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March 15th
Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

A.D. 1912 – A.M. 6040
The Gospel St. Paul Preached 75
A Comparison of Religions 75
God of the Bible the God of All Grace 76
The Prayers of the New Creation 77
Answers Often Delayed 78
Scriptural Rule for Adjusting Misunderstandings 81
Let Us Beware of Busybodying 82
How to Conduct a Church Trial 82
Perfection of Organism Not Necessary to Trial for Life 83
100 Years of Trial 83
The Gospel Only for Sinners 84
"Thy Disciples Fast Not" 85
"The Light of the World" 85
A Better Day Coming 86
"Which Lighteth Every Man" 86
Some Interesting Questions 87
Berean Questions in Scripture Studies 87

'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.

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HIS 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, 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.

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 every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "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.


Foreign Agencies: – British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


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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The requests for five of the prolific beans for seed by far exceed the supply donated by Sister Smith. We have filled the orders first received.

In reply to various inquiries from those who requested these seed beans, we are informed by Sister Smith that there are advantages in planting them in an onion bed or row – at a distance of six feet. An insect, which proves destructive to the bean plant, seems to dislike the onions, and is thus kept away. After the onions are harvested, the beans grow very fast, if the ground is kept loose on the surface. It is also suggested that great care should be exercised in gathering the pods, not to injure the bushes, by pulling, or breaking off the leaves. If the first crop of beans is allowed to remain on the bushes until fully ripened, there will be no additional yield and the bush will die. If they are to bear repeatedly, the pods must be removed as soon as large enough to eat, we are told, and then new blossoms take the place of the first crop.

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The Ottawa County "Zeitung," a German weekly newspaper, publishes Brother Russell's Sermons in full. Price per year with TOWER: domestic, $2; foreign, $2.75, through us.

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"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." – Rom. 1:16.
HERE ARE MANY religions, and it is a mistake that we have perhaps said in the past that there is no religion but one. A religion would properly be considered "Any system of worship by which any people recognize the Almighty and seek to do Him honor." We are, therefore, to recognize the various great religions that are in the world in the sense that we could not properly ignore them. We have, for instance, the Confucian teaching, the Brahmin teaching, the Buddhist teaching, the Mohammedan teaching, the Jewish teaching and the Christian teaching. These all present themselves to us as religious teachings. They all believe themselves more or less rational; they all believe themselves more or less reasonable. Every man tries to think that his own theory on any matter is a reasonable theory; and he is proper in so doing.

In harmony with our text, we propose to compare the religion of Jesus with all other religions. In the beginning, we state with the Apostle, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ." Whatever may be said of other gospels, we believe, as Christians, that in the Christian religion we have that of which no man need be ashamed. There may perhaps be certain features and forms of certain creeds of which we might be ashamed – that do not come up to our highest ideals. But the Christian religion, as presented in the Word of God, should be the Standard of Christendom; and of that we are not ashamed. It will compare with all other religions in the world, and come off victorious, in every sense of the word. All of these various religions seem to recognize that man is in an imperfect, unsatisfactory, sinful condition; therefore, each of these religions seeks to present certain tenets, or teachings, that will help man up out of his imperfect condition, back into harmony with his God.


If we consider the teachings of the Mohammedans, we find that they have certain qualities which are very advantageous, and other qualities which we could not so highly commend. Their endeavor is not to do injury, but to make man better. Their theory is that mankind are fallen and need lifting up out of their fallen condition. The same may be said of the teachings of the Brahmin, the Confucianist and the Buddhist. They are all more or less presentations of what are supposed to be cures for man's fallen condition, cures for his unsatisfactory attitude.

Some of these religions pronounce one kind of a penalty for those who will not accept them, and others declare other kinds. Some offer one kind of reward for those who accept and follow their teachings, while others offer other kinds of rewards. But all agree that man needs to be elevated and lifted up out of his fallen condition, which is sinful and unsatisfactory. There seems to be in every man, naturally, without any education on the subject, something which tells him that he is not perfect; that he is not in full accord with his own conscience, not in accord with his own highest ideals of the Divine mind.

All religions, therefore, recognize this principle of sin and propose remedies therefor. We see the evidence of this as manifested in their disciples everywhere. Many seek to crucify the flesh in one form or another – some by flagellations, some by restraints upon the various liberties of life, some by holding their hands in the air for days, seeking to become holy and thus appease their god.

But none of these things, in the light of the Gospel of Christ, seem to be the highest and noblest ideals. Doubtless all have done some good and uplifted some men out of the degradation in which they were. Mankind might have been worse off if it had not been for these religions.

But now, if we compare these with the religion of Jesus Christ, we believe everything is to be said in favor of the religion of Christ. In the first place, all these religions more or less resemble the Jewish religion, which is of God, and hence all these religions are more or less in harmony with God's proposition.

God's proposition to the Jews was, "Do these things and ye shall live," have everlasting life. That was the Covenant made by God with them at Mount Sinai, at the hands of Moses. They thought at first that they would surely be lifted up out of sin, because God had given them a Law, and by keeping it they would be perfect and be brought into harmony with God. In this they were mistaken, for, as they found out, as the centuries passed, none of them were able to keep the Law, because it is the measure of a perfect man's ability; and none of them could measure up to the perfect man.

Israel found, therefore, as the Apostle states it, that "by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in God's sight." And they found also that the Law, instead [R4982 : page 76] of perfecting, justifying them, and giving them eternal life, brought to them a greater realization of sin than they ever had before. And this was the real blessing of the Law Covenant – it showed them their sinful condition and their inability to lift themselves out of it. But the Jews do not recognize that great fact today, for if they did they would be crying to God for mercy instead of hoping to keep the Law and thus justify themselves.

The same thing might be said to be true of all the heathen religions. All offer help by which mankind may make themselves perfect, but none are able to make themselves perfect, and they all realize that they are sinners and imperfect to the last degree. There is, therefore, nothing that is logical in any of these religions, because they all start out to claim that a man ought to be perfect, ought to be holy, and are agreed that he is not. As before called attention to this agrees with the words of God with respect to Israel, "By the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified in His sight." God's Word agrees with all of these – that man is a sinner, that he cannot do the things that he would, that his ideals are to be and are higher than his capacity and ability. And so St. Paul declares, "We cannot do the things which we would."


Christianity answers that the reason is that we are fallen creatures, sold under sin. Who sold us, when and where? The Bible answers that "By one man's disobedience sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men." Death has passed upon the entire race and thus impoverished it mentally, morally and physically, so that now, because of the fall, we cannot do the things which we would like to do.

The Bible tells us that originally Adam was not in our condition, but was perfect and could keep the Divine Law perfectly, but that "we are sold under sin." And so the Prophet David expresses the same thought, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." So we behold that we are a race of sinners, imperfect mentally, morally and physically, and therefore unable to keep the Divine standard or Law. What, then, does Christianity offer us that no other religion offers us? Christianity offers us a Savior, and no other religion offers a Savior.

Christianity recognizes that the condition came about by the disobedience of one man, Adam, and it sets forth Jesus as the One who redeems man from that death sentence that came upon our first parents: "As by a man came death, by a man comes also the resurrection of the dead"; "For as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive," writes St. Paul – "every man in his own order." Here, then, Christianity has a logical superiority, in that it provides for a satisfaction of Divine Justice.

All religions say that it is Divine Justice that is opposed to sin, but Christianity offers a satisfaction for Divine Justice. "Christ died for our sins"; "He gave Himself a Ransom for all"; "He is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world," writes the Apostle. So, then, Christianity is not only more logical, but is more just – it recognizes Divine Justice.

We must recognize that if God condemned the world understandingly and truly, as the Great Judge of mankind, there must be some satisfaction of Justice ere the Chief Justice of the Universe could set aside the penalty and release the culprit. Man has sinned and the great Chief Justice has passed the sentence, and there is no way to revoke that sentence, except by meeting it. And so Christianity sets forth that our Lord Jesus came into the world to meet the penalty, and that He, "by the grace of God, tasted death for every man." – Heb. 2:9.

Christianity has another superiority over all other religions, and it is this: it recognizes a love and compassion upon the part of God that no other religion recognizes. All these religions do recognize a God, and we claim it makes very little difference whether they call Him Allah, or Jehovah, or some other name. They recognize, we believe, the same, one God, but they do not recognize His real traits of character. They perceive His Justice, and their own transgressions of Divine Justice, but they do not see the merciful provision that God has made. Their God is represented by the Chinese idol, which pictures to them the character of God.

We remember a Chinese banner we once saw. The figure on this banner represented a very demon-like character, and lightning was represented as flashing from his closed fist. He was a god to be feared, one who would take vengeance upon them.


The God of the Bible, however, while just, is not a vengeful God, not unkind; but, on the contrary, He is the God of All Grace, the Father of Mercies, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift. And the great Gift that He gave is the greatest of all gifts, the Gift of His Son, for man's sin, that thus He might offer a satisfaction to His own Justice. Nor was this arbitrarily at the expense of, or contrary to the will of the Redeemer; because the Scriptures make clear that it was by virtue of the "prize" set before our Lord; as we read, "For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame." – Heb. 12:2.

This love of God is not content with merely the provision of the Savior, and the arrangement that if anybody shall hear and believe he shall be blessed; but this love of God proposes to go still further, namely, that He who thus redeems the race shall become the King of earth; and His scepter, His rule, shall be "from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth," until "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess" to the glory of God; and "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep." Thus every creature shall come to know that there is a God, and that the way He proposes to be just and merciful is through His Son, who is to be the great Deliverer of the race.

In what way will this great Deliverer come? This is a part of the Gospel, a part of the "good tidings." It will be through His great Kingdom, which He will set up in His own due time. His Kingdom will not be merely for the rich or powerful, but for the poor also: "He shall lift up the poor from the dunghill," is a part of the prophecy. His power and influence will be the great moving principle that will level the whole world of mankind. As the Scriptures declare, all men are on a common level before God, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and all are recipients of Divine mercy.

The blessing of the Lord will be that all may come back; and when thus brought back to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by Christ, they will be able to keep the Divine Law perfectly, and will therefore to all eternity be in covenant-relationship with God. For those who refuse to enjoy that blessing prepared for them, the Scriptures clearly declare that God has provided the [R4982 : page 77] Second Death – not a place of torment – "The soul that sinneth it shall die"; "The wages of sin is death."


"But," someone may say, "what about the Church? You have been speaking about the world and what Jesus will do for it; what about the Church?" Those of us who have experienced this Salvation know that as a power it has not lifted us physically to perfection, but it has a power that has come into our hearts, into our minds, through faith, transforming, renewing us – our minds, our wills. The Lord's true people were once aliens, strangers and foreigners to the Lord, but by a knowledge of the Savior have become transformed in their lives, so that now they are seeking to walk, not after the flesh, but after the spirit, the spirit or mind of God, the Divine will.

Here we see the difference between the Jew under his Covenant of Law and the Christian under the higher Covenant that the Lord has made at the present time. The Apostle said that the Jew could not do the things that he would; but he declares equally strongly that "the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." – Rom. 8:1.

How is this possible? Are we better than the Jews? Are we of less fallen nature than the Jews, or made perfect? Nay, verily. The Apostle explains that for the class called out during this Gospel Age there is a special arrangement in operation, and God deals with these according to their minds, their wills, their intentions, so that under this Covenant of Grace we are counted as fully keeping the Divine Law – the righteousness, the full meaning of the Law, is fulfilled in us who are walking not after the flesh but after the spirit – not up to the spirit, but after the spirit.

But how could we be fully justified if not able to walk up to the spirit? The answer is that the blood cleanses us and commutes our sins; Christ imputes His perfection and righteousness to us, so that our best endeavors are accepted in Jehovah's sight as perfect, for we are justified, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.

Another way in which the Gospel of Christ is superior to all others is that this Gospel is world-wide. No other Gospel of which we have knowledge is world-wide. The Gospel of the Son of God is that "Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, every nation and people and kindred and tongue. "There's a wideness in God's mercy like the wideness of the sea." We know of no other religion that is so unbiased, that recognizes no national lines, that has the thought that we are one race, which sprang from one man, condemned through one man, and redeemed through the Man Christ Jesus, and that all are to have a blessing – no other religion under the sun!

The religion of Christ, of which we are not ashamed, is best in this, that it is the most God-like religion, because of its breadth, because of its justice, because of its impartiality, because of its love, its goodness and merciful qualities. It shows forth, as does no other religion, the Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power of Jehovah, our God. To Him be glory and honor and dominion forever!

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RAYER TO GOD, communion with Him, is a great privilege and an evidence of His favor. God does not grant us this privilege, however, in order that He might be informed of our desires, for since we are imperfect ourselves our desires cannot be perfect: "We know not what things to ask for as we ought;" and He does for us better than we know how to ask or think. Nor does God permit us to pray to Him that we may inform Him regarding matters here; for He knoweth the end from the beginning, as well as every intervening step. But He has instituted prayer for our benefit and comfort and instruction.

The object of prayer is to bring the heart and the mind of the child of God into contact with the heart of God, that he may be enabled thus most fully to realize the Fatherhood of God, His love and His deep interest in every item of our welfare; that in deep affliction we may unburden our hearts to God and thus have forcibly brought to our attention His love and care and wisdom – for our encouragement, not His; for our strengthening, not His, and for our joy.

This opportunity is not for us to instruct Jehovah how to arrange matters for the best, but to bring our hearts to realize Him as the Center of wisdom and power, that having unburdened our hearts, we may be prepared to listen for His answer and advice through His Word. And he whose knowledge of prayer is confined to the meager information he has imparted to God with "much speaking," and who has never learned to listen for the answer to his prayer from the Word of God, has, as yet, measurably failed to appreciate the object of prayer.

Earnestness in God's service will bring His children to Him frequently, to realize at His feet His sympathy with them in the difficulties, discouragements and trials of life, as well as to ask His guidance and overruling of every affair of life, and through His Word to hearken to His wisdom, which will enable them to serve Him acceptably.

The province of prayer is to ask for only such things as God has already declared Himself well pleased to grant. And while we may freely speak to Him as a Father, and tell Him how we understand His Word, and the confidence and trust we have in its ultimate fulfilment, yet we must not only avoid telling the Lord of our will and our plans, and what we would like, but we must avoid and put far from us any such spirit, and must recognize, and bring ourselves into full accord with His will and His plan for accomplishing it. If this thought were appreciated, it would cut short some of the "long prayers," "much speaking," and "vain repetitions" by which some endeavor to instruct the Lord in their wishes regarding every matter under heaven. It would send them speedily to the Word of God to search diligently the Plan of God that they might labor as well as pray in harmony with it.

While assuring us that the Father cares for us, and is well pleased to have us come to Him with sincere hearts, the Master informs us of the conditions upon which we may expect an answer. He says, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." – John 15:7.


The conditions of the above statement, or promise, are two; the first is, abiding in Christ. But what is it to abide in Christ? Only those can abide in Christ who are in Christ, who have come into Him by faith, repentance [R4983 : page 78] and consecration; and to abide in Him means that the faith will abide, the repentance for sin and the opposition to it will abide, and the consecration to the Lord and His service will abide, and it will be manifest that our will has been wholly consecrated – swallowed up in the will of Christ.

The other condition is also a weighty one: "If My Word abide in you." Ah! how evident it is that our Lord meant to associate Himself and His Word, the Scriptures, in the minds, in the hearts, in the lives of all who are truly His! They must search the Scriptures to know the will of the Lord; to know what He has promised and what He has not promised; to know what they may ask and what they may not ask; and, ascertaining these, one fully consecrated – one controlled entirely by the will of God – will not want to be, to have, or to do anything except that which will be pleasing to the Lord in respect to himself.

When this position has been reached, the will of Christ governing him, the words of Christ abiding in him, we can readily see that whatever would be asked by one thus well informed with respect to the Divine promises and fully submissive to the Divine will would be things which the Father would be pleased to grant in answer to his requests.

These requests would probably be as simple as was the Master's petition when He prayed, "Not My will, but Thine, be done!" (Luke 22:42.) In such a condition prayers are always answered; but in such a condition the prayers would be very modest. One's prayers under such circumstances would be more a thanksgiving for blessings, an expression of confidence and trust, and the committal of his way unto the Lord, confidently realizing the promise that to him under such conditions, all things (even seeming disasters and troubles) shall work together for good. Hence, whatever came, such a one could realize his prayer answered. He could rejoice evermore because he is prepared to rejoice in tribulation as well as in prosperity, in the path of service. He has no will to oppose whatever God permits, knowing that it will work out good.

