this is txt filethis is txt file Z1916 February
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February 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. XXXVII.FEBRUARY 1NO. 3

A. D. 1916--A. M. 6044


CONTENTS

What Is Embodied in True Humility35
Suggestions for Self-Examination35
Humility the Path to Glory35
Illustration of True Submission36
Illustration of False Humility36
The Highest Standard of Obedience37
Typical Experiences of Elijah and Elisha38
A Word of Warning38
The "Chariot"--the "Fire"--the "Whirlwind"39
What Elijah's Mantle May Signify39
The Humble to Be Exalted40
Satan's Counterfeit of True Religion41
Christian Communism44
Why Repentance Was Not Preached45
Persecution's Good Results46
Error's Bitter Fruitage46
Opposition Inspired by Selfishness46
Gradual Triumph of the Light47
Some Interesting Letters47

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 34

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.



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

1916--THE MEMORIAL SUPPER--1916

On April 16, after 6 p. m., the anniversary of our Lord's death date, that great event will be duly celebrated by Bible students all over the world. We will give further mention later.


"EUREKA" DRAMA OF CREATION

Notwithstanding many requests, we get but few responses regarding the work being done by the EUREKA DRAMAS. We fear that many are lying idle, and this seems a great pity, in view of the wonderful blessing that goes forth where they are shown. We hope that all the dear friends are feeling encouraged and stimulated and becoming more and more active in showing forth the Master's praise.

We wish to remind the friends that we have lecture records in Swedish, Danish, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish. These have been prepared at considerable cost, and should be shown. They are good records, of which no one need be ashamed. There are multitudes anxious to hear, and those who have the opportunity of thus preaching the Gospel should surely esteem it and use it. Although the cost is more because of the smaller demand for these records, we propose supplying them, wherever they can be excellently used, at the same rates we have made on the English records and slides.



BETHEL HYMNS FOR MARCH

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 March follow:

(1) 187; (2) 315; (3) 108; (4) 110; (5) 240; (6) 149; (7) 324; (8) 267; (9) 114; (10) 1; (11) 12; (12) 22; (13) 165; (14) 273; (15) 104; (16) Vow; (17) 47; (18) 50; (19) 153; (20) 240; (21) 87; (22) 199; (23) 144; (24) 14; (25) 8; (26) 99; (27) 5; (28) 222; (29) 154; (30) 252; (31) 130.



[R5842 : page 35]

WHAT IS EMBODIED IN TRUE HUMILITY

"Doing nothing from party-spirit or vain-glory, but in humility esteeming others as excelling yourselves." --Philippians 2:3, Diaglott.
LOWLINESS of mind, humility, is a mental quality which enables its possessor to look up with appreciation, not only to God, but also to earthly beings, recognizing their good qualities. The Apostle urges that this lowliness of mind should be in all of God's people; this fact proves it to be a quality that demands careful cultivation.

Not all of the Lord's people are lowly in mind. Some of them think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Some of them may be proud of having the Truth or of their ability to serve the Truth. Any such pride is very objectionable in the sight of the Lord, and indicates that its possessor has a very small mind; for, with a proper estimate of matters, the best of us can see that we have nothing of which to be proud, nothing of which to boast. If we have received anything of the Lord, we should boast of our receipts, instead of glorying in something as if we had attained it of ourselves.

So the Lord's people should spend earnest effort to stimulate and encourage humility. Some have this quality naturally; but the larger number have to contend against the reverse tendency--self-esteem, self-exaltation, pride--a feeling that they are superior to others.

SUGGESTIONS FOR SELF-EXAMINATION

When we come to consider St. Paul's injunction, "in humility esteeming others as excelling yourselves," it is a question as to just what the Apostle meant. Those who [R5843 : page 35] have come into Christ should make progress, and should therefore feel that they are better than they were before they came into Christ. Those who have come into Christ know that they are not lower than all others. Evidently the Apostle did not mean that the Lord's people should rate themselves as inferior to other men. In his own case he felt that he was the chief of sinners, because he had been an open opposer of the Truth; and Jesus had said that whosoever should injure one of the least of His disciples would transgress seriously. We cannot say, therefore, that we are the chief of all sinners. We think that few of the Lord's people could say, I am the chief of sinners--either from the standpoint of committing crime or from that of persecuting the Church. We are not to bear false witness against ourselves.

In what way, then, are we to understand the Apostle's injunction? In this way: We are to realize that no two of the Lord's people are just alike. If we have the right focus upon the matter, we shall think of our own talents in a humble manner. We shall think, "I have something of this quality or that talent or grace; and therefore I have much responsibility to the Lord. I wonder whether I am using as faithfully as I could, this talent which I think is greater than that of my neighbor or my brother. Though they may have less than I have, they may be using all that they have with more resolute purpose to succeed than I am using what I have. If this be so, then he is better than I am, in this respect."

A PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD BRETHREN

As we look around in the Lord's family, we are bound to see the weaknesses and frailties of its various members. We are not to allow our thoughts to dwell too much upon their undesirable qualities, however, but are to remember all their good ones, especially their loyalty of heart. With ourself personally, it is always a recommendation in any one that God has called and accepted him. Whenever we see one who has come into the Truth, we say to ourself, "Well, no matter what he may be according to the flesh, God saw in his heart something good, noble and true; and since God is dealing with him as a son, he is therefore to be esteemed as a brother." Although we might not be able to esteem that man highly according to his natural qualities, yet we would do him good as we had opportunity. He might not be one whom we would select as a companion; yet God may esteem that brother more highly than He does us. Realizing this we would try to keep very humble and to learn whatever helpful lessons we might be able to get from that brother.

In all persons there are certain qualities that may be esteemed and appreciated; even as the old lady said that she could wish that others had as much perseverance as Satan. We are to appreciate good traits whenever we see them in others. We do not know whether in the Lord's sight they may not be more noble, more self-sacrificing, more lowly in mind than ourselves. Our duty is plain. We are not able to read the heart, and hence we are to think kindly and generously of all those whom God has brought into His family. "Love beareth all things,... endureth all things." "As we have opportunity, therefore, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them of the Household of Faith."--1 Corinthians 13:7; Galatians 6:10.

HUMILITY THE PATH TO GLORY

The Apostles Peter and James also emphasize the necessity on the part of the Lord's people that they be [R5843 : page 36] clothed with humility. They tell us that this grace is indispensable to those who would abide in the Father's favor; for God resists the proud, while He continually shows favor to those who are of humble spirit. Thus He encourages humility and discourages pride. (1 Peter 5:5; James 4:6.) We can see a reason for this course. The Almighty sees that we have nothing whatever of which to be proud or to boast. Whatever we have has been of the Lord's providence, or favoring circumstances.

The Scriptures give some marked instances of the evil results of pride. Lucifer, one of the very highest of spirit beings, became proud and vain in his imagination, and encouraging these evil qualities he lost his exalted position, having become Satan, the adversary of God. If Mother Eve had possessed the proper humility she would have said, when tempted of the serpent, I will not listen to this suggestion to disobey my Creator; He knows what is for my highest good, and I therefore submit myself to Him who knows all things. "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."--Prov. 16:18.

In contrast, we have given to us a beautiful illustration of the opposite spirit--humility--in the case of the Logos. We are shown how He humbled Himself, and how God has highly exalted Him--to the very position which Satan coveted. So if we are fully obedient to the Lord, the results with us will be as with the Lord Jesus, a great blessing, a high exaltation. After presenting this argument, the Apostle says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."--1 Peter 5:6.

The Heavenly Father has deeper love for those who are humble. This is the reason why we should humble ourselves. Since we find that "God resisteth the proud," and that humility is one of the basic principles of a properly crystallized character, we should more and more seek to develop this grace and attain to the attitude in which God can give us the greatest blessing.

THE "SOUND MIND" IS HUMBLE

To humble ourselves does not necessarily mean to think that we have no talent, no power, no ability. Such an attitude would be foolishness. But we should think soberly of ourselves. We should think of all our powers as coming from God. So if we find that we have some blessings more than our neighbor or our brother or our sister, let us be thankful; but let us not for a moment think that we have anything to make us proud. It is a gift. We should appreciate the gift, but we should not be puffed up over its possession. The fact that we have received the gift indicates that we lacked it, needed it.

The one who has naturally a proud heart, but who brings himself to the point of submission, manifests humility. If, on the other hand, one who by nature has too low an estimate of himself, will submit himself to God, the Father will show him the proper attitude of mind. The Apostle speaks of those who receive the Holy Spirit as having the "spirit of a sound mind." In proportion as we seek to become acquainted with God and to submit ourselves to His will, in that same proportion we become balanced in mind. We become more and more sane, if you please. He who receives the mind of Christ, the mind of God, the holy mind, is instructed more thoroughly by the Word. Thus we are getting the balance of a sound mind, the spirit of a sound mind. Our reasoning faculties become more developed as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Truth.

ILLUSTRATION OF TRUE SUBMISSION

No one can come to the Father except through full consecration. We must admit that we need the Master, and that without Him we can do nothing. So we take this position: "I am nothing but a sinner; I know that I am imperfect, that I have nothing which I have not received. God provides everything; whatever I have is a gift from Him. Knowing all this, I gratefully accept these things, and humble myself under His mighty hand."

The world says, "No! I will not submit myself; if I need any punishment I will take what is coming to me." Such is the spirit of a worldly heart that has not yet learned its need and its impotence. But the spirit of a consecrated heart is that of submission to the will of the Lord. Such recognize that their only source of help is the Almighty God, through the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior. For those alone who become His disciples can our Lord become the Advocate; and unless He be the Advocate none can be accepted of the Father. We might have a blessing in the Times of Restitution, but nobody can come to God now except through the Advocate.

The terms of discipleship are that we lay down all earthly rights, earthly interests. Everything must be submitted before the Father will accept us as disciples of Christ at all, before He will beget us of the Holy Spirit, before we can become a part of the anointed Body of Christ. If we would make any true progress, we must say from the heart, "Thy will, not mine, be done." We know that God's will is best, whether we understand that will or not. A person with large self-esteem might, as a natural man, think his own will better; but when he comes to see the Truth, he will say, "I have made mistakes before; but now I will do the Lord's way, regardless of what my judgment may be."

Such a course would evidence real humility, no matter how proud-spirited one might be by nature. As he would progress in the good way, and see more clearly wherein he had made mistakes, his humility would increase. So we are to submit ourselves, humble ourselves, have no will of our own, but merely seek the Lord's will.

ILLUSTRATION OF FALSE HUMILITY

There is such a thing as a false submission, which might deceive even the person himself. One might talk a great deal about submission to the will of God, and yet be only nominally submitting while he is really doing his own will. We are to watch, therefore, that we are carrying out the profession of submission, and that in our daily course of life we are asking, "Is this the course which the Lord wishes me to pursue? Is this the will of God?"

The most submissive will receive the greatest blessings. [R5844 : page 36] God will test our submission and our humility. We cannot suppose that our Lord Jesus, who was perfect, did not know that He had perfect powers. But no matter what His own ideas were, He submitted Himself to the Father, and said, "Not My will, but Thine, be done." A man who had no tastes or preferences would be a nonentity. We may know what we would will for ourselves; and yet, knowing this, we are to say to ourselves, "You cannot have your own way about this; you are to seek to know what is the Lord's will concerning you in this matter, and to carry it out, as far as in you lies."

SUBMISSION A TEST OF LOYALTY

Sometimes the Lord's hand is very heavy. It was in the case of our Lord Jesus, heavy, pressed down. But when the Lord felt the Father's hand pressing down, He meekly bowed Himself beneath the weight, in humble acquiescence to the will of the One whose purpose He had come to carry out. But the Hand did not crush Him, although it seemed to do so. Instead of being a crushing, it was the Hand of Love, testing His obedience to the full. When His obedience was fully tested, the same [R5844 : page 37] Hand lifted Him up and "set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places; far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come."--Ephesians 1:20-23.

Thus it will be with us, if we are found faithful. God will exalt us in due time. But He cannot exalt any who are not humble. Submission indicates faith. We would not submit ourselves unless we had absolute confidence in God. And not faith only, but loyalty also, is necessary. Therefore the Father tests us in these two qualities. Without these, we would be quite unfit for the Kingdom; and so the various tests of the present time are tests of faith and loyalty to God, and of entire submission to His will. It is to those "who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory and honor and immortality" that God has promised "eternal life."--Romans 2:7.

We should recognize Divine providences and look for them. We should expect God's providential leadings in all of life's affairs. We should not pass through life with the thought that we are running this, or regulating that. As a child would look to his parent, or a pupil to his teacher, or as an apprentice to his master, or a maid to her mistress, so should our eyes be looking to the Lord asking His guidance.--Psalm 123:1,2.

OUR ATTITUDE IN TRIAL

This Divine guidance we should seek in all things. Suppose that some business complication arises. Perhaps one loses his situation. A child of God who had not learned full submission to the Lord's will might immediately blame some one else or find fault with his employers. But the right attitude for the Lord's people would be to say, "The Father knows all about this matter; He could have prevented it and would have done so had it been for my best interests. There is some lesson here for me to learn, and I will look for it." If he should discover that there had been some carelessness on his part, then he must perceive that the logical consequence would be that he lose the position.

But if after careful investigation of matters, he feels that he could not have been more faithful or more loyal to duty, then he should look further and say, "Lord, I do not see wherein I have deserved to lose this situation, but I am looking to Thee, to see what is Thy providence in the matter; for Thou knowest that I must have some kind of employment; and therefore I merely pray, Give me this day my daily bread. I cannot suppose that this is accidental. Surely Thou hast some lesson for me in this experience. I know not what Thy providence may be. Give me, I pray, the necessary grace and wisdom to perceive Thy will."

As he prays thus, he should at the same time be on the lookout for the Lord's providences and guidance. The child of God who thus acknowledges the Lord, and is faithful to Him in all the details of life's affairs, is the one who will come off victorious and be participator with the Master in His Kingdom. This great exaltation will be given all who are fully submissive to God's will, whether their powers and talents be many or few.

THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF OBEDIENCE

In our context the Apostle Paul urges that the Church cultivate the mind of Christ. He says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." He had been reciting the qualities necessary to the Church in order that they could be acceptable to the Father. Amongst these was an eager desire to please God. The Apostle exhorts all such to pursue the course of humility and submission taken by our Lord as the only proper path for the Master's footstep followers. St. Paul was endeavoring to impress that the mind of Christ was eminently worthy of imitation and painstaking cultivation.

As a further evidence of the Master's great humility, the Apostle brings forcefully to their attention what Jesus was in His prehuman existence. As the Logos, He was in the form of God--the spirit condition. Yet He was not ambitious; He was not self-seeking. On the contrary, He made Himself of no reputation--divested Himself of His former glory and honor, that He might do the will of the Father. His spirit was directly opposite to that of Satan. The Logos thought not to usurp the Father's place, or to claim equality with Him, but manifested a very different disposition--an attitude of humility. Then "let this mind be in you," urges the Apostle. "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." Consider that God has called you with the same High Calling, that you might attain to a place at the right hand of Christ, even as He attained to a place at the Father's right hand. Realizing this, permit this mind of Christ to be in you.

