What Pastor Russell Said

Question Book



QUESTION--What did Christ mean when He referred to John the Baptist as Elijah? (Mat. 17:11,12) Is this an evidence that He recognized reincarnation as a truth?

ANSWER--The theory of reincarnation is nowhere taught in the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus and the Apostles never, in all their teachings, said a word about reincarnation. As to the meaning of the Savior's words referred to in the question, we recognize that He was calling to mind the prophecy of Mal. 4:5,6. John the Baptist was one of the greatest of the Prophets, and it was his mission to prepare the way of the Messiah, the Christ, by performing a reformation work in preaching repentance and baptism for the remission of sins and declaring the Kingdom of Heaven at hand. This message was to the Jews and to them only as they had been the Lord's chosen people for many centuries. But now a new dispensation was about to be ushered in. The Kingdom of Heaven was at hand! And it was John's mission to prepare the people for the new order of things. This he did in the power and spirit of Elijah. (Luke 1:16,17) We know positively that John was not Elijah for we have his own testimony on the subject: "And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that Prophet? And he answered, No." (John 1:21)

RESURRECTED--What Meant by "It" in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44?

QUESTION--Since the Apostle clearly explains in 1 Cor. 15:35-38, that the body will not be resurrected, what does he mean when he says: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption," etc. (1 Cor. 15:42-44) What is meant by the expression, "it"? What is resurrected?

ANSWER--We answer that "it" is the soul that is restored or resuscitated. What was it that died? The Scripture reply is: "The soul that shineth, it shall die." The living, intelligent, sentient being is to be raised up by Divine power in the time of resurrection--"when all who are in their graves shall come forth." A phonograph with recording cylinder, furnishes an excellent illustration of the resurrection. The cylinder placed in the machine will have impressions formed upon it by sounds produced by the voice or by some other means. After the cylinder has received its full impression, it is laid away and preserved for some years while the phonograph is destroyed. By and by the cylinder is taken from its place and put into a new phonograph where the original sounds are reproduced. Thus it is with the individual. His character is formed by the impressions received in the daily experiences of life. His body corresponds to the machine. In course of time he dies. The body is destroyed and the character or identity is preserved by the Lord--we know not how nor where. In the resurrection the character (wax cylinder) will be placed in a new body (machine) and the original thoughts, memory, etc., will be reproduced. A fine "record" will be placed in a high-class machine. A poor record (if not destroyed because of worthlessness) will be placed in a lower grade instrument. [Q818]


QUESTION--Will faithful animals such as dogs and cats be resurrected?

ANSWER--The matter of exterminating dogs and cats is being agitated in some of the large cities as it is claimed that these animals transmit disease germs and more or less endanger the lives of the people in various other ways. Mr. A's dog may be highly thought of in the family circle and yet be a nuisance to Mr. B. And Mr. B's cat may be inclined to make night hideous for Mr. A. We cannot imagine a bull pup or a rat terrier trotting up and down the golden streets of the New Jerusalem; or some antiquated tom cat crawling around the glittering spires of the Holy City. Indeed, the Bible--after describing the City and mentioning those who will be privileged to enter it--says that "without are dogs." (Rev. 22:15) And St Peter tells of "the natural brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed." (2 Peter 2:12) There is nothing in the Bible indicating the resurrection of animals.

RESURRECTION--General and Universal

QUESTION--Can you show from the Scriptures that there is any such thing as a general resurrection of the dead? (S.J.R.)

ANSWER--The Bible is the only book in all the earth that does teach a general resurrection of the dead. In the first place, it sets forth that the dead are dead and not alive; and that because they are dead a resurrection is necessary to make them alive. If alive already, there could be no resurrection. The Scriptures teach that the entire race was condemned to death because of Adam's transgression. (1 Cor. 15:21,22; Rom. 5:12,18,19) In the following Scriptures it is declared in unmistakable terms that Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world, died for "all," every man." (1 Tim. 2:5, 6; Heb. 2:2,9; 1 John 2:2) This last citation shows, beyond all controversy, that Christ is the "propitiation" --satisfaction--not only for "our sins," the Church's sins, but also for the sins of the whole world. Because of the "ransom for all," the hour is coming in the which all who are in their graves shall come forth at the voice of the Son of man (John 5:28,29), the righteous to an immediate raising up to life, and the evil to a gradual raising up (resurrection) by judgment. The Apostle elsewhere affirms a general resurrection. (See Acts 24:15)

RESURRECTION--Of Mankind: To What Condition?

QUESTION--When the world of mankind are awakened from the tomb, to what conditions will the members of the race be awakened? (Cherub)

ANSWER--There are two resurrections mentioned in the Scriptures: the resurrection of the just and the unjust. (John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15.) The just or righteous--the Church of Christ gathered out from among the nations during this Christian Era--are to experience a special resurrection. This is referred to in the Scriptures as the "first" or chief resurrection: "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection . . . these shall be kings and [Q819] priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:6.) These are to reign on the earth (Rev. 5:10) over the world of mankind, who will have been awakened from the tomb by the Lord at His second coming. The object of this reign is to resurrect, or raise up the fallen race of humanity by judgments to a condition of righteousness, perfection and life. When all the willing and obedient have attained to perfect life at the conclusion of the thousand years, they will continue to inhabit the earth throughout eternity, for the earth will have been restored to the Edenic conditions that prevailed when Adam was placed in the Garden. The earth will abide forever, as God formed it to be inhabited, and He assures us that the place of His feet shall be made glorious. The Church will experience a resurrection to spiritual, heavenly conditions; the world, aside from the Church, is to be resurrected to human perfection and life.