Such, amongst the Lord's people, could not pray that their own will be done; for they have no will except God's. Those who abide in Christ, and in whom His Word abides, can pray for their enemies and those who despitefully use them and persecute them, though they cannot pray God to open the blinded eyes of their enemies at once, nor in their way. Realizing from the indwelling Word of God's promise that the blinded eyes shall all be opened to the Truth, they can abide His time. Going to God in prayer they may express their forgiveness of their persecutor, their interest in him, and their patient waiting for the day when "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea" – ocean deep – and His will shall be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. – Isa. 11:9.


The answer to our prayer is not always granted immediately; but after we have made sure that our requests are in accord with the promises, those things which lie very close to our hearts become our continual prayer, associating in our minds with all of life's duties and interests, the heart gravitating continually toward the thing we have desired of the Lord, and on suitable opportunities repeating to Him the request. This is the kind of prayer which the Lord commended, saying, "Men ought always to pray and not to faint." (Luke 18:1.) The Lord's people ought to continue asking for the right things with some degree of persistency, and should not grow weary, hopeless, faithless, faint in their hearts.

Doubtless there are many reasons why the Lord does not promptly grant all of our requests which are in accordance with His will, in harmony with His Word. We may not know all of these reasons; but some of them are apparent. Undoubtedly one reason for the Lord's delay in answering us is often to test the strength and the depth of our desires for the good things that we request of Him.

For instance, He informs us that He is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to us who ask than are earthly parents to give good things to their children. Yet the giving of His Holy Spirit is a gradual process; and we are enabled to receive it only in proportion as we are emptied of the worldly or selfish spirit. It requires time to become thus emptied of self and prepared for the mind of Christ; in some it requires longer for this than in others; but all need emptying in order to receive the refilling.

He that seeketh findeth, but the more he seeketh the more he findeth; to him that knocketh it shall be opened, but his continual knocking and his increasing interest in the knocking means his increasing desire to enter, so that as the door of privilege, of opportunity, swings slowly open before him, his courage and his strength increase as he seeks to avail himself of the opening. Thus every way the blessing is greater than if the Lord were to answer the petitions hastily.

We are to think of our Heavenly Father as rich and benevolent, kind and generous, yet wise as well as loving. We are to suppose that He will have pleasure in giving us the desires of our hearts if those desires are in harmony with His plan, which He has already framed on such lines as to include not only our very highest and best interests, but the highest and best interests of all His creatures. Then, whatever comes, His well-informed children can have all the desires of their hearts, because their hearts are in full accord with the Lord; and they desire nothing of the Lord except the good things of His purpose and promise.


When thus considered, not as a begging arrangement, nor as an occasion of instructing the Lord as to our wills, but as a season of union and communion of heart with [R4984 : page 78] the Father, in which we may relieve our burdened or perplexed hearts and realize Divine sympathy, calling to mind Divine promises, reviewing Divine care, and expressing our confidence in God's many promises, thus bringing those promises afresh and close to our hearts, as though God now audibly uttered them in our hearing – thus considered, how proper, yea, how necessary is prayer to the true child of God! He cannot live without it. To break off this communion would be like stripping a tree of its leaves; their removal would stunt and hinder its development.

But to suppose that Christian life depends solely upon prayer without earnest study of God's Word, is like supposing that a tree could flourish from its leaves only, without roots and soil. Both are needful. As good soil and roots will produce leaves and fruitage, so, likewise, the promises of God's Word absorbed by us will naturally lead to good works and to communion with God in prayer, without which the fruits of the Spirit would soon wither and disappear.

No wonder, then, that Jesus both by precept and by example said, "Watch and pray" (Matt. 26:41), uniting the conditions necessary to our development. Some pray [R4984 : page 79] and neglect to watch; others watch and neglect to pray. Both these errors are serious; and it is not possible for us to decide which is the more serious neglect, since either would work disastrous loss of the great "prize" for which we are running.

Nowhere is prayer defined as a duty, though its necessity is stated. The Father desireth such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23); and it would be contrary to this principle to define prayer as a duty, and to stipulate a set time or place or a formal manner. The earnestness of the service and the peculiarity of the circumstance will regulate the frequency and the subject matter of prayer.

No form of prayer is furnished in the Scriptures. Even the Master, when asked by the disciples for instruction on the subject, gave them, not a form to repeat, but merely an idea or example of how to arrange their prayers to God. He did not say, Pray this prayer, but, "After this manner pray ye." Our prayers, then, should be after this manner – not an assortment of extravagant demands, but the simple expression of the earnest heart: first, acknowledging and paying homage to God as our Father, the Almighty and Hallowed One; second, expressing our expectation and trust that His Kingdom is coming according to promise, and our eagerness for it, and for the time when His will shall be done on earth as in Heaven; third, our reliance upon Him for "daily bread," which He has promised us; fourth, our acknowledgment that our ways are not perfect and of our reliance upon His favor (granted through Christ Jesus) for forgiveness; and our willingness to exercise forgiveness toward our debtors, toward those who trespass against us.


The term, "Our Father," is one of special endearment. The affection of a true father for his child, being one of the most precious in the world, is used to illustrate the relationship of the Lord's consecrated members to the Creator. It is necessary to be some time in the School of Christ as disciples, learners, before we are able properly to appreciate the meaning of this word "Father" as applied to God; but the more we come to know of the love of God, which passes all understanding, and the more we are enabled to draw near to Him through faith and obedience, the more precious will this term Father become.

"Hallowed be Thy name," expresses adoration, appreciation of Divine goodness and greatness, and a corresponding reverence. In addressing our petition to the Lord our first thought is to be, not a selfish one respecting ourselves, nor respecting the interests of others precious to us; but God is to be first in all of our thoughts and aims and calculations. We are to pray for nothing that would not be in accord with the honor of our Heavenly Father's Name; we are to wish for nothing for ourselves or for our dear ones that He would not fully approve and commission us to pray for.

Perhaps no quality of heart is in more danger of being blotted out amongst professing Christians today than this thought of reverence for God. However much we have grown in knowledge, and however much we have gotten free from superstitions and errors, and however advanced in some respects is the Christian's position of today over that of a century ago, we fear that reverence has been losing ground, not only in the nominal church, but with many of the members of the one "Church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in heaven." (Heb. 12:23.) Every loss of reverence is a distinct disadvantage, both to the Church and to the world, paving the way to various evils, and ultimately to anarchy.

As God and His glory and honor are to be first in the minds of His children, so their next thought should be for the coming glorious Kingdom, which He has promised shall bless the world. However much our own personal interests and affairs may be pressing upon us, and however much we may desire to have the Lord's blessing and guidance in them, they are not to outrank our appreciation of His beneficent arrangements which He has so clearly promised in His Word. We are to remember that the Kingdom, when it shall come, will be a panacea for every ill and every trouble, not only for us, but for the whole world of mankind. We are not, therefore, to permit our own personal needs to be too prominent, but are to remember that the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain together, waiting for this glorious Kingdom and the blessing upon all the families of the earth, which our Heavenly Father has promised shall yet come through the Seed of Abraham.

This thought respecting the Kingdom, its necessity, and the blessings that it will bring will keep prominently before our minds our own High Calling to joint-heirship with our Lord in this Kingdom. And in proportion as that hope is clearly before our minds it will be, as the Apostle explains, as "an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." – Heb. 6:19.

This anchorage of hope in the future, in the Kingdom, will enable us to pass safely, and with comparative quiet, through the trials and storms and difficulties of this present evil world. More than this, our thoughts respecting the Kingdom will remind us that if we are to be heirs of the Kingdom it will be necessary that we have the appropriate discipline and training now. This thought in turn will make all the afflictions and trials of this present time seem to us light afflictions; for we know that they are working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Thus the very offering of this prayer in its proper order will bring us a measure of relief from our perplexities, trials and disappointments before we reach the appropriate place to mention them at the Throne of grace.


This petition offered from the heart implies that the one offering it has made a full consecration of his will, his heart, to the Lord; and that as he hopes for the Kingdom by and by to come and subdue all unrighteousness and to establish the Divine will from sea to sea, and from pole to pole, so now, the petitioner, being in accord with the Lord's will, and thus wishing that it might be universally in control, will see to it that this will is ruling in his own heart; that in his own affairs God's will is done to the best of his ability in his earthly condition, even as he hopes to have it perfected in the Kingdom soon to be established.

No one can intelligently and honestly offer this petition, unless he both desires and endeavors to have the Lord's will done in himself while on earth. Thus a blessing comes to the one who offers this petition before he has asked any special blessing upon himself or others. The mere thought of the Divine arrangement brings a blessing, a peace, a rest, a satisfaction of heart.


The thought in this petition seems to be that of continual dependence upon the Lord, day by day, for the things needed – accepting for each day the Lord's providential care and direction of our affairs. Daily bread should here be understood in the broad sense of food and raiment page 80 – things necessary. The Lord's people, who recognize Him as their Father, must trust Him as children, while seeking to use the various instrumentalities and opportunities within their reach. They are to provide the things necessary for themselves, yet to recognize the Divine provision and care which has pre-arranged matters so as to make their present conditions and blessings attainable.

Agnosticism and Higher Criticism in general may deny, if they please, Divine providence in connection with the grains and other supplies for man's necessities; but the eye of faith sees behind these supplies the Love, the Wisdom and the Power of God, making ready for man's necessities, and giving the things necessary in such a manner as will be for the advantage of mankind – through sweat of face, etc.


To petition the Lord for forgiveness of sins implies that we are at heart opposed to sin, and that any sins committed have not been wilful; and that the Lord, according to His Covenant of grace with us, agrees to accept the intentions of our hearts instead of the actual, full, complete, perfect obedience to the Divine requirement, in thought, in word and in act. This petition, then, signifies that we recognize that the Robe of Christ's righteousness granted to us has become spotted or sullied; and that we desire to be cleansed, so that we may again be "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing." This cannot refer to wilful sins, for as the Apostle explains, "If we sin wilfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins," and hence, no more a basis for forgiveness; and the end of wilful sin is the Second Death. (Heb. 10:26.) It is, however, proper to remark that there are what might be termed mixed sins – sins in which a measure of wilfulness may have combined with a measure of ignorance or inherited weakness.

In the case of such sins the Lord expresses His willingness to cancel the wrong upon its being promptly repented of; but He reserves to Himself the giving of stripes, or chastisements appropriate and necessary to His child as an instruction in righteousness and correction of weaknesses, etc.

Happy are they who, with growth in grace and knowledge, find their hearts so fully in accord with the principles of the Divine arrangement that they will never transgress with any measure of wilfulness; but blessed also are those who, finding some measure of wilfulness in their deflection from the Divine rule, are pained thereby, and who, as the Apostle says, are led to discipline or correct themselves that they may the more quickly learn the lessons, and bring their bodies more completely into subjection to the new mind – "I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." – I Cor. 9:27; 11:31.


As we are imperfect and cannot keep the Divine Law, so likewise others are imperfect. As the degrees of deflection from the Divine Law vary with the degrees of the fall, so also we must expect that the trespasses of ourselves and others, one against another, will vary, according to the natural temperament, weakness, etc. As we realize that we have received, and will still need Divine compassion and mercy in respect to our shortcomings, so the Lord teaches us that we must exercise similar benevolence toward our fellow creatures, both in the Church and outside.

Elsewhere He lays down this rule very stringently, that if we do not from our heart forgive those trespassing against us, neither will our Heavenly Father forgive us our trespasses. Thus the Lord would develop in His consecrated people the spirit of the Father, even as He instructed us, saying, "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect." – Matt. 5:48.

Perfection is to be the standard. However far short of it we may come, we can have no lower standard; and in proportion as we are striving for that standard and realize our own weaknesses and imperfections, we should have proportionate compassion upon fellow creatures and their shortcomings toward us. This is love, sympathy, compassion; and whoever does not attain this degree of love which will have compassion upon others and their weaknesses, and which would be ready and glad to forgive them, is deficient in love; and whoever does not succeed in this matter to the extent of being able to love his enemies, so as to even pray for them, that person fails to reach the mark of character which the Lord demands, and he may be sure that his own deviations from perfect rectitude will not be overlooked; for he is lacking in the one important quality of love, which covers a multitude of sins of every kind. None, surely, will gain a place in the Kingdom class, in the Bride class, except those who have this forgiving quality, this quality of love.


We are to remember the words of the Apostle (James 1:13) to the effect that God tempteth no man, and are to apply this thought to our prayer. So our prayer will not signify that we fear that God will tempt us; but that we entreat Him that He may guide our steps, our cares in life, so that no temptation, no trial, shall come upon us that would be too severe for us; that He may bring us by a way in which we shall not be tempted above that we are able, and provide a way of escape when we are sore distressed. The Apostle assures us that this is the Divine will; and that such a prayer would be in accordance with it. He says that God will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with every temptation provide also a way of escape. The temptations are of the Adversary, and of our own fallen natures – through our own flesh, and through the weaknesses of others. God is not responsible for these; but He is able to guide the way of His people that they shall not be overwhelmed in these natural difficulties, weaknesses, besetments, nor by the wiles of the Adversary.


There never was a time when there was greater need of this petition than at the present. The Evil One is specially seeking to trap and ensnare the Lord's people at the present time; and the Scriptures inform us that God is permitting this; and that thus He is sending strong delusions upon the world and upon the nominal church. Our Father is permitting this because the time has come for a complete separation of the "wheat" from the "tares." He has promised, however, that those who are truly of the "wheat" class – the sanctified in Christ Jesus, who are seeking to walk in His steps – shall not be stumbled, shall never fall, but shall have an abundant entrance ministered unto them into the everlasting Kingdom. The question, then, is one of loyalty of heart to the Lord.

The trial of this "day shall try the work of every man [in the Church] of what sort it is." This trial will be so page 81 severe that if it were possible the "very elect" would be deceived; but this will not be possible; for the Lord will specially care for these. Nevertheless, the Lord will be inquired of by His people in respect to these matters which He has already promised, and as they pray, "Deliver us from the Evil One," they surely will labor in the same direction. It is our expectation that very shortly now the forces of evil will gain much greater strength than at present, "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." Meantime the Lord is staying the adverse forces that His true people may put on the armor of God and be able to stand when the evil day shall come.

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E CANNOT IMAGINE a case in which a brother with average intelligence would need comfort and counsel in a misunderstanding other than that for which the Lord has provided in Matt. 18:15-17. If he has been in the habit of seeking sympathy in a busy-bodying manner, the sooner he knows that his course is wrong the better. He should learn to use his own mind along lines where there is positive instruction in the Scriptures. The Lord says to any one who has aught against his brother, "Go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone." If the matter is too small to mention to the brother, it is too small to notice and should be forgotten.

There are no exceptions to the rule laid down in Matt. 18:15-17; but there might be, under some circumstances, an interpretation of the rule. For instance, if the matter were in a family, there might be circumstances in which it would be proper to go to the head of the family. If it were in an institution, where the individual might be merely a representative of the Society, it would be proper to go to the head of the Society. Such a course would result from following Matt. 18:15, in its logical trend. But these are minor applications of the rule, which is neither voided nor avoided, but in applying which wisdom is being used in determining how the matter may be carried out.

There is no doubt that much of the trouble in the world is the result of misunderstanding. It therefore behooves every one of the Lord's people to "put on love, which is the bond of perfectness," and to overlook much of what others do. (Col. 3:14.) And yet it would be proper for one who thinks that he has been wronged to go to the offending brother and have a clear understanding. To do so would result favorably in nearly every case.

The instruction in Matt. 18:15-17 is given, of course, only to the brethren, the Church, and is not, therefore, to be applied outside. But whoever learns to apply this rule to the brethren will find that it commends itself to his best judgment as a wise course of conduct in all the affairs of life. Thus his natural inclination will be to apply the same principles in connection with worldly matters and worldly people. He must, however, use wisdom in considering which would be the wise way to deal with the world. Some of the deep and precious things which belong to the Church the world would resent. So the Lord admonishes that we should not "cast our pearls before swine."

While we are endeavoring to do good to all men, yet in the case of the brethren there should be no discrimination in this matter. We might say, however, that some of the Lord's people seem to be unduly and unreasonably exercised along some lines. For instance, if a brother should find another brother in the Truth who seemed to discriminate in his feelings and apparently to be more appreciative of another than of himself, he should not take offense. He should say, "There are differences of character and temperament; and Brother B. might commend himself to Brother A. more than would another. All that I may ask is that Brother A. shall love me; that he shall not hate me; that he shall not do me injury." Nothing in the Word of God indicates that the brethren are all to be esteemed alike!

