page 129
May 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

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

VOL. XXXVIMAY 1No. 9

A. D. 1915--A.M. 6043


CONTENTS

"The Ends of the Ages"--Conditions Similar131
Shining of Truth Exposes Error131
"Great, Swelling Words"132
Our Fiery Chariot132
"These Things" That We Must Do133
Doctrinal Confusion of Many Christians133
Why Thousands are Falling134
Did Jesus Revile His Enemies?135
City of David--City of God136
A Great Lesson in Reverence136
"Thou Art the Man!"138
Co-Laboring with God139
Seventy Sent Forth140
Our General Letter140
"He Went to His Own Place"141
Rejection of Knowledge a Serious Matter142
Requests for Pilgrim Visits142
"Consider Him"--Then Follow142
The Rutherford-Troy Debate143

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 130

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

THIS 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,...to 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.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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.
 
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

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.


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SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.


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.



ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.


ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE. ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.

[R5685 : page 130]

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DEBATES

Although the Lord's providence did seem to open up the way for the "Eaton-Russell Debate" and later, for the "White-Russell Debate," and through these Debates led the way on to the publication of the Sermons in hundreds of newspapers throughout the world, nevertheless the Editor is not, and never was, much of a believer in the advantages of debating. The Debates mentioned were valuable chiefly as entering-wedges for the newspaper work. On the surface, it might at first appear as though a debate would be an excellent method of presenting the Truth to the public. Let it not, however, be forgotten that it is also an excellent method of presenting the error to the public. While it is true that Truth is mighty and will prevail, nevertheless "the god of this world" has blinded the eyes of men for eighteen centuries so thoroughly that remarkably few even yet see the beauty and force of the great Divine Plan of Salvation as presented by Jesus and the Apostles. On the contrary, the great mass of mankind have had thoroughly drilled into them heathen philosophy--carefully concocted theories and superstitions--and these are well riveted and fastened from childhood's hour.

An audience hearing a debate have the same difficulty that a jury has when hearing the opposing attorneys discussing the merits of a case. Each speaker has certain talent and ability, and each makes a certain amount of impression. It is the same with the general readers when these debates go before them. Those who have the Truth will enjoy the presentation of it, while those who have been schooled and prejudiced in favor of the error from childhood will rejoice in its presentation.

Added to this is the fact that the debates in general are in the nature of a war of words, the disputants each seeking to undo the other's arguments and to prove his own. In such a war of words the Truth is at a disadvantage. Why, do you ask? We answer, Because those who are of the Truth are bound by the Golden Rule, not only in its letter, but also in its spirit; and their presentations of the Truth must be along absolutely fair lines that take in the context and the spirit thereof. On the other hand, our opponents seem to have no restrictions nor restraints. Any kind of argument, regardless of the context, regardless of the Golden Rule, regardless of everything, is considered permissible. Indeed they do not even stop to consider such a trifling (?) matter as the Golden Rule or to exact allegiance to the letter and spirit of the inspired Word. Thus our opponents always have the advantage, not because they are intellectually brighter, but because they can and do use means to bamboozle the minds of the hearers and readers. This the advocates of the Truth dare not do-- have not the desire to do, so surely as they have the Spirit of Christ.

So far as the Editor is concerned, he has no desire for further debates. He does not favor debating, believing that it rarely accomplishes good and often arouses anger, malice, bitterness, etc., in both speakers and hearers. Rather he sets before those who desire to hear it, orally and in print, the Message of the Lord's Word and leaves to opponents such presentations of the error as they see fit to make and find opportunity to exploit.--Hebrews 4:12.

This should not be understood to mean that the Editor would never again engage in a public debate, but merely that in order to induce him to debate, his opponent would need to be a person of so great prominence as to bring the matter to the attention of everybody. Only such a consideration would be a proper offset to the wide presentation of error thus accomplished. Otherwise we prefer merely to present the Truth as the Lord opens the way and to leave the presentation of error and its circulation entirely in the hands of others.


JUDGE RUTHERFORD'S SPICY DEFENSE

Brother Rutherford, grieved by the various untruthful, slanderous attacks upon the Editor, has prepared a pamphlet in my defense. A copy of it has just been handed me. I have not yet read it, though, of course, I knew of its preparation and in a general way of its contents. I preferred not to have anything to do with its publication. It explains Brother Rutherford's views as a lawyer, as a brother, and as a man who most fully understands the entire situation. It contains some interesting illustrations and is priced at ten cents per copy, or eight dollars per hundred copies, postpaid. It is not unreasonable to expect that nearly all of our readers will be very glad to have this pamphlet, as it will furnish them with evidence on every point thus far brought forward by my maligners.

Orders for the pamphlets should be addressed to Judge Rutherford, New York City, P.O. Box 51. However, we will have a supply at THE WATCH TOWER Office, and, if one is ordering other things, this pamphlet can be supplied also. It is entitled, "A GREAT BATTLE IN THE ECCLESIASTICAL HEAVENS."


page 130

THE CALIFORNIA CONVENTION
--MAY 30--JUNE 7--

Doctor Jones, finding it impracticable to take a Convention Party over the long route of over two months represented in Brother Russell's Western Itinerary, has decided to make a Special Excursion to the Oakland-San Francisco Convention and return.

On that Tour the usual Excursion Rate for the Exposition is available. Excursion Rates, of course, are available to anybody from anywhere. Additionally we note that any desiring to attend the Convention, but living at a point where Excursion Tickets are not on sale, can do one of two things. He can either go to some large city near where the Excursion rates prevail and count his journey beginning there; or he can buy his tickets at his home town on the certificate plan, paying full fare one way and one-third fare returning. All information respecting reservations for the Convention should be addressed to Mr. E. D. Sexton, Box 473, Oakland, Calif.



BETHEL HYMNS FOR JUNE

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 June follow:

(1) 264; (2) 87; (3) 7; (4) 180; (5) 258; (6) 47; (7) 18; (8) 107; (9) 277; (10) 252; (11) 170; (12) 164; (13) 260; (14) 313; (15) 319; (16) 12; (17) 3; (18) 14; (19) 299; (20) 88; (21) 240; (22) 21; (23) 244; (24) 281; (25) 174; (26) 330; (27) 129; (28) 50; (29) 230; (30) 318.



[R5676 : page 131]

"THE ENDS OF THE AGES"--CONDITIONS SIMILAR

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you."--John 15:18.
BY THE word "world" the Lord did not mean Gentiles; else He would have said Gentiles. Had He said Gentiles it would have signified all the peoples not in covenant relationship with God. But when He used the word "world" He seemed to signify the present order of things, and therefore the people of the present order; for there would be no present order except through the people. He would mean those who had religious influence--the representatives of the people.

But the special order of that day was made up of the scribes, Sadducees, Pharisees, chief priests and the Doctors of the Law--those interpreting the Law. Those who represented the Law, and thus represented the people, would have to do with that order of things particularly. We know that these hated the Lord. As He said elsewhere, they hated the light. They hated Him, not because He really did them any harm, but because His teachings, and the light that shone from His life and teachings, were contradictory to themselves, and to their plans, schemes and arrangements. If His words were true, all the plans they had made in all those years would be shown as coming to naught. In proportion as they had confidence in their own plans, Christ and His followers would seem to be fools, trying to do some impracticable thing.

Our Lord's principal opposition, then, came from the religious rulers, the teachers and the Jewish politicians. There were the Sadducee party and the Pharisee party. The Sadducees believed in nothing beyond what they could see. They were agnostics. The Pharisees were a very strict religious sect, pre-eminently the holiness people of the Jews. They were very scrupulous regarding outward forms and ceremonies, but as a class were very haughty, self-righteous and unjust. Whoever fell in line with Jesus' teachings would not have any particular interest in either of these sects or in their teachings-- would not especially respect them and consider them the great ones of their nation. While at variance amongst themselves, these religious rulers were one in their opposition to Jesus.

It was these sects, together with the scribes and Doctors of the Law, who incited the people to crucify Jesus. We are not to suppose that these learned men--men of considerable education and intelligence--got out into the streets with the people and hurrahed for Barabbas and shouted against Jesus; but rather that they incited the rabble, and themselves assumed a more dignified line of conduct. At all events, their course led to the Lord's death. Not only did they hate the Master, but they hated Him with such a bitterness and such resentment as to destroy Him. They plotted His death several times, but they could not take Him until His hour had come. The Pharisees acknowledged that a great miracle had been performed in the raising of Lazarus, but they determined that Jesus should be destroyed on account of this great miracle, because it would influence the people, and the people would in that same proportion become alienated from themselves.

The high priest, Caiaphas, said, "It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not." (John 11:47-53.) The leaders of the nation feared that all the people would be so influenced by Jesus' teaching that they would themselves avail nothing, and that "the Romans would come and take away their place and their nation." They said, "We are the guardians of this nation. The government at Rome would pay no attention to this rabble here. If we fail, God's Cause in the earth will be blotted out. It is therefore expedient that we should destroy this man." The difficulty was that they had a wrong view of God's Cause and of their nation. They were leaving God out of the account. They were thinking that they must do the whole thing. They were forgetting that God is the One All-Powerful and is at the helm.

SHINING OF TRUTH EXPOSES ERROR

As respects the true people of God the Master said, as recorded in our text, "Marvel not if the world hate you; ye know that it hated Me before it hated you." We see that it is in proportion to their faithfulness as followers of the Lord Jesus that the Lord's people are hated and persecuted. There was a long period of persecution in the early days of the Church--first by Nero, then by Diocletian and others of the Roman Emperors. Then came the general rise of the Antichrist, culminating in the establishment of the great misrepresentation, the counterfeit, of God's Kingdom, in the year 539 A.D. These also hated the true Church and held them in contempt. The latter were chimerical, was the thought--they were poor thinkers, they took the words of Jesus too literally, they thought too much about a future Kingdom instead of about the present kingdom. Then followed the long night of bloody persecutions, during the entire [R5676 : page 132] papal Millennium. [799 A.D. to 1799 A.D.] The true followers were not numerous, and were chiefly the poor of this world--not many great, not many learned--but rich in faith. "Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?"--1 Corinthians 1:26; James 2:5.

Coming down to our day, in proportion as the people of the Lord are following in the footsteps of Jesus they will wish to let their light shine out upon others. In proportion as they thus let their light shine, it will show the misconceptions and errors of the present order of things in the world. Here in our day as in Jesus' day, Truth shows forth and rebukes the error, and those who promulgate the Truth are more or less hated because of this. Today, as in the days of our Lord's First Advent, there is a religious System which is more or less mixed up with politics. Its adherents plan all kinds of reforms. They say, "If we can destroy the white slave traffic and the liquor traffic, we shall have nearly brought in the Millennium. Electing wise rulers will help in bringing in the new order of things." But much as we sympathize with these good efforts we perceive that as a whole such plans are not God's Plan in respect to the future Kingdom. Present institutions are not to be repaired, but replaced by the "new heavens and new earth" conditions.

We must not find special fault with reformers, however, and their efforts to put patches upon the old garments. We are to have sympathy for anything that is making for good, for righteousness. We are to leave the world to do the best they can, and we are to give our attention to God's Plan and the great Reform He is to bring in. The instruction to us is that we should get ready for a place in the Kingdom, and should help other children of God that they, too, may make their calling and election sure, and be ready for the Kingdom. That Kingdom, which is now just at hand, will be God's Agency for destroying sin and exalting righteousness.

PUTTING DARKNESS FOR LIGHT

All this seems like a foolish tale to the world; for it would mean defeat to their projects. It would upset all the plans of Churchianity. If the people thought as we do it would mean great disaster to all the denominations. The people would not be nearly so much interested in building up these systems or in raising money as they would be in seeking to do the work of the Lord in the world. If our view should prove true, and should gain the confidence of the people, to that extent all man-made systems would become unpopular. They would all be put to shame in comparison with the Truth. Hence their promoters think that to hide their darkness and call it light is necessary for their prosperity. They think that it is necessary for them to burn our books and to keep our sermons out of the newspapers, etc. All this seems to them to be the wise course. They perceive that they and their systems would utterly fall if our teachings were generally received by the people.

"GREAT, SWELLING WORDS"

These church systems claim that they have witnessed for Christ's Kingdom for eighteen hundred years. Roman Catholics say, "We have made a great institution! See the millions of money that we have invested! See how much we are in favor with the various governments; and we are hoping soon to get control of all the governments. Then we will conquer the world!" So say the Methodists, the Baptists, and all the rest of them. "We must conquer the world! This is the way the Kingdom must be set up!"

Thus they go about to establish their own plans. When they do study the Word of God, they study it with sectarian spectacles on their eyes; and they think that "the Church" is now in the condition soon to cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess. They say, "If these Millennial Dawn people go about and tell that there is only a 'little flock' in the true Church, people will remember that we have been boasting of our big flock. What do you say, Roman Catholic flock? What do you say, Lutheran flock? Methodist flock? Baptist flock? Presbyterian flock? Do we not claim that there are four hundred million Christians in the world? Shall we let an insignificant people come around and say that there are only a handful in the Church, and that all the rest of us are frauds? It is an implication that our [R5677 : page 132] great institutions are wrong. If these people are going to turn the world upside down, and bring us into disrepute, we must put them down before it is too late. Something must certainly be done!"

OUR FIERY CHARIOT

So we see there is hatred there. The Lord's true people are striving for a perfect ideal; they are striving for the likeness to the Lord as representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ. But this is not what the religious people hate so much. It is the disturbing of their institutions --the shaking and rocking of their boat. They are afraid that they will be capsized in the sea. It is the spirit of the world in them that hates the Lord's faithful ambassadors. Some of the noble-minded of the world now see somewhat of the Truth. This is the more exasperating to these church people who are not fully in harmony with the Lord.

What this may eventually lead to we do not know. But there are Scriptures which seem to indicate that the closing of the career of the true Church will be one of persecution. We understand that Elijah was a type of the Church. His last experience was his being carried away in a chariot of fire. It was the agency by which he was taken from the world. So in the close of this world (Age) the Lord may take away His people in a fiery trouble--but it will be the chariot to carry them Home, to glory, honor and immortality, to participation with Jesus in the Divine Nature. "Fear not, Little Flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him."--Romans 2:7; 8:17; Luke 12:32; 2 Timothy 2:12.


page 132

"In pastures green? Not always; sometimes He
Who knoweth best, in kindness leadeth me
In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.
Out of the sunshine, warm and soft and bright,
Out of the sunshine into darkest night;
I oft would faint with terror and with fright,
Only for this--I know He holds my hand.
So, whether in the green or desert land,
I trust, although I may not understand.

"So, whether on the hill-tops, high and fair,
I dwell, or in the sunless valleys, where
The shadows lie--what matter? He is there.
And more than this, where-er the pathway lead,
He gives to me no helpless, broken reed,
But His own hand, sufficient for my need.
So, where He leads me I can safely go;
And in the blest hereafter I shall know,
Why, in His wisdom, He hath led me so."



[R5677 : page 133]

"THESE THINGS" THAT WE MUST DO

"If ye do these things, ye shall never fall."--2 Peter 1:10.
THE CONTEXT preceding the words of the above text shows us that the Apostle has been urging the development of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the heart, and so far as possible in the life--in the words, the deeds, the thoughts. He sums up his argument by saying that those who, following his advice in this matter, add one after another of these qualities and so build up their Christian character, will "never fall." The implication is that there would be some tendency to fall, some testings; and that this development of character would be necessary in order that the individual might be able to stand these tests. So the Apostle's assurance is that those who do not fall, who stand all the tests, will be granted an abundant entrance "into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"--the very thing that all of the Lord's people are invited to share.

We whose eyes of understanding have been enlightened can realize the strength and reasonableness of the Apostle's argument; yet these things have not been much taught in a logical way. Errors of the Dark Ages have hindered and made void the teachings of the Apostles. The thought given out by the creeds of the past is that only a mere handful would be saved, and that the rest of the world would be banished to an eternity of torture and woe unspeakable. Many of the world have taken this in a light way, have been incredulous--declaring that they would stand their chance, etc. Others, who were of the Lord's people, have been frantic in their efforts to save as many as possible from the threatened eternal torture. Some had it that unless they belonged to a certain class, or cult, or had a certain kind of baptism, or turned away from sin and joined some church, they were sure of never-ending and unspeakable suffering beyond this life.

With these ideas in their minds, it is not strange that they were too busy to study the Word of God with sufficient care to see what it really teaches, and that therefore they adopted plans of their own for saving the world. These deluded ones seem to be quite active in what they term soul-saving work. We cannot but admire their courage and zeal, even though it be not according to knowledge. If their premise were correct, then every Christian should be rushing around as though demented, in his endeavors to save the world.

Suppose that a great fire broke out but a few doors from us, that there were no fire department accessible and that hundreds were in imminent danger of being burned to death, though we were ourselves safe from the fire. Suppose that then some one would say to us, "Come, let us have a Bible Study." We would be sure to answer quickly, "No indeed! There are many people in that building who will be burned to death unless they are quickly rescued!" We would be in such haste and such eagerness to save the lives of the endangered ones that we would stop for nothing else.

DOCTRINAL CONFUSION OF MANY CHRISTIANS

So the great Adversary has filled the minds of many Christian people with the vagary that the world is in imminent danger, not of being burned to death, but of being precipitated into a lake of burning brimstone or into an abyss of unimaginable horror and woe, there to be preserved in torture throughout unending ages! He has thus engaged Christians in an imaginary assault upon the Devil, to rescue souls from this eternity of torment. Not until our eyes are opened and we see that there is no such provision for the heathen, or for anybody, can we begin to exercise the spirit of a sound mind. When we come to understand God's arrangement, everything changes before our mind's eye. We then see that God has made full provision for the heathen and for all men, and we realize that

"Faith can firmly trust Him,
Come what may."
We see that our work as Christians is to co-operate with God in the salvation of the Church class--not a salvation from eternal torture, but from death, and to a glorious inheritance with Christ in His coming Kingdom. We see that this great work has been progressing during the Gospel Age, and in an orderly manner.

This blessed union with Christ which God has arranged for the Church is to be soon consummated by a marriage feast; and then, in the Kingdom to be established under the whole heavens, she as His Bride will with Him have the blessed opportunity of uplifting and delivering fallen humanity, the entire race of Adam, of restoring men, "whosoever will," to the glorious estate which was lost by Adam and redeemed by Christ Jesus the Lord through the blood of His cross. How wonderful it is to realize how all-embracing is God's marvelous Plan of salvation--that it includes in its gracious provision not only those now living, but also all who have gone down into the tomb! With the eyes of our understanding thus enlightened, the delusions are taken away from our minds, and we begin to use our reason and to see the beautiful, wonderful things which God planned from before the foundation of the world.