RESURRECTION--Provision for Life's Necessities

QUESTION--Since the Bible teaches a general awakening of all who have died and since in all probability the majority of the race of mankind will be saved and inasmuch as they are to live upon the earth--how will it be possible to provide the necessities of life, food, etc., for the billions of humanity that will be on the earth when all are resurrected--particularly in view of the fact that with the present population of the earth-- 1,600,000,000--millions are on the verge of want and starvation? (Anxious)

ANSWER--A careful and liberal estimate of the number of all the people who have lived upon the earth from the time of the creation of the first man down to the present would be about 20,000,000,000. If three-fourths of these should attain eternal life (doubtless a liberal estimate), it would signify that 15,000,000,000 would have to be provided for. The area of the earth's surface included within the temperate zone is over 102,000,000 square miles. This would afford each individual more than four and one-half acres of surface in which to rove about. When it is reflected that the "desert is to bloom and blossom as the rose" and the "earth is to yield her increase," producing spontaneously the fruits and flowers instead of the thorns, briars and weeds and that in all probability the seas and oceans will be greatly diminished, thus increasing the land area, it can be readily seen that it would be a simple matter for the Creator to arrange for the bountiful provision of the necessities of life for all mankind. A great deal of the want and deprivation experienced by the race now is caused by selfishness as there is sufficient produced to supply the needs of all. In that time, selfishness will be eradicated from the human heart.

RESURRECTION--What is Celestial Body?

QUESTION--The Bible seems to infer that we will have celestial bodies. If so, are they these human bodies cleaned and made whole, revamped and made over? (C.T.)

ANSWER--The 15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians is an inspired treatise on the topic of the resurrection. In it the Apostle sets forth practically every phase and point relating [Q820] to this momentous subject. He begins by giving a synopsis of the Gospel in a few brief words: "How that Christ died for our sins...and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day." He then names the witnesses to attest the fact of Christ's resurrection. In the 11-17 verses, he affirms and emphasizes the fact of Christ's resurrection. The 18th verse contains a statement that nearly all Christian people have overlooked or misunderstood. If Christ was not put to death and resurrected, "Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished!" "Perished" means destroyed or annihilated. Let no one advance the absurd idea that the Apostle was referring to the bodies of those who had "fallen asleep," for the bodies of all perish and disintegrate into dust. But he had reference to the individual, the being, the soul. "The soul that sinneth it shall die." (Eze. 18:4) Because Christ died for all, all are coming forth from the tomb. What comes forth--the body? Let the Apostle answer: "O senseless man! that which thou sowest is not made alive except it die; and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body which shall be . . . so also is the resurrection . . . it is sown a natural body, it (the soul) is raised a spiritual body (or being). Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (therefore) we shall be changed . . . at the last trump... the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed." (1 Cor. 15:35-53)

RICH MAN AND LAZARUS--Does Parable Teach Eternal Torment?

QUESTION--Does Christ's statement as to the "Rich Man" and "Lazarus" teach that the wicked go to eternal torment at death? (V.P.)

ANSWER--There is not a single word in this much discussed parable about the Rich Man being a wicked man or the Poor Man being a good man. Therefore, in answer to the question, it could be positively stated that there is nothing said about the wicked going to eternal torment at death. To interpret the story literally just as it reads, as so many are prone to do who believe in the theory of eternal torment for nearly every one but themselves, involves one in a number of absurdities. It would signify that all who are clad in purple and fine linen and who fare sumptuously every day, are at death to be placed in a furnace of fire and tormented. It would also mean that unless we were poverty stricken beggars, the companion of dogs, full of sores, and fed on crumbs at some rich man's back gate, we would never be able to wing our flight to Abraham's bosom when we departed this life. Poor Abraham would experience considerable difficulty in clasping all of the poor to his expansive bosom! The parable, rightly understood, does not in the remotest degree teach the monstrous doctrine of eternal torment.

RICH MAN AND LAZARUS--Meaning of Parable Concealed from World

QUESTION-- Conceding that "Dives and Lazarus" is a parable, representing the Jews' and the Gentiles' positions of favor and disfavor during this Christian Age, the question [Q821] arises concerning the figure itself: (a) Is it not a well- known fact that or Lord used everyday occurrences and things to make up the various figures and "dark sayings" (sheep, goats, seed, sower, harvest, reaper, stewards, etc.)? (b) Then why did Lazarus die to be carried to Abraham's bosom? Why must the "Rich Man" be alive in torment when he is DEAD?

