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August 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. 1916 – A.M. 6044
How We Attain Development as New Creatures 227
Operation of the Holy Spirit in Us 227
How the Husbandman Deals With His Vine 228
Mortification of the Deeds of the Body 228
Divine Recompense to Those Who Sacrifice 229
Re Partially Wilful Sins Before Consecration 229
We Reap What We Sow 230
The Thought of God (Poem) 230
Sowing to the Flesh – The Result Death 231
The Riot at Ephesus 232
Reformation Costing Sacrifice 232
Journeying Toward Jerusalem 234
Especial Dangers Amongst Elders 235
"Day and Night With Tears" 236
Munitions-Militarist Conspiracy 237
Minneapolis – Winnipeg – Sioux City – Newport Conventions 237
Interesting Letters 238

'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.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Aug. 19-22.  For assignments
    address A. Fosbraey, 727 Pine Ave.
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Aug. 24-27.  For assignments address
    Milton E. Confehr, 1516 McGavock St.
LOS ANGELES, CAL. – Sept. 2-10.  For assignments address
    F.P. Sherman, 808 Figueroa St.
SEATTLE, WASH. – Sept. 14-17.  For assignments address
    H.G. Backbock, 2410 First Ave., W.
MILWAUKEE, WIS. – Sept. 16-24.  For assignments address
    C. Hilton Ellison, 2704 Wells St.
DAYTON, O. – October 5-8.  For assignments address Dr.
    Chas. E. Kerney, 475 S. Broadway.


Many of the Railroads sell special Excursion tickets to Niagara Falls. We recommend inquiring of your Ticket Agent respecting Excursion rates before purchasing.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company offers a $7.50 excursion rate, round-trip from Pittsburg. Whether other Railroads have a cheaper offer, we do not know. Bible Students going from nearby towns can buy to Pittsburg and there purchase the Excursion ticket mentioned.


All considering attendance at Los Angeles Convention, Sept. 2 to 10, or Seattle Convention, Sept. 14 to 17, or both, are advised to consult W.L. Jones, 4100 Mich. Ave., Chicago.


We learn that amongst Bible Students there is a division of sentiment in respect to some of the newspapers publishing Pastor Russell's sermons. Surely each person is at liberty to patronize whichever paper he finds most convenient in price, etc., and, in his judgment, most likely to be helpful in scattering the sermons amongst people who are not acquainted with the Truth! Each should consider the Lord's will in the matter, and each has a perfect right to express his judgment to others. We counsel that all papers publishing the sermons be considered as friendly, and advise that the Brethren in expressing their views use logic and not bitterness, and that the Lord's will and not personal prejudice shall prevail – "Speaking the Truth in Love."

The Society's thought is that the Truth is best served by the encouragement of newspapers which reach large numbers of outside readers.


After the close of the hymn the Bethel family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for September follow:

(1) 164; (2) 12; (3) 328; (4) 114; (5) 300; (6) 107; (7) 145; (8) 149; (9) 1; (10) 191; (11) 4; (12) 19; (13) 228; (14) 139; (15) 111; (16) 100; (17) 109; (18) Vow; (19) 279; (20) 307; (21) 333; (22) 165; (23) 113; (24) 66; (25) 71; (26) 208; (27) 105; (28) 226; (29) 119; (30) 313.



SERIES I., "The Plan of the Ages," gives an outline of the Divine Plan revealed in the Bible, relating to man's redemption and restitution: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

This volume has been published as a special issue of our journal at the extremely low price of 5c. a copy, in any quantity, postage included. (To foreign countries, 9c.) This enables people of slender purse to herald far and wide the good tidings in a most helpful form.

SERIES II., "The Time is at Hand," treats of the manner and time of the Lord's Second Coming, considering the Bible Testimony on this subject: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES III., "Thy Kingdom Come," considers prophecies which mark events connected with the "Time of the End," the glorification of the Church and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom; it also contains a chapter on the Great Pyramid, showing its corroboration of the dates and other teachings of the Bible: 384 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 75c. (3s. 1½d.)

SERIES IV., "The Battle of Armageddon," shows that the dissolution of the present order of things is in progress, and that all the panaceas offered are valueless to avert the predicted end. It marks in these events the fulfilment of prophecy, noting specially our Lord's great prophecy of Matt. 24 and Zech. 14:1-9: 688 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES V., "The Atonement Between God and Man," treats an all-important subject – the hub, the center around which all the features of Divine grace revolve. Its topic deserves the most careful and prayerful consideration on the part of all true Christians: 640 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

SERIES VI., "The New Creation," deals with the Creative Week (Genesis 1 and 2), and with the Church, God's "New Creation." It examines the personnel, organization, rites, ceremonies, obligations and hopes appertaining to those called and accepted as members of the Body under the Head: 750 pages, in embossed cloth, 35c. (1s. 6d.) India paper edition, 85c. (3s. 6½d.)

The above prices include postage.

[R5931 : page 227]


"If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." – Romans 8:13.
ORTIFICATION of the deeds of the body through the Holy Spirit of God is here declared by the Apostle Paul to be essential to the attainment of everlasting life. But to some who had become His disciples, the Lord said, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." Again, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life." (John 3:36; 5:24.) The Apostle John in his first Epistle says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren"; and "He that hath the Son hath life." – 1 John 3:14; 5:12.

We must not understand St. Paul to contradict our Lord and the Apostle John. Our Lord Jesus and St. John were speaking from the standpoint of God's reckoning – from the legal standpoint. Those who have accepted Christ, and have received of His atoning merit, have come out from under the Adamic death condemnation. Their present imperfections, as well as their past sins, are covered by this merit. Through consecration and begetting of the Holy Spirit they have become New Creatures in Christ. Hence the everlasting life provided for such is already considered as theirs, while they abide under the Robe of Christ's Righteousness. They are now "saved by hope."

The Apostle Paul is here speaking of the matter from the standpoint of its full accomplishment, when the Church shall have obtained their spiritual body and are absolutely perfect, and have received the actual fulness of unending life. This will be attained only in our resurrection. No life can be everlasting, in the strict sense, unless it is to last forever; and this is not determined until we have made our calling and election sure. But it is reckoned to us so long as we are faithfully meeting God's terms and conditions. Life could not last forever under present earthly conditions, even though the penalty of death were entirely removed; for these conditions are not favorable thereto. Conditions and environments must be radically changed before life could last eternally and be enjoyed in its fulness.

The embryo of life that we have received from our begetting as New Creatures is perfect so far as it has progressed; but it must continue to grow and develop, to make progress, until we are finally born perfect, complete, New Creatures in the First Resurrection. "Blessed and holy are they that have part in the First [chief] Resurrection. On them the Second Death hath no power."


The many exhortations addressed to this class of spirit-begotten ones would not be at all applicable to the world in general. The Apostle Paul is telling us as God's spiritually begotten sons how we are to make ourselves ready for our birth in due time. He says that we are to accomplish this great preparatory work through the Spirit, through the power of God. The Spirit, or power of God, operates in various ways. For instance, God's Message of Truth is given to us, embodying the different features of God's great Plan, showing us what is the will of the Lord for us. The more we study and understand this Plan, the greater will be the operation of this holy power of God in our hearts. The deeper our consecration, the more sympathy shall we have with all the purposes of the Lord and the more fervently shall we desire to do the Divine good pleasure.

God through His Holy Spirit is not operating at present upon any but this special class. Whatever there is in the world of nature is all the result of the operation of God's Power, His Spirit, in a general way; but the Apostle in our text is referring only to the influence of the Spirit of God upon the soul. In the New Testament writings the work of the Holy Spirit refers only to those who have become God's people under the terms laid down by our Lord Jesus Christ. All such are under the Lord's special care. God began this good work in us. It is not of men nor by men. Therefore we must look to God to complete this work which He has begun, and must give Him our full and hearty cooperation.

We are to go to God's Word, and are to study it prayerfully, using all the helps which His providence has furnished thereto, seeking thus to learn the meaning of that Word, seeking to put it into expression in our lives. Just as it is necessary to partake of natural food that we may have our bodies strengthened and sustained, so God has given us spiritual food, that we may get spiritual sustenance and strength and may understand His will. This operation of God upon us and in us through His Holy Spirit is a gradual work; that is, after we have been begotten. Many of us have been so beclouded with the errors of our former beliefs that we are unable to see the deep things of God at the first glance. Therefore we need to study, and to meet together with those of like precious faith. If this is not possible for some, because [R5931 : page 228] of isolation, they can at least meet with the brethren by means of the printed page.


As we come to understand more clearly all that full consecration to God signifies, our thought on the subject gradually changes. When first we came to God, many of us had the thought that God's will for us was to accept Christ as our Savior, and then to live a good, decent, moral life, to enjoy ourselves in any legitimate ways, to take good care of our bodies, and to attend church on Sunday, and perhaps other meetings. We thought that all who did not do this would be lost, that there would be no future hope for them. But this is not God's Plan at all. We have learned better now. God has shown us that the only way by which the Church of Christ can ever attain to the Heavenly inheritance is by the destruction of the human nature and its interests, by the relinquishing of all earthly hopes and ambitions.

At first this is a new thought to us, and the question presents itself, "Does God wish me really to mortify, kill, my human nature? Am I not to seek to cultivate all my natural talents and make the most of them? Am I not to [R5932 : page 228] live a natural life, so long as I do not sin?" One not begotten of God's Holy Spirit would say, "Why, certainly; follow the cravings of your nature, so long as you keep within bounds. If you would enjoy a good theatre, or a game of base-ball, go; and have a good time. If a glass of liquor does not hurt you, take it. If you have a natural talent for music or painting or whatever, it is your duty to make the most of it." This is worldly counsel.

In Jesus' Parable of the Talents, the talents given by a certain lord to his several servants represented opportunities of service for that master. The master placed an opportunity in the hands of each servant and expected him to improve it. So our Heavenly Lord and Master places before His servants certain opportunities to be improved to His glory, and to be used as each has ability. These opportunities are given in harmony with natural ability and not in violation of it; but this does not mean that every ability we may possess, whether its use would glorify God or not, must be improved and employed. As New Creatures we are to employ all our powers to God's glory. If they cannot be so used, we are to sacrifice them and spend ourselves in directions that would be in harmony with our Covenant of Sacrifice.


To each consecrated one who has entered upon this Heavenly way we would say, You have placed yourself in God's hands. You have asked the Lord to transform you, to renew your mind, to make you entirely over, that you may be fitted and prepared for the glorious position He has promised. So all your powers are to be turned in the direction toward which you are to be trained by your Master. If the grape-vine under the husbandman could reason and speak, it would probably say, "It is natural for me to develop an abundant supply of foliage and to throw out branches and tendrils in every direction to support me." But the wise husbandman vigorously prunes off these superfluous branches and tendrils that dissipate the strength of the sap, that develop only wood and leaves, and that cause the vine to cling to improper supports. The husbandman seeks for fruit, rich, abundant fruit; and everything which would hinder this attainment must be sacrificed. The vine would tend downward. The husbandman trains it to grow upward. So does our great Heavenly Husbandman train His spiritual vine, that we may bring forth abundant fruitage to His praise.

We no longer belong to the world. Our course now is to be that which God has marked out for us in the Scriptures. If we do not mortify, kill, the deeds of the body, we shall never gain the eternal life promised to the faithful overcomers alone. In order to attain eternal life, the life now held out to us – glory, honor, immortality – we must conform ourselves to the instructions given us by our great Training Master. We are not to do this in our own unaided strength. This would be impossible. But our Heavenly Father has promised to work in us while we work out our salvation with fear and trembling.


The real thought of the words, "Mortify the deeds of the body," is not what some have thought – to mortify our body. According to history, and according to some present practices, we learn that some have imagined that they must torture and punish their body. They use whips upon their flesh until they draw blood. Then they wear hair jackets. Sometimes their bodies fester from the pricking hairs that torture the raw flesh. Some mortify their bodies by actually lying down for others to walk upon them and to wipe their feet upon them. We cannot question that those who do these things have a motive in so doing; and we could not think it a bad motive. But they have entirely misapprehended what is the Scriptural mortification.

The Apostle tells us that it is the deeds of the body we are to mortify – the natural practices of the fleshly nature. "It is my nature to do so and so," says one. But the Bible says we are not to go in the way in which we were born; for we were all born sinners. We now have the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, to guide us in the way in which we should go. We are to mortify everything in us which is not fully endorsed by our new mind, everything that would hinder the death of the old creature – already reckoned dead – and hinder the growth of the New Creature. Certain elements of the mortal body are to be destroyed, warred against at all times. Other qualities of the human body are to be utilized in the service of righteousness. We were once sold under sin. But we have been purchased back, and now we have the mind of Christ.

We are now to treat our human body as an earthen vessel to be used to the glory of God. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit we are to know how to use this human vessel. We are to remember, first, that it is reckoned dead as a human body, having been sacrificed with Christ when we made our consecration to be dead with Him; second, that while reckoned dead, this body has actually been stimulated, quickened, revivified, to serve the New Creature, as its property, its servant, in lieu of the spirit body which we are to have, but have not yet obtained. Every property of this body which can be used in the interests of the New Creature, is to be utilized.

We are not to say, "If I use a certain natural talent which I possess, I can bring comfort or pleasure to others, or can promote some work of reform." The question for us is, "Will the use of this natural talent or power assist me as a New Creature or assist in the work of gathering out and preparing the Bride of Christ for her future work?" This is our present mission. There are those who can do the other things. So we find that the process of developing ourselves as New Creatures and of assisting in the building up of the brethren in the most holy faith requires our undivided attention, and means a continual warfare of the new nature against the old. The Apostle calls it the warring of the spirit against the flesh. Our development into the likeness of Christ requires that we do good unto all men as we have opportunity – where it will not interfere with our consecration vows – but especially [R5932 : page 229] to the Household of Faith, as the Apostle tells us.

As our flesh is only reckonedly dead, and not actually, we are to be continually on guard. Our tongues are liable, unless carefully and prayerfully guarded, to speak slanderously or perhaps to make cutting remarks. All of our members are to be brought into harmony with God and His will. We are to have the sentiment of the hymn we often sing:

"Let mine eyes see Jesus only." We are to continually look to Him to be directed. We are, by thus seeing Him, to become more and more conformed to His glorious likeness. We are to endeavor to see everything from the Divine standpoint. We shall never become perfect in the flesh; but so long as we are tabernacling in this body, it is our duty and privilege to compel the body to do the will of the New Creature.

Our human body was once a slave to sin, a slave to the things of this present evil world. Now we are to say, "This body belongs to the Lord. I must control it to His glory. I am determined to increase day by day my power over this body, that I may use it more and more fully in the service of my King. I am not to do foolish things. I am not to leap from the pinnacle of a temple to see if God will not protect me while I am trying to show that I am a special favorite of Heaven. But under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I am to get the most out of this body that I can, in the service of Him whom I have accepted as my new Master.

All this is necessary to our development of the character required for our great future work, not only for the coming Age, but for all eternity. We are called to joint-heirship with Christ. We can scarcely grasp what this means. We would never be prepared for such an exaltation if we did not prove overcomers. And this means that there is something real to overcome. Overcoming means the development of character, growing strong in the Lord. He declares that He is calling for only such as do thus overcome.


The world will have a thousand years to bring their bodies into perfect harmony with the Lord's will, and they will not be required to sacrifice the legitimate desires of their flesh. But we are required, after we have accepted the present Call, to sacrifice the interests of the flesh; and we have but a very limited time in which to develop the necessary character. God is now selecting and directing those only who of their own will wish to lay down their lives with Christ. They love Him supremely; and He is pleased to call these holy ones His jewels. No good thing will He withhold from these. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard what God has in reservation for these who love Him." These are going on from grace to grace, living not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

To the world it looks as if these are having a hard time. Moreover, the Bible says, "Through much tribulation shall ye enter into the Kingdom." And again, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12.) Unless a man deny himself and take up his cross and follow Jesus, he cannot be His disciple. But, on the other hand, all true Christians will agree with the Apostle that it is possible to reach that degree of development where they will rejoice in all these experiences, rejoice while the flesh is being mortified, deadened. It is not that we are naturally so different from other people that we would enjoy what they dislike, but that we see a reason why we should rejoice. We know that this is God's plan for us; and that [R5933 : page 229] by this mortification of the will of the flesh, of the things of the flesh, we are growing in God's favor.

"Great peace have they that love Thy Law, and nothing shall offend [stumble] them." So these have the peace of God ruling in their hearts. They have the knowledge that all of their affairs are under Divine supervision. The world have their troubles and fears. Some who are rich in this world's goods worry for fear they will die in the poorhouse. Many misers have been found dead with a large amount of money secreted about them, having feared all their lives that they would come to poverty and want. Some have had various other forebodings. But those who have put their trust in the Lord have a peace that the world cannot know and cannot take away. It is superior to anything the world can offer.

But we cannot explain this to the world. They would be unable to comprehend it. The world sometimes say of the Lord's consecrated people, "Is he a fool?" They cannot understand our hopes, which are so blessedly real to us. Those who have entered the School of Christ, and who have learned of Him, know. We all know that for everything which we deny ourselves now our God gives us abundant compensations in our spiritual blessings and joys even here; and then we have all the unspeakable glories promised to His saints awaiting us just beyond the veil.

"Then let our hearts be surely fixed
Where truest joys are found;
And let our burning, loving praise
Yet more and more abound.
And gazing on 'the things unseen,'
Eternal in the skies,
From glory unto glory,
O Savior, may we rise!"

[R5933 : page 229]

IN is to be viewed from two different standpoints. The Bible declares that all are sinners; for in Eden the whole race was judged and the whole race was condemned. These sinners may more or less sear their own consciences by doing things which they know are wrong, and may thus further degrade themselves mentally, morally and physically; or they may strive against sin and their own weaknesses and try to improve their character and their life. To whatever extent they do either the one or the other they are advancing or deteriorating.

But with the world God is not at present taking account of either of these courses. He has provided that all who will come back into harmony with Him shall have the favorable provisions of the Millennial Age, restoring them fully to God's image and favor. That will be their trial time. It is not what mankind do now that will determine their eternal destiny, although their present course will affect their character, making them more or less likely to respond to the opportunities of the next Age. The present lives of some seem to be so hardening them that many stripes will be necessary in the Age to come before they can be brought into an obedient and teachable attitude, if, indeed, they ever respond and come into heart-harmony with the Kingdom arrangements. What men do now may degrade or elevate them, but will not bring them either eternal life or eternal death; for the world are all under sentence of the first death, all under the Adamic penalty.

God has plainly declared that there is to be a future life, a future hope, and why this is so and how release [R5933 : page 230] from this sentence is to be brought about. Moreover, He has given a special Message during this present Age to which some of us have gladly responded. We have determined that if God thus graciously designs to offer eternal life to every human being, and will now receive those who desire to be in harmony with Him, we will turn away from sin and live contrary to it, and will be servants of God and of righteousness. All who take this stand are directed of the Lord through His Word and His providences to the terms and conditions upon which they may become members of the Christ company, the Church company. God's provision is so broad that it has made ample arrangement for all their necessities.