DOCTRINE OF SANCTIFICATION LOST TO MAJORITY

As we reason, we see that the primary consideration with us is our sanctification. "This is the will of God [concerning you], even your sanctification." When we thought that the salvation of the world was dependent upon our feeble efforts here in the flesh, we had little time to study the Bible or to think particularly about our sanctification. Indeed, the thought of sanctification faded away from the minds of the majority of professing Christians; and for a Christian to press the importance of this doctrine was to brand himself as a religious fanatic. The general thought has seemed to be that those who were really thus set apart were surely so small a number that sanctification could not be God's Plan for the Church. So the many drifted apart from the Scriptures, and thought that only those guilty of most heinous crimes would be punished with eternal torment, and that all others would be some means get into Heaven. People have thought, and this thought seems to prevail today to an increasing extent, that unless one dies a murderer or a lawless, disreputable character, he will somehow be saved.

"If a person can squeeze into Heaven without any sanctification, so much the better," is the thought. "Do not try to get up too high. Do not try to get one of the chief seats in Heaven. Take a lowly place"--crawl in under the gates, perhaps! And thus many have tried to believe that they and their friends would go to Heaven. Our Catholic friends have been taught that they must go to Purgatory for awhile. But nearly all others have hoped that they would get to Heaven at once. This idea of sanctification, of being holy as our Lord was holy, of walking in the footsteps of Jesus, is not the Bible view at all, according to their thought. They did not consider it the Bible view because they did not know the Bible teachings, and because they did not wish to conform themselves to so narrow a way--the broader, easier way [R5677 : page 134] was much more pleasant to the flesh. They could not believe that God would be intent upon roasting nearly everybody --surely He would be content to roast the most degraded heathen and the worst characters of Christendom.

OUR "REASONABLE SERVICE"

So these have accepted what seemed to them to be a reasonable moral standard, instead of endeavoring to find out what the Bible calls our "reasonable service." The great Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Church at Rome (Romans 12:1), says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your [R5678 : page 134] reasonable service." When we get rid of these erroneous thoughts and ideas and get the spirit of a sound mind, we begin to see more of God's wonderful Plan--of His Justice, Wisdom, Love, Power, of His purpose for His children now, and His arrangement for the world by and by.

When light begins to break in upon the mind, and a glimpse is seen of God's gracious Plan of salvation, there is a danger that those whose hearts are selfish and lacking in gratitude will lapse into even greater worldliness, that they will pay very little attention to Bible study for the development of the fruits of the Spirit, feeling that it will be well with them in the future in any event, and they will delve into business, money-making, pleasure, etc. Others, on the contrary, feel an earnest desire to render thanks to the Lord for His great mercy and love as manifested in His glorious Plan of the Ages; they seek to know what is the Lord's will for them that they may do it, and say, "The fact that God is not such a demon as to torture eternally any of His creatures, but has so marvelous and loving a Plan for all, makes me want to serve Him all the more." As the Apostle Paul said, the Truth is "to the one the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life," and reveals the real sentiment of the heart.--2 Cor. 2:16.

THE CHRISTIAN'S NEED IN THIS "EVIL DAY"

Thus those who receive the Truth in the love of it become students of the Bible. As they study, they learn more and more how each one of the true Church is to be sanctified by the Truth, that each may be "made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." They realize that the Church is now being called out to be saints of God, to be separated from the world, and to have a share with the Lord Jesus in blessing and uplifting the whole world in the Age to follow this, the Millennial Age--now so near at hand. To such the exhortation of the Apostle is, "Add to your faith virtue [fortitude]; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance [self-control, self-restraint]; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love [a broad, generous love, taking in the whole world, even our enemies].--2 Peter 1:5-7.

The Apostle then adds, "If these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall be neither barren [inactive, idle] nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." At this juncture the Apostle shows the contrary effect of the spirit of the world upon those who profess to be children of God--the result of a neglect to study and to assimilate the Word. He says, "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." Then he counsels all, "Wherefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."--Vs. 8-11.

NEED OF "THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD"

By seeking to know God's will in order to do it, the Lord's people are preparing themselves for the glorious inheritance of the faithful. Fortified by development of character, these will not fall, no matter what the trial that the Lord may permit to come upon them. The Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Church at Ephesus, speaks of some who will be able to stand in the "evil day," and implies that a great many at that time will not be able to stand. He declares that those who hope to stand will need to put on "the whole armor of God." The various pieces of the Christian's armor will then be indispensable, and he intimates that only those fully armored would be ready for the onslaughts of that Day.

The Lord did not reveal to the Apostles when the "evil day" would come. They knew that it was then future, but how far into the future they did not know. They did not expect it before their death; for some of them said that they expected to put off the present body, to die, and to awake in the First Resurrection, and that they believed the Second Coming of Christ to be some little time distant. Evidently it was a part of God's Plan to keep His people uninformed concerning the exact time of the Day of the Lord, until due; but He provided for them that they would be able to stand when the "evil day" arrived, if they would diligently put on the armor.

And now we have come to this "evil day"; and the urgent message to us is: "Put on the whole armor of God!"--prepare yourselves for the great testing that will come, that you may be able to stand! Get ready! Each piece of the armor, each fruit of the Spirit, is a part of the necessary preparation for this "evil day," this "hour of temptation," now present. So these should all be added with great care. Read Ephesians 6:13-18; 2 Peter 1:4-11; Galatians 5:19-26.

WHY THOUSANDS ARE FALLING

This is the time long foretold, when "a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand." Why will all these fall? Because they have neglected this necessary development of character; because they have failed to put on the whole armor of God; because under the delusions of the Adversary and the spirit of the world and of Babylon they have become twisted in their minds. They have tried to raise money for the heathen or for building fine church edifices; they have gotten up church fairs and entertainments, etc.; not appreciating the fact that it is necessary to build up their own characters, that character, built up after the instruction of the Word of God, is absolutely necessary to an entrance into the Kingdom of Christ. And so these are falling all around us.

If the whole armor of God was important in the Apostle's day, it is still more important today. We need all that is represented in the breastplate of righteousness, in the shield of faith, in the helmet of salvation, the covering of protection for the intellect, in the sandals of Gospel preparation, in the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. We need that our loins be girt up with Truth. Thus shall we be enabled to preserve our vital relationship with the Lord and His House and to daily grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"In the last days," said the Apostle, "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Therefore we need to be fully established in the faith, and able to fully trust the Lord. Let us keep the Sword of the Spirit sharpened and well in hand, that we may be ready for service in the protection of others and in the defense of ourselves. We need to be continually on the alert respecting [R5678 : page 135] our own fleshly weaknesses and besetments, that we may war a successful warfare, and prove faithful to the end of our course, and thus share with our Lord His Kingdom and crown.

"As I near the Time of Trouble,
Bid my faith in Thee increase;
While the thousands round are falling,
Keep me, keep in perfect peace.
Refuge! Fortress! Thou hast set Thy love on me!"



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DID JESUS REVILE HIS ENEMIES?

"Who when He was reviled, reviled not again."--1 Peter 2:23.
NATURALLY the question arises, How shall we harmonize St. Peter's statement in this text with the fact that our Lord denounced the Scribes and Pharisees and Doctors of the Law as hypocrites, as a generation of vipers, etc.?

We recall the evidence presented in the Gospels. St. Peter was one of the twelve Apostles and hence was with our Lord continually during His earthly ministry, and evidently, therefore, a very good witness of the fact that the Master did not return reviling for reviling. The import of the Apostle's words was that Jesus did not retaliate. When evil things were spoken of Him, He did not speak evil of those who did Him injury. He did not call down curses upon their heads, but committed Himself to God and left His cause in the hands of Divine Justice.

The Evangelists record some of these revilings against our Lord. On one occasion His enemies said of Him, "He hath a devil and is mad." Again, Jesus Himself implied that He was also called "Beelzebub"-- prince of devils. The Scribes and the Pharisees acknowledged His works, but denounced Him, and attributed His good works to Satan. They implied that His birth was illegitimate. They attempted to prove that He was guilty of blasphemy in saying that if the temple were torn down He would erect it again in three days. They did not get the spirit of His teaching, and tried to make out that His statement was sacrilegious. They endeavored to entrap Him in His words. They held that if He were really a great man, He would fellowship with them and not with publicans and sinners. Finally they reviled Him to the extent of crucifying Him between two thieves.

But how was it that Jesus said some very sharp things to the Scribes, Pharisees and chief priests of that day? For instance, He called them a "generation of vipers," "whited walls," "sepulchres full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." On one occasion He said, "Ye hypocrites! Ye can discern the face of the sky; but how is it that ye cannot discern the signs of the times?" Again, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! How can ye escape the condemnation of Gehenna!" He declared, "Ye are of your father the Devil, for his works ye do." At another time He called them, "Ye fools and [R5679 : page 135] blind," "Ye blind guides," and denounced them saying, "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them who are entering to go in...Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of Gehenna than yourselves... Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithes of mint, anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee! cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may be clean also." Were these revilings? Was not St. Peter mistaken when he wrote the words under consideration? Where does the line of difference come in?

JESUS DID NOT STRIKE BACK

We answer, The line of difference is in that our Lord was not striking back at them; His charges against them were made in advance, and were not, therefore, retaliation against something which they had said to Him. He did not refer to any one of them as having a devil. He spoke of their system in general as being a pernicious system. If the Lord had not declared that these rulers of Israel were hypocrites, how could we have known that they were hypocrites, when they appeared outwardly very anxious to keep the Law? The people said, "See how these holy men go about and pray on the street corners! Look at their broad phylacteries! We do not see Jesus pray half as much as they pray. And they are always watching, watching, to keep the Law." It was therefore right that our Lord should point out that their watchings, their tithings and their long prayers were hypocritical. They were so very careful about tithing the mint and the anise seed, but had no hesitation about devouring widows' houses--by some technicality getting hold of the property of the needy widow and then swallowing it up themselves.

Jesus declared that on the outside these professedly holy men were indeed ever so white and clean and beautiful, but that on the inside they were vile and unclean. They were of their father the Devil; for they had his disposition. They did not do good and serve God from purity of heart; theirs was merely an outward service. Their whole system was honey-combed with hypocrisy--in the language of today we would term it "rotten." It was necessary that these men be exposed, and all who were pure of heart be saved from the blight of their influence. Jesus called out no one of them by name, but merely denounced them as a class. He was not seeking to do them injury, but good, if possible, and to warn them and all of the evil of such a course. Our Lord wished to deliver the people; therefore He spoke these things about a class; He said some very evil things about that class. It would be for each one of the class to clear his own skirts and to show that he was not leading a double life. Our Lord's words, then, would not come under the head of evil-speaking. He was speaking about a system. He was not telling something secret about John Smith, or saying that Mrs. Brown was so-and-so, doing thus-and-so in private life, etc.

So we believe that we have a perfect right to call attention to the flagrant errors of today. It would not be right to reprove in the way our Lord did; for people would resent it more now than did the Jews of His day. If our Lord had not rebuked some of these things that their leaders did, the people would not have known but that those Pharisees had the Lord's endorsement. There [R5679 : page 136] they were going about with sanctimonious faces and saying so many prayers, etc. Were they really holy people? Jesus was there as a Representative of God and Exponent of His views. So Jesus let the people know that these Pharisees were not doing the things pleasing to God. He merely did His duty.



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CITY OF DAVID--CITY OF GOD
--MAY 30.--2 SAMUEL 6:1-19; PSALM 24.--


JERUSALEM THE NEW CAPITAL--KING DAVID'S PALACE--GOD'S

PRESENCE DESIRED--THE ARK TO BE BROUGHT--UZZAH SLAIN--OBED-EDOM BLESSED--THE LESSON LEARNED-- THE ARK PROPERLY BROUGHT--SOLEMNITY WITH REJOICING --THE TABERNACLE OF GOD--LESSONS FOR GOD'S PEOPLE.

"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the House of Jehovah."--Psalm 122:1.
GUIDED by Divine providence, King David sought a new capital after he had been anointed king over all Israel. The city of Jerusalem had for centuries been an impregnable fortress, held by the Jebusites. They claimed that even the blind and the cripples could defend it against any foe, so advantageously was it situated. But when the time came, it was delivered into the hands of King David and became the capital of Israel. One of the first acts of the new king was to provide himself a palace fitting to the dignity of the nation and the court. To this end he obtained from King Hiram of Tyre not only material, but also skilled craftsmen.

Soon King David's spiritual nature, so marked and represented in his Psalms, began to assert itself in respect to the government of Israel. It was not sufficient that idolatry should not be tolerated amongst God's Covenant people. The symbols of God's presence should be honored once more. The Tabernacle at Nob had fallen into disuse when King Saul destroyed the priests because they gave comfort to David; and King Saul had had the Tabernacle removed to Gibeon; but the Ark was not in the Tabernacle, and had not been for a long time.

We recall that the wicked sons of Eli had taken the Ark with them into the battle with the Philistines; that in the defeat it was captured by the Philistines; that in its presence, Dagon, the Philistine idol, fell down broken; and that in whatever city the Ark rested, there were chastisements from the Lord until the Philistines returned it to Kirjath-Jearim. There it had remained for seventy years, until the events now noticed. King David made the transfer of the Ark to its new Tent, or Tabernacle, a very important affair, sending word to various parts of the nation, assembling some thirty thousand warriors and multitudes of people of deep religious inclination who desired to be witnesses to this great new religious movement, which all hoped would mean the bringing of God's blessing back to the nation, as of old.

A GREAT LESSON IN REVERENCE

King David, intent upon honoring God, had nevertheless neglected to look particularly into the Divine Law regulating the Ark and its movement--who should touch it, etc. Divine providence now gave him a great lesson in respect to reverence for the Almighty and carefulness in respect to the Laws. He had esteemed the Ark, but not highly enough. Really, it was the most important of all the various furniture of the Tabernacle.

The Brazen Altar and the Laver were in the Court; the Table of Shew-bread, which was overlaid with gold, the Golden Candlestick, and the Golden Altar of Incense were in the Holy. But in the Most Holy the only article of furniture was the Ark. In shape it was like a box-- about four feet long, two feet high, and two feet wide. It had a pole at each side, by which the Levites were to bear it on their shoulders. It was overlaid with gold; and inside the box were the Tables of the Law, a Golden Pot of Manna, preserved from the Wilderness times, and Aaron's rod, by which miracles had been wrought. The top of the Ark was its most particular feature. It was a solid plate of gold, wrought out above in the shape of two cherubim, whose faces looked inward and whose wings stretched forward.

The Divine direction was that the priests should cover the Ark in a particular manner, symbolical of certain things; and that then only the Levites should have the care of it, to bear it upon their shoulders. Neglecting these matters, the king had a new cart made and oxen to draw the cart, as though this would be a more dignified way to bring it than any other thought of. But it was not God's way; and a lesson of reverence for God and for the Ark, which symbolized His character and His Mercy-Seat, must be given.

The appropriate time came when the oxen, drawing the cart over a smooth, sloping, stone surface, allowed it to tilt a little. Then it was that Uzzah stretched forth his hand to steady the Ark, and was immediately smitten dead with a bolt of lightning. This evidence of Divine displeasure with the procedure brought all the festivities to a sudden termination; and King David feared to bring it too near to him, lest it should do other injury. The procession stopped; turning aside, the Ark was delivered to the home of Obed-edom the Levite, possibly a priest.

The whole people thus learned the lesson of reverence [R5680 : page 136] --a lesson, by the way, which seems to be as much needed today as at any time. Irreverence is frequently manifested by the world; but this does not astound us as much as when we find irreverence manifested by those who profess to be the Lord's consecrated people, His Royal Priesthood. It is sometimes irreverence of manner, sometimes irreverence of language, sometimes the making of jokes on religious things or on passages of Scripture. Everything of the kind is surely injurious to the individual, as well as to his influence with others.

We are not to forget that Uzzah was not sent to eternal torment; but that he merely fell asleep in death, and that his mistake, which taught a good lesson in his time, will not inure to his disadvantage in the future. Meantime, another lesson was taught; for the Ark at the home of Obed-edom began to bring blessings, of just what character we are not informed, but blessings of such a nature that they attracted the attention of many. Among them King David noticed. Again his heart turned to the original thought that Jerusalem should be not only the City of David, but the City of God, God's dwelling-place, as represented by the presence of the Ark and the Shekinah Glory-light which shone between the two cherubim, as indicating the presence of God with His people, Israel.

GOD'S OWN HOLY NATION

We are not situated in the same way as were David and the Israelites. There is no nation in the world today that is God's Kingdom. When He took away the crown from Zedekiah, 606 B.C., He declared through the [R5680 : page 137] Prophet, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and it shall be no more until He comes whose right it is; and I will give it unto Him." (Ezekiel 21:25-27.) We believe that the time for the giving of the Kingdom to Messiah and the fulfilment of our prayers, "Thy Kingdom come," is near at hand. But, in the meantime, no earthly kingdom is God's Kingdom except in the sense that St. Peter declares the Church to be the holy nation, a peculiar people of God. (1 Peter 2:9.) But even then, it is not a sectarian system that is referred to--not the Baptist Church, nor the Methodist, nor the Presbyterian, nor the Lutheran, the Anglican or the Roman. The true Church of Christ is the unlimited Church, to which properly belongs the name Catholic in the sense that it is general; for that word means general, or universal.

The Church of Christ is the one Church throughout the whole world; and its members are those who are united to Christ by consecration and by Divine acceptance through the begetting of the Holy Spirit. Some of its members may be found in the Roman Church, some in the Anglican, some in the Presbyterian, some in the Baptist, some in the Lutheran, some in the Methodist and others, and some outside of all these. But this is the only holy nation that God recognizes; and it will not be organized as a new nation fully until the resurrection change shall glorify the Lord's people with Himself beyond the Veil; as it is written, we shall be like Him, shall see Him as He is and shall share His glory.

We can no more expect the world to appreciate the Truth of God and the presence of God than the Israelites could have expected that the Philistines, on the one hand, and the Moabites, on the other hand, would accept the Lord. Only God's Covenant people can appreciate Him and His arrangements. He is in their midst only.

Nor can we even claim that it is a family matter; rather, as the Scriptures show, it is an individual matter. Here one, there another, the Church of Christ is scattered throughout the world. Only the consecrated belong to it or have its privileges and the fellowship with the Father and with the Son which the Ark of the Covenant would imply. One exception to this rule might be noted; namely, the one mentioned by St. Paul--the children of believing parents, who are counted in with their parents as participators in God's favors, blessings and care until such time as they reach a development of mind that would enable them to decide for themselves, either to make a full consecration to the Lord and be individually accepted by Him through the begetting of the Holy Spirit, or to turn aside and be part of the world.