If "hell" is a place of "forgetfulness," why did the "Rich Man" remember his "five brothers?" Lastly, if the Lord knew of such a place, why did He picture Dives in the hell of Dante's Inferno--even for the sake of a figure? (T.E.)

ANSWER--The Scriptures were written and arranged in such a way by the Lord, through the inspired writers that they could not be understood excepting by those who would come into harmony with Him by faith and obedience. The Lord is pleased to enlighten His children by the operation of the holy spirit through His Divine purposes. It is related of our Lord Jesus, that in all of His teachings He addressed the multitudes in parables and dark sayings and then afterwards explained them to His disciples. (Mark 4:11,33,34) The parable of "The Rich Man and the Poor Man" is a remarkable prophecy of conditions relating to the Jews and the Gentiles and, we believe, could have been stated in no other way without disclosing the realities which was evidently intended by the Lord should remain disguised or concealed from the world in general and whose real significance would be known only by His devoted followers. The entire book of Revelation is composed of prophecies thus concealed in signs, symbols and figures.

RIGHTEOUS--Why more "Bad Luck" Than Selfish

QUESTION--I have noticed that people who try to live right and be Christians have more "bad luck" than those who are selfish and wicked. Does the Bible give any reason for this?

ANSWER--Yes, the Bible does give the reason. On the principle that a skiff rowed against the stream is twice as likely to be bumped into by logs and debris as if it were floating down stream, even so, the man who strives against selfishness and sin has a harder fight. The natural tendency of the world is downward. The Christian finds as the Redeemer said, that "Strait (difficult) is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it." (Mat. 7:14.) The Lord permits the Christian to have adverse experiences that his character may be developed. Willingness to brave opposition indicates a character pleasing to the Lord. Weak Christians become discouraged with these experiences, but strong Christians grow stronger in the Lord and develop strong characters. It is to the faithful Christian that God has given the promise of joint-heirship with Jesus in His Kingdom. To such He says, "We might through much tribulation enter the Kingdom of God." (Acts. 14:22)

RIGHTEOUSNESS--"Sun of": What Is Signified?

QUESTION--What is signified by the Scriptural expression, "The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in its beams?" (Mal. 4:2) (X. X. X.) [Q822]

ANSWER--In the prophetic language of the Scriptures, the condition of the race of mankind throughout its entire history in sin and ignorance, suffering and death, is likened to a dark night time. "Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people" is the Prophet's declaration. Truly it has been a fearful time of darkness in which mankind has been groping for the better things which instinctively all realize do not exist at this time but must come somehow, somewhere. And in this dreadful night time how many have dreamed fearful dreams, having the awful nightmare of eternal torment before their minds! But, thank God, the Scriptures represent that a day is approaching, "The Day of the Lord," in the dawning of which all the shadows of ignorance and prejudice shall roll away. The Psalmist, in poetic expressions, portrays the transition from the darkness of the night to the glorious radiance of the day. "Weeping may endure for a night; but joy cometh in the morning." Yes, it is to be a joyous time for the world when all shall be enlightened concerning the goodness of the Creator and when sorrow and sighing; suffering and death shall be no more. The "Sun of Righteousness" will be formed of the members of the Church of Christ, as the Lord Jesus declared, "The righteous shall shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." (Mat. 13:43) It shall arise with "healing in its beams" in the sense that the Church together with her Lord will be manifested in power and great glory to all the world and will illuminate the whole earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Father which will result in the healing and blessing of all the families, kindred, and nations of the earth. It is no wonder that the "whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God" --this glorious Sun of Righteousness. (Rom. 8:22,19)

RIGHTEOUSNESS--Vs. Regeneration

QUESTION --Is it proper to speak of those who have turned from sin to righteousness as being regenerated or having a regenerated heart?

ANSWER--The term "regenerated" is equivalent to the expression of "being born again." There are but two places in the Scriptures where the expression "regeneration" occurs. In Titus 3:5, it is used to represent the reforming and justifying influences of faith in the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ; and again in Matthew 19:28, where it is used to represent that glorious moral, social, political, religious, and physical change which will be introduced by the Messiah who says, "Behold, I make all things new." (Rev. 21:5) The process of regeneration is now going on in the experiences of the members of the Church of Christ--the Christians. These have been begotten of the Spirit and must grow and develop as "new creatures," and will be born of the Spirit in the resurrection when as glorious spirit beings they will be invisible and powerful and can then go and come as the wind. (John 3:8) In the regeneration of the world, after the Church has experienced the new birth, the race will be restored to its primitive conditions of perfection and life as represented in Adam in the Garden of Eden--"The Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets." (Acts 3:19-21) [Q823]

RIVER--Of Life, Actual or Symbolic?

QUESTION --What about the "River of the Water of Life, clear as crystal?" (Rev. 22:1,2) Is it an actual river? If so, how may one get a drink out of it?