Only now, therefore, is there such a thing as sin unto death, wilful sin, that will decide their eternal destiny. The Apostle Paul says, as the mouthpiece of the Lord, that if we, the Church of Christ, sin wilfully after we have received the Spirit of God – after we have come to a knowledge of the Truth as it is in Jesus, and have tasted of the Heavenly gift – there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins – only destruction. (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-31.) If we sin wilfully after we have left sin, then our course indicates perversion of mind, change of heart, a returning to a wallowing in the mire. None but the Church can do this; for only these have passed from death unto life. We made a bonafide contract with the Lord, and He will not ignore it. He will hold us to it; and we must either fulfil our covenant or meet the penalty – eternal death.


But no sins that we committed before consecration are those wilful sins which will bring the Second Death. Such wilful sins are committed after consecration. Let us take the experience of Saul of Tarsus as an illustration. It would seem that Saul did not commit wilful sin when he persecuted the Church of Christ; for he said afterward that he verily thought he was doing God service. We can readily see how a strong character like Saul of Tarsus might think he was serving God in stoning St. Stephen and in other acts of like nature. He supposed that the followers of Jesus of Nazareth were violating the Jewish Law and trying to overthrow Judaism. He thought he was upholding God's institutions. He had no intimation whatever that he was doing anything contrary to God's will. When he was stricken down by the supernatural light and heard the Lord saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" he was astonished, and said, "Who art Thou, Lord?" It was a strange thought to him that he was persecuting the Lord; for he supposed that he was serving God. But as soon as he saw his error and realized that he was persecuting the Lord's people, he turned about at once and came into full harmony with the Divine will. He evidenced by his sincerity of heart that he had not wilfully done wrong.

We cannot suppose that if Saul had been committing wilful sin in stoning St. Stephen, the Lord would have appeared to him and would have sent His servant Ananias to give him instruction. Nevertheless, Saul had done wrong, and he received a measure of stripes, of chastisement. His semi-blindness for life was in measure a retribution, a correction, as well as a means of keeping him humble in view of later revelations. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.

As we understand the Scriptures, the merit of Christ's death does not cover wilful sin of any kind, but only those sins which are done unintentionally by us. It would seem that those who love sin, who prefer sin, are not likely to be reached by the Gospel Message of this Age. Those who are not satisfied with themselves, but who are in difficulties merely on account of the weaknesses of the flesh, are the kind most likely to be reached. If at any time before coming to the Lord these honest-hearted ones have committed sins which had some measure of wilfulness, they probably had some later experiences that were in the nature of stripes, some sufferings therefor, either before consecration or subsequently.


When one becomes a New Creature in Christ, we understand that all the affairs of the old creature are settled legally before God's Law. Whoever comes into Christ becomes dead as a human being, in God's reckoning. But if in his past life he has violated the laws of his being by a course of improper living, by committing sins that affected his health, the seeds of those sins will still be in his body; and he may throughout his entire life be obliged to suffer the results of this past wrong-doing. Or if in a moment of passion or under the influence of drink, for instance, he may before becoming a Christian have committed a crime, he may have to suffer to the end of his life because of this. But this would not mean that these sins had not been covered by the merit of Christ. It would be the natural retribution for wrong-doing, for violating Divine Law and perhaps human law. His sins would be the result of Adamic weaknesses and not purely wilful; and when he gives his heart to the Lord, they are no more remembered against him.

Our thought would be, then, that there are no sins of the Christian prior to consecration to be reckoned for after consecration, though the weakness or disabilities resulting from former sins may remain with him while he remains in the flesh, and he – or she – may always have these weaknesses or their results to contend with. "As a man soweth, so shall he also reap," is a universal Law of God operating in our being, even though, through the Ransom-sacrifice of Christ, one may be received into the family of God and forgiven. Had it not been for the redemption through Jesus, all these sins would have meant death eternal. No one can indulge in sin without its making its impression upon the mind and upon the body, and the New Creature has that much more to struggle with. But he will have the Lord's sympathy, and he has the constant application of the merit of his Savior as a covering [R5934 : page 230] for those sins and infirmities against which he is fighting. He has the Throne of Grace to which he may daily go for cleansing, through the precious blood, and to which he may go in every time of need.

The fact that sins indulged in will leave their effects in both mind and body which may require years to eradicate, should cause even those who are not consecrated to the Lord to live clean, pure lives, to seek to be in harmony so far as possible with the laws of their being. If all the world could realize the importance of this and would act accordingly, they would be greatly advantaged in the Age to follow this, when the whole world will be on trial for life or death eternal.

[R5934 : page 230]

"I look to Thee in every need, and never look in vain;
I feel Thy strong and tender Love, and all is well again.
The thought of Thee is mightier far
Than sin and pain and sorrow are.

"Discouraged in the work of life, disheartened by its load,
Shamed by its failures or its fears, I sink beside the road;
But let me only think of Thee,
And then new heart springs up in me.

"Thy calmness bends serene above, my restlessness to still;
Around me flows Thy quickening life, to nerve my faltering will.
Thy presence fills my solitude;
Thy providence turns all to good."

[R5934 : page 231]


"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." – Galatians 6:7.
N THIS text the Apostle seems to be emphasizing the fact that it is not enough that we make a consecration of ourselves to God, but we need to show by the earnestness of our conduct that we have received a transforming power into our lives. If we say that we are New Creatures and make a change merely in our profession, while still sowing to the flesh, the result will be not according to our profession, but according to our doing; and we shall reap the reward – corruption. Others may be deceived, and we may be deceived ourselves; but God will not be deceived. If we, on the contrary, to the best of our ability to understand the Lord's will, lay down our lives, sowing to the Spirit, then shall we reap everlasting life.

The Apostle is addressing the saints, the consecrated people of God, those who have presented their bodies living sacrifices, and whose sacrifices have been made acceptable through the merit of Christ. Being made New Creatures by the begetting of the Holy Spirit, these are to go on to reach perfection on the spirit plane.

If we, then, who are of this class, live after the flesh – according to the desires of the flesh – we shall die. This does not mean that if any of God's people should have some earthly desire or some wrong sentiment spring up in their minds they would die instantly, or that they would instantly be cut off from any hope of future life on the spirit plane. The thought is that if we live after the flesh – pursue the desires of the flesh, follow that course in life – the end will be death. And every seed thus sown tends toward death. If we sow to the flesh, we shall of the flesh reap corruption.


It would not be necessarily true in such sowing that we would wish to sow to the flesh. The Apostle intimates that the class he is addressing do not wish to sow to the flesh, but wish to do otherwise. But if we do sow to the flesh – to sensuality or to any earthly desires contrary to the new nature – the crop will come by and by. We might like to have better clothes and delicious food; we might desire to live on a good street and in a fine house; and these would not necessarily be sinful things. All these things are of the flesh, but they are not what the Apostle has especially in mind here. He is thinking of things of the fallen flesh, which are always contrary to the Spirit.

If we practice those things which our understanding of God's Word teaches us He would not approve, seeds are thus sown to the flesh. Every inch that we yield – whether in thought, word or action – means so much decrease of spiritual power; and the New Creature grows weaker. This might be done as respects our food and clothing, our home, our time, etc.; and this would be sowing to the flesh in such instances. If in accordance with our judgment of the Lord's will, we follow a course with a view to keeping our body in condition for best service, and if then our body, our flesh, has a craving for certain things that would not be for our spiritual welfare, the New Creature is to say, "No, you cannot have it"; or "These things are too expensive for you."

There are not many who have made a sacrifice of their flesh; but it is to those who have done this that the Apostle is speaking. I, as the New Creature, say to the Old Creature – the body – "I shall give you what I think is for your good. I do not understand that the Lord wishes me to kill you at once, for I need your service; but the Lord wishes me to have some practice in self-denial. You shall not have your desire now, because you do not really need it. I may, however, give it to you some time again, if I think that then you need it and if you are good."


If the New Creature gives a free rein to the old creature about what he shall read, or eat, how long he shall sleep, at what time he shall get up, where he shall go and how long he shall stay, etc., the New Creature will have his hands full – will he not? The Spirit of the Lord is to actuate the New Creature in thought, word and action and decide what he is to do, what he shall eat, where he shall go – is to control everything. If we sow to the Spirit, if we walk after the Spirit, we shall be overcomers, we shall reap life-everlasting. We must not yield to the old creature. By yielding we are sowing seed to the flesh, and by and by the old creature will say, "You have been in the habit of giving that to me, and you must let me have it"; and the result is likely to be disastrous to the New Creature.

The matter reminds us of one of AEsop's fables which many of us have read. On a cold, frosty morning, a donkey pushed his nose in at the door of a blacksmith shop, where it was warm from a glowing fire. The blacksmith said to the donkey, "Get out!" The donkey replied, "You are stingy! I am only getting my nose warm." Presently the blacksmith looked around and perceived that the donkey had his whole head in. The blacksmith said, "Now get out, will you?" But the donkey pleaded that he was only getting a little breath of warm air, that his head surely would not trouble the blacksmith. After awhile the blacksmith looked again and saw that the donkey was half-way into the shop. Then he shouted, "Get out! get out!" But the donkey still insisted that he was only getting a little warm. So the blacksmith yielded. By and by he looked again and saw that the donkey was altogether in the shop. Then he sprang forward shouting excitedly, "Get out!" But the donkey said triumphantly, "Which of us will get out?" And thereupon he turned around and began to kick at the blacksmith. The donkey was in full control.


So it will be with us if we begin a course of yielding little by little to the desires of the fleshly mind. The end of the way which the flesh craves, the Apostle teaches us, is death. St. Paul does not say that the beginning of that way is death; but that the beginning of that way leads toward death. If the old creature has gained a leeway, [R5935 : page 231] every step that is taken must be retraced, or the case is hopeless. The New Creature is to say to the old creature, "You are not to be my master!" The old creature is to be made to know that the New Creature is the Master. The New Creature develops at the expense of the old creature, the old nature, which must be put to death.

These things are not true of the world now, but will be true of them as respects their sinful flesh, by and by. If any during the Millennium shall yield to the fallen flesh, gradually becoming more and more alienated from the Lord, the end of that way will be death. But they will have every assistance in their efforts to resist sin and to develop righteousness. To the Church of Christ our text is applicable now and in the fullest sense. Let those of us now on trial for life or death eternal, watch and pray!

"Thou seest our weakness, Lord!
Our hearts are known to Thee;
O, strengthen Thou the weary hand,
Confirm the feeble knee!
Let us in life – till death –
Thy steadfast Truth declare,
And publish with our latest breath
Thy love and guardian care."

[R5935 : page 232]

– AUGUST 20. – ACTS 19:29-41. –


"The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." – 1 Timothy 6:10. R.V.
FTER leaving Corinth, St. Paul completed his second missionary tour and returned to Antioch. En route he stopped at Jerusalem, where he greeted the Church and doubtless gave them an account of the Lord's blessing upon his recent ministries in Europe. Aquila and Priscilla went with the Apostle as far as Ephesus. The vessel upon which he sailed remaining at the port, over the Sabbath, St. Paul improved the opportunity to speak for Christ in the synagogue of Ephesus. His discourse was in the nature of a preparation for a future work which he hoped to do there. Doubtless he spoke along the lines of first principles – respecting the glorious Messianic prophecies, the fulfilment of which should now be expected. His discourse was well received, and he was urged to remain longer, whereupon he gave his promise of a later return.

We are not informed how long the Apostle remained at Antioch; but "after he had spent some time there, he departed and went over all the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, establishing all disciples." While he was energetic in the establishment of new companies of the Lord's people, he was not slack in looking out for the spiritual welfare and growth of those which he had already established, as is evidenced in the fact that this was his third visit to these Churches.

When St. Paul returned to Ephesus, he found that during his absence a Christian brother named Apollos had come there and had preached in the synagogue, using such close, logical and convincing arguments that he had secured twelve converts to Christianity. Apollos was a Jew, born at Alexandria, one of the chief cities of that time, especially noted for its schools and its extensive libraries. The Common Version says that Apollos was eloquent; the Revised Version, that he was learned. As the Greek word seems to be translatable either way with equal propriety, in all probability he was both learned and eloquent. However, he was not as far advanced in the knowledge of the Truth as were Aquila and Priscilla, who had for a time companied with St. Paul. As soon as they heard Apollos in the synagogue, they recognized him as a Christian brother, and invited him to their own home, where they had good opportunity to communicate to him "the way of the Lord more perfectly."

Having heard from Aquila and Priscilla the glorious work which the Apostle Paul had accomplished at Corinth, Apollos went thither, taking with him a letter of introduction from his newly found friends at Ephesus, who had very recently left Corinth. Incidentally, we are told that his going to Corinth proved a blessing to the Church there. Because of his thorough acquaintance with the Scriptures and his ability in expounding them, Apollos could "forcefully confute the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus is The Christ." (Acts 18:28.) That the Corinthian brethren were greatly pleased with his masterful ability as a teacher of the Truth is evidenced by the fact that some of them were disposed to say that they were followers of Apollos; while others, also sectarian in spirit, claimed to be followers of St. Paul, and still others of St. Peter – all of which sectarianism the Apostle subsequently reproved in his letter to them. – 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:3-7.


While Apollos was at Corinth, the Apostle Paul came to Ephesus and began a ministry which lasted for two years. St. Paul speedily found the twelve persons whom the ministry of Apollos had reached. Our Common Version seems to give the inference that the Apostle was surprised that these believers at Ephesus had not as yet received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But not so. He merely wished to bring to their attention the fact that such gifts were possible to them; for only an Apostle could convey the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17.) The preaching of Apollos had been merely along the lines of the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, represented in the baptism of John to the Jews; while these believers were evidently Gentiles.

Apollos had explained to these Ephesians the Gospel merely to the extent of repentance from sin and faith in Christ as the Redeemer. He had no knowledge of the deeper meaning of baptism as explained by St. Paul (Romans 6:3-5) – a baptism of consecration, to suffer with Christ – to be dead with Him, to participate in His resurrection to the new nature and ultimately to be sharers with Him in the Heavenly Kingdom. The Apostle explained to them this "mystery" of fellowship with the Messiah – participation in His sufferings now, and by and by in His glory. (Colossians 1:26,27; Philippians 3:8-11.) When the Ephesian converts heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus – as members of His Body, to fellowship in His sufferings, even unto death.

There are many believers today who, like these Ephesians, are members of the Household of Faith, but who are not members of the Body of Christ – who have gone so far as a baptism of repentance and reformation and faith in the Redeemer, but who have not been instructed respecting the great privileges which belong to the Gospel Age. They know not that we may become "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." – Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:11,12.

Wherever we go, let us each seek by the grace of God to explain the way of the Lord more perfectly to these already partially indoctrinated ones. So long as there are any such with whom to labor, it would be unwise, yea, contrary to our commission, for us to devote our lives and energies to the world. Although we are to do good to all men as we have opportunity, it is to be "chiefly unto the Household of Faith." (Galatians 6:10.) All around us, in the churches of the various denominations, are thousands who are in the condition of those mentioned above, knowing only the baptism of repentance, but not the baptism into Christ – the baptism of full consecration, the baptism into His death. Let us be diligent in this highest department of the work of the ministry, feeding, instructing, the Lord's flock.


St. Paul continued to present the Truth in the synagogue until opposition to it became quite marked, and certain of the Jewish adherents began to speak evil of both the teachings and the believers. Then the Apostle and those who believed withdrew from the synagogue, and began a separate meeting, apparently in a rented hall, called "The School of Tyrannus." St. Paul probably labored at his trade during the forenoon, and during the afternoon page 233 preached the Gospel Message to such as had hearing ears, not only in the public hall, but also by visiting those whom he had reason to expect would be amenable to the Truth. Apparently this was his usual manner of life. – 1 Thess. 2:9.

During his ministry the Lord performed through the Apostle many marvelous healings of the sick and other miracles, amongst which was the casting out of demons. We may reason that the manifestation of Divine power here was necessary to the establishment of the Church and to the general influence of the Gospel in that region – as an offset to the blinding influences of Satan's agents and power. From the earliest dawn of history Satan's arts, employed in all parts of the world, have been in the nature of wonder-workings, of magic, black art, witchcraft, etc. The Scriptures call attention particularly to the magicians of Egypt, to the soothsayers of Babylon, and in the Book of Acts show us that the same wily arts of the Adversary were general throughout the Roman Empire, and especially in the wealthy city of Ephesus.

Perceiving the Apostle's power to be greater than their own, certain magicians essayed to use the name of Jesus as a charm or magic word, just as they were in the habit of using other magic words in their incantations. The efforts of some of these, sons of one of the principal priests, resulted disastrously to them, but beneficially to many others. This matter becoming widely known, many who long had had confidence in such wonder-workers became convinced that the Apostle's teachings were correct – that the black arts were of Satan, while St. Paul's miracles were of Divine power.

The sincerity of some of these converts was manifested by the public burning of the books in which were recorded the various magic words and recipes by which incantations could be made, affecting and counteracting various of the ills of life. At that time all books were precious; for they were made of skins instead of paper, and were pen-printed instead of printed by type. These books of magic were especially high-priced because each possessor of a copy was interested in restricting the information, and hence was unwilling to permit any one to make a copy of his book. Viewed from this standpoint, the number of books would not necessarily be very great in order to amount to fifty thousand pieces of silver – about $8,500, a piece of silver representing about 17 cents of our money. But, when we remember that each piece of silver represented a day's wages, it might be considered equivalent to at least one dollar in our day. Thus the total value of the books burned would be at least $50,000.

Everything throughout the Scriptures indicates that the Lord especially loves and appreciates those who are thorough-going, not only in their zeal for righteousness and truth, but also in their opposition to unrighteousness and error. We believe that the same principle applies to the sale of books which inculcate Satan's lies; and we recommend that if the Lord's people have books of this kind, black with false doctrines, misrepresenting the Divine Character and Plan, they would do far better to burn them than to sell them and give the money to the Lord's work.


After St. Paul had spent nearly three years at Ephesus, he purposed going again to Jerusalem, but first would visit the Churches of Macedonia and Achaia – Philippi, Berea, Thessalonica and Corinth. Evidently it was this visit to Corinth to which he referred in his letter to them. (1 Corinthians 4:17-19.) He proposed to take from them a contribution to the poor in Jerusalem – not as seeking a gift, but as an evidence of their love for the Lord, manifested in their desire to help the brethren at Jerusalem, who were chiefly poor and greatly disadvantaged by their loyalty to the Truth.