Our Lord Himself showed just such a discrimination in His love. He did it, however, "without partiality and without hypocrisy." But because of the differences in our fallen human nature some of the brethren are more congenial to us than are others. We should, therefore, be content to have the love of the brethren, and should endeavor to merit more of it – and to have our words and conduct such as to become more lovable to the brethren and thus to draw more of their esteem. The way to do this is, not by finding fault with those who do not love us up to the highest degree, but by trying to develop that character which would merit a fuller measure of love.

If such a question as this be raised and is not treated along the lines of Matt. 18:15, one should advise thus: "Brother A. seems to have none but the kindest feelings toward you, dear brother." Then if Brother B. says that he does not receive Brother A.'s love and companionship as does Brother C., one might reply, "Well, my dear brother, have we not the right to have a special fellowship with one if we do no injury to another? I think that we have, and that we have the Lord's example in this direction. This does not mean that I should treat you unkindly. It is not wrong for a brother to have more or less of a preference, providing that he does not use this preference to offend another intentionally."


Love is not justice. Love cannot be commanded; it must be induced; and there must be a cause for the love. It would be thoroughly out of order for any one to tell us that we should love God if He were not a lovable Being. Similarly, how could we love any creature who is unlovely? We love the brethren because we see something of God-likeness in their good intentions, and in the fact that they have given their hearts to the Lord.

In a case where the brother's flesh is much fallen, we have largely a compassionate love, rather than a loving admiration; for only in proportion as we see character-likeness to Christ can we truly love His followers. But we should regard every brother and every sister with a sincere desire to do them good; and the same love, of course, should extend, as we have opportunity, to the world in general.

The great difficulty in cases of misunderstanding is that the Lord's counsel is not accurately followed. Good, honorable brethren, anxious to do right, who apparently would be quite competent to advise others, seem to think that theirs is a different case – seem not to exercise the proper judgment. Instead of going to the brother and saying, kindly, "Brother, I have come to see you in reference to a little matter, following the advice of Matt. 18:15," he, on the contrary, meets the brother and says, "Brother, you have done so and so." He goes to the [R4985 : page 82] brother, not to be reconciled, but rather, dictatorially, to show him that there is something wrong. This is not the right way to go about a matter. As surely as Justice is the foundation of God's Throne, just so surely are those who pursue this course failing to follow the principles of justice; they are failing to develop the Lord's character and will fail to win the prize.

The spirit of the Lord's injunction is to help a brother, not to twit him, nor to anger him, nor to tease him; not to entrap him into saying what he did not intend to say, nor to distort the meaning of what he has said. Such is not the right spirit. No brother should be approached in this manner. But the matter should be considered in the most kindly way; and if then – in spite of all that one can do – the wrong is continued, we should have nothing more to say. Some might say, "He did not apologize." The Lord did not say anything about his apology. But if he recognizes that he is wrong and fails to apologize, he is doing himself injury.


If the second step in Matt. 18:15-17 be found necessary, it should be taken only after very deliberate thought and prayer, with the desire to make sure of doing the Lord's will. First of all, one should make sure that the matter is of sufficient importance to ask the brethren to go along! and that it is something against us, not against another; that it is not busybodying; that it is something that is being done now. If this is the case, take two others along. Do not say, "If I ask you to go along, be sure to stand by me." We may be the ones in error; and if we are we should be more anxious to be corrected ourselves than to have the other brother corrected.

If we make sure that the matter is important, we should select two that we think would be friends of the brother injuring us – fair-minded, honorable people in the Church. Then, after the party has met with the offending brother and discussed the case, it would be proper for these brethren to advise us. If the advice were something that we could follow, we should do so and bring peace and harmony.

But if this course should avail nothing and the injurious actions should continue, then it would be proper for us to bring the matter to the attention of the Church. The two brethren who went with us, and decided with us that it was impossible to persuade the evil-doer to alter his course, should say to the Elders of the Church that they had a case to present for a hearing; but they should not make charges. The Church is merely to hear the matter, to see whether there is any real cause of complaint. But at this stage of the affair they know merely that there is a case to be heard. Then the Elders should call a special meeting for such a purpose, saying to the Church that there is a case to be brought before the Class, and asking what time would be convenient for them to hear the matter. Then the Church should decide when to call a meeting to consider the case.

This would be the time for the one against whom the complaint lodges to say to the Elders, "It is true that there were charges made against me by the brother, and that two others afterward came with him. But I claim, brethren, that the charges are not true, that the matter is one of my private concern, and that others have nothing to do with it;" or whatever he wishes to say. Then there must be brought evidence to show that there is really a matter to come before the Church, that it is not merely a case of busybodying; for the Church must not meet together to participate in busybodying.

Then it would be proper for the Elders to learn enough to decide whether or not the Church would be busybodying in this man's affairs – merely enough to inform themselves whether it were a matter to come before the Church. If they thought that it was not, they should say to the offended one, "This brother is not doing you an injury." But if either of the parties still thought that it should be brought before the Church – that Matt. 18:15-17 had been followed as far as possible to this point – and if the Elders of the Class were unwilling to bring it before the congregation, then it would be proper for the congregation to determine whether or not they would hear the case, and their hearing should be final.


In any matter heard before the congregation there should be an opportunity for each one interested to present his side of the case – the one to state his trouble and the other to answer. At no stage of the proceedings should unkind words be permitted. The person who attempted to use them should be considered reprehensible on that account, and his conduct worthy of being judged a misdemeanor. This course is the one which the Lord evidently intended should be followed. The point, however, always to be borne in mind is whether people are really busybodying in other men's matters – a course which should not be encouraged, either by the Class or by the Elders. People waste a great deal of time in evil counsels, in a manner quite contrary to the Golden Rule and to Matt. 18:15.

If the congregation, after patiently hearing definite, positive charges of sufficient importance, finds that notwithstanding these various steps the brother against whom complaint is made has really been doing wrong and is continuing to do so, they should decide that he is guilty as charged. The vote of the Church should be unanimous, if possible; all partisanship should be ignored. Since they are not condemning any one to eternal torment, nor judging him in any way, their advice must not carry with it any penalty whatever. They are merely advising the brother that his conduct is contrary to the Scriptures; and that if he does not change his course, they cannot longer treat him as one of the Lord's people.

In disfellowshipping him, they are not to ill-treat him; for we do not act so with publicans and sinners. But we would not ask a publican or a sinner to take part in the service, either as an Elder or as a Deacon or in any other capacity; so the offending brother is not to be asked to offer prayer, or to do anything that an outsider would not be asked to do. Thus the congregation would withdraw their fellowship. He is a brother still, but not in the best of standing; for he has neglected to hear the voice of the brethren in the way that the Lord has directed.

It might be possible, however, for a whole class to go astray in its judgment in a matter, and to decide against a brother who was in the right. This brother might then say, "My dear brethren, I appreciate your view in this matter; and I am sorry that anything in my course should seem to be worthy of condemnation. I promise you that I will modify the matter as best I am able. Although in justice to myself I cannot alter my view, nevertheless, in respect to your united voices I will not in the matter follow my judgment, which I feel is the correct one. And if, therefore, I suffer some injustice, the Lord will count it to me in the nature of a sacrifice for the sake of His Body, the Church. So, then, dear brethren, while thanking you for your kindly expressed [R4985 : page 83] sentiment, I still wish you to know that it does not do me justice. And I think that you will inform me of your change of mind on the subject if you ever should change."

If the brother were really in the wrong, he might say, "Well, then, put me out!" The Class might say, "We are not putting you out. Do not say that you will withdraw from us. We will not take your remark for your answer. We hope that the Lord will have you see that our action has been most kindly, brotherly, and that it is a part of our duty now to conform to the views of the Class. If the Lord shows us that we are wrong, we shall be very glad to acknowledge it. But in the meantime, dear brother, we do not wish to offend you, but merely desire to do our duty to the Lord and to His Word."

This course would be the proper one; we should not erect a barricade between brethren. But it would be very easy to do injury to such a brother by saying, "Well, never show your face here again unless you take back every word you have said." The majority of people have so much self-esteem that they would not go back after such a statement; whereas they might do so if the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of love and justice is manifested.

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"He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet; the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." – I Cor. 15:25,26.
HE DIVINE arrangement respecting Messiah's Kingdom seems very clearly stated in the Scriptures. Our text above, if no other, proves that Messiah's Kingdom will not be dealing with perfect conditions. By the sealing of the New Covenant He will make satisfaction for the sins of the world; and those of the world who prove worthy have God's assurance of attaining eternal life. The great work will be that of uplifting mankind out of sin and death conditions. For this reason He will rule as King and will officiate as the great Priest. The basis for this is the fact that our Lord Jesus purchased the world through the merit of His sacrifice.

"Where a tree falleth, there shall it be." (Eccl. 11:3.) So, as mankind go down into death, there they remain. In the awakening from death there will be a resuscitation to practically the same conditions – mentally, morally and physically – which they had before they went into the tomb. If mankind came back from the tomb perfect, no one would have any way of identifying himself. If one were raised perfect in every thought and word and act, he would not know himself; for all those things composing his identity would be gone. Hence, he would have no way to distinguish himself from the rest of mankind! The world will be resuscitated with the same kind of intelligence [R4986 : page 83] in which they went down into death. But theirs is a death condition, and the very object of Messiah's Kingdom is to uplift out of that condition, and to raise up that which was lost to the perfection of man's nature.

The Scriptures show us that at the end of the thousand years of Christ's reign the whole world will be turned over to the Father; and the race will then have a trial time, a testing, just as Adam had when he was in Eden. For "a little season" Satan will have the power to tempt mankind as he tempted Mother Eve. But the world should then be so thoroughly established in righteousness of heart that nothing which Satan or any other being could bring upon them in the way of temptation would make them sin; and those who will not have learned to hate sin and to love righteousness will not be fit for eternal life. We read that fire [judgments] will come down from heaven and destroy such.


But we are to remember that there is another trial which precedes that occurring at the end of the Millennial Age. From the very time when the Kingdom shall have been established, the world will be on trial. Under The Christ's beneficent rule some will avail themselves of the opportunity to rise gradually back to the perfection of human nature, lost in Eden; others, apparently, according to the Scriptures, will still maintain an attitude of rebellion, loving sin and hating righteousness. These will be granted a hundred years (Isa. 65:17-25) of trial, even though they do not come to perfection of mind and body, because of their rebellious attitude of heart.

Such are spoken of as children, in comparison with others of that day who will live on and become perfect. Messiah, as the great Judge, will cause such to die accursed, condemned, cut off from further opportunity of attaining life; for such will not have benefited by the merit of Christ and the Kingdom of Christ. And if this would be true of their condition after one hundred years, we may infer that if any, who during the first hundred years had proved faithful, should during the second hundred years assume a position against righteousness, such would then be cut off from life.


"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (I Cor. 6:2.) We certainly know it. The work of giving mankind the necessary knowledge and assistance will be in the hands of Christ and the Church. The final sentence against sinners will be destruction, death, as is clearly shown in the parable (Matt. 25:31-46) where Jesus (with the Church) is pictured in power and great glory judging the world, "For God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained" (Acts 17:31) – the Day of the great Messiah, the antitypical Moses – Jesus, the Head, and the Church, His Body. The parable shows that the work of the Millennial Age will completely separate the "sheep" class from the "goats" – the "sheep" being on the right hand (place of favor) and the "goats" at the left (place of disfavor). At the end of the Age Messiah will destroy the goat class and, in the Father's name, bless all the sheep class. But nothing is more evident than that the trial for life or death will proceed during all the Millennial Age – throughout all that thousand-year Judgment Day.


Now the Church is on trial for life or death, and Christ gives us an imputation of His merit and thus covers our weaknesses and shortcomings. By and by, He will give the world actual perfection on condition of perfect obedience. But now, under the great Advocate's imputation of righteousness, the decision regarding the Church comes in a few years from the time when we reach the point of consecration unto death. If this time is sufficient for the accomplishing of the trial of the Church, then we can see that a hundred years is ample time for the world to see [R4986 : page 84] whether they will make even a little progress upward on the Highway of Holiness.

The testing of the Church we recognize as a fact; for the Apostle points it out to us. If those who are now consecrated should fall away into sin, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. (Heb. 10:26,27.) Why? Because the imputation of Christ's merit will not be repeated to any. If we get the imputation of Christ's merit in this present life, then there will be no further imputation for us. Those who do not get the imputation of Christ's merit now, as the Church, will never get it; but instead they will get the benefit of the New Covenant. The effect, however, in either event, will be a life or death trial and a life or death sentence.


In the case of the Church, if we were faithful until the very last day of our experience and on that day proved unfaithful, it would certainly settle the matter as to our future. Similarly, we may say of the world that, if any should prove unfaithful during their trial in the next Age, their trial would end immediately and, undoubtedly, the sentence would be to the Second Death. In other words, the trial continues until each individual has been either rewarded or punished; and every act down to the last has to do with the sentence of that trial.

In Ezekiel there is an intimation along this line, where God says, "But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him; in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live....But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity,...shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die." (Ezek. 18:21-24.) This seems to be the principle of Divine Justice, and one to which we can all readily assent, and which we can recognize as just and righteous altogether. "Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints."

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MARK 2:13-22. – MARCH 24. –

Text: – "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." – Verse 17.
HE TERM "Publican" in Jesus' day was applied to Jews who served the Roman Government as tax collectors in Palestine. The name was a reproach because the Jews held to the Abrahamic promise that the whole world should be blessed by them as God's peculiar people. They held that this meant that they should not only be free from all other governments, but that they should be the masters of the world. And if so, all other nations should be paying them tribute and they should pay tribute to none. The most public-spirited Jews, therefore, declined to be the agents of the Roman Government in the matter of collecting tribute or taxes, and the tribute-takers or publicans were looked upon with disdain as being unfaithful to their religion and to their nation.

The term "sinner," as frequently used in this study and elsewhere in the Gospels, was applied to all Jews who were careless in respect to the orthodoxy of their day, for the orthodox Jew of that time (and today) took pride in his religion and boasted of his holiness – as, for instance, the word "Pharisee" signifies "holy person" – one scrupulously careful in observing the smallest details of the Law. There was a wide breach between these zealous followers of Moses' Law and the mass of the nation who, because of not making special profession, were altogether classed as "sinners," or persons not up to the orthodox standard of carefulness of form, ceremonies, etc.

The Pharisees would tolerate and eat with the Sadducees, although the latter were practically unbelievers, because they were of the wealthier and therefore more respectable class; but they entirely ignored and would not eat with their less particular brethren, whom they in general styled "sinners," regardless of their having true moral status.

Our Lord's disciples were nearly all gathered from this lower or less orthodox and less educated class of Jews. Because of our Lord's talents the Pharisees would have been glad to have Him as one of their number, provided, of course, that He would side with them and uphold them in their more or less hypocritical pretentions of perfection and holiness. But Jesus denounced the claims of the Pharisees as hypocritical, and told the common people plainly that there were "none righteous, no, not one" – that all needed Divine mercy, and that really the humble and contrite would be much more acceptable to God than the boastful, the proud, the self-conceited.


Today's study tells of the call of Matthew to be one of the twelve Apostles. His original name was Levi, just as Peter's original name was Simon. He belonged to the Levitical tribe, but his acceptance of service under the Romans as a tax collector socially degraded him and classed him as a "Publican." Perhaps the quality of independence and humble-mindedness which influenced this man to become a tax collector and to brave the scorn of his fellow-countrymen were qualities which really favored him in respect to the Divine invitation to become a disciple of Jesus. We may be sure this was true from the [R4987 : page 84] fact that Jesus gave him a special invitation to become His disciple, and from the fact that he was in the heart condition to forsake all of his earthly goods that he might be a member of the Messianic class. We cannot suppose that the Master would call to discipleship any but a noble character, nor can we suppose that any others would have accepted the call as did Matthew.

Matthew was a householder and promptly invited Jesus and His followers to dinner. He invited in also numbers of his friends, and these, like himself, were of the ostracized class – publicans and sinners. The scribes and Pharisees watched Jesus closely, and when they perceived that He ate and mingled with the less respectable and less orthodox, they disesteemed Him, also, and put the question squarely to Jesus' disciples: "How is it that your Master eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners, and yet claims to be holy?"