ANSWER--If we were disposed to accept this as a literal statement, we might well do as the old Spanish explorer, Ponce De Leon, did--search for the Fountain of Perpetual Youth! And we might have the consoling thought that surely there would be enough water in this river of the water of life to put out all the fires of the "lake of fire and brimstone" mentioned in the eighth verse of the preceding chapter! Dispensing with absurdities, we recognize that a wonderful symbolical picture is here presented to our mental gaze--a gloriously beautiful city of vast proportions and all of gold and precious stones, reflecting the radiance of the marvelous light that glows within and which emanates from that great Being who is the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, the Almighty God! And forth from the street of gold, there flows this lovely river whose waters are as clear as crystal and whose banks are adorned with trees "whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations!" The city is "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife," the Church of Christ glorified. The river is the stream of truth and not the muddy waters of the traditions of men that shall flow from the Church when it is complete and highly exalted. The Lord had promised that whoever would drink of the water (the truth) that He should give, it would make of him "a well of water springing up into eternal life." (John 4:14) These wells or springs of water have been in course of development throughout this Christian Era and when they are all brought together--the 144,000 mentioned in the 7th and 14th chapters there will be formed a mighty flow of truth, of which all the nations will be invited to partake. The Spirit and the Bride will then say, Come, and whosoever is athirst may come and partake of the Waters of Life freely. (Rev. 22:17)

SABBATH--First or Seventh Day?

QUESTION--Which day should be observed as the Sabbath Day, the first day or the seventh day of the week? (I.B.S.A.)

ANSWER--It would depend upon the religious belief of the one who asks the question. To the Jew the seventh day (Saturday) is the one to be observed, as it was commanded in the Law that was given to the Israelites that they should keep the seventh day as a holy day. That Law is still binding upon the Jews. If a Seventh Day Adventist, then let him keep the seventh day, for he believes that he is under the Law, and with that belief he certainly should keep the seventh day. To those who are members of some one of the various Protestant Churches, or of the Roman Catholic Church, let them observe the first day (Sunday) as the day of rest, as they believe that it is so commanded, and surely it would not be right for them to violate their conscience by doing otherwise. To the true Christian, the consecrated child of God, let these keep every day holy unto the Lord and not merely one day in seven. And let these enjoy a rest by faith in the Lord and in His sure promises. Let no one attempt to judge another in respect to this matter of ob [Q824] serving the sabbath or holy days. No one has the right to judge his fellowman in this regard; but let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind (Rom. 14:4,5). If any one presumes to judge another in these matters, he is violating a direct command of the Lord as expressed by one of His inspired Apostles (Col. 2:16). If any one should say that we are not saved and that we are lost because we do not observe some special day, ask him gently but firmly--"Who made thee a judge?"

SALVATION--Death Upon All, Life Provided for All.

QUESTION-- Kindly explain 1 Tim. 2:4-6.

ANSWER--God will have all men to be saved (from the death conditions that came upon all because of father Adam's disobedience; just as the whole race is in a dying condition with the vast majority in the tomb, so the Lord will have "all," "every man," saved from this condition of death) and to come to the knowledge of the truth (in order to bring the race--all men--to the knowledge of the truth it would be necessary to resurrect them from the grave, for very few members of the race have come to the knowledge of the truth in this present life, as the Lord Jesus Himself stated on one occasion, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life; and few there be that find it"), for there is one God (not three Gods nor many), and one Mediator (go-between), the Man Christ Jesus, who (will satisfy the claims of Divine Justice and bring about the atonement or reconciliation between God and men, because, by the grace of God, He) gave Himself a ransom for all ("every man," which truth; or fact is), to be testified (to all) in due time, when all have come forth from the tomb.

SALVATION--Father's Drawing Vs. Water of Life Freely.

QUESTION--Would you please explain what is meant by John's Gospel, sixth chapter and forty-fourth verse; and does this harmonize with Rev. 22:17--"Whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely"? (H.B.M.)

ANSWER--Jesus' words, "No man can come to Me except the Father which sent Me draw him," have long perplexed Bible scholars and Christian people in general. The thought usually is that the Lord is desirous that all mankind should be saved in this present Christian Era. And if this be so, then why does the Father "draw" so few to Christ? Why does He not draw all men unto Him? The difficulty is that many have failed to note the Scripture teachings concerning the Divine purpose. All Bible scholars recognize that the doctrine of "election" is taught in the Scriptures. And nearly all are aware that "free grace" is likewise set forth. In attempting to apply both these Bible teachings to the present Era, confusion has resulted. God is now drawing to Christ such as He desires shall be members of His Church, the Bride of Christ. In other words, God is "calling" or inviting a few--"the elect"--to be joint-heirs with His Son in the glories of the Kingdom. When this election is completed, then God's free grace will be extended to all the world of mankind. [Q825]

SALVATION--Three Ways.

QUESTION-- Is it true that the "Highway of Holiness" is opened up now and that the way of salvation is so plain that a "wayfaring man though a fool shall not err therein" (Isa. 35:8-10)? If the way is so plain and clear and simple that a foolish person need make no mistake about it, then why is there so much confusion among the learned clergymen, Doctors of Divinity, etc., as to the proper methods of salvation, some teaching one thing and some another?

As an honest skeptic and one seeking to know the way of salvation, can you direct me to this "Highway"?