About this time occurred the riot described in today's Study, which probably would have determined the Apostle to leave Ephesus, if he had not already purposed so to do. The Lord permitted persecutions to drive St. Paul out of every place – thus seemingly indicating the proper time for terminating his ministry at each point. The record says, "There arose no small stir about that way." (Acts 19:23.) Very evidently the way of the Lord's people differed decidedly from the ways of others, not only as concerned their future hopes, but also regarding their course in the present life. And the way is the same to this day, as concerns those who are faithfully walking close to the Lord and to the teachings of His Word. The difficulty with many professed Christians is that they have gotten out of the way. As a result, nominal church ways are, alas! too much like those of the world, with very similar hopes, aspirations and endeavors.

Ephesus was one of the great cities of that time. Just at the head of its harbor stood one of the "seven wonders of the world," an immense temple of "Diana of the Ephesians" – the deity of Asia Minor. To her shrine came thousands of people, believing that they received from her a special blessing, which affected favorably the prosperity of their homes. Her blessing was supposed to increase greatly their flocks and herds and the birth of children. Unlike the Greek Diana, this one was represented to be the mother of all things living.

Of course the fame of this great idol attracted general attention; and those who could not go to Ephesus to worship at the shrine of this image were pleased to purchase from merchants certain charms or amulets, which consisted of small copies of her shrine wrought in silver. In the Apostle's day the business of making these shrines was immense, employing thousands of men.

A man named Demetrius was the representative of the silversmiths' guild, or union. Becoming incensed at the propaganda of the early Church at Ephesus, he aroused his fellow-craftsmen by a stirring speech, in which he painted a black picture of the business depression that would result if this man Paul were permitted to preach much longer in their city. He called attention to the fact that not merely at Ephesus, but throughout all Asia Minor, this new religion was spreading, and that it opposed the worship of Diana. He reasoned that if the people in that region lost respect for Diana and her temple, they would no longer purchase her shrines; and that the falling off in demand would mean loss for all engaged in the manufacture of these shrines. With a wonderful cunning he combined the thought of their duty of supporting the religion of their city with that of looking out for their pocketbooks. That he was successful in arousing prejudice and in creating a riot causes us no wonder.


Soon the city was in an uproar, touched to the quick on humanity's very tenderest spots – religion and worldly prosperity. Doubtless the Adversary helped on the matter, with the result that shortly the people were in a frenzy of despair, as though the anticipated collapse of their religion and their business were already upon them. The home of St. Paul was known; and thither the mob rushed, seeking the chief factor in the impending troubles. In the Lord's providence, St. Paul was absent. Aquila and Priscilla, who kept the home, were there and, although not arrested, evidently were loyal to the Apostle to the very last degree. (Romans 16:3,4.) As working people and home-keepers they were not molested; but two of the page 234 Apostle's assistants were taken by the mob, and hurried to the theater, whose capacity, we are told, was 56,000 people, thus indicating that Ephesus was an immense city.

Learning of the commotion, St. Paul would have courageously entered into the thick of the trouble in defense of his friends and, above all, of his Master and His Message. But wiser counsels prevailed, and he remained away. The brethren suffered him not; for they concluded that his presence would have accomplished nothing with people in so unreasonable a state of mind.

The Lord, however, did not neglect the two brethren who were arrested – Gaius and Aristarchus. The town clerk came to their assistance, and with words of wisdom dispersed the mob. This official was not interested in the Gospel of Christ and its service. But he was interested in the doing of his duty as an officer of the city. He pointed out to the mob the fact that they had become unduly excited, that everybody knew the greatness of the goddess Diana, and that neither one Jew nor many Jews could injure her fame. Then he declared that if the disturbance were not merely a quarrel between the silversmiths and the propagators of Christianity – if the assembly had any other charge against St. Paul and his associates – the matter should be brought before the law courts in the lawful manner. He showed that the meeting was nothing short of a riot; and that if it were to be reported to the imperial government at Rome, it would greatly reflect to the discredit of Ephesus. With this he dismissed the assembly.


Notice the contrast between the two groups whose acts are recorded in this chapter. In the first case, many people, realizing that they had been working in conjunction with the powers of evil – the demons – burned their books of magic, etc., as a result of the influence of the Gospel Message upon their hearts. After they had come to a knowledge of the situation, they were willing and glad to suffer financial loss and be thought foolish by their neighbors rather than to do injury to others by the sale of the books of magic, black art, etc.

On the contrary, the chief actors of the second group were moved to frenzy and to riotous conduct by their love of money – their fear of financial loss. Evidently it was not their respect for religion, but their love for filthy lucre, which prompted their actions. Moreover, the worship of Diana was demoralizing. Hence we perceive the strong contrast between those who raised a riot in order to perpetuate idolatry and to bring money into their own purses, and those who, on the contrary, were ready to sacrifice their earthly interests rather than do harm and in order to do the more good. Verily, there is a wonderful power in the religion of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer!

Be it also noted that the Apostle and his associates were not guilty of the charge made against them – blaspheming the goddess of Ephesus. Here we have a point of importance and a valuable lesson. St. Paul's commission was to preach the Gospel, not to quarrel with false gods or their worship. The persecution was therefore for right-doing. So it is with us. It is not necessary for us to do or to say anything unkind toward our friends in Babylon. Nor is it necessary for us to tirade against their systems or doctrines. We have plenty to do in setting forth the Gospel Message.

Of course, St. Paul did not fail to call attention to the fact that Diana was the work of men's hands and not, as claimed, a divinity. So we may properly enough set forth to our friends the fact that there is but the one true Church, organized by our Lord and established at Pentecost; and that all other churches are, therefore, merely human systems. But we are not commissioned to tirade against these churches. The command, "Speak evil of no man," may properly be applied also to religious systems, particularly those that recognize the redeeming merit of Christ's death as the foundation of Christianity and that teach morality. Undoubtedly the Lord has permitted sectarianism for some wise purpose, even as He has permitted the Gentile governments to hold sway until the end of "the Times of the Gentiles." Let us not interfere with the fulfilment of the Divine purposes. Let us be content to fulfil our mission of assisting the brethren by building them up in the most holy faith and telling the Good Tidings to whoever may have an ear to hear.

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– AUGUST 27. – ACTS 20:16-27. –


"I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace." – Verse 32.
HEN St. Paul fled from Ephesus, after the rioting, he made a tour of the European Churches which he had founded. Passing through Macedonia to the city of Corinth, he came by vessel again to Miletus, about fifty miles south of Ephesus. He was accompanied by representatives of several of the Churches of Greece and Asia Minor, and was en route for Jerusalem, for whose poor he had suggested that collections be made in the four provinces where he had been preaching. The vessel on which the party were to go to the Jerusalem port was detained indefinitely at Miletus. Word was then sent to the Elders at Ephesus, and they came to Miletus.

Today's Study calls attention especially to the Apostle's address to these Elders. We are not to think of it as a boastful statement, but rather as a plain rehearsal of matters which his hearers would fully concede and of which he boasted nothing. It was given, not for his own sake, not as indicating personal vanity and self-praise, but with a view to quickening the memory of his hearers and making the lesson of the hour the more impressive upon them. He reminded them that for the space of three years they had known him intimately – his manner of life, his devotion to the Lord, to the service of the Truth and of the brethren. He also reminded them of his humility of mind – that his conduct had not been haughty and overbearing, that he had not sought to lord it over the Church, but that on the contrary he had endured amongst them many trials and difficulties with the Jews, with "false brethren."

The Elders knew of his work, of his endurance and of his holding nothing back from them that would be helpful to them; they knew that he had taught them publicly and privately, as circumstances had opened to him opportunities of service. He had testified to both Jews and Greeks that there is only the one Gospel of Christ, to be accepted through faith and turning away from sin. By calling attention to these elements of his own character, he was page 235 laying the foundation for his subsequent exhortation to them that they should copy his zeal, his fidelity. He had been a faithful overseer, or bishop, watching over their interests. He had been a faithful pastor, guiding their welfare and seeing to their nourishment in spiritual things. Knowing the truthfulness of his presentations and having the whole situation in mind, they would be the better prepared to hear from him his parting exhortation – the great lesson which he had to give them.

St. Paul informed the Elders that although possessed of his physical liberty he felt a mental restraint which he could not shake off; that he must go to Jerusalem; that this was the Lord's providence for him; and that he had received assurances from others through the "gifts of the Spirit" that bonds and imprisonment awaited him at Jerusalem. Then he added these encouraging words: "But none of these things move me; neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the Kingdom, shall see my face no more."

The Apostle had become more intimately acquainted with the Ephesian Church, apparently, than with any of the others. By the Lord's providence he had spent more time with them; and apparently the results procured had justified his prolonged stay. Partings between friends are always grievous; and parting with no hope of seeing each other again on this side the veil is a doubly severe ordeal.


Incidentally we note the Message which the Apostle delivered, and which he here particularly emphasizes as the Gospel of Christ – "preaching the Kingdom of God." It is right that we should recognize that this is the same Gospel which we are preaching today. If otherwise, then we are not preaching aright. The grace of God was manifested in the gift of His Son, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. The grace of God was further manifested in an outline of the manner in which the death of Christ was designed to bring blessings to our race:

(1) By ultimately establishing a Kingdom under the whole heavens for the rule of mankind, for the suppression of Sin and Death, for the uplifting of those who have been bound by these enemies.

(2) As a precedent to that general blessing to the world, for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven," the Divine proclamation first calls out a Little Flock to be joint-heirs with their dear Redeemer in that Kingdom.

Thank God that these precious truths respecting the grace of God and the Kingdom of God, so long covered and hidden from our sight by the traditions of the Dark Ages, are now being revealed to our eyes of understanding by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, in order that we might know the things that are freely given us of God, and that thus we might be assisted in making our calling and election sure!

No wonder the Apostle could add the forceful words, "I testify unto you this day that I am pure from the blood of all men; for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." What he preached to the Church at Ephesus during his sojourn of nearly three years amongst them is surely the same Message which, by Divine arrangement, has come down to us in his Epistles addressed to the various Churches. We note that St. Paul's Message contained not even one word respecting eternal torment, which is no part of the Divine Plan. Surely from these Epistles we now perceive that St. Paul was very patient in reproving, instructing and encouraging the Lord's dear people! He was much used of the Lord because he had given himself so thoroughly to the Lord.


The Apostle's thought in calling the Elders was to impress upon them the fact that, like himself, not only were they consecrated to the Lord, but, as teachers in the Church, they had a double responsibility – in respect to themselves and in respect to the Church of which the Lord had made them overseers. Notice his words, "Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, in the which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers [Greek, episcopos – bishops], to feed the Church of God, which He purchased with blood of His own [Son]." – Verse 28.

(1) They needed to take heed to both themselves and the flock. Whoever attempts to do shepherding in the Church will need, first of all, to watch lest he fall into temptation; for, as the Apostle declares, those who accept the position of Elders in the Church – pastors, overseers – are exposed to especial trials, especial difficulties. They need primarily to take heed to themselves lest, having preached to others, they themselves become castaways.

(2) "Those who accept the ministry, or service, of the Church as Elder Brothers under the Divine regulation should realize that they have assumed a weighty responsibility, respecting which they must give an account to God." This does not mean fault-finding with the brethren. It does not mean merely preaching to them, nor merely visiting the sick and counseling the troubled. It means a spiritual oversight, a care of all the interests of both the congregation and the individuals composing it. Those who are overcharged with the cares of this life are not in a condition, in any sense of the word, to accept the responsibilities of this service in the Church of the living God. Only those who seek first the interests of the Lord's Kingdom and the righteousness which it inculcates are in any sense or degree properly suited to such service in the Church.

Several points in Verse 28 are worthy of careful attention. The Revised Version, quoted above, says, "In the which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops," thus agreeing with the general Scriptural statement that the Elders of the Church are NOT OVER THE CHURCH in the sense of being a superior class, or "clergy" class, but are IN THE CHURCH – members of it – overseeing members, assisting members, by the appointment of the Lord through the channel of the Church. They should consider it a part of their responsibility to notice how the other members are progressing, especially in their spiritual interests. They should feel it a part of their duty to warn, to encourage, to assist all of the other members, as opportunity may offer.


It is not the prerogative of all the brethren and sisters in the Church to endeavor to set each other right, unless it be in some personal matter especially related to themselves. In such cases the advice given by our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17 should be strictly followed. An Elder, however, by his very election to his office, has been asked to take such oversight of the affairs of the congregation, to give such advice, to administer such reproofs, as the nature of the case may demand – in meekness, remembering himself also, lest he should be tempted, if not along the same lines, then possibly along some other line of temptation. He, too, of course, should practice Matthew 18:15-17. – Galatians 6:1.

By way of impressing this duty of oversight upon the page 236 Elders, St. Paul reminded them that the Lord had purchased this Flock with the precious blood of the Lamb of God, and that this value in the Lord's sight should be so deeply impressed upon their minds that they would be willing to lay down their lives for the brethren in any service which they could render.

Emphasizing the caution already given, the Apostle prophetically declared that there would be great need of their taking heed to themselves, because of their own selves, of the Flock itself, and especially amongst the Elders, men would arise speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Desirous of being leaders, they would not hesitate to produce a schism, or division, in the Church, in order to help along their ambition. The word rendered perverse in Verse 30 signifies, in the original, distorted, twisted. The thought is that those who begin to lose the Spirit of the Lord begin also to lose their clear appreciation of the Truth. As personal and selfish ambitions cloud their vision, they see the Scriptures more and more vaguely, and feel free to distort these so as to support their own ambitious sentiments.

How true are the Apostle's words! How great a danger there is along these lines, especially to the Elders, the overseers of the Flock! Evidently selfish ambition is one of the greatest of foes with which they must contend. Nor do these ambitions suddenly germinate, bloom and bear fruit. The process is a gradual one, and hence the more dangerous, the more deceptive, the less likely to have our notice. How important, then, it is that all of the Lord's Flock, and especially the Elders, take heed to themselves and scrutinize their conduct, and particularly the motives lying behind their deeds! Let us remember that absolute purity of the will is essential. Every admixture of selfishness, however little, is a poisonous virus which, if unchecked, would lead to the Second Death.

"Grievous wolves" are ferocious wolves. For a time they may deceive the sheep by an outward manner and an outward profession, covering their wolfish nature. They and the outward conduct by which they deceive the Flock are Scripturally designated, "Wolves in sheep's clothing." (Matthew 7:15, 16.) The Shepherd knows their character long before it becomes manifest to the sheep. But the docile, innocent sheep are deceived until these wolves begin to bite, to devour and to scatter the Flock. The howls of anger, malice, hatred, envy and strife are noted in the Scriptures as "works of the flesh and of the Devil" – not works of righteousness, peace and love, the Spirit of the Lord. The wolf does injury with his mouth; and so do these "grievous wolves" – slandering, back-biting and doing every evil work. The Apostle warned the Elders of Ephesus what to expect, and his words were true. The same principles are still at work. The same warning still needs to be heeded. Indeed, the Scriptures imply that the severest experiences along these lines would come upon the Church in "the evil day" with which the Gospel Age would close, the time in which we now are living.


In Verse 31 the Apostle sets two points before us. First, the Elders are to watch against these evils so graphically portrayed. They are to watch for the interests of the Flock as against the wolves. They are to watch to give the wolves as little opportunity as possible to tear the Flock and to backbite them. They are to warn the sheep lest any of them, becoming inoculated with the rabies of the wolves, should display signs of hydrophobia and begin to backbite one another, with the usual symptoms of hydrophobia – with an apparent thirst for water, symbol of Truth, yet refusing to drink it – turning against it.

Second, the Elders are to watch also against those sure to arise "of your own selves." Proper watching begins with our own hearts, saying, "Lord, is it I?" And proper watching will in time discern such characters and expose them – not from any bitterness towards them, but for the protection of the Flock. – 1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 1:15; 2:17.

St. Paul reminded the brethren that such had been his own course – one of great watchfulness, interest, care, over them and over all the Churches of Asia Minor. The expression, "Night and day with tears," shows us clearly that he felt properly the weight of responsibility resting upon him as a servant of God, an ambassador of the King of kings, an over-shepherd, an overseer, of the Lord's Flock, a "minister of the New Covenant," delegated by the great Head of the Church to assist in calling out and preparing those who will be members of the glorified Body of Christ, to reign with Him a thousand years.


In the closing words of his exhortation the Apostle's thought seems to be that he desired his words, his earnest address, might not only awaken the Elders to a keen sense of their responsibilities, but might lead them to inquire as to what defenses could be depended upon for the crisis thus pointed out. He draws attention to the fact that God, the great Center of all our blessings, from whom comes every good and every perfect gift, is on our part, is on the part of all who are seeking to cooperate with His arrangements.

By way of further explanation he mentions the Scriptures, the Word of God's grace, the Gospel Message. He tells them, and us also, that the Word of God is able to build us up, to give us the necessary development of character and to give us ultimately a share in the great inheritance which God has in reservation for all those who are sanctified by this Message. Let us lay this well to heart. Neglect of God's Word, neglect of His promises, means a deficiency of strength to bear the trial which is our portion. It means also the opening of the door for Satan to put darkness for light and light for darkness, to our confusion. Let us make no mistake. It is a question of inheritance or no inheritance, amongst them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus.

Verses 33 and 34 are a noble testimony. The Apostle had used his trade as a tent-maker not only for his own support, but for the financial assistance of those associated with him in the Gospel work. Praise God for so noble an example of devotion! Although the Apostle did not, could not, endure as much as did our Redeemer, nevertheless the illustration of a full devotion which his life affords does us all great good; for we remember that he had like passions with ourselves, as he himself declared. He was imperfect, and was obliged to keep his body under – in subjection to his new mind, the will of God in Christ. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.

In Verse 35 he reveals the secret of his success as a servant of the Lord. He constantly remembered and put into practice the Master's words. The art of GIVING HIMSELF is one of the secrets of a happy Christian life. He first gives his will to the Lord, then his time, his energy, his talents, to the Lord's service and for the Lord's people. He has pleasure in the giving and a blessing, whether others know it or not. By and by his time will come for receiving his full reward. To such the Lord will give eternal life, eternal glory and association with Himself in His Kingdom.

[R5935 : page 237]


THE real fight before the country at this time is to defeat the munitions-militarist conspiracy – a conspiracy which has for its object a revolutionary change in the nation's character and policy. It is a conspiracy organized with deliberation and supported by unlimited means. The conspirators are men of prominence and influence. The manufacturers of munitions are selling war supplies to Europe at the rate of more than three hundred millions worth a year, and they are selling at an enormous profit. The Du Pont Company recently declared a dividend of 23 per cent. on powder, and the stock in the Bethlehem Steel Company has risen beyond the dreams of the speculators. Among the stockholders in the munition companies are many of our big financiers, and these men largely control the metropolitan press. These manufacturers and their influential stockholders know that their dividends will dwindle when this war is over unless they can fasten themselves upon the taxpayers of the country, and grow fat as the people grow poor. Hence the newspaper crusade for frenzied preparedness, such a crusade as we have not seen in a generation.