This afforded Jesus the opportunity which He desired of giving a great lesson in a few words. He replied to them, "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick; I came to call, not the righteous, but sinners." Here we have the key to much of the misunderstanding of the Gospel in that day and now. The [R4987 : page 85] first lesson that all must learn is that all sin is condemned of God – the little and the large – and that all unrighteousness is sin, and that there is "none righteous, no, not one."

In other words, each must learn that he himself is a sinner, and under Divine sentence and needing forgiveness, before he can come into fellowship with God or become partaker of God's provision for eternal life. The publicans and sinners were indeed condemned of God, and the scribes and Pharisees, members of the same imperfect race, were also under Divine sentence; but the latter did not admit their sinfulness and imperfection nor seek Divine forgiveness, while the former, admitting their sins, were the more ready to accept forgiveness. Jesus illustrated this matter in one of His parables saying, A certain Pharisee went to the temple to pray and, full of self-confidence, thanked God that he was not as other men, nor even like the poor Publican near him. The Publican also prayed; but in humility, feeling that he was a sinner, besought Divine forgiveness. Jesus declared that the less moral man, the less scrupulously careful man, the Publican, was nearer to Divine Justice than the more careful, more upright, more orthodox Pharisee, because the latter failed to acknowledge his sins, his imperfections, which could be forgiven only through their acknowledgment. Hence the declaration of Jesus that He "came not to call the righteous, but sinners." There were none righteous to call, for all are sinners, and those who thought themselves righteous had a barrier before them which hindered their coming to the Lord under the call of this Age.


About that time a fasting season was observed by the Pharisees, and also by those who had accepted the teachings of John the Baptist; but Jesus had said nothing to His disciples about fasting up to that time. Now the question arose, Why was this? The Savior's explanation was that while He was with them it should properly be considered a time of rejoicing and feasting rather than a time of fasting and sorrow. Would a betrothed woman sorrow and weep and fast while her betrothed was present? Nay. Yet, in subsequent days, after his departure, in her loneliness, and especially if she thought of the long delay in his coming to receive her to become his wife, she would sorrow. So Jesus intimated it would be with His followers. They would have plenty of opportunity to weep and fast after He would be gone and while waiting for His return.

Fasting should not be considered a matter of obligation or command, but rather a voluntary sacrifice of present and temporal good things that the mind and heart might go out the more earnestly after the things not seen as yet, but hoped for. Thus for eighteen centuries God's people have been fasting and praying and waiting and longing for the Bridegroom's return. But in the time of His presence, their fellowship with Him, their joy in the realization of the completed promise, will wipe away their tears and "give them beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for...the spirit of heaviness."


It was difficult for the Savior's hearers to get a proper focus upon His teachings. They could understand John the Baptist's preaching of repentance and reformation; but when Jesus declared, "The Law and the Prophets were until John, and since then the Kingdom of Heaven is preached" – this was so radical a proposition as to be difficult for the masses to grasp. What could be higher than the Law and the Prophets? What door could be opened to the followers of Jesus which had not been open to their forefathers? Was not their Jewish nation God's Kingdom? Did not King David sit "upon the throne of the Lord"? Was it not promised that Messiah should sit upon David's throne?

Sympathetically we must concede that it was difficult for the Jews to understand that before the blessing could come to natural Israel, another, spiritual Israel, must be selected. By way of emphasizing this thought, our Lord gave two parabolical illustrations, saying, No man sews a piece of unshrunken cloth upon an old garment, because the shrinking of the new cloth would pull away the old and increase the difficulty. Likewise, no one would think of putting new wine which had not yet finished its fermentation into old wineskins, whose elasticity had been exhausted, for the old wineskins would be burst by the fermentation of the new wine.

These illustrations show that the Gospel teaching is not a patch upon the Jewish Law, but is a new proposition. And the new wine of the Gospel Dispensation must be put into new wineskins that will be able to stand the stress of the fermentation sure to come. Thus our Lord did not attempt to engraft His teachings upon the Jews, but called out of Judaism a special class, which the Scriptures denote as "New Creatures in Christ." It is to these that the new wine of the Gospel Message is committed, and these are to experience the fermentation incidental to the preparation for the Kingdom – trials, disciplines and testings.

[R4987 : page 85]

– QR. REVIEW. – MARCH 31. –

"Text: – "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." – Matthew 4:16.
N THE BIBLE symbols light stands as the representative of God, of Christ, of the Church, of Truth, of influences for righteousness, which by and by as the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in its beams for the cure of all the masses of the earth. It will scatter the darkness of sin, ignorance and superstition – the works of the Prince of Darkness, who will then "be bound for a thousand years that he may deceive the nations no more until the thousand years are finished." Of the heavenly Father we read, "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."

Of Jesus we read, "I am the light of the world." Of the Church in her present condition we read, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." "Hide not your light under a bushel, but set it on a candlestick that it may give light unto all that are in the house." Nevertheless, "The darkness hateth the light, neither cometh to the light," and "the whole world lieth in the Wicked One" – in darkness. Notwithstanding the faithfulness of Jesus and the few light-bearers enlightened with the Holy Spirit of which they are begotten, still "darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the heathen."

This same thought pervades the Scriptures from first to last, namely, that for six thousand years, from the time [R4988 : page 86] of the entrance of sin to the second coming of Jesus, the world will be subject to a reign of sin and death – it will be under a pall of darkness, ignorance, superstition, sin, etc. The only ones who will see the path of righteousness distinctly will be those guided by the "lantern" – God's Word. They are represented as saying, "Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a lantern to my footsteps." St. Peter, writing to the Church from the same standpoint, declares, "We (the Church) have a more sure Word of prophecy whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn." – Psa. 119:105; 2 Peter 1:19.

The Prince of Darkness has been in command for centuries. The only lights of the past were the noble Prophets of the Jewish line whose lights affected few in their own nation, and were not discernible at all amongst the heathen world. John the Baptist, we are told, was a burning and shining light, and Jesus was a still more brilliant light, and His faithful few during the past eighteen centuries have shined forth, reflecting their Master's light. But all of these have had comparatively little influence in the world. It still lies in the Wicked One – in darkness, seeing not, neither understanding Divine things; it is still "waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God."


Our text tells of a better day sure to come. It is not sure to come because of the operation of the evolutionary law, for the natural law would seem to contradict such a thought. Darkness leads on to darkness more intense, and while light begets light, darkness begets darkness, and the masses are in the darkness, and in the Wicked One, the Prince of Darkness. Never, then, might we hope for the abolishment of darkness except in the way in which God has foretold it – through the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom – through the shining forth of the Son of Righteousness – the Church in glory. – Matt. 13:43.

Our text is a quotation from the Old Testament; it had a beginning of its fulfilment in our Savior and in the Apostles. The people of Palestine, long in doubt, uncertainty, etc., saw a great light in Jesus and His teachings. And throughout this Gospel Age, for more than eighteen centuries, this great Light has been exercising a feeble influence amongst men. The Light itself has been pure – the Divine Word and the principles of Divine righteousness. But, alas! few have been faithful in receiving the light in its purity and in reflecting it forth upon others.

In general the light has been corrupted by human selfishness, by sin. As a consequence the name Christian today does not stand for all the blessed light and truth and grace and faithfulness to God and to the principles of love which the Master showed forth and inculcated. Instead the name Christian today is borne by about four hundred millions of humanity, many of whom, judged by the Divine standard of their "fruits," are children of the Wicked One, children of darkness, who merely use the garment of light, the name Christian, as a heavenly livery whereby to appease their own consciences and to increase their opportunity for selfishness and acquisition, quite contrary to the Leader whom they profess to be following, "the True Light."


The Apostle declares that Jesus "is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:9.) The expression, "true light," implies that there are false or imitation lights, and of these we know that there are many – lights of heathendom and lights of Christendom. The only true light, however, is that which shone forth in our Savior's teachings and example. It has thus far enlightened only a few, a "little flock." These, like their Master, are urged to let their light shine before men that others may take knowledge that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him – that they are His disciples, His followers, bearing, in His footsteps, the same light which shone forth from Him.

After eighteen centuries of experience of the light battling with the darkness, and at times being almost quenched thereby, we might well ask, what hope is there that this prophecy will ever be fulfilled – that Jesus, as the Light of the world, will enlighten every man born into the world? The Bible answers that God will fulfil this very matter in His own time, but that God's time cannot be hastened – that before the world will be enlightened, a saintly class, the Church, the Bride of Christ, must be enlightened, and must be completed and glorified together with her Lord.


Then, and not until then, will the Savior and His Church in glory be the great Sun of Righteousness which will arise over the earth, and shine forth for the healing of the people, for the scattering of the darkness of sin and the lies of error – the bringing of life, peace, joy and blessing to all who will accept the favor in harmony with the Divine requirements; but to smite down and utterly destroy the Night, and those who will still love darkness, and would corrupt the earth.

For a thousand years the glorious Sun of Righteousness (Christ and the Church, His Bride), will shine out. The work will be thorough and complete. Adam and his every child will be fully brought to a knowledge of the Truth, and will enjoy the blessed opportunity of coming back into harmony with God, by the restitution process, of which St. Peter tells us in Acts 3:19-23. This will not mean that the world will ever become members of the Bride class, or ever attain the spirit nature. It means restitution to the condition first enjoyed by Adam, lost by sin, but redeemed by the sacrifice finished at Calvary. It means human perfection to all the willing and obedient of Adam's race through the heavenly Second Adam and the heavenly Second Eve.

It means a world-wide Paradise, filled with the blessings of the Lord, who has promised that the earth, as His footstool, shall be made glorious. It means that, with the destruction of the wilfully disobedient, this earth will be like heaven. The Savior's prayer will reach fulfilment; God's will shall be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. This in turn will mean that "every knee will bow and every tongue confess," both of the things in heaven and of the things on earth, to the glory of God. And this signifies that there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying on earth, even as none of these things are in heaven.

Then our text will have most ample fulfilment – all mankind shall see the great Light which God has provided; even those "in the shadow of death" must come forth, that all may be enlightened by this "true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." O, the happy day that is coming to our poor, sin-cursed earth! There shall be no more curse, thank God! Instead of the curse shall be the Divine blessing; "and every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth shall be heard saying, 'Praise and glory and honor and dominion and might be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb, forever'"!

[R4988 : page 87]


Question. – "Your Adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist, steadfast in the faith." (I Pet. 5:8.) In what sense does the Adversary go about as a roaring lion?

Answer. – The Scriptures give us various illustrations of Satan, the "angel of light." He is compared to a serpent, a roaring lion, etc. Of course, he does not fill all of these pictures at one moment, nor does he go about as a roaring lion all the time. It is the custom of the lion to roar when in pursuit of food. The roar of the lion makes his prey – including human beings – semi-paralyzed. From personal observation, we see that fear is one of the most disastrous things for the Lord's people to have – except "fear of the Lord," which is proper fear. As God incites by love, so Satan incites through fear, through false doctrines, the root of error, which so terrorizes mankind as to the future. This kind of influence from the Adversary is what is meant by the Apostle. But we are to resist Satan.

Once the Apostles were under threat from the Jewish Sanhedrin; and they prayed, "Now, Lord, behold their threatenings." This statement, however, does not prove that the men of the Sanhedrin were devils, nor that they were viciously inclined of themselves. So today there are some people more or less beclouded by the threatenings of those who are seeking to intimidate the Lord's people. We are to be of good courage. When we hear the roaring of the lion we are to remember that the Lord is on our part and that He does not cause us to fear. The thought that Satan opposes us and that we are contending, not merely with the fallen flesh, but also with wicked spirits in high positions of power, would appal us if we did not, by positiveness of decision, acquire great help from other unseen powers. From the instant that we resist temptation and stand up for the Lord and His cause we become strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. "If God be for us, who can be against us?"


Question. – "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin." – John 15:22. Please explain.

Answer. – Our Lord explained to the Scribes and Pharisees that the light of His teaching gave a greater responsibility to those who heard it than to those who had not heard it. If they had never come in contact with the light, they would never have sinned against the light; [R4989 : page 87] and therefore, their sin was greater in proportion to the greater blessing.

So it is today. If you had never had your eyes opened, if you had never heard more than the heathen, then you would not have any more sin than other heathen people whose eyes have never been opened. But when you sin with a measure of wilfulness against the light and knowledge, your sin will be the greater. Your responsibility is in proportion to the light. This seems to be the reasonable view of the matter.


Question. – What is the difference between "the fruits of the Spirit" and "the graces of the Spirit?"

Answer. – The expression "fruits of the Spirit" has very much the same significance as "graces of the Spirit." One term might be proper to use at one time and the other at another time, according to the figure of speech which would be appropriate. If we were speaking of a quality which was being developed, it would be proper to think of the fruitage of the Spirit – those beautiful qualities worked out in our lives through the indwelling of the Spirit of God. If we were speaking more particularly of the individual and his conduct, we might more appropriately say that the graces which he manifested and which he had developed were brought out through his possession of the Holy Spirit, through his possession of the spirit of love.

page 87

Series VI., Study VII. – The Law of the New Creation.

(55) What should be our earnest endeavor with respect to reaching the mark? P. 373, par. 2.

(56) When we have reached the mark, will there be no further trials for us? P. 373, par. 3.

(57) Will the Law of Love be the standard for all accounted worthy of everlasting life at the close of the Millennial Age? P. 374, par. 1.


(58) What is the Golden Rule, and how is it superior to the highest standard of the natural man? P. 375, par. 1.

(59) How does this rule affect our relationship toward God and toward the brethren? P. 376, par. 1, 2.

(60) Explain how we are "changed from glory to glory" through obedience to the Golden Rule. P. 376, par. 3.



(61) Does the Law of Love, the "law of liberty," leave the New Creation without proper restraints? P. 377, par. 1.

(62) Will the world of mankind be under this law of liberty during the Millennial Age? P. 378, par. 1, first half.

(63) How do the New Creation properly exercise their liberty? P. 378, par. 1, last half.

(64) What reward will be given those who faithfully use the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, and why is it essential that the New Creation be especially developed and tested as to perfect love? P. 378, par. 2.

Series VI., Study VIII – The Rest or Sabbath of the New Creation.

(1) Since the New Creation is in no sense under the Law Covenant, why was Jesus subject to the Law of the Mosaic Sabbath? P. 379, par. 1.

(2) How and when did allegiance to the Law Covenant given to the Jews cease as respected Jesus and His followers? P. 380, par. 1.

(3) Was it difficult for the Jews to realize that the middle wall of partition between them and the Gentiles was broken down by the death of Christ? P. 380, par. 2.

(4) To what purpose was the Jewish Sabbath originally appointed? Was there anything in the Scriptures forbidding these new converts to preach the Gospel on this day of the week? P. 381, par. 1.

(5) Was the early Church commanded of the Lord to specially observe the seventh day (or Sabbath day) or any other day in the week? P. 381, par. 2.


(6) What were the teachings of the Apostles to the Church respecting the various feasts and seasons and days of the Jewish Law? And was the use by the Apostles of the Jewish Synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath an endorsement of the Jewish system? P. 382, par. 1, first half.

(7) Is the Gospel message affected by the building in which, or the day on which, it is proclaimed? P. 382, par. 1, last.

(8) What are the facts respecting the claim that the Christian Sabbath was instituted by the Roman Catholic Church? P. 382, par. 2.

(9) When and because of what circumstances did the proper observance of the first day of the week have its beginning? P. 383, par. 1.

(10) What was commemorated in the "breaking of bread" on the first day of the week by the early Christians, and what did it signify? P. 384, par. 1.

page 89
March 1st

Herald of Christ's Presence

Other foundation can
no man lay

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

A.D. 1912 – A.M. 6040
"The Resurrection of the Just and of the Unjust" 91
Resurrection of the Church 91
Resurrection of the World 91
Degrees of Sin and Their Punishment 93
Who Are Thieves and Murderers? 93
God is Training the Judges Now 94
A Judge Must Possess Perfect Self-Control 94
"Ye Are The Light of the World" 96
Love of the Brethren a Crucial Test 98
Causes of Friction Increasing 98
Jesus' Soul Resurrected 99
Which Day is Sabbath? 100
Man's Seventh Day 101
The Church's Sabbath Day 101
Why Men Fear the Second Coming of Christ 101
Questions Re Atonement 102

'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 90

HIS 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, 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.

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 every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "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.


Foreign Agencies: – British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


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.