ANSWER--We are not surprised that you have failed to find the "Highway." The Lord Jesus referring to the conditions of salvation during this present Gospel Age, declares that "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life and few there be that find it." As a matter of fact, the Scriptures point out three ways:--"The broad-way, leading to destruction," "The narrow way to life," and the "Highway of Holiness." (Mat. 7:13,17; Isa. 35:9.) It is very evident from the conditions which you mention that the latter of these ways has not been in existence thus far, but as the Scriptures affirm, it will be opened up for the world at the time of our Lord's second coming. Then when Satan, that old "lion" (1 Pet. 5:8), is bound (Rev. 20:2) the Prophet's words shall be fulfilled. "No lion shall be there," and "the redeemed of the Lord (the world of mankind) shall go up thereon with everlasting joy and singing upon their heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

SANCTIFIED--Children and Unbeliever by Believing Spouse.

QUESTION --Can you explain the words of the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 7:14), "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the (believing) wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the (believing) husband; else were your children unclean (sinners under condemnation, unjustified, unrelated to God, aliens from His care and blessing), but now are they holy"?

ANSWER--As the disobedience and alienation of Adam and Eve from the Heavenly Father brought alienation to all their offspring, so the reconciliation of the Lord's people through the merits of the great atonement, not only brings them back to harmony with God, but their children as well are counted as justified through their parents, and on account of their parents, up to such a time as the child shall have an intelligence and will of its own. The question is more complex, however, when one parent is the Lord's and the other is a stranger and an alien from Him; but the Apostle assures us that in such a case God counts the child as His, through whichever one of its parents is the Lord's disciple. The standing of the believing parent, is counted as offsetting and overruling the standing of the unconsecrated parent, so far as the child is concerned.

SATAN--Did God Create?

QUESTION-- Did God create Satan? (C.F.T.)

ANSWER--According to the Bible, Satan, of his own [Q826] volition, became the adversary of God. Originally, as God created him, he was holy, pure, grand of character and of a high order of angelic nature, a "covering cherub" (Eze. 28:16). He transformed himself from the loyal, glorious servant of God, to a bitter enemy and opponent. The Scriptures tell us what constituted this transforming work--that it was an evil thought, a disloyal thought, an ambitious thought. The angel Lucifer--signifying "bright morning star"--said within himself, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (the other angels) . . . I will be like the Most High (Isa. 14:12-14). As God is the Emperor of the entire Universe, I should like to be the Emperor of some quarter of it where I might reign supreme and work out my own schemes and plans." Lucifer's opportune moment came when our first parents were created. Perceiving that they had procreative powers, he seized upon the thought that by alienating them from God, he could wield an influence over them and eventually have an earthly dominion of his own. God has permitted him to carry out much of his scheme, while he was, at the same time, unconsciously working out a part of the Divine Program. It is not to be understood that Satan has in any sense thwarted the Divine Program; on the contrary it has been a part of God's great plan to permit evil to reign for 6,000 years and then to bind Satan and establish righteousness.

SATAN--"Prince of this World."

QUESTION--Kindly explain John 14:30 --"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." (A.W.W.)

ANSWER--The first part of the text relates to the time following the Lord's resurrection. Jesus had been put to death as a human being, a perfect man, and was raised a glorious spirit being of the highest order, of the Divine nature. In His highly exalted spiritual state, endowed with glory, honor and immortality, it was appropriate that the Lord should manifest a greater measure of dignity, in order to impress upon the minds of His followers the change that had taken place. He who had been the meek and lowly Nazarene, so poor that He had not where to lay His head, after His resurrection would be so no longer, but the all-powerful Divine Lord, next to the Heavenly Father in power and authority. During the forty days from the time of His resurrection to the time of His ascension into Heaven, he manifested Himself and talked very rarely with His disciples. The "prince of this world," Satan, was coming in the sense that he would triumph over the world of mankind and bring it into subjection to his own evil sway and dominion until the time for the Lord to set up His own Kingdom at His second coming.--2 Cor. 4:4.

SATAN--Ruler of Present Evil World.

QUESTION--Who is the "Prince of this world," mentioned in the following Scripture texts: John 16:11, and John 12:31? (Subscriber.)

ANSWER--There are three great ages or dispensations of time outlined in the Bible. The first of these is referred to as "the world that was," and the second as "the world [Q827] that now is," and the last as the "world to come wherein dwelleth righteousness." The "world that now is," or "this present evil world," is the one over which Satan is the "Prince" or ruler. The Apostle elsewhere refers to Satan as "the god of this world." (2 Cor. 4:4.) It is because Satan is the ruler over this present order of things during this dispensation that it is termed an "evil world." All will agree that evil is very much in evidence, and that the influences of the past and present are universally inclined towards sin and unrighteousness. How difficult it is to do right now; and how easy it is to take the downward way! Our Lord is not ruling over the nations now, and will not until the appointed time for Him to take unto Himself His great power and authority and establish His own Kingdom in the earth. Then, as the Scriptures declare, "the kingdoms of this world will become our Lord's and His Christ's and He shall reign for the Ages of the Ages." This agrees with the Savior's words when He said, "My Kingdom is not of this world."