The second group in the conspiracy is made up of professional soldiers – militarists who stand with the militarists of other countries. And the militarists of all countries stand today where the militarists stood two thousand years ago; they know no way of correcting a mistake of the mind except to cut off the head – no way of curing an error of the heart except to stop its beating – no way to settle a dispute between nations except to take human life.

To judge the militarists of the world by their program, they have never learned that nineteen hundred years ago a Prince of Peace was born, and brought into the world a Gospel of Love which is destined to supplant the bloody doctrine of force and violence.

These two groups, one working for money and the other magnifying the profession of arms, have joined their forces in an effort to commit this government to the European plan of trying to preserve peace by terrorism. Although the plan has written history in characters of blood and has led the warring nations into the present conflict, we are asked to adopt this policy and join the "pistol-toting" nations in the worship of brute force.

The big corporate employers of labor are aiding and abetting the conspiracy because they want a large army – not made up of state militia, but of regulars – to keep their workmen under subjection.

And how much are we asked to invest in this false philosophy? Two billions to "get ready," with one thousand and seventy-nine millions a year to keep ready! We are now spending two hundred and fifty millions a year on the army and navy – the most we have ever spent in time of peace. During the past fifteen years we have spent more on our navy than any other country in the world except Great Britain. We are now spending on the army and navy more than ten times as much as we are spending on the department of agriculture, and yet the army and navy experts, taking advantage of the excitement of a foreign war, demand that we multiply our war appropriations by four! The navy experts want A BILLION AND A HALF for new ships and SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY MILLIONS a year thereafter to keep the navy in fighting trim. The army experts want FIVE HUNDRED MILLIONS to put the army in a respectable condition and THREE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN MILLIONS annually to keep it up to the requirements of their program.

Eight hundred and twenty-nine million dollars per year, the sum which the army and navy experts ask us to add to the annual appropriations for the army and navy, is so large that the mind cannot comprehend it. As the body becomes insensible to pain after a certain degree is reached, so the mind to ciphers after it has taken in a certain number. We can only understand large sums by comparison. Here are four comparisons:

(1) The farmers of the nation collected a little more [R5936 : page 237] than FIVE AND A HALF BILLIONS from all their crops last year – the banner year in our history. If we compute the farmer's NET income at 8 per cent. of his gross income, we find that the net income of all the farmers from all their crops was about $440,000,000. THE ARMY AND NAVY EXPERTS WANT TO ADD TO WHAT WE ARE NOW SPENDING ON THE ARMY AND NAVY NEARLY TWICE THE ANNUAL NET CROP INCOME OF ALL OUR FARMERS. And they question the patriotism of those who protest against the demand.

(2) The cost of a macadam road, 16 feet wide and six inches thick is, according to agricultural department statistics, a little more than six thousand dollars per mile. If we estimate the average length of the United States at three thousand miles, and its average width at twelve hundred miles, it can be gridironed with macadam roads twelve miles apart, east and west, north and south, for less than $4,145,000,000 – the amount which the army and navy experts would, IN FIVE YEARS, add to the army and navy appropriations.

(3) This sum, eight hundred and twenty-nine millions per year, would in five years duplicate every bank in the country, capital and surplus, and thus double the amount of bank capital and surplus available for borrowing.

(4) It costs the nation about $800,000,000 a year to educate the 25,000,000 school children of the land. Think of making an ANNUAL increase in our army and navy appropriations equal to the ENTIRE ANNUAL COST OF EDUCATION, FROM KINDERGARTEN TO UNIVERSITY! And yet the army and navy experts, backed by the munition manufacturers, demand this and resent any opposition as if they had a vested right to decide for the people the amount to be expended. They are attempting to perpetrate an outrage upon the taxpayers of the country, and their conspiracy, if successful, would menace the peace of the world. No party can afford to stand for such a policy – least of all the Democratic party, the champion of the masses and the friend of peace.

The Commoner.

[R5936 : page 237]


We had a very enjoyable time at this little Convention, which served about four hundred of the friends, many of whom will not be able to attend any of the larger Conventions. July 6th will long be a bright page in our experiences. We had a delightful meeting and fellowship with the friends to the number of nearly four hundred, and at night a public meeting attended by about one thousand. The attendance and attention were splendid, especially when the extreme heat of the weather is remembered. At the conclusion of the evening meeting we took the train for the


When our train reached the Canadian line a representative of the Canadian Government announced to the Editor that under instructions from the Government he was [R5936 : page 238] obliged to prevent our entry into Canada. This, of course, was quite a disappointment, and yet we realize that nothing can happen to us or to the Lord's cause without His knowledge, and there being nothing we could do, we cheerfully submitted to the arrangement and wired the brethren at Winnipeg not to expect us.

We understand, nevertheless, that the Convention was a splendid success, and the Auditorium in which we were to have spoken was crowded to overflowing and some turned away, and that one of the local brethren took the opportunity for giving an address on the subject that had been advertised for the Editor's public meeting.

It seems quite probable that the result may be for good rather than for ill. The Canadian brethren attending the Convention, some of them coming hundreds of miles, felt greatly disappointed, of course, but as the news reached the public it apparently brought sympathy for our side of the question from some who otherwise might have paid little heed. Anyway, the Canadian people and many in the States were put on notice that the Bible Students Association believes that they are taught by Jesus and the Apostles not to participate in human carnage, but to follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no one shall see the Lord.

The following letter to the Editor, signed by 204 of the Winnipeg Conventioners, is much appreciated, and will be of interest to all of our readers, we are sure:

TO OUR BELOVED PASTOR: – Greetings in our dear Master's name!

We, Associated Bible Students, assembled in convention, desire in this message to convey to you our heartfelt sympathy and deep Christian love, while feeling that our dear Lord's overruling has been that we may not greet you face to face, and hear your kindly words of Christian love and helpfulness at the present time.

We are realizing that the Lord under the existing circumstances is pouring out to us a great blessing. By receiving His appointment in the proper spirit, and with this additional indication before us that "the night wherein no man can work" is rapidly closing in, we do the more firmly resolve that we each will be loyal to the Lord, the Truth, and the Brethren.

It is already manifest that the action that has, for the present, prevented our sweet fellowship face to face, is another mark of the further accomplishment of the great work of the Harvest. We rejoice with you Brother, and, as admonished by the Master, lift up our heads with rejoicing, seeing that our deliverance draweth nigh.

We are praying that the dear Lord's blessing shall abide with us all, till we are assembled beyond the veil, to bring the long-promised blessings to the poor world.

With much Christian love, and great appreciation of the honored position our dear Lord has called you to in this great work of the Harvest, we the undersigned, tender to you, not only the love of those in Convention here, but of the dear ones in this portion of the Harvest field unable to meet with us.

Your brethren by His Grace,


The attendance at this Convention varied from three hundred to four hundred, but the interest was splendid and the spirit manifested by those in attendance was very loving indeed. The four days were filled with spiritual feasting, the evenings being given over to the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. On Sunday morning, July 9th, the Editor's topic was "The Good Shepherd," who gave His life for the Sheep, and who when He puts forth His own Sheep goeth before them, and who has other Sheep of a different fold who also, in due "Times of Restitution," will be brought into Harmony with the Divine arrangements, and have a share in the blessings of the Lord for all who love Him and who seek to walk in His way. After the discourse, the Love Feast followed, participated in by about four hundred.

The afternoon session was for the public, the topic being, "The World on Fire." The attendance was excellent, about 1,200 being present, on an extremely warm day. One very interesting feature noticed by nearly all the brethren is that never before has the public given so close, thoughtful and intelligent attention to subjects related to the Truth.


About one thousand Bible Students attended the Newport Convention, although not all of them found it convenient to remain during the entire eight days. Newport is a delightful summer resort of high class. The days were given to the Convention Program, and the evenings to the presentation of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. As we expected, the public did not give any great heed to the Convention, but we were pleased to note that they crowded the DRAMA and apparently took great interest in its presentation. The final public meeting, addressed by the Editor on Sunday, July 16th, was the only one in which the public to any great extent participated. The attendance at that meeting was approximately twelve hundred. We trust that the interest manifested and the large number of cards requesting literature may eventually lead to a considerable dissemination of the knowledge of the Truth, and ultimately bring some hungry hearts into closer relationship with the Lord and His Word of Truth, and that the latter may be more digestible and helpful than anything they have yet enjoyed, even from the same source.

[R5936 : page 238]


In addition to information in accompanying weekly report I want to add a few observations of some Kansas conditions – not because these conditions are general throughout the State, but sufficiently prominent to impress me.

I do not know of any State containing a larger proportion of brethren who will go almost any distance to attend a Pilgrim meeting or a Convention, and yet will not make the little effort necessary to have a regular class meeting, even when there are several interested. If such brethren could realize that they are disregarding the admonitions of St. Paul [R5937 : page 238] in Hebrews 10:25, concerning "not forsaking the assembling." etc., it might make them more faithful upon this point. "Not forsaking" means the keeping up of attendance at meeting with some regularity. And it seems to me that if we ignore this word of advice it will make it easier to neglect other Scriptural suggestions.

Quite a number use their automobiles for country volunteer work, but the character of this service is very discreditable. Instead of nicely folded tracts they are sometimes twisted into a shape that makes them unreadable when straightened out. Friends have seen newsboys do this with their newspapers, but they forget that a large newspaper has so much body to it that such treatment does not harm it, whereas the same procedure ruins a little two-leaf paper.

Then as the auto is going twenty-five miles an hour they pitch a tract at each mail-box on the road. Probably one in ten lands somewhere near the box while the rest fall from five to fifty feet away. Some tracts land in the mud in the middle of the road. A week later you can find mud-covered literature for miles. These brethren reason that the work is the Lord's and He will overrule it all for good; they make this as an excuse for not doing their best. Such ought to know that fifty tracts conscientiously distributed will accomplish more than five hundred distributed in the other fashion. On account of confusion caused by literature getting mixed with mail intended for carrier, money for stamps, etc., I find there is a general order against putting literature in mail-boxes; some carriers even throw it out. However, if it is laid squarely on the ground under the mail-box it will almost always be picked up by the person coming for the mail. But [R5937 : page 239] such distribution should be avoided in windy or wet weather.

An even better plan is to carry a supply of pins, and pin each tract near its corner to the post supporting the box. A pin is easily pushed into the post sufficient to hold the tract, and its unusual position is sure to attract the person collecting from the box. It takes a moment's time, but results are better.

Another successful way to waste tracts is adopted by some brethren. These go through a train and whenever they come to an empty seat they place one on it. In a few moments the porter comes through and, gathering the literature from unoccupied seats, proceeds to destroy it. Besides, this course embitters the railway employees; and they are more likely to stop the next brother who attempts to distribute tracts. Hundreds of thousands of tracts have been wasted as a consequence of thoughtlessness.

I continue to enjoy the opportunities for service, waiting actively and patiently for the Kingdom.

Yours by His grace,



I believe it is nearly a year since last writing you; and while realizing how much there is to take up your time, yet I feel I cannot put off longer sending you my Christian heart-love and affection, sympathy in trial, and rejoicing in faith and hope. I have been endeavoring to follow your suggestions in respect to developing Love, and wish to say that I have received a blessing thereby, with some good results, I believe; even though I can hardly specify any great thing, yet a general flow of help has come to me, and I hope by God's grace has gone out to others.

One thing that has impressed and helped me much is the thought of the Apostle Peter, "If these things be in you and abound." Yes, perhaps they are in me but do they abound? I have a great desire to abound in the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit, and try to think daily, "Am I abounding in love now, in this act or word? Am I abounding in faith, trust and hope? Do I abound in sympathy?" and so on. Dear Brother, I want to abound toward you now in love and appreciation and sympathy and to send you much from my heart. The words "More than conquerors" have also impressed me much, and an article of yours about Lot and Sodom. So with regard to sin, I want to keep a thousand miles from Satan. Dear Brother, I want your prayer in respect to the above mentioned desires. I must add a word of gratitude for THE MORNING RESOLVE. Its words have become very precious, and a great help to me.

I know that you will be interested to hear that by God's grace the work in British and Dutch Guiana continues prosperous; and much interest is manifested by the public, even though, as ever, true wheat is scarce. We hope to give a public lecture here Thursday on "Control of the Earth."

The brethren in these parts love you dearly, and would more than rejoice to see you in the flesh some day, if such were possible – God's will! With much love.

Yours by grace, in our dear Redeemer's Name,

ADDISON B. BLAKE. – British Guiana.


Frequently I have seen in THE WATCH TOWER little helpful hints to the Lord's children about their health and various similar things. It prompts me to write you concerning an affection, pellagra, which seems to be very wide-spread and is taking a large toll of death every year, especially among the poor. I have been making a special study of the disease for two years, having had its early symptoms myself, and can highly recommend a most simple treatment which I believe will relieve every case, unless the patient is practically dead, and which is easily available to every household.

As you know, pellagra is beginning to rank with tuberculosis as a scourge to the poor, and it may be that the Lord has led me to use my medical knowledge in His service in lieu of my deficiency in Truth knowledge. It might be more in keeping with the spirit of humility to omit my name in telling the brethren of this, though I have stood sponsor for it publicly by reading a paper on the subject before the meeting of the Texas State Medical Society held at Galveston on May 9th last. Trusting for your continued favor in the Lord, I am

Very sincerely,


[This formula we will be pleased to mail to any of our readers or their friends suffering from pellagra. Address WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, Health Dept., Brooklyn, New York.]


I feel ashamed because for so long a time I have not written to you, yet I assure you, my Brother, that all the while you were in my heart; and I always remember you before the Throne of Heavenly Grace – that the Lord strengthen you and bless you abundantly.

I have seen, beloved Pastor, in the pamphlet, "A great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens," about your trials and the assaults of the Adversary and the fiery darts of slander; and this deepens more and more my love toward you and my appreciation of your work of love and faithfulness to our dear Lord. Believe me, dear Brother, that these darts pierced my heart as well, and I wished I could stand between these darts and you.

I again express my deep appreciation of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and THE WATCH TOWER, and humbly thank the Lord for His great blessing and abundant food, which are before the Church. Never before were these books so precious to me as in the past year. This is the seventh time that I have read them, and I find them as fresh as they were the first time I read them. I more and more appreciate the Chronology as found in the 2d Volume, and rejoice because our salvation draws near.

I still try to walk in the narrow way; and day by day the Lord guides my feet and gives me grace to help. These last years I have passed through many painful experiences, because two of my little ones have fallen asleep, waiting for the Voice of the Lord to call them forth. Even in these experiences the Lord blessed me and led me, and gives me grace to trust Him still.

Remember me, beloved Brother, in your prayers that I may stand faithful to the Lord and prove worthy of the highest blessing. With deep Christian love,

Your Brother in our Blessed Redeemer,



Should like to tell you briefly an incident in connection with the purifying influence of even the little PAX PIN:

A working man of our city who attended and greatly enjoyed THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, was wearing the PAX PIN. He had been in the habit of stopping for a glass of beer on his way home from work. On looking down at the Pin he thought, "I can't disgrace that Pin by taking it in the saloon!" So he put it in his pocket. But, on further reflection, he could not even enter the saloon with the pin about him, though hidden, and he went home.

Realizing he felt better able to work next day without his accustomed drink, he decided he would not drink any more, but wear the Peace Pin in peace of mind. Some eighteen months have elapsed and he has not taken any liquor in all that time!

This has impressed me that we do not fully realize how much good the DRAMA and all connected with it may have done in such ways as this!

Trusting the Lord will assist us to live up to our great privileges in the spread of the Truth, I remain

Your sister in Christ,



I am just wondering if it isn't an opportune time for sending tracts pertaining to the War (Time of Trouble), such as "Armageddon," "Distress of Nations," "End of the World in 1914," etc., to the soldier boys of our vicinity, now on the Mexican border. If each class would engage in this work, serving their own regiments, the entire National Guard of the United States would be quickly served, and indirectly through this channel many in the standing Army might be reached, thereby permeating the whole Army with the Truth upon subjects which would be interesting to them at this particular time.

Praying the Lord's richest blessings upon you in your labor of love, I remain

Your brother and servant in the Lord,


page 241
August 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. 1916 – A.M. 6044
Confession of Sin Essential to Forgiveness 243
Basis of True Fellowship 243
Shortcomings and Faults are Sins 244
Injustice to the Brethren Inexcusable 244
Military Duty Exemptions in Britain 245
Ordinations – True and False 246
Some Important Questions 246
St. Paul's Sorrows and Joys 248
The Arrest of St. Paul 249
St. Paul a Prisoner in the Castle 251
The Divine Scroll – Who is Worthy to Look Therein? 252
Deep Things Unfolded at Jordan 252
Gradual Opening of the Seals 253
Norfolk Convention a Success 253
Our Vow Unto the Lord 253
Interesting Letters 254
A Voice From London Office 254
Objectors Sing, "Stand Up for Jesus!" 255
"V.D.M." Questions Found Profitable 255

'I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me.' Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. – Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 242

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, London, 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.




NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Aug. 19-22.  For assignments address A.
    Fosbraey, 727 Pine Ave.
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Aug. 24-27.  For assignments address Milton
    E. Confehr, 1516 McGavock St.
LOS ANGELES, CAL. – Sept. 2-10.  For assignments address F.P.
    Sherman, 808 Figueroa St.
SEATTLE, WASH. – Sept. 14-17.  For assignments address H.G. Backbock,
    2410 First Ave., W.
MILWAUKEE, WIS. – Sept. 16-24.  For assignments address C. Hilton
    Ellison, 2704 Wells St.
DAYTON, O. – October 5-8.  For assignments address Dr. Chas. E.
    Kerney, 475 S. Broadway.


This is a most beautiful place in which to hold a Convention of Bible students. The surroundings are ideal, and the friends remember with appreciation the last Convention held there. Perhaps no time of the year other than August 19 to 22 would be better for this Convention. Brother Russell expects to be there on Sunday and Monday, August 20th and 21st, the very midst of the Convention. This location is specially convenient for the Canadian friends, and we are hoping that a good many of them may be in attendance. Friends from the States will appreciate this privilege of meeting with their Canadian brethren. We are hoping for a good attendance. The Program seems to be one of the best, and the speakers are able brethren.

$5.00 excursions are announced from Pittsburgh – and possibly from other points – for the 19th.


Thirty-five railroads in the South, composing the Southern Passenger Association with headquarters at Atlanta, Ga., Joseph Richardson, Chairman, have issued Joint Passenger Tariff, No. Exc. 6747, publishing reduced rate arrangement on account of the I.B.S.A. Convention to be held in Nashville, August 24-27. The rate is a very attractive one, about one-half the usual fare. No doubt this will enable many to attend who would not feel able to go if a higher rate were in force.