[R4997 : page 90]

Fri.  April 19  Lv. New York      12:30 a.m. Penn. R.R.
Sat.   "    20  Ar. Montgomery    10:40 a.m. W. of Ala.
 "     "    20  Lv.     "         10:05 p.m. L. & N.
Sun.   "    21  Ar. New Orleans    7:50 a.m.    "
 "     "    21  Lv.     "          9:00 p.m.    "
Mon.   "    22  Ar. Birmingham    12:10 noon    "
 "     "    22  Lv.     "         10:30 p.m. Frisco
Tue.   "    23  Ar. Memphis        7:30 a.m.    "
 "     "    23  Lv.     "          9:30 a.m. C.R.I.P.
 "     "    23  Ar. Little Rock    1:30 p.m.    "
Wed.   "    24  Lv.     "          8:45 a.m.    "
 "     "    24  Ar. Memphis        1:05 p.m.    "
Thu.   "    25  Lv.     "          6:00 a.m. N.C. & St.L.
 "     "    25  Ar. Nashville      1:32 p.m.    "
 "     "    25  Lv.     "          9:30 p.m. Tenn. Cent.
Fri.   "    26  Ar. Knoxville      6:45 a.m. Southern
Sat.   "    27  Lv.     "          1:45 p.m.    "
 "     "    27  Ar. Chattanooga    5:55 p.m.    "
Sun.   "    28  Lv.     "          3:00 a.m. N.C. & St.L.
 "     "    28  Ar. Atlanta        7:10 a.m.    "
 "     "    28  Lv.     "          9:55 p.m. S.A.L. (E. Time)
Mon.   "    29  Ar. Richmond       5:05 p.m.    "      "
Tue.   "    30  Lv.     "          4:50 a.m. R.F. & P.
 "     "    30  Ar. New York       2:00 p.m. Penn. R.R.


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 April follow:

(1) 165; (2) 130; (3) 91; (4) 82; (5) 89; (6) 227; (7) 300; (8) 47; (9) 145; (10) 313; (11) 109; (12) 110; (13) 78; (14) 331; (15) 325; (16) 12; (17) 107; (18) 27; (19) 307; (20) 229; (21) 127; (22) vow; (23) 209; (24) 301; (25) 240; (26) 245; (27) 93; (28) 27; (29) 160; (30) 291.

[R4989 : page 91]


HE RESURRECTION of the just could not mean a resurrection of those who had been perfect, for there are none perfect, none just, "no, not one." "The resurrection of the just," then, must mean the resurrection of those who have been justified; and the justified are those referred to in the Scriptures of whom Abraham was an example. Abraham believed God, and was justified by faith. It was the faith that justified, and the works corroborated the faith.

So with the Church of this Age. The Apostle says, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom, also, we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Rom. 5:1,2.) We are not only justified out of sin, but are also brought by operation of our faith into the glorious standing of members of Christ; and we may hope to participate with Christ in the glories of His Kingdom in the future. It is one thing to be freed from guilt, and another thing to be raised to the position of sons of God, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, our Lord.

The resurrection of the dead is similarly spoken of in John 5:28,29, where we read, "Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth." The Lord does not mean merely all the good, for He also includes in this all that are in their graves. We read in the context that they that have done good shall come forth "unto the resurrection of life"; those who have done evil shall come forth to "damnation." The word damnation, in the Greek, signifies a crisis, a turning-point, a decision.


Those whose faith enables them to stand through evil report and through good report, and who thus fulfil the Divine requirement, are character-likenesses of Jesus. These now pass from under the condemnation condition to the life condition. As the Apostle says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." (I John 3:14.) This passing from death unto life is not in the full sense in the present time. By faith we are reckoned dead with Christ, counted members of His Body. That future life is reckoned to us. We are counted as having it; and this is our condition because we have the Divine approval.

Since there is none good, the only sense in which one could "do good" would be by coming into accord with God by obedience, as under the Covenant which prevailed with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or under the still higher Covenant that prevails with the Church in this Gospel Age. We have this testimony, that we are pleasing to God, who indicates His pleasure by begetting us of the Holy Spirit. In contradistinction, the world are aliens, foreigners. (Eph. 2:19.) By this Holy Spirit, this "unction from the Holy One," therefore, we have the evidence of acceptance with the Father.

The outcome will be, that those having this approval of God, having passed the trials and testings which they have received – for He receiveth no son whom He does not scourge (Heb. 12:6) – and having proved faithful to the end, will be raised by the Lord to the very highest place – glory, honor and immortality. This is the crown, or very highest pinnacle of life that could be imagined. So, then, those who will have part in this First Resurrection will reign with Christ a thousand years. This is the first class mentioned by the Apostle. They are approved; they shall come forth to "life resurrection."

What is the significance of "life resurrection"? We answer that these shall come forth to perfect life instantly. As St. Paul says, "It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spirit body." Thus instantaneously these blessings come to them. They have their trial in the present time and, therefore, theirs will be the chief resurrection.


But all will have a resurrection. How will the resurrection of the world differ from that apportioned to the Church? The world has not had the Divine approval; the heathen have not had the Divine approval. The Apostle says, "How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?" (Rom. 10:14.) They are not fit for heaven. They are not fit to be with the angels or with the saints, no matter how they came to be in this condition. They came into this condition because of heredity, as children of Adam. But they could not have the same kind of resurrection that those will receive who have God's approval now, at the time of their death: "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."

So with the majority of those in Christian lands. They could not be thought to be fit for heaven or to have God's approval in any sense of the word. And they know it. They confess it themselves. Nobody could deny that nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand are living "after the flesh." They are not saints, but have [R4989 : page 92] the Divine disapproval, some having heard more of the Word of God, and some having heard less.


"Those who have done evil" will come forth to the resurrection of "damnation" (Greek, krisis), resurrection of trial, resurrection of testing. What kind will it be? The Scriptures show us that it will be a gradual resurrection. During the thousand years of Christ's reign the people will be awakening from the sleep in the tomb. This awakening will be a preparatory work, not the full resurrection, which will require the entire thousand years.

But the Divine provision is that the account will have been settled for the whole world, so that when they shall come forth from the tomb in the future they will be in the hands of the Redeemer, whose Kingdom will be worldwide. They will have the opportunity of being raised again to that which was lost. Human perfection was lost, which includes not only perfect physical health, but perfect mental power; for mental power depends upon the brain, is affected by the brain, as well as by the body, so that men are now in a dying condition, mentally, morally and physically.

None will be fully raised, from imperfection to perfection, until the end of the thousand years. All who will respond to the beneficent arrangements will secure that which Father Adam enjoyed at first – perfect manhood. Those who will not be obedient to the requirements of Christ's Kingdom will be cut off in the Second Death. They will be destroyed as brute beasts, having had the full measure of Divine favor. – 2 Pet. 2:12.

"And the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." (Rev. 20:5.) When the sentence came upon Father Adam he was thrust out of Eden. All of his children have been born dying, and are still in a dying condition. Therefore, the raising of man out of sin and death will be the bringing of him to full perfection – perfect life. This will be a gradual process. They will be made more alive and more alive, and less dead and less dead, as the thousand years progress, and none will get the resurrection life until they are raised to the condition of perfection – perfect life in the image of God, which was lost by Adam.


The Scriptures declare that "the earth abideth forever" and that "God formed it not in vain; He made it to be inhabited." (See Eccl. 1:4; Isa. 45:18.) It has not yet reached the blessed condition when it will blossom as a rose, although it is in process of completion. At the end of the thousand years of Christ's reign, the whole earth shall have been brought to perfection. In the [R4990 : page 92] prophecies, mountains are symbolical of kingdoms. In 2 Peter 3:12 the Apostle's words signify that there will be a great conflagration and that the heavens also will be on fire, but that, nevertheless, there will be a new order of things, to take the place of the old order; and under this new order of things there shall come a blessing to all in the earth. The word "fire," in this sense, signifies destruction of the present order of things, of the kosmos – not the ge, the earth, but the social system, society as at present organized.

We not infrequently hear people say, "Well, matters are getting pretty hot!" Yes, the battle between capital and labor is getting hotter, as is evidenced lately in the labor troubles, particularly in Great Britain and the United States. But the time of conflagration will be such a "time of trouble" that it will entirely consume the present order of things, a time of trouble, therefore, that will be Epoch-making, and the new Epoch will be introduced immediately thereafter.


We remember riding over the mountains once with an Adventist. The Adventist brother said, "Do you not think it will be a glorious time when these mountains will be brought down to a level?" We said, "Dear brother, the mountains are very beautiful, very useful." He said, "You cannot raise corn on this mountain." "Well," said we, "go to the prairie if you want to raise corn." Then he said, "What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the mountains shall be brought low, and when they speak about the melting of the earth"? We said, "Dear brother, the 'mountains' there are kingdoms. We read that 'the Mountain of the Lord's house shall be exalted in the top of the mountains'; it will be the chief Mountain or Kingdom." – Isa. 2:2.


The Psalmist tells us that "the mountains shall be removed and carried into the midst of the sea," mountains being symbolical of the kingdoms, of the governments of the earth, and society in general, the elements which support the governments. (Psa. 46.) St. Peter also speaks as though the whole world will be consumed by fire. These things are symbolical, implying that the people who are now in a low condition will be brought up, and that those who are high will be brought low. Thus there will be a leveling process.

We remember the statement of the Scripture in Zephaniah, "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord." Here Jehovah is speaking to the Church, telling us that we should not be dissatisfied, that we should not be anarchists and strife-breeders: I shall attend to this matter Myself. You can rest with the present order of things. "Wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy." That this fire is not literal is shown in the next sentence: "Then will I turn unto the people a pure Message, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve Him with one consent." – Zeph. 3:8,9.


It will be the work of the thousand years of Messiah's reign to thus make known the pure Message of God, the pure Word of God. We all see, as we look back, that a pure Message of God has not been declared to mankind, but creed contradicting creed, making confusion worse confounded. The Lord, however, will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, and the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the great deep. (Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14.) As the Revelator puts it, "the river of the water of life" will flow freely. – Rev. 21:6; 22:1,2.

We see that there is no Throne yet established and that there is no Bride now. We are waiting for the time to come when the Throne will be established and when "the water of life" will flow out. In the future it will be "a river of the water of life." This cannot take place until the second coming of our Lord; consequently, it will be after that, in the glorious time of Messiah's Kingdom, when the Spirit and the Bride will say, "Come!" The election of the Church of God will then have been completed; and every creature will come to a knowledge of [R4990 : page 93] the Truth and will have the opportunity of attaining to the full perfection made possible by the redemptive work of Christ.


The spirit condition is spoken of as a heavenly condition in the sense that the words heaven and heavenly in the Scriptures are used to signify higher. So the heaven to which the Church will be taken is this higher condition. But the mission of the Church in the next Age is in connection with humanity. We are, then, to understand that the Lord and the Church will be present, operating through human, earthly agents; supervising, overruling.

We have an example of this invisible power in Satan, who has been ruling here for over six thousand years, through his agents. His work is a deceptive work. He has ruled mankind through ignorance, superstition, etc. But the rule of Christ will be the scattering of error, superstition. The world shall know the Truth that the Truth may make them free. Those who will receive the Truth will receive the freedom and will eventually attain the liberty which belongs to the sons of God. Men will be quite visible to The Christ, but they will be invisible to men. It is in respect to these that the Lord said that the twelve Apostles shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel – that the Apostles shall be associates with Him in judging and ruling the world.

Then there is another class: "Ye shall see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God"; but our Lord does not say a word about their seeing Himself or His Apostles. He and His Apostles will be in the invisible phase of the Kingdom. So it is written, "Instead of Thy fathers shall be Thy children, whom Thou mayest make Princes in all the earth." (Psa. 45:16.) The patriarchs will be considered the children. A father is a life-giver. While in one sense of the word Abraham and Isaac, etc., might be considered fathers, yet by virtue of Christ's redemptive work He will give them life and they will be His children; for whoever gives life is the father and whoever receives life is the child. They will be Princes in all the earth, not on the heavenly plane, but on the earthly plane, having obtained the "better resurrection" because they were faithful. Each one of them will be a sample of perfect manhood; and each one of them will be a prince or ruler. Their wisdom will be a wisdom superintended by the Church in glory.


Mankind will need to be put on trial to see whether or not they will accept God's Plan with the knowledge they will have received. If they accept they will be adjudged worthy of everlasting life. If they fail to come into harmony, they will be adjudged worthy of everlasting death. But this judgment will be passed by Christ and His Bride.

So, then, we see that there is a great judgment or trial coming to the world to give them the opportunity of deciding whether or not they will come into harmony with the arrangements of Christ's Kingdom. In the work of judging, the Church will be associated with Christ. We read that God "hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained" (Acts 17:31), Christ, the Head, and the Church, His Body. Again, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?" (I Cor. 6:2.) Therefore our own judgment or trial takes place in advance, that we may be prepared to try or judge the world; and by the experiences through which we have passed, we may be assistful to them, as they shall be on trial and under our control.

[R4990 : page 93]

HE QUESTION is often asked, "Is there any special punishment for thieves, murderers and other criminals, or will they, if repentant, be received into the Kingdom along with those who have tried to do right throughout their lives?"

This question can be viewed from two standpoints. God Himself is the great Determiner of right and wrong. Everything that is right God approves; everything that is wrong God disapproves. The things that God approves are those things that are good, helpful and favorable for everybody. The things that God disapproves are the things that are wrong, unjust, injurious to every one. Therefore God has condemned certain things as sin, because He would have us free from those things that are unjust or injurious to ourselves or to others. Whoever, therefore, commits sin, violates, first of all, a Divine command, and to that extent has a certain penalty attached to him for that wrong doing.

We speak of certain persons as "sowing their wild oats." What does this expression signify? It means that they are now contracting habits which are injurious, not only to their own health and happiness, but probably to that of others. As a result of practising sin they are sure to bring upon themselves a degradation of both mind and body. Thus sin brings its own reward in a natural way. Whoever sins will suffer, is the general Law. But aside from that Law, there is a God, who has given certain commands and certain penalties that go with those commands. [R4991 : page 93]


God's standard of righteousness is much higher than is man's present standard. Our Lord gave very fine meanings to the words "thief," "adulterer," and "murderer." He taught that anyone who is angry with his brother without a cause is in danger; that he who looks upon another's wife with impure desire has committed adultery. (Matt. 5:22,28.) These are very fine distinctions. Moreover, we must all admit, as Shakespeare has said: –

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

Many people have been guilty of stealing the good name of others; many have been guilty of murder in the sense that they hate others. When it comes to the point of deciding who are the most guilty murderers and thieves, we are not competent to judge, for we are not able to know the qualities of mind and the weaknesses with which each person was born. God only could tell the degree of wrong in any of these cases. There are some people who are, we might say, naturally good; others seem to have been born with less patience. Some who, naturally, would not get angry with their brother, nor with any one, as soon as some one else would, may never be in danger of committing murder, either literally or figuratively; for they are born with the quality of forbearance.

As these may not manifest any special patience [R4991 : page 94] more than that with which they were born, so others may manifest special qualities because of the condition in which they were born.

The world has learned the necessity of restraining those who are injurious to others. The judgment of the people of the State of New York is, according to the law, that no murderer shall be at large. He shall be confined; for a murderer is not a safe person to permit in society. Therefore, he is put into prison or is executed. This is the general judgment, outside of God's judgment. The best thing for him and the world in general is that he go down to hades, sheol – the great state of death, where he cannot murder anyone else. The Scriptures agree with the laws of the State of New York, that if a man commits heinous crimes he should be punished.


But so far as taking the position of a judge is concerned, we are not capable of doing this. God alone, at the present time, knows how much more worthy of punishment some are who are in prison than some who are out of prison would be for something else. The offense of the prisoners might outwardly be the greater crime; that of those who are not confined might be just as great a crime from the Divine standpoint; for they might be sinning against greater light and ability. No one but God could tell. Therefore, "Judge nothing before the time." – I Cor. 4:5.

When is "the time"? People are always glad to get the chance to judge others. Someone may ask, "When may we have the chance to judge? We would like to have it now." We reply, "Yours is the wrong spirit. Get rid of it or you will never be a judge at all. God is selecting another class to be judges – a saintly class that will be fully satisfied to judge nothing before the time, but to leave everything to Him. He says, "This is the kind I want. I will select them." The Apostle says, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?" – I Cor. 6:2.

We shall judge the world, not now, under present conditions, but after we shall have been changed in the First Resurrection, changed in a moment. The Apostle explains what that change will mean to us – "Sown in weakness, raised in power; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown an animal body, raised a spirit body." (I Cor. 15:42-44.) When we reach that condition of bodily likeness, as well as character-likeness to our Lord, we shall be His associates, His Wife, the Royal Priesthood. Then there will be plenty of time for us to judge the world. All the lessons we get now will only develop us for that time. All the experiences we have with ourselves – you judging yourself and I myself – the better we shall be prepared for the opportunity which God will give us by and by.