When King David was ready for the bringing up of the Ark the second time, some three months after the first attempt, which failed, he had studied the matter more carefully; and this time there was no new cart, but the Divinely directed method--the Levites, bearing the Ark upon their shoulders. It is not for us to be ingenious and inventive in respect to Divine methods and services, but rather to be students of the Divine will, searching the Scriptures that we may know the will of God and do it. The lesson which King David learned is one which all of God's people may well take to heart.

DANCING BEFORE THE LORD

The Record tells that, besides the thousands of warriors who acted as a guard and gave dignity to the procession, and the multitudes of people who met the Ark at various villages on the way, there were trumpeters, rattlers, and players on stringed instruments, who made joyful manifestations of appreciation of the great event of God's return to the nation as represented in the Ark's return. Another arrangement was that of having the Levites chant, one to the other, the different portions of a certain Psalm which King David had composed for this very occasion. It is made a part of this lesson.--Psalm 24.

King David joined with the others in his manifestation of delight, and danced before the Lord. It would appear that this custom of a dignified rhythmic moving of the feet in harmony with music is a common form even today in far Eastern countries. Mr. Clark tells us how there was such a dance at a gathering of the Christian Endeavorers at one of their meetings in India, and how dignified and beautiful it appeared.

As the grand procession neared the city of Jerusalem, it was met by the women of the city with rejoicing. At the head of these should have been Michal, King David's wife, the daughter of King Saul. But not so. She was in a cynical, proud mood. Was she not the daughter of King Saul? Had not her husband David been a poor shepherd boy, and then an outlaw for a time? On his coming home she criticized him for his manifestations of joy in connection with the bringing in of the Ark. She said that it was undignified and reproved him. King David reminded her that the Lord had taken the kingdom from her father and given it to him, and that he thus had the Lord's favor and thus relied on Him. And the proud woman was apparently thereafter left to herself, the bare mention being made that she was thenceforth childless.

THE PSALM WAS PROPHETIC

As the Ark represented Christ, in whom are hidden all the Wisdom and Power of God and in whom center all of God's blessings for men, so the bringing of the Ark into the city corresponded in a measure to our receiving of Christ. All such realize that "the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof"--that every good and perfect gift cometh down from the Father and through the Son. The world and all that dwell therein are subjects of these blessings.

God is founding His New Order of things in the midst of the seas of discontent--amongst those who are not established and in harmony with God--the restless masses. He invites us to ascend into His Holy Hill, His Holy Kingdom, and to be established in His Holy Place, in the spiritual Divine nature. He stipulates that none can be of this class except upon certain conditions; namely, a pure heart, an honest heart, and clean hands, righteous living to the best of his ability. These are all expected to swear allegiance to God. This is styled their Covenant with Him.

Jesus was the first of these Covenanters; and all of the Church must walk in His steps, if they would be with Him in His Holy Kingdom. These must not lift up their soul to falsehood nor swear deceitfully. God will require of them all that they have covenanted with Him. Only such will receive the blessing of the Lord, and only to such will His righteousness be imputed through Christ.

Never more than today has this Lesson seemed to need to be impressed. How many today confess that although they have made a covenant of sacrifice and vowed to the Lord, they are not considering this nor keeping their vows! How many indeed confess that they are speaking falsely in respect to their creeds, denying privately what they publicly have declared to be their faith! Surely such a course must be reprehensible in God's sight and such cannot hope to be of the Kingdom.

Then follows in the Psalm a declaration that the Children of Israel are those who seek the Lord, and who request that the King of Glory come in, even the Lord, mighty, powerful, able to deliver from sin and from the [R5680 : page 138] power of sin--death. We are still waiting for the entrance of this King of Glory in the full sense of the word. He declares that He will be revealed in flaming fire, so far as the world is concerned--a great "Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation." (Daniel 12:1.) Many Bible students see this trouble already beginning in the awful war now spreading, and are expecting the fiery anarchy of it to result in the near future. Then quickly will come the still small Voice, the Divine influence, the mighty power of the Savior, which will deliver from sin, from death, and from Satan, who shall be bound for a thousand years.



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"THOU ART THE MAN!"
--JUNE 6.--2 SAMUEL 11:1 TO 12:7.--

THE HONESTY OF THE BIBLE--KING DAVID'S STATION DID NOT COVER HIS GUILT--THE TEMPTATIONS OF PROSPERITY-- KING DAVID'S TERRIBLE SINS--THE PROPHET NATHAN'S PARABLE--THE KING'S SENSE OF JUSTICE--CONDEMNED BY HIS OWN WORD--HIS PENITENCE--FORGIVEN YET PUNISHED--THE LESSON TO ALL.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God."--Psalm 51:10.
THE BIBLE is unlike any other book in the world. It is the most honest, the most candid, of all books. The one most approved as a man after God's own heart is, when he sins, most severely condemned and heavily punished. There is a lesson, however, in the Scriptural statement, "There is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mightest be feared." (Psalm 130:4.) The fact that God is not merciless, that He does not disregard the weak and imperfect condition--the fact that He gives us credit for our heart intentions, even when the weaknesses of the flesh are reproved and punished-- these indications of consideration prompt to the greater reverence for God than if we merely thought of Him as merciless.

No wonder we are surprised that one who manifested so many noble traits should also have manifested such weaknesses as those condemned in this lesson--adultery and murder! We think of David the youth, his reverence for God, his faith, his loyalty, his trials, his difficulties; and we wonder how he could become so changed in so short a time. The secret is not far to seek. It is easier to live a wholly consecrated life in poverty than when surrounded by wealth and the pleasures, customs and liberties of the court. The king temporarily forgot that the Ark, representative of God's favor and presence, was now in his city. He realized indeed that the eyes of the Lord were in every place beholding the evil and the good; yet the seeing of the Tabernacle should have brought freshly to his mind the thought, "Thou God seest me."

We may be sure, however, that King David did not get into so sinful a condition of mind and heart suddenly. The narrative shows that the matter must have gone on for months, gradually reaching a culmination. Nor would it be fair to the king to assume that his heart was as wrong as his conduct. Rather we must assume, from subsequent manifestations, that his heart was still loyal to God and to the principles of righteousness, but somehow his heart had gone to sleep and his flesh had become very much alive. He was awake to sin, asleep to righteousness. He had before him the unfavorable examples of other kings and the liberties which they exercised. His relationship with God had made him keen of intellect; and now, in yielding to temptation, this keenness of mind was all the more effective in the evil course.

A COURAGEOUS SERVANT OF GOD

David first coveted his neighbor's wife. He did not rebuke this sinful condition of mind, but allowed it to proceed until he stole his neighbor's wife. Her husband was in the war, a faithful soldier. The emergency seemed to call for his death in order to protect the king from shame. David's conscience was surely asleep when he ordered his general to put the faithful soldier in an exposed place in the attack being made on a certain city, then to command a retreat and thus leave the most exposed ones to be killed.

The plan carried out. It cost the life of not only the defrauded husband, but several others. We can scarcely imagine how one of King David's loyalty to principle could have arranged such a plan or how he could have had any peace under these circumstances. Surely none of his beautiful Psalms were written during those nine months or more. But Uriah was dead; and his stolen wife had been made the wife of David, and shortly their child was born.

Then appeared the Prophet Nathan before the king. Wisely bringing his reproof in the form of a parable, he told of a poor man who had but one ewe lamb and of how a wealthy neighbor had defrauded him of it. King David's sense of justice was outraged, and he declared that the man who did that deed must restore four-fold and must also be put to death. Then the Lord's Prophet Nathan pointing to the king, declared, "Thou art the man!" and promptly drove home the lesson. It required courage; but whoever has a message from the Lord must needs have the courage to deliver it--as wisely as possible, of course, but faithfully.

Instantly King David's heart was aroused; immediately his conscience was quickened. He saw his own conduct, not from the standpoint of other kings and what they did, but from the standpoint of the Divine Law of righteousness, truth, kindness, mercy. He beheld himself a sinner. Indeed, under the Law, both the adultery and the murder were punishable by death. The king instantly acknowledged his sin, and prayed, fasted and mourned. Meantime the Prophet, by Divine direction, informed the king that for all this the Lord would not cause his death nor take from him all his loving-kindnesses, because he had confessed and repented; but that, nevertheless, the child of his sin should not live and the king himself would in after time suffer severe punishments for his transgressions.

Here we perceive a principle of the Divine Government in respect to those who are the people of God and are in covenant relationship with Him. Justice would have been required in respect to the sins; but to the repentant soul the Lord's favor would, nevertheless, still be granted. Many Christians have had experience along this line. God does not continue to treat them as sinners; but, accepting their heart contrition, He forgives them in that sense of the word; yet true to His arrangement, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." In this Divine arrangement there is nothing to encourage sin, but, on the contrary, everything to encourage righteousness; [R5681 : page 139] and if sin be fallen into, everything to encourage the sinner to accept Divine forgiveness and to reform his life, even though he shall be obliged to bear some severe penalty--perhaps to his tomb.

THE PSALM OF REPENTANCE

Very many Christians have been encouraged to repentance by the Fifty-first Psalm. Surely none have been encouraged by it to sin. It is said that Voltaire, the infidel, once attempted a burlesque of this Psalm, but became so awed by its solemn tone that he threw down the pen and fell back dazed on his couch, full of remorse. Bishop Hall, commenting, says, "How can we presume of not sinning, or despair for sinning, when we find so great a saint thus fallen, thus risen?" We should remember, however, that noble as King David was, he was not a saint in the New Testament sense of that word. He may have been equally saintly in heart intentions, but he had not been accepted of the Lord and begotten of the Holy Spirit; for "the Holy Spirit was not yet given," as we read in John 7:39.

The giving of the Holy Spirit and its begetting to a new nature began at Pentecost, and has continued since. If we are astonished that King David should be overtaken in such faults, how much more would we be astonished if any saint of God, begotten of the Holy Spirit, should fall into such a trap of the Adversary. The spirit-begotten ones have much advantage every way--not only through the greater enlightenment which comes to them through the better knowledge of the Divine character, the Divine Plan and the Divine promises, but also by reason of having the Lord Jesus as their Helper under the assurance that "All things shall work together for good to them" (Romans 8:28); and that the Lord will not suffer them to be tempted above that they are able; but will with every temptation also provide a way of escape. --1 Corinthians 10:13.

"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me." These words of honesty assure us that the king was overtaken in some kind of fog which for months obscured his mental vision. Earth-born clouds and fleshly weaknesses arose like a veil between his soul and the Lord, shutting out the light of the Lord's countenance.

The lesson applies to all who have ever been in covenant relationship with God. The poet has expressed what ought to be the sentiment of every Christian, discerning the slightest shadow between the Lord and himself:

"Sun of my soul, my Father dear,
I know no night when Thou art near.
Oh, may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes!"

The important lesson here is that we shall keep close accounts with God. No child of God should go forth in the morning without an earnest petition to Him for Divine supervision of his affairs and for help to walk in the right path. No child of God should retire at night without a retrospective glance on all the day's pathway, to discern to what extent it has been a profitable one and has brought him a day's march nearer the Heavenly Home. Or, if perchance something has occurred of which he should feel ashamed, it is none too soon to go at once to the Throne of Heavenly Grace to obtain mercy and find fresh help for future times of need.

The child of God thus keeping daily accounts with the Father and with the Redeemer, will abide in Their love and not be in danger of falling into any such great sins as these noted in this lesson. Even King David, we may be sure, would have fallen into no such sins had he not allowed gradually to arise earth-born clouds of fleshly hues between the Lord and himself. [R5682 : page 139]

"Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee."

Although the Holy Spirit was not given to the Ancient Worthies in the same sense that it is given to the Church, it was nevertheless the manifestation of God's favor toward them in their affairs, as the king here intimates. We are to remember that from Moses down to John the Baptist, according to the Scriptures, there was a House of Servants under Moses; but that during this Gospel Age there is a House of Sons, begotten of the Holy Spirit, under the chief Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.-- Hebrews 3:5,6.



[R5682 : page 139]

CO-LABORING WITH OUR GOD

TOO often do God's people forget that the Lord Himself is at the head of His work. Too often the thought is, We will do a work and get God to co-labor with us in our work. Let us get the right focus on the matter, and perceive that God has purposed and is carrying out a great work; and that it will succeed, entirely regardless of us and our effort; and that it is a great privilege granted to the people of God to co-labor with their Maker in the carrying out of His plans, His designs, His arrangements, in His way. Viewing matters from this standpoint, our prayer and our watching should be with a view to knowing and doing the will of the Lord, content whatever lot we see, since 'tis our God who leads us.

This is the program which the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY has sought to follow. Its officers are seeking to do the will of the Father as guided by the teachings of the Head of the Church, Christ Jesus and His appointed representatives, the twelve Apostles, whose words we have for our instruction today in better form than ever before. Following this program, our Society has not sought to lay up earthly riches, but has been, rather, a spending institution. Whatever God's providence sent in to us without solicitation we have sought to spend as wisely as possible in harmony with the Word and Spirit of the Lord. Long ago we announced that when the funds would cease, the activities of the Society would cease proportionately; and that as the funds increased, the Society's activities would be enlarged.

This program has been greatly blessed of the Lord and, we believe, is in full accord with His will. We have no thought of changing it in any degree. Last year was the most wonderful one in our experience. The Gospel Message by printed page and orally and by the DRAMA witnessed the Gospel of the Kingdom nigh at hand to millions of people all over the earth. We thank God for the blessed privileges enjoyed and the activities permitted in His service on behalf of thousands of His consecrated people in every land, co-laboring with the Society and [R5682 : page 140] laboring either directly or indirectly under its auspices.

When making our last Annual Report, we expressed the thought that many of the Lord's people have already invested what money they possessed, and that we would thus expect donations to be smaller than heretofore and that we would be obliged to discontinue some of the DRAMAS. Later we announced bright prospects of a full resumption. We did not tell the basis of this expectation, but will now explain:

Some Brethren informed us that they believed they were possessed of a rich gold-bearing property, that all of its proceeds were consecrated to the Lord's service, that ere long we might expect money from them in good supply, but that their names were to be kept secret. Their expectations, which were highly appreciated, were not realized. The expectation had a beneficial effect, however, in that it encouraged us to keep the work up to a high notch of speed and efficiency in every direction until the present time. Now we have gone our limit. We must conclude that it is the Lord's will that our activities be greatly curtailed, in order to bring down the expenses to a parity with the income.

SEVENTY SENT FORTH

In line with this decision, seventy of the dear helpers at the Society's Headquarters have been obliged to go forth to seek other avenues of usefulness in the work. Some will become Colporteurs; others will accept situations as teachers in schools and colleges; some will enter business life. All will, we believe, however, still continue to put God first and to consider the spread of the Gospel of the Kingdom their main business of life, giving evenings, Sundays, etc., to the service, as may be possible.

The necessary retrenchments include the putting of the DRAMAS on a self-supporting basis--or else discontinuing them. Our Society can continue to supply films and slides for these DRAMAS, and the Office direction, but must look to the Superintendents and operators of each DRAMA to meet their own expenses. This is being done by offering the DRAMA to Theatre Managers as part of their regular program, to be charged for, but not at an extra charge. The new plan is being put into operation and is proving successful generally. Indeed, some people declare that they would much prefer to pay an admission fee than to attend the DRAMA free, because they feared that at a free entertainment they would be brought in contact with the rude and uncleanly. It is a remarkable fact, however, that our free entertainments have been generally attended by a splendid class of people from the middle walks of life. Furthermore, to adapt the DRAMA to the use of the Theatre Managers we have arranged that the FOUR PARTS can be given in full as now, two hours each; or, if the Theatre Managers prefer, we will supply the four entertainments of about one hour each by omitting some of the slides and lectures, leaving the audience to get the remainder of the DRAMA by the reading of the Scenario. It may be that in this way the Lord will use the DRAMA in reaching a still different class from that already reached by its free exhibition.

The free volunteer matter, which last year ran up to the enormous amount of forty-seven millions of copies, must also be cut down. Some of our readers have orders placed; and this will be the explanation if your orders are not filled entirely. In a word, the retrenchment will extend all along the line, including a reduction in the expense allowances of the Bethel Family and curtailment of expense for food supplies. Our readers will be glad to know that the entire Family is rejoicing in the privilege of further self-denials for the Cause we love to serve, and that the seventy who have gone forth, some of them with tears, also manifest fullest resignation to the Divine will, rejoicing in the various steps of Divine providence and continuing steadfast in prayer, faith and love toward the Lord and the Brethren. All are seeking to receive the experiences of life as the polishing preparatory for the Kingdom. So receiving them, the blessing of the Lord is more and more manifest amongst us.

We have made this statement with greater detail than might seem necessary, lest there should be wrong impressions and misunderstandings of any kind.

OUR GENERAL LETTER

To Seventy Brothers and Sisters of the Bethel Family:

Greetings!

Sorrow mingles with our joy to do the Father's will and to follow the guidance of His providence, because it signifies a temporary parting from so considerable a number of those whom we dearly love and whose association with the work we highly prize. At the opening of the year we thought that we saw a bright ray of financial hope, notwithstanding the fact that the dear friends throughout the world who had been contributing to the Tract Fund to support the work had well drained themselves of means and could not be expected to continue their donations as formerly. Month by month we have waited and maintained the work, expecting some realization of our hopes; but after five months the drain is so heavy that prompt action is necessary. We must not involve ourselves in debt nor jeopardize the work in general; hence the decision for the reduction of the expenses along every line, including the Home expenses, Office expenses, etc.

Financially we know that some of you will be benefited by the change. We can surmise also that some will experience benefit to their health by a change of employment. We assume that some of you thus leaving the Bethel and the Tabernacle will be entering the Colporteur work. The weather is delightful now, and in places where money is not too scarce good success is obtainable.

In any event, dear Brethren and Sisters, we commend you to the Lord and to His watch-care, blessing and guidance, assured that all things are working together for good to those that love Him. He may have some new experiences for us-- trials and blessings. He may have some new opportunities for us and may guide us in the reaching of others in this gleaning time. We assure you that we are loth to part with you and that, should the financial stringency be relieved, it will be our pleasure to again expand the work, according to the leading of the Lord's providence.

So far as possible, we would like this retrenchment to take place at once--before the middle of this month, or at least before the First of June. We ask your hearty and cordial [R5683 : page 140] co-operation, and request that you remember in prayer those who are charged with the responsibilities of the Society's work, that wisdom and grace may be theirs in abundance.

While we have suggested that the work may a little later on be expanded, we should also add that it may quite as probably be still further contracted to effect a further reduction in the general expenses. Whatever is the Lord's will surely is our will. Let us show Him our faith, our confidence, our loyalty and our obedience.

The selection of names of those who might be spared from the work was no easy task to the Heads of the Departments charged with this responsibility. Like all human work it may be imperfect; but we are sure that it is done with an eye single to the Lord's pleasement, and we trust that He will overrule it to His praise and for the good of all concerned.
With much Christian love,
Your brother and servant in the Lord,
C. T. RUSSELL.

LOVING RESPONSE

To Our Beloved Pastor, from the Departing Seventy Members of "The Bethel Family":

As we go forth from the hallowed precincts of the "Bethel Home"--hallowed by the remembrance of the many seasons of sweet communion with those whom the Heavenly Father has specially honored in placing in the fore-front of His mighty work in these closing days of this present world's history --it is with a feeling of joy and thankfulness for the many blessings and privileges which have been ours as members of the "Bethel Family." [R5683 : page 141]

As we reflect upon the Lord's abounding grace so freely and richly bestowed upon us as members of this household, and as we face the future with its prospects of Heavenly honors and glories, awaiting us--those who shall be accounted "conquerors, and more than conquerors"--there is, nevertheless, a tinge of sadness in parting with so many loved ones, and in leaving all we have called "Home".

Ah, well! we shall remember the kind and loving ministrations of yourself, dear Brother Russell, in the days to come, when separated from one another, we shall fight on in the good fight of faith.

It is the prayer of our hearts that the splendid example of Christian fortitude and self-sacrificing devotion in the service of the Lord, the Truth, and the brethren that you have shown, may ever be a cherished and shining image upon Memory's Scroll.

If ever a true and devoted servant of the Lord should be loved and honored for his work's sake, we believe it is yourself. When we think of the days and nights of years of toil, and pain, and weariness; and of the grandeur and world-wide scope of your services; how can we help but love and honor you!

We give thanks to our Heavenly Father for having raised up one who has been so wise and faithful in ministering to the Household of Faith and to us in particular who have been of the "Bethel" household.

And now, our dear Pastor, with these expressions of love and appreciation, we go forth with the prayer for Divine guidance upon you, and upon our way, that in the Lord's appointed time our journey's end shall be the Father's house of many mansions--the Heavenly Bethel--prepared for the Bride, the Lamb's Wife.

God bless you and the dear remaining members of the "Bethel Family"!

Signed,
C. J. Woodworth,
F. F. Cook,
R. G. Jolly and the others.



[R5683 : page 141]

INTERESTING QUESTION

"HE WENT TO HIS OWN PLACE"

Question.--I notice an article in THE WATCH TOWER which says that Judas died the Second Death. Can a man die the Second Death until he has passed from death unto life, until he has been spirit-begotten, until he has once been in Christ Jesus and free from condemnation?

Answer.--Judas and all the other Apostles occupied a peculiar place or position, different from other Jews of their time, because they were in contact with our Lord Jesus, the Great Light. They saw that Light, and were responsible in proportion as they saw it. For any of them to sin as Judas did against that Light, would be a very reprehensible thing. True, Judas had not been begotten again of the Holy Spirit; for spirit-begetting was not possible until Pentecost. But this does not prove that he could not die the Second Death. On the contrary, we know that during the Millennial Age there will be some who will not receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit, but who will die the Second Death--the death that will be destruction. Their responsibility will lie in the fact that they will be brought to a knowledge of the Truth, with the opportunities which it will give them of coming into full harmony with the Lord. If they respond to those opportunities, they may attain everlasting life; if they do not respond, they will die the Second Death.

Such an opportunity was given to Judas. For a long time he responded favorably; but afterwards he rejected the blessings that were his portion, and ignominiously proved himself a traitor to the One who was his Benefactor. Jesus was to be the Judge in the matter; and we have His words, calling Judas the "son of perdition." (John 17:12.) He said that it would have been better for that man if he had never been born. (Matthew 26:24.) This would not be true if Judas were to have an opportunity during the Millennial Age. The Scriptures say that he went to his own place. (Acts 1:25.) His own place was not Heaven; for it was not open to anybody yet; his own place was not Restitution; for that has not yet come. His own place was the only place then open--the Second Death.

PRESENT STANDING OF THE CHURCH

The Ransom-price, the Ransom-sacrifice of Jesus, has not yet even been paid over, or applied, for the whole world of mankind. If it were, the whole world, redeemed by that payment, would be in His hands. The world has not yet been in our Lord's hands. The time, however, we believe is near when through the strength of that Sacrifice, He will ask the Father, and the Father will give Him "the heathen for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession." (Psalm 2:8.) That will be the time when He shall have paid over the Ransom-price. He laid down the Ransom-price when He died, but did not apply it. The world is still under condemnation. Only the Church has escaped that condemnation thus far.

The Church escapes from that condition of condemnation by the imputation of the benefits of that Ransom which is not yet paid over. If the Church could have the merit of Christ imputed to her down through the Gospel Age since Pentecost, the same merit, we believe, could be imputed before Pentecost; for our Lord had made the consecration of Himself, and, so far as the type goes, He had already slain the bullock. That is, the consecration of our Lord at Jordan represented the killing of the bullock in the Atonement Day type; it was the giving up of His earthly life. This was done when He was thirty years of age, before He had called these disciples. It was then that the Father recognized and accepted His Sacrifice; for He gave our Lord the begetting of the Holy Spirit. If that Sacrifice had not been accepted then the Father would not have begotten Him of the Spirit.

THE APOSTLES' STANDING DURING OUR LORD'S MINISTRY

The Holy Spirit was given as an evidence that what Jesus had given to the Father was accepted. What He did at Calvary was merely the finishing of that work which He began at Jordan. Our Lord treats the matter from this standpoint, and in discoursing with His disciples tells them that they might pray to God as their Father. No Jew had ever done this before. The Jews thought that Jesus' claim to be the Son of God was blasphemy, and took up stones to stone Him because of this. (John 10:31-33.) Whoever said, "Our Father," was making himself to be a son of God. No Jew, so far as we have any record throughout the Scriptures, ever made use of such expressions; they were a House of Servants.

Then again, Jesus addressed His followers, His disciples, as though they had been accepted of the Father. He was the Father's Agent, and He received them in harmony with the Father's arrangement. He declared that "No man cometh unto Me except the Father draw him"; and, "No man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." He made these statements before they had received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This was treating them as though they had the full initiation into the Divine Family. Our Lord declared that "he that believeth in Me hath everlasting life." (John 6:47.) All these disciples had believed on the Son. As long as they would hold Him in the Scriptural manner--hold to Him by faith, according to the terms of this Gospel Age, faith and consecration--they might count that they had the life promised to His faithful followers. If any would abandon [R5684 : page 142] Him, as Judas did, of course he would pass back again from the imputed life to the death condition.

REJECTION OF KNOWLEDGE A SERIOUS MATTER

Judas was a New Creature in the reckoned, or imputed, sense of the word in which all the disciples were said to have passed from death unto life. It was to the new life that they had passed, not to Restitution life; for the Lord said to these same disciples that they who had followed Him would sit upon twelve thrones (Matthew 19:28), thereby implying that they had passed to that life which would be the condition of the enthroned. Speaking of them, then, from the standpoint of the New Creation, this was possible because in our Lord's contract unto death, which He entered into by baptism, He really gave up all of His earthly rights. It was possible in the tentative form, the Father purposing that not many days after Jesus' ascension they would be endued with power from on High.--Luke 24:49.

Hebrews 6:4-8 does indeed refer to the Church, but it does not enumerate the only conditions on which any will die the Second Death. All of the Church are liable to this condemnation. If they would sin wilfully, if they would fall away so as to deny the very Foundation of God's favor--the Ransom-sacrifice of Jesus--they would die the Second Death. This Scripture does not say that there are no other conditions on which the Second Death will be inflicted. We see that the Second Death will be inflicted on some in the Millennial Age.



page 142

REQUESTS FOR PILGRIM VISITS

AS THE WATCH TOWER list includes thousands of new readers we make the following explanations afresh:--

THE WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY out of donated funds sends forth instructors, lecturers, styled "PILGRIMS." It pays their expenses of every kind. Thus they become in a special sense its representatives, meeting with Bible Students everywhere. Some of these are specially qualified for public service as well as for semi-public studies with the friends; others are less qualified for public service, but excellent in Class meetings. The SOCIETY uses great care in the selection of these to the intent that their presentations of the Truth, expositions of the Scriptures, etc., may be along helpful lines--profitable every way and especially for the upbuilding of the Lord's people in the most holy faith.

It is expected that the Classes inviting such Pilgrim service will provide for the Pilgrim's necessities at one of their homes, or otherwise, during his brief stay of from one to two days. Luxurious or extraordinary preparation for these Brethren is not expected, but merely their comfortable provision. By this we mean a clean, comfortable bed and wholesome food. Any one not being able to furnish these reasonable requirements should not propose to entertain the Pilgrim. The Class inviting Pilgrim service should consider itself responsible and should see that these reasonable comforts are provided. The Pilgrims are expected to address meetings every night, also afternoon meetings wherever these are possible --or otherwise to visit the Brethren who may be sick either spiritually or physically. The morning is often necessary for traveling. The Pilgrim should not be kept up too late at night. "Moderation" should govern, in this as in all things, as the Scriptures direct.

We invite Classes desiring Pilgrim visits to send in their requests at once, addressing the SOCIETY, care PILGRIM DEPARTMENT.

We desire that post-cards be used in making applications for these visits, and specially desire replies to all of the following questions. The questions need not be repeated, but merely indicated thus: (a), (b), etc.:

(a) How many Bible Students in your vicinity use the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES?
(b) Are weekly meetings held?
(c) How many are usually in attendance?
(d) Where do you now meet on Sunday? (Give full street address and name of auditorium.)
(e) At what hours are the Sunday meetings held?
(f) Was a vote taken on the Pilgrim invitation?
(g) How many voted for the invitation to be sent?
(h) Do you desire Sunday appointments for Special Public Lectures?
(i) How frequently do you desire such Special appointments?
(j) Give seating capacity of Auditorium you could secure.
(k) What attendance do you think could be secured for well-advertised public sessions in good Auditorium?
(l) Would a suitable place be found for meetings not specially advertised?
(m) Have the members of your class chosen leaders in accordance with suggestions of SCRIPTURE STUDIES,
Volume VI., chapters 5 and 6? If so, give name and full address of each.
(n) Give full names and full addresses of the two (2) to whom notices of Pilgrim visits should be sent. (Please notify Pilgrim Dept. as to any change or removal.)
(o) If your town is not on a railroad give the name of proper railroad station at which to stop.
(p) How many miles from station is meeting place, and which direction from station?
(q) Would Pilgrim be met at station?
(r) If not, how should Pilgrim get from said station?
(s) Give writer's full name and address.
(t) Any additional remarks.



[R5684 : page 142]

"CONSIDER HIM"--THEN FOLLOW

"Consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."--Hebrews 12:3.
THE Apostle had just been pointing out the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus. He had reminded the Church of the shame and ignominy which the Master had endured for the great joy set before Him by the Heavenly Father. He declares Jesus to be the Author and Finisher of our faith. He then urges that in our trials and difficulties as children of God we remember what extreme experiences in suffering the Master endured--such contradiction, such opposition, of sinners against Himself--opposition to His doctrines, to everything that He did. This opposition to Jesus continued until finally it resulted in His murder.

The Apostle says to the Church, "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin," as Jesus did. As a matter of fact, we really suffer very little and give up very little. At most we have but little life, as members of the fallen race, and it stretches out for only a brief span. We have very little to consecrate to God. And when that little is going we should consider how insignificant it is, and what great things the Master had--not merely the perfections that He had in His earthly life, but also what He had previously, and how, in obedience to the Divine [R5684 : page 143] will, He humbled Himself and left His glory to become a man--and then humbled Himself still further, unto death, "even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted [raised to the highest position--Strong] Him, and given Him a name which is above every name."

We should be glad to walk in His footsteps, to endure the same experiences, to drink whatever the Father shall pour out for us in our cup--His cup. As we consider thus our dear Master's experiences and faithfulness, it makes our experiences seem only light afflictions, but for a moment, and working out "for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:17,18.) For let us remember that we are "called... to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast."--2 Thessalonians 2:14,15.



[R5684 : page 143]

THE RUTHERFORD-TROY DEBATE

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

The debates are past history now--ending last evening. Every night the auditorium was packed, with probably more turned away than got in. The total attendance was approximately 12,000 persons. Except for the great amount of enthusiasm manifested by the audience everything was very orderly, and a good spirit prevailed throughout. Certainly the Lord's favor was with us, and the prayers of the many friends were answered. Many messages of encouragement came from different parts of the country, among them two cablegrams from Europe. The friends are all happy. This morning (Sunday) I spoke to the friends for 30 minutes at The Temple, and this was followed by a testimony meeting for one hour. It would have done your dear heart good to see the joy manifested by the friends, and to hear the many expressions of love for all. If the debates have accomplished no other good, I feel sure they have greatly strengthened the saints here, many testifying that the striking contrast between Truth and error has given them new zeal for service.

I must tell you how the Adversary did not succeed for once. My opponent was well prepared to assault you personally. I judged so from the interviews he had given the press two days before the debate. I said nothing then, but waited my time. About three minutes before we went on the platform for the first night's discussion I called Brother Troy, my opponent, and two of his friends and two of our friends into a side room. You will recall that we had entered into a thousand-dollar obligation, with securities, that we would refrain from personalities. I then said: "Brother Troy, I desire to be absolutely frank with you and therefore I say this to you before we go on the platform. From your interviews with the press I judge that you intend to assault Pastor Russell from the platform. Of course, you can pursue that course if you wish, but the first time you attempt it I am going to have your bond forfeited."

His reply was, "May I not mention his name?" "No," I said, "not one time. I signed this agreement with you to discuss the Bible, and by that contract I am going to abide, and I shall expect you to do the same." He said, "All right; I am ready." We went on the platform. Not once did he mention your name throughout the four nights, but it was an awfully bitter pill for him to refrain therefrom. Having prepared along that line and being taken down so suddenly he was much disturbed and labored under much stress, as I could observe, during his first argument. I am confident the Lord directed this matter, and thus saved the debate from being an occasion for personal assault upon you.

When the debate closed last night many persons came to me, quite a number saying, "I have been a Baptist for years, but I have had my eyes opened here. You have brought me the light"; and similar expressions.

Quite a large number of cards were turned in on each night. I have not the total here just now. I received a real blessing in the whole matter and am indeed grateful to the Lord that He has been pleased to give me this opportunity to bear witness to His great Plan.

This (Sunday) afternoon at the Shrine Auditorium we had a very good public meeting. The friends say there were about 3500 in attendance, 992 of whom turned in their addresses. This afternoon my subject was, "Babylon Before the Great Court"; and I took occasion to tell the people about the assaults the ministers were making against you personally. Several preachers were in the audience, and I stated that I would be glad to furnish a printed reply to each one of such charges. Sorry we did not have the booklet ready, but we will get it to many here when it does arrive. I hope that by the time you come the people will be more anxious to hear you than ever before. I think there are still some of the Lord's people in this place.

I must take this occasion to say that the success of the publicity for the debates and meetings following here is due to the untiring and faithful work of our dear Brother Page Noll. He made himself very agreeable to the reporters "covering" the debates, and they were favorable to us in every way they could be. A full report of each day's debate was published by the Express and the Tribune, and I am advised that about 75,000 extra copies were mailed out each day by the newspaper company to various parts of the world. The paper printed cards and distributed them all over the city, calling the attention of the people to the fact that verbatim copies of the debate would be in certain issues of the paper; and doubtless this sold many papers. Brother Noll had gone after the matter in a systematic manner, and the Lord surely blessed his efforts and his faithfulness. If a copy of the debates comes to your notice you will see that more space is given to my argument than to my opponent's. That is due to the fact that I spoke with much more rapidity than did my opponent. Profiting by your experience at Cincinnati, I crowded in all that I could.

I enclose a clipping from one of the morning papers, wherein you will see that at yesterday's meeting I spoke of the booklet I am getting out answering the slanderous charges against you. Quite a number are anxious to have these pamphlets, and I hope they may be ready soon.

Never before have I realized so fully the blessed privilege the Lord's dear children have of praying for each other. I am sure that the prayers of the dear friends throughout the [R5685 : page 143] world had much to do with the success of these debates. I wish I might express to every one of our brethren my great appreciation of their fervent prayers on my behalf. Hourly I felt that these were a strength to me. I shall never be able to thank you as I would like for the letter which was signed by yourself and all the Bethel family, assuring me of your united and continued prayers in my behalf. The Lord reward all of you. This is but a reminder of the unity of the body and the sweet relationship we are privileged to enjoy here. How much sweeter it will be in the Kingdom! Brother Woodworth suggested that there must be great interest in Heaven in this debate. The Lord be praised for it all. I am thankful indeed that He was pleased to use me to glorify His dear name in any manner. Brothers Woodworth and MacMillan sat with me on the platform as counsel, and my son was by my side to take anything quickly that I desired and to prepare the copy for me without delay. All rendered valuable service. The Lord arranged it all. There was never a moment after the debate began that we did not have the sympathy of a majority of the great audience; and when the debate concluded, there could be no doubt about the fact that a large majority of the audience was with us.

My room in this hotel looks out facing the main entrance to Trinity Auditorium, and each evening I could see the crowds gather. For more than two hours before the debate began the people were standing at the door waiting to get in. Each evening the gates were closed and locked by 7 o'clock, and after that hundreds were turned away. It is estimated that from 10,000 to 15,000 persons were turned away during the four nights, unable to gain entrance. Over the entrance to the Trinity Auditorium appear these words cut in the stone: "The Gates Shall Never Be Closed"; but they had to close for the four sessions of the debate.

Please express my love to all the dear Bethel family, reserving a large portion for yourself. Please continue to remember me at the Throne of Heavenly Grace.

Yours in the service of the dear Redeemer,
J. F. RUTHERFORD.


***

[We rejoice greatly that the blessing of the Lord was so richly with our dear Brother Rutherford on the occasion of the debates referred to above. Apparently the Lord guided these debates and blessed the outcome. However, we still feel a prejudice against public debates of religious questions, and have elsewhere expressed our reasons.]



page 144

INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASSOCIATION CLASSES



page 145
May 1st

ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

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

VOL. XXXVIMAY 15No. 10

A. D. 1915--A.M. 6043


CONTENTS

The New Creature's Conquest of His Flesh147
Conflict Between Mind and Body148
Two Classes in the World149
The Special Battles of the Church149
"The Crown of Life"--Who Will Receive It?150
Development as New Creatures in Christ151
Systematic Study Necessary151
Necessary Food Always in "Due Season"151
First Lessons in School152
Forgiveness Is Blessed152
Conditions for Forgiveness153
"Let Them Pray Over Him"154
Prayers That Are Heard154
Who May Pray155
What We Should Pray For155
"Prophesy Against the Shepherds"156
The Second Flock and Its Fold157
Interesting Letters158
Re Charges of the Preachers' Union158
Baptist Preacher Gets Light159

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 146

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

THIS 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,...to 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.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

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.
 
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

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.


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.


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.



ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.


ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE. ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.

LITTLE CONVENTIONAL GATHERINGS

(Continued from April 15 issue.)

In harmony with our suggestion the friends at various places where Brother Russell will be addressing the public are arranging for little, quiet, local Conventions. Incidentally, we remark, that these are often amongst the most profitable. We advise that they be not made public-- that the public be not invited to them, unless, indeed, it would be the particular friends of those who might be in attendance, especially if they were consecrated people. Additional places intending such gatherings have sent us the particulars noted below.

Information respecting board and lodging at economical rates, etc., etc., should be obtained from the Class Secretaries:

RIVERSIDE, CAL., May 26--One day.
    C. H. Meadors, Sec'y, 156 E. Prospect Ave.
PORTLAND, ORE., June 10 (3 days) other days unknown.
    C. W. Field, Sec'y, 778 Sherrett Ave.
TACOMA, WASH., June 13
    A. H. Heath, Sec'y, 3716 N. Proctor St.
BUTTE, MONT., June 17--One day.
    J. A. Blomquist, Sec'y, 1011-1/2 Nevada Ave.
CHEYENNE, WYO., June 19, 20.
    Mrs. W. E. Haller, Sec'y, 312 E. 16th St.
DENVER, COLO., June 20 (3 days), other days unknown.
    Albert L. Fanders, Sec'y, 3956 Kalamath St.
OMAHA, NEB., June 22, 23, 24.
    A. W. Riemer, Sec'y, 1503 Prospect St., Florence, Neb.
SOUTH BEND, IND., June 25, 26, 27.
    Bertha L. Vincent, Sec'y, 419 Cushing St.
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., June 25, 26, 27.
    C. A. Wise, Sec'y, 1120 W. 30th St.


CONSPIRACY ARTICLE IN SWEDISH

Swedish friends will please note that we now have in stock Swedish B.S.M. No. 68 for use wherever Swedish ministers slander the Truth. Mention quantity you can use without waste--free. [R5691 : page 146]

BETTER HEALTH--LONGER LIFE

While it is true that the Lord's consecrated people should look forward with joy to their "change" at death, nevertheless it is quite proper that as long as they do live, they should keep their bodies in reasonably good condition, so that their service for the Lord, for the Brethren, for their families and all men may be as efficient as possible. These are sufficient reasons for our publishing the advice below. Additionally, however, the Lord's people are interested in the welfare of the world and in everything that will assist mankind. Especially are we expecting simple, helpful knowledge of how to live, because we believe that we are already forty years into the great Millennial period, and that light on every subject is being granted accordingly.


***

It has long been noted by physicians that many of the ailments of life are due to diseased condition of the bowels. To offset this many are using enemas, sometimes styled internal bath. These help some, but are inconvenient, only palliative, and evidently are not in line with the laws of nature. Proper food should keep the system in proper order.

Only recently has it been learned that there are healthful and also injurious bacteria. For instance, the fine butter flavor of first-class butter is found to result from the presence of a certain kind of bacteria, which now is cultivated and obtainable commercially. On the other hand, that which makes other butter rancid is an undesirable species of bacteria, not only unpleasant to the taste, but injurious to the system. Similarly, in the secretions of the mouth, the throat and the alimentary canal, bacteria live--some good, healthful, others injurious.

It has been found that there is a species of bacteria associated with putridity which is highly injurious. Hence the impropriety of eating putrid food, which is apt to foster disease, especially in persons of low vitality. It has been discovered that such bacteria infest the bowels, producing gas or flatulence and hindering the food eaten from giving back the proper nourishment and strength. This bacteria producing putridity is associated sometimes with constipation and sometimes with diarrhoea. In any event, it is undesirable. A relief from this difficulty has been found--good bacteria which, driving out and taking the place of the bacteria of putridity, tends to make the bowels clean and healthy, and to favor digestion and general health.

This new bacteria came to the attention of the world in recent years through noting that the people of Bulgaria are extremely healthy and long-lived. The cause for their good health was sought and found. Not only do they eat plain food, but the Bulgarians use a great deal of sour milk, which contains the healthful bacteria. Not everybody is aware of the fact that, while ordinary ferments are injurious, the proper ferment of milk is very healthful.

Sour milk is being prepared under various names; for instance, Bulgarzoon, Lactobacilline, Fermilac and other preparations. These cultures are sold in tablet and liquid forms. Put into sweet milk according to directions, they germinate and produce what much resembles buttermilk, but is much better than the average buttermilk. The only difficulty about these tablets is the expense. Below we give directions whereby each reader may start his own culture of this helpful bacteria, Bacillus Lactine, by using only one of the tablets purchased.

The drinking of this milk needs to be continued with some regularity, at least once each day or, preferably, three times, until the bowels are thoroughly cleansed and the culture, Bacillus Lactine, gets well established in the system. It is a peculiarity of this Bacillus Lactine that it passes through the stomach into the bowels without being digested. In very chronic cases it is recommended that the sour milk be used as an enema or internal bath, following a regular water enema, or injection.

(Continued on 2d column, page 159)
[R5689 : page 159]

(Continued from page 146)

Directions for Starting Bacillus Lactine Culture

Crush one tablet of whatever preparation is used and stir into one quart of good, sweet milk which has been brought to blood heat. Cover, and put in a warm place until it becomes a firm clabber. This will require about twenty-four hours in winter, less time in summer unless kept in a cool place. Then shake, beat or churn for a few minutes, and put the jar in a cool place. It is ready for use as soon as it is shaken, but improves by standing awhile. Shake or churn as often as served, that it may be perfectly smooth.

After you are satisfied that the buttermilk is as good as can be made with the tablets, discontinue their use, and substitute a good half teaspoonful of the buttermilk for each quart of milk, and treat in the same manner. Should your buttermilk--from overheating the milk, or from any other cause--be injured or become unpalatable, it will be necessary to go through the same process as at first, with a fresh tablet. If regularly, properly made, there will never be reason for renewal of tablet. "Directions for Use" usually--perhaps always--state that pasteurized milk cannot be used to prepare the buttermilk. Six months' daily experience has demonstrated that this is a mistaken idea.

LA GRIPPE AND TYPHOID FEVER REMEDIES

One of the simplest remedies we know of for La Grippe and Typhoid Fever, especially in their earlier stages, is to put the bulk of a pea of cayenne pepper into a little milk, stir it thoroughly and swallow it. Do this twice a day for about three days. [R5691 : page 159]

A NEW CURE FOR PNEUMONIA

Doctor Park, in the Medical Record Journal, tells that he has discovered a new treatment for pneumonia, which seems to effect a cure every time. His published statement, intended for physicians, is briefly stated as follows:

"In 2 ounces of chemically pure distilled water I dissolved 15 grains each of sodium salicylate and the soluble phosphate of iron. This solution is sterilized by heat, and on cooling there is added 15 minims of saturated calcium-creosote mixture, the whole then being passed through a small laboratory porcelain filter. The injections are made through the skin, with an all-glass syringe, using a 27-gauge needle, into one of the large veins of the forearm. Great care, of course, is taken with the asepsis and also to be sure that the needle is within the vein. If it is properly inserted there will be absolutely no pain. If pain is felt, it means that the needle has gone into the muscle instead, and the injection must instantly be stopped and a new trial made. There may be a momentary flushing of the face and occasionally a temporary nausea. The dose varies from 2 to 5 c.c., according to circumstances. The injection must be made very slowly."



[R5685 : page 147]

THE NEW CREATURE'S CONQUEST OF HIS FLESH

"Ye have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him."--Colossians 3:9,10.
DEVELOPMENT is necessary to the life of the New Creation. In our text the term "old man" stands for the human will, which once dominated the being. All who become Christians in the Bible sense of the term not only accept Christ and trust in Him as their Savior, but devote their old will, their old nature, to death. Thenceforth that old nature is repudiated, and is no longer to control the life of the individual. But the body of the "old man"--the fleshly tabernacle--is still retained after the old will has been discharged and the new will has come in. The New Creature, with new impulses, a new purpose, uses the mortal body as its servant. The new will is now master.

This new will is the will of God, or in other words, it is a will to do God's will. Our consecration is a consecration [R5686 : page 147] to do the will of God, to be dead to any other will, whether our own natural will or the will of another. This includes the dedication of everything we have or had hoped to have as human beings. It means the laying on the altar our every power, our every ability, our strength, our time, our pocketbook, our influence. Those who make a Covenant of Sacrifice are accepted up to the full number of the Elect. They will, if faithful unto death, receive new bodies in the resurrection.

KNOWLEDGE THE BASIS OF DEVELOPMENT

In our context the Apostle explains how this putting off and putting on is done. This "new man"--this spirit-begotten New Creature--is to develop by acting upon the knowledge that it gains. We had some knowledge before consecration, or we would not have thought of taking such a step. First, the Lord permitted a measure of knowledge to come to us. Then when we had accepted the terms and presented ourselves for sacrifice, the Savior's merit was imputed to us, and we were received of God and begotten as New Creatures by His Spirit, His power; and the good work has been going on in all those who have met the necessary conditions of development.

We must grow in love. The Apostle tells us that we might have all knowledge and yet be as nothing. Knowledge alone will not suffice. However, knowledge is the basis of faith and obedience. Without knowledge we could accomplish nothing. Knowledge shows us the will of God on the one hand and the selfishness that appertains to the fallen human nature on the other. It shows us the love and generosity that belong to the new nature. It shows us the Lord's character--the character that we are to imitate. We are to be "renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us"--created us as New Creatures.

As St. Paul expresses it elsewhere, we are to be transformed --formed over. We have a new will from the beginning, but it requires some time to transform our minds. Our minds being accustomed to reasoning along the lines of the flesh, the old nature, it takes some length of time before they are so entirely renewed as to view things from the Divine standpoint. But only as we thus progress can we form a Christlike character.

RENEWING OF CHURCH AND WORLD DIFFERENT

Not only are we to have our minds renewed, but our bodies are to be brought into subjection to the new mind, our new will. Because our bodies are earthly and imperfect through the fall, we can never hope to bring them into complete subserviency to the new mind. There will always be more or less of conflict. But we are to deaden, to treat as though they were nothing, these desires and impulses of the depraved flesh. Thus we make progress, being transformed day by day into the image and likeness of our God and of His dear Son. Those who attain this character-likeness to the Master will in due time be granted the Divine nature.

This change of mind comes only to those who are spirit-begotten; it does not come to the world. The Lord will deal with the world during the incoming Age. Mankind also will need to be renewed; but theirs will not be a renewal such as is granted to the Church. The world will need a new mind, and must learn to overcome all their fallen tendencies, but they will be required to give up only that which is sinful. Their renewal will be along the lines of Restitution, a restoration, to the former condition of the perfect man. They will not have a new mind that is in conflict with human nature, as has the Church. The world will not renounce their human nature; they are to renounce only sin and to bring their human nature, by Divine assistance then granted, up to perfection.

ALL MUST ATTAIN THE LIKENESS OF GOD

In the end, we see, every being who will have everlasting life on any plane will be in the likeness of God--the image of God. Father Adam in his perfection had this [R5686 : page 148] image; the holy angels have this image; Jesus had this image of the Father; and the Church must have this image. The world, also, by and by, must have this image of God. All must love and serve righteousness. Wrong must always be repulsive. All who attain life everlasting will see Divine Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power, and will thoroughly conform themselves to that standard in all their thoughts, words and deeds. All who do not attain this image of God by the close of the next Age--the thousand years of Christ's reign--will be cut off from life, without remedy.

The Lord Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." (John 17:3.) To know God means to have intimate acquaintance with Him, to be like Him in character, to be able to view matters as He views them. Only those who have the mind of God will be granted eternal life--whether of the Church now or of the world in the next Age.

THE CONFLICT BETWEEN MIND AND BODY

St. Paul brings to the attention of the Church the fact that all true Christians are New Creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and therefore may be spoken of as separate and distinct from their mortal bodies. (See verses 1 to 4 of same chapter.) This will never be true of the world in general; it is true only of those who are begotten of the Holy Spirit. The Lord does not judge these New Creatures according to the imperfections of their flesh, because these are covered. They will prove the measure of their love and loyalty by the way in which they fight against sin and the desires of the flesh, and especially against a rebellious spirit in their own flesh.

Each child of God has an enemy in his own body, and the more so because our bodies through the fall have become more or less surcharged with sin. The New Creature wills to do the Lord's will. Hence from the time that the New Creature has an existence there is a conflict between this New Creature and the old body. The Apostle Paul declared that he browbeat his body, kept his body under the control of the new mind; and he intimates that this is the only way to be a follower of the Lord Jesus.--1 Corinthians 9:27.

THE FLESH TO BE THOROUGHLY SUBJUGATED

This matter of keeping the body under had a beginning. All our former lives we had been asking our body, What is your will? What is your desire? What will please you? Therefore it is a somewhat difficult matter now to bring the body under the control of the new will and to be able to say, "Thy will, O Lord, not mine, be done." Just as a colt needs to be broken, to be brought into subjection, so it is with our flesh. If it is thoroughly broken, it will remain in subjection. From time to time it will, of course, attempt to assert itself, but it must be conquered; for if it is not thoroughly broken and subjugated, if it is allowed to have more or less of its own way, there will always be danger of a runaway or of some other difficulty, and of final catastrophe.

We are not to take the Apostle too literally when he says that he browbeats his body. His thought is, not that we are literally to handle our body in a rough way, to maltreat it, as some have thought, but that we are to subjugate it, to teach it a thorough lesson. The object of this is that the body may learn to be a good servant of the New Creature. The Spirit of the Lord cannot quicken our mortal body until we have first brought it into subjection. Even if the triumph of the New Creature means the quick death of the body, it must be made submissive; for after we have decided that as human beings our own will is not to be any longer in control, but the Lord's will is to govern, the only thing to do is to set to work to use our body in His service. This will be done more or less thoroughly as we grow as New Creatures. As this battle goes on, if it is faithfully waged, our flesh becomes weaker, and the new mind is renewed day by day. We learn more fully to put our bodies under and bring them into the service of the new will. It should be manifest to all that we are seeking to do the will of the Lord; and that the will of the flesh is dead, and not to be entertained for a moment.

THE TESTING OF THE BELIEVER

The Apostle tells one reason why he kept his body under--lest, having instructed others how they should do, he himself should make a failure and become a castaway. Likewise with every true Christian this is a matter of supreme importance, and should be particularly noted by every one who is a teacher in the Church.

In choosing a Bride for His Son, the Father is making a selection from those who accept the Gospel Message and desire to draw near to Him. The first test is as to whether or not they will make a full consecration to God. The second test is as to whether, after they have made their consecration, they will conquer the flesh and bring it into subjection. The third test is as to whether they will strive always to keep the flesh in subjection, even unto the end of the way.

The Lord is watching our course continually. His eye is ever upon us to see to what extent we are zealous in crucifying our flesh. Those who are in dead earnest in this matter are the ones whom He is seeking. He seeks a godly seed--those who have the disposition of the Master; and the Master's disposition has ever been in direct antagonism to everything sinful. "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows," was spoken by the Father of our Lord Jesus. Moreover, the Master gladly laid down His life in sacrifice to do the Father's will and to save the world. [R5687 : page 148]

And so the Father has, during the Gospel Age, been seeking for the Bride of His Son those who preeminently love righteousness, who hate iniquity, and are glad to be living sacrifices, to be used up in God's service. In proportion as we manifest the spirit which actuated our Lord --a love for that which is right, a promptness to fight against all sin in ourselves, and a spirit of loving sacrifice --we shall be copies of God's dear Son. If we fail to have a proper zeal and energy in this respect, we shall be unfit to be granted the reward promised--"the prize of the High Calling"--and shall be rejected, be cast away.

One who had committed the sin unto death would be a castaway in the most absolute sense. Even the Great Company class must prove loyal of heart and mind and must hate sin, though cast away as regards the "prize." The degree of love and zeal we manifest in fighting against the weaknesses of the flesh has much to do with the attainment of the prize, in determining whether or not we shall be inheritors of the highest nature with our Master --the Divine nature.

We find that in our flesh there is a tendency to revive from its condition of reckoned deadness, and to struggle for supremacy. Hence, as we have said, the new nature must be continually on the alert to maintain its ascendency, to fight the good fight of faith, that we may gain the "crown of life," may be overcomers in the highest sense-- [R5687 : page 149] "more than conquerors." We are in a position of great responsibility.

TWO CLASSES IN THE WORLD

There are at the present time two classes in the world --the fleshly and the spiritual. The fleshly live according to their natural tendencies; the spiritual live by faith, contrary to the flesh. Those who become footstep followers of Jesus are begotten of the Holy Spirit; hence they have been lifted to a higher plane than others of mankind. To them the old things of their past lives have passed away, have been renounced, and all things have become new.

The Apostle declares that if these live after the flesh-- according to their natural inclinations and the desires and ambitions of the world--it means that they have descended again to the plane of the world; and they will die. It is only if we faithfully endure, if we suffer with Christ, that we shall reign with Him. Our sufferings with Christ are not in the upholding of some foolishness--of wearing a certain cut of hair, or a certain style of dress, etc.--but in active opposition to error, in living apart from the spirit of the world, and in energy and faithfulness, according to opportunity, in the spread of the Truth. The Lord's side is to be our side in everything. This brings us into conflict with the world and with the tendencies and proclivities of our own flesh; for we naturally love the things that the world loves.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY AND OUR DANGER

We are not to blame the world for living according to the flesh; for this course is the natural bent of the fallen nature. But it is different with us, by reason of the fact that we have sacrificed the earthly in order to obtain the spiritual. It would be a disastrous matter with us if we should live after the flesh, should sow to the flesh, instead of to the Spirit. It is not possible for us to live fully up to the Spirit, but it is possible for us to make a strenuous endeavor to do so. We can live after the Spirit, though we cannot measure up to the perfect standard. We can do our best; we can make our plans and arrangements in harmony with what God's Holy Spirit would dictate and approve, as God gives us wisdom to discern. This is the only course by which we can reach the eternal life and glory which the Lord has promised to the faithful Church.

We recognize, indeed, that there are two classes which will attain spiritual life; but only one will be granted an abundant entrance into the Kingdom. Those who sow liberally to the Spirit will reap the larger reward. Those who sow sparingly will reap the smaller reward. Those who are striving to live in full harmony with God, and contrary to everything that is in opposition to God, seeking by prayer and the study of the Word to ascertain His will, shall win the promised prize.--Philippians 3:14.

But those who have been spirit-begotten, and who then live according to the flesh, are not to expect any reward --not even Restitution. There can be nothing for them but the Second Death. They have had their chance for life and have abused it. Christ came to give one full, individual opportunity to each and all--and only one. God gave Adam an opportunity for everlasting life, but he was then inexperienced with sin and its consequences; hence, he is to be granted in his awakening an opportunity equal to that given the remainder of the world. Christ died to redeem all, and thus to give to all mankind, in due time, a full, fair opportunity for life eternal, after experience with the nature and the results of sin.

The Church are having their trial now. This class, which is now receiving its opportunity, is limited. None can come to the full degree of responsibility, except those who have the clear enlightenment and special opportunities now granted to only a comparatively few. These, after having once been begotten of the Holy Spirit, must gain spiritual life, or else fail altogether and go into the Second Death.

In the next Age the world will be brought forth from the tomb--the death state--in an imperfect, blemished condition. The great Mediator will be in charge of the world's interests, having then made satisfaction to Justice on their behalf. It will be His mission to help mankind up to perfection--all who will. But any who continue to live, or to attempt to live, after the sinful cravings of their fallen flesh will eventually be destroyed; for those who prefer sin, after coming to a clear knowledge of the difference between good and evil, and having access to all needed assistance to rise out of their fallen estate, will be cut off as cumberers of the ground and corrupters of the earth. Those who during the incoming Age would attain eternal life on the human plane must seek to live in harmony with God's Law, with righteousness; and thus they will reach full perfection and restitution, under the guidance and assistance of The Messiah.

THE SPECIAL BATTLES OF THE CHURCH

But much more glorious than even this is the prospect before those who are now faithfully running the race for the prize of the High Calling, held out to the Church! There are, however, enemies yet to be vanquished, and victories to be gained, if we would receive the crown. Until the final battle is fought, we must not relax our vigilance for a moment nor lay aside one piece of our armor.

Considering particularly what are some of the battles of the New Creature, we realize that many of them pertain to the weaknesses of the flesh through heredity--sin working in our mortal bodies, seeking to bring us into captivity. After we have become New Creatures, the gross sins of the flesh gradually become distasteful even to those once in bondage to them. When these are conquered, a great victory has been won. But there are subtle sins that lurk in the flesh of all those who have become the Lord's; and these dispositions hide themselves in such a manner that they frequently deceive the new will, which needs to be educated up to a clear appreciation of the principles of righteousness.

It is an advance lesson in the School of Christ that hatred of a brother is murder, that we are not only to hate the act of murder, but also the murder spirit, and are so fully to cast out this spirit as to have nothing but love and kindly wishes in the heart toward others, even our enemies. Only the more advanced and better drilled pupils in the School of Christ see clearly and distinctly the meaning of the Apostle's words when he denominates anger (fleshly wrath), malice, hatred, strife, envyings, and evil speakings, as the works of the Devil. These must be fought to the finish.

"WE BESEECH YOU, THEREFORE," BELOVED

All the children of God must come to see that "love worketh no ill to his neighbor," nor does it wish ill. We must see that such evil dispositions originate in the mind, in the heart; and as soon as the true soldier of the cross perceives any of these sins manifesting themselves outwardly or lurking in his heart, he will begin a vigorous campaign against them, and will go to the Throne of Grace for the promised grace to help in time of need. Only thus can the child of God keep his record clear and retain the Lord's favor and blessing.

Let each of us then, dearly beloved, apply earnestly to ourselves these lessons. Let us diligently follow the example [R5687 : page 150] of the beloved Apostle Paul, and "keep under" our bodies, lest we become castaways. Let us keep ever before our minds the thought that we have "put off the old man with his deeds"; and that we have "put on the new man," and are now on trial for life or death eternal; that we are being tested, are being given the opportunity to prove the sincerity and depth of our consecration to the Lord. Surely this will spur us on and energize us to faithfulness. Let us remember that the keeping under of our body appertains to food and drink, to the clothing we wear, to the way we spend our consecrated time, to our every thought, word and deed.

These battlings of the new mind against the flesh are a "good fight"--good in the sense that they are fightings against the intrenched weaknesses and besetments of the fallen nature, against temptations from within and without, that appeal to us as human beings. They are a "fight of faith" because the entire course of the New Creature is one of faith; for "we walk by faith, not by sight." We could never succeed in this fight unaided. Hence we must keep very close to the Lord. We must "watch and pray," putting on and keeping securely fastened to us the whole armor of God. The time is short in which to complete this work in ourselves. Then let us be diligent!



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THE "CROWN OF LIFE"--WHO WILL RECEIVE IT?

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him."--James 1:12.
THE above words of the Apostle James are a part of an earnest exhortation to all the Church of God scattered abroad. "Blessed is the man who endureth [with fortitude] temptation." Those who do not love the Lord with all their hearts, in whom self or some other idol has first place, will be seduced by the world, the flesh or the Devil into some form of rebellion against the Divine Word or Divine providences. They will have schemes, theories or desires which they will prefer to the Lord's Plan and way; and their own theories, plans and ways will be found, when analyzed, to be based upon selfishness and ambition or an evil spirit of envy, hatred, jealousy, pride, etc. It is only such as endure such temptations and besetments with fortitude, by the grace of God conquering and subduing the fleshly mind, that will receive the promised crown.

The Apostle here speaks of the final reward as being "the crown of life." It might be possible to view this matter of the crown of life from different standpoints; for instance, to think of life as being a crowning blessing, on whatever plane of being. Those who will be brought into the Lord's favor during the Millennial Age will, after the close of that Age, if proven worthy, gain everlasting life. In other words, they will be crowned with a life which will be endless. The Ancient Worthies will have this life everlasting. They will be crowned with life. Life, perfect, unending, is the greatest blessing God could bestow. Then the Little Flock will be especially crowned with life; for they will have life on the superior plane, the life of the Divine nature--the nature of Jehovah; life in the very highest form will be their crown. So we think of all these things as being crowns of life when all have been tested and proven to the end of their course.

THE CROWN ABOVE ALL OTHERS

But we have reason to suppose that St. James is here referring to the Church, the Bride of Christ, the most blessed of all humanity. The Church is now especially on trial. This trial of our love, endurance, faith, patience, is for the purpose of demonstrating which of us will be found worthy of the chiefest of all blessings--the Divine nature, which God has promised to those who love Him--love Him more than they love houses or lands or bonds, more than they love wife or husband or parents or children or self, or any other thing. God will have a reward for others, also; but it will not be this highest crown, which He offers to the Bride of His Son alone.

What constitutes the temptation spoken of in our text? The answer of the Scriptures is that the Lord has said there will come trials and temptations--disciplinings--to those who are His, to develop their character, to prove their steadfastness and loyalty. Without trials and temptations our allegiance to God would never be shown. Self-love might be reigning in our hearts, and we would not recognize it unless it were demonstrated. It is very easy to think how much we love the Lord and how much we would like to do for Him. Then comes the temptation to sloth, and to do something for ourselves instead of for the Lord. It is easy for us to think we love His will, and to sing:

"I love Thy will, O God."
Then we are severely tried on that line, and we sometimes find out that our love for His will needs yet farther development and greater fixity.

Our covenant with the Lord is to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are to live up to this standard in the spirit of our minds so far as we are able by Divine assistance, trusting to the merit of the precious blood to cover our unavoidable deficiencies. Yea, we are to "lay down our lives for the brethren." The temptation comes to love other things more, to love self more than we love God and the brethren. The Lord permits these trials and temptations and difficulties to come to us. The way we meet these, we think, will have much to do in deciding whether we shall be worthy of the highest crown of life.

THE CROWN OF LIFE AFTER THE TRIAL

"When he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life." The expression, "when he is tried," does not mean one trial merely; but our entire experience is spoken of as a trial, a test of loyalty. Our whole life is a matter of trial or testing to see how sincere we are, how fully we love the Lord, what we are willing to sacrifice, in harmony with our covenant. "When he is tried," then, means, when his trial is over. Then he will receive the "crown of life." He will not get it before. That would not necessarily mean, however, that he would get the crown the minute the trial was over--as soon as his sacrifice was completed in death. Jesus slept until the third day before He received His crown. The Apostles and others slept for many centuries before they received theirs.

It does not mean, either, that the very minute or the very day on which the Christian had fully demonstrated his faithfulness to the Lord he would immediately fall asleep or would be instantly ushered into honor and immortality by the glorious change of the First Resurrection. The Lord might have further purposes of usefulness, etc., in regard to His children before their sacrifice would be completed. [R5688 : page 151]

So with every phase of our trial and testing there should be a demonstration of our loyalty. Let the trials come, then, and let them continue to come. No matter what our natural infirmities may be, we shall be granted grace sufficient; and we are expected to be loyal under all conditions, at all times, until the end.



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DEVELOPMENT AS NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST

"Strong meat belongeth to them who are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."--Hebrews 5:14.
THE Apostle here seems to have in mind some who are babes in Christ, some who have immature conceptions of God and His Plan, who lack spiritual development, contrasting them with others who are more developed, who have become men in Christ Jesus--who are "of full age," as St. Paul expresses it, mature in Christian attainment. "Strong meat" belongs to these. The Apostle has given a reproof to some who, considering the length of time they have been in Christ, should have been strong in the faith, in doctrine, in spiritual life, and should be qualified to teach others. Yet still they were children, needing others to teach them again the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, needing still to be fed on milk, even yet not able to assimilate "strong meat."

Beginners who have not long known Christ, who are new in respect to the truths of God's Plan, are not to be choked with strong meat. These may be fed upon the simpler truths, which they can assimilate. They need "the sincere milk of the Word, that they may grow thereby." Some of the Lord's people, who have been longer in the way, in talking with the newly consecrated unwisely begin to tell them the truths regarding immortality, trinity, etc., before they are able to digest them. These are giving strong meat to babes, and are liable to drive them away from the table of the Lord, giving them spiritual dyspepsia, so that they are unable longer to eat even of the simpler food furnished by the Lord.

For those who are only beginners in the good way, there is plenty of food in God's Word of the more easily digestible sort; food which should be helpful to New Creatures in Christ who are just beginning to walk in the narrow path. We are not to understand, however, that they are to continue for quite a period of time to live exclusively on milk. As they begin to grow and develop on a milk diet, they may be given somewhat stronger food, until after a time they will be able to digest the strongest features of the Truth, and to draw nourishment from them. Some develop and are able to digest the strong meat much more rapidly than others. Those who have not been falsely taught regarding Scriptural doctrines, who have not been steeped for many years in the errors brought into the Church during the Dark Ages, are often much more ready and able to grasp the truth on these subjects than are those who have been long under the blinding influence of error along these lines.

SYSTEMATIC STUDY NECESSARY

Those who are of humble, teachable mind, seeking a "thus saith the Lord" for all they accept, not trying to uphold any theories of their own, but to follow only the Lord, can generally, by taking the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and their Bible, and taking up the Plan step by step, in a systematic, orderly manner, as it is presented, proving every statement by the sure Word of God, see the truth regarding these fundamental doctrines with little difficulty. In this way they gain a comprehensive view of the whole Plan of God, and can see how its various features fit and dovetail into one another; this would be impossible if they heard first only a portion of the Plan, disassociated from the rest. [R5689 : page 151]

For this reason it is well to urge the newly interested one to read and prove for himself, and not endeavor to explain too much through conversation. Much harm is often done thus by well-meaning friends, in their zeal to have the beginner grasp it all at once, which is impossible; and often their efforts result in confusing the mind of the one seeking the Truth.

SPIRITUAL EYESIGHT A MATTER OF GROWTH

As we look at a little babe, we see that it can crow, can kick a little, can cry somewhat, and to a certain extent can see objects. It has a certain amount of appreciation of things beautiful, of things terrorizing, of things happifying. But it does not see things very clearly nor comprehend them. If we pass our hand before its eyes, it apparently has not a focus. As with young kittens, which cannot tell what is near and what is far off, so with beginners, babes, in spiritual matters. The younger ones in their attempt to study God's Word, are apt to go tripping along through it, and think they see this or that. They cannot be entrusted with important truths at first; for they would be pretty certain to be stumbled.

But as these grow older, they can "rightly divide" the Truth, they can distinguish Truth from error, they can tell what would be hurtful and what would be helpful. Even a child that burns itself at the fire learns to look out for that which will burn, and learns to approach the fire very carefully, very judiciously. As all this is true as relates to temporal matters, and as the sense of appreciation and comprehension develops in the babe, so in babes in Christ, there is a development of the sense of appreciation and ability to comprehend the heights and depths and lengths and breadths of God's Wisdom and Love, and the fulness and grandeur of His great Plan with all its varied features.

NECESSARY FOOD ALWAYS IN "DUE SEASON"

To gain this appreciation, it is necessary, not only to read the Truth, but to think upon it, to make it our own, to strive earnestly to conform our lives to it. It is better, of course, for one to merely read so many pages or chapters of the Bible than to read some worthless thing; but to simply read a certain amount in the Bible without understanding accomplishes little. The Bible needs to be studied; and the Lord has never left His people without teachers of His own choosing, who were able to lead the dear sheep of the great Shepherd's Fold into the green pastures where they could obtain whatever food was needed at that time. As the gradual unfolding of Truth in its times and seasons has added to the quantity and variety of food required by the flock of God for their proper nourishment, it has been supplied by Him through instrumentalities which he has raised up for the purpose in due season.

The real saints of God have never been left without all needed supplies in every age. In our own day more Truth has unfolded than at any previous period of the Church's history. More and richer food is now necessary, [R5689 : page 152] to strengthen the Church for the peculiar conditions and testings of this day; and more has been supplied. But as we have stated, and as the Apostle in our text shows, there are various degrees of development in the Church of Christ; and some have been accepted from the world in these latter days to take the places of some who have through unfaithfulness lost their crowns. Hence the wisdom that cometh from above is required to feed and nourish these weaker ones properly.

FIRST LESSONS IN SCHOOL

In a school there are lessons arranged according to the ability and comprehension of the pupils. When the primary lessons in spelling are given, the teacher begins with small, simple words, instead of long words. Such words as c-o-w, cow; c-a-t, cat, are given first. A teacher who is wise and understands her business would not think of starting little children out with such a word as "prognostication," or "hippopotamus." The pupil would first be given more simple and easily comprehensible words. Object lessons, by pictures, etc., are also used at first to attract the eye, and thus to assist the child mind.

And so with religious matters. Those who would give proper instructions to others must be qualified to teach. The Lord has placed the various members in the Body of Christ "as it hath pleased Him." To some He has given Apostles and workers of miracles; to others evangelists and teachers and pastors. In the early history of the Church, in its infantile condition, miracles-- object lessons and proofs to the eye, to the ear, the outward physical senses--were necessary, and hence were supplied. As the Church became established, these outward evidences in connection with the Truth passed away.

The Apostle Paul says, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11). And so with every true follower of Christ. As he grows and develops, step by step, as his senses become exercised to discern good and evil-- what is true, what is right, what is profitable, what is comprehended in the glorious High Calling of the Church, what is included in full consecration to Christ--he more and more puts away his childish views, his immature conceptions, and becomes educated and advanced in the things of God--the deep things. A beginner, who had not learned to study the Word of God, could take it and get out of it things that would be really harmful to him. One must learn to take Bible truths in their setting--to see what they mean, how they apply, to whom they apply, etc.--or all will be confusion and contradiction. One can bring sweet music from an instrument only when he learns how to manipulate the keys, how to combine the various chords; otherwise only discord is the result.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE LONG IN THE WAY

There are certain principles laid down in the Bible. We need to get a grasp on these principles and apply them in our daily lives. There is the principle of Justice --a foundation principle. This principle must be recognized and practised before we are in a proper condition to build upon this foundation the principles of Love, Mercy, Gentleness, etc., all of which must be incorporated into our lives, our characters, as children of God. We need to learn what justice means, what true love means. The standards of the world along these lines have become much perverted, and we need to be properly taught from the only authoritative source--the Word of God. We must learn how to apply these principles.

Those who have been for some time drinking from the Fountain of Truth, and feeding at the table of the Lord, where the food is pure, unadulterated, nourishing, should be fully established in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. Much of the superstructure of "gold, silver and precious stones" should be already erected, and the good work of character-building should be progressing steadily day by day. We should be firmly rooted and grounded in Christ, so that nothing can move us. We should be able to discern clearly between truth and error on every important point. We should be so loyal to the Lord and His Word that we shall rejoice in the glorious privilege of proclaiming it at every suitable opportunity. We should know what we believe and why we believe it, and be courageous and uncompromising in declaring the Truth which has so blessed our own hearts and lives.



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FORGIVENESS IS BLESSED
--JUNE 13.--PSALM 32.--

SINS FORGIVEN, COVERED, BLOTTED OUT--INIQUITY NOT IMPUTED --THE GUILELESS SPIRIT--WHO MAY PRAY FOR FORGIVENESS --UNDER THE LAW COVENANT--UNDER THE COVENANT OF GRACE--UNDER THE NEW COVENANT--SOME SINS NOT FORGIVABLE BUT EXPIABLE--"LET THEM PRAY OVER HIM"--MORTAL SIN OR SIN UNTO DEATH.

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."--Verse 1.
THE Scriptures bring to our attention the thought that sins may be forgiven in the sense that God will not continue to treat us as sinners, the sins, however, remaining to be dealt with--merely covered. They also show that the time for actually blotting out sins is in the future, not in the present life. To illustrate: The Christian who has transgressed Divine Law quite unintentionally and entirely through inherited weaknesses may promptly go to God for forgiveness through the Redeemer, and is assured that his sin is covered, that God will not remember it against him nor treat him as a sinner, because Jesus Christ the righteous made full atonement for such sin.

There is another class of sin, partly of weakness and heredity, and partly assented to by the mind. This we might term a mixed sin. The Lord, in forgiving this sin, will restore the joys of His countenance to His child and entirely cover or overlook the transgression in proportion as it was unwilful, unintentional, through ignorance; but He will punish that portion which was of knowledge and connivance or assent of the mind.