The Capitol building will be used for the sessions of the Convention, and the great Ryman Auditorium will be used for the DRAMA. Pastor Russell will give a public lecture in one of the largest theaters. The Program, we believe, is an excellent one; and the speakers are able.

When purchasing ticket, ask for Excursion rate to Nashville, Tenn., and return, according to Joint Passenger Tariff Exc. 6747, in effect August 22d, 23d, 24th. In case your town is not on this tariff, your ticket agent will be able to figure your fare from your place to the nearest point covered by the tariff, from which latter place, you will have the benefit of the one and one-half cent excursion rate.

[R5937 : page 242]


Learning of considerable interest among the Greeks, the Editor invited them to meet him at the Bethel Home, July 27th. Twenty-two came (19 brothers, 3 sisters). We had a most enjoyable season of fellowship – conferring respecting our Father's Plan and the meaning of His Word. Three symbolized their consecration to be dead with Christ.

For some time they have been publishing THE WATCH TOWER in Greek at a cost of over 35 cents per copy, or $9.00 per year each, for their 80 subscribers. Now their funds are exhausted. We advised that under the circumstances they should discontinue the publication. They demurred that they needed the Heavenly food or would starve. Finally one of their number guaranteed the publication for one year upon assurance that they would each set apart 2c daily for this spiritual food. They do their own translating and print on a small press of their own. The meeting and the results gave us a clearer insight into their loving loyalty to the Lord and to His Truth. We pass on this Cup of refreshing to our readers.

The progress of the Truth amongst Italians, Slovaks, Greeks, etc., during the last two years has surprised and cheered us greatly. The PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, apparently, had much to do with this interest. The EUREKA DRAMA can now be supplied with lecture records in many languages.

[R5946 : page 242]


Doctor Jones informs us that he is proceeding with his Convention Train for the Pacific Coast Convention. He has not informed us how many cars he will have, but has sent us the schedule, which we place before our readers below. Convention points are marked thus (*). All other places where the time is sufficient and the local Class of Bible Students so desire, meetings either public or semi-public will be held:

SEPT. 4TH – SEPT. 26TH, 1916.
 Lv. Chicago       Sante Fe 9:50 a.m.  Tuesday,    Sept.  5 Train   9
*Ar. Los Angeles       "    7:10 a.m.  Friday,     Sept.  8   "     9
 Lv. Los Angeles       "   11:59 p.m.  Friday,     Sept.  8   "    78
 Ar. Santa Ana         "    1:30 a.m.  Saturday,   Sept.  9   "    78
 Lv. Santa Ana         "    5:23 p.m.  Saturday,   Sept.  9   "    75
*Ar. Los Angeles       "    6:30 p.m.  Saturday,   Sept.  9   "    75
 Lv. Los Angeles       "   11:59 p.m.  Monday,     Sept. 11   "    78
 Ar. San Bernardino    "    9:43 a.m.  Tuesday,    Sept. 12   "    50
 Lv. San Bernardino    "    6:45 p.m.  Tuesday,    Sept. 12   "    16
 Ar. San Francisco     "    9:40 a.m.  Wednesday,  Sept. 13   "    15
 Lv. San Francisco S. Pac.  8:20 p.m.  Wednesday,  Sept. 13   "    16
 Ar. Portland          "    7:20 a.m.  Friday,     Sept. 15   "    16
 Lv. Portland   Gt. North. 12:30 a.m.  Saturday,   Sept. 16   "   360
*Ar. Seattle           "    7:30 a.m.  Saturday,   Sept. 16   "   360
 Lv. Seattle           "   10:30 p.m.  Sunday,     Sept. 17   "    44
 Ar. Spokane           "   12:20 p.m.  Monday,     Sept. 18   "    44
 Lv. Spokane           "    8:00 a.m.  Tuesday,    Sept. 19   "     2
*Ar. Duluth            "    8:40 a.m.  Thursday,   Sept. 21   "    36
 Lv. Duluth            "   11:10 p.m.  Thursday,   Sept. 21   "    17
 Ar. St. Paul          "    6:30 a.m.  Friday,     Sept. 22   "    17
 Lv. St. Paul C.M. & St. P. 8:25 a.m.  Friday,     Sept. 22   "    18
*Ar. Milwaukee         "    6:40 p.m.  Friday,     Sept. 22   "    18
 Lv. Milwaukee         "    7:25 p.m.  Sunday,     Sept. 24   "     6
 Ar. Chicago           "    9:30 p.m.  Sunday,     Sept. 24   "     6
 Lv. Chicago    Penn. R.R. 12:05 a.m.  Monday,     Sept. 25   "     6

[R5938 : page 243]


If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." – 1 John 1:9.
HE Apostle John is not here addressing the world of unbelievers, unjustified persons, "sinners" in the ordinary sense of the word. On the contrary, he is addressing the justified and sanctified in Christ Jesus; and he classes himself with these, using the plural pronoun "we." The frequent mistake of applying this and similar passages to sinners in general has been injurious in two important particulars.

First. It has been injurious to the unregenerate, in that it has given some the impression that there is no difference between the Church and the world; and that all alike have access to God in prayer and for the forgiveness of daily trespasses. It has thus hindered some from realizing the necessity of faith in the Atonement, and from definitely entering into covenant relationship with the Lord under the terms of the Grace Covenant – the Covenant of Sacrifice. (Psalm 50:5.) On the contrary, all should be informed of the fact that repentance and a positive acceptance of Christ as their personal Savior are absolutely necessary before they can be "accepted in the Beloved," and be treated as "sons of God," and enjoy the privileges of this relationship – prayer, fellowship with God, Divine care, or providential oversight of their affairs and interests, and the favor of forgiveness of daily trespasses through the merit of the great High Priest, Jesus Christ the Righteous.

Second. This oversight has had an injurious effect upon some Christians, who have gone to the extreme of claiming that they can never commit sin, after their past sins have been graciously forgiven by the Lord, and after they have entered into covenant relationship. Hence we have the very wrong views and teachings of so-called "perfectionists" who claim, not merely that they are reckonedly perfect now, but that they are actually perfect in all their thoughts, words and deeds – DECEIVING THEMSELVES and laying themselves liable to many grievous errors, as the Apostle declares in connection with our text.


The Apostle John in writing this Epistle clearly states his object, saying, "These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." It is a noteworthy fact that the vast majority of Christians never experience the fulness of joy, peace and blessing that they might possess. Too many are content with simply diluted first principles of the doctrine of Christ. Therefore, as the Apostle Paul declares, such are merely "babes in Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:1,2; Hebrews 5:12-14.) Of course, they have a blessing in any relationship to the Lord, but they have not the fulness of joy which would be theirs if they progressed in grace and in knowledge to the full stature of a man in Christ. The object of the Apostle's writing them was to stir up the pure minds of believers to an appreciation and enjoyment of their privileges, that thereby they might grow and develop.

The Apostle follows the example of our Lord Jesus in symbolizing truth and righteousness as Light, and sin and every evil as so much of opposing Darkness. God Himself thus considered would be the very perfection of Light – "in Him is no darkness," no sin, no imperfection. With this thought before the mind, the Apostle points out that any growth of fellowship with God to which we may aspire must be along the lines of goodness, purity, and that it would be sin for us to say to others or to imagine in our own hearts that we are walking with God and having fellowship with Him, if our course of life is a dark, a sinful one. Such are merely deceiving themselves and others. They are not deceiving God, and they are not getting the blessings enjoyed by those who "walk in the light."

Moreover, to the extent that we walk in the light and in harmony and fellowship with God, we shall find ourselves in fellowship with all others who are like-minded. So then, if we do not "love the brethren whom we have seen," so as to be able to have fellowship and spiritual pleasure with them, it would be an indication that we are not wholly in harmony and fellowship with God.

But who are the "brethren"? Our Lord tells us that not all who profess His name are true brethren. He says, "Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven [be recognized as His brethren and joint-heirs], but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven." We thus see that it is by our deeds, and not merely by our professions, that we are accepted of the Lord. Again He says, "Who are My brethren?... Verily, I say unto you, He that doeth the will of My Father, the same is My brother." – Matthew 7:21; 12:48-50.

We are not, therefore, to anticipate "fellowship" with all who name the name of Christ as proof of fellowship with the Father, and that we are in the light. We are merely to anticipate this true fellowship with those who are earnestly seeking to do the Father's will, to serve His cause and exemplify the instructions of His Word, in their deeds as well as in their professions. Between all such there must be, whether hidden or open, a bond of fellowship [R5938 : page 244] and union. That bond is the one faith and one baptism into the one Lord.


But while this fellowship between us and our Lord and all who have His Spirit is based upon our walking in the light, our following in His footsteps to the extent of our ability, nevertheless it does not imply absolute freedom from the imperfections of sin. Although under our Grace Covenant arrangement nothing is charged up to us as sin except in proportion as it has been wilfully done, nevertheless, because of the manifold temptations and the weakness of our flesh, the result of inherited predisposition toward sin, it is impossible for us to avoid shortcomings and faults. These may properly be termed sins, as in our text; for "sin is a transgression of the Law," however unintentional it may be.

But the Divine arrangement under the Grace Covenant, on behalf of the Lord's people, is that these unintentional faults and shortcomings need not be charged up against us as sins; but may instead be cleansed away upon our application to the great High Priest, through the merit of the precious blood. Thus it is that the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord cleanseth us from all sin – keeps us clean from sin, if we continually make application for forgiveness, because of realization of imperfections of our flesh.


Further on in this Epistle, the Apostle uses the word "sin" in a different sense from the above, saying, "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him nor [even] known Him...He that committeth sin is of the Devil...Whosoever is begotten of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is begotten of God." Again he says: "We know that whosoever is begotten of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that Wicked One toucheth him not." – 1 John 3:6-9; 5:18.

In these passages the Apostle uses the word "sin" in its full or absolute sense, meaning wilful sin, deliberate sin, intentional sin – not merely shortcomings and faults, due largely or wholly to the imperfections of the flesh, inherited from our ancestors. No one, the Apostle assures us, who has been begotten of the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of holiness and truth, could have any sympathy with sin so as to wilfully, knowingly and intentionally engage therein. All who so love sin and wilfully do it and approve it after they have a knowledge of the Truth, are children of darkness, who love darkness and who thus show that they have the spirit, or disposition of Satan.


At first thought, many may be inclined to say, "Well, I am in no danger of that sin; for I am sure that I would not commit sin wilfully, intentionally, designedly." But let us notice, dear friends, that there is a way in which sin may come upon us without being at the time a wilful sin, but which later might become wilful sin. For instance, any transgression committed, either in total ignorance or with only a partial acquiescence of our wills, might become a full, wilful, deliberate sin afterward, if we should come to a clear knowledge of the truth respecting the subject, and fail to repent of it to the Lord and to undo so far as is in our power the wrong toward our fellow-creatures. To consent to a sin clearly and fully understood simply because at the time of its committal we were in ignorance, and to refuse to make amends for it, and thus endorse the sin intelligently, would appear to make of it a will-ful sin.

With this view of the matter, the children of God cannot afford to sanction in their own minds even the slightest injustice or untruth toward each other, or toward any. The essence of this thought is found in our Lord's command: "If thou comest to the altar [if we have anything to offer to the Lord, either of service or of worship [R5939 : page 244] or of thanks], and there rememberest that thy brother hath [R5939 : page 244] aught against thee [that some one has been wronged by you, either in word or thought or act] leave there thy gift before the altar [do not think that it will be acceptable to God while in your heart or outwardly you are practising injustice toward others]; first go and be reconciled to thy brother [make amends to him, apologies, explanations in full, of whatever injury you have done him], and then come and offer thy gift [assured that in such an attitude of heart the Lord Almighty will be pleased to accept your gift]." – Matthew 5:23,24.

In describing those who sin wilfully, the Apostle Paul uses very strong, figurative language, declaring that inasmuch as they are in heart-sympathy with sin, and not in opposition to it, they are the opponents of the Son of God, who was so out of sympathy with sin in its every form that He laid down His life to redeem us from its power and curse. The Apostle declares that such wilful sinners may be esteemed as the enemies of Christ, who really trample Him and His goodness and love under their feet, figuratively, disdaining His mercy and favor as well as His instruction in righteousness. He says that inasmuch as they were once sanctified, as a result of their faith in the precious blood and its cleansing from sin, their turning now into harmony with sin would imply that they now disesteem the atoning blood, counting it not a sacred thing, but common – these do despite to the spirit of Divine favor which had held out to them freedom from the yoke of sin and ultimate release from its penalty, death, and the attainment, as the Lord's people, of the crown of life eternal. – Hebrews 10:26-29.


But let us return to the consideration of the other use of the word "sin" as found in our context, and apply the terms to the faults and imperfections which God's people are zealously striving against, seeking to stamp out of their mortal bodies, and against which they are continually fighting a good fight and coming off conquerors, and more than conquerors, through Him who loved them and bought them with His precious blood. The Apostle intimates that there is danger that some will go to the extreme of denying that they have any faults, and thus deceive themselves and get into a snare of the Adversary.

It may be asked, What difference can it make if they are seeking to live godly, whether they claim to live perfectly, or admit that they are imperfect and apply continually for cleansing through the precious blood? We reply that it makes a great deal of difference. Only as we confess our sins can they be forgiven. Consequently, those who deny that they have any sins, faults, imperfections, have a great load of them uncancelled, unforgiven, charged up against them; and because of this they would be accounted unworthy to be taken further along in the path of light, under the lead of the Holy Spirit, into the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of the love and wisdom of God, revealed in His Word as meat in due season for the Household of Faith.

Thus we see that there is but one proper course of faith and conduct in which we may have a complete fellowship with the Lord. Those who take any other course are making God a liar; and He would not fellowship with them, but will leave them to the darkness of their own way. Can we wonder, then, that so many are in darkness [R5939 : page 245] and lack evidences of fellowship with God when we see how few confess their faults and seek to overcome them and to be cleansed in the only way of Divine appointment and approval?

These things are written not to cultivate in us the thought that we may sin with impunity, may be overtaken with faults through carelessness and inattention to the Divine Word, and then go to the Lord for forgiveness. Quite to the contrary, these assurances of Divine favor and willingness to forgive are designed to have upon our hearts a mellowing influence which will make us all the more careful to avoid sin and to maintain fellowship with Him who is the perfection of light and holiness. "These things are written that we sin not" – that we become not boastful of self, self-righteous, self-justified, and thus abominable in the Lord's sight; but that, fleeing from our weaknesses and imperfections, we lay hold upon the grace of God in Christ for their forgiveness, and for grace and strength to fight a good fight against sin.


If any man [in Christ] sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." Here again "any man" does not refer to those who are out of Christ, but to those who are under the terms and conditions of the Covenant of Grace. Such alone are addressed in this Epistle. The world has no Advocate with the Father, because it has not accepted Christ; and He is the Advocate only for those who have accepted Him and who are striving to overcome sin.

Our Advocate is more than an advocate, more than a representative at the bar of Divine Justice, interested in our welfare and forgiveness; He is in addition the One who gave Himself for us, who at Calvary finished the work of providing a propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins. This is the reason why we may come "with boldness [confidence] to the Throne of Grace," not only realizing that God is for us, and that the Lord Jesus sympathizes with us, and is our Advocate, but also and especially realizing the merit of the sacrifice which He has already deposited with Justice, and which He fully imputed on behalf of all who love and obey Him, upon their acceptance of the Father's terms.

But, says the Apostle, "He is the propitiation not only for our sins [the Church's sins], but also for the sins of the whole world." What does this mean? Is He the Advocate for the whole world? No. The world has not been called and drawn to holiness and truth. During the present Age "no man can come unto Christ except the Father draw him." At present the drawing influence of the Truth is extended only to "him that hath an ear to hear." The great mass of mankind have never in any sense of the word heard of the grace of God and of the propitiation and forgiveness provided for all in Christ. Indeed, it is a remarkably small number who "have tasted that the Lord is gracious."

Yet so surely as the propitiation is "for the sins of the whole world," just so surely shall every member of the race of mankind be brought to a knowledge of the fact, and to an opportunity to avail himself of the provided blessing. It is to this end that the great Millennial Age has been promised and is being prepared; and it is concerning that Age of blessing to "all the families of the earth" that the Lord declares through the Prophet, "In that day the blind eyes shall be opened and the deaf ears shall be unstopped." It is of that time that the Lord Jesus also declared, "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me." It is by virtue of His having been lifted up as the Propitiation, the Sin-offering, "for the sins of the whole world," that our glorified Lord will eventually be privileged to be the Judge of the world and to grant forgiveness, reconciliation and restitution to all who will heartily obey Him; while "whosoever will not obey that Prophet will be cut off from among the people" – in the Second Death. – Acts 3:23.


As the drawing now done by the Father is not a compulsion, but merely a constraining by the Truth, through a knowledge of it, so the drawing of the Millennial Age upon the world of mankind will not be a compulsion, but merely the influence of righteousness and Truth constraining toward love for righteousness and thus to the reward of righteousness – eternal life.

The Apostle seems to intimate in the Epistle from which our text is taken that quite a good number may claim an intimate knowledge of God falsely. Hence with great plainness of speech he informs us that, "He that saith I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in Him." It is thus very evident that the Apostle does not mean merely a knowledge about God, but an intimate knowledge of God, implying fellowship and communion with Him. He then gives us a test by which we may judge accordingly whether or not we are New Creatures in the Lord and have the love of God developed in us to any extent. The test is obedience. In proportion as we keep the Lord's Word, in like proportion the love of God is perfected in us; for if we have received the mind of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the effect will be to cause us to will and do His good pleasure – to the extent of ability.

This ability should be continually on the increase year by year. And although we may not hope to be perfected until we shall be "changed" and granted our new resurrection bodies, nevertheless, all the while we may keep so close to the Lord in the spirit of our minds that we may have continual fellowship with Him, and by confessing our faults and seeking His forgiveness we may continue to the end of our journey clean from sin, even though we must still acknowledge the imperfections of the flesh – that in our flesh dwelleth no perfection.

[R5942 : page 245]

UR London Office writes: "We are trying to get our regular office helpers and the Elders of the I.B.S.A. meetings exempted from military service. The War Office is agreeable to having the case stated before the Civil Courts soon. At present, about 60 brethren are in prison for refusing military orders; about 60 have been exempted so long as they do work considered of national importance; about 20 have joined the non-combatant corps arranged for by the Government. You will see by these figures that the majority of the brethren involved declined to accept military authority. The above figures refer only to single men. The married men's compulsion is only beginning to come into operation. These also will appeal for exemption; but it remains to be seen whether they will refuse to accept the non-combatant corps and, by so doing, forfeit the allowance provided for the wives and children of soldiers. The situation is certainly trying. Some of our brethren, eight at least, were taken to France, and afterwards sentenced to be shot for disobedience. The sentence was reduced to ten years [R5942 : page 246] penal servitude, and we have just learned that they are now in civil prisons in England. The military powers seem to care little for the civil authorities. These experiences are doing good to the Church as a whole, by sending it to prayer and causing an increased exercise of love and sympathy. No doubt, too, all this is a stiffening process in preparation for harder and darker days to come."