Whoever has not learned to rule his own spirit, is in no condition to rule others. Whoever has not learned to judge his own heart motives and has not put a restraint on them to the best of his ability, is not prepared to sit in judgment upon another. Those who are now being selected of the Lord are not by nature free from imperfections, but have many of the same weaknesses that others have.

Nevertheless, they are seeking to judge themselves, to be transformed by the renewing of their minds, to get self-control, or as the Bible says, to "overcome." All those who will be with the Lord in Kingdom glory and power and the work of the Millennial Age will be "more than conquerors through Him that loved us" and bought us with His own "precious blood." – Rom. 8:37; I Pet. 1:18,19.

Various qualities of murder, lust, covetousness, etc., are more or less seen in the unbalanced mental and moral conditions resulting from the fall. We see how this is operating in the whole world. Some are so mentally unbalanced they are put into asylums. Some are so morally unbalanced they are not permitted to be at large, but must of necessity be put into prison. Others are able to be about in the world and have their liberty, but they are not sound of mind. "There is none righteous; no, not one" (Rom. 3:10), is the Bible declaration.

Since we have learned to appreciate the Bible teaching, to see that a great fall came upon our race six thousand years ago, and that all are born in sin and "shapen in iniquity and in sin did our mothers conceive us" (Psa. 51:5), it gives us a great deal of sympathy for many poor people; and as we have more strength of character, mentally and morally, than some of them, we thank God and say, "Who hath made thee to differ?"

We were, perhaps, born differently from many; and what we did not get by heredity, we got through grace; so our strength of character is not of ourselves. It is all by God's grace that we are better than others; and it is not for us to glory, but to give thanks. So we have sympathy for murderers, thieves and vagabonds in general; and we believe the Lord has.

This does not mean that we have the kind of sympathy which would say, "Open wide the prison doors and let every one out!" No, no! Some who have received the Truth while in prison have asked us to intercede in their behalf, that they might be released; and we have answered that we were not sure but that they were better where they are; for in prison there is less temptation than in the world. Liberty is a good thing; but it brings a responsibility and additional trials as well.


As we consider the weakness and sinfulness of humanity, the question naturally arises, "Why is this so?" The Scriptures, not the Evolution theory, give us a satisfactory answer to the question.

When God placed our first parents in the Garden of Eden, He made this proposition to them: "If you do right, as I command, you may continue to live; but if you do wrong, contrary to My command, you shall die." Our first parents disregarded the Divine command and were disobedient. God immediately sentenced them to death. Death was the penalty of disobedience. In other words, God said, "If you are a sinner I will not permit you to live. Those to whom I wish to grant eternal life are those who will gladly obey My Law." For, as Jesus said, true worshippers will "worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." – John 4:23.

But in addition to having the death sentence passed upon him – whether that death come sooner or later – Father Adam received other punishment, aside from that penalty. Ejected from the Garden of Eden, he was brought into contact with thorns and thistles; he labored with sweat of face; he had the sorrows and troubles that come with the decaying body. All these things were the result of sin.

But so far as God was concerned, the penalty of sin was the death sentence merely. In effect God had said, "You are not fit to live; you are not fit for everlasting life; you shall not have everlasting life." But through the sacrifice of His human nature, Jesus, by the grace of God, has tasted death for the whole world [R4991 : page 95] of mankind – Adam and all his children, all of whom will ultimately be redeemed from God's sentence. They will be redeemed from death in order that Jesus may, during His Messianic reign of one thousand years, lift them up out of sin and degradation.


But do you ever think to what extent man degrades himself? To that extent he will be more degraded than is necessary; and whenever the time comes for his uplifting, the lower he is, the more difficulty there will be in getting him up again. Since God's arrangement for lifting mankind out of the death condition is that he must help himself, each man must labor to rise from his degradation, and must be assisted in his labor. But by his own efforts he must get out of the difficulty. No man will get out by saying, "I would rather be out of this and have life." The way back to perfection will be an up-hill way. It will not be the narrow way of the present time – darkness on every hand, a strait gate, etc. – but a highway, an upward way, something favorable to the person going up. He cannot roll up, but will be required to put forth some effort to get up. He will not be required to put forth so much effort in a month or in a year or in ten years, as we have to put forth, but he will have a good share of the thousand years of Christ's reign in which he can gradually rise up out of his imperfection. [R4992 : page 95]

We, on the contrary, are required to turn from sin to righteousness and to make a full sacrifice of ourselves to the Lord. Then we must walk in the Narrow Way to the best of our ability. In this we have the Master to help us; but ours is a short, sharp period of fiery trial; and if our trial is hard, we have the assurance that there is a great reward to those who come off victorious in this battle against self and sin.

In a word, then, when people die, that is the end of things, in one sense of the word, and not an end in another sense of the word. When a man is dead he has come under the full sentence of the Law, for the Law said, "Thou shalt die."


A junk heap represents the condition of humanity, as well as it can be represented. Some people will go to a junk pile and find a great deal of value there; they can do something with this, that and the other thing. Our Lord is the greatest Restorer ever known. When His Kingdom is set up, He will take over the world of mankind, approximately 20,000,000,000 of humanity – Adam and his children, all in their broken, fallen condition; and then the great work of refreshing and restoring will begin. The sawing, the hammering and the filing, if you please, will continue during the whole thousand years of the Millennial reign.

So, you see, the condition into which a man gets himself now has a great deal to do with his future. Many will be so degraded that when they come forth from the tomb they will have a very difficult time. Some of these are mentioned in the Scriptures. We are told that some will come forth to shame and lasting contempt. There are many people who will come forth to shame. After they had died, many have been found to have been defaulters; many people have been found to have indulged in very criminal acts; yet perhaps no one knew it while they lived. These things came out after their death, and some things may not have come out yet; but we may be very sure that when the Lord's time shall come for the general opening up, there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed. Therefore, keep your records as clear as possible. Whatever is there will surely be made manifest, is the Lord's declaration of the matter.

When the world's history shall all be known, some that we have thought to be very honest, just people, we may find to have been just the reverse; and others who may have been thought to be dishonest may be found to have been very honest. The judgment of the world is not always right. This is one reason why the Lord warns His people not to judge at the present time. We are not competent now. The Lord will judge in the future. When that time comes and the whole world of mankind are brought forth to have their trial before the "Great White Throne," the books will be opened. Then some will have shame, and some will have great contempt, which will last just as long as they are contemptible. How long will they be contemptible? Just as long as they remain in the wrong state of mind. But if they will obey the terms and regulations of the Messianic Kingdom they will rise daily out of their degradation and meanness, coming back more and more to the perfect likeness of God in the flesh, as represented in Adam.

As mankind rise from their fallen condition, so this contempt will pass away. At that time people will perhaps say, "Well, you know he was a very wicked man in his time. He suffered contempt when it was first realized what a degraded character he was." Or, "She was a wicked woman, but now see what a change has come over her! See how well she has gotten along! See what effort she is putting forth! See what character she is developing!" And all will rejoice to see the change.

By the end of the Millennial Age, one who was in shame and contempt at the beginning will, if he has taken the right course, have been lifted up above it. We see the principle illustrated in the Scriptures. Saul of Tarsus was in shame and contempt because he was a murderer and blasphemer. But we do not hold him in contempt. Neither do we hold St. Peter in contempt because he denied the Lord. At that time it will be said of the world just as we say of the Apostles when we see what wonderful characters they were afterwards. When the world shall have been brought to a knowledge of God and His righteousness under the favorable conditions of the Kingdom, restitution will take out of them all imperfections and give them all the good qualities that God originally gave to the perfect man, when God said that he was "very good."


But do not the Scriptures say that no murderer shall enter the Kingdom of God? Yes. The Scriptures state that murderers will not be in the Kingdom, that they will be outside – have no part in it – "without are murderers," etc. (Rev. 22:14,15.) This statement does not signify that a man who has once been a murderer might not reform and become a saint and an heir of the Kingdom. We have already referred to one murderer mentioned in the Scriptures, guilty of the murder of St. Stephen, Saul of Tarsus, who afterward became one of the most notable Apostles. He was a murderer, the responsibility of Stephen's death lay at his feet. He was a member of the Sanhedrin and approved of the stoning of Stephen, without which approval the latter could not have been stoned.

So when we read that no drunkard or murderer of robber shall enter the Kingdom, the New Jerusalem, how shall we understand it? In this way: that when during the Millennial Kingdom all mankind shall have the opportunity of coming into harmony with God, those who maintain a sympathy or love for unrighteousness of any kind will not have Divine approval. They will not be [R4992 : page 96] permitted to enter within the gate of the City, which symbolically represents the Kingdom and the Divine favor. Originally, Jerusalem represented the Church. "I will show thee the Bride, the Lamb's Wife"; and "the wall of the City had twelve foundations [foundation stones], and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb." (Rev. 21:9-14.) But into that City there would be brought the good only.

So all the world of mankind who will come into harmony with God will come into that City, into the New Jerusalem and Kingdom of God, and outside of that City will be found all impure characters. We have them pictured in this statement, that liars and murderers, etc., shall have their portion in the "lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." This "lake of fire and brimstone" is as symbolical as is the City. As the City is not a literal city of gold, neither is the lake a literal lake of fire and brimstone. That City was pictured by Jerusalem, and the "fire" by Gehenna. As the offal of the literal city of Jerusalem was put into the Valley of Hinnom for destruction and for the purification of the city, so all the offal of the Millennial Kingdom will be destroyed and be kept outside of the Golden Jerusalem. That will be a glorious Kingdom, free from anything that would be a blight or blemish or sin; and all who love unrighteousness, in any sense of the word, will be destroyed in "the lake of fire," which is, we are told by the Revelator, the Second Death. – Rev. 21:8.

[R4992 : page 96]


"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." – Matt. 5:16.
E NOTICE that our Lord's statement in this text draws a particularly sharp line of demarcation between the Church and the world. He is not their Father, but our Father; it is not their light, but our light. The Lord was addressing the Apostles in particular and all the "overcomers" of that time. But He gives us elsewhere to understand that we who believe the testimony of the Apostles are counted in as the same class, so that these words are applicable to us also today. This statement implies that the class which the Lord acknowledges as His disciples have some special light that marks them out as light-bearers. This light that has come to us is the illumination referred to by the Apostle Paul in other places. This illumination that we have received is the light of the Holy Spirit.

One does not receive this light when he says, "I will lie no more; I will cheat no more; I will blaspheme no more." If anyone were in a state of alienation from God it would be very proper for him to turn from these sins. But turning from sin would not make one a child of God. We know a great mistake is generally made in the world by thinking thus. There is only one way of coming into this relationship of sons, and that is the way that the Scriptures set forth – faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, full confidence in the Divine arrangement of which He is the Center, a faith which works, a faith which would lead us to the point of full consecration – baptism into His will. It is the strait gate and narrow way.


No one is in the family of the Lord at the present time unless this person has entered through the strait gate into the narrow way. Such begin to be marked by the Holy Spirit, which illuminates their hearts and minds, giving them a clearer light on things in harmony with righteousness. This illumination, this light which is in us, the Lord says we should be careful lest we lose it. If that light should go out, we would be in greater darkness than we were before.

In another place it is written, "Quench not the Spirit." (I Thess. 5:19). It could be extinguished entirely. We are, therefore, to keep it as an evidence that we are children [R4993 : page 96] of God. And if this light be in us we should not keep it secret, not put it under a bushel. We should not say, "We know not the Man" – we know not Jesus. For if any one is ashamed of Him, He will withdraw the light from such a one. One who is ashamed of Him and His cause is ashamed of everything that is right. Such have no right to be in the Church; for the Church are to be the Body of Christ and joint-heirs in the Kingdom of glory and in the work of judging and uplifting mankind.

So, then, we must not be ashamed and hide our light from the masses of men. We have a new illumination. We are to set our light upon a candlestick that all within the house – our own family, our own household, our neighbors – may see it burning; that they may all know that we have a light upon the character and Plan of God; that we see the difference between sin and righteousness, justice and injustice.


Whoever holds up a light must of necessity confess the light he is holding. Of some our Lord said that they confess with their mouths, but deny in their lives. We are to let our light so shine that it will bring honor to the Father's name. This means that our whole lives are to be in conformity with the professions we are making, so that others will see and say, "Well, that man believes what he preaches. It is good that such a person lives in our neighborhood." They may not always prefer us for companions, for wherever the children of the light go, it has a reproving influence.

Let us not be surprised, then, if when our neighbors have a reception and entertainment they say, "We will omit their names, for we shall have some wine and some good times, and we do not want them in." We are not to expect the world to love us. We are not to marvel if it goes to the other extreme. Yet not all of the world will hate us. Some will criticize and find fault; others will notice a consistency and say, "It looks to me as though this is genuine."

We are living epistles, "known and read of all men." (2 Cor. 3:2.) The light is conspicuous because the darkness is general. We are not to consider this text as being in conflict with that which says we are not to let our left hand know what our right hand does, nor do our good deeds to be seen of men. There is a difference between doing our good deeds to be seen of our neighbors, and in doing them to be seen of our Father. The person who is doing his good deeds to be seen of men will be noticed by people in general, who will say, "Well, I do not believe that he means half he says. He is a hypocrite."

But the person who is living to glorify the Father will not do good to win applause for himself. Whatever he does in the way of charities, or in visiting the sick, etc., he will prefer to do it in an unostentatious manner, making as little show about his good deeds as possible. Consequently, the result will be beneficial to himself and to [R4993 : page 97] the person to whom he ministers, for he does these things for the glory of God.


The latter part of the text says, "and glorify your Father which is in heaven." It was not the Master's expectation that the little light which the disciples would let shine would have a convincing effect upon the world, and that they would all fall down and bow before the Father. Even if the whole world knew about the narrow way, only a few would be willing to undertake to walk in it. Therefore the Lord hides these things from the world, and reveals these secret things respecting the great "high calling" to the meek, to the humble, to those to whom the knowledge would be most advantageous.

How do the world, then, glorify the Father which is in heaven? How would men glorify our Father? We answer that there is a difference between vicious, worldly people and well-meaning worldly people. We are inclined to believe that the majority of mankind, who are in alienation from God and who have no ear to hear the message of the "narrow way," have, nevertheless, an appreciation of righteousness. And if without too much cost they could be righteous, just, generous and all that would be noble, as represented in perfect humanity, they would like to be so. Many of the world have an appreciation of nobility in others. They would like to have it themselves. The difficulty is that the cost of righteousness is more than they are willing to pay.

This class say, "We approve the righteous way, but at the present time it is too difficult. To walk in it would mean the blighting of all our hopes and prospects. We would have to consider whether we could make such transactions as would bring us prosperity. These things are too difficult now. If there was just as much reward to do right as to do wrong, we would prefer it. We honor God. We honor the principles of righteousness. We see some of the principles of righteousness exemplified in these peculiar people. They are of God. We appreciate these things. Indeed, it is the ideal life. They glorify God. Evidently God is a righteous God; and we hope He will not do too much harm to us. But we cannot let go of the things of this world. Perhaps we may become saints before we die. Who knows?" So they have the idea that they will be neither too saintly, nor too bad!


The influence of light is christianizing, civilizing, uplifting and produces a regard for right, an appreciation of right and wrong, a respect for God. But we are not to think that the building of cathedrals, etc., has had an enlightening influence in the world, nor that the members of these institutions have the light. They admit, themselves, that they are not saints. Only a small number in the world have been saints.

But this minority has had an influence all down through these eighteen hundred years – and it is having an influence today. Look at Jesus and the Apostles! See how the light from their lives and conduct has had an enlightening influence upon the world in leading men to honor our Father! Every one of the Body of Christ all down the Gospel Age has had light, has had influence to some extent and has had something to do with scattering the darkness and inculcating reverence for the Heavenly Father.

We see an illustration of this in the Apostle Paul, who was suffering for righteousness' sake. He was before the Roman Governor; and as St. Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance and the coming judgment, or retribution, Felix trembled. He apprehended; he was convinced. He said, "Here is a man who is living in harmony with these principles of righteousness. The life of this man Paul shows what right is, and that my life is wrong. And if the Lord is to reward right-doing and punish wrong-doing, this Paul will get good things from God. But what shall I get?" So he trembled.