There is still another kind of sin, which the Bible describes as a wilful sin--against light, against knowledge. This is sometimes spoken of as a sin against the Holy Spirit, because the light of knowledge and Truth is the light of God's Spirit of Truth; and whoever wilfully transgresses it transgresses the Spirit of Truth. Such sin Jesus declared has never forgiveness, neither in this Age nor in the Age to come. (Matthew 12:32.) But this does not mean that the individual will be punished for it forever. It simply means what it says--that such a sin cannot be forgiven and could only be expiated. If, however, it were a sin against full light, the expiation would mean the Second Death. We have reason to believe [R5690 : page 153] that on account of our inherited weaknesses and unholy environment, nearly all sins committed by God's people may be classed as mixed sins--only partly wilful.

In any event, a man who realizes his transgression forgiven and his sin covered must have great peace and joy toward the Lord, and blessing that is beyond description. He may, however, at the same time, carry the marks of those forgiven sins in his body to his dying day; and he may perhaps be troubled with aches and pains and with various diseases as a result of sins that are forgiven--to his dying moment. The sins, therefore, are not blotted out all that while, although they are forgiven. The marks of them are seen in his flesh or his mind or in whatever way they have blemished him.

St. Peter tells us that our sins are to be blotted out fully at the Second Coming of Christ. We can readily see how this will be; for the promise to the Church is that in the resurrection they will be given perfect bodies; that which is in part and imperfect will be done away, and that which is perfect will be theirs forever in the body of the resurrection --"sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown an animal body, raised a spiritual body."--1 Corinthians 15:43,44.

CONDITIONS FOR FORGIVENESS

Much confusion of thought prevails respecting the conditions upon which forgiveness of sins may be expected. This is not the fault of the Bible, which makes the matter very clear and very plain. It is the fault of our confused theologies, which have mixed up everything for us. To understand the matter we must remember that the whole world, as the children of Adam, rest under Divine sentence of death, with no offer of hope directly made to them. The Lord's people have a Revelation from Him, informing them that God purposes great things for the world by and by through Messiah's Kingdom, but that these are not applicable to them at the present time. The mercies and favors of God, including forgiveness of sins, are all confined for the present to those who come into covenant relationship with God.

What is meant by covenant relationship? some may ask. We reply that God entered into a Covenant with the Jewish nation, through Moses as the mediator of their Law Covenant. A part of that arrangement was that on the basis of certain sacrifices for sins--sacrifices of bulls and goats--God entered into a Covenant, or bargain, with that nation. These sacrifices of bulls and goats every year on the Day of Atonement imputed to the nation forgiveness of sins for that year; that all the people might be in relationship with God. Thus they had the right to come to God in prayer in respect to any matter of God's promise or in respect to the forgiveness of their sins, as in the case of David.

But this privilege did not extend to the Gentiles--it was merely an arrangement made with the Jews. And even with the Jews it was only a typical arrangement. It foreshadowed the permanent arrangement of this Gospel Age, based upon the "better sacrifices" of the antitypical Moses--Jesus.

Since the time of Jesus another Covenant has been opened, while the Law Covenant may be said to be inoperative for the present. The Covenant now applicable to Christians is called Scripturally a Covenant of Sacrifice (Psalm 50:5), or a Covenant of Grace. It is a Covenant of Sacrifice because all who enter into this Covenant with God sacrifice their earthly rights and interests, accepting instead the spiritual blessings, which God has promised and which they can see with the eye of faith.

Jesus was the first One who made the Covenant of Sacrifice. Holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, He presented His body a living sacrifice to God, saying, "Lo! I come, as in the volume of the Book it is written of Me, to do Thy will, O My God." (Psalm 40:7,8; Hebrews 10:7.) Thus He surrendered His will, and with it everything and every power He possessed. During the three and a half years of His ministry, He zealously carried out this Covenant unto death, even the death of the Cross. For this cause God highly exalted Him, giving Him the perfection of the spirit nature, to which he attained at His resurrection-- glory, honor and immortality forever.--Phil. 2:8-11.

The work of this Gospel Age is to call out from amongst the sinner race such as may have a similar spirit, or disposition, to that which Jesus had. None, like Him, are holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; but what they lack in this respect is made up to them by the imputation of the merit of Jesus, so that, as the Apostle declares, they are accepted of God in the Beloved One. And being thus accepted, they are privileged to enter into the same Covenant of Sacrifice which Jesus entered into. With Him, they say to the Father, Lo! we present ourselves in harmony with everything written in Your Book, to do Your will even unto death. It is the same Covenant! and in describing this, the Apostle declares that we walk in Jesus' steps and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.--1 Pet. 2:21; Col. 1:24.

Many seem not aware that only such as are in covenant relationship with God have any right to go to God in prayer, to ask either forgiveness of sins or anything else. Nevertheless, this must be clear to every one who will think on the subject. God declares that He heareth not sinners, and that He has made only one provision whereby any may come to Him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me," He declares. (John 14:6.) He is the Advocate for those who become His disciples and who engage to walk in His steps; but He is not the Advocate for the world-- merely for the special class, His followers. In due time, at the close of this Age and the opening of the Millennium, He will become the Mediator for the whole world, will make satisfaction for all their sins, and will take over every member of the race under His Divine supervision. His Mediatorial Kingdom is arranged with this in view. Even then, the world will not go to the Father with their sins nor with their prayers, but merely go to the great Mediator between God and men--between God and the world. They will have blessings and favors then abundantly, under the arrangement provided; but they can have nothing now. The only ones who can get God's favors at the present time are those who come by the appointed Way--through the Covenant of Sacrifice.

THE ADVOCATE'S ONLY TERMS

With false ideas in our minds respecting the penalty for sin--with the idea that it is to be eternal torment-- many imagine the Lord Jesus sitting tearfully and dejectedly, waiting for sinners to show the slightest sign of repentance, when He would fly to their relief and accept them without any particular terms or conditions. Nothing could be further from the truth--nothing could be further from the teaching of the Bible. On the contrary, if the sinner thinks of turning from sin to God and comes to Jesus to inquire if He will be His Advocate with the Father and make him satisfactory and acceptable, he is promptly told that he can have this privilege only on certain fixed conditions.

The conditions are stipulated--he must become a disciple [R5691 : page 154] of Christ. And this means all that the Master declared saying, "If any man will come after Me [be My disciple], let him deny himself [sacrifice his own will], and take up his cross and follow Me." (Matthew 16:24.) There is no short cut. There are no other terms, and Jesus does not urge any one to accept these terms.

Misinformed evangelists may, in the name of the Lord, urge and make different terms; but they are that far away from the authorized Message of God's Word. On the contrary, Jesus said to some in His time, "Sit down and count the cost"--be not hasty; know well what you are doing, and fully determine the matter before you undertake the responsibilities of discipleship. It is better not to vow than, after having vowed, to break the vow. It is better not to put your hand to the plow to become a servant of the Lord than, after taking these vows and entering the service, either to turn back or even to look back, as implying a half-hearted service.--Luke 9:62.

THE NARROW WAY--THE FEW

Some one may perhaps suggest that if these views were generally accepted, there would be far fewer professed Christians in the world. We agree to this; but we insist that the Christians would be of a better standard, more acceptable to the Lord. The Lord declares, "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life [in the present time], and few there be that find it." These few are to constitute the Kingdom Class, the Bride Class, and with Christ are to be the Divine agency for blessing all the families of the earth during the thousand years of Christ's Reign.

Another point that might be worthy of notice is that when we first come to the Lord, it is not necessary to pray for forgiveness of original sin. He informs us that all the arrangements are made, completed, for those who desire to accept His terms and become his disciples. All, therefore, we have to do is to go to the Lord intelligently, thoughtfully, and tell Him how glad we are that He has made these arrangements; and that we gladly accept the terms of discipleship, with the promise that His grace shall be sufficient for us, and with His assurance that all things shall work together for good to the called ones according to His purpose.

It is after these have come into covenant relationship with God that they have need to pray for the forgiveness of their trespasses--their sins of omission or commission conflicting with their covenant of consecration and the Divine requirements. Thus this class is privileged to offer the Lord's Prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." These trespasses thus to be forgiven do not include the original sin. That was forgiven freely for all those who accepted Christ and came under this new covenant-arrangement. The trespasses are our failures to come up to the standard required of the Lord after His grace has freed us from the transgressions that are past.

"LET THEM PRAY OVER HIM"

St. James calls our attention to some of the Lord's people who might become sin-sick to such an extent that they would not have access to the Throne of Grace themselves. Because of carelessness of living, neglect of duties and privileges, disregard of their covenant obligations, a cloud between them and the Father comes thick and dark. They are unable to penetrate this cloud. Their prayers seem not to reach the Father. He is hiding His face from them. Theirs is an extreme case. Through the Apostle the Lord says that if any one shall turn such a transgressor--a Christian who has gotten into such a wrong condition--from the error of his way, he will save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins.

The Apostle tells the procedure. The sin-sick one should realize his need, so that he would call upon the elders of the Church--the senior Christian brethren. He should confess to them his fault or whatever he believes has had to do with separating him from the Lord's favor. They in turn, as members of the Body of Christ, may intercede for him to the Lord and may anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him, and the Lord shall raise him up to spiritual health and strength again. --James 5:14-16,19,20.



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PRAYERS THAT ARE HEARD
--JUNE 20.--PSALM 141.--

MANY MAY WORSHIP, FEW MAY PRAY--ONLY THE SANCTIFIED IN CHRIST JESUS--THEIR FREQUENT NEEDS--"GOD'S EAR OPEN"--THEIR PRAYERS ARISE AS INCENSE TO HIM-- LEARNING TO PRAY--WHAT TO PRAY FOR--WATCHING FOR ANSWERS--THE BREATH OF LIFE SPIRITUAL.

"Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me."--V. 9.
WHEN we think of the greatness of the Creator, Maker of Heaven and earth and all therein, and when we think of our own littleness, our weaknesses and imperfections, we are amazed that our God has made any provision whereby even the best of His creatures might hold communion with Him in prayer. We should not fail to note the difference between worship and praise, which anybody may render to the Lord, and prayers and supplications, which are acceptable only from the Lord's consecrated people and their children while still minors.

To illustrate: It is one thing that the populace may cheer a governor or a king, may remove their hats or bow their heads, but it is quite another thing for that same conglomeration of people to be received by the king or the governor into association as his friends or to have communion with him, to tell him about their matters, to have his counsel and guidance. So, while God has an interest in the whole world of mankind, a deep interest, it is not the same interest that He has in His Church. And by His Church we mean, not any sect or party or denomination, but those individuals who, regardless of sectarian lines, have entered into a heart covenant with the Lord, renouncing their own wills and accepting, instead, the will of God in Christ. These are the Bible Church, whose names are written in Heaven. (Hebrews 12:23.) These are the ones addressed in the Bible as the saints of God, and respecting whom it is declared, "All things are yours;...and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."--1 Corinthians 3:21-23.

This Church of God, in all the world, is not numerically strong. As the Bible says, it contains not many rich, not many wise, not many learned, but chiefly the poor of this world, rich in faith, heirs of the Kingdom. (1 Corinthians 1:26; James 2:5.) Their reigning, their power and their control in the world's affairs will not [R5692 : page 155] come until they shall have experienced the resurrection change, and Messiah's Kingdom shall be fully inaugurated. Then these shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years.--Revelation 20:4.

WHO MAY PRAY

Strangely enough, many seem to have gotten the thought that anybody, at any time, may rush into the presence of the Almighty God with his requests. The intimation even seems to be that God is unhappy because people do not come to Him thus. Such views of prayer indicate a lack of Bible study, Bible information. The Bible teaches that prayer is a great privilege.

Jesus declared, "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me." Furthermore, He indicated the restrictions upon those who would approach the Father through Him-- they must be His disciples; and to become His disciples, they must take upon themselves certain obligations or vows. They must renounce their own wills, and accept the will of Jesus. They must lay all upon the altar; otherwise they cannot be accepted, cannot be presented to the Father, cannot be begotten of the Holy Spirit, cannot be styled or treated as sons of God, cannot be joint-heirs with Jesus Christ in His coming Kingdom--cannot have the privilege of sons of God in the present life either-- the privilege of prayer and of Divine fellowship, communion, instruction.

All these special blessings the Bible reserves for those who become especially, peculiarly, the sons of God. Even in respect to these who have become sons of God, Jesus intimates a danger of their losing the privilege of prayer. He says, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye may ask what ye will"--not otherwise.--John 15:7.

We believe that misinformation on this subject of prayer has worked disadvantageously to many. The majority, holding intercourse with evil, only occasionally flee to the Lord in some trouble, and that without entering into any covenant with Him or receiving any recognition as sons, and without desiring this. If they were rightly informed, the effect upon their minds at first would be to stun them. They would awake suddenly to the realization that they are without God in the world; that their affairs are not subject to His supervision; but that as part of the world, they are under the general curse, or sentence of death.

The highest qualities of the human mind, which lie at the very top of our craniums, are the organs of worship, reverence, veneration, spirituality. Even the wicked, at times, feel that they will please God by praying to Him and asking Him for some favors. They have not learned that God has addressed them, saying, "Unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do, to take My Covenant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest instruction and castest My words behind thee?"--Psalm 50:16,17.

It is high time that the difference between the Church and the world shall be more distinctly discerned, and that the privileges of the Church shall be appreciated. The effect would be to awaken in others a sense of their need for God. Then, in their hours of distress, realizing that they have no God, would they not be the more likely to seek Him earnestly in His appointed way, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through a full consecration--the only terms upon which Jesus would accept them and be their Advocate with the Father, and secure for them the title and privilege of sons of God, valuable both for the present life and for that which is to come?

INCENSE, PRAYER, BEFORE GOD

The Prophet David, in this lesson, pictures the Christian in his distress coming to God in His appointed way: "O Lord, I cry unto Thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto Thee. Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense." This is the same thought elsewhere expressed in the Bible--that the prayers of God's people rise up before Him as a sweet perfume. (Revelation 5:8.) And, by the way, we remember that the incense of old, which typified the prayers of the saints, was composed of a rare mixture of spices, giving forth a peculiarly sweet odor; and that nobody was allowed to make that incense except the priests who were to offer it. (Exo. 30:34-38; 37:29.) Thus again the Lord shows us that the privilege of prayer, of approaching Him in an acceptable manner, is confined to the antitypical priests, called by St. Peter the Royal Priesthood.-- 1 Peter 2:9.

Only those of the Lord's people who have consecrated their lives to Him, even unto death, are thus represented as members of the sacrificing Priesthood, to whom the Apostle wrote, saying, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, and your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1.) The Lord has pledged to this particular class that He will hear them, yea, that He will answer them--not necessarily according to their natural preferences, but He will heed the spirit of their cry and give to them, according to His Wisdom, the experiences and blessings most helpful.

WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR

Our prayers should be in harmony with our endeavors. Thus in our lesson the Church of Christ are represented as praying the Lord to set a guard over their lips. The thought is that they are striving to keep their lips, their mouths, from utterances that would be injurious to others; and that, on the contrary, they may be helpful to humanity and honoring to God. Also, because they are striving for heart purity and to avoid practising wicked works with evil doers, therefore they pray in harmony, "Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity; and let me not eat of their dainties"--assist me in my determination of opposition to all these things.

How appropriate that the Lord's consecrated people should scrutinize their lives when they come to their Father in prayer! How appropriate for them to note to what extent their blessings, luxuries and dainties have come to them contrary to the principles of justice and love--contrary to the Golden Rule! Whoever intelligently thus prays will surely be examining his life to rectify his business relations, so that he may not eat of the dainties which would come from injustice or oppression, but, on the contrary, rejoice in the commonest things of life if they be the best procurable in harmony with the principles of righteousness, the principles of love.

"LET THE RIGHTEOUS SMITE"

The class that are thus in fellowship with God, through prayer and through seeking to be obedient to His arrangements and laws, are so fully engaged that they are able to say, as in this Psalm, that they will take no offense if reproved by the righteous--rather the reproofs of such will be to them like an excellent oil, such as a guest received from his host in ancient times. The true Christians, the class who have the fellowship with God through prayer, have the qualities of heart which the Apostle describes as the fruits of the Holy Spirit; namely, meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, love. (Galatians 5:22,23; 2 Peter 1:5-8.) [R5693 : page 156] And because possessing these, they are not easily offended, but indeed are glad to have such experiences and lessons as the Lord's providences may direct to them--especially if these come through the brethren, and particularly if the brethren who use these administer their rebukes in a Christian manner--in meekness, remembering themselves, lest they also be tempted.--Galatians 6:1.

In such cases, the reproof will be a blessing from the Lord--if given in that spirit and received in that spirit. Neither their heads nor their hearts are broken by such Scriptural reproofs; and they themselves learn to administer admonitions to others in similar manner, so as not to injure, but to help. Their prayers are for each other in what seem to be calamities; and in harmony with the Lord's promise, these seeming calamities and all the affairs of life shall operate together for good to those who love Him, to the called ones according to His purpose.

The American Revision gives the wording here differently: "As oil upon the head; let not my head refuse it: for even in their wickedness shall my prayer continue."

In hyperbole the Prophet declares the distress of the Church as affecting them even to death. "Our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol (the grave), as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth"--like the fragments made by the wood-cutter, who considers the chips not worthy to be gathered. But while this may be the estimation of God's saints from the worldly viewpoint, not so is it with God, as the following verse implies: "But mine eyes are unto Thee, O God the Lord: for in Thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute."

But whatever affliction God's consecrated people may have in the present life, whatever rejection may be their experience at the hands of the great or the wise of this world, they have God's promise of glory, honor, immortality, in the future. In Him they trust, and He will not leave them desolate. He has declared, "The gates of Hell (Sheol, Hades) shall not prevail against them"; that is to say, the power of the grave shall not prevail against the Lord's Anointed, Christ and the Church--they shall come forth from the power of the tomb glorious in the First Resurrection majesty to reign a thousand years.-- Revelation 20:6.

"KEEP ME FROM THE SNARES"

Satan is represented as a fowler, a hunter, who is seeking after the Lord's people even as earthly hunters are prone to hunt after speckled birds. Before the invention of powder, the hunters more particularly entrapped their prey with snares and pitfalls. While Satan is represented as being the great Arch-enemy, he also is accredited with using agents. Chief amongst his agents, according to the Bible, are those fallen angels of whom he is the prince-- "the prince of devils." But he has amongst men many workers of iniquity. These are his servants whether they realize it or not.

As Jesus declared, "His servants ye are to whom ye render service." In consequence of this rule, we understand that many are professedly servants of God who are deceiving themselves, who are really the servants of the Wicked One; for his works they do, as Jesus said. They colabor for the upbuilding of unrighteousness, iniquity, injustice, and in holding down the Truth and in misleading the people.