We wish our dear Brethren of the warring nations to know of the loving sympathy of their dear Brethren of the neutral countries. Surely, many prayers are ascending from Brethren of the I.B.S.A. everywhere! Examples of loyalty to the King of kings are everywhere having a strengthening and stimulating effect.

We quite agree with the proposal to gain exemption for Class Elders as ministers under the laws. This does not mean that we recognize a "clergy" class as distinct from a "laity" class in Christ's Church. "All ye are brethren – all are ministers (servants) of Christ. But if one law excuses some Brethren, and another law or arrangement excuses other Brethren, and if no law excuses still others, it is for us to obtain for each other all that the laws permit us to have.

[R5939 : page 246]

HE WORD ordination, as applied to the Christian ministry, seems to be very imperfectly comprehended by the majority of people – including ministers. The ceremony practised by some Christian people in connection with the appointment of their ministers – [R5940 : page 246] such as the laying on of hands, etc. – is not ordination, but merely a ceremony connected with the ordination. The word ordination signifies simply the setting apart, authorization or appointment, to some particular work or office.

The proper thought connected with ordination is that which the Bible gives when we read that the Apostle "ordained Elders in every Church." (Acts 14:23.) Similarly, amongst the Lord's people today, Elders are chosen, or appointed, or authorized, by the congregation by the stretching forth of their hands – by the congregational vote. Every Elder and every Deacon Scripturally chosen by the vote, "the stretching forth of the hand" (not by laying on of hands), is thus ordained, or appointed, or authorized, to serve in the capacity indicated.

In thus ordaining Elders and Deacons, the Lord's people are instructed that they are to seek to know the mind of the Lord. Their voting for and electing one of the brethren to be a Deacon or an Elder implies that they believe that such a person possesses the Divinely indicated qualifications for the service. No one should be voted for who does not give evidence of having received the begetting of the Holy Spirit, which is the Divine authorization to preach or to teach, as set forth in Isaiah 61:1.

All of the Lord's spirit-begotten people are ordained in this general way to speak in the Master's name the wonderful Words of Life, according to their opportunities. But when a congregation of such ordained, spirit-begotten children of God chooses from its midst some to be Elders, others to be Deacons, it implies that they consider the ones chosen to be especially qualified, "apt to teach" – ensamples to the brethren in word, in conduct. – 1 Tim. 3:2.

The wrong thought respecting ordination is the one which ignores the Divine anointing (Isaiah 61:1), and which merely looks to the education and the talents of the one elected. Thus ignoring the Divine test, many today are serving as Ministers and Elders in the Church of Christ who would make no profession of being spirit-begotten and who give no outward evidence thereof. Such are not properly ordained Ministers of God, and their church ordination gives no Divine blessing or power.

The most erroneous thought respecting ordination is that held by the three oldest Christian denominations – the Roman Catholic, the Episcopal Church of England, and the Greek Catholic Church. With these ancient churches, ordination has a different meaning entirely. They claim to have Apostolic succession of authority – that originally only the Apostles had a right to teach or to preach, and that any other teachers or preachers needed to get authorization and Divine power from the hands of the Apostles. They claim that before the Apostles died, there was a special order of bishops ordained in the Church; and that apostolic power and authority passed to those bishops, and has thus come down to our day and is possessed by the bishops of these denominations. They claim that only such as they ordain are Christian ministers.

In a word, these three ancient churches have set aside entirely the Divine ordination, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and substituted an authorization through a so-called "apostolic succession" of power and authority. Not only did Jesus tell us that there were only Twelve Apostles, but Revelation 2:2 points out this grievous error of those who claim to be apostles and are not, but do lie.


The above condensed statement of what is really meant by the ordaining of Christian ministers should be read over repeatedly until fully comprehended. Then the following questions and answers will be better understood:

(1) Are all Elders and Deacons chosen by congregations of God's people to be considered Divinely ordained?

No, no one can be considered Divinely ordained who has not received the begetting of the Holy Spirit. For a congregation to ordain any one who does not profess to be fully consecrated to God and to have received the begetting of the Holy Spirit is for them to do what they have not been authorized by the Lord to do. The person thus chosen would be merely the representative of the church thus ordaining him, but would not be a representative of the Lord.

But for a congregation to recognize the Lord's authorization of a Brother, and to recognize further his aptness to teach and his possession of the qualities fitting him for service according to the Divine Word, means the giving to that Brother of a proper election or ordination to be the representative of the congregation in the name of the Lord. No Brother should attempt to serve a company of the Lord's people without their request, and their request or their vote constitutes their appointment of him to that service – in other words, their ordination of him, or appointment, for the service, whether for a day or a year.

(2) If it is proper that all Elders and Deacons should thus be ordained and should not attempt to serve regularly without ordination, what did St. Paul mean when he declared that he was an Apostle not of men nor by men, but by the Lord Jesus Christ? – Galatians 1:1.

No man or congregation is competent to appoint or elect an Apostle. No congregational vote would make one of the brethren an Apostle. That is a special office or function which is of Divine appointment solely. Thus the Lord Jesus appointed only Twelve Apostles – "Twelve Apostles of the Lamb" – St. Paul taking the place of Judas, who lost his apostleship. (Rev. 21:14; Psalm 109:8; Acts 1:20.) It is in this particular that the Church of Rome, the Church of England, and the Greek Church [R5940 : page 247] do violence to the principles of God's Word, in that they claim to make, but do not really make, Apostolic Bishops – bishops possessed of apostolic power and authority.

St. Paul did not desire us to understand that he took no notice of earthly appointment, except in respect to his apostolic office. On the contrary, the Church at Antioch ordained Paul and Barnabas and afterwards Paul and Silas, to be their representatives and apparently at their expense to carry the Message to others. The Antioch Church did not ordain the Apostle Paul to be an Apostle, but ordained him to be their missionary; and he accepted their ordination and rendered reports to them, as the account in Acts shows. – Acts 14:26-28.

(3) Does the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY ever "ordain" ministers or representatives in connection with the Harvest Work?

It does. All the Pilgrims are thus ordained, appointed, or set apart for the special work of the ministry. Keep in memory always that ceremony is not ordination, but that appointment and direction are ordination. The Society ordains, authorizes, directs the course of the Pilgrims who are its representatives as well as the representatives of the Lord and His Word.

(4) Has the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY the right to withdraw ordination from a Pilgrim brother?

Yes, surely! If it has the power to appoint and direct, it has power also to withdraw its past appointment and direction.

(5) Would the withdrawal of the Society's appointment or ordination mean that the Pilgrim thus suspended from its service would have no right to preach thereafter?

Surely not! In withdrawing its appointment from a Pilgrim the Society would merely be indicating that for some reason it no longer was represented by that Pilgrim, and that it no longer was responsible for him or his teachings or his conduct or his maintenance. The Pilgrim brother thus dropped from the Pilgrim List might still be a Brother and be so esteemed by the Society, but might not be any longer considered a suitable person to represent the Society, either by reason of showing some weakness of character or some lack of the aptness to teach or some other reason which the Society would believe should not be encouraged, or for which it would not wish to be held responsible, or for various reasons, illness, etc.

(6) What is the meaning of V.D.M., and what would be signified by the conferring of the V.D.M. Degree?

The title V.D.M. is a very old one. Indeed, it has been out of use so long that comparatively few know its meaning. The three letters represent the Latin words, Verbi Dei Minister. The English of this is, "Minister of the Divine Word." When, during the Dark Ages, the Divine Word fell into disuse and creeds were substituted, this title was generally lost and ignored. There were no ministers of the Divine Word; for the Divine Word was not preached, but, instead, the creeds of men. Instead of these simple words so expressive of the proper thought in connection with all the Lord's public servants, we today have high-sounding titles, such as Reverend and Doctor of Divinity, which are quite unscriptural. To confer the degree of MINISTER OF THE DIVINE WORD would not mean to ordain, but merely imply that the Society in giving this degree had looked into the reputation, and so far as possible into the character and especially into the doctrinal development of the person to whom the degree was given, and that he was in the estimation of the Examining Board found worthy of being called a Minister of the Divine Word.

(7) Are there any such Ministers of the Divine Word now?

Yes, assuredly! Every Pilgrim sent out by the Society is sent out as a Minister of the Divine Word, not a minister of creeds, nor of "isms"; but purely and simply a Minister of the Word of God. And in every case where a congregation of the Lord's people has elected a consecrated, [R5941 : page 247] spirit-begotten child of God to be an Elder, they have by their election ordained, or set apart, or indicated, that Elder as being a Minister of the Divine Word – one who serves, distributes, dispenses the Truth of God's Word.

(8) What is the object of the Society in getting out a list of questions with the intimation that the person who could answer those questions in a manner satisfactory to the Society would be considered a MINISTER OF THE DIVINE WORD?

Those questions are designed to fill a long-felt want. The questions are quite unsectarian; they are all Scriptural. The Society desires to know from the Pilgrims who are now in the service, or from any others who may at any time represent the Society as Pilgrims, what are their thoughts, their sentiments and their understanding as respects these fundamental questions appertaining to the Gospel of Christ. Any Brother not willing to answer those questions would be considered to be confused in his mind, unstable, and hence not qualified to teach – not "apt to teach." This would not imply that he might not still be a Brother, but that he would not be considered a Brother suitable for the Pilgrim service. Neither would it mean that the Brother must not preach, but merely that the Society would not recommend him as an exponent of the Divine Word.

Any Brother willing to answer the questions, but showing considerable confusion in his replies, would to us indicate that he needed further instruction before he could properly represent the Society and what the Society believes to be the Truth respecting God's Word. Such a Brother would probably be brought to Brooklyn and have an opportunity to participate for a time in other features of the service, as well as in the Bible Study classes held at every meal time; and, by fullest liberty, have an opportunity of asking any kind of questions on subjects connected with the Truth, that thus the whole matter might be thoroughly regulated and clearly seen and understood.


Many of the Sisters in the Bethel Family, learning about the questions, made a special request that they might have a list of these and give their answers, with a view to practise and instruction which they might thus derive. Elders and Deacons in various classes have similarly requested the questions. We believe that it would be profitable for all of the classes of Bible Students everywhere, if they would choose to Eldership such as could answer these questions so as to be worthy of the Society's V.D.M. degree. This might make a good many changes amongst the Elders, but we believe that they would be profitable changes. Furthermore, we believe that all Elders earnestly desiring to teach the Truth, and the Truth only, would be glad to have the very assistance which these questions would bring to them.

We have been surprised, sometimes, how careless some of the dear friends seem to be in respect to those whom they elect or ordain as Elders – often novices, contrary to the direction of the Lord's Word, thus doing harm both to the novice and to the class. (1 Timothy 3:1-7.) Next to the importance of the election of only a consecrated, spirit-begotten child of God to Eldership should be the question – To what extent has he availed himself of the privileges of study, information? It is our thought that it is unwise to choose as an Elder any [R5941 : page 248] Brother who has not read at least once the entire six volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, or who is not a regular WATCH TOWER reader. Let it be borne in mind that the Society exercises no authority, makes no criticism, but merely gives advice; and that in the interest of the Lord's Cause and the Lord's people.

[R5941 : page 248]

– SEPTEMBER 3. – 2 CORINTHIANS 11:21-33. –


"My grace is sufficient for thee; for My power is made perfect in weakness." – 2 Corinthians 12:9.
HAT a wonderful man was St. Paul! Doubtless the secret of his brilliancy lay in the fact that he so fully gave himself up to God – to do, not his own will, but the Father's will – that the Lord could use him as an Apostle, as a mouthpiece, as a servant, to a greater extent than He ever used any other man, perhaps. In this we are not implying that St. Paul was greater than his Master. Our Lord had only three and one-half years of service, while St. Paul had a long ministry – a long period of service for God and for the Church. Besides, it was not possible for the Master to go into the details of the Divine Plan; for even His devoted followers, including the Apostles, were natural men, who did not receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit until Pentecost. Hence we read that Jesus' teachings were chiefly in parables and dark sayings. – 1 Cor. 2:14; Matt. 13:10-17.

On one occasion the Master declared to His disciples, "I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth;...and will show you things to come." (John 16:12,13.) There were no such limitations on St. Paul and the other Apostles. Their epistles were addressed to the saints of God in various quarters, to whom they wrote freely upon every feature of the great subject – the Divine Plan of Salvation. Some of their writings were along lines that they declared were suitable for "babes" in Christ, and others were "strong meat" – the deeper things of the Divine Plan. (Hebrews 5:13,14; 1 Peter 2:1-3.) But they wrote only to the spirit-begotten, not to the worldly.


It is not strange that the Adversary was able to stir up some little sectarianism even in the primitive Church, as St. Paul remarked, criticizing it: Some said that they were of Paul; some, that they were of Apollos; some, that they were of Peter. (1 Corinthians 1:11-13; 3:1-7.) But all such partisan sentiment the Apostle rebuked, reminding them that not one of these teachers had died for them; and that they should all be Christians, taking none other name than that of the Master. This same spirit manifested itself otherwise, too. The Apostles needed to grow in grace and in knowledge, as well as did the remainder of the Household of Faith; and although they had special blessings of the Lord, yet they did not all have the same length of vision at the same time.

St. Paul, the most learned of The Twelve, the one who took the place of Judas, had naturally the best opportunity for breadth of thought. True, as Saul of Tarsus, he had showed himself to be very narrow and bigoted in his warfare against Christ and His followers. But after his eyes of understanding had been opened, and after he had become a spirit-begotten New Creature, St. Paul manifested a wonderful insight into the things Divine. Explaining this insight, he declared that he had visions and revelations more than had all the other Apostles of the Lord together. – 2 Corinthians 12:1,7,11,12.

All this was in harmony with what the Lord had said respecting him: "He is a chosen vessel unto Me... I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name's sake." (Acts 9:15,16.) Naturally, the Lord could use a well-talented man, a well-educated man, who had fully given up his own will, to better advantage than He could use an illiterate man; and of some of the remainder of the Apostles it is written that even the multitude perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant. (Acts 4:13.) Not so with St. Paul, however. He had education and a wonderful breadth of mind. All the spirit-begotten children of God, able to understand the deep things of the Bible, are surely amazed at the logic, the wisdom and the power of St. Paul's writings! We know of nothing in the world that will compare with them.

Pushed to the front as the Lord's mouthpiece to the Gentiles, St. Paul's mind grasped more quickly than did the minds of the other Apostles, the things pertaining to the New Dispensation; and he perceived that the Gentiles were to be fellow-heirs with the Jews in the Kingdom privileges. (Ephesians 3:1-12; Colossians 1:25-27.) Naturally, some thought that St. Paul was going too far; and the argument was raised that he was not one of The Twelve, that he was not to be ranked as an Apostle, etc.

However willing St. Paul might have been to be nothing and to let others take their own estimate of him, nevertheless he felt a duty toward the Truth. This led him to tell us in no uncertain terms that he had full proof of his apostleship, and that he was not a whit behind the very chiefest of the Apostles in the understanding of the Divine Program – yea, that to him more than to all the others the Lord had revealed more of those things to come of which our Lord Jesus had spoken. – John 16:13; 2 Corinthians 11:5; Galatians 2:2-10; etc. [R5942 : page 248]


St. Paul labored hard with the Church at Corinth; and to have them fail to make proper progress in the Truth because they thought of him as an incompetent teacher seemed to him to be a pity. Hence in our lesson he is doing what he styles "foolish boasting." He did not approve of boasting; and yet for the sake of his hearers, he would inform them along certain lines. And how glad we are that the Holy Spirit so directed the Apostle, that we also may know him better and may fully appreciate his loving loyalty to the King of kings and the fact that he was the chosen vessel of the Lord for the communication of the Truth even to the Household of today!

But the Apostle did not boast about himself – about his talents, about his oratory, about how the people were spellbound, about how many people recognized his ability, etc. No; he rather would boast of the things which others would think to be for his shame. He would tell them what God's providence had permitted him to suffer for the Truth's sake – scourging, whipping with rods, imprisonment, perils of the deep, perils from false brethren, perils from the heathen. To him these things were the [R5942 : page 249] marks of Divine love and favor, and bore witness also that he was a lover of the Lord and His righteousness, and that he had been willing to suffer for the Lord's sake, for the Truth's sake.

Thus seen this lesson is a very valuable portion of the Word of the Lord. It gives us information which we find in no other quarter. It sets before us crisply a picture of a soldier of the Cross and what he endured. It says to us, "Be thou faithful unto death" – follow in the footsteps of Jesus and this noble follower of His – boast not in yourself, but in the Lord and in your privileges of service in connection with His Truth.


By and by will come the time when the noble St. Paul and the less prominent of the Lord's followers will all be received by Him into eternal glory, and be presented before the Father without spot or blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-30.) But we may be sure that every one in that glorious company will have been a faithful soldier, not a deserter, not ashamed of the Lord, not ashamed of His Truth. Of such the Master declares that He will not be ashamed, but will confess their names before the Father and His holy angels. – Matthew 10:32,33.

The secret of the Apostle's endurance of so great privations – scourgings, imprisonments, buffetings of various kinds – is presented to us in the words of our Golden Text. The Lord's grace was sufficient. The Lord's power was made perfect in his weakness. And is this not the secret of every successful Christian life? Was it not even so of our Master – that the Father's Spirit in Him, His reliance upon the Father, and His looking for the light of the Father's countenance, were indeed the power of God working in our Savior to will and to do the Father's good pleasure?

The same is true with every follower of the Lord since His day. The Master truly said to His followers, "Without Me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5.) It is the Divine Power which operates through our Lord Jesus, through the Word of Truth, through the followers of Jesus; and this Power can operate in the weakest members of the Body of Christ as well as in the strongest. The Lord's grace is sufficient for all and for every time of need. We are not to forget, however, that this great sufficiency is not poured out upon the Lord's people unconditionally, but in answer to their appreciation of their need and their prayerful request for grace Divine in every time of need.

[R5942 : page 249]

– SEPTEMBER 10. – ACTS 21:27-40. –


"Thou shalt be a witness for Him unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard." – Acts 22:15.
HEN St. Paul and his companions arrived at Jerusalem, he was returning from his third missionary tour amongst the Gentiles. He had been absent for seven years. On his way to Jerusalem the Lord had permitted forewarnings to reach him, informing him that he might expect trouble – bonds and imprisonment – in the Holy City. Undeterred, however, this noble ambassador for Christ and his associates had arrived there. They had brought with them money collections from the Churches in Asia Minor and Greece for the Church at Jerusalem, which apparently was in a measure of financial distress.