There is a natural dread in mankind because they know that they deserve punishment. The Scriptures tell us that there will be a righteous recompense of reward. St. Paul's words were a great blessing to Felix, for that light which was shining out of Paul's life and words led Felix to see his wrong condition. He might have thought, "It will be altogether right for God to give me some punishment for my sins."

Again, as the Apostle was reasoning before Agrippa and Festus, Agrippa said, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." St. Paul said, "I would to God that, not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds." (Acts 26:28,29.) Having the thought pass before his mind, however, did not make Agrippa a saint. But he had heard the things which led him to appreciate his own fallen condition. He saw that St. Paul was suffering for right-doing and that he was suffering for wrong-doing. He saw that God is a God of justice.


Another Scripture somewhat along the same line reads, "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles that...they may glorify God in the day of visitation." (I Pet. 2:12.) This shows us a distinction between the day of their visitation and the day of our visitation. This Gospel Age, the present life, has become the day of our visitation, when in the Divine favor it is the time of forgiveness of our sins and of our being brought into relationship with the Father.

No one can have these blessings now except he can exercise faith; otherwise he does not have his day of visitation now. "We who believe" and "enter into rest" are having our "day of visitation." God has come to us now, and has adopted us into His family. And His Plan is that if it so be that we are willing to suffer with our Lord, we shall also reign with Him in glory. This is our visitation day of honor.

Will the remainder of mankind have a day of visitation and honor? Most assuredly so; they will have opportunity to avail themselves of the redeeming work of our Savior. If their ears are not open now to hear and their eyes to see, the day will come when this will be so; if not now, in the blessed opportunity we have, then it will come by and by. But if we have our day of visitation and neglect these things; if after having put our "hand to the plow" and having received of the good Word of God, we look back; and "if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries" of the Lord. – Heb. 10:26,27.

But those who do not share in this "day of visitation" will have an opportunity of coming into harmony with God later. If they cannot be reached by the gentle methods mentioned and the visitation by which God is calling out the special class now, they will have an opportunity in the next Age, when judgment will be laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet; when all the righteous recompense of reward will be brought to bear, to give each one according to his course.

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"Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." – Psa. 133:1.
SALM 133
is evidently prophetic and seems to refer to the brethren in "the Church, which is the Body of Christ." This thought is implied in the second verse, which says, "It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments," which is a picture of the Holy Spirit running down over the Body of Christ, the Church.

The Psalm seems to be specially applicable to our day, although it has always been a pleasant sight to see brethren dwelling together in unity. In times of persecution there would be greater unity, because there would be fewer likely to attach themselves to the Church; outside persecutions would be likely to deter all but the truly consecrated. Such persecutions all would be likely to feel, and only those who had common interest and common cause would be drawn together.

But as persecution would cease and as more would come into the Church, who were not so zealous, the opportunities for differences would seem to increase. Although today there is much opposition to the children of light, there is, apparently, little persecution. The Truth has attracted a number, some of whom, probably, are not all that they should be. In fact, none of them are what they desire to be – copies of God's dear Son; but each and all should be striving to attain to the standard.


It might at first seem strange that there would be any friction between these favored children of God. One would suppose that their hearts would be so filled with the Holy Spirit that there would be no room for the weeds of hatred, envy, strife, jealousy, and that these would be crowded out by the fruits of the Spirit. Perhaps such was the condition when we first made our consecration; and there was no room for these works of the flesh. But it seems that the causes of friction are increasing rather than diminishing. It is proper, therefore, that we should note the source of the difficulty and thus be enabled to ward off the danger and to be peacemakers amongst the brethren. "Ye that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak." (Rom. 15:1.) If this standard be the measure, there are not so many strong as we might have hoped; therefore, it behooves each of us to become strong and helpful to the weak brethren in the Church.

One thing to be considered is that there is more opportunity for friction amongst those who are spirit-begotten New Creatures than there is amongst the world, as a whole; that is to say, a company of people in the nominal Church would find it easier to live together in unity and peace than would a company of people more thoroughly enlightened, energized by the Truth. This statement might seem strange at first, but becomes more apparent as we examine. In the nominal Church religion is more a matter of form. With nominal Christians it is customary to dress up and attend meetings, to sit quietly and then to return home. Pleasant things are noticed, as, for instance, the sunshine, the flowers, the bonnets. Thus the day passes. But with those more enlightened there is a greater activity of mind, of thought. We, too, love the flowers, and all things provided for us by our Heavenly Father. We discuss these – and there is much opportunity for discussion; for as no two persons look exactly alike, so no two persons think exactly alike.

Some of the Lord's people boast that they do their own thinking. But the wisest course is for us to do our own believing. Some subjects are matters of inference and not of knowledge. We are taught of God. He tells us thus and so in His Word, and, if we accept these propositions as they come from the Lord, we can do so without too much discussion. It is pleasant, of course, for us to philosophize on the teachings of God's Word; it is our privilege to believe that which the Lord has stated to us. But whatever philosophizing we do should be kept in restraint and in harmony with the Divine statement. And when we remember that while we are philosophizing each other one is philosophizing also, we see where comes in the doctrinal difficulty.

These different doctrinal matters are drawn from the Scriptures. But as soon as we begin to reason about the things not written, there is danger of conflict. Whoever sticks most closely to the Word of God will thereby not only do himself good, but will also be able to avoid controversy with other brethren and their philosophies. We presume that the Lord would not be averse to our having certain reflections along certain lines. We are, nevertheless, to remember that if we have a thought and present it to the brethren, and it does not seem logical to them, we are not to force it upon them, nor are they to force their views upon us. The difficulty seems to be that there is a tendency in such matters to fight each thought to the finish, to want everybody to agree with us, whereas the proper way is to be content and let the matter rest.

Each brother has a right to his own opinion. We have no right to make our own views tests. The things that are tests are the things given us in the Scriptures; as, for instance, it is a test with us and as to our standing with the brethren that we should believe that Jesus Christ is the Anointed One and the Savior of the world; that we are to be joint-heirs with Him and share in His inheritance; that we are bought with a price; that we are to have share with our Lord in the sufferings of this present time and in the glories to follow.

Such plain Scriptural statements are to be the ground of our belief, and not any fanciful interpretations put on them by some others. Some see the more general outlines; some see the details and fail to see the general outline. While those who possess the different casts of mind are to be neither blamed nor praised, yet they must grasp the thought that we are to be willing to suffer for the Truth – in our loyalty to God, to the brethren and to the Truth in general.


We are to remember that these brethren who find it so difficult to dwell together in unity have this difficulty in part because of their real intrinsic worth, or character. There are some people whose characters are like putty; there are others in whom you can make a momentary dent, as in a rubber ball; still others are like diamonds. The class that are diamond-like have attained a firmness of texture, of character. If we put a number of balls of putty, a number of rubber balls and a number of diamonds into a pan and shake them well, the diamonds will scratch everything with which they come in contact, because they are so hard. The Lord is not looking for the rubber ball class now nor for the putty class. In due time the Lord will deal with all classes – the people who are of the putty kind and the people who are of the rubber ball kind. But we know that the Truth is appealing now only to the jewel class, the diamond class.

When learning that there is danger of stumbling each other, wounding each other, the knowledge should give [R4994 : page 99] us wisdom. We should be appreciative of the fact that these brethren have real characters, and that they are not of the putty kind. Even their differences show character. We should try to appreciate the fact and so to exercise ourselves as not to irritate them. We are to counsel them, and to remember that they, as New Creatures, are just as desirous of pleasing the Lord as we are. We must, therefore, have patience with each other. There is one text in the New Testament which declares, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." (I John 3:14.) The intimation is that some of the brethren would be hard to love, and that, unless we had passed from death unto life, we would be unable to love them.

The Truth seems to take hold on the stronger characters rather than on the weaker ones. The former have in their flesh more of the firmness, grittiness and combativeness than have many others, who are too pliable and "wishy-washy" to be acceptable to the Lord as members of the "little flock" of overcomers. Thus we see that the very quality which makes us acceptable to the Lord and which is one qualification of the overcoming position, is a serious disadvantage in some respects, when a number of these come together as a Church.

Even a diamond surrounded by mud would cut nothing, would scratch nothing; but place a dozen diamonds together, and the more you get rid of the mud element the more gritting, scouring and cutting there is likely to be. So it is with the Lord's jewels – the more they come together, the more they get wakened up, the more opportunities there will be for friction, and the greater necessity there will be that all be thoroughly imbedded in and covered with the Holy Spirit, which, like oil, is smooth and unctuous and tends to prevent friction.

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I CORINTHIANS 15:1-11. – APRIL 7. –

Text: – "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses." – Acts 2:32.
ODAY'S STUDY leaves the words and works of Jesus and, appropriate to the Easter season, we are to consider our Lord's resurrection. At the very outset we are confronted with certain errors which have gradually crystallized around the central truths of God's Word. One of these errors is the supposition that the resurrection of the dead, which the Scriptures hold forth as the hope of the Church and of the world, is to be a resurrection of the bodies which go down into death.

This mistake has given ground for Infidelity to sneer at this precious doctrine of the Bible. We are asked, How could the dust which once constituted the bodies of thousands of millions of humanity ever be re-collected and rearranged so that we could say that those bodies were resurrected? The infidel urges that many of humanity have been eaten by fishes and animals, and many other corpses have been absorbed by vegetation, which in turn has been eaten time and again by man and beast, entering into the many organisms. The proposition is manifestly unanswerable, yet it does not refute the Bible teaching of the resurrection, but merely our creedal misapprehensions of the Bible teaching. What the Bible does teach is that the real man is the soul, the being, and that he persists while gradually his body keeps changing – sloughing off.

Scientists estimate that the human body undergoes a complete change every seven years, so that a man fifty years old will have lost seven different bodies through natural wastes. None of those bodies was the man himself, for he is the soul, the intelligent personality, which used those different bodies. According to the Bible, the process of rejuvenation would have continued everlastingly had man by obedience continued in Divine favor and in the enjoyment of the everlasting life promised. It was sin, therefore, that brought the death penalty – the death of the soul. It was Adam's soul that sinned, it was Adam's soul that died. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"; "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."

The result of this Divine sentence upon man would have been extinction – he would have been on the same plane as the brute, without a provision for eternal life, had not God in great mercy provided a redemption – that Jesus Christ by the grace of God should taste death for every man. The death which Jesus experienced was exactly the same kind as the one which destroyed Adam – the soul of Jesus died, as the ransom price for the soul of Adam (including Adam's posterity). Thus we read of Jesus, "He poured out His soul unto death"; "He made His soul an offering for sin."

It is by virtue of this corresponding price which Jesus paid that ultimately Adam and all of his posterity, every soul of man, will be granted a release from the death penalty – a resurrection from the dead. It will be a resurrection, not of the dead bodies, but of the dead souls. In the resurrection God will give to each soul a body as it has pleased Him. – I Cor. 15:38.

The few during this Age who have become followers of Jesus, begotten of the Holy Spirit, will be granted spirit bodies like to the Savior's. The remainder of mankind, not having been begotten of the Holy Spirit, will in the resurrection be granted human bodies, the same as they previously had; and their raising up will bring them eventually to all the perfection of the first Adam, unless they refuse the grace of God, in which event they will die the Second Death, from which there is to be no resurrection.

It is because God has provided for such a resurrection of the souls of men that the Scriptures speak of humanity as not being dead in the same sense that the brute beasts are dead – actually. On the contrary, they speak of the souls of men as being asleep – awaiting the resurrection, when they shall be quickened to life, in conjunction with the bodies which God will supply at that time – earthly bodies to mankind in general, heavenly bodies for the saintly few who will receive the Kingdom.


St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost declared that the Holy Spirit then bestowed came as a result of our Redeemer's death and resurrection and ascension on high. It proved that He had appeared in heaven on behalf of those who desired to be His followers, His Bride class. St. Peter argues backwards to prove that while the sacrifice of Jesus, finished at Calvary, was to pay for Divine reconciliation, nevertheless there could have been no reconciliation if Jesus had remained dead. Hence he laid stress upon the fact of His resurrection, and he reminds us that this was foretold. The Prophet David declared, "Thou wilt not leave My soul in sheol, nor suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption." – Acts 2:27. [R4994 : page 100]

St. Peter's quotation of this, in the Greek, substitutes the word hades for sheol, showing that the two words have the same meaning – the tomb, the state of the dead. St. Peter points out that the Prophet could not have used the word respecting himself, because his soul was left in hades, and his flesh did see corruption. St. Peter said, "David has not ascended into heaven, and his sepulcher is with us to this day." (Acts 2:34,29.) He proceeds to point out that the words were a prophecy of the resurrection of Jesus, that His soul, poured out in death as the redemption price for Adam's soul and for the race, was not left in death, in sheol, in hades, but He was raised from the dead.

St. Paul tells us that "He was put to death in flesh, but quickened in spirit." He declared that Jesus, in His resurrection, was exalted to a higher than human nature, to a higher than the angelic nature – far above angels and principalities and powers – the divine nature.


Many have supposed that the fact that our Lord appeared as a man to His disciples after His resurrection proves that He is still a human being, "a little lower than the angels." This is a great mistake. He was the Church's Forerunner, and St. Paul explains the Church's resurrection, saying, "It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown an animal body, raised a spirit body." Hence the resurrection of Jesus must have been as a Spirit Being. Again we read, "Now the Lord is that Spirit." – 2 Cor. 3:17.

In considering the Lord's eight appearances to His faithful ones after His resurrection, we should remember that He had two purposes to serve: (1) He wished them to know that He was no longer dead. (2) He also wished them to know that, resurrected, He was a Spirit Being of the highest order, with all the privileges and powers that spirit beings like the angels exercise. As angels could materialize and appear in the flesh and then disappear, and had done so in the past, so did Jesus. In order that they might not misunderstand He appeared in different forms; on two of the occasions, in forms representing the Crucified One; on the six other occasions, in various forms, as the gardener, the sojourner, etc.

In the last verse of our study the Apostle sums up the essence of his preaching, saying, "So we preach and so ye believe." This, in the first verse of our study, St. Paul calls the Gospel; and the word "Gospel" signifies "good tidings," which St. Paul and the other Apostles preached, namely, that God, in His own due time, four thousand years after sin had entered the world, had provided a Redeemer, who had died a ransom price for the man Adam. The Redeemer had risen that He might, as Jehovah's Anointed One, the Messiah, confer upon the human race the blessed opportunity for restitution to all that was lost in Adam, and redeemed at Calvary.

But before this could be accomplished, the Church, the Bride class, must be selected from amongst mankind, to be the Second Adam's Bride, on the same plane of glory as the Second Adam, for the regeneration of all the willing and obedient to human perfection – all that was lost.

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MARK 2:23-3:6. – APRIL 14. –

Text: – "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." – Mark 2:27.
HAT THE BIBLE teaches some important lessons respecting the Sabbath is undisputed, but what that lesson is is much questioned. The fourth commandment of the Decalogue refers to the seventh day and requires its observance as a day of rest, and no more. The Ten Commandments, as a whole, were the basis of the Law Covenant, compulsory upon every Jew. The Jew keeping all of those commandments was promised everlasting life. Failure to keep them all condemned him afresh. There can be no doubt on this point.

However, in our Lord's time, Jewish religionists had become to a considerable degree formalists, and greater stress was laid upon the literal commandments than on their real spirit, their real meaning. Jesus reproved this on several occasions, saying to the Doctors of the Law, "You bind heavy burdens upon the people." For instance, to hunt for a flea on the Sabbath was construed to be a violation of the fourth commandment, a breaking of the Sabbath, for it was claimed that the man was hunting as truly as though it were a buffalo or a lion.

Similarly, as mentioned in this lesson, fault was found with our Lord's disciples because, passing through a wheat field, they rubbed out some of the grains in their hands and ate them. This was construed as a violation of the Sabbath because it was threshing, winnowing, whether the amount was small or great. Jesus did not violate the Sabbath ordinance nor teach men so. He was a Jew and bound to keep the Sabbath law to the full. He did object to such nonsensical misinterpretations as we have mentioned. In this study He shows that the Sabbath was ordained for man, and that it is a mistake to suppose, as some then and some now seem to suppose, that God made [R4996 : page 100] man simply to keep the Sabbath. One day of rest to six of work was intended for man's comfort and protection, and at the same time to symbolize a certain great lesson, which we shall note hereafter.

Jesus, knowing the mental attitude of His hearers in respect to ancient customs, supported His teaching by citing them to what David did – that in an emergency he ate some of the show bread, unlawful except for the priests, and that doing so he was not punished, not considered blameworthy. Jesus, as the Son of Man, was Lord of the Sabbath, and had a right to explain its true import.