SATAN--Will Have No Successor.

QUESTION--If Satan (the Devil) is the grand general supervisor over the lower regions, and he is to be destroyed, as we read in the Scriptures--(Heb. 2:14) who will be appointed to look after the interests of his department after his demise? (Q.E.D.)

ANSWER--Not only will Satan be destroyed, but we read also that "hell," the place of supposed fire and brimstone, is to deliver up all the dead that are there and then the place itself destroyed-- (Rev. 21:13,14). The "lake of fire and brimstone," as all Bible scholars now know, is the symbolic expression denoting destruction, annihilation, or extinction of being. Death and hell being cast into this "lake," would, therefore, signify their destruction, or termination. Demonstrating the truth of this interpretation of the symbols, we find it stated in the 22nd chapter and the 4th verse that "there shall be no more death"--it having been destroyed in the "lake of fire and brimstone." Satan will have no successor, and the fire-proof demons will join the army of unemployed!

SATAN--Will He Be Destroyed Before Death?

QUESTION--Since Jesus is to reign until all enemies are put under His feet, and the last enemy to be destroyed is death (1 Cor. 15:25,26) would it not prove that Satan and his hosts would be destroyed before death is destroyed, and that both would be destroyed during the reign of Jesus?

ANSWER--The Apostle's argument is so clear and convincing in this fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians relative to the reign of our Lord Jesus and the object or purpose to be accomplished by that reign, that there is but one answer to the question and that one in the affirmative. It is apparent to all thinking minds that Christ's reign has not yet begun, for the Scriptures declare that during the reign of the Lord, the great adversary of the race, Satan, will be bound, and that in the close of that reign he will be loosed for a little season. A single glance over the conditions [Q828] existing in the world will serve to convince anyone that Satan is still a very active personality. However, conditions in the next Age, the period of Christ's reign, will experience a radical change as gradually the evil, selfish elements are eliminated. The last of the evil things that have so long afflicted the race, death, "and him that had the power of death" shall be destroyed (Heb. 2:14; Rev. 21:4).

SCIENCE--Does Harmonize with Joshua's Request re Sun?

QUESTION--It is claimed by scientists that the earth's motion upon its axis has not varied a second for thousands of years. In view of this how shall we account for the statement of Joshua 10:13, "The sun and moon stood still and the sun hasted not to go down about a whole day." Does this record imply that the earth's motion upon its axis was stopped or its velocity lessened? (J.W.A.)

ANSWER--A critical examination of this passage in the Hebrew language in which the Old Testament was written, discloses the fact that Joshua never requested the Lord to cause the sun and moon to stand still. His request was that the sunlight and the moonlight might be restrained, or prevented from shining through the dark clouds of the storm mentioned in verse 11, in which great hailstones had been formed, and doubtless were accompanied by thunder and lightning, all of which would strike terror into the hearts of the Amorites. Had the dark clouds rolled away and the sun shone forth, the enemies of Israel, who were sun worshippers, would have plucked up courage and resisted the onslaughts of Joshua and his army. So the sunlight and the moonlight remained dim (Hebrew, dum) about a whole day, "until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies." The scientists are right and in harmony with the Scriptures, for the earth did not cease to revolve upon its axis, but continued to pursue the even tenor of its way. The Bible rightly interpreted and understood is consistent with reason and with facts.

SCIENCE--Primitive State of Human Race.

QUESTION--Are there not remains of buried cities in Egypt containing evidence, pictorial drawings, hieroglyphics, etc., which antiquarians are in general agreed evidence a civilized, prosperous, and opulent people living about 7,000 years before the Christian era? And how many more thousands of years must it have taken for these to rise from conditions of barbarism--the universally conceded, primitive state of the entire human race? (R.J.S.)

ANSWER--It is passing strange that antiquarians which acknowledging the skill, ingenuity and wisdom of the ancients, evidencing a degree of civilization far in advance of any other prior to that of the present day, persist in calling the earlier peoples of the earth, "barbarous" and "primitive." The Egyptian ruins have been and are the marvels of modern times. Engineers and architects who have examined those mighty monuments of a former age, have declared that with all of our boasted civilization and enlightenment, it is doubtful if there is sufficient wisdom and knowledge in the world today to even duplicate those wondrous structures. [Q829] The oldest building in Egypt is conceded by all recognized authorities to be the Great Pyramid, and the date of this construction is well established, about 2170 B.C. It is still the wonder of the world as it was in ancient times, when placed by the Greeks at the head of the list of the "Seven Wonders of the World." The seven thousand years antiquity of the buried cities of Egypt, has long been recognized as being fictitious, as pictorial representations of the Pyramid have been discovered in all of those ruins showing that they were erected after the Great Pyramid had been built. Therefore, there is nothing in Egypt to disprove the Bible chronology, to the effect that the race had its origin 4128 B.C.

SCRIPTURES--Why Confusion About Teachings?

QUESTION--Why is there so much confusion existing in the world today as to the true teachings of the Scriptures?