Their reception on their arrival was of a private and personal character, and they had further manifestations of the same loving brotherhood especially noted in our Study for August 27. On the following day, which probably was Pentecost (Acts 20:16), the Church was called together to receive the Apostle and his companions in a more formal manner. St. James the Less was apparently the recognized leader in the Jerusalem Church. St. Paul recounted his experiences during his third missionary tour and the Lord's blessing upon his ministrations of the Truth, notwithstanding the tribulations permitted. We may presume also that at the same time he turned over the collections from the Gentile brethren.


The brief record indicates that the brethren at Jerusalem were considerably perturbed by St. Paul's presence with them. Not merely did they fear for his personal safety, but they were also alarmed lest his coming might stir up persecution against them all; for the Apostle's activity and persistency made him well known to the Jews in the influential part of the world in which he had been laboring. The Jewish custom that the zealously religious come frequently to Jerusalem to keep the feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16) brought the Jews in the Holy City into touch with the religious interests of the whole world.

St. James and his associates realized that in all probability there might be present at the Pentecostal feast Jews from Ephesus, Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, etc. They knew that St. Paul's activities had already been reported; and that some, even of the Hebrew Christians, were troubled at his reported teachings that the Law was dead and that no one was obligated to pay any further attention to it. The brethren urged St. Paul to contradict these partial misconceptions by going into the Temple and associating with some brethren who had taken the Nazarite Vow. (Numbers 6:1-21.) They did not suggest that he take this vow; but that he be present with these brethren, as a recognition of what they did; and that he bear their expenses, which included not only the shaving of their heads, and the burning of the hair, but also the cost of sacrificing for them four animals each.

Evidently St. James and the leaders of the Church understood St. Paul's position properly enough, although apparently their minds did not grasp so clearly as did his the complete breaking down of "the middle wall of partition" which previously had separated Jews from Gentiles, nor did they appreciate so fully as he the fact that the Law was merely a servant, designed to lead to the School of Christ, prepared for the sons of God.

St. Paul taught the Gentiles that it was not necessary for them to become Jews or to obey the Jewish ritual; but that instead of looking for Divine favor through the types and shadows, they should look to Christ and His antitypical fulfilments of the requirements of the Law. He taught that the Law could save neither Jew nor Gentile, but that only faith in Christ could bring the soul into relationship to God. He taught that while certain blessings of God yet remained for the Jews (Romans 11:25-29), page 250 yet during this Gospel Age God is selecting a Spiritual Seed of Abraham from both Jews and Gentiles. He taught that if any one – either Jew or Gentile – attempted to keep the Law with a view to thus merit eternal life, such would surely fail; for "by the deeds of the Law, shall no flesh be justified in God's sight." – Romans 3:20-31; Ephesians 3:1-7; Galatians 3:8,16,29.


Nothing in all this, however, really interfered with St. Paul's doing just what the Elders at Jerusalem urged him to do for the four men under the Nazarite Vow. The shaving of their heads and the offering of the sacrifices demanded by the law which governed their vow interfered in no sense of the word with the merit of Christ's sacrifice nor attempted to add to it. Nevertheless in our judgment a more courageous course might have been pursued. Apparently the very method taken to ward off public opposition merely served to arouse it.

Let us not forget, however, that the Lord could have overruled the matter differently, had He chosen to do so. Let us remember that He foreknew that tribulations would assail the Apostle Paul, and had foretold them. Those who are in close relationship to the Lord have His assurance that all their steps are ordered of Him, and that all things shall work together for good to them that love God and that have been called according to His Purpose. (Psalm 37:23; Romans 8:28.) What a consolation these assurances are to all of the Lord's people! It is no wonder that such may have quiet, rest and peace, even in times of storm and trouble.

Some one may inquire, "Would it not be a sin for the Apostle or other Christians to participate in any measure in sacrifice in the Temple? Were not all the Jewish sacrifices done away in Christ?

We answer, Not at all. The sacrifices which pointed to Christ, and which He fulfilled, were no longer proper. But the sacrifices which the Nazarites offered in connection with their vows did not typify Christ's sacrifices, but rather the consecration and devotion of the people, the antitypes of which will prevail during the Millennium. It was therefore not a sin for the Apostle to join in this procedure; and yet we doubt the wisdom of his course. We incline to think that it was rather a temporizing acknowledgment of the dignity of the Jewish Temple and its services; whereas by this time the real Temple and the real service had been inaugurated. The Church itself is the antitypical Temple, in which God has been present by His Holy Spirit ever since Pentecost.


For several days the scheme to have St. Paul appear as partially endorsing the law seemed to be successful; but when the seven days were nearly expired, the Apostle was recognized by Jews who had come from Asia. They had seen him with Trophimus, a Greek from Ephesus, and jumped to the conclusion that the latter was one of the four men whose heads were shaved. From the Jewish standpoint this would have been a grievous offense; for only Jews were permitted to come within the sacred precincts of the Temple, outside of which were the Court of the Women and also the Court of the Gentiles. These two courts were separated by a stone fence, which constituted what the Apostle elsewhere alluded to as "the middle wall of partition." – Ephesians 2:14.

This wall was four and one-half feet high, with small obelisks at regular intervals, bearing inscriptions which read, "No man of alien race is to enter within the balustrade and fence that goes around the Temple. If any one is taken in the act, let him know that he has himself to blame for the penalty of death that follows." St. Paul was charged with this offense, and not the Greek who was supposed to have been misled by the Apostle. It was on this score that St. Paul's life was in danger from the mob which speedily gathered at the cry of the Asiatic Jews that the Temple was being profaned.

While the mob was beating the Apostle, seeking to kill him, Claudius Lysias, the chief captain, or colonel, of the Roman cohort which formed the garrison in the Castle Antonia, close by the Temple, became aware of the tumult and hurried to the scene with a company of soldiers. Immediately the beating ceased; for although the Jews had not learned to respect the majesty of the Roman law, they had become amenable to its military forces.

The Apostle was chained by each arm to a soldier. The colonel endeavored to ascertain the cause of the tumult, but was unable to understand the conflicting testimonies. Therefore he remanded the prisoner to the castle. But the mob, disappointed because they had lost the opportunity of taking St. Paul's life, made a mad rush to get him from the soldiers or to kill him outright. The oncoming of the mob led the soldiers to press against one another in order not to lose their prisoner. As a result the Apostle was lifted off his feet and carried by the soldiers up the stairway.


The courage of this ambassador of Christ and his readiness to take advantage of every opportunity to tell the Message of his Master were here wonderfully exemplified. We might have supposed that the beating which he had received from the mob, together with the more or less rough treatment which he had undergone in getting to the castle door, would have cowed him with fear and excitement. But on the contrary he was cool and collected. Calmly he asked the commandant to grant him the privilege of speaking to the people. Doubtless he intimated that they had misunderstood what he was doing, and that a few words from him might pacify them.

The Roman officer was astonished; for the Apostle spoke Greek fluently. He had thought that St. Paul was "that Egyptian," mentioned by the historian Josephus, who had a short time before gathered a large body of discontented Jews, to whom he had represented himself as Messiah and who, as his followers, had given the Roman authorities considerable trouble. St. Paul answered that he was a Jew of an honorable city, and again asked the privilege of addressing the people, which was granted.

[R5943 : page 251]

"Lo! in the clouds of Heaven appears
God's well-beloved Son.
He brings a train of brighter years,
His Kingdom is begun.
He comes a guilty world to bless
With mercy, truth and righteousness.

"O Father! haste the promised hour
When at His feet shall lie
All rule, authority and power
Beneath the ample sky;
When He shall reign from pole to pole,
The Lord of every ransomed soul;

"When all shall heed the words He said,
Amid their daily cares,
And by the loving life He led,
Shall strive to pattern theirs.
When He who conquered death shall win
The mightier conquest over Sin."

[R5942 : page 251]

– SEPTEMBER 17. – ACTS 22:17-29. –


"He is my Refuge and my Fortress; my God, in Him will I trust." – Psalm 91:2.
UR last Study left St. Paul standing before the mob and motioning for silence, in order that he might address them. Doubtless he considered his thrilling experiences well compensated for by the privilege of that moment – the privilege of telling a large concourse of his countrymen about Jesus. Promptly the Apostle preached Christ – that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah promised in the Law and the Prophets, that His sacrificial death constituted the Redemption Sacrifice for Father Adam's forfeited life and, incidentally, for all of Adam's children, who died under his curse.

Surely also St. Paul declared that Messiah was calling a spiritual class to be His associates in His Millennial Kingdom, and that shortly Israel and all the nations would experience the privileges and blessings of that Kingdom! Surely he pointed out the fact that this Gospel Age is the acceptable time in which to make our calling and election sure to the chiefest part of the Abrahamic Covenant – the spiritual phase! Then he proceeded to tell his audience about his missionary tours. He declared that many of the Gentiles were gladly receiving this Message and giving their hearts to the Lord in consecration.


But so strong was the Jewish prejudice that the mere mention of the fact that this great blessing was going upon equal terms to the Gentiles re-kindled the flame of hatred and violence; and their shouts and jeers rent the air. Perplexed at the situation, the Roman commandant concluded that where there was so much opposition there must be some cause for it. Thereupon he gave orders that the Apostle be whipped until he confessed what he had done to create such a tumult.

At once the command began to be carried out by the soldiers, who proceeded to tie St. Paul to the whipping-post. But the Apostle brought the proceedings to a quick termination by inquiring of a centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman and uncondemned?" When the centurion heard the question, he reported the matter to the colonel, who came and questioned the Apostle. He took St. Paul's word for it that he was a Roman citizen; for to have made an untruthful claim to citizenship would have meant sure death as soon as the matter had been investigated. The Apostle was held a prisoner for trial.


Matters are somewhat the same today, although on a different plane. A worldly person, on hearing some sectarian Christian animadvert against some one who has been preaching the true Gospel of Christ would be inclined to suppose that the Message must contain something very vicious, very terrible indeed; else it would not so arouse those who have outwardly so much "form of godliness." And if, as in the case of the Roman officer, an audience be granted, and the Truth be presented in the hearing of the worldly person, he cannot understand it.

The reason for this is that "the world by wisdom knows not God," knows little of His Plan, understands little of His Word; for its language is different from that to which they are accustomed. When then, after a presentation of the Truth, the worldly find bitter opposition and invective against it on the part of religious teachers – modern Scribes, Pharisees and Doctors of Divinity – we must not be surprised if they are the more inclined to side with those who represent popular theology – so-called "orthodoxy" – and assume that the true Gospel must be something very evil, because taught by so few and opposed by so many of influence.

Nevertheless, it is for God's children to take the Apostle for their guide, and to be faithful to use every opportunity to let the light shine forth, even though it arouse the bitter opposition, prejudice and persecution of darkness. Our Lord's explanation of the matter is that "every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." (John 3:19-21.) Nothing seemed to incite the Scribes and Pharisees of eighteen centuries ago so much as did the reasonableness of the true Gospel. The common people heard it gladly, unless intimidated by their religious rulers, and were led to doubt those who had been teaching them to the contrary. Hence the religious rulers were incensed against the Gospellers. "They were grieved because they [the Apostles] TAUGHT THE PEOPLE." – Acts 4:2,3,15-21.


St. Paul was suffering as a Christian – because of loyalty to the Lord and to His Word. He was not suffering because he had followed the admonitions of the brethren in going into the Temple; for very evidently the hatred against them in the hearts of their enemies would sooner or later have manifested itself, and they would have sought the Apostle's life, as on previous occasions. In this incident we merely see that the attempt of the Apostles to create a favorable impression toward the Apostle Paul and his work amongst the Gentiles probably brought the matter of his arrest more quickly to the front than any other course would have done.

The Apostle was not ashamed of his sufferings; for he realized that they were endured for Christ's sake. Any individual should feel deeply pained at a public arrest and imprisonment as a felon, as a violator of the law. But when these things are experienced because of faithfulness to the Lord, because of following in His footsteps, such may well rejoice in the ignominy, rejoice in the things which otherwise would be shameful and detestable.

If therefore, in the Lord's providence, arrest or imprisonment or scourging should come to any who read this article, and they can directly or indirectly trace their tribulation to faithfulness to the Lord and to His Truth, let them not be ashamed. Let them glorify God on this behalf, rejoicing that they are accounted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ, and remembering that even thus also was it with our Lord Jesus Himself. He was placed under arrest; He was bound; He was scourged; He was publicly insulted; He was even crucified as a blasphemer against God. – 1 Peter 4:16.

Another lesson which we may learn from today's Study is that it is not wise to trust too implicitly the voice of the multitude. If we find the rabble shouting against any one, whether orally or through the press, we should not unquestioningly accept their verdict. We should remember the experiences of our Lord Jesus, the experiences of St. Paul and of the other Apostles, and recall that the multitude cried out, "Away with them!" The Christian whose mind is thus relieved of prejudice is the better prepared to judge wisely respecting whatever may properly [R5942 : page 252] come under his observation or criticism. Then, if he should have similar experiences himself, he will be the better prepared to endure them.

Still another lesson for us is that when undergoing trials and difficulties, however much we realize that they could not come to us without the Lord's permission, nevertheless we are at liberty to use any legitimate means for our own deliverance – even as St. Paul took advantage of his Roman citizenship. God had provided him in advance with that measure of protection; and it would have been culpable negligence on his part not to use it, and to expect the Lord to deliver him in some miraculous manner.

How often we find in the pages of history that violence and unreason have been manifested in the name of religion and for the defense of various sects! How utterly foreign to all such conduct is what St. Paul designates "the spirit of a sound mind" – the spirit of reason, justice – not to mention the spirit of generosity, loving-kindness and tender mercy! As the sight of the foolishness and the brutishness of a drunken person should act as a great temperance lesson in every right-minded man and woman, so such a scene as this depicted in today's Study, whether recognized by our natural eyes or mentally seen through the printed page, should be a lasting lesson against anything so brutish and unreasonable. Let every instance of religious bigotry and fanatical violence speak to our hearts a lesson in the opposite direction, and fix in us resolutions that by the grace of God we will never be thus foolish, thus wicked, but contrariwise will become the more gentle, the more kind, the more Christ-like, as the days go by.

[R5943 : page 252]

"Who is worthy?" – Revelation 5:2.

HE words of our text are a part of the proclamation represented as being made throughout Heaven: "Who is worthy to open the Book [the Scroll], and to loose the seals thereof?" The Book in this case seems symbolically not to represent the Bible, but the Divine Plan, with its times and seasons. The Bible is indeed a record, but God had the Plan before the Bible was written. He had this Plan from the very beginning. He had not disclosed it to the angels – not even to the Logos. Nor did He disclose its time features fully to our Lord Jesus while He was in the flesh. And after His resurrection Jesus spoke of these times and seasons as things "which the Father hath put in His own power." – Acts 1:7.

The fact that God had a Plan relating to the fallen race had been intimated to Abraham. God had declared to Abraham unconditionally that He would bless the world of mankind. He also pointed out later in the types and shadows of the Law certain features of the way by which He would bless the world. He declared that there would be a Redeemer; but who the Redeemer would be was kept a secret. Although both angels and men desired to know they were not permitted the knowledge. The Prophets spoke by inspiration some things concerning this Redeemer, but they knew not the meaning thereof.

In due time the Logos was sent forth. He was a loyal Son before He was sent. He undertook to do the Father's will, not yet knowing what it would cost to be the Messiah; for God had kept these things secret. He manifested His faith, His trust. He delighted to do the Father's will, even to the taking of a lower nature. And so He humbled Himself from the glorious condition in which He was and took upon Himself the human nature, became a man – a perfect man, not a sinful man. Our Lord did this in order to carry out the great Program which the Father had in His own mind and which He had not revealed to any other.

When Jesus reached the age of thirty years, the earliest age at which He could present Himself to God, under the Law, He went to Jordan and made a consecration of Himself with the determination to do everything that was in the Father's Plan – everything that typically and prophetically had been written in the Holy Scriptures concerning Himself. "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God"; "I delight to do Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy Law is within My heart," were His heart expressions, as recorded. – Hebrews 10:7,9; Psalm 40:6-8.

This was our Lord's consecration. His human nature became His sacrifice. He laid down His life. He did not finish laying it down at Jordan; but so far as His will was concerned, it was given there. He there became the Priest, the great High Priest, His flesh being typed by the bullock of sin-offering, sacrificed on Israel's yearly day of Atonement. During the three and a half years of His ministry He carried out this sacrifice satisfactorily. And everything that the Father had given Him to do was finished at the Cross.


Our Lord Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit when He came up out of the water at His baptism. Then the heavens were opened unto Him. The higher things which He had not previously understood became clear. The Scriptures were unfolded to His view. He knew that He was going up to Jerusalem to be crucified. He knew that He would be betrayed by one of His chosen disciples, and He knew which of them would be the betrayer. He knew these things because He had been begotten of the Holy Spirit and accepted of God as a Son on the Divine plane.

During these three and a half years He was the Messiah, the Sent of God. He was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He had sacrificed His will, but this was not sufficient. God wished Him to sacrifice not only His will, but actually to lay down His human life. And God purposed to prove Him by certain crucial tests. So He was "tempted in all points like as we are; yet without sin." When all His testings were completed at His death on the Cross, God gave Him a name to which all should bow, both in Heaven and in earth.

Here the words of our text find their answer. The inquiry compassed the period from before Jesus came into the world up to His resurrection from the grave. God had given the most honorable One of all the host of Heaven the first opportunity to prove His worthiness to loose the Scroll of God's great Plan, and to fulfil its provisions. He was given this opportunity because, as the First-born of Jehovah, He had the right to the first privilege of service. And He did not allow the privilege to go by. He accepted it. He was faithful. He humbled Himself to human nature, and thus He became the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, of which tribe He was born as a man. He did not have this title in His position as Logos. It was as the Son of Mary that He was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David.


Our Lord's worthiness was not then proven. It was not until He cried with His dying breath, "It is finished!" that the demonstration was complete. All the way down [R5943 : page 253] from Adam to Jesus no one had been found worthy to open the great Scroll. But Jesus was now found worthy. Speaking in vision of the three and a half years during which our Lord is represented as slain, John the Revelator says, "I beheld and lo, a freshly slain Lamb!" And the voices of myriads of angels were heard proclaiming, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing!" – Revelation 5:12.

Jesus had not proven Himself worthy of this great honor when He made His consecration, but when He had finished His course in death He was then worthy to receive glory, honor and power. After His resurrection and ascension the Scroll was given into His hands to be opened. This means that the Divine Plan as a whole was here made known to Him – for He already had knowledge of much of this – but all things were given Him to unloose. There had been some things that our Lord did not know. He had said, "Of that day and hour [of His Second Coming] knoweth no man; no, not the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but My Father only." (Mark 13:32.) A part of the Plan was written on the outside of the Scroll, and a part was written on the inside. The things that were sealed were not proper to be understood by our Redeemer until He had received the all-power, after His resurrection. The execution of God's Plan was then given into His hands.


The opening of the seals has progressed during all the Gospel Age. The whole Plan of God is represented in this Book – the Scroll. It has required all of the present Age and will require all of the next Age to complete the Plan. The Plan of God includes the "Restitution of all things spoken." We are now able to see these wonderful things and to tell about them, because each of the seals as it has been opened has made the Plan a little clearer. We may suppose that the Lord Jesus was made aware of all its features after His ascension to the presence of Jehovah. We who are God's people are seeking to know these things more and more fully. The Master declared that as the Father revealed them unto Him, so would He reveal them unto us; but this revelation has been gradual, as the successive seals have been broken.

Brethren, beloved in Christ, realizing that our God has hitherto counted us worthy to look upon the wondrous Scroll of His great Plan, which has been unsealed for us by Jesus our Lord, let us continue to prove ourselves worthy to look therein and to comprehend the glorious things of His Word, by faithfulness, obedience and loyalty to this Plan in everything! Let our appreciation continually increase for our wondrous privilege in being permitted to share this blessed ministry of bearing Divine Truth to other hungry hearts, that they also may rejoice in the Lord and in the power of His might!

[R5944 : page 253]

WE HAD hoped for a thousand Bible Students at the Norfolk, Va., Convention, but had a splendid season of refreshment with the approximately six hundred (625) who did attend. After all, it is not numbers, but soul-fellowship which makes a Convention a success. And when it is remembered that this season twelve General Conventions have been provided, instead of one as formerly, it is not surprising that the attendance at each is considerably less. Besides we have had scores of One-Day Conventions. One effect of this scattering the Conventions is that many dear Bible Students have been privileged to attend a Bible Students' Convention for the first time. Their soul-satisfaction, their spiritual joy overflows from eyes and lips. Truly we are having times of refreshing – spiritual!

Norfolk has been no exception to the rule. The Lord met with His people! It was good to be there! We knew this before our arrival – from letters and post-cards, saying, "The best yet," "the best ever," etc. But it is always so to the spiritually minded and grateful hearted children of God.

The Program was faithfully carried out on the different days as follows:

     Saturday,      July 22................."Enrollment Day"
     Sunday,         "   23...................."Our Captain"
     Monday,         "   24............."Soldiers of Christ"
     Tuesday,        "   25...................."Our Warfare"
     Wednesday,      "   26................."Our Sacrifices"
     Thursday,       "   27...................."Our Triumph"
     Friday,         "   28......................"Our Peace"
     Saturday,       "   29......................."Our Home"
     Sunday,         "   30................."Our Government"

Pilgrim Brothers Burgess, MacMillan, Graham, Thornton, Meggison, Barber, Thorn, Wright, Herr, Toole and Johnson gave addresses on the topics named. Brothers Baeuerlein and Meggison served acceptably as Chairmen.

The Editor conducted a Question Meeting and had a children's Consecration Service on the 29th, and on Sunday the 30th closed the Convention with an address, on "Jehovah's Government," and a Love Feast. Then came the service for the public at 3 p.m., topic, "The World on Fire." About 1,300 were present.

[R5944 : page 253]


It is on my mind to write you respecting some of the experiences I am having with The Vow. Long ago I reported to you my own experiences therewith. Whatever mistake I once made in respect to resisting The Vow God long ago overruled for my good, and it seems has since blessed the experiences to the good of some others. For no one can think of an objection to The Vow which the Devil had not previously suggested to my mind.

Recently an intelligent brother and sister were hesitating to take The Vow because, as they said, they were afraid they could not keep it inviolate. I pointed out that God does not expect anything unreasonable, though He will not accept less than our best efforts. They saw the point, and both took The Vow immediately.

In commending The Vow, I show that the Lord had manifestly directed you in formulating it. I note the seven clauses, and call attention to the fact that seven in Scripture usage is a designation of completeness, perfection. I point out that this could not have just "happened," any more than you "happened" to write THE STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES.

I next show The Vow is made to the Heavenly Father, and not to Brother Russell in any sense, and is but a reiteration, an emphasis, of our original vow of consecration – "Thy will be done in my mortal body." It is all expressed there. The special designations you use are but reminders of this all-important thought – "Thy will be done in my mortal body," and any who do not want the Lord's will done in their mortal bodies should never have covenanted to that effect in the beginning. Surely every consecrated child of God desires that the Heavenly Father's rule should "come into his heart more and more," and that the Divine will should have a sanctifying influence upon his life constantly!

I do not neglect to lay stress upon the fact that the Adversary of God does not want the Heavenly Father's will done in our "mortal bodies," and the reason therefor; while in The Vow is a condensation of many texts of Scripture given us for the express purpose of helping us into the Kingdom. I sometimes thus contrast the work of the "two Masters."

Furthermore, I endeavor to point the attention of the dear friends to the solid Scriptural basis upon which the entire structure rests, the foundation for every thought embraced in The Vow. In extreme cases I present many texts to this intent. Sometimes their eyes open with surprise when they finally see how simple the whole matter is, yet how incontrovertible!

Frequently I ask upon whose strength they relied when they made their vow of consecration; then remind them that while the arm of flesh will fail, The Everlasting Arm, never. So in the strength of the Lord is this Vow to be taken, keeping [R5944 : page 254] before their minds the fact of Satan's activity, his stealth, his wiles, his purpose to deceive. Then I further ask what disadvantage could possibly come to any one from a firm resolve to be more "on the alert to resist" every encroachment of sin, the influence of Satan, and suggest that the only "reasonable way" to combat these is the Divinely-appointed way.

All must agree that they would be greatly assisted in developing a Christlike character by "more carefully scrutinizing their thoughts and words and doings," and that a firm resolve to do this, a vow to do so, of necessity must be assistful in attaining the desired end. The All-seeing Eye notes everything, even our very thoughts. To stand approved, I point out, we must have assistance. Through The Vow, this is pledged in a very special sense – "Ask and ye shall receive." In The Vow we are in the strictest sense asking in advance for "help in time of need," for protection from "the snares of the fowler," while vowing that we will be on the "alert" against these.

In the final analysis, what can be found against The Vow? Absolutely nothing – save the objections aroused by Satan, who is the Adversary of God, the Opponent of Righteousness, the enemy of Truth, the railer against purity, the hater of everything good. Praise the Lord for The Vow! Surely none has ever taken it in the right spirit without realizing that increased blessings have come to his own head and heart!

May God bless you richly for this, as well as for all other features of your great labor of love! Truly, God is with you! O how keenly do I realize this, and how deeply do I appreciate the fact! My heart is filled with gratitude, thrilled with joy, by every evidence of the Heavenly Father's loving provisions for our every need. Verily, I am amazed at Divine goodness to us-ward!

Your humble brother, by His grace,


[R5944 : page 254]


My love towards the Father, Our Lord, His blessed Truth and you His servant increases as time advances. (Philippians 1:3,4.) I am indeed grateful for the Truth, and do not know just how to express my thankfulness. It is the one thing worth living for.

Speaking particularly of the share in the great Harvest work on this side of the Atlantic, which it has been my joy to participate in, let me remind you that when the DRAMA work in London closed down, it was arranged that half my time would be spent on Pilgrim work; this continued for just a year, when the preparation of the Debenture Bonds on the one hand and the opening up of the conscription question on the other, so encroached upon my time that I have made no journeys since the middle of April. The Military Service Act, and its application, has proved to be so complex and difficult of comprehension that the office here has perforce become quite an inquiry bureau, and the work is in my hands, although I consult freely with my colleagues over matters of importance, and all correspondence is open for their inspection. You will find enclosed a copy of a petition which has just been sent to Premier Asquith with 5,500 signatures. This was arranged for to meet an evident call on the part of the brethren generally. There are probably 50 brethren in detention at the present time; with this you will find a list of those known to us who are consistently refusing to obey Military commands and are suffering more or less severely in consequence. As the Act has now been extended to include married men of military age (18 to 40), it will affect many more of our brethren in the immediate future.

As we have no Pilgrim Brother now, this department is very quiet; it would be nice to know what you think about this, in view of the peculiar times we live in. Brother Smedley [R5945 : page 254] does a journey now and again as he can afford it, and Brother Hemery has just completed a trip in Scotland; this is the only trip he has taken for some months. Brother Crawford cannot spare the time from the Office, as he has many details to look after, and is short of help at times.

The Newspaper Department is reduced to one Brother now – Brother Cormack; there are just over 30 papers publishing the Sermons at the present time. It is quite likely that this number will be greatly reduced shortly owing to the increasingly high price of paper.

The foregoing are the Departments under my special care at present. Seeing, however, that Brother Hart is leaving us for India, the DRAMA work will be added, I presume, although this is only a small matter just now, only one exhibition, apart from Scotland, being in hand.

The easing off of the DRAMA, and the losing of our Brothers on account of the Military Act, has affected the output of Volumes seriously. The Volunteer work progresses satisfactorily on the whole, but the question of paper is a serious difficulty. The Class Extension work is proving satisfactory in London, but little is moving elsewhere. We are by no means busy in the office apart from the Military question.

The Tabernacle congregation continues satisfactory – I would think possibly 250 to 300 mornings and 450 to 550 at night. Many of the brethren would enjoy a wider range of speakers. There seems rather a tendency to form Sunday meetings within the area formerly reserved to the Tabernacle; not within one hour's journey, however. This movement probably arises partly on account of traveling expenses and partly to the dark streets at night, for no lights are allowed on our streets now and every window must be screened. The question naturally arises whether these gatherings would not better be separate Ecclesias, for the members thus in attendance range from 50 to 150. I do not know whether this question has been brought before you or not. There are 19 Elders at the Tabernacle now and nearly 60 Deacons.

The working staff consists of six Brothers and daughter Bertha, who does my stenographic work again. The housekeeping department consists of five Sisters, including Brother Hemery's mother. At the present time there are 12 of us sleeping in the house, which includes my eldest son, who will be going abroad as a Cable telegraphist shortly. Sister Shearn with Daisy and Joe are down at Ealing, an hour's run, where I have taken a furnished cottage for six months.

Am glad to hear that the work continues to progress satisfactorily in America. The conditions amongst the people here show signs of a change – not particularly by way of opposition of the Truth, but of affairs altogether different to the immediate past, which all thinking people can see.

Bertha joins me in fond love to you and to all the beloved brethren with you. We pray always for you all that the peace of God continue to guard your hearts until we see His face!

Your brother in His service,


DEAR BROTHER __________: –

Your encouraging and much appreciated letter of 20th inst. was received today. It is gratifying to know that there are some scattered over the country everywhere who are witnesses to the TRUTH, and of course, I suppose it is natural to appreciate a word of sympathy and encouragement.

In common with yourself I certainly feel that I am to be congratulated upon the gracious fact that God, in the abundance of His mercy and goodness, has permitted the light of TRUTH to shine in and dispel what I now clearly perceive to have been the grossest of ignorance on my part. The thing that puzzles me is the fact that I have been a fairly close Bible student for the past fifteen years, and have always tried to maintain an open attitude of mind to the Truth at all times, and yet failed to grasp the CENTRAL and FUNDAMENTAL truths of God's great Plan for blessing all the families of the earth, for surely this is in full accord with what we might most reasonably expect from "the God of all grace"! There are only two possible solutions to the problem so far as I can see, and it may be that they are not two, but one; viz.: That I have always read the Bible with a preconceived idea of what the Bible taught, and thus read a meaning into the Bible that was really not there; or that the time had not till recently come when God intended me to get the whole Truth; and as I have intimated, I built up the wall against a right understanding of the Scriptures, and God had His own time for removing it.

With reference to your other congratulation upon the stand I have taken, I fear that I must disagree with you so far as to say that I do not think I could possibly claim any credit for taking a stand for the Truth when I have, in the ultimate sense, EVERYTHING to gain by so doing, and NOTHING of importance to lose thereby. It is true that I have lost the esteem and support of many whom I had considered Christian people, and also my position in the Baptist Church. But like St. Paul I consider all things well lost for Christ's sake.

I had hoped that the reputation I have enjoyed for ordinary intelligence, firmness and freedom from fanaticism, together with the influence I have gained in _____, and especially in my own congregation after three years of association with them, [R5945 : page 255] would have gained me a hearing and have given me the opportunity of placing not only the Truth, but the Bible evidence of that Truth before my people and led them to investigate for themselves, and that I should have the privilege of leading my whole congregation into the glorious light of God's ONE PLAN, but it seems that it is not to be so, as my resignation has already been requested, and I shall tender the same on next Monday evening to take effect at any time that the church may choose. But I thank the Lord that in the three weeks that I have been permitted to present these things, I can even now see some of the seed germinating and rapidly taking root that shall in the near future produce a goodly "mustard stalk" in whose branches the dove of peace may find lodging.

I find that so long as I was a "sound Baptist" I was quite an authority among them, but now I am just a common "Russellite" in their estimation, and not worthy of a hearing, so I am requested to resign and get out. I fully realize that when I am put out of this church for "heresy" the doors of every church in this denomination – as well as those of all of the others – are firmly closed against me. Well, so be it! I remember that Christ and His Apostles were thrust out of the synagogues for preaching the Truth, so I will be in good company, even though I shall probably, like St. Paul, be obliged to "make tents" for a living, and preach the GOOD NEWS from "Mars Hill."

One thing I will do before I go, not through spite or ill feeling – for the Lord knows I pity rather than scourge – but rather in vindication of the Truth, I will force this congregation to either excommunicate me from their fellowship or to acknowledge that I am right in the things I have proclaimed. Like St. Paul, if I am beaten publicly and thrust into prison, I will not be taken out privately, but let them "come and fetch me out." I will do this, NOT for any personal reason, but PURELY upon the ground that I believe the time is ripe to take every opportunity that is legitimately offered for calling attention to Bible Truth so long left covered by the dust of Romish error and traditions.

One thing I am determined upon, I WILL NOT preach again the vile slander against my Lord that the doctrine of eternal torture heaps upon His HOLY NAME; no, not for $600.00 a month, much less for the paltry $60.00 I have been getting. And no more will I hold my peace on the GOOD NEWS of God's Plan of Ransom and Restitution, though I have to preach it on the street corners and from public halls. This is my determination. May the Heavenly Father grant me the grace and strength to execute it. Pray for me to that end, and "that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel; for which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."

I cannot properly express my gratitude to good Bro.__________ for his interest on my behalf in presenting me with a set of the STUDIES.

Again thanking you for your hearty words of encouragement and fellowship in the Truth, I trust always to remain

Your brother in Christ,



We read with special delight this morning in June 1 WATCH TOWER your recapitulation of those wonderful events in the years when the Lord graciously provided "line upon line" of the basis of what we now know as the Truth. It does our hearts good to ponder over these things and examine our foundations again and find they are rock-bed ones and immovable. As we read the details we take fresh encouragement in the hope that the Lord is yet going to show further developments through the same channel. We trust so.

A new phase of experience has been entered into in this country – an experience specially trying to the younger members of the "Body," many of whom are undergoing terms of imprisonment with more or less of hard labor. Many a mother's heart is wrung with the severity with which her loved lads are treated; yet we hear from these same lads glowing accounts of the goodness and faithfulness of our Father and barely a hint of complaint, although we know they are sorely tried. One contingent (a day or two since, [R5946 : page 255] numbering about forty) were marched away from the camp where they had been detained pending court-martial, to prison. There were only four or five of our brethren among these, the remainder being moral objectors, and our brethren describe them as a splendid lot of fellows. Educated and professional men along with honest, hard toilers were thus thrown together, and on one point wholly sympathetic and determined. As they passed through the Camp they unitedly sang, "Stand up, stand up for Jesus!" It was almost dramatic,

"And e'en the ranks of Tuscany
Could scarce forbear to cheer."

In fact, some of the regular soldiers did cheer them and numbers, we are told, confessed admiration. Many STUDIES have been gotten out, too, among warders, jailers, constables, officers and men, as a result of contact with these few "voices in the wilderness." To see the courage and fealty exhibited by these young brethren causes us a deal of heart-searching and magnifies intensely our own failures and constant slips. While they have opportunities for service thrust on them, we seem to have a barren existence and a diminished activity. We are praying that the Lord may show His hand and thus lead us more fully than ever into the light. We are ever with you in Spirit.

Yours in the dear Lord,

F. GUARD, SR. – London.


Please find enclosed the "V.D.M." Questions and my answers to the same. This is the most searching test that I have ever undergone; and I am truly thankful to you and our Heavenly Father for the "Refiner's Fire and the Fuller's Soap." (Malachi 3:2.) I doubt not that the Heavenly Father directed your mind in the compilation of these questions; and the great desire of my heart is, that I have been able to interpret correctly the thought of the questions.

These questions, dear Brother, have surely come at an opportune time; for many of the friends and even some of the Pilgrims are becoming greatly confused upon some of the points. Notwithstanding all that you have written elucidating these subjects, many are unable to properly divide and express your teaching on justification and its two features – consecration, sanctification (our part and God's part). Also many are becoming confused upon the subject of the Mediator of the New Covenant, teaching that the Church will not share this office with her Lord.

The little "truth" newspapers, booklets, periodicals, etc., are in great measure responsible for the confusion now in the minds of the friends. The matters and things therein set forth are uncensored, and unhappily contain many errors.

I pray daily that I may never come under this influence, but that I may remain true to my "first Love," from the light of whose pages alone I am refined, and purified, and made white. My practise is to prove all your statements by the "Word," as far as I am able to reason; and all the rest I trust to your better judgment, confident that it is wiser to rely upon that wisdom than my own or that of any other.

We are glad to acknowledge you (Luke 12:42), to honor you as our Pastor, and to follow you in your exposition of the Truth, believing that He who appointed you makes no mistakes. In grateful Christian love,

Your Brother in the Truth,

W.A. JARRETT. – Kans.


Since calling your attention to crop conditions in this country, there has been a further shrinkage due to rust in the Northwest – and it is now estimated that we will harvest but wheat enough for home needs – no exportable surplus.

Present estimate of wheat, Winter and Spring combined, is 725 million bushels, against 1,011 million bushels harvested last year; corn outlook, 2,700 million, as against 3,050 million last year; oats outlook, 1,200 million, as against 1,500 million last year. Rye and Barley shortage, brings grand total shortage of over a billion bushels.

Yours in Christ,



Mix Peruvian Bark (pulverized) with lard so as to make a stiff paste. Use this whilst massaging spinal column thoroughly. It is useful also for Asthma and for Spinal Meningitis.

Week of Sept.  3. Q. 122 to 128  Week of Sept. 17. Q. 136 to 141
Week of Sept. 10. Q. 129 to 135  Week of Sept. 24. Q. 142 to 147
Question Manuals on Vol. III., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c each; or 50c per dozen, postpaid.