the Scriptures where this word tartaroo occurs, and refers to the condition of the fallen angels or evil spirits, and not to the members of the human race in any sense or particular. See Jude 6, where it also reads, "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation. He hath reserved in age-lasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment day."

ANGELS--How Apostles Were Made Spectacle

QUESTION--"For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men."--1 Cor. 4:9. How were [Q744] the Apostles made a "spectacle" to the angels? (Curious)

ANSWER--The translators of the Revised Version of the Scriptures erred when they planned in the marginal readings the word "Tartarus" for that is not the word contained in the original Greek manuscripts. The word tartaroo, used by Peter, very closely resembles tartarus, a word used in Grecian mythology as the name for a dark abyss or prison. But the word tartaroo seems to refer us more to an act than to a place. The fall of the angels who sinned was from honor and dignity, into dishonor and condemnation, and the thought seems to be--"God spared not the angels who sinned, but degraded them, and delivered them into the chains of darkness." This is the only place in the Scriptures where this word tartaroo occurs, and refers to the condition of the fallen angels or evil spirits, and not to the members of the human race in any sense or particular. See Jude 6

ANSWER--Evidently the angels and all other spirit beings, of which there are myriads upon myriads (Rev. 5:11) are interested observers of the events transpiring upon this little globe of ours. What the race of mankind is learning by actual experience the spirit beings are learning by observation. As the poet has expressed the thought-- "All the world's a stage and men and women merely players." The word "spectacle," in the marginal rendering of the Authorized Version, is theater. The Apostles were being made "a show of" before the world, and angels, and men, because of their loyalty to the cause of Christ. Enduring all manner of hardships, bitter persecutions, and regarded as religious fanatics--"fools"--because of their prominence in advocating the teachings of Christ, they were specially observed. Thus it was with the Master Himself; by His sufferings, His death, and His resurrection, He preached a powerful sermon in pantomime to the "spirits in prison" (The fallen angels who disobeyed in the time of Noah. 2 Pet. 2:4; 1 Pet. 3:18-20).

ANGELS--Re Marriage to Daughters of Men.

QUESTION--If the "Sons of God" (Gen. 6:4) were the angels who left their former habitation, or first estate-- the spiritual realm (Jude 3)--how is it that they could marry the "daughters of men" and have children since it is understood from the Master's words (Mat. 22:30) that the angels are sexless? (L.T.H.)

ANSWER--From many Scriptures it is apparent that the angels, or spirit beings, have the power of materializing as human beings. This materialization is complete, as the following Scriptural citations indicate, showing that these materialized beings could eat and drink and perform all of the functions of the natural being of the earthly plane of existence. (Gen. 18:8; Gen. 32:24; Zec. 1:9,5; Luke 1:30; Acts 12:7-10.) It is evident that the angels in their proper habitation, the spiritual realm, do not possess the powers of reproduction. It would, therefore, be impossible for them to have angelic progeny. It is only as they materialize as human beings that they could exercise the powers belonging to the race of mankind, and thus bring children into the world of the fleshly nature. Because some of the angels did this without the Divine sanction, they were punished by being restrained in chains of darkness unto the Judgment day.

ANGELS--What Are They Like?

QUESTION--What is an angel? We are told by our ministers that if we go to church and pay our pew rent and never do anything real bad that some day we will be an angel and go to heaven when we die. Now, I want to know what angels are like. Did they all live as men and women upon the earth before they became angels, and how did they become angels before there were any churches and regular collections? Was there ever a cheaper way of getting to be a angel than now? (J.U.D.)

ANSWER--The popular conception of angels is that they are radiant beings dressed in white with wings attached [Q745] to their shoulder blades. They are invariably represented as women, and are supposed to spend the larger part of their time seated upon clouds and fingering harps. In the Bible, angels are referred to as spirit beings, who act as the messengers of the Lord. We know of no Scriptures in which it is stated that human beings will ever become angels. On the contrary, the Lord has promised earthly blessings to all of the world of mankind, who will be obedient to His righteous laws of justice and love, when His Kingdom is established in the earth. Salvation will be free to all who will accept it upon the terms and conditions of full obedience to the Divine will. Matthew vi, 10.

APOSTLES CREED--Is it Scriptural?

QUESTION--Most church denominations throughout the world have adopted the Apostles' Creed. Why is it called the "Apostles Creed"? Was it written by the Apostles, and where do we find it in the Bible?

ANSWER--What is known among the Christians as the "Apostles Creed," was not written by the Apostles of our Lord, hence it is nowhere found in the Bible. As to its origin, we quote from Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, a recognized authority by scholars, as follows: "There is indeed extent, a brief summary of Christian doctrines, which is called the Apostles' Creed; and which, from the fourth century onward was attributed to Christ's ambassadors themselves. But at this day, all who have any knowledge of antiquity, confess unanimously that this opinion is a mistake, and has no foundation. Those judge far more wisely and rationally who think that this creed arose from small beginnings, and was gradually enlarged as occasions required in order to exclude new errors from the church." It was probably given its name by those who prepared it, as signifying that in their judgment, it contained only truths taught by the Apostles. It contains many truths, but it is not wholly Scriptural. For instance: "I believe in the resurrection of the body," whereas nothing in the Bible teaches that our bodies are to be resurrected. The Bible teaches that the soul will be resurrected. Of the resurrection the Apostle says, "Thou sowest not that body that shall be. But God giveth it (the soul-being) a body as it hath pleased Him and to each seed its own body." Surely the Apostle was not speaking of the body when he uses the word "it," otherwise the body would have a body, therefore two bodies, which is absurd. Further he states, "It (the soul-being) is sown a natural body; it (the soul or being) is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body." (1 Cor. 15:35,37,44).

ARK--Difference Between Noah's and Children of Israel.

QUESTION--What is the difference between Noah's ark and the ark which the children of Israel had in the wilderness of sin?

ANSWER--You have probably heard of the preacher who said to his congregation: "I can bring myself to believe that Noah built an ark, in which he and the wild animals were sheltered during the flood, but when it comes to making [Q746] me believe that the children of Israel toted that ark around on their shoulders in the wilderness for forty years, that's too much for me to swallow." Evidently he thought there was no difference in the two arks.