ANSWER--The study of the Scriptures, as with all other lines of investigation, must be conducted systematically, else confusion results. The Apostle Paul counsels us along this line saying, "Study to show thyself approved unto God (not unto men), rightly dividing the word of truth." Many have erred in failing to follow this rule. For instance, in reading Rev. 19:20, some have insisted that the lake of fire and literal brimstone is a real lake filled with brimstone and fire. A mere novice should recognize the passage as highly figurative, especially in view of the fact that it states that a beast and a false prophet are to be cast into it. No thoughtful person would conclude that a real beast and false prophet are meant. Many Bible students have entirely overlooked the importance of "rightly dividing the Word." The Apostle shows that the Divine arrangement, as thus far revealed, is divided into three great dispensations or ages, referred to in our Bibles as "Worlds" (See 2 Peter 3). The major portion of the prophecies relate to the world or age to come, and when we strive to make them fit present evil conditions, confusion results. To illustrate: If we apply the prophecy of Isa. 35:8-10, to the past or present, it is meaningless, whereas it is in exact harmony with the glorious reign of the Messiah, which we all know to be future. As corroborative of this manner of dividing the Word, we see that our Lord (Matt. 7:13,14) speaks of the present evil world as "a broad way leading to destruction" and the way to life through Christ as "a strait and narrow way," while in his great prophecy in Matt. 25:31-46, He confirms the prophetic statement of Isaiah.

SCRIPTURES--Wrested by Unlearned and Unstable.

QUESTION--Please explain 2 Pet. 3:16, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction."

ANSWER--From the reading of this chapter, it is evident that "these things," referred to by the Apostle, are the things relating to the three worlds and the three heavens of which he was writing. In 2 Cor. 12:1-4, [Q830] the Apostle Paul relates how that special visions and revelations had been given him by the Lord, and among these was a view of the "third heaven," and of "paradise." This was a glimpse of "the new heavens and the new earth" mentioned in the 13th verse of this chapter. St. Paul was not permitted to give the details of what had been revealed to him, nevertheless, these revelations influenced all of his writings and caused him to give such expressions as were hard to be understood, but which, in the light of subsequent events, are now being clearly revealed to the sincere and earnest student of the Scriptures. It is now seen that the "unlearned and unstable" have wrested many of the Apostle's statements from their true connection and significance, Scriptures that apply to "the new heavens and the new earth" have been variously warped and twisted from their true application and forcibly assigned to "the heavens that are now" and "this present evil world." As an illustration of this: the Apostle explains that "God has appointed a day (a thousand-year day--2 Pet. 3:8) in the which He will judge the world in righteousness" (Acts 17:31), yet many have misapplied this statement and have declared that the world is on trial (being judged) at present.

SECOND DEATH--Cast Into Lake of Fire.

QUESTION--Please explain this Scripture: "Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, this is the second death?"

ANSWER--The first death came upon Adam because of sin, and death has been reigning in the earth since, and men have died because of inherited sin. Death is spoken of in the Scriptures as a great enemy. Under the reign of Christ the dead shall return from the land of the enemy, the tomb, the death condition. (Jer. 31:15-17; John 5:28,29). All those who have become Christ's in this life receive their trial now. Those who have had no opportunity to accept the Lord will be given a trial then, and if obedient will be rewarded with eternal life on the earth. The reign of Christ is for the purpose of restoring all that was lost in Adam (Acts 3:19-22) and as the Scriptures declare: "He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Cor. 15:25,26). In the Scripture quoted in your question, "hell" is from the Greek word "Hades," meaning the tomb. Death means the result of the curse that came upon Adam. The words used by our Lord were figurative. The "lake of fire" is a symbol of complete destruction, here called the "second death," therefore the second death refers to that death from which there will be no resurrection.

SECOND DEATH--Meaning of.

QUESTION--What is meant by the "Second Death" mentioned in the book of Revelation?

ANSWER--The first death, the death which came upon the human family through the disobedience of Father Adam, extended to every member of the human race. But according to God's providence, foreknown and fully declared, Christ died for the sins of the whole world; and in due time every member of Adam's race is to be recovered from that sin and from its death penalty, which for six thousand [Q831] years has been upon the race. In other words, as Adam brought mankind under the first death penalty, so Christ will release all mankind from that death penalty and give every member of the race a full and fair opportunity to attain perfection and eternal life. Whoever refuses that favor and opportunity--whoever sins willfully and deliberately against that light, will come under the sentence of death again; and this time it will not be Adamic death, but Second Death. And the difference between the two deaths is that the latter will know no revocation--there will be no redemption from it and no resurrection.

SECOND DEATH--Tormented Forever Symbolic.

QUESTION--Please explain Rev. 20:10, particularly the last clause of the verse which reads: "and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (E.W.D.)