Later Jesus went into the synagogue where there was a man who had a withered hand and they watched Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath day, that they might accuse Him. Addressing them, Jesus said, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath, or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" They made no answer. The Savior was grieved and angry with a righteous indignation that men should so seriously mistake and misrepresent the Divine arrangement as to think it sinful to relieve human distress on the Sabbath. Then He said to the man, "Stretch forth thine hand!" It was healed. But the Pharisees, more zealous for their theory than for the truth, for the letter of the Law than for the spirit of the Law, were angry and took counsel with the Herodians how Jesus might be destroyed – be killed.


No commandment was given by Jesus or the Apostles to the Church respecting the Sabbath day. The early Church evidently did observe the Jewish seventh day in many places, and in some places the first day of the week, the anniversary of the Lord's resurrection; and sometimes [R4996 : page 101] they observed both of these days. But their observance was not that of law or command, for the Apostle wrote, "Ye are not under law, but under grace." They had the privilege of keeping either or both of those days holy, sacred to the Lord, resting from earthly affairs and giving themselves peculiarly to spiritual matters.

So with us today. We are glad that one day in the week is so generally observed as a day of rest or Sabbath (Sabbath day signifies rest day). We are glad that the day so generally set apart is the first day of the week, because it so beautifully commemorates the Christian's hope, attested by our Lord's resurrection from the dead on that day. And if God's people had two Sabbaths, or seven of them in the week, we believe they would have that much more of blessing.

Indeed, to the Christian, every day is Sabbath, every day should be used as holy to the Lord, and nothing should at any time be done contrary to the Divine will or the principles of the Divine Government. Jesus' declaration that He was Lord of the Sabbath reminds us afresh of St. Paul's declaration that God the Father rested from His own work on the Seventh Day; He left the work entirely for Jesus to do. The Seventh Day of Jehovah's rest was one of the great Days of the Creative Week, each seven thousand years long. Six of these great days had passed and man's creation was in the end of the sixth.

Having established His human son in Eden as the god or ruler of the earth, Jehovah rested or ceased from His work during the Seventh Day or seventh period of seven thousand years. Six thousand years of this seventh period have already passed and Jehovah God has rested, ceased from His work – He has not interfered to assist man or lift him out of sin and degradation. Another thousand years of the seven remains, but God will not personally engage in man's rescue even then. Why not? Because it is a part of the Divine Program to leave fallen man and his rescue entirely in the hands of Jesus. He is Lord of this Great Seventh Day.


This entire period of seven thousand years which constitutes the great Seventh Day or Sabbath, with God, is divided with man into seven great Days of a thousand years each, in six of which he has been under a reign of sin and death, toil and suffering; but the Seventh, or Sabbath of a thousand years, has been appointed for his rescue and uplifting and blessing. In that glorious Seventh thousand-year period Jesus is to be Lord. It will be the great Antitypical Sabbath, and the great Antitypical Jubilee for mankind. The six days of toil will terminate in the great Sabbath of Messiah's glorious reign and the blessing of all the families of the earth.


St. Paul clearly intimates that to the Church, the New Creation, every day is a Sabbath day, in the sense that God's consecrated people rest as God rests, in faith, in hope, in trust that Jesus will eventually deliver the groaning creation and bring them into a glorious Sabbath, Rest. St. Paul says, "We who believe do enter into rest." Literally, we who believe have a perpetual Sabbath. Seven days in the week, and fifty-two weeks in the year our hearts rest in the Lord and take comfort in the glorious promises of His Word through faith. Thus we rest from feelings of responsibility and worry on account of the world's salvation in exactly the same way that the heavenly Father rests.

We, like the heavenly Father, have the fullest confidence that the Redeemer will yet accomplish the blessing of all the families of the earth, and bring all the willing and obedient into the great Rest Time of the future – the thousand years of the Messianic Kingdom, in which the world will be released from the slavery of Satan, sin and death – in which the groaning creation "will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God" – so many as are willing and obedient.

But while the Church is thus resting by faith and now enjoy a Sabbath, even though, according to the flesh, we are passing through tribulation hoping to attain a share in Messiah's Kingdom, the Apostle points out that "There remaineth a rest for the people of God" – still a different one from that which we now enjoy. The actual rest or Sabbath will be not merely that of faith and rest of heart, it will include also a rest from all labor, while our works will follow with us. In other words, the resurrection change will bring us full relief from the trials, the toils of the way, and usher us fully into the glorious blessings of the resurrection state.

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LL MEN realize that they come short of perfection. Additionally, nearly all realize that in the past of their lives lie crimes more or less serious. In the majority of minds fear is instinctive. Under proper limitations it is a healthy condition. "Let us fear lest a promise being left us of entering into His [Divine] rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." The fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." – Heb. 4:1; Psa. 111:10.

But the Adversary has taken advantage of this proper and wholesome fear through what the Apostle terms "doctrines of devils." Thus from infancy an abnormal, irrational fear has obtained a lodgment in nearly every mind, heathen and civilized. Of this fear the Lord, through the Prophet, says, "Their fear toward Me is taught by the precepts of men." (Isa. 29:13.) These "precepts of men," or human traditions, have grossly misrepresented God and His Word; and alas! many, even Bible students, are seriously handicapped by these devilish theories established in a period of ignorance and superstition, but supposed to be based upon the Divine Word.


Amongst other false theories respecting the second coming of Christ we have the view held by our Adventist brethren, that the moment of the Lord's coming will be the "crack of doom" to the world and the inhabitants thereof – marking the end of hope for all not previously brought into relationship with God through Christ, as saints. And Adventists are not alone in this theory. Practically the creeds of all denominations teach the same thought, which is the very reverse of the Scripture presentation.

St. Peter describes the time of the second advent and the blessings that will then come to mankind. He says, "Times of refreshing [greenness – springtime] shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive [retain], until the Times of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy Prophets since the world began." – Acts 3:19-21.

The Scriptures teach that Christ Jesus and His glorified Church will together "judge the world." (Acts 17:31; I Cor. 6:2.) The judging of the world is commonly supposed [R4997 : page 102] to signify a condemning, or damning of the world. The real thought, however, is that having condemned the whole world through one man's disobedience, God has arranged that the entire race of Adam shall have a full fair, personal trial for life or death everlasting, as a result of the redemption accomplished by our Lord Jesus. If God had shown no mercy, there would have been no redemption and no future judgment. The trial of Adam six thousand years ago had its result and its penalty, under which sin and death have reigned for six thousand years.

Having provided the Redeemer, God is about to establish the Messianic Kingdom for the very purpose of giving to all humanity a special, personal opportunity for reformation, uplift, sanctification and the attainment thus of life everlasting. Only the preliminary steps of this great plan have yet been taken:

(1) The Redeemer has died, the Just for the unjust. – I Pet. 3:18.

(2) He has appeared in the presence of God for us, the Church, and thus, as our Advocate, has made it possible for us to become His Bride, or, under another figure, "members of His Body." – Heb. 9:24; 2 Cor. 11:2; I Cor. 12:12.

(3) This offer, or opportunity for the Church, has separated from the world all those who accept this High Calling. They become Spirit-begotten children of God and, prospectively, joint-heirs with Jesus. They now share with the Redeemer in sacrificing the earthly life and, if faithful, will by and by be granted a share with Him in the glorious work of His Kingdom – the judging of the world – the giving of the world a fair, impartial trial for life everlasting or death everlasting. – Rom. 8:17.


However, there is another side to this question. The Scriptures indicate that at His Second Coming only the saintly ones will be ready to receive the Master with joy; that at that time the masses of mankind will be so associated with sin and injustice that, instead of being worthy of His approval, their course in life will come under reprobation and stripes. Hence, it is written, "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you"; "Woe unto you that are full now." – Jas. 5:1; Luke 6:25.

Babylon the Great is to fall; and the wonderful institutions of civilization, which are partly good and partly bad, will be found only partly satisfactory to the new King and the rulers of His Government. This will mean that many who are now stewards of wealth, influence, position, honor of men, etc., will be called to account and dispossessed of their stewardship. Their realization of their losses is figuratively represented in the Scriptures as wailing and howling and misery, as that class will suffer the loss of practically all upon which they are now setting their affections.

We are not saying that the poor are more righteous than the rich, but this class are more numerous; and those who have little of this world's goods and who are used to trials and scarcity will probably feel less the great time of trouble impending than will some who have long rested in the lap of luxury.

Under various symbolic figures the Bible graphically pictures this day of trouble which is approaching – as a whirlwind, as a fire, as a tempest, as a flood, as a "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." That this great day is near, and "hasteth greatly," has been distinctly shown recently and is shown again today in the labor disturbances of Great Britain. There a startled world has been given a glimpse of the fires of passion and anger and resentment which are smouldering beneath the surface and which will shortly envelop the world in a fiery trial, the like of which the past has never known. – Dan. 12:1.


From this standpoint the apprehensions of mankind are well based in respect to the Great King's disapproval of much that is carried on in the world in the name of civilization, yea, in the Master's own name! But let us not dwell too much upon this side of the question. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Let us rather point men to the glorious silver lining to that dark cloud which draws daily nearer and nearer. Let us point men to the glorious blessings of Messiah's Kingdom, and teach them to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done," and to strive to understand and appreciate the principles governing that Kingdom; peradventure they may pass through the time of trouble with the less injury.

Hearken to the words of the Prophet (referring not at all to the Church, which is accounted worthy to escape those things coming upon the world, but speaking to mankind in general and exhorting the better element of the world), "Seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be that ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." (Zeph. 2:3.) It surely will be true that the more meek and more righteous men may be the better they will be prepared for the awful shock and terrible distress of that day of trouble, which as a plowshare will prepare the hearts of mankind to receive the good seed – the Message of Divine Truth and Grace, which then will be made known to every creature.

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DEAR BROTHER asks some questions, the answers to which, we believe, will be helpful, both to himself and to others – either by confirming their understanding of the Truth or by correcting misunderstanding. We trust that the answers will be helpful to many of our readers: –

Question. – Would it be right to say that all the merit of our Lord's sacrifice is imputed to each and every individual when Scripturally he becomes a believer?

Answer. – No; the entire merit of our Lord's death was already in the hands of Justice when Jesus ascended up on high, but it was not applied in any degree nor to any person. According to the Divine intention that merit is to be applied for Adam's original sin and for all the sins of his children, which are the result directly or indirectly of original sin. Thus we might say that every member of Adam's race has a personal, individual interest or share in that redemptive merit, coming to him by Divine arrangement.

Our Lord left the early Church with the instruction that they should tarry at Jerusalem for the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the evidence of their forgiveness of sins and of their adoption as children of God. He ascended on high and appeared in the presence of the Father – for the entire Church of the First-borns. The imputation of His merit was for them all, as well as for the representative few of the Lord's followers who waited for the blessing in the "upper room." [R4997 : page 103]

Question. – You have pointed out that no less than the full merit of Christ would be sufficient for the sins of any individual of the human family. How, then, shall we think of sub-dividing this merit amongst these various individuals composing the Church of the First-borns and amongst the individuals who will compose the restitution class of the future?

Answer. – The placing of the entire merit of Christ in the hands of Justice guarantees to Justice a full satisfaction for all the Adamic weaknesses of all mankind – even before that merit is specifically appropriated. And since the Church was a part of the world, for whom the sacrificial merit is a sufficient price, God could be just in imputing to each one coming in the name and merit of Jesus a sufficiency of His merit to make up for the imperfections and shortcomings; and so of this entire class – "the Church of the First-borns." The imputation of this merit to the Church as separate and apart from the world engages and obligates that merit for awhile in making good the imperfections of the flesh of the Church, so as to permit this class to offer to God a justified, and, therefore, an acceptable sacrifice.

But this is merely imputed or loaned to the Church, because the Church does not wish to keep the earthly rights of Jesus. The Church wishes to sacrifice its all and thus to follow the example of Jesus. And the great High Priest imputes to them enough of His merit to make the Church's offering acceptable when offered by the High Priest. When all of the Church of the First-borns shall have attained to the rewards of the spirit nature, all of the merit of the High Priest, Jesus, will be released, so far as they are concerned – the whole amount will again be free in the hands of Justice, as it was when Jesus ascended up on high.

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Question. – Would it be correct to say that the merit of Christ cannot be compared to a garment or robe until after consecration?

Answer. – A robe is a covering. The wedding robe of the parable represents our Lord's merit imputed to His people as a covering for their blemishes or imperfections of the flesh. This robe takes cognizance of the Church as the prospective Bride who acknowledges the Headship of Jesus her Lord. Another figure represents the members of the Church as wearing white robes and hoods or bonnets, the illustration of the under-priesthood. In this figure the priests represent the brethren or Body members and indicate that they are not independent, but under and subject to the Headship of Jesus.

The robe of Christ's righteousness imputed to the Church as a covering for her blemishes and to make her acceptable gives place to or becomes transformed into a robe of her own righteousness, in the resurrection. As our Lord Jesus is represented as robed in white linen, so the Bride is pictured as arrayed in fine linen, "the righteousness of the saints." The imputed robe merely covers our fleshly blemishes and imperfections in the present time.

The new body which God will give us in the resurrection will be perfect of itself and need no imputation of the merit of Jesus. The spirit body of those who will attain to the "first resurrection" will be absolute, complete, perfect, as was the resurrection body of Jesus. The robe of Christ's righteousness, imputed to cover our fleshly imperfections, we will need no more, because we will no longer have the fleshly imperfections.

The new robe is said to be embroidered. And this figure carries with it our endeavors at the present time to develop the character-likeness of Jesus – to perfection, in the spirit. As we read, "It (the New Creature, the soul) is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown in dishonor, raised in glory; it is sown an animal body (needing the imputation of Jesus' merit); it is raised a spirit body" (in full possession of a merit of its own).

Question. – Will any of those found worthy of a place in the Bride company wear Christ's robe of righteousness?

Answer. – We understand that all who make the consecration do so and are accepted, in one hope of their calling, and that that one hope is the hope of being a member of the Bride class and joint-heir with Christ. The fact that there will be a "great company" is a special favor ordained of the Lord in the interest of those who do not prove sufficiently zealous to be counted in with Jesus as "more than conquerors."

The "great company" of Revelation 7:9 is composed of such as fail to come up to the highest standard of sacrifice required of the Lord, but who, nevertheless, will prove not unfaithful in their final test. These are said to have not kept their garments unspotted from the world; hence the requirement that they shall wash them in the blood of the Lamb – prove their loyalty under discipline and stress, having failed to prove it by voluntary obedience unto sacrifice. Thus both the Bride and her virgins who follow her all wear the Bridegroom's robe (justification) in the present life. And all in the future life will attain perfection on their own account.

This imputed robe will not be needed by the "great company" after they shall have experienced their "change" to the spirit condition; for they, too, will be changed, in a moment and thereafter possess an individual perfection of their own.

Question. – Will not the Church when she shall have passed under the veil have all the merit of Christ in her hand to put on the mercy-seat?

Answer. – No; the Church has nothing whatever to do with atoning for sin, even as the under-priests had nothing whatever to do with the presentations of the Day of Atonement blood on the propitiatory.

A correct view of the matter, we believe, is this: The High Priest, Jesus, ascended on high and made imputation of His merit to the Church. Those who waited in the "upper room" for the Pentecostal blessing had presented themselves before God, desiring to be accepted of Him as sacrifices. They did not sacrifice themselves, they merely presented themselves for sacrifice. Thus we read, "I beseech you, brethren, that you present your bodies living sacrifices." The presentation matter is ours, not the Lord's; the acceptance of the offering as a sacrifice is wholly the Lord's – the High Priest's work. With the acceptance of our flesh as a sacrifice we cease to be as men and thenceforth in the sight of God and of each other we are living members of the Anointed One – the High Priest.

The High Priest accepted the Church as a whole through its presentation at Pentecost. And in harmony with the Scriptures we come into this favor or grace, which remains open until the last member of the Body of Christ shall be perfected and pass beyond the veil. The work beyond the veil will not be ours as under-priests. It will be the work of the High Priest to sprinkle the blood of the Lord's goat as He sprinkled the blood of the bullock. The figure of the "Bride" is to be distinctly eliminated in any thought of sacrifice, and is to be merely associated with the Redeemer and Bridegroom, as joint-heir in His Kingdom. The figure of the under-priests is the one which applies to the Church in respect to all sacrificial matters.