Noah's ark was a large boat or vessel, larger than any now made. The ark which the children of Israel had in the wilderness was a rectangular box made of wood overlaid with gold, the lid or cover of which was made of pure gold. The approximate size of this ark was 4 feet long, 3 feet broad and 3 feet high, a detailed description of it being given in Exo. 25:10-22. Inside the ark was kept the golden bowl of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the two tables of the Law (See Heb. 9:4). The ark, together with all other furnishings of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, was a shadow or picture of good things to come. (SeeHeb. 8:5; Heb. 10:1; Col. 2:17.)

BEGOTTEN--When Was Jesus Begotten?

QUESTION--When did our Lord become the "only begotten Son of God?"

ANSWER--The pre-human existence of the Lord Jesus is clearly established in the Scriptures. His own testimony of Himself was that He is "The faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." Rev. 3:14. We find then that our Lord became the "only begotten Son of God" at the time of his creation, which was before the foundation of the earth, and before the existence of any other thing in creation with the exception, of course, of God Himself, who created or begot Him. In agreement with this thought of our Lord's pre-existence from the very beginning we read, "He is the image of the invisible God--first born of all creation; because by Him were all things created, those in the heavens and those on the earth, visible and invisible--whether thrones, or lordships, or governments, or authorities: all things were created by Him and for Him, and He precedes all things, and in Him all things have been permanently placed." (Col. 1:15-18.) The thought conveyed by the title, "The Only Begotten Son of God," is that the Lord Jesus was Himself the only direct creation or begetting of the Heavenly Father.


QUESTION--Are there not a number of contradictions in the Bible? And if the Bible is not in harmony with itself; how can we say that it is inspired? (Pater.)

ANSWER--There are seemingly many contradictory statements contained in the Bible, and these are due to several causes. One of which are the errors of translation from the original languages in which the Scriptures were written, into the various modern tongues. It is claimed that the Authorized and Douay Versions of the Bible are amenable to twenty thousand amendments! The Revised Versions, both English and American have corrected many of these errors but not all. No one would claim that the translators were inspired. Another fruitful cause for seeming contradictions is, that many Scriptures texts have been taken from their proper connections by Bible expositors and interpreted to mean just opposite to what they do signify. In [Q747] this way the Bible can be made to support any theory. For instance: in one place it says Judas "went out and hanged himself," and then in another place "go thou and do likewise!" To those who "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15) there is not a single contradiction in all the sacred writings.

BIBLE--Contradictions Re "Traditions"

QUESTION--How shall we harmonize the apparently contradictory expressions found in the following Scriptural quotations--"Thus have ye made the commandments of God of none effect through your TRADITIONS"? (Mat. 15:6; Mark 7:13.) "And profited in the Jew's religion above many my equals in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the TRADITIONS of my fathers"? (Gal. 1:14.) "There fore, brethren, stand fast and hold the TRADITIONS which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2 Thess. 2:15)?

ANSWER--The Savior's words addressed to the Scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of His day, have reference to the theories and opinions that had been formed and handed down from the past that were not based upon the inspired testimony of the Prophets and the faithful servants of the Lord. Many of these teachings were in direct opposition to the instructions contained in the Holy Scriptures, and because they were being set forth by those who had been appointed to teach the people the true understanding of the message of the Lord, they were received as being true. In this way the commandment of the Lord had been made void. The Apostle's words had reference to the teachings of the Scriptures and also to his own instructions, which he had presented to those that he was addressing. In other words, there are true traditions and false traditions. All of those which are in harmony with the teachings of the Divine Word are true, and all those which are not in harmony are false and not to be accepted. We cannot be particular in our efforts to get the truth.

BIBLE--Explanation of Mark 16:18.

QUESTION--Is it possible for Christians to handle deadly serpents and to drink poisons without suffering injury in any form as stated in Mark 16:18? (R.F.D.)

ANSWER--Since God invites man to reason on His Word (Isa. 1:18), we must know that His Word is reasonable. The quotation in the question is unreasonable. But is it a part of God's Word? We answer, No. St. Mark's Gospel originally ended with verse nine, chapter sixteen; the additional verses (10-20 inclusive), which includes the above quotation, are not found in the old manuscripts of the Bible. All scholars are agreed that the addition was made about six hundred years after St. Mark's Gospel was written, and hence the quoted words are no part of the Gospel, and we know them to be untrue. To sanction them, now that we know about them, would be to join with those who wrote them in adding to the Word of God (Rev. 22:18,19). Human experience shows that not even the best of Christians can, with impunity, "Take up serpents and drink deadly poison." [Q748]

BIBLE--Why so Difficult to Understand?

QUESTION--Why did God give us a Bible so difficult to understand? Why wasn't the Bible written in such a way that it could be as easily understood as the daily paper? (Scribe.)

ANSWER--The Bible is generally conceded to be one of the most difficult books in all the earth to understand. The brightest minds of the world for centuries have differed as to its teachings. Whole libraries of books have been written by authors whose views have conflicted woefully with one another. The entire Christian world today is divided up into more than six hundred factions whose ideas as to the teachings of the Bible are at variance with each other. Yes; the Bible is hard to understand, and few there are who do understand it. It is plainly evident that its Great Author did not wish it to be understood by all, and the Bible itself testifies in harmony with this thought. The disciples came to the Master on one occasion and asked Him, practically the same question that we are now considering. They said "Why speakest thou unto them (the people) in parables (dark sayings?)" In other words: Why Lord, do you not teach the people in clear, plain, and simple language, so that all can understand? "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you (my followers) to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given." (Mat. 13:10,11). The "mysteries of the Kingdom," the Divine plan of the Ages revealed in the Scriptures, the knowledge of which, is only for those who come into harmony with the Divine will of the Almighty God, the Sovereign Lord of all creation. The Bible is a sealed book to all others, no matter how intellectual they may be. See 1 Cor. 2:7-14.

BIBLE--Why so Hard to Understand?

QUESTION--Why is the Bible so hard to understand? Why cannot EVERY ONE capable of reading the printed page comprehend God's Word?

ANSWER--The Bible was not written for the unbelieving, nor was it written in such a manner that the world could understand its teachings. In order to understand the Bible we must come into the attitude of pupils of Christ and must be taught of him. The Bible is like a telescope; it is not sufficient that you see the outside of it, its pedestal and joints. It is not even sufficient that we even look through the telescope. Many have looked down a telescope merely along its shining barrel without seeing out at the other end at all. Even when we look through the telescope properly and out at the other end, still we must have it properly adjusted so that we may obtain the best results and discern objects accurately. So it is with the Bible; as we draw nigh to God, he draws nigh to us; and thus we are enabled to appreciate more and more the deep things of his Word. But only the saintly Bible student is able to understand and appreciate the "breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ" (Eph. 3:18) which passeth knowledge, but which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. St. Paul gives us the key to the proper understanding, saying, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the [Q749] spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." But God hath revealed them unto us (the Church, the consecrated) by his spirit. (1 Cor. 2:14,10.) Even the deep things of God are made known by our acquiring more of the spirit of God, the spirit of Truth, the spirit of the Word.