God was not seeking to force this mind upon Christ, nor is He seeking to force it upon us. Our Lord having taken this position of humility, in order to be man's Redeemer, it was needful that He maintain that mind in order to work out the blessed fruitage of patience. Three and one half years were required for Jesus to complete His work; and it was not until after He reached the Cross and could say, "It is finished," that He was "set down with the Father in His Throne." If we have become Jesus' disciples, if we have accepted the conditions of the High Calling, if we have received this mind, then we are to let, or permit, this mind to work out in us the character-likeness of our Head.

THE UNIVERSAL STANDARD OF OBEDIENCE

We have seen that the Logos did not meditate the usurpation to be equal with God, but humbled Himself. Lucifer took the opposite course. Instead of humbling himself, he said, "I will be like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:14.) Here we have an illustration of what we should not do. It is a principle of the Divine Government that "He that exalteth himself shall be abased, but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."--Luke 14:11; 1 Peter 5:6.

Every creature of God, whether angel or man, should have this humble mind. This is the only proper attitude. This test comes during the Gospel Age to only the Lord and the Church. To what extent it may ever come to others is a question. It would seem to be impossible for this test to come to all. Those who have the right disposition will desire to do the Father's will at any cost. Doubtless if any one of the holy angels were allowed the privilege of becoming the Redeemer of a race, he would be glad to do so. We do not know, however, just how it would have been had the angels not seen the result of the obedience of the Logos to the will of the Father.

The world will be subjected to a test during the Millennial Age. The proper attitude for every creature would be to risk everything in the Father's service; it will eventually be the standing of the world of mankind --every one who shall attain everlasting life. We must remember, however, that Divine Justice never calls for self-sacrifice. It calls for obedience; and the obedience of the Church is the extreme of obedience--even "unto death." But the Father has offered a reward so high that such obedience has become the standard par excellence throughout the Universe.--Revelation 2:10.



[R5844 : page 38]

TYPICAL EXPERIENCES OF ELIJAH AND ELISHA

What a stenographer reported from one of Brother Russell's meetings.
BEFORE we leave the dear friends here to go to another city, some of you will wish to say, "Brother Russell, we may not see you again for quite a while; and we wish you would say something about the hopes of the Church for the near future. Do you think that the Church will be changed very soon?" We answer, We do not know. We admit that there are many things that we do not know. If we knew all about the Book of Revelation, we would get out the Seventh Volume very soon. There are a few things of which we are not just sure. We do not like to do any guess-work. We could guess about some things, but we do not allow ourself to guess. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God."--1 Peter 4:11.

"But, Brother Russell, what is your thought as to the time of our change? Were you not disappointed that it [R5845 : page 38] did not come when we hoped that it would?" you will ask. No, we reply, we were not disappointed. Two years before that time we pointed out in THE WATCH TOWER that we did not think the change would come October, 1914. But, Brethren, those of us who are in the right attitude toward God are not disappointed at any of His arrangements. We did not wish our own will to be done; so when we found out that we were expecting the wrong thing in October, 1914, then we were glad that the Lord did not change His Plan to suit us. We did not wish Him to do so. We merely wish to be able to apprehend His plans and purposes.

"What do you think of things now?" you ask. "What would you think are the present indications?" To this we say, We have already mentioned in THE WATCH TOWER and in talks given to the friends what is our thought as to the type of Elijah and Elisha in the close of the earthly career of the Prophet Elijah. We will briefly refer to it again here, and perhaps might add a word further. We recognize that the Church of God is the antitype of Elijah because she is, with her great Head, The Christ of God. It is The Christ in the flesh that antitypes the Prophet Elijah. His experiences during his career as God's Prophet typified the experiences of The Christ class during all the more than eighteen hundred years of their earthly career. His closing experiences would parallel, we understand the Scriptures to teach, the closing experiences of the last members of the Christ Body in the flesh.

PASSING OF LAST CHRONOLOGICAL POINT A TEST

We remember that when the Lord would take up Elijah into the heavens He brought certain things to pass that would make a parallel to the taking away of the last members of Christ. We believe that this is a reasonable inference. We have seen how the Lord, upon the day that Elijah was to be taken away, sent him to four successive places--Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho and Jordan. At each of these different places Elijah evidently thought that the Lord would take him. And so it has been with us. During this Harvest of the Age the Lord, through His Word, has seemed to send His people to four different points of time--1874, 1878, 1881 and 1914. At each of these points of time the watching saints who realized that the end of the Age was upon the Church have thought that the "change" might come. They watched for it. When they came to each of these points, the Lord said, "Go to another place." Finally we reached the last place of the four--October 1st, 1914. This was the last point of time that Bible chronology pointed out to us as relating to the Church's experiences. Did the Lord tell us that we would be taken there? No. What did He say? His Word and the fulfilments of prophecy seemed to point unmistakably that this date marked the end of the Gentile Times. We inferred from this that the Church's "change" would take place on or before that date. But God did not tell us that it would be so. He permitted us to draw that inference; and we believe that it has proven to be a necessary test upon God's dear saints everywhere.

WHAT SMITING OF THE WATERS MAY MEAN

Did the Times of the Gentiles end by October 1st, 1914? It certainly looks very much as if they did. The great nations of the world there began to go to pieces under the terrible shaking process then begun. The shaking is still going on, day by day, week by week, and will continue until the work of destruction is complete. Do we see anything definite as yet as to when we are to finish our earthly course? We do not see anything positive thus far. If any of you find out anything, we wish you would tell us.

What do we expect? We expect just what the picture points out. Of late we have been thinking considerably of what took place when Elijah and Elisha came to the river Jordan. They stopped there and stood talking. Something must be done before they could go further. So the Lord's people have been standing for a time since we came to October, 1914. Then Elijah took his mantle, wrapped it together and smote the waters of Jordan. The waters divided to right and left, and the Prophets went over dry shod. After they had crossed, they went on, talking together. They had received no further instructions from the Lord. They simply walked on. Suddenly the chariot of fire appeared and separated them, and Elijah was taken away in the chariot by a whirlwind.

CHARIOT OF FIRE TO MAKE SEPARATION

What does this signify in antitype? We think that it signifies a division between the Little Flock and the Great Company. We are to be careful not to form a judgment as to who are to be of the Great Company, however. Some say to us, "What do you think of such a brother?" We are not to judge one another. It is not for us to say that such a one belongs to the Great Company class. We are to consider all the friends as one people. Only the Lord knows who are His wholly faithful ones, and He is leaving the matter to be manifested at the end of the earthly career of the Little Flock. The Lord Himself will do the dividing.

A WORD OF WARNING

Right here we will give you a little illustration of how serious a mistake might be made along this very line. On one of our tours we were in a car with one of the Pilgrim brethren and another brother living in that vicinity, plainly dressed. The Pilgrim brother remarked, "That is Brother So-and-so, and I do not think that he is very much interested." He intimated that he thought the brother was one of the Great Company class. We asked him why he thought so. He replied, "I don't know; but he does not seem to take a very active part in the service nor does he attend the meetings." Now we will tell you the facts concerning this brother. That man whom the Pilgrim brother thought was probably a member of the Great Company class was one who had given about twenty thousand dollars to the Lord's work, and he was living in very humble circumstances and wearing very plain clothes because of his sacrifice in [R5845 : page 39] the interests of the cause of Christ. The Pilgrim brother knew nothing of this, and had no particular interest in the matter. Thus you see how any of us might be deceived in respect to each other. "The Lord knoweth them that are His."

When the Lord's time comes for separating His Little Flock class, He will make no mistake. It will be the Little Flock that will go in the chariot, and no others. Let us, therefore, keep ourselves in the love of God. Never mind what any one else thinks. Of course we are to love and serve the brethren; but even when we do our best, some of the brethren may misunderstand us. But trust it all in the Lord's hands. He will take care of the entire matter. Do not decide about anybody else; but let each of us watch himself, and see to it that he keep his heart in the right attitude toward the Lord and the brethren. St. Paul says, "Judge nothing before the time." (1 Corinthians 4:5.) All will soon be manifested. We shall see the Elijah class taken away in the chariot; the others will not be taken. Then we shall see the radical division. We shall know all about it then. The Lord will attend to it.

THE "CHARIOT," THE "FIRE," AND THE "WHIRLWIND"

Now, as to the meaning of the fire and the chariot: Fire always represents destruction, and a chariot of fire would seem to signify some very trying experience that will separate the Elijah class from the Elisha class, and bring the deliverance of the Elijah class.

"Brother Russell, are you not afraid of alarming us?" some may ask. No! We are all very desirous of getting into the Lord's Chariot, surely. It is the best thing in all the world. "But it means trouble!" Well, we desire trouble, if this trouble will be our chariot to take us Home. We are waiting for it day by day. When Elijah's chariot came, it was in a whirlwind that he was carried into the heavens, into the atmosphere, beyond earthly vision. What did the whirlwind signify as regards the Church? "Does it mean more trouble?" you will ask. We think it does. Dear friends, we are waiting for that chariot and whirlwind. "What will it be?" Well, we know that the Lord pictures the great time of anarchy that is coming as a great whirlwind. He says, "Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground."--Jeremiah 25:30-33; 30:23,24.

To our understanding the Elijah class will be amongst the first to be affected by the great whirlwind of anarchy. We believe it signifies that many of the Lord's people-- all of the faithful at that time--will be taken from the present life in some anarchistic movement. We would not talk about these things to the public; for the public would not be interested in them. The Master said, "Cast not your pearls before swine." We are talking about it here because we think that all here are deeply interested, and are expecting to share in the chariot and whirlwind experiences. Here is the point, then. We think that our final experiences will be during some kind of anarchistic uprising. For some time we have been wondering just how all the Church would be taken. If the "change" comes to each one by death in the usual way, it would seem very wonderful to see the consecrated all over the world die suddenly. Neither can they all die of old age; for this would mean that some would have to live a good many years yet. [R5846 : page 39]

THREE IMPORTANT POINTS

But here is the way the Lord pictures the matter: First, there will be the chariot of fire. We do not know what this will be; but we understand that some fiery experience will cause a separation between the two classes of the Lord's people. Then will develop the whirlwind of anarchy. Perhaps this will be mobs that will destroy the lives of the faithful ones. We do not know. We cannot now imagine just what it will be. We do not wish to think anything foolish; we are merely studying the type, or picture. We do not intend to do anything to get into trouble. To do so would be like what the Devil suggested to Jesus: "Cast Thyself down from the pinnacle of the Temple." We are to be just as wise, kind, meek, gentle and as faithful to the Lord as we know how to be, and then have our minds perfectly calm and restful. When the Lord's time for us comes, all will be right. Let us rest in His love and wisdom and care. What He provides for His children will be the very best thing for us, and we shall be glad to have it.

"Are you expecting the fiery chariot any minute now, or do you think it some little distance off--perhaps some months yet, or perhaps a year or more?" will be asked. At least a year, or probably more, is my thought. Something else is coming first, dear friends. We do not as yet see clearly just what it is; but this matter of Elijah's rolling his mantle together and smiting the waters of Jordan seems to mean something, and also the crossing of the river. This picture is not given for nothing. "What does it mean?" you ask. Ah, we know that most prophecies are understood only after they are fulfilled! We might, however, have a suspicion. "What would that be?" Something like this: In Bible symbolic language, water represents Truth, and it also represents peoples. Both of these are given in Scripture as being symbolized by water. (Revelation 17:1; Jeremiah 51:12,13; Revelation 17:15; 22:1,2; Ezekiel 47:1-12; Ephesians 5:26.) Furthermore, Jordan means testing, or judging down. Now who or what would be judged in the antitype?

WHAT ELIJAH'S MANTLE MAY SIGNIFY

We answer, we believe that the peoples of earth, the public in general, are to be judged by the Truth. The peoples are represented by waters. It would seem that in some way the people are to be judged and tested; and that a division of public sentiment is to be caused, in connection with the Truth. Waters are to be separated from waters, people from people, the Truth being received by some and rejected by others. Elijah wrapped his mantle together and smote the waters; and they were divided. Elijah's mantle was the outward indication, or sign, of God's power with him, and represented God's power and blessing with the Church. The mantle was in Elijah's hand when he smote the waters with it. So the Church, it would seem, will use what is in their hand, the power and authority of the Truth, the power of God, in smiting the waters--peoples.

"Do you think that this has not yet taken place?" may be a question in your minds. We think it has not as yet fully taken place. "Do you not think that the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION has had a part in this?" It may be. "Will there be something more?" We do not know. We RATHER THINK THERE IS SOMETHING MORE. We do not state this positively. We are keeping watch to see in what way God will exercise some very wonderful power causing some division as respects the Truth. We are merely thinking aloud with you. We are looking for some very pronounced division on the subject of the Truth, something that will eventually lead up to a [R5846 : page 40] great hatred. You remember that in our Lord's ministry He presented certain truths that caused the Scribes and Pharisees to hate Him. It was their hatred that led up to His arrest and crucifixion. The hate was there. They said, "We must kill Him."

We shall not do anything foolish; we shall not go out on the streets to stir up trouble. We are to exercise the spirit of a sound mind--gentleness, meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness and love. We are to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves." (Galatians 5:22,23; Matthew 10:16.) All these instructions we must not forget. But when we see any trouble coming upon us when we are doing what is right, when we are obeying the Lord, then we are able to take it as from Him. If we do not manifest the Master's spirit, if we speak proudly or boastfully to people, then we shall have it to regret that we did not follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

So, then, you see what we are looking for. Whether this will take place in a few months or in a few years more we may not be sure. But we think we shall see something that will bring a division in the sentiments of the people before we get into the fiery chariot. And now, dear brethren and sisters, we leave you with these thoughts, asking God's blessing upon us all.


"Mine eyes can see the glory of the presence of the Lord;
He is tramping out the winepress where His grapes of wrath are stored:
I see the flaming tempest of his swift-descending sword:
Our King is marching on."



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THE HUMBLE TO BE EXALTED

--FEBRUARY 13.--PHILIPPIANS 2:1-11.--

HUMILITY THE GREAT LESSON FOR ALL--THE ONLY BEGOTTEN AN ILLUSTRATION--HOW HE WAS RICH--HOW HE BECAME POOR--WHY HE WAS EXALTED--HOW HE WAS EXALTED--CHURCH WALKS IN HIS FOOTSTEPS.

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might become rich."--2 Corinthians 8:9.
ST. PAUL, then a prisoner in Rome, wrote these words of our lesson to the Philippian brethren, whom he so dearly loved and from whom he had received so many proofs of their love for him. No other Church is mentioned as having aided St. Paul in his times of need. Their special assistance to him is mentioned--twice in Thessalonica (Philippians 4:16), once in Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:9), and now at Rome.

The Epistle to the Philippians has been styled an epistle of joy--so richly did the Apostle's heart seem to respond to the faithfulness of the brethren there. He would have them know that he appreciated their love, and that such love should abound toward each other and toward all. His joy would be filled full in proportion as he could realize that the brethren had the proper mind of Christ, its love and harmony. He exhorted, therefore, that they remember the conditions on which such character could be developed. Nothing should be done by them through strife or for vain-glory. All of their conduct should be marked by lowliness, humility and willingness to discern the good qualities of others--noting wherein others were superior to themselves.