The Lord will help His people, He will deliver them from the various snares of the Adversary; and eventually Satan and all his cohorts will fall into their own snares. Thus, in ancient times, when the Egyptians thought to capture the Israelites at the Red Sea, the Lord opened the way for the Israelites and they escaped; while their enemies pursued after them, and were themselves entrapped and overwhelmed.

Similarly, in the great Time of Trouble that is approaching, apparently Satan and his servants will be overwhelmed in that trouble in a manner not expected by them. The Church will escape those things coming upon the world and will stand before the Son of Man, changed in the power of the First Resurrection and called to be with Him as His Kingdom class. But the world will be ensnared in that great Time of Trouble. Yet, thank God, it will be for their advantage as they learn the ways of the Lord more fully, and great will be the blessings of the Almighty coming to them!



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"PROPHESY AGAINST THE SHEPHERDS"
--JUNE 27.--EZEKIEL 34.--

SELF-SEEKING SHEPHERDS--FEED THEMSELVES, BUT NOT THE FLOCK--THE TRUE SHEPHERD COMES--SEEKING THE SCATTERED SHEEP--FEEDING THE FLOCK--CARING FOR THE SICK AND LEAN--REPROVING THE SELFISH OF THE FLOCK --DAVID TO BE THE NEW SHEPHERD--ONE FLOCK, ONE SHEPHERD--"THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD."

"I Myself will be the Shepherd of My sheep."--V. 15.
TODAY'S Study is a parable, applicable, we believe, at the present time. It begins with an arraignment of the shepherds, the pastors of the Lord's flock. It accuses them of neglecting the sheep in favor of themselves. It declares that they appropriate the wool of the sheep and devour the best of the flock, but neglect to feed the flock-- neglect to lead them to the "green pastures" of God's Word and to the "still waters" of Divine Truth. The parable pictures the Lord's flock, scattered here and there, some wounded, some torn, some lean and hungry, all neglected so far as the false shepherds are concerned.

We cannot understand this as signifying nominal Christians, but the true saints of God. Nominal Christianity fares well enough, but the Lord does not recognize merely nominal Christians as His flock. They are the tares, not the wheat; they are the goats, not the sheep. The shepherds who neglect to care for the sheep, to provide them with the spiritual food and to assist them to find it, to appropriate it, are often quite busy with the goats--the worldly elements of their congregations. Their church arrangements are often especially for the goat, or tare class. These do not care for spiritual food; they must be provided with entertainments, suppers, sociables, discourses on politics, or harmless dissertations well filled with jokes. Do not they furnish most of the money? Would they not withdraw from the church if spiritual food were dispensed? For these some are providing "smokers," parish houses, well supplied with games, etc.

But the shepherds were not appointed by the Lord to look after the goats and the tare class, but to look after the wheat, the Lord's sheep. They are unfaithful pastors, or shepherds; and this prophecy is a reproof to [R5693 : page 157] them. The true flock of God is scattered, some here, some there, in many denominations and outside of all. They become the prey of the beastly of the world, and are ensnared into various false doctrines, but "neither did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not My flock. Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I am against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more: for I will deliver My flock from their mouth."

THE SHEPHERD GATHERING HIS FLOCK

Many Bible students believe that this Scripture is in process of fulfilment--that we are living in the Parousia of Christ, and that He has been present in the world for some years past, searching out the truly consecrated of His people, and gathering them out of all sectarian systems and from the world, to Himself. Surely it is true that the shepherds are ceasing to feed the flock; for very few of the flock of the Lord's consecrated people any longer seek spiritual food at their hands. They are wandering in a famishing condition, and much in danger of falling into the various snares of the Adversary.

However, the Great Shepherd Himself is with His flock, and is causing His voice to be heard; and the sheep will be gathered to Him out of every nation and out of every denomination. Truly, Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me"; and "a stranger will they not follow; for they know not the voice of strangers." (John 10:27,5.) The voice of the Lord, of the Great Shepherd, amongst His sheep is to be heard now because it is the time of His Second Presence. He is about to complete His flock of this Gospel Age and to glorify them with Himself in the First Resurrection. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow them; they shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

"Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out My sheep, and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land." Verses 11-13. [R5694 : page 157]

The Home-land of the Lord's sheep of this Gospel Age is Heaven itself, and His bringing them to it will mean their resurrection change. Then they shall be in the Kingdom with Jesus Himself--still His sheep, still His flock, still His Bride, still His members. But He declares also, "Other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd."--John 10:16.

THE SECOND FLOCK AND ITS FOLD

These other sheep of the Lord, we believe, will include all of mankind who, during the Millennial Kingdom, will be glad to avail themselves of the great provision the Lord has made for them in His Plan. They are other sheep in the sense that they will be of a different nature from the flock which the Lord is selecting during this Gospel Age. The flock now being called and gathered are being begotten to the Divine nature, a spirit nature, and they will attain to this spirit nature by a resurrection change; as it is written, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God."--1 Cor. 15:50.

The other sheep will be the great flock of the Lord, the great family of Adam, purchased by Jesus. For a thousand years the work of calling and gathering mankind and separating between sheep and goats will progress, as outlined in Matthew 25:31-46. The whole world will be granted the opportunity of taking their choice as to whether they will be sheep or goats. And nothing in the Scriptures informs us whether the sheep or the goats will be the more numerous. We are merely informed that all will have the invitation to become the Lord's sheep, to come under His shepherding care; and by so doing and proving their loyalty to Him and developing His spirit, His character-likeness, they will be granted everlasting life on the human plane, the earthly plane.

There the Lord will bring the Restitution which St. Peter mentions (Acts 3:19-21), and which will be offered to Adam and all his race, who will not receive the call of this Gospel Age. Theirs will not be so high a call, but will evidently be a glorious one. The whole earth--a Paradise, an earthly heaven--will be their everlasting portion, but it will not be the Heavenly Home to which the Church has been invited. The world's blessing of Restitution to human perfection, to the image and likeness of God in the flesh, will not be the equivalent of the spiritual nature granted to the Church of this Age, but it will be wonderfully grand.

As for the goats of that time, thank God! they are not to be tormented, as many of us once supposed. Rather, they are to be cut off from life, as is implied in the Greek word kolasin. "These [the goats] shall go away into everlasting cutting off; but the righteous [the sheep] into life everlasting." (Matthew 25:46.) The Great Shepherd, who is now gathering His flock of this Gospel Age, will remain therefore for a thousand years to gather out fully all His flock of the Millennial Age, to separate them fully from all having the contrary spirit, and to destroy completely all except His sheep. All who really love righteousness and hate iniquity, when given a clear opportunity to discern and to take their stand, will choose the right and become the Lord's sheep. All others, who will to be wicked, will die; as it is written, "All the wicked will He destroy."--Psalm 145:20.

"I will feed My flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and I will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment"--with a righteous recompense.--Verses 15,16.

THE FLOCK CRITICIZED ALSO

Not merely the shepherds, the pastors, the preachers, the ministers, are reproved by the Lord, but also some of His flock not in official positions. In the Day of the Lord's presence, these also will be dealt with, as we read:

"And as for you, O My flock, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for My flock, they have eaten that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they have drunk that which ye have fouled with your feet. Therefore, thus saith the Lord God unto them, Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad, therefore will I save My flock, and they shall be no more a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle."--Verses 17-22. [R5694 : page 158]

The New Order of things incidental to Messiah's Kingdom is here brought to our attention. This already has begun in respect to the Gospel Church. Some who have been considered quite prominent in Christendom, pushing and managing its affairs, and discounting the Lord's true sheep as peculiar people, will be reproved by the Lord in this Day. The poor, the outcasts, the peculiar, are the ones that He styled His flock, and that He was to especially gather and especially feed and especially heal in this time. And is it not so? Is the Lord not feeding His sheep and blessing them irrespective of all sectarianism, and wherever they may be, in every land? Verily, He is searching them out and feeding them; and soon, the Harvest time closed, these will be gathered to the Heavenly fold. Meantime, the good work begun with the Gospel sheep will be extended amongst mankind.

Never again will the Lord leave His sheep without shepherding. We are not from this to understand that He made a mistake when He said, "If I go away, I will come again"; but rather that the leaving of His flock for a time was incidental to their testing, their proving, and development, that those loyal to the Lord, the principles of righteousness and the instructions of His Word might be manifested, even though they were scattered, and that others also might be manifested as unfaithful. It is, however, refreshing to know that throughout the entire Millennial Age, until all the work of perfecting the sheep shall have been accomplished, the Shepherd will be with them. Thus we read:

"And I will set up one Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My servant David; He shall feed them, and He shall be their Shepherd. And I, Jehovah, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it. And I will make with them a Covenant of Peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods."-- Verses 23-25.

We are not from this to understand that the Prophet David of old is to be made Jehovah's representative and given the care of the sheep in the future. The word David signifies beloved; and the thought, we believe, is that the antitype of David is meant. Jesus is preeminently beloved of the Father; and the Bride class, the Church, are to be the members of Christ, their Head-- members of the Beloved. Thus the Lord Jesus said of His people, "The Father Himself loveth you."

We see then that The Christ, Head and Body-- Jesus and the Church--are to be the antitypical David, or Beloved of God, into whose care all who are His sheep or who desire to become His sheep during the Millennial Age will be committed. The wild beasts, representing the evil-doers, those who will devour, destroy and do harm, will be caused to cease; and the whole world will become "the fold." No longer will there be need of making a special fold, building the fences against the enemies; for the sheep will be in a quiet and restful condition--"in the woods."

In other words, the close of the Millennium will witness what the Lord has declared, that nothing shall hurt nor destroy in all His holy Kingdom. (Isaiah 11:9.) It will witness also what Jesus has declared; namely, that from that time onward, there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying, no more curse, because all the former things shall have passed away. "And He that sat upon the Throne said, Behold, I make all things new." (Revelation 21:3-5.) Even Satan shall be bound, to deceive the world no more until Messiah shall have fully accomplished the work of perfecting the flock.



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INTERESTING LETTERS

RE CHARGES OF THE PREACHERS' UNION

DEAR BRETHREN:--

We appreciated very much the article in the March 15 WATCH TOWER entitled, "Preachers Back of Malicious Attack." Of course, all of us were certain that the charges were false, but until the article appeared we had nothing with which to refute the falsity of them. Now we are fully armed.

One would hardly believe that reports could spread so rapidly.

We find here in Texas that the opposition to the Truth is so thoroughly organized throughout the country that every preacher, even in the smallest towns and in the rural districts, has in his possession copies, not only of all the books written in opposition to the Truth, but also of the charges [R5695 : page 158] made against Brother Russell and of our alleged teachings of a second chance, no punishment for sin, etc. In our Volunteer work we are making it a point to refute these charges whenever opportunity presents.

We are not inclining toward weariness in well doing. We are confident that we shall reap unspeakably glorious results in due time, and we believe the due time is not far off.

It is our delight to bear before the Throne of Heavenly Grace our dear Pastor and all others who suffer for righteousness' sake. And we daily search our own hearts lest possibly we may shrink from joyfully sharing with these whatever the Lord may allow to come upon us. With continued love and prayers for all, we are,

Faithfully yours in His fellowship and service,
SETH T. MOORE.--Texas.


OPPOSITION PROVED TO BE BOOMERANG

DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--

A short time ago, having heard your teachings roundly denounced by one or two brother clergymen, I obtained the six volumes of your STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and began to study and investigate for myself. The final upshot of this inquiry has been that the whole of your views and position as set forth in the above volumes has convinced me beyond all question that modern Christendom is upon a false foundation, and that somehow the "Churches" have lost vital integral portions of that Truth which was delivered once for all to the saints. I have therefore recently felt it to be my duty to resign my position as an Anglican minister, as I am now certain that the "Churches" as at present organized do not, and cannot, truly and adequately represent our Lord to humanity as Redeemer. Why this is so you make abundantly and transparently clear in your STUDIES.

I have been engaged in the work of the ministry for the last thirteen years, and during this time have tenaciously held on to my position in the Church, although for some years I have had the instinctive feeling that in some way things were far from right within the borders of "Orthodoxy." The difficulty was I did not know how to set about to try and remedy matters. Your third volume of the STUDIES, "Thy Kingdom Come," shows clearly that there could be no remedy in these latter days, for the time of Harvest is come, and that the evident decay and disintegration of Christendom is the Lord's method of gathering together His own Spiritual Elect Church. The whole thing has come to me with the force of a Divine Revelation--for such it assuredly is. I can only add that it has been the deep desire within to try and do my Lord's will that has kept me within the "Orthodox" Church until the present. Now, however, that I see, as in a mirror, that He is calling me to come out of Babylon as with a stentorian voice--in view of her wickedness, worldliness, cruelty, hypocrisy and errors--I feel that I must obey Him at all costs. I have done this, and already I feel a sense of inner peace and tranquility coming over me. May God bless and keep you, Brother Russell, and all the brethren with you who are now busy making ready for the Coming of the King!

For myself I just want to do the Lord's will in all things, and will be glad to serve and co-operate with you and the Association generally as may most effectively tend to assist in [R5695 : page 159] the establishment of our Lord's Kingdom. Kindly use me as you may judge will be best to this great end. I am a married man with three children, but whatever difficulties may arise I have already proved that His grace is sufficient for me. He has shown me the road to take to do His will and He will enable me so to do.

I have made myself known to the brethren in Toronto and they have welcomed me in a most kind and brotherly way. If it should be the Lord's will for me to remain in this city, it will be a joy and privilege to cooperate with them in seeking to further the great end we have in view. At the same time I have the feeling that if arrangements could be made for me to undertake a short, special course of study and training under your direction at Brooklyn it would do me much good and enable me to render more efficient service later on. I will, however, leave myself wholly in your hands and endeavor to begin to serve the Association as you may judge best.

With earnest prayers that your hands may be upheld in every possible way, and that God in His infinite mercy may shower upon you and the brethren generally still greater blessings for the Great Day yet to come, I am

Yours in the Lord,
R. A. ROBINSON.--Canada.


MOST WONDERFUL MONTHS

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I desire to testify to you that the last twelve months-- for I am now nearly twelve months in the Truth--have been the most wonderful in my life. Looking back I can clearly see how our dear Lord has led me step by step, and given me strength sufficient to walk that narrow path that leads upward to Him. What joy and peace He has given me since I learned to look to Him, and what marvelous patience He has had with me!

The local Methodist minister (I used to be a member of his congregation) has desired me to return to his flock. He has used many arguments and has given me booklets to read; but he cannot answer me when I point out to him that neither he nor any of the denominational ministers were able to show me the path my Savior trod, and it was not until I came in touch with you, through your writings, that my eyes were opened and my ears unstopped to hear the call to consecrate my all to Him. How can I turn my back on one who has done so much for me!

Dear Brother, daily I ask God's richest blessings for you. Will you pray for me--just once--that through His grace and strength I may be able to join you and others of His saints beyond the veil?

With love, your brother,
J. C. EDWARDS.--Canada.


MORNING RESOLVE, VOW, HYMN, MANNA, PRAYER

MOST DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER IN THE ANOINTED:--

This year, when reading the MANNA for January 1st, I made a table of the appointments the Lord has furnished us for our building up in the faith, and fitting us to run in the narrow way. I was surprised at the number.

The daily appointments of Morning Resolve, Vow, hymn, MANNA and prayer that we have in common with all the Household of Faith, have been a blessing to me this year as never before. I believe that one reason for this is that I am learning more the value of prayer, and I try always to ask the Lord beforehand to bless the morning service to me. If I forget this, I notice a difference in my response to it. The fact that these appointments, though used daily, never wear out is a proof to me of their Divine origin. I am referring more especially now to the Vow and Resolve. I think there has never been a question that the hymns and the MANNA came from God.

In a Second Volume Berean lesson not long ago reference was made to the Lord's gathering His people together in mental association and spiritual communion. In our home here we are realizing the special spiritual communion with the whole Israel of God that comes from using the same morning service; and I thanked God for the way He had arranged, that through the question books the consecrated were given the opportunity to come into mental association and have their attention drawn to the same thought in each paragraph to be especially emphasized. Thus one could leave a class in Halifax and go to a class in Los Angeles, and be at home in the STUDIES immediately; that is if these classes were up to date. There is nothing else like it on earth; and the value of this arrangement cannot be emphasized too much, as we believe such a wonderful arrangement for the building up in knowledge that we may grow in grace has been under the direct supervision of our beloved Bridegroom and Head, the Chief Reaper in the Harvest.

I send you a large bundle of that most precious commodity, the love that comes because of being a member of the Anointed One. May the God of all consolation comfort and refresh you continually is my prayer.

Your Sister by His kind favor,
LILLA S. WARD


BAPTIST PREACHER GETS LIGHT

DEAR PASTOR:--

I am constrained to acquaint you with the news that in God's hands you have been a means of blessing to us who were for some time spiritually cast down. I was aforetime a Baptist pastor and evangelist in England, earnest in my endeavors for the Gospel's sake, and had to suffer because I could not bend to those who thought they had the right to lay down the law. I felt that there was something lacking in their teachings and was in such perplexity that I drifted into indifference and unhappiness.

Heartily disgusted with the worldliness and "isms" of the churches, and worst of all their denial of God's Word, I involuntarily cried, "Send out Thy light and Thy Truth; let them lead me!" "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation!"

About this time my father mailed me a WATCH TOWER copy of THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES, but I was so prejudiced--regarding you as one of the modern upstarts-- that I relegated it to the bottom of my box, unread. Again I was presented with, this time, a bound copy of the same book! In curiosity I began to read, and my curiosity soon became deep interest and diligent Bible study and my prayer has been answered!

In God's power I have been able to interest others; my brother-in-law has joined in our studies and desires to add his testimony to mine in gratitude to God for your ministrations. May God continue to abundantly bless you in your noble and fearless proclamation of THE Truth!

As opportunity offers we do our little for the spread of present-day truths and have been blessed accordingly. True, we have had to endure misjudgment and misunderstanding, but we rejoice to be accounted worthy to suffer these things for Him who endured so much for us.

Feeling sure that such testimony will gladden your heart, and rejoicingly awaiting the establishment of the Kingdom,

Gratefully yours in Christ,
JOHN A. PERRY.--Australia.



page 160

International Bible Students Association Classes

STUDIES AND LECTURES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION



I. B. S. A. BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES

FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE

Questions from Manual on Series Second of

"STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES"

STUDY VIII.
Week of June 6........Q.  1 to  4     Week of June 20......Q. 11 to 15
Week of June 13.......Q.  5 to 10     Week of June 27......Q. 16 to 23

Question Manuals on Vol. II., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c. each; or 50 c. per dozen, postpaid.

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