ANSWER--All Bible students recognize that the expressions of this chapter and verse are highly figurative. Where it is stated that a "beast and false prophet" are to be cast into the "lake of fire and brimstone," no reasoning mind would say that literal beast, or a literal false prophet were meant; but that these were symbols, and represent false and beastly systems. And if not an actual beast is meant, so also with the "lake of fire and brimstone." This lake would fittingly symbolize absolute destruction, for whatever is cast into fire and brimstone, the two most destructive agencies known to mankind, is immediately destroyed and not preserved in any sense. As stated in the 14th verse, it is the "second death"--annihilation. To our understanding, the "devil" here mentioned is not Satan himself, but is an evil system--a devilish power. These evil systems--false civil and ecclesiastical powers--in the end of the Age are to be "tormented day and night," as long as they last, with financial, social, and religious difficulties and pains. "Forever and ever" is from the Greek aionion which signifies lasting. The "torment" will last until these Satanic systems are consumed.

SERPENT--Method Used To Tempt.

QUESTION--Who was the serpent? What was its form? In what way did he induce our first parents to disobey the Lord? (W.H.M.)

ANSWER--The Genesis account of the seduction of our first parents by Satan is very brief. There is just a sufficient amount of detail given to show how sin entered into the world and death by sin. The Bible is the only book in all the world that goes back to the beginning and logically and consistently sets forth the origin of sin and death. After concisely stating the facts, it does not ramble all around the point by bringing in a mass of unnecessary detail. It was not written to amuse, charm, or satisfy curiosity. In the first three chapters of the Bible the origin, fall and death of the race are described; and in the last three chapters of the Bible, the elimination of sin and death, and the uplifting and blessing of mankind are set forth. From the brief account given of the tragedy that occurred in the Garden of Eden, we might surmise that the serpent was merely one of the number that were in existence at that [Q832] time and that Satan, a powerful spirit being, controlled, or obsessed it and caused it to act and to speak in a manner such as would deceive mother Eve. Inasmuch as the Bible does not furnish the particulars, it would be impossible for anyone to set forth all the facts.

SIN--Forgiveness for Sinful Life.

QUESTION--If a person has led a sinful life and has been instrumental in causing others to sin, would it be possible for such a one to be fully forgiven and all their past sins cancelled if they should repent and ask the Lord to forgive them?

ANSWER--There should be no question in the mind of any one on this point. The Scriptures abound with expressions in which the Divine love and compassion of God, the Heavenly Father, are set forth. The great Creator of the Universe sacrificed His well-beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to redeem the world and to reconcile it to Himself. Those, therefore, who will accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior, believing that He by the grace of God tasted death for every man--these are freely forgiven all their past iniquities. The Apostle Paul, before his conversion to Christianity, was bitterly opposed to the cause of Christ and went about persecuting the followers of the Master--putting them in prison and arranging that some should be put to death. We remember that he consented to the death of Stephen, the first martyr. Yet with all this, the Lord freely forgave him. Note the following Scriptures as evidencing the full and complete forgiveness of all those who are truly repentant and who desire to draw nigh to God through Christ (Isa. 1:18; Psa. 103:10-14; Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).

SIN--David Numbering the People.

QUESTION--Why was it a sin for David to number the people (2 Sam. 24 and 1 Chron. 21)?

ANSWER--While it is not stated in the Scriptural account that the Lord did not wish the Israelites to be numbered, yet we are convinced from the reading of these chapters, particularly verses one and eight of 1st Chronicles, 21st chapter, that such was the case and that He had given instructions to that effect. In the third verse of this same chapter, we find Job, David's chief officer, protesting against this action of the King; saying that it would be "a cause of trespass to Israel." We may reason, too, that as David sat upon "the throne of the Lord" (1 Chron. 29:23) as the Lord's representative, he was acting without instructions and due authority in taking the census of the people and was therefore presumptuous in the matter, and deserving of punishment as a rebuke in not first ascertaining the Divine will of God, the true King of Israel. There is a valuable lesson here for all who profess to be God's people, and that is, to first seek the Lord's instruction and guidance in life's affairs and not to lean to their own understanding and natural preferences. The reasoning faculties of all are more or less unbalanced; no one has a perfectly balanced mind, and hence it would be the part of true wisdom to follow the instructions of the Lord.

SIN--Forgiveness for Sinful Life.

QUESTION--If a person has led a sinful life and has been instrumental in causing others to sin, would it be possible for such a one to be fully forgiven and all their past sins cancelled if they should repent and ask the Lord to forgive them?

ANSWER--There should be no question in the mind of any one on this point. The Scriptures abound with expressions in which the Divine love and compassion of God, the Heavenly Father, are set forth. The great Creator of the Universe sacrificed His well-beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to redeem the world and to reconcile it to Himself. Those, therefore, who will accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior, believing that He by the grace of God tasted death for every man--these are freely forgiven all their past iniquities. The Apostle Paul, before his conversion to Christianity, was bitterly opposed to the cause of Christ and went about persecuting the followers of the Master--putting them in prison and arranging that some should be put to death. We remember that he consented to the death of Stephen, the first martyr. Yet with all this, the Lord freely forgave him. Note the following Scriptures as evidencing the full and complete forgiveness of all those who are truly repentant and who desire to draw nigh to God through Christ (Isa. 1:18; Psa. 103:10-14; Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).