This would not mean that they should deceive themselves, but that they should be on the alert to appreciate true quality and character wherever found--looking for noble qualities in others, and generously hoping that they existed even when not discerned--considering the interests of the Lord's cause, and ignoring self-will or pride. Therefore they should not look merely at their own things or interests, but also upon those of others--the rights of others, the ability of others. This, the Apostle assures us, is a mark of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of a sound mind, which comes to the followers of Jesus as they grow in grace and the Master's character-likeness.

This mind, or disposition, the Apostle declares, was fully exemplified in Jesus. In His pre-human condition, when in the form of God, a spirit being, Jesus was humble. He did not meditate usurpation of Divine authority to exalt Himself, to seek a name higher than His own, as Satan did. He had no thought of robbing the Divine glory and honor by putting Himself upon an equality with God the Father. On the contrary, He had the same spirit that He had afterwards, when He declared, "Not My will, but Thine, be done"; and again, "I came not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me"; and again, "My Father is greater than all."--Luke 22:42; John 6:38; 10:29; 14:28.

The Master always had this disposition of reverence for the Father and of full trust and confidence in the Divine Wisdom, Love, Justice and Power. Hence, when the time came that the Father had purposed--when He would send a Savior into the world, first to redeem it and later on to become its King and Deliverer--and the proposal to render this great service to God and to men was proffered to the great Logos--"the Only Begotten of the Father"--it was promptly accepted. "I delight to do Thy will, O My God!" was the response of the chiefest of all God's creatures. This involved a great humiliation-- leaving the dignity of the chiefest on the spirit plane, to become a human being--a man amongst men--"the Man Christ Jesus"--not a sinful man, but a perfect one, in the image and likeness of God, as was the first Adam originally-- "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners."

"THE MAN CHRIST JESUS"

After Jesus by the change of nature found Himself a man amongst men, He still preserved the same loyalty to the Father. He was only a child when we hear Him say, [R5847 : page 40] "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49.) Having learned that He could not attend to the Father's business until He reached the age stipulated in the Sinaitic Law, He remained quietly at home until nearly thirty. Then promptly He went forth to John the Baptist at Jordan; and by a public immersion He testified His full obedience to the Father's will-- the full consecration of His life, even unto death.

Then there came upon Him a begetting of the Holy Spirit, as testified by John. Then, too, God granted that spirit-begotten One a special mental illumination; as we read, "The heavens [the higher things] were opened unto Him." The Divine Plan was made plain which involved His own death as the Antitype of the serpent raised on the pole by Moses, as the Antitype of the bullock of sin-offering slain by Aaron, as the Antitype of the Passover lamb slain by the Israelites and eaten by them for their strengthening and deliverance from Egypt--delivering the people of God from Satan's yoke of bondage to sin.

In all these experiences, we find that the Master was faithful, loyal to God, loyal to His covenant, loyal to the [R5847 : page 41] principles of righteousness. Thus it is written of Him, "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows." (Psalm 45:7.) The oil of gladness represented the holy joy of our Lord and the holy prospects which sustained Him during this period when He made Himself of no reputation, and became poor indeed--finally losing even His life--all in loyalty to God's will and the Program marked out in the Bible.

His final cry on Calvary was, "It is finished!" His baptism into death was finished--His full approval for obedience to God and the principles of righteousness, all that the Father had given Him to do in the way of sacrifice, had been accomplished. Ah, then it was God's turn to act! Would He leave His faithful One in death? Nay, "faithful is He who promised," who performed His good promises to His faithful Son.

The Apostle tells of this, saying, "Him hath God highly exalted, and given Him a name which is above every name"--a title and honor, a distinction, a place above all others. (Verses 9-11.) He was received into glory; and all the angels of God worshiped Him whom the Father had thus exalted to His own right hand, giving Him, additionally to what He had resigned, glory and immortality-- the Divine nature. Well can we understand the acclaim of the Heavenly ones: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing."--Revelation 5:12.

MESSIAH'S GLORIOUS KINGDOM

But there is more glory yet to come to the great Redeemer. Those who crucified Him, yea, all the world of mankind, for whom He tasted death, are yet to be made aware of His great sacrifice on their behalf and of the great honor and high exaltation which came to Him as a result. He is to be the world's King of Glory and is to reign for a thousand years. As Verse 10 declares, eventually every knee on earth will bow, and every tongue will acknowledge Him; and all others not willing thus to recognize and obey Him are to be destroyed from amongst the people as "natural brute beasts." (2 Peter 2:12; Jude 10.) "And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people." (Acts 3:23.) And all this glorifying of the Son will directly be to the Father's glory; for the entire Plan of Salvation is of the Father and through the Son, as the Apostle assures us.--1 Corinthians 8:6.

Now then, let us not lose the point of the Apostle's lesson expressed in our Golden Text. While the world by and by is to profit by the Redeemer's great sacrifice and subsequent Kingdom, and all are to have the opportunity of being restored to human perfection and a world-wide Kingdom, a special blessing of God is for the Church, who now accept the Redeemer, consecrate their lives, as He did His, to the Father's will, and walk in the footsteps of Jesus. They shall become His joint-heirs in the Kingdom, and reign with Him a thousand years--yea, and beyond.

The essence of this lesson is elsewhere expressed by the Apostle Peter. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." (1 Peter 5:6.) Only the humble-minded are prepared to learn the great lessons which must be learned before they will be ready for exaltation that would be profitable to themselves or to others. The course of selfishness and self-seeking is illustrated in Satan, who has failed and is ultimately to be destroyed. The same self-seeking spirit is styled the spirit of the world; and it is about to lead the world to the great catastrophe foretold in the Bible--from which, however, they will be rescued by Messiah and His Kingdom, and will have the opportunity of learning the great lesson of humility and obedience and of getting the reward.

Jesus, on the contrary, has illustrated to us the proper course which leads to glory, honor and immortality; namely, the course of full self-abasement and of full submission to whatever may be the Divine will. As the Savior has entered into His glory as a reward for His obedience, so the faithful of His people, the Church, demonstrating their humility and obedience, will be sharers, His joint-heirs in His future Kingdom of glory.



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SATAN'S COUNTERFEIT OF TRUE RELIGION

"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."--Proverbs 14:12.
IT MAY be a subject of some surprise to learn that Satan has a gospel, yet such would not be the case if all were familiar with the Satan of Scripture. Unfortunately for themselves the great majority today are not acquainted with the delineation of the Devil which God's Word supplies. They know little or nothing about his motives, his methods, his ministers, his machinery or his media. To them he is either a hideous monster with horns, hoofs and a tail, or else an abstract principle of evil--the absence of good, a negation. The words which Goethe put into the mouth of Mephistopheles in "Faust," "I am the spirit of Negation," is the popular definition of the Devil today. He is impersonal, immaterial, impossible. As one has quaintly put it, "They spell Devil without a 'd' as they spell God with two 'o's.'" Good and evil is their scheme. "All the Devil there is, is the devil within you," is the last word of modern theology.

Now, an intelligent enemy always keeps in the background, remains hidden, out of sight. It is an important factor to his success that his identity should be concealed. The assassin who plunges a knife into the back of his victim is generally hired for the purpose. The one who throws the bomb is merely a pawn, the master-mind that planned the deed is unseen and unsuspected. The police in some of our large cities know perfectly well that many of the most daring crimes are engineered by one who is too astute to show his hand. Those whom he employs to execute his plans may be caught, but the genius who "pulls the strings" is secure. Therefore it need not surprise us to find that the masses do not believe in the existence of a personal Devil. It would be strange were it otherwise. "Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise" is doubtless an axiom, of the truth and value of which, in relation to humanity, the Devil is fully assured.

The Word of God does not leave us in any doubt as to the existence of a personal Devil. It furnishes us with a full-length portrait of him. It gives us a comprehensive description of his being, his emissaries and his aims. Personal names are ascribed to him and personal characteristics attributed to him. He is represented as being the originator and source of all evil in the Universe, and the implacable enemy of God and man. His power is so tremendous that we are informed, "Michael, the archangel, [R5847 : page 42] when contending with the Devil (he disputed about the body of Moses), durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." (Jude 9.) His dominion is so great and his impudence so audacious that he offered all the kingdoms of the world to the Son of God, on the one condition that He would fall down and worship him. And our Lord did not challenge his right to make such an offer, but upon a subsequent occasion acknowledged him to be the Prince of this world.

Moreover, the Word of God not only describes at length the person and power of the Devil, but it also acquaints us with his purposes, which may be summed up under two heads, namely: To deny the Word of God and to destroy the Work of Jesus Christ. It would be apart from our present purpose were we to turn aside and show at length how every available weapon was employed in the first centuries of the Christian Era to destroy the Bible, and how in these last days Satan is using the pens of the "higher critics" to destroy the authority of the Holy Scriptures. Suffice it to say that, from the day when he repudiated the words of Jehovah to Eve, until the moment when he is cast into the Abyss, his untiring energies will be devoted to the work of denying the Oracles of God.

Ever since the first Messianic prediction Satan has tried to destroy the Work of our Lord Jesus Christ. First, by way of anticipation and secondly by a method [R5848 : page 42] of imitation. When Jehovah declared to the serpent that the Seed of the woman should bruise his head, it was not long before that old serpent, the Devil, tried to frustrate the purposes of God. Cain (who was of that wicked one) slew his brother Abel as the first attempt to destroy the woman's seed. Later on, God declared to Abraham that "in him should all the families of the earth be blessed," or, as the Holy Spirit's comment upon these words informs us, "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many, but as One, And to thy Seed, which is Christ." (Galatians 3:16.) When in Egypt the descendants of Abraham began to wax numerous and it appeared that there was an immediate likelihood of this prophecy receiving its fulfilment, Satan tried to frustrate the prophecies of God and destroy the channel through which that Seed was to come by inciting Pharaoh to issue a command that the male children of the Hebrew women should be destroyed. (Exodus 1:16.) When at a still later date God made known to King David that the promised Messiah was to be born of the royal tribe of Judah, Satan made a still more persistent attack to thwart God, as may be witnessed during the time of the divided kingdom, when the ten tribes made an untiring and determined effort to exterminate the tribe of Judah.

When the fulness of the time was come and Immanuel was born at Bethlehem, Satan promptly made an effort to destroy the young child's life. Through Herod he slew all the children in Bethlehem from two years old and under. But his effort was in vain. For being warned of God in a dream Joseph had taken the young child and his mother and fled into Egypt. At the commencement of our Lord's ministry (in the Temptation), Satan tried to make Him throw Himself down from the Temple. On another occasion when, wearied out with the day's work, our Lord sought a few minutes' sleep in the bow of the boat, the Prince of the Power of the Air lashed the Sea of Galilee into a fury until the disciples feared that the little ship was doomed. And it was not until the Creator of the sea commanded it to be still that the plot of the Devil was foiled.

Other instances could be cited in which the Devil sought to prevent our Lord offering Himself as a Sacrifice for sin. Perhaps the supreme occasion was while He was upon the cross itself. Weakened by His sufferings, tortured by His merciless enemies, hanging helpless between the earth and Heaven, Satan challenged Him to demonstrate His Deity by descending from the cross. "Thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If thou be the Son of God come down from the cross." (Matthew 27:40.) But glory to His blessed Name He never faltered, He patiently and majestically bore His sufferings in silence until He cried in triumph, "It is finished!" and surrendered His spirit into the hands of the Father. But the Devil had still another card to play. His sacred body having been borne from the cross and laid in the sepulchre, Satan then made it his business to see that it was securely sealed and guarded by a company of Roman soldiers. Ah, Satan! if thou canst only succeed in keeping in the tomb that Body, thou hast triumphed. But no, again thou art defeated! The grave cannot retain its victim, Death cannot hold the Lord of Life. "Up from the grave He rose, with a mighty triumph o'er His foe--Hallelujah, Christ arose!" And today He lives and is alive forevermore!

Having been thwarted and defeated at every point, having failed to prevent the incarnation [His being "made flesh," John 1:14] of our blessed Lord, having failed to prevent His offering Himself as a Sacrifice for sin, having failed to keep His body in the confines of death, it behooves us to inquire, Has Satan given up in despair? Has he ceased in his efforts to destroy the Work of Christ? Has he changed his attitude toward the Son of God? or is he still perpetuating his hellish deeds? Is he still seeking to annul the effects of Christ's Work? Is he yet desirous of destroying the virtues of the cross? An answer to these questions is of the greatest importance.

Again we need to turn to the infallible Word if we would obtain a reliable answer. In the parable of the Tares our Lord has exposed Satan's methods during the time of His absence from this world. After the Son of Man had graciously condescended to scatter the Word of God, Satan likewise did some sowing and went and scattered broadcast his Tares among the Wheat. It is to be noted that he sowed neither thorns nor thistles, but something which so closely resembles the genuine grain that it is not until the time of the Harvest that the one can be distinguished from the other. Then it is seen that the Tares, though resembling the Wheat in every other respect, bear no fruit, produce no increase. In a word, then, just as Satan formerly sought to destroy the Work of Christ by way of anticipation, he is now engaged in the work of nullifying the virtues of the Death of Christ by a method of imitation. Consequently, as Christ has a Gospel, Satan must also have a gospel. And, in the nature of the case, it must be a gospel which so much resembles the Gospel of Christ that it is capable of deceiving the unwary and deluding the unsaved. It will be our business now, not to expound his gospel, but, with the Spirit's aid, to expose it.

The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a programme of anarchy. It does not inspire wars and strife, but peace and security. It does not set the mother against her daughter and the father against his son, but promotes the fraternal spirit whereby the race is regarded as one great Brotherhood. It does not seek to drag down and degrade the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. To use a popular phrase, [R5848 : page 43] it appeals to "the best, all that is good within us." It aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that the absence of Christ will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to make men so satisfied with this life that they shall be totally indifferent to the life hereafter. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, mercy, charity and benevolence, teaching men to live for the good of others and to be kind to all. For those who observe its conditions and obey its commands, it promises the development of certain inherent occult powers, the solution of the more recondite problems of man's constitution and the accumulation of esoteric knowledge which is withheld from the multitude. In short, it declares that all who will eat of the forbidden fruit shall "be as gods."

In contradistinction to the Gospel of Christ, the gospel of Satan is one of works. Its fundamental principles are: salvation by good deeds, redemption by human merits and regeneration by reformation. Its sacramental phrase is: "Be good and do good." Its motto is: "Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you." Its various ramifications and organizations are manifold. Temperance reform movements, Christian Socialist Leagues, ethical culture societies, "Peace" Congresses and various other organizations are all employed (perhaps unconsciously) in proclaiming this gospel of Satan --justification by works. The pledge card is substituted for Christ; social purity, rather than individual regeneration, is the idol of the hour; the cultivation of the flesh is considered more practical than the "birth" (begetting) of the Spirit; while universal peace is looked for without the interposition of the Prince of Peace.