BORN--Of the Spirit

QUESTION--What does it mean to be born of the spirit? What happens when that takes place? Some have said that I am not saved unless I have been born of the spirit, and received some miraculous evidence of this. This has made me a trifle anxious, as I earnestly desire to be saved, and thus far haven't experienced anything remarkable in the way of supernatural demonstrations, although I am endeavoring to live a Christian life.

ANSWER--The Scriptures abound with illustrations which were intended to portray the varying conditions of the Christian's experience, and, unless we give careful attention to the details of these word pictures, we are liable to become confused as to their true significance. In the conversation which Nicodemus had with our Lord Jesus (John 3:1-8), the Master, in explaining the matter of spiritual regeneration, used the natural order or arrangement to represent the spiritual--"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit." Just as there is the begetting of the fleshly being, then the quickening and finally the birth, so also with the spiritual ones. The Christian is first begotten of the spirit (Begotten again--1 Pet. 5:3), then quickened by the spirit (Rom. 8:11) and then having attained to full development as an embryotic "New Creature" he will be "born of the spirit" in the resurrection--"changed" from a fleshly, human being to a heavenly spiritual one--See 1 Cor. 15:50-53. All who experience the new birth will be invisible, powerful, even as are the angels and all spirit beings. Observe the force of the Master's words--"Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the spirit."

BRIDE--One of Many References to Church.

QUESTION--How can we prove to the extremely critical that the people taken for the Lord's name (Acts 15:14) are the ones referred to, in the Scriptures, as the "Bride," "the Lamb's Wife," "The New Jerusalem," etc.? (H.J.K.)

ANSWER--The "extremely critical" are the very ones to recognize the reasonableness of the doctrine of election so positively outlined in this passage. It is the thinking, critical minds that are rejecting the antiquated, obsolete theories of the past, and now are coming to see the truth concerning the Divine purpose. How reasonable, then, to those who view the facts and reason critically, are the Bible teachings relating to the selection of "a people for His name," and that this election has been in process of development throughout the entire Christian Era! Naturally, [Q750] the mind would seek further enlightenment as to the identity of this special people, or class. The various passages of Scripture relating to this class would logically fit into place, and it would be recognized that it is the Church of Christ the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, the "New Jerusalem," etc. And then how reasonable and consistent the teaching that following this election the Heavenly Father, who is all love and compassion, and goodness, will through this glorified Class--Christ and His Church--rebuild the ruins of David, which are fallen down, restore the Jews to their own land-- and "after this," invite all the Gentiles upon whom His name is called"--the world of mankind--to come back into harmony with Himself and receive eternal life and joy and peace. See the verses following the one cited in the question.

BRIDE--When Will Spirit and Bride Say, Come?

QUESTION--Rev. 22:17 says: "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come." Has this Scripture been fulfilled, and if not, when will it be"?

ANSWER--This will he fulfilled in the future for the following reasons: There is no "Bride" now. Jesus during the Gospel Age has been preparing a place for the Bride as he declared (John 14:2-4). The union of the Bride and the Bridegroom takes place at the second coming of our Lord (Rev. 19:6-8). During the Gospel Age the prospective members of the Bride class have the Lord's spirit in them. Each true follower of Jesus is "a well of water springing up unto everlasting life." (John 4:14.) Bye and bye when these well-springs are all brought together and united with our Lord, then the Bride and the Bridegroom will constitute the great "river of life," or "water of life" which shall flow out from the throne of God and which shall bless and heal all the nations of the earth, in harmony with the promise which God made to Abraham saying, "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Then all who will, may come, and take of this "water of life" freely. The water of life means the message of truth setting forth the means of blessing. All who will accept may have its blessings, but those who do not accept and render obedience to the Lord shall not receive a blessing.

CHILDREN--Instead of Thy fathers.

QUESTION--Will you please explain the 16th verse of the 45th Psalm, "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou, mayest make princes in all the earth." (J.W.A.)

ANSWER--Considering the connecting verses, it becomes evident that this is one of the Messianic Psalms and is, in the main, a prophecy relating to the Church of Christ-- the Bride class. The King's Daughter, the Bride of the King's Son, was to be formed of an elect class made up of Israelites, both those who were so by birth, and those (Gentiles) who by faith and adoption, should become the Seed of Abraham-- Israelites indeed. (Rom. 9:6). The "fathers" of this class (Rom. 11:28) were the patriarchs of old--Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc. These are referred to by the Apostle Paul in Heb. 11:39,50--"These all having obtained a good report through faith received not the promise, God having provided some better thing for [Q751] us, that these without us should not be made perfect." The "better things" for the "us" class are the Heavenly honors and the Kingly powers and authority, to be conferred upon the Bride, the "joint-heir" of the Son of God. These, who now are "children," in the day of resurrection, will "make perfect" and give life to the "fathers." The relationship will then be reversed; the Father (Life-giver) will be the Christ, the Messiah, Jesus the Head and the Church, His Body; and the patriarchs, the fathers of Israel, will be the children.

CHRIST--Paul's Desire to be With Him.

QUESTION--Will you kindly explain Philippians 1:23, "For I am in a strait betwixt two having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better?" (Dorfia)

ANSWER--The context shows that the two things in the Apostle's mind (and which to choose he "wot not") were life and death. A third thing, however, enters in, which he has no difficulty in deciding is far better than either living in the flesh or dying in the Lord. This he earnestly desired, viz., the coming again of Christ, at whose return he hoped to be changed, made like Him, and be with Him. The Greek word translated "depart" in the above quotation is the same as that translated "return" in Luke 12:36, and has the same meaning. Jesus said to his disciples: "If I go . . . I will come again." In coming again (the Father sending Him--see Acts 3:20), He would "depart" from the Father and at the same time "return" to His disciples. Had the Apostle's words "to depart" been translated "for the returning" they would be equally correct, and would harmonize with the other Scripture.

CHRIST--"Prince of Peace"--When?

QUESTION--Since Christ is referred to as the "Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6) and the angels announced at His birth--"Peace on earth, good will to men" (Luke 2:14), how is it that we find the Lord Jesus Himself saying, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on the earth? I tell you Nay; but rather division?" (F.W.)

ANSWER--The whole history of the Christian Era has been one of bloodshed, wars and strife. And these for the most part have been brought about by differences of religious opinions. In Matthew 24th chapter, our Lord set forth a wonderful prophecy relating to the conditions that would develop in the world down to the time when He would return to establish His own Kingdom or government in the earth. There would be wars and rumors of war, earthquakes, famines, pestilences; and then, in the very end of the Age "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." He foretold that His followers would suffer violence; that they would be persecuted and misrepresented; and that even in their own households there would be divisions. The Master's words are being strikingly fulfilled. They are just as true today as at any time in the past. The Lord never taught that conditions of peace and prosperity would be established in the earth prior to His second coming; but just to the contrary. The object of His coming again is to thoroughly demolish the present evil of things, and then to [Q752] inaugurate the Creator's Government which will bring about universal peace and joy and happiness to all the families of the earth. Then Christ the Lord will be the "Prince of Peace;" and then, and not till then, will the angel's song be realized- -"Peace on earth; good will towards men."

CHRIST--Treatment Today vs. First Advent.

QUESTION--In the present day enlightenment, if Christ were here in person as at the time of His first advent, do you believe the people would treat Him the same as they did then?

ANSWER--There are representatives of Christ in the world today--not those who are merely professing Christians, in name only, but the true, heart-devoted, sincere followers of the Master, and by considering the world's treatment of these we can safely approximate as to what would be the Lord's experiences were He to appear in the flesh as at His first advent. The saintly few who humbly walk in the footsteps of Christ, devoting their all in assisting the poor and in preaching the Gospel, are not held in the very high esteem by the people, as a rule. And is not this in harmony with the words of our Lord and the Apostles? (Mat. 5:10-12; Rom. 8:17,18; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 1:26,27.) After all, the common people heard our Lord gladly and marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. They wished to make Him their king on one occasion, and accorded a triumph to Him at the time of His entry into the city of Jerusalem. It was the Scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of that time, that opposed and persecuted the Lord, and finally induced the multitude to cry out against Him. It is even so now. Worldly people admire an upright Christian man, his sincerity and honesty, even though they might consider him foolish for striving to live up to his faith. But it is the modern Scribes and Pharisees who hate those that are setting forth the true teachings of the Scriptures. Therefore, in view of the foregoing, we have reason to believe that the Master would fare no better in the world today than at His first advent, were He to appear as then.

CHRIST--Why Good People not Believers.

QUESTION--I know a great many good and honest people who do not even claim to be Christians; why don't they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?

ANSWER--The Apostle Paul declares that "By faith ye are saved." Some people cannot exercise the quality of faith. The Apostle also declares that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, which means in order to have faith one must study the Word of God and believe it. The Apostle Paul answers this question when he declares that the God of this world (Satan), manifested in this present evil order of things, has blinded the minds of those who do not believe (2 Cor. 4:4). The great Adversary, Satan, is the author of so many false doctrines that many good, honest people have become greatly confused by them. One system has taught one doctrine, another class, equally honest, another doctrine, until we have in the world [Q753] more than three hundred different denominations, all having some truth mixed with much error. Many honest people have been unable to separate the truth from the error, and accept only the truth and reject the error, hence the confusion and refusal to have anything to do with either. If all were to follow the admonition of the Apostle, "Study to show yourself approved unto God," and not follow man-made theories, there would be less confusion and more who would readily accept the Scriptural teachings.

CHRIST'S COMING--Will All Be Converted?

QUESTION--If all people are to be converted to Christ before he comes to set his Kingdom, why is it written in Rev. 18, that "the nations were angry" at his coming?

ANSWER--It is a mistake to suppose that the earth will be converted at the time of the second coming of Christ. His coming and the establishment of His Kingdom are for the very purpose of converting the world and uplifting mankind in general out of sin and death conditions which now prevail. In describing the work of Christ, the Apostle mentions this Kingdom, saying, "He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet (all insubordination, etc.). The last enemy to be destroyed is death" (1 Cor. 15:26). The anger of the nations at the time of the Second Advent will not necessarily be against the Lord; but rather the spirit of selfishness, which is already prevalent in the world, will break forth as a consuming fire, destroying the social fabric and bringing utter ruin. At that time Messiah's Kingdom will interpose for the preservation of mankind and for the establishment of a new order of things. This new order of things will result in converting the world to righteousness (Isa. 11:2-5). And the peoples of earth "shall beat their swords into plow shares, and their spears into pruning hooks and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isa. 2:4).

CHRONOLOGY--Reckoning Time Now vs. Moses' Time

QUESTION--How does the manner of reckoning time in the age in which Moses lived compare with the chronological methods now in use, and if there is any difference would it not account for the great age of Methuselah as given in the Scriptures?

ANSWER--The Jewish method of reckoning time which was in use in the days of Moses, was a combination of solar and lunar time. It was a simple, automatic self-adjusting system, which, so far as the final results were concerned, was as accurate as the present methods in use. The Jewish months were thirty days in length corresponding to the lunations of the moon. Ordinarily twelve of these made up the year of three hundred and sixty days. The discrepancies resulting from this method were rectified by the unique arrangement of starting the new year with the new moon nearest the vernal equinox. Some years by this method contained thirteen months instead of twelve. The length of years, therefore, in Moses' time was in the aggregate the same as today. The extreme old age of the antediluvians [Q754] can reasonably be accounted for by considering the Bible narrative to the effect that originally the human race was perfect, and because of death entering into the world as the result of sin, the race began to deteriorate. In its more perfect state, the average length of life of the race would be far more than it is today after the past six thousand years of degeneration. This of course is in opposition to the theory of evolution, which maintains that the condition of the human race is gradually improving. However, no one has ever been able to advance a single proof in evidence of the truth of this theory, and those most advanced in scientific knowledge are now rejecting it.

CHURCH--Last of Seven Stages--Laodicea

QUESTION--What may we understand the Lord's words to signify where He says--"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot. So then because thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."--Rev. 3:15,16. (J.E.D.)

ANSWER--The seven churches in Asia represent the seven stages of development, or epochs in the history of the one true Church of Christ. The message to the church in Laodicea relates, therefore, to the last or present period of the Church's existence. It is during this final stage of the history of the Christian Church that we may expect the repudiation or spewing out of relationship with the Lord as his mouthpiece, and of recognition as members of His true Church, of all those who are "lukewarm" and indifferent in the service of the Lord--Christians in name only and not heart-devoted followers of the Lord. It is daily becoming more manifest to all careful observers that there is a wide distinction between real Christianity, and the great mass of professing Churchianity. Perhaps the most reprehensible class of people on the earth is that which is formed of those who are half-hearted and indifferent to the great and important affairs of life.

CHURCH--Message to World at This Time.

QUESTION--What is the Church's message to the world at this time? This is a day of transition; new lines of thought and new conditions are rapidly superseding the old, and does not this apply to ecclesiastical affairs as well? (Reverend)

ANSWER--This is one of the fundamental questions of the times. Ministers everywhere are asking themselves and each other as to the proper course to pursue in their efforts to keep abreast of the times. Many are making the mistake of ignoring the foundation teachings of the Scriptures, and are devoting themselves to setting forth the theories of "Evolution" and "Higher Criticism," which are nothing more or less than insidious forms of skepticism and infidelity. Any clergyman who proclaims these theories from the pulpit, has no right to the title of "Minister of the Gospel." He is either a knave or a hypocrite if he continues to pose as a Christian minister, while undermining the faith of his hearers, in proclaiming that which is in direct opposition to the teachings of the Bible. It is no cause for surprise [Q755] that so few people attend church services now-a-days, when we reflect that many clergymen are preaching anything but the Gospel. The duty of all true Christians is to make known the wonderful tidings of salvation through Christ and His coming Kingdom which, when established in the earth, will result in the blessing of all the race of mankind. The message of the Church to the world now is-- "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND"; that kingdom for which all earnest Christians have prayed. "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven."

CHURCH--Nominal-re Raising Funds

QUESTION--I am the financial secretary of a church and, as such, I have the responsibility of raising funds for the various expenses of our regular church work. I must confess that I am strained past the compass of my wits to know how to get any more money out of our members than we are doing at the present time. The difficulty with us is that our expenses are increasing every month. We have some high-priced singers in or choir and must continue to raise their salaries, or else they will leave us. We must have a new organ and keep up with the other churches all around us or lose our membership. Kindly suggest some up-to-date methods of getting money. We have tried suppers, and sociables, and fairs, and grab-bags, etc., and our congregation seems to be a little tired of these methods; so please give us some new ideas? (PERPLEXED.)

ANSWER--There are two methods by which the modern church may be made a success. One of these is to popularize the church membership by transforming the church into a "social club." Have elaborate musical programs with very brief sermons for the regular services, and at other times, theatricals, smokers, balls, and entertainments. The other method is to adopt the one used by the Lord Jesus and His Apostles.

CHURCH--The Oldest

QUESTION--Which is the oldest church? (C.D.A.)

ANSWER--There is but one Church, from the Scriptural standpoint. In the language of the Apostle, it is "The Church of the First-Born which are written in heaven;" or the "Church of the living God;" or again, "The Church of Christ."--Heb. 12:23; 1 Tim. 3:15; Rom. 16:16. It was this Church which our Lord established and He gave it no party name. It was merely the Church of Christ. Since then good people, more or less confused by the errors of the Dark Ages, have separated themselves into various bands and churches of human organization and bound themselves together by human creeds. These are known by various names. None of these Churches of men are authorized by the Bible nor mentioned in it. However, the one "Church of the Living God" is composed of the saintly people of God in all of these denominations, or outside of all of them, as the case may be. Hence, the oldest Church is the Church of Christ; and it is the only Church, in the Divine estimation. Each saint must desire and strive for membership in this Church as his greatest privilege. [Q756] Consecrated believers join this Church in a probationary sense now, but an entrance into full membership in that Church, which is the Body of Christ, will be granted only to the "overcomers," after they shall have finished their course and have become participants in the First Resurrection.

CHURCH--Who Are 144,000?

QUESTION--What do we understand by the 144,000 mentioned in the seventh and fourteenth chapters of Revelation? (J.A.D.)

ANSWER--For more than sixteen centuries the Lord dealt exclusively with the Jewish nation. They were His specially chosen people and favored above every other nation in the earth. The Lord told them on one occasion that He recognized them only of all the families of the earth (Amos 3:2). The Israelites were informed that if faithful to the Lord, and obedient to His commands, they would be a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and that His favor would never depart from them. But they became disobedient to the Lord's instructions and consequently, the time came when they were cast aside and no longer recognized as His people. The Divine favor was then turned to the Gentiles and these were granted the opportunity to become members of the Royal Priesthood. This Priesthood would have been completely made up from the twelve tribes of Israel--twelve thousand from each tribe--had there been a sufficient number of faithful obedient ones to make up the predestinated number of 144,000. As only a remnant of that nation of the Jews accepted Christ, as their Savior when He presented Himself to them, the invitation went to the Gentiles, and all throughout this Gospel Age the selection has been going on amongst the nations of the earth aside from the Jews. When "the fullness (the full number) of the Gentiles be come in," then favor will once more return to the Jews and all Israel shall be saved (Rom. 11:25-27). The elect 144,000 will be kings and priests unto God and shall reign with Christ during the thousand years mentioned in Rev. 20:1-6.

COMMANDMENTS--"On Two Hang Law and Prophets."

QUESTION--When the Lord said, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Mat. 22:40), what did He mean by the "law and the prophets"? (M.A.M.)

ANSWER--The Lord was answering a question propounded by a lawyer who was of the Pharisees, a religious sect, the members of which made great professions of morality and piety. They were great sticklers for the various features of the letter of the Law; and, as far as outward conditions of morality were concerned, they were shining examples of righteousness; making examples of righteousness; making long prayers on the street corners; contributing largely to the support of the priests and the expenses of the Temple with its religious duties and ceremonies; and so particular were they in their habits of cleanliness, that the Lord sarcastically said of them on one occasion that they strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel! Yes; they [Q757] were a self-righteous and self-loving class who swallowed the camel of hypocrisy and injustice, but strained at the observance of the mere letter of the law. For one of the most scathing arraignments of any class to be found in any language, read the 23rd chapter of Matthew. Is there such a class of moral and religious people in existence today? Then let them give heed to the awful denunciations of the Lord. How fitting, then, was the Master's reply to this lawyer! Summing up all the instructions of the Law and the Prophets (the faithful servants and teachers of the law) He set forth the very essence or spirit of these instructions in the one word- -Love. The Jewish Law was engraved on two tablets of stone. The first tablet contained the Laws relating to man's obligations to his Creator. The other tablet set forth the duties of man toward his fellowman. Therefore, "Thou shalt love thy God with all thine heart...and love thy neighbor as thyself."


QUESTION--What is conscience?

ANSWER--Man when created was endowed with the moral faculties; that is, the faculties with which to determine between the right and the wrong. The faculties were perfect in the first man formed by the Creator. The Divine Law was written in the very nature of the perfect human being--Adam. When man disobeyed the Almighty Being who had formed him, he knew that he had violated the principles of righteousness and justice and therefore his conscience reproved him--his moral facilities were offended--and with the woman he hid himself from the presence of the Lord.

The sense of discerning good and evil, differentiating between right and wrong, has been sadly marred and fulled by the long centuries of the experiences of the race with sin, evil and degradation, until the conscience alone is no longer a safe guide to direct life's affairs. The conscience, even of the best, is now and then erroneous and doubtful. Therefore, as individual timepieces need to be regulated by some standard of time, so our consciences require constant regulation by some standard of morality and righteousness--the Word of God, the Bible.

CONSECRATION--re Presentation of Lord After 40 days.

QUESTION--Can you tell me where I can find it stated in the Scriptures that our Lord was forty days old when He was presented in consecration to the Heavenly Father by His parents? Is this the basis for the custom observed by some in presenting their children to the Lord?

ANSWER--As narrated in the second chapter of Luke, verses 21-23, (Luke 2:21-23) the mother of Jesus, in conformity with the Law which had been given to the Israelites by the Lord God through Moses, presented Him in consecration to the Heavenly Father. (See Exo. 13:12,15,6.) This presentation could not take place until the time of the mother's purification had been fulfilled; which, according to the Law, (Lev. 12:1-4) would require forty days. All of the first-born of the children of Israel are represented as belonging unto the Lord, and to redeem these from sacrificial [Q758] service the Law required that a substitute should be offered, either a lamb, or two doves, and these must be sacrificed. (Exo. 13:12-15.) We believe that it was this Jewish custom that is largely responsible for the consecration services observed by some of the Lard's saintly people of the present day. --1 Sam. 1:22-28.

CREATION--Days of, How Long?

QUESTION--Were the six days of creation literal days of twenty-four hours each?

ANSWER--The word "day" as used in the Scriptures, signifies a fixed period of time. We read of a fourth year day; "the day of temptation in the wilderness." (Heb. 3:8,9.) Again, we have the Scriptural statement that "One day with the Lord is as a thousand years." (2 Pet. 3:8.) A year is frequently spoken of as a day; as, "I have appointed thee each a day far a year." (Eze. 4:6.) Furthermore the entire Gospel Age is called "The day of salvation." --2 Cor. 6:2. When considering the statements of Genesis respecting the six creative Days or periods, or epochs, we should not limit our thoughts to a twenty-four hour day, but examine the subject and see what period of time is signified. Doing this, we find that a twenty-four hour day could not be meant, for the sun did not appear until the fourth of these creative days; hence, in the first three of these creative days there could have been no twenty-four-hour-day period such as we now note. We would not, however, go to the opposite extreme and join with so-called Scientists in their claim that there were millions of years elapsing in the creative period.

We find satisfactory evidence in the Scriptures, that one of these creative "days" was a period of seven thousand years and, hence that the entire creative week would be 7,000 x 7 = 49,000 years. And although it is, we believe, quite reasonable ample for the work represented as being accomplished therein--in ordering and filling of the earth, already in existence.

CREATION--Two Accounts of the Work.

QUESTION--Were there two works of creation as narrated in the first and second chapters of Genesis, (Gen 1 and Gen 2)or are these simply two accounts of the same works of creation? (E.M.)

ANSWER--The first and second chapters of the book of Genesis are wrongly divided. There are two accounts of the work of creation and the division of the chapters should show this and be in harmony with divisions contained in the narrative. The first account ends with the third verse of the second chapter, and the second account begins with the fourth verse of the second chapter. The first account relates to the epochal division of the work as arranged by the Lord. The second account is a commentary on the first, explanatory of details, "These are the generations," or developments, of the heavens and the earth and their creatures, from a time before there was any plant or herb. The first and principal account gives the word "God" when speaking of the Creator, and the second, or commentary account points out that it was Jehovah God who did the entire work--"in the day" that He made the heavens and [Q759] the earth--thus grasping the whole as one larger epoch day, including the work of the six already enumerated.

CREATIVE "Day"--How Long is the Seventh?

QUESTION--Please give the Scripture evidence for the statement that the seventh creative "day" is a period of 7,000 years (Questioner.) Harmonize with the fourth commandment. (R.M.)

ANSWER--The Scriptural evidence that this is a period of 7,000 years is clear. "God rested (from His work of creation) on the seventh day." When Psalm 95 was written God was still resting; nor had any change taken place when the Epistle to the Hebrews was written, for there (ch. 4.) is held out to the Church the offer of sharing in God's rest. Even when the Kingdom of Heaven is established God's rest continues, for the work of the Kingdom is committed into the hands of the Son. At the close of that reign of 1,000 years (Rev. 20) the Son will deliver up the Kingdom to the Father, "That God may be all in all." Since there are about 6,000 years from the creation to the second coming of Christ, and 1,000 years of Christ's Presence, it follows that God's day of rest is about 7,000 years long. During His long "day" God has not been entirely idle, but has done such Sabbath-day works as have in His wisdom been deemed works of necessity. The work of restoring the human race from its degradation--during the last part of that day will also be Sabbath work. Like the ox or ass, it has fallen into a pit, and God has made provision for its restoration.

The fourth commandment does not say that God worked six days of twenty-four hours and then rested the other twenty-four. The Jewish Sabbath and its system of Sabbaths are types of the greater Sabbath--the heavenly.


QUESTION--What is the meaning of Nahum 2:3,4, particularly the expression "Day of His Preparation?"

ANSWER--Many of the prophecies of the Bible relate to the last times or the last days, not of the planet an which we dwell, for "the earth abideth forever" (Eccl. 1:4), but rather of this present evil world or dispensation, when a new Age or order of things would be ushered in. Thus the "Day of His Preparation" would be the day or period of time when the Lord God would prepare or make ready the elements and conditions for the new dispensation, sometimes alluded to as "The Golden Age of Prophecy." As a matter of fact, are we not living in a period of transition? Marvelous changes are being wrought out, old things are passing away and new conditions are being developed. In connection with this prophecy of Nahum we would direct attention to the statement of the Prophet (Dan. 12:4) that "many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased," in the time of the end. The people are running to and fro all over the earth today by means of these very "chariots with flaming torches"--the automobiles, trolley cars, and railway trains, which "rage in the streets and jostle one against another in the broad ways." The Bible prophecies, more than seventy in number, relating to this "Day of Preparation," clearly indicate that we are on the [Q760] eve of a glorious New Era in which the Divine blessings will be showered forth upon all the nations of the earth.

DEAD--Re Rev. 14:13--How Can Dead Continue Works?

QUESTION--What does this mean: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; but their works follow with them?"--Rev. 14:13. How can the dead continue their works when there is no consciousness, wisdom or knowledge in the grave? Ecc. 9:10. (M.J.E.)

ANSWER--Addressing the members of the Church of Christ, the followers of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle says "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3.) From the Divine viewpoint, so far as the earthly existence is concerned, these are reckoned dead, and alive as new creatures in Christ. It is these dead who die in the Lord. Theirs is a sacrificial death, and they die daily 1 Cor. 15:31), until they have finished the dying process in actual death. But now, from a certain time, those of this class who die, in place of sleeping in the tomb, at the moment of death enter into the glorious heavenly state where their works will continue with them. St. Paul refers to this very matter when he says, "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." (1 Cor. 15:51,52). From henceforth, from that time, we understand the Scriptures to teach, the Lord's people have entered at once into their reward.

DEAD--Re Let the Dead Bury Their Dead.

QUESTION--How shall we understand the Savior's words --"Let the dead bury their dead?" (Mat. 8:21,22.)

ANSWER--When our first parent, father Adam, disobeyed the Divine commands the death sentence passed upon him, and in the legal sense and from the Creator's standpoint, he was dead although he lived for nine hundred and thirty years afterwards. The dying process began and was consummated when Adam passed into the tomb. The entire race was involved with Adam in this death sentence, as the Scriptures declare--"As by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin and so death passed upon all men." As in Adam all die" (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22). From this view of the matter we may understand the Lord's word, "Let the dead (the legally dead) bury their dead (the actually dead)." It is because all were condemned to death in Adam that all will be made alive in Christ (see Rom. 5:18,19). Corroborating the words of the Lord Jesus the Apostle says, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge that if one died for all then were all dead" (2 Cor. 5:14). Jesus, in the laying down of His life, was giving Himself "a ransom for all" --those under the sentence of death and those who have entered into the great prison house of death, the tomb.

DEAD--Made Alive in Christ.

QUESTION--Here is a Scripture that is confusing. If you can explain it I will be very thankful to you. It reads, "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."--1 Cor. 15:22. What is the meaning of the latter part? [Q761]

ANSWER--The correct translation of this text is thus: "As in Adam all die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive." Adam by disobedience brought death upon himself, and all his children being then in his loins all inherited death. The redemption price for Adam and all his race has been provided through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In due time Christ will offer to Adam and all his children, all the human family, life eternal. This offer will come to the world in the reverse order, however, the last being first and the first (Adam) being last. All after coming to a knowledge of the truth concerning the redemptive work of Christ, who accept Christ and obey him will be made alive. Accepting Christ and obeying Christ in the sense that they will became the children of Christ. Those who refuse to came into Christ will not receive eternal life, but will suffer eternal destruction. Christ is the Great Life Giver of the human race, and during His reign he will offer to all, life as a free gift, and those accepting it upon the terms offered will come up to full and perfect life.

DEAD--Moses and Elijah on Mount--How?

QUESTION--If Moses and Elijah were actually dead, how could they appear on the Mount of Transfiguration with our Lord Jesus? (Mat. 17:1-3.)

ANSWER--While Moses and Elijah both passed from the scene of earth's experiences under peculiar and mysterious circumstances, yet we are assured that both died. (Deut. 34:5; Heb. 11:13.) The Scriptures everywhere represent the dead as being in a condition of unconsciousness, "asleep" in the tomb, the grave--"The dead know not anything," for there is no wisdom, nor device, nor knowledge in the grave whither thou goeth" (Eccl 9:5,10). We must carefully examine the text under consideration, for the true meaning, recognizing that all of the expressions of the inspired Scriptures are in complete harmony. The ninth verse of this same chapter explains the matter, where we note the words of the Master- -"Tell the vision to no man." What the Apostle saw therefore was merely a "vision" of Moses and Elijah with the Lord, just as St. John on the Isle of Patmos saw visions of beasts, angels, etc., and not actual things themselves. Moses surely had not been resurrected and made perfect at that time, for we are informed that our Lord Jesus was the first to rise from the dead and be glorified. Note also the Apostle Paul's words in Heb. 11:39,40 where he sets forth that Moses and the other ancient worthies of the past have yet to be made perfect by those of the church class when glorified in the heavenly Kingdom with Christ.

DEAD--Re Seeing Visions and Hearing Celestial Music.

QUESTION--If the dead are asleep in the graves awaiting the time of the resurrection at Christ's second coming, when all who are in their graves shall be awakened and shall come forth, as the Scriptures affirm; how shall we understand the experiences of some who, at the time of their departure from this life, see heavenly visions of angels, and hear strains of celestial music? (W.E.D.) [Q762]

ANSWER--As it is emphatically set forth throughout the entire Scriptures that the dead are "asleep" "in their graves" and that "the dead know not anything," "for there is neither wisdom, nor device, nor knowledge in the grave whither thou goest"; and that all will remain in this sleep of death until the awakening time, when "all who are in their graves shall come forth at the voice of the Son of Man"; we must conclude that the dying ones did not enter at once into heaven; and that what they saw was not an actual glimpse of celestial glories, but merely a phantasmagoria induced by an excited condition of the imaginative powers of the mind, with a correspondingly dormant state of the reasoning faculties. The Lord Jesus declared at His first advent that no one had ascended into Heaven; and the Apostle says that the sleeping ones will be awakened and changed at the second advent.-- See John 3:13; 1 Cor. 15:51,52.

DEAD--Who were Dead Preached to in 1 Pet. 4:6?

QUESTION--Will you kindly explain the words of the Apostle as found in 1 Pet. 4:6? Who were the dead that the Gospel was preached to? And when and by whom? How will they be judged in the flesh and live to God in the spirit? (J.P.H.)

ANSWER--In the preceding verses the Apostles says "Speaking evil of you who shall give an account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." From these words it is manifest that he is addressing the followers of Christ who have became dead to the things of the world and alive to the heavenly or spiritual things. The Apostle continues with this thought, saying that it is for this reason (because we who are dead to the world and alive toward God are being called out now, as the Lord's elect class, therefore) the Gospel is preached to us who are judges as in the flesh, like all other men, the Lord may judge us in the spirit, begotten to a newness of life. These spiritual new creatures have their judgment time in this present life and are judged in the flesh with its weakness and blemishes inherited from Adam.

DEATH--Adam Lived 930 Years After Sentence

QUESTION--God said to Adam, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." How can you harmonize this with the record that "all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died?"-- Gen. 2:17; Gen 5:5.

ANSWER--St. Peter gives us the key to this question in his declaration, "One day with the Lord is as a thousand years" (2 Pet. 3:8). Father Adam began to die as soon as he was cut off from the privileges of the garden of Eden; for while he was living therein he had the Divine permission to freely eat of the trees of the garden--with a single exception-- and he was sustained by their life-giving fruit; but after his disobedience he was thrust out into the unprepared earth, and Cherubim with a flaming sword kept the pathway to Eden that he might not return thither to partake further of its sustaining fruit, but should die, in harmony with the sentence. "In the day that thou eateth [Q763] thereof, thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). The dying there began, and continued gradually for nine hundred and thirty years, until life was extinct--Adam was dead. This all took place within a thousand year day.

DEATH--Vs. Annihilation

QUESTION--Is there any difference between death and annihilation?

ANSWER--In the Scriptures we find that there are two kinds of death mentioned; the Adamic condition of death, and the "Second Death." The first could not properly be termed annihilation, as the Lord has arranged that all who have died because of Adam's sin (the whole world of mankind) are to be released from this sentence of death and awakened at the time of Christ's second coming. These, from the Bible standpoint, have merely been "asleep." Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man," and therefore the entire race will be awakened from the tomb. (John 5:28,29.) During the reign of Christ and His Bride, the Church, who then will judge or try the world, if any continue in apposition to God's law of righteousness, and love, and justice, they will go into the "Second Death." This condition of death is annihilation. "They shall suffer everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord." "But these, as natural brute beasts, shall utterly perish in their own corruption."--Obadiah 16; 2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Pet. 2:12.


QUESTION--What is death?

ANSWER--Death is the cessation of life; the cutting off of the great privilege or boon of living. It signifies annihilation so far as the being or intelligence is concerned. Death, as it now reigns in the world, and to which the entire human family is subjected, is, however, not annihilation, simply because our Creator has graciously provided a recovery from it. The basis for that recovery was laid in the death of our Redeemer--"the just for the unjust" (1 Pet. 3:18). The time for the recovery will be in the Resurrection Day, the Last Day, the seventh thousand-year-period from the creation of man. During Messiah's reign of a thousand years he will recover Adam and all his race from the effects of the first transgression, giving them life again. That is to say, the privilege of attaining to everlasting life and perfection will be placed within the reach of Adam and all of his race, and only by the wilful rejection of the grace of God will any fail to attain to this life. Such as wilfully and deliberately reject the grace of God, are represented by the Scriptures as dying the Second Death. That will be annihilation, or eternal death- -extinction as brute beasts--because no provision has been made for the recovery or succor of such (2 Pet. 2:12).

DEATH--Does Last Moment Confession Guaranty Heaven?

QUESTION--If a man has lived a sinful life, committed murder and robbed the widows and orphans, etc., and then at the last moment, with his dying breath, confesses [Q764] his sins and accepts Christ as his Savior, will he not go immediately to Heaven and be with the Lord in glory? (W.S.)

ANSWER--When we think of the vast numbers of vicious, depraved characters, hardened criminals, convicts, etc., who at the solicitation of clergymen and religious devotees have "made their peace with God" at the last moment before being ushered into eternity by electrocution or by dying a natural death, we wonder that intelligent people would for an instant entertain the idea that these had all entered into Heaven! Is it possible that the saintly followers of Jesus, who walked the narrow way of self-sacrifice, suffering and death, and who developed characters of love and kindness and goodness--that these saintly few, for the saints are very few, when they reach Heaven, will find it crowded with the lowest scum of the earth! Much confusion of thought in this connection has resulted from the misapplication of the Savior's words addressed to the dying thief upon the cross. By placing the comma where it properly belongs after the word "today," the meaning of the Lord's words is clear. The thief did not go to heaven, or to Paradise that day; but went into the tomb there to remain until the Kingdom of Christ is set up at the Lord's second coming, when Paradise will be restored. Not only this thief, but the other thief as well, may then receive eternal life on the terms of obedience to the Divine Laws of justice and love. Failing in this, they will die the Second Death.

DEATH--How Can the Dead Die? (Rev. 14:13)

QUESTION--"And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from hence forth." Rev. 14:13. Who are the dead who die in the Lord, and how can a dead person die? (A.C.D.)

ANSWER--There are three kinds of death mentioned in the Scriptures--the Adamic death; the sacrificial death, as death of Christ; and the "second death."

The Adamic condition of death, passed upon all the human race because of Adam's disobedience. The world of mankind may be regarded as a convict race under sentence of death-- "As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men." (Rom. 5:12.) The death of Christ is different from that of Adam and his posterity. Adam died as a convict; the Lord Jesus died, not as a convict, but as a sacrifice for the sin of the world. His was a sacrificial death, and began at Jordan when He presented Himself in full consecration to God, and was "finished" (John 19:30) when He died upon the cross, three and one-half years later. From the Divine viewpoint, the Lord Jesus was no longer considered as a man from the time of His consecration; but was regarded as a spiritual "new creature." He was dead according to the flesh, and was alive according to the spirit. Thus it is with the true followers of Christ. "As many as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death." (Rom. 6:3.) From the time of full consecration to God, these are counted as being dead, as says the Apostle-- "Ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3.) These are the "dead who die in the Lord" --dying daily in the Lord's service, and in the service of the truth (1 Cor. 15:31). See also Rom. 6:8; Col. 2:23.