The apostles of Satan are not saloon-keepers and white-slave traffickers, but for the most part "ordained" ministers. Thousands of those who occupy our modern pulpits are not engaged in presenting the fundamentals of the Christian faith, but have turned aside from the Truth and given heed unto fables. Instead of magnifying the enormity of sin and setting forth its eternal consequences, they minimize it by declaring that sin is merely ignorance, the absence of good. Instead of warning their hearers "to flee from the wrath to come," they call God a liar by declaring that He is too loving to destroy His own children and too merciful to send one of His own creatures to eternal damnation [krisis, condemnation]. Instead of preaching that "Without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22), they merely hold up Christ as the great Exemplar and exhort their hearers to "follow in His steps." "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:3.) "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into [imitating] the Apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an Angel of Light. Therefore it is no great thing [not to be wondered at] if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works."--2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

Added to the fact that hundreds of churches are without a leader who will faithfully declare the whole counsel of God and present His way of salvation, we also have to remember and take into consideration the lamentable and ominous fact that the majority in these congregations are in no way to learn, and have very little possibility of learning the Truth for themselves. The family altar, where portion of God's Word was wont to be read daily, is now--even in the homes of nominal Christians--a thing of the past. The Bible is not expounded in the pulpit and is not read in the pew. The demands of this rushing Age are so many that the multitudes have little time and still less desire to meditate upon the things of God. Hence the majority who are too indolent to search for themselves are left at the mercy of those whom they pay to search for them--those who betray their trust by studying economic and social problems instead of the Scriptures of Truth. [R5849 : page 43]

In the Scripture which we have taken as the basis of these remarks the gospel of Satan--the Devil's Delusion --is described as "a way which seemeth Right unto a man." That is to say, it is presented in such plausible language that it appeals to the emotions; it is set forth in such a subtle manner that it commends itself to the intelligence of its hearers. The success of an illegitimate coiner depends upon how much the counterfeit resembles the genuine article. A lie is not so much the absolute denial as the perversion of the truth. Hence half a lie is always more dangerous in its effects than the total of the truth. Consequently, when the Father of Lies enters the pulpit, he does not flatly deny the great doctrines of Christianity, but he rather tacitly acknowledges them and then proceeds to give an erroneous interpretation and a false application. For example, he would not be so foolish as to boldly announce his disbelief in a personal God --he takes His existence for granted and then gives a false description of His character. He announces that God is the Father of all men, when the Scriptures plainly tell us we are "the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26.) Again, Satan would not make so flagrant a blunder as to ignore the central figure of human history; namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, He is acknowledged to be the most perfect person who ever lived. Attention is drawn to His deeds of compassion and acts of mercy, the beauty of His character and the tenderness of His teaching. His life is eulogized, but His Death is ignored, the all-important atoning work upon the Cross is never mentioned. It is a bloodless Gospel, and a crossless life and, in regard to His Person, He is merely considered as the Ideal Man.

In 2 Cor. 4:3,4 we have a Scripture which sheds an abundance of light upon our present subject. There we are told: "If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to those that are lost. In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them." He blinds the minds of unbelievers by hiding the light of the Gospel of Christ in presenting his own version of the Truth. Appropriately is he designated "the Devil and Satan which deceiveth the whole world." (Revelation 12:9.) In merely appealing to "the best that is within man," and in merely exhorting him "to lead a nobler life," there is afforded a general platform for all shades of opinion and every shade of philosophic speculation. Atheists, Pantheists, Unitarians, and all other Sectarians can unite to proclaim this common message.

Again we quote our foundation passage: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." The Devil's Delusion is that we can be saved by our own works, and justified by our own deeds. Whereas God tells us, "By grace are ye saved through faith,...not of works, lest any man should boast." And again, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5.

Perhaps at this point an illustration from personal experience may be pardoned. Some two years ago the [R5849 : page 44] writer became acquainted with one who was a lay preacher and an enthusiastic Christian worker. For over seven years he had been engaged in public preaching and religious activities. But from certain expressions and phrases he used, the writer was not satisfied in his own heart that his friend was really a "born [begotten] again" man. When he began to question him he found that he was only very imperfectly acquainted with the Scriptures and had only the vaguest conception of Christ's work for sinners. For a while the writer sought to present the Plan of Salvation in a simple and impersonal way, in the hope that if he were still unsaved God would be pleased to reveal unto him the Savior for sinners. One night to his joy the one who had been preaching the Gospel(?) for seven years confessed that he had found Christ only the previous night. He confessed (to use his own words) that he had been presenting "the Christ ideal," but not the Christ of the Cross. He had been trying to know Christ as the "Truth" before he knew Him as the "Way."

The writer believes there are thousands like this preacher, who have been brought up in Sunday Schools, taught about the birth, life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who believe in the historicity of His Person, and who think that is all that is necessary for their salvation. When they reach manhood and go out into the world they encounter the attacks of atheists and infidels who declare that such a person as Jesus of Nazareth never lived. But the impressions of their early days cannot easily be erased and they remain steadfast in their declaration that they believe in Jesus Christ. Yet when you examine their faith, too often you will find that though they believe about Jesus Christ they do not believe in Him! They believe with the head that such a person lived (and because they believe this, imagine they are saved), but they do not believe with the heart that this Person died to save them from their sins. A merely intellectual assent to the reality of Christ's Person and which goes no further is another phase of the Way "which seemeth right unto a man," but the end thereof "are the ways of death!"

Lack of space prevents our doing more than just pointing out other ends of this Way which "seemeth right." Those who are trusting to an outward form of godliness, those who are religious because it is considered a mark of respectability, those who attend the House of God because it is fashionable to do so, and those who join some Church because they imagine that such a step will enable them to become Christians, all such are in the Way which ends in death--death spiritual and eternal.

And now, my reader, where do you stand? Are you in the Way which "seemeth right," but which leadeth to death, or are you in the Narrow Way which leadeth to life eternal? Are you trusting in yourself or in Christ? are you relying upon your own works, or are you reposing upon the finished work of Christ? A pious life, a self-sacrificing spirit, attractive manners, a charitable disposition, regular attendance at religious services, saying prayers and even reading the Bible, none of these things --nay, all of them together--without faith in the Blood of Christ can obtain for you a passport to Heaven. If any of the above virtues could ever save a single soul, where was the necessity for the awful death of Jesus Christ? No, eternal life is neither a wage nor a reward, but the free Gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. However pure your motives, however noble your intentions, however well-meaning your purposes, God cannot accept you as a son, until you accept His Son. By Arthur Pink.



[R5849 : page 44]

CHRISTIAN COMMUNISM

--ACTS 4:32--5:16--FEBRUARY 20.--

CHRIST'S SPIRIT IS SYMPATHETIC, LOVING--THIS WAS ILLUSTRATED IN THE EARLY CHURCH AND SINCE--LOVE IS BENEVOLENT-- "SEEKETH NOT HER OWN" INTERESTS ONLY-- COMMUNISM TRIED--WHY IT FAILED--WHY IT WAS PERMITTED--ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA--HOW SEVERE WAS THEIR PUNISHMENT?

"Love one another from the heart fervently."--1 Peter 1:22.
GOD is Love; and all, in proportion as they have fellowship with God, must have His character-likeness and be loving, generous, kind. Selfishness is of Satan, the Adversary. He is the embodiment of that spirit, since he allowed pride and ambition to mislead him. The world, under the influence of the prince of this world, Satan, and the influence of the fall, is a selfish world, and to that extent ungodly.

The work of the Millennial Age will be to give all mankind a full opportunity of recovery from the snare of the Devil--to Restitution, to recovery of all that was lost in Adam, and redeemed for Adam and his race by Jesus. That will be a glorious Millennium, helpful and uplifting to all the willing and obedient. The Church at that time will be with Jesus on the spirit plane, invisible to men and armed with all the power of God. Her work, like her Lord's is described. She will share with her Lord in His Kingdom rule, His Priesthood and His Judgeship--giving chastisements or rewards to mankind, and these shall be designed with a view to educating them, to uplifting them to the condition of perfection.

This Gospel Age is the period in which God has been selecting this Church from amongst mankind. All of the select ones will be saints, regardless of denominational lines. God has destined that none shall be of that company except those who are copies of His Son. (Romans 8:29.) The Church has received special testing and education for the glorious mission marked out for her-- the blessing of judging the world. The Church must not only have a sympathy for others, but must cultivate this quality to the attainment of Christ's likeness in heart, and as much as possible must have that likeness in outward living and in thinking.

The record tells us that the number of believers was many thousand in a little while. The spirit of love began to burn in their hearts--thankfulness to God, appreciation of His favor, a desire to serve Him, and a sympathy and love for the brotherhood.

We perceive that some were poor; and, controlled by the spirit of love, the well-to-do felt that they would like all the poorer brethren to have just as good as themselves. First they gave privately one to another, as they [R5850 : page 44] realized the needs. Then the matter went further and they organized a little community. Many of the wealthier sold their possessions and turned in the money to the Lord's treasury, desiring that a certain amount be supplied to themselves and all the other members of the community--share and share alike.

This manifested a very beautiful spirit, and under perfect conditions would have been the wise as well as the proper course. As it was, the community proved a failure. Nevertheless, the Lord apparently permitted that [R5850 : page 45] test and failure for a good purpose--to show us that no such community amongst His people is possible at the present time. The community principle will prosper wonderfully as soon as Messiah's Kingdom is established; but it is impracticable at the present time, as it was in the days of the Apostles.

BARNABAS NOT AN APOSTLE

This lesson introduces us to Barnabas, a godly man and wise, a mighty power in the Church. His name signifies consolation, and evidently it was an appropriate name. His proper name was Joses; and he must have been a very fine character when the Apostles gave him the new name Barnabas--implying that he had a beautiful spirit and was in his daily life a "son of consolation" to the brethren and all with whom he had contact.

Barnabas had a property or estate, and sold it, and brought the proceeds to the Apostles' feet. He was not an Apostle, for of them there were only Twelve, and at this time only eleven, because of the loss of Judas. St. Paul, the twelfth Apostle, the Lord's chosen vessel, and "not one whit behind the very chiefest of the Apostles" (2 Corinthians 11:5), had not yet had his eyes opened to the truth of the Gospel.

Barnabas was quite willing to take his share with the others from the general dole; however, amongst those who accepted the terms of the proposition were Ananias and his wife Sapphira. These had property and sold it and kept back a portion of the price, bringing the remainder to the Apostles as though it were the entire sum. Indeed in conspiring between themselves they had agreed to declare that the money they turned in to the treasury was all they received from the property. Our lesson tells of how St. Peter treated the matter. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he said, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?" He pointed out to Ananias that the property was his own, that he was not compelled or urged to donate it to this community, that it was only his own voluntary gift, and that he had thus lied to God, and not merely to the community. Ananias, hearing these words, fell down dead--smitten of the Lord; and his wife suffered similarly a little later. A great fear fell on all the company when they heard of these things.

WHY REPENTANCE WAS NOT PREACHED

St. Peter doubtless remembered his own sad experience when he once denied the Lord. We query, Why did he not sympathize with Ananias and Sapphira, pointing out to them wherein they had erred, and urge them to repentance, and join with them in prayer rather than pronounce upon them the death penalty?

Our thought is that these two culprits were not really God's children--that they had never received the begetting of the Holy Spirit; and that the Lord took this opportunity to give a great lesson to the Church--to remind them that they were dealing, not with flesh and blood, but with Jehovah God. From this viewpoint, it was worth while to sacrifice these two persons under Divine judgment with a view to teaching the Church, then and in future generations, how displeasing in the Lord's sight is hypocrisy--especially in respect to religious things.

If these two had been spirit-begotten, then their punishment would be the Second Death; and we would have no Scriptural ground for expecting them to have any resurrection or future consideration from the Lord. But if they were merely children of this world, not fully appreciative of spiritual things, their future interests are not destroyed. They still belong to the great world of mankind for whom Christ died, and have not yet received in full the blessings of reconciliation with God through the Lord Jesus. Such glorious favor may be expected for the world in general, in the sweet by and by--during the Millennium, when "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" and be brought to a knowledge of the Truth and to an opportunity of accepting the same unto salvation.

If our surmise be correct, Ananias and Sapphira were in a very different position from Judas, who had companied with our Lord for years, who had witnessed His miracles, had received of His Holy Spirit and through that power had cast out demons, healed the sick, etc. Our charitable thought for Ananias and Sapphira is, that if they had not received the Holy Spirit they but imperfectly appreciated what they were doing. Although they did know that they were practising a deception, they apparently did not get a proper focus upon the matter. Our expectation for them is that they have not sinned unto death; and that the life which they lost they will have back again in the resurrection time, with full opportunity to get matters straight and to determine finally their loyalty or disloyalty to God under the illumination which they will then have.

The designed effect was realized. Great fear and respect for God and everything appertaining to Him in religion fell upon the whole multitude. It was worth while to punish the one couple severely, in view of the preparation made for their blessing in future and in view of the lesson which their experience brought to the remainder of the Church.

THE SAME SPIRIT OF DECEPTION NOW

We are not gifted, as was St. Peter, with authority to represent the Lord's interests in judging others. It would appear, however, from all that we are able to know, that there are many today living equally deceptive lives. We are not permitted to judge them, but they judge themselves by what they tell us. They profess to be consecrated to the Lord--Jehovah--sacrificed to the Divine cause. Nevertheless they keep back much through self-will, professing to be fully devoted followers of Jesus.

Some of these, doubtless, belong to the same class as Ananias. They have become associated with Christians, but have never been begotten of the Holy Spirit and have really neither part nor lot with Christ. Others may be real Christians, and be keeping back part of their consecration. If so, the latter may be sure that they will be dealt with. So the Apostle declares, "If we would judge ourselves, we should not [need to] be judged [of the Lord]. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." (1 Corinthians 11:31,32.) Such Christians, building upon the Rock Christ Jesus, will apparently need to come through the fiery ordeal pointed out in the Bible, and "wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb," in great tribulation--for failing to live up to their covenant of complete sacrifice.--Revelation 7:9-17.

It would indeed appear as though hypocrisy, which the Bible intimates is especially wicked in the sight of God, is practised to a great length amongst the nominal followers of Jesus. Professions of creeds not believed and a form of godliness without its power seem on every hand to tell us that many must be living hypocritically and subject, therefore, to the Divine judgment. The lesson to us is, "Take heed that no man take thy crown."

Our Golden Text here comes in appropriately. We are to love one another--first our Heavenly Father, then our Heavenly Lord Jesus; and finally, we should love, and as we have opportunity serve, the brethren. Actively engaged in this manner, we shall be kept from hypocrisy and be ready for our share in the Heavenly Kingdom.



[R5850 : page 46]

PERSECUTION'S GOOD RESULTS

--FEBRUARY 27.--ACTS 5:12--6:7.--

METHODS USED OF GOD--DIVINE APPROVAL OF THE GOSPEL-- OPPOSITION BY THE SADDUCEES AND THE CHIEF PRIESTS-- MULTITUDES BELIEVED IN JERUSALEM--CHURCH COMMUNISM BEGAN TO FAIL--SEVEN DEACONS APPOINTED.

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."--Galatians 6:2.
THE manifestation of love and sympathy amongst the early Christians had a salutary effect in backing up the teachings of the Apostles. The principle is as true today as it was then. The living of the Christ life is necessary to a proper endorsement of the Gospel Message. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." (Romans 8:9.) The worldly are apt to read the Gospel influence in the lives of professors before they give particular heed to the Message.

Alas, that we can see so many evidences of the fulfilment of the Apostle Paul's words respecting our day! He declares that at this time many would have a form of godliness without its power, and be "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." (2 Timothy 3:5.) The difficulty [R5851 : page 46] seems to be that sectarianism has lost the essence of the Gospel Message which Jesus and the Apostles taught. That serious loss has had various substitutes favored by the great Adversary; but they are not the Gospel, and do not have the proper power upon the hearts and lives of those who even desire to do right. The Gospel Message which Jesus and the Apostles taught was expressed in our Lord's prayer: "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven." (Matthew 6:10.) The Apostles exhorted the people to prepare for the Kingdom of God's dear Son and to accept the invitation to become members of the Bride class.

The parables of Jesus, His sermons, and the teachings of the Apostles abound with the thought that Messiah's Kingdom will be the great panacea for all the ills of the world; and that the Church, if found faithful, will share her Master's glory, honor and immortality. It was because St. Paul had this glorious hope before him, he declares, that he was willing to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ and to count all his afflictions and sufferings for Christ, his sacrifice, but light afflictions. Because of these hopes, because of this deep-seated faith, he counted all earthly prospects as valueless in comparison, and willingly sacrificed his fame, his family position and his Roman citizenship, and endured stripes, imprisonments, buffetings and derision.--Philippians 3:7-11; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 11:23-28.

ERROR'S BITTER FRUITAGE

The principle has not changed. The Gospel has not changed. Merely the true Message has been lost sight of. The theory came in that Christ's Kingdom was established in 800 A.D.; that the Popes were representatives, or Vicegerents--reigning instead of Christ; that the Cardinals were the Little Flock class in special glory and honor; and that Bishops, Archbishops and priests were also associated in the glory of the exalted Church.

We are not doubting the sincerity of those who promulgated these theories; but surely we now see that a great mistake was made. The nations of Europe were told that they were God's earthly kingdoms, responsible to the Papal system as the spiritual kingdom; and that thus in relationship with God, they had Divine appointment to rule the people. Under these unscriptural teachings the world has been for eleven centuries. What the Catholics started, the Protestants have continued.

When Great Britain rebelled against the Papacy, and King Henry VIII. declared his kingdom to be another spiritual empire, put the Bishops into the House of Lords, and made himself and his successors the representatives of Christ on earth in great power, it was a part of the same blunder that the Catholics had previously made. When, later, Luther and his followers attached themselves to the German princes, and favored and authorized them, and in turn were sanctioned by them, the German kingdoms were thus constituted kingdoms of God. And so with the other nations of Europe, great and small.

Claiming to be God's Kingdom, these kingdoms of the world have therefore been hindering the people from hearing the Gospel Message of the Second Coming of Christ to establish the true Kingdom of God, to put down sin, to scatter the ignorance and darkness of the world, and to help mankind out of evil back to the image and likeness of God. The Bible declares these deceptions to be from Satan--"doctrines of demons"--1 Timothy 4:1.

Now we are seeing some of the bitter fruitage of such false teachings. Millions have been gathered into sects and parties unauthorized by the Bible, while only the few have been properly joined to Christ Himself as His members. This great mass of people, deceived into thinking that they are true Christians, are today at war--fighting like demons. The great intelligence which came to the world through God's Message, illuminating the minds of men more and more, has been turned to one side. Instead of blessing the world, this intelligence has been cursing the world with inventions for human destruction, such as the heathen were not intelligent enough to invent, and perhaps not heartless enough to use. Alas, what a picture!

In all the churches of all denominations, prayers are going up for and against each other. The clergy are bewildered. The laity are bewildered. True faith in the Bible is at a discount. Little but a form of godliness remains. However, God has not left Himself at any time without witnesses in the world. Today the faithful followers of Jesus are realizing what is wrong. They are awakening, are giving the Bible a fresh study, and are getting blessings out of it. They are realizing that our difficulties have come from the creeds, which are really contradictory to the Bible, but which represent the strange notions of our deluded forefathers. Now is the time for the people of God who have not already put on the whole armor of God to do so; for the Bible seems to assure us that still more stringent conditions are before us.--Ephesians 6:12-18.

OPPOSITION INSPIRED BY SELFISHNESS

Our Study for today shows how the living of the true, simple life of faith, trust, obedience and love had its effect-- how that many were added to the Church, including "a great multitude of priests." It shows us, too, how angered were the Sadducees and the official class at that time. They were grieved that the people were taught; for the teachings of the followers of Jesus were so contrary to what they had taught and what they had hoped for.

Not believing the Prophets, they had been using religion largely as a cloak--"a form of godliness." Their real hopes were along the line of Gentile hopes--of becoming more intimately associated with the Roman Empire and thus obtaining special favor. They feared lest the teaching of Messiah as the coming King of the world would reach the ears of the Roman rulers and bring upon the Jews ridicule and disfavor, and perhaps take from them some of the liberties which they were enjoying, and crush all their aspirations respecting the future. Their [R5851 : page 47] opposition to the Gospel was therefore entirely selfish.

They had the Apostles arrested and put into prison for preaching. But the Lord sent His angel and delivered His faithful servants; and they, with good courage, appeared again the next day in the Temple, preaching to the people as before. Again they were arrested, brought before the officials and commanded to preach no more in this Name. The point of the official resentment is noted in their words, "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrines [teachings], and are liable to bring this man's blood upon us." That is to say, It looks as though you might really convince the people of this city that we have committed a great crime in putting to death that fanatical leader of yours called Jesus.

But the more they sought to oppose the Message, the more God blessed it; the more the common people received the Truth; the more the Church of Christ multiplied.

GRADUAL TRIUMPH OF THE LIGHT

We see this same principle illustrated at the time of the Reformation, when God's time had come to bring back the Bible to the people after it had been turned aside for twelve hundred and sixty years. When the Bishops began to claim that they also were Apostles, and when, using this Apostolic authority, they gave the people the Nicene Creed in A.D. 325, an end was put to all Bible study; for the people were taught that that creed, and other creeds subsequently made, contained all that was proper to be believed, and that any further Bible study was quite unnecessary-- indeed, dangerous, because by believing anything not in the creeds, they would be heretics and doomed to eternal torture.

When, under Divine guidance, Wyclif and Tyndale brought the New Testament to the attention of the people in the English language, it marked the start of return to an individual faith and a new beginning of Bible study. It has required the centuries since to help get us out of the gross darkness of those twelve hundred years during which we were without the Bible and were poisoned by the various creeds. No wonder that we still feel some of our poison! No wonder that it is still difficult for us to use our common sense in Bible study! Thank God for the light of the new Day beginning to dawn! Thank God that His true saints everywhere are awakening and, like Cardinal Newman, are praying,

"Lead, Kindly Light,
Amid the encircling gloom"!

But if God will hear our prayers and grant the guidance of this light to His faithful, the responsibility is upon us to step out from all the creeds and not support hypocrisy and error--as becomes those who walk in the path of the just, which "shineth more and more unto the perfect Day."--Proverbs 4:18.

COMMUNISM A FAILURE

Then came some of the difficulties of communism. Favoritism was claimed in the distribution of the necessities. Meeting this emergency, the Apostles realized that they could not undertake to manage a community along earthly lines. They concluded that they should, as the Master had directed, give themselves entirely to the Gospel work. They appointed seven Deacons to attend to the charities; but evidently these also by and by failed, and we hear no more of the early communism.

This experience, which the Lord permitted, served its purpose. It manifested the proper Christian spirit, but nevertheless taught us the impossibility of such a practise while ourselves and others are still limited by the imperfections of the flesh.



page 47

SOME INTERESTING LETTERS

THE DAILY INVENTORY

DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER AND PASTOR:--

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ!

The matter of formally addressing you in regard to the "proposition" set forth in April 15th WATCH TOWER, concerning the cultivation of LOVE, has been in my mind for some time. Since your suggestion was that we note daily our progress in the matter, and write you occasionally of the same, I feel that I should not longer delay in so doing. I am greatly pleased and encouraged, dear Brother, with the success that I have been having in the cultivation of this most precious fruit, and I know that you also will be pleased to learn of my success.

Each evening before retiring I take an inventory of the little battles that have taken place in my life during the course of the day, and note to what degree I have exercised the spirit of love, forgiveness and forbearance toward those who oppose me. I find this to be an excellent tonic for the memory, which is ever inclined to forget; and by this method of daily rendering accounts, I have been enabled to come out of some of the most trying circumstances "more than conqueror." The spirit of resentment is fast leaving my heart; and I must say that since accepting and acting upon the "proposition" I have discovered that a great deal of it was there.

Love for my Heavenly Father and His Truth is greatly augmented, and greater appreciation of, and love for, the brethren have I now that I am constantly on the alert to exercise the spirit of love toward all. The ignorant and vicious world, and even those who hate me for the Truth's sake, I have learned to pity and forgive.

And now, dear Brother, feeling that the purpose of this epistle has been served, in that I have pointed out the lines along which I have noticed the particular development in love, and bearing in mind that you are a very, very busy man, I deem it expedient to close, happy in the intelligence that I am your Brother, by the Grace of God.

May your faith endure, and may the remembrance of your work on earth, among men, come up before God in everlasting praise. AMEN.
W. A. JARRETT.--Kansas.

GRATITUDE FOR PRECIOUS PRESENT TRUTH

DEAR FRIENDS:--

Enclosed find money order, which I hoped to have sent you some time ago. I wish it were more. When I consider how much it means to me to have an understanding of the precious Present Truth, and how wonderful are the opportunities of the present life with reference to the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus, I feel that nothing that I have to give can properly express my gratitude to the Lord.

I take this opportunity to express, also, my gratitude to the little band of faithful workers who are associated with our dear Brother Russell in the Lord's work. May His richest blessings attend you, and may He grant you an abundant entrance into His glorious Kingdom!

I am an Armenian who has taken refuge in this land of liberty from the persecutions of the Turks, and I thank our Heavenly Father for His mercies in this direction, as well as for the better understanding of His Word which I have gained since Pastor Russell's books were put into my hands. I have found some earnest Bible students here and am so thankful for the help I receive through association with them! "Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love!" How we long for the consummation of our hopes--when "we shall be like Him" and "see Him as He is"! Yours in the one Hope,
H. H. TEORIZIAN.--Calif.


DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I have often thought that it was probably my duty to write you to give you the loving satisfaction of knowing that another one of the consecrated sons of God has taken the VOW. I did this long since, informing my Heavenly Father, through prayer, that I took the VOW until death.

Dear Brother, I pray for you often that our kind and loving Father may give you strength, grace and wisdom in every hour of need. I go to the Heavenly Throne of grace every night and morning in behalf of all the consecrated Israelites in every land, in harmony with one of the provisions of the VOW.

"O! who's like my Savior? He's Salem's bright King;

The sweet song of Moses He's given me to sing." Your brother in the Lord's service,
W. A. NICHOLS.



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International Bible Students Association Classes
STUDIES AND LECTURES BY MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION



page 49
February 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. XXXVII.FEBRUARY 15No. 4

A. D. 1916--A. M. 6044
CONTENTS

Views from The Watch Tower51
Bitterness and Passion Increase52
Responsibility of the Preachers52
Christ's Kingdoms at War?52
Truths Untaught--Error Entrenched53
Our Fair Land54
How We Outwork Our Great Salvation54
The Marvelous Grace of God!55
Our Covenant Identical With Christ's55
"Pay That Which Thou Has Vowed"56
The Many Cold--The Few Faithful57
Worldliness Among Professed Christians58
The First Christian Martyr59
Victory in Death!59
Two Bands of God's Heroes60
House of Servants--House of Sons60
"Let Your Light So Shine"61
Militia Laws of Canada62
Interesting Letters63
Welcome Back, Dear Brethren!63

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 50

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.




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[R5852 : page 51]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

IT WOULD appear that our nation is entering the danger zone as respects the great war-conflagration of Europe. The war fever seems to spread. Our President, who has been so staunch a friend of peace, is manifestly being influenced by the prevalent spirit of pride and the demand that American rights shall brook no interference. Our President's peace policy has been changed to a preparedness policy. And what could preparedness mean except that, if we had the largest navy, the Government sooner or later would become more proud and arrogant and wish to dictate conditions to other nations, and thus plunge us into war?

From our viewpoint, the United States has a very respectable navy, abundantly sufficient for its own home defenses--especially when supplemented with the laying of ocean mines and with port fortifications, if any of the latter be lacking. What has America to fear? Do Great Britain and Germany, France, or all of them together, wish to destroy their best customer, from whose trade they make their largest profits? Nonsense! All the great countries of Europe are anxious for our friendship, and all of them should have it, with our influence exerted in the interests of their peace and welfare. Imagine an army of a million men crossing the Atlantic ocean! Imagine the number of ships required! Remember that the largest vessels can barely carry coal enough to bring them properly across the ocean without replenishment. Who can imagine the inability of the United States to meet any invading army, if we had no navy at all?

We are not disputing that it would be a policy of reasonable worldly wisdom to be prepared for any reasonable liability of invasion. We are not disputing that it might be, in some respects, a wise policy to enroll the youth of the land and to require all to spend two weeks every summer in camp life. This would be both a recreation and an education, and with the inculcation of the thought that they are a peace army, and not an army of aggression, the influence might be favorable.

VIEWS OF BIBLE STUDENTS

The foregoing is what we might call a worldly view of the situation. Bible Students, looking from the standpoint of the Word of God, see clearly that the present great war in Europe will, according to prophecy, so utterly wreck all the participating nations that they will have no strength for further combat, no gold reserves, called war-chests, for military purposes.

War-smitten, bankrupted, discouraged, the nations will be many years in repairing the terrible losses they are now inflicting upon each other. Moreover, the Bible assures us that with the crisis of their trouble, coming through revolution and anarchy, the world will be saved from its own madness by the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom. "He shall make war to cease unto the ends of the earth." (Psalm 46:9.) The war-mad nations will "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks...and learn war no more."--Isa. 2:4; Micah 4:3.

But of course we cannot expect others than Bible Students to see matters from this viewpoint. They must wait for the actual experiences which we foresee through the telescope of God's Word.

Failing to see from the Bible standpoint, yet wishing to carry forward his policy, which so far has been so very successful, our worthy President now seems in great danger of being misled by his past successes in the field of diplomacy. He is greatly endangering, not only the peace of our own land, but the breaking of all restraints of war throughout the world by insisting that Germany shall declare that she transgressed the laws of warfare in destroying the Lusitania. Germany's plea is that the submarines, recognized and used by all nations, bring in a new question as respects international law in dealing with life. To maintain the respect and good will of the United States, Germany has offered to pay for the lives of American citizens lost on the Lusitania and has given assurances of her intention to hereafter abstain from sinking passenger vessels, even though they carry munitions of war; unless the passengers all be given first a full, fair chance of safely leaving the captured vessel. The attainment of such a concession is a great honor to President Wilson's diplomacy. We greatly fear that he is about to wreck the entire matter by insisting that the German Empire shall say, "We confess that we were naughty."

Our President threatens that if Germany does not acknowledge that she did wrong, he will undertake to punish her by breaking off friendly relations between the two governments, etc. We see nothing to be gained by his course, but much to be endangered. Germany's friendship and willingness to concede to our wishes may be brought to the snapping-point. Their friendly relationships sundered, what would there be to restrain the Germans from going any length they might please in what they recognize as a war for their very existence as a nation? The result might be to give every submarine commander liberty to sink any and every thing bearing the flag of Germany's enemies. Moreover, the animosity undoubtedly would extend to the American flag. Furthermore, if not resented, it would be considered as more or less of an injustice, on the part of many Americans whose sympathies must naturally [R5852 : page 52] go, to some extent, with their blood toward their kinsmen across the water, waging battle for existence against a combined world in arms.

To Bible Students we merely suggest that, if the worst should happen, we should remember that God is at the helm, and that thus He will allow human pride and wrath to further work out the great troubles incident to the "Battle of Armageddon" and the inauguration of Messiah's Kingdom. Let us remember Jesus' words, applicable to the present time, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."--Luke 21:28.

BITTERNESS AND PASSION INCREASE

In STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. IV., we have clearly pointed out the things now transpiring, and the worse conditions yet to come. We have said in so many words that this great Time of Trouble will manifest fully that the civilization of our day, of which we have so greatly boasted, is merely skin deep--merely a veneer. Already we have seen manifestations of this in various quarters, and our understanding of the Bible teaching is that these matters, so deplorable, will grow from bad to worse. National animosities will become personal animosities until, as the Bible foretold, there will be no peace to him that goes out, nor to him that comes in, because "every man's hand will be against his neighbor." (Ezekiel 38:21.) Our Savior, in describing these matters, prophetically declares, "Unless those days should be cut short, no flesh would survive." (Matthew 24:22.) But we are glad that He also gives us the assurance that because of the Elect (Himself and His Church in Kingdom power and glory) those days will be cut short--Messiah's Kingdom will be set up.

But we are not to expect the interposition of the Lord's power to stop the great Time of Trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, until mankind shall have been greatly humbled to the dust and shall call upon the Lord in great trepidation. We are far from that condition of things now. Now the Germans pray to God that He will destroy England. And British prayers go up for the victory of their armies and the downfall of their foes. And so with the other nations participating in the war; each praying against its foes; each expecting God's favor and blessing. Will it not be a very different story and will not very different prayers ascend when all nations shall realize their undoing and that the only succor they can hope for from any quarter, will be through the interposition of Divine power to stay the anarchy of that awful time which the Bible symbolically calls a devouring fire, and which our creeds have all mistaken to be literal fire?

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PREACHERS

The following extracts from the Methodist Times purport to be faithful translations of some German sermons recently preached. These sermons remind us of the infatuation unto persecution which once was general between the various sects. We had hoped that all such bitterness and acrimony were things of the past, yet here they are in all their evil malignity. Rev. William Burgess, the Methodist representative at Rome, furnishes the quotations referred to as follows:

"NO COMPROMISE WITH HELL

"Pastor Zoebel, speaking in the great Lutheran church in Leipsic, said: 'It is this deep consciousness of our mission that permits us to congratulate ourselves, and rest content with a heart full of gratitude, when our guns beat down the children of Satan, and when our marvelous submarines-- instruments to execute the Divine vengeance-- send to the bottom of the sea thousands of the non-elect. We must fight the wicked with every means in our power; their sufferings should give us pleasure; their cries of despair should not move German hearts. There ought to be no compromise with hell, no mercy for the servants of Satan--in other words, no pity for the English, French, and Russians, nor indeed for any nation that has sold itself to the Devil. They have all been condemned to death by a Divine decree.'"

"A WORK OF CHARITY

"Professor Rheinold Seeby, who teaches theology in the Berlin University, preaching in the cathedral of the city, [R5853 : page 52] said: 'We do not hate our enemies. We obey the command of God, who tells us to love them. But we believe that in killing them, in putting them to suffering, in burning their houses, in invading their territories, we simply perform a work of charity. Divine love is seen everywhere in the world, but men have to suffer for their salvation. Human parents love their children, yet they chastise them. Germany loves other nations, and when she punishes them it is for their good.'"

"THE DIVINE MISSION OF GERMANY

"Pastor Fritz Philippi, of Berlin, from his Protestant pulpit, among other things, said: 'As the Almighty allowed His Son to be crucified, that the scheme of redemption might be accomplished, so Germany is destined to crucify humanity, in order that its salvation may be secured. The human race can be saved only by blood, by fire and sword. German warriors do not shed blood with a light heart. They look upon it as a sacred duty imposed on them, a duty they cannot neglect without committing sin. Our beloved Emperor hates the horrors of war. Through long years he labored to maintain the peace of the world. Germany has never employed force to menace the independence of any nation. It is really because we are pure that we have been chosen by the Almighty as His instruments to punish the envious, to chastise the wicked, and to slay with the sword sinful nations. The Divine mission of Germany, oh brethren! is to crucify humanity; the duty of German soldiers, therefore is to strike, without mercy. They must kill, burn, and destroy; any half measures would be wicked. Let it then be a war without pity. The immoral and the friends and allies of Satan must be destroyed, as an evil plant is uprooted. Satan himself, who has come into the world in the form of a great Power (England), must be crushed. On Germany is laid the Divine command to bring about the destruction of those who are the personification of evil. When this work is finished, fire and sword will not have been used in vain. The redemption of humanity will be achieved. The kingdom of righteousness will be established on the earth; and the German Empire, which will have created it, will remain its protector.'"

CHRIST'S KINGDOMS AT WAR?

What a pity that the name of Christ should in any sense of the word be associated with such a horrible war, the basis of which is commercialism! What a shame to see nations immorally balancing the lives of millions with the hopes of commercial gain, or territorial gain! Note how Italy balanced the question for three months whether she would join the Teutons or the Allies, finally deciding that the latter offered her greater hopes of an enlarged dominion. She was ready to slay and to be slain, and ready to embargo with debt coming generations, if only she might have more territory. If this same principle were applied to individual affairs, it would mean a willingness to kill our neighbors in order to enlarge our own [R5853 : page 53] properties, just as King Ahab of old slew Naboth in order that he might have the vineyard which he coveted.

Similarly vicious is the attitude of Japan. The dispatches told us how she refused for a long time to send any soldiers to Europe; and how then she proposed that she would send 500,000 soldiers to kill and be killed if, as her reward, the French would turn over to her the control of Kozan, China--French China--a portion of Chinese territory which the French stole years ago as a part of their commercial warfare. France is not yet ready to give up her Chinese dependency; and Japan is still waiting for the blood-money before she enters upon her side of the killing program.

But how came we to think of the kingdoms of Europe as Christendom--Christ's Kingdom? How came the various great nations of Europe to put upon their coins the declaration that their kings reign by the grace of God? Many perhaps have forgotten where the matter started. Let us remind our readers:

These kingdoms of God had their start A.D. 800, and are therefore eleven hundred years old. The beginning was with Papacy, which perceived its own great power over the peoples of Europe, all of whom at that time ignorantly and blindly acknowledged the Roman Catholic faith. While the kings of Europe were comparatively weak, the suggestion came, "Now it must be God's time for setting up the Messianic Kingdom, because now we have the power." The answer of others was, "Not so. The Bible teaches that Jesus will set up His own Kingdom at His Second Advent in power and great glory, and that the Church will become His Bride and Joint-heir by the power of the First Resurrection." The answer to this was, "So once we thought. But we have waited for the coming of Messiah for over 800 years; and now we have the new thought that He probably wishes us to set up His Kingdom for Him, and in His name to reign over the kings of the earth and to convert the world."

They acted upon this suggestion. The Church, that is, the hierarchy, was set up in dignity and power and claimed authority. The rulers of the nations were informed that their continuance in power depended upon their obedience to Papacy--that it was Christ's spiritual Kingdom, and had all power to crown and uncrown kings, and to rule the world with a rod of iron. It was publicly claimed that the Popes in succession were Christ's vicegerent, which signifies that they reigned instead of Him upon His Throne. Our Catholic friends still claim this, denying not one jot of it. They hold that all the kingdoms of the world should bow to the Pope's authority as supreme--as God's authority, Christ's authority.

It was at that time that the kings of Europe were told that, through accepting their honors and dignities as rulers from the Papacy, their kingdoms were kingdoms of God, and that all of these together were Christendom--Christ's Kingdom, under Christ's vicegerent--representative.

Of course we dispute the whole matter. We deny that anybody has ever had the right to set up Christ's Kingdom; and that we still properly pray the Master's prayer, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as in Heaven." We are not charging our Catholic friends with fraud, but believe that they were deceived, as St. Paul prophesied. (1 Timothy 4:1,2.) Surely the things which the Bible foretold respecting Messiah's Kingdom have not come to pass during the eleven centuries of the Papal vicegerency. We read, "Of the increase of His Government and peace there shall be no end." (Isaiah 9:7.) This has not been fulfilled. We read, "He shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth." (Psalm 72:8.) This has not been fulfilled. We read, "In His day the righteous shall flourish," and "evil doers shall be cut off." (Psalm 72:7; 37:9.) This has not been fulfilled. The wicked have flourished instead of being cut off; and it is the righteous that have had the narrow way from Jesus' day until now--a way of self-sacrifice, and not a path of glory.

PROTESTANT KINGDOMS OF GOD

Germany and Great Britain are Protestant kingdoms of God, while Austro-Hungary is the only one engaged in this great war which holds its commission and approval entirely from the Papacy. How is this?

We answer that these kingdoms, once recognized by Papacy, broke away--protested. Great Britain withdrew from Papal control in the days of King Henry VIII., who renounced allegiance to Papacy, but accepted the Catholic Bishops of Great Britain, made them members of the House of Lords--Lord Bishops--and appointed himself to be the head of the Church of England, as the Pope was the head of the Church of Rome. Thus he attempted to set up a new kingdom of Christ, making himself Christ's vicegerent. All succeeding kings of England hold title to being the head of Christ's spiritual Kingdom, the Church of England, and the head of His earthly kingdom, the British Empire. This is the title of King George V. now reigning.

In Germany it is a little different. German princes and kings fostered Luther until his teachings had made a deep impression upon the most educated Germans at that time. Then they exalted the Church of Luther to be the State Church, and the Lutheran Church recognized the rule of the kings of Germany as kingdoms of God.

Surely we need not dispute with any one the error of these claims. This accounts for the false position in which all the kingdoms of Europe stand today, claiming to be kingdoms of God, while really they are kingdoms of men--earthly kingdoms--Gentile kingdoms. Jesus declares that Satan is the Prince of this world, and that all these are kingdoms of this world--therefore under Satan's princeship. (John 14:30; Revelation 11:15.) Not that they realize this, but rather, as the Apostle explains, they are deceived. (2 Corinthians 4:4.) Not that God gave Satan any authority to rule these kingdoms, but that he is ruling through human weakness; as the Apostle says, Satan "worketh in the children of disobedience" as God works in the hearts of His children of obedience. (Ephesians 2:2.) The latter are the Little Flock to whom the Father will give the Kingdom in due time. The children of disobedience are, in the great majority, absolutely ignorant of the fact that they serve Satan. Nevertheless, "His servants ye are to whom ye render service."

TRUTHS UNTAUGHT--ERROR ENTRENCHED

With the coming of clearer light, did the ministers of Germany and Great Britain, Austro-Hungary and the other countries tell the people the truth about the Kingdom of God and about what mistakes have been made? Nay, verily! They allowed the question to go by default. Hence, today the people of these various countries are impressed still with the thoughts of the Dark Ages respecting a Divine appointment of their churches and their governments, and are not therefore looking to the Kingdom of God's dear Son to bring its proper blessing. Hence prayers are going up from each side of these professed kingdoms of God--sophistries upon the Truth.

How we long for the time when the true knowledge of God shall fill the earth; when the Kingdom of Messiah will have really come, and the Church of Christ will be with Him as His Bride and Joint-heir; when the Reign [R5854 : page 54] of Righteousness will fill the earth with blessings, physical, mental, moral, uplifting, resurrecting! The world cannot understand these things yet, but will learn them soon. We who have the knowledge of God's Word should lose no opportunity for showing forth the praises of our God and for explaining His great Divine Plan of the Ages for the "blessing of all the families of the earth." Let us be of good courage. Let us be sympathetic with the whole world on all sides of these troublesome questions, realizing that very few have eyes to see, and hearts to appreciate the true condition of things; and glad that ere long the glorious Kingdom of Messiah will bring light, knowledge and blessing to every creature.

OUR FAIR LAND.

Daniel's Image of Gentile governments (Daniel 2:31), pictures Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Grecia, Rome--the ten toes being represented in the present divisions of the Roman Empire in Europe. It is upon the feet of this Image that the Armageddon crash of God's Kingdom is pictured as falling--grinding the entire image to powder. America is apparently not included in this picture directly, but of course is represented indirectly, because our population is from all the countries represented in the Image. The winds of strife are not needed here to weaken the kingdoms, preparatory to their fall, for we have no kingdoms.

However, we cannot suppose that America is more ready for the great Kingdom of Messiah than the remainder of the world. Americans have much of the same spirit as Europeans--the Spirit of the Lord in His saints, the spirit of the world in the others. Here, too, the children of disobedience are so much more numerous than the children of obedience that Satan and not Christ is the Prince.--Ephesians 2:2.

America's first share of the trouble may be in its secondary stage, i.e., revolution; or in its third stage, anarchy. Notwithstanding our blessings and great prosperity in many ways, there is a spirit of discontent--a selfish grasping for future blessings and an impatience at their delay. This is far from the Spirit of the Lord--the spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly-kindness, faith, hope and love.

Who can tell that revolution or anarchy may not come just as soon in America as in Europe; as we write, there are rumblings of discontent heard from two quarters; the coal miners are threatening a strike which might quickly disarrange the entire social structure. The railroad employees have formed a union of their various departments --engineers, firemen, conductors, trainmen and switchmen, such as they have never before had. We learn that they are determined to have a strike unless their latest requirements are met by the railroads. And they admit that the railroads are not likely to meet their requirements without a strike. They declare themselves financially prepared for the strike, and that it will take place in the spring --March 1st, say some, others say later. In any event, God's people are to remember the words of the Savior, especially applicable now, "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28.) The course of the Lord's people and their counsel to others should always be along the lines of peace and righteousness, justice and love--even though we know that these are not now to prevail. But oh! what comfort and serenity of soul it gives to have the knowledge which the Bible affords in respect to the present times and the grand outcome of the trouble--Messiah's Kingdom.

We remind our readers of the suggestion previously made in these columns, i.e., that they keep a good stock of coal on hand always, and a little reserve of something like beans, wheat, corn, or other staples of food. "The wise man foreseeth the trouble and protecteth himself." --Proverbs 22:3.



[R5854 : page 54]

HOW WE OUTWORK OUR GREAT SALVATION

"Beloved, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."--Philippians 2:12,13.
IN THIS chapter from which our text is taken, the Apostle Paul pays a beautiful tribute to the Church at Philippi. He refers in tender and loving terms to their obedience always to his instruction and counsel, not only when he was present with them, but likewise in his absence. He urges them to continued faithfulness and earnestness in this good way. He desires that they make still further progress in the Master's likeness, working out in themselves through humility and obedience the character-development necessary, with fear and trembling, doing their own part in the attainment of the salvation to which they had been called in Christ.

This exhortation of St. Paul is designed likewise for the sanctified in Christ Jesus of today. He reminds us, as he did the Philippian Church, that we are to work out our salvation. Elsewhere the Scriptures inform us that our salvation is by grace--that "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5.) These Scriptures are not contradictory. Our salvation is "not of ourselves, lest any man should boast." The Father has appointed the Lord Jesus to be our Savior; and it is through Him that our salvation is to be accomplished.

We cannot work out our own justification; but being justified by the blood of Christ and being called with the Heavenly Calling, we can do our share in this great work of our own preparation for our future station and glory. We do this by giving heed to the instructions of our Lord, by following the example which He has set us. We can never attain perfection in the flesh; but from the beginning our heart, our intention, must be wholly loyal, and day by day this heart intention must become more and more crystallized, fixed, in the way of righteousness. We must continue the work of bringing our body into subjection, and enlisting in the service of the Lord.

HOW WE BECOME SONS OF GOD

It is encouraging for us to know that this warfare is not one which we must wage alone. All the powers of Heaven are enlisted on our behalf. Our God has led us thus far in the willing and the doing of His good pleasure, and He will continue thus to lead and help us and work in us by His Word of Truth, if we continue to give heed to His counsel. The Gospel is the "power of God unto salvation unto every one" who accepts it; and no greater stimulus can be found than the exceeding great and precious promises given unto us, that by these we might become "partakers of the Divine nature."

Our salvation is a salvation from death to life, from sin to righteousness. Moreover, it is a transformation [R5854 : page 55] from human nature to Divine--our "so great salvation!" The initiatory step to our salvation was the work accomplished by our Lord Jesus at Calvary. "He died for our sins." This dying for our sins was first necessary; for there was no one on earth who could pay the penalty of Adam's sin. The Law of God required "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a man's life for a man's life." There was no man perfect; hence God arranged that His Only Begotten Son should meet this death penalty upon man. The Father could have arranged it otherwise, but He did not; therefore we know that this was the best way.

The death of Christ, however, was not all that was necessary. "He rose again for our justification." His death was for the cancelation of our sins; but it could not effect our justification while He was still in the bonds of death--not until He had risen--and more, not until He had ascended up on High--and more, not until He had presented His merit on our behalf--on behalf of the Church. Still more than this, our justification is not accomplished until, in each individual case, the necessary steps of faith and full consecration have been taken, as a result of which the merit of our Redeemer is imputed.

This merit of Christ has not as yet been presented for the world, because their time has not yet come. Thus far it has been presented only for the Church--those who are called to be joint-heirs with Christ, and who accept the Call. When Jesus appeared in the presence of God for us, there was an arrangement then effected by which we might become justified. There are certain inflexible conditions upon which God is willing to impute this merit of Christ's death. It is those only who wish to turn away from sin, to be justified from sin, and to serve God, to whom this favor is offered. Only these can now become sons of God.

Whether these steps take years or days or a few minutes, all these steps must be taken before we are in the place where we can be accepted of Christ and presented by Him to the Father. When our Redeemer imputes to us His merit, covering our blemishes, this brings us to the place of vital justification. We have done nothing to accomplish this justification. We have merely presented ourselves that we might become servants of [R5855 : page 55] righteousness. We have merely placed ourselves in the position of readiness to receive the blessing. When our Savior's merit was thus imputed, all our past was forgiven, our blemishes covered, the Father accepted the offering, and our High Priest sacrificed us as justified human beings. At that moment we were begotten of the Father by His Holy Spirit, "to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for us." (1 Peter 1:4.) We became embryo New Creatures, who were then to grow and develop day by day until, in due time, we would be born as spirit beings on the Divine plane, if faithful unto death.

THE MARVELOUS GRACE OF GOD!

This is a wonderful work, a marvelous transformation! Selected from a race of bondslaves of sin, beings of a fleshly nature, depraved, death-stricken, sin-cursed, we are lifted out of the miry clay; we are washed, cleansed, from our pollution, our soiled rags of unrighteousness, and a new nature has been begun in us. Then our earthward tendencies are gradually bent Heavenward. We are transformed day by day, rising up, UP, until, our resurrection completed, the work of transformation fully accomplished, we are exalted to heights unimaginable-- passing the nature and rank of angels, of cherubim, of seraphim, and every name that is named, and seated upon Messiah's Throne, beside the Infinite Son of God, partakers of His glorious nature--the nature of Jehovah Himself--the Divine nature!

Can mortal man conceive so marvelous a glory? The very thought of such a Calling should cause us to bow our hearts in the dust before our God, realizing our great unworthiness of such stupendous grace--of bliss so transcendent! What can we render unto the Lord that can fittingly demonstrate our gratitude, our thankfulness, for so unspeakable a favor? Surely, the most faithful service we can give is but a very feeble return to Him who has so loved us, so blessed us, so honored us!

We are joint-heirs with the Lord of Glory to this wonderful inheritance, if only we are faithful unto death and keep our garments white. To us "old things have passed away, and all things have become new." As old creatures we had no standing with God; we were feeding on the beggarly elements of the world. We were dead in trespasses and in sins. It is only as New Creatures that we have any standing, that we can please God, that we can work for Him. It is this New Creature that the Apostle is addressing in our text.

OUR GREAT RESPONSIBILITY

As we have made a consecration of ourselves to God, our sins are all under the blood, and the new life has begun in us. We are under a solemn contract to see that the work of transformation steadily progresses. When the Father accepted our offering and our vows to Him, and granted us His Holy Spirit, He did not give us the full consummation of our hopes, but merely an "earnest of our inheritance." Our agreement was to be dead to the world, dead to earthly things, and alive toward God. It is therefore for each of us to demonstrate in our words, in our actions, in our thoughts, that everything in this contract is bona fide on our part--that we meant every word of it. When we become children of God, our one ambition should be to prove our loyalty to God, our loyalty to our Covenant of Sacrifice. Was it not so with our Lord Jesus?

Our Lord came into the world to be our Redeemer. But He was not the Redeemer when He was born, nor when He was thirty years of age, until He made His consecration. He was called the Savior from His birth, only in a prospective sense. He became our Redeemer in the real, the official, sense when He was baptized of John in Jordan, and the Holy Spirit came upon Him in begetting power. Then it remained for Him during the three and a half years of His active service to work out that consecration. Every act of life during that crucial period was the fulfilling of His Covenant of Sacrifice. He had covenanted to sacrifice His human nature with all its conditions and possibilities, in order that He might carry out the Father's purpose. For this cause He came into the world, and He faithfully fulfilled His Covenant. His glorious reward was the Divine nature and the authority to execute all the Father's great Program.

OUR COVENANT IDENTICAL WITH CHRIST'S

And so it is to be with us, His followers. We come in under the same arrangement, our weaknesses and imperfections being covered by our Redeemer's robe of righteousness, which constitutes our "wedding garment." Thus we stand before the Father complete in the Beloved. And His Word to us is, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9.) All the children of God who are true to their covenant are working out their salvation from day to day. It is a work of sacrifice, a daily work of crucifixion of the flesh. From the beginning of our consecrated life we are reckoned as being fully "crucified with Christ"; but the actual crucifixion is a slow, painful, lingering process, and ends only with the completion of our sacrifice in death.

"Gather my saints together unto Me, those who have [R5855 : page 56] made a covenant with Me by sacrifice," is the command of Jehovah. (Psalm 50:5.) To what extent are we performing this work of sacrifice in ourselves? And to what extent are we seeking to assist in the work of gathering the saints of God unto Him? Are we faithful to the extent of our ability and opportunity? Are we sure that we are careful to note the opportunities, great or small, that are within our reach? If we do not see our opportunities, the Lord will use another to do the work that might have been ours; and we shall lose the blessing and the reward of the service that we might have rendered. How careful, then, we should be!

"PAY THAT WHICH THOU HAST VOWED"

But this is not a matter in which we are to judge one another. It is not for me to say to you that you are not sufficiently earnest in your sacrificing. Neither can you properly say to me that I am not faithfully fulfilling my sacrifice. To his own Master each one stands or falls. It is for the Lord and ourselves to settle this important matter in our individual cases. And we may not fully judge even ourselves. We are to strive to do our best, and then leave the results for the Lord's determining. The Father will apportion to each faithful member of our Lord's Body his own place in the glorious Temple.

The brethren may give a word of suggestion to each other along these lines, but that is all. The Lord alone is to decide whether or not we are each living up to the terms of our covenant. He expects faithfulness in each one who has taken His Covenant upon him. It were far better that we never covenant to sacrifice our earthly life and its interests than that we take this vow upon us and then fail to pay that which we have vowed. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6.) This is a most solemn matter, and the Lord will certainly require of us the fulfilment of our vows. If death is not voluntary, He will destroy our flesh. If we resist this, it will mean the hopeless death of our being.

OUR FAITHFUL, UNCHANGEABLE GOD

"It is God who worketh in you," declares the Apostle Paul. We did not begin this work ourselves. It would never have occurred to us, uninvited, to endeavor to obtain a share in the glory, honor and immortality of the Lord Jesus. It would have been the height of presumption for us so to do without an express invitation. It is God who planned the whole matter. He has been working in us by His promises, by His providences in our daily experiences, and by all the instructions, warnings and counsels of His Word, and we rejoice in this. There is no changeableness with God; and when once He made this proposition, He meant it to the full. It would never mean anything else. He never makes an arrangement which He would wish to abrogate or amend.

We are assured by the Apostle Paul that "He who has begun the good work in us will complete it, unto the Day of Jesus Christ." The only condition is our own faithfulness. God will never fail. "We are His workmanship." He is really doing the work. We are submitting ourselves that God may work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. He is the great Master Workman. Thus the work of grace goes on in our hearts and lives, making us ready for the exalted position to which we are called. And it is only if we are negligent of these great privileges granted to us that God will take them from us and give them to others.

Those who are constructing a fine building need special power to accomplish the work--to hoist the great steel frames, the blocks of stone, the brick, etc. Now God purposes to furnish the power by which we may accomplish the work on our character-building, this wonderful structure we are setting up. But the Lord will not accomplish this great work in us unless we diligently cooperate with Him. He gave us the calling, the inspiration, and furnishes all the necessary assistance day by day; so we are to persevere in the building of this character which is essential and which He purposes shall be in all those whom He will make joint-heirs with His Son.

"DO ALL THINGS WITHOUT MURMURINGS"

In following in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus, we are not to murmur by the way, finding fault with its difficulties and its narrowness; nor are we to dispute how or where we are to be led, nor to seek to have any other way than that which Divine providence marks out for us, realizing and trusting that the Lord knows exactly [R5856 : page 56] what experiences are necessary to our development in the character-likeness of Christ. We should realize also that if obedience were possible while our mouths are full of complaints and dissatisfaction with the Lord and with our lot, which He has permitted, it would indicate that we are out of sympathy with the spirit of His arrangement.

Such an obedience, if it were possible--and it is not-- would not meet the Divine approval nor gain us the prize. Hence, as the Apostle exhorts, we should "do all things without murmurings and disputings, that we may be the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world, holding forth the Word of Life."

HOW WE ARE TO FEAR AND TREMBLE

In the expression of our text--"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"--we are not to understand that the Lord wishes His children literally to tremble with fear before Him. We should exercise the same judgment in interpreting the words and expressions of Scripture that we would in reading any other book, or in understanding the words of our friends. One called to a position of great responsibility will sometimes say afterwards, "I accepted that position with fear and trembling." He would not mean that he actually quaked with fear; but this is an expression used to indicate that one feels the need of great carefulness--that he realizes his great responsibility and his liability to fail to meet all the requirements without the most earnest attention. It means that one realizes that the matter is not one to be taken up lightly, as if it were a mere bagatelle, but that failure in it would bring serious consequences.

Just so when we read this Scripture, we are not to think that we should tremble with fear before our God; but we believe the Apostle's thought to be that in this great work that we have undertaken--of walking in the footsteps of Jesus that we may attain the prize of our High Calling--so much depends upon our faithfulness, our diligence. We have not undertaken a light thing. It is a very heavy responsibility. Our eternal interests are in the balance--the issue of life or death. Those who win the prize will be heirs of God to the highest honors and glories which have ever been offered--to a glory and honor beyond human power to imagine! We believe that no such offer will ever again be made.

The Son of God holds the position next to Jehovah, and can never have but one Bride. Surely, then, there is need that we work out our salvation with fear and trembling--with great carefulness, with great earnestness, in respect to everything in connection with it! We should be keenly appreciative of the fact that it is the most wonderful thing in all the Universe of God! We believe that if we do not make our calling and election sure and win in this fight within a very brief time now, the opportunity will be gone forever. No amount of [R5856 : page 57] wailing and gnashing of teeth will then avail. When the door is shut, it will never open again. Like Esau, those who fail will find "no place for repentance," though they seek it "carefully with tears." The glorious birthright will have slipped from their grasp forever.

But, beloved fellow-laborers, who are earnestly striving day by day to "so run as to obtain," "we are persuaded better things of you, though we thus speak." But it is well that we have our "pure minds stirred up by way of remembrance," that we may keep our eyes upon the Heavenly City and the prize set before us. The wearisome march will, we believe, soon be ended. At most it is only a little while. And so, with steadfast hearts, let us run with patience and perseverance to the end of our course.

"Joyful through hope, thy motto still must be--
The Dawn is here!
What glories does that Dawn unfold to thee!
Be of good cheer!
Gird up thy loins; bind sandals on thy feet!
The way was dark and long; the end is sweet."



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THE MANY COLD--THE FEW FAITHFUL

"Because iniquity shall be multiplied the love of the many shall wax cold."--Matthew 24:12. R. V.
IT IS evident that our Lord is not here speaking of the world, for the world does not have this love. It is the Church of whom Jesus is speaking; it is only the Church with whom God is now dealing. As New Creatures, God's children have seen a great Light, Christ Jesus. Through this Light we have ourselves become illuminated, and we seek to let our light shine before men. We are not lighted candles to shed light upon others until we have become the Lord's, until we have received of His light.

The Bible declares that all men are by nature sinners, unworthy of God's notice. But He has made a provision of everlasting life for the perfect. How, then, will any member of our sinner race ever get everlasting life? Surely none of the children of Adam are worthy of everlasting life! The Lord, however, has provided for this emergency through the death of Christ. During the Gospel Age God has been delivering from death a certain class. During the incoming Millennial Age, He will lift up and make perfect the world of mankind. But only at the close of that Age, after they have been finally tested, will God grant them, if worthy, everlasting life. If they fail to attain perfection, He will not give them everlasting life at all, but will destroy them.

UNIQUE ARRANGEMENT FOR THE PRESENT AGE

The Church is an especially called-out class. "Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the world," said the Master. "I have chosen you out of the world." Mankind in general are in a different heart attitude from those who come into the Church. It is only the minority who now hunger and thirst after righteousness. God in mercy keeps back the Truth from those to whom it would not in the present time be a blessing. This class that the Lord is now calling out from the world are "called to be saints."

The word saint stands for one who is holy. The word holy has the significance of the word whole--that which is entire, lacking nothing. God, who is holy, calls His children to be holy, saying, "Be ye holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16.) But we were by nature unholy; hence His arrangement for our justification, our being made right, whole. The world in general will be made right during the Millennium. None is made right now in the actual sense.

In what way, then, does God make the Church right now? Ah, there is the beauty of God's Plan! They are made right reckonedly, by the counting to each of them of the perfect merit of Christ. This is a unique arrangement, peculiar to the present Age alone. God says, "My Call at this time is an invitation to a new nature. I am not inviting any now to Restitution; if so it would not be necessary to issue this special Call. I want a certain class for a specific purpose, to be used later in blessing the whole world. I know of some who will be glad to respond. So I am sending My Message, that those able to hear may hear."

WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY ILLUSTRATES GREAT TRUTH

We all know something of the wireless system of telegraphy. This is one of the blessings of this "day of the Lord's preparation" for the incoming New Age. It may serve as an illustration of how God has been sending out His Truth during the Gospel Age. If we would hear the Lord's Call, we must have co-hearers. If we do not have co-hearers, we cannot hear His Message at all. We need to have responsive hearts, ready to receive with gladness the Message of God's love and mercy.

If your heart is not rightly in tune, you cannot understand; but as you get it in tune with the Lord, the Message enters, and you can hear the wave tones. God speaks to us in tones of a certain character. We recognize those tones and respond, if our heart is in the proper attitude. We had a wrong tone given us by the Adversary-- that God had damned the world, had made a place to eternally torture the majority of mankind. With that wrong tone given us, we were not in a position to get the true Message. God's true Message is a glorious tune, a marvelous melody.

Finally we got the right tune from the Word of God. "I can hear better now," we said. "Yes, yes; God is Love!" "God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son"; "Like as a Father pitieth His children, so the Lord pitieth!" Yes, I now understand something of the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God! It is too wonderful a symphony to fully comprehend, I cannot take it all in, but it is there. I am hearing it more and more clearly!

Only those who get their hearts in tune with God can hear it all, and the more fully in tune you get your heart the better you can hear. If your instrument is out of tune, if something happens to get you out of touch with the Heavenly electric wave, then you cannot hear the wonderful melody. If you do not keep in close touch with the Lord, you will fail to catch the harmony. You are out of tune with the Infinite One. [R5857 : page 57]

JUSTICE THE BASIC QUALITY OF CHARACTER

What is the character of God that we are learning more about as we study His Word? We find that the very basis of God's character is Justice, absolute Justice. If God were an unjust God, we could never depend upon Him. He might make some term or condition today and then alter it tomorrow. But He is absolutely just; "Justice and judgment are the foundation of His Throne." (Psalm 89:14.) He changes not; "I am Jehovah, I change not." (Malachi 3:6.) He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever." He will never fail us, He will never deceive. Whoever desires to be in proper tune with God must practice upon that string of JUSTICE. Justice must come into our heart and into our [R5857 : page 58] life. The nearer we come in line with justice, the better we shall understand and enter into the spirit of God's great Plan. We trust that is what we are striving to do.

But there are many ways of being unjust. We may say unjust things about our neighbors; we may make trifling faults appear to be great faults; we may color things unjustly. We may use words with a certain intonation or emphasis, with a shrug of the shoulders, giving a wrong impression which might be detrimental to the reputation of another. Although we might not really mean to wrong another, yet this course would be wrong, and might do incalculable harm. When you say, "I would not wish to be seen in that man's company," you might not mean to do wrong, and yet be guilty of slander. Your co-hearer is out of tune with God.

Then in the mind one might be unjust. Many people seem to become prejudiced against certain things or persons without just reason. To that extent they are out of harmony with justice. What we need to do is to think righteously, soberly, kindly, along the lines of the Golden Rule, to let our words and deeds be in harmony with the principles of righteousness. Thus we shall be greatly assisted in the development of the sterling Christian character which is absolutely essential if we would have our Father's approval.

Justice, then, is the basis, the first thing necessary, in building character. From this basis we are to go on to the attainment of sympathy, benevolence, forgiveness, love. God has been very loving and sympathetic with us. He has provided us a Redeemer. He has covered our many blemishes from His sight. Then, as we seek to copy God, we shall wish to be kind and forbearing and helpful toward all. But we must be just first. If we have an unjust twist in our mind, it will interfere with our communion with God, and we shall be in danger of failing to make our calling and election sure.

We are continually surrounded by the spirit of the world--hatred, envy, malice, strife. So we must keep very close to the Lord to counteract this spirit. The world and the things of the fallen nature are so close to us that we can with difficulty avoid being contaminated by them. One can hardly pass through a vile neighborhood without carrying away vile odors. But the Lord has furnished us with a most effective disinfectant in His Word. All the cleansing we need is derived from the Message which God has given us, with its explicit instructions. This wireless Message from Him tells of His love for us, speaks peace through Jesus Christ our Lord, makes known to us our privilege of becoming heirs of God and joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus.

Having been called with this Heavenly Calling, we can readily understand that God would not have us in this class unless we have the right spirit. The selection is not according to a whim of Divine preference. On the contrary, God chooses according to character, according to natural qualifications of honesty and the desire to be just, to be right, whatever may be the fleshly weaknesses. Justice is the very basis of God's Throne, the foundation of His Government.

WORLDLINESS AMONG PROFESSED CHRISTIANS

In our text the Lord Jesus declares that at a certain time in the Gospel Age, and apparently pointing down to our day, "because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." The Revised Version given here is stronger than our Common Version rendering. It is not only many who will grow cold, but the many, the majority, of professed followers of Christ. How truly the Master's words have been fulfilled! Iniquity is inequity, injustice, unrighteousness. Our text might properly read, "Because unrighteousness shall abound, the love of the many shall grow cold." We are in the time against which the Lord sought to especially guard us. How few comparatively have heeded the warning!

The STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES point out that in God's arrangement the Prophet Elijah was a type of The Christ in the flesh--Jesus being the Head of the antitypical Elijah and the Church being His Body. The three and a half years, 1260 days, of Elijah's experiences while hiding in the wilderness from Queen Jezebel were symbolic, and corresponded to the 1260 years of the true Church in the wilderness condition, where she had fled from the antitypical Jezebel. (Revelation 12:6,14; Daniel 7:24,25.) Elijah's coming out of the wilderness prefigured the coming out of the true Church of God from her wilderness hiding after the year 1799 A. D., when Jezebel's power was broken, and the copious rains following represented the wide circulation of the Bible since that date.

The Church of Christ, the watching ones, are now in a particular time of waiting. The Elijah class is soon to be taken beyond the veil. The Elisha class will be left until later, to wash their soiled robes in the blood of the Lamb in the "Great Tribulation" just before the world. It seems that the Lord is now especially testing His people. Among many of the people of God love has waxed cold, because unrighteousness is abounding everywhere. Many today profess to believe things that they do not believe. Empty forms of godliness prevail. Love of pleasure is rampant. As a result many professed Christians are lukewarm or cold. They say, "Look at what the church systems are doing. What is right for our church leaders is right for me." Thus many are taking a very wavering course.

There is much injustice practiced everywhere. We find great neglect of the Golden Rule. Christian parents, too, are leaving the religious training of their children too frequently to the Sunday School, where the teachers are often wholly incompetent to instruct them in the Word of God. Christian parents should be the priests of their own family. They have a great responsibility. Because iniquity prevails, the temptation is strong with many to follow the multitude. But the Lord's children should not follow a multitude to do evil. We must learn quickly now all God's will concerning us. The end of the Church's probation is drawing near. We have not much time left in the School of Christ. The saints are soon to be judges of the world. Shall we be among those judges?

PROPER ATTITUDE OF CHRISTIANS

Let each child of God bestir himself. Let him encourage the brethren to faithfulness. Let us give close attention to God's Word, that we may become more and more like our Father in Heaven. Let us love the things which are true, right, noble, Godlike. Let us renounce all else for the Heavenly things. We cannot stand for our own rights in the world. We gave up our human rights when we gave ourselves to the Lord. There are times perhaps when we might offer a protest, as Jesus did when He was smitten. But He did not retaliate nor try to render evil for evil. And we are to walk as He walked. Let us not allow the inequity of others to cause our hearts to grow cold.

The One whom we are to please, the One with whom we have to do, the One whom we love above every human tie, is our Lord. We desire to do His will. As for the brethren, let us do the best we know how for them. Let Heavenly wisdom be our guide. Let us faithfully follow Jesus in the Narrow way, whatever others about us may do; and soon we shall hear His sweet "Well done!"



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THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR
--MARCH 5.--ACTS 6:9--8:3.--

FAITHFUL ST. STEPHEN--HIS ELOQUENCE AND ZEAL FOR GOD AND TRUTH STIRRED HIS ENEMIES--THEY HATED HIM FOR THE QUALITIES THEY SHOULD HAVE ADMIRED--BECAUSE BLINDED BY ERROR--HIS FIRST BATTLE IN THE SYNAGOGUE-- HIS SECOND BATTLE BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN-- HIS VICTORY IN DEATH.

"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."--Revelation 2:10.
STRICTLY speaking, our Lord Jesus was the first Christian martyr; but the first of His followers to endure death because of loyalty in preaching the Gospel of Jesus was St. Stephen, one of the seven elected Deacons, appointed to the distribution of the Church's charities. The Apostles had sought to give themselves entirely to the Master's work, and doubtless expected little of special service from the Deacons appointed. Nevertheless, by God's providence one of these, Stephen, because of his love and zeal was given much of the Lord's grace and blessing and permitted to lay down his life faithfully for the Truth.

Seemingly St. Stephen was a man of great power and [R5858 : page 59] a lover of the Truth. His choice as one of these special Deacons indicates that those who knew him best highly estimated his purity of character and life. His eloquence in defense of the Master and His Gospel is well evidenced by this lesson.

History says that at that time there were four hundred and sixty synagogues in Jerusalem. Some of these were Hebraic; that is, those attending worship there were accustomed to the Hebrew tongue, and it was used in these. Others of the synagogues were called Hellenist; that is to say, Greek. The Greek was the cultured language of that time in the outside world; and some Jews and proselytes living in outside places and in Jerusalem preferred to have the books of the Law and the Prophets in the Greek language.

It is supposed that St. Stephen had been attached to one of these synagogues, and that this fact accounted for his going thither to urge upon his associates the message that Jesus was the Messiah. It has been assumed, with apparently good reason, that Saul of Tarsus attended the same synagogue; and that he was one of the disputants over whom St. Stephen, by the Lord's grace, seemed to have an advantage in these debates. Thus a bitter feeling was aroused.

It seemed to the Jewish rulers that this message respecting Jesus as the Messiah and a Jewish responsibility for His death, and respecting God's favor in raising Him from the dead, was a gross error which, being set before the people in masterly fashion, was likely to arouse a spirit of resentment against the rulers of the Jews and to be subversive of all law and government in Palestine. Indeed, these Christians claimed that because of this rejection of Jesus the Jewish nation had been rejected from God's favor, and that dire calamities were coming. Those committed to the old order of things refused to believe these prophecies of coming disaster.

St. Stephen's second battle was the one which preceded his death. The Sanhedrin, angry against him, suborned witnesses; that is to say, they bribed certain men to make complaint, charging St. Stephen with having blasphemed--with having declared Moses and the Law obsolete, with declaring that the Temple was no longer God's Temple. These witnesses put together certain isolated sayings of St. Stephen, which thus patched up, made the Truth to appear false and blasphemous. So it is with any matter. The form in which a statement is made has much to do with the impression which it makes. St. Stephen had said the very things that they charged; but by putting his statements together as they did, they misrepresented the essence of his teaching.

ST. STEPHEN'S DEFENSE

After these paid witnesses had given their testimony before the Sanhedrin, charging blasphemy--the penalty for which was death by stoning--the Sanhedrin, with a show of fairness, permitted St. Stephen to reply in his own defense. This he did in a masterly way, by taking up the thread of Jewish history and reciting it, showing his implicit faith in God's dealings with Abraham and in the promises there made. In orderly manner he brought the thought of his hearers down to the time of Moses and the giving of the Law, and reminded them that Moses had said that in due time God would raise up a greater Prophet than he. (Deuteronomy 18:18,19.) This great Prophet, St. Stephen allowed them to infer, was Jesus; and since Moses had particularly referred to Jesus thus as greater, it could be no disloyalty to Moses now to accept that greater Prophet. Thus one feature of the charge against St. Stephen was overthrown. He was not disloyal to Moses, but contrariwise.

As for the Temple, St. Stephen reminded his hearers that God first established the Tabernacle in the wilderness; and that by and by, in its stead, God provided the Temple at Jerusalem. It was no disrespect to the Tabernacle for them to believe in the Temple that Solomon built. God had now provided that a still higher Temple should take the place of the building made with hands. The higher Temple was the spiritual one, to be composed of the people of God who, as living stones, would be builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. As it was not blasphemy to accept the Temple of Solomon instead of the Tabernacle of Moses, neither should it be considered blasphemous to accept this higher, spiritual Temple, of which Jesus is the Head, or Foundation, instead of the typical Temple, built of wood and stone.

VICTORY IN DEATH!

So able, so logical, so convincing, were the words of St. Stephen that his hearers "were cut to the heart," not in a penitent sense, but with a realization that their cause was coming out second best. It is assumed that Saul of Tarsus was a member of that Sanhedrin. They no longer had any hope of justly charging St. Stephen with blasphemy. Their only hope now was that they could fasten upon something that he would say as being blasphemous, and on the spot rush him to his death.

The moment came. St. Stephen, full of his subject, preaching Christ and the blessings yet to come through Him upon Israel and the world, was radiant in face-- like an angel of the Lord. And looking up toward Heaven he exclaimed, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God!" This was the signal for the Sanhedrin to raise a cry of blasphemy and rush upon God's messenger.

Just what he did mean by those words, we may not too surely say. Remembering that our best sight is with the eyes of our understanding, we might use the same words--not referring to anything seen by our natural sight, but merely to our mental view and our positiveness of its truth. Thus a blind man, catching the point of an argument, might truthfully say, "Oh, yes, I see now!" [R5858 : page 60]

We may be sure that a mob was ready to follow the suggestion of the Sanhedrin. Mobs now, as then, seem ready for any kind of violence if they have a leader and a pretext, especially if the pretext and the leadership be along religious lines and from those recognized as authorities. There is in the fallen nature a ferocious, bestial disposition which seems blood-thirsty and only awaiting opportunity.

Pushing the minister of Jesus outside of their gates --for no execution was allowed on the inside--the crowd threw their clothing at the feet of the young man Saul of Tarsus. Thus he became their authority for the stoning. Then they stoned Stephen to death, he crying at the time, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit"--my life-- and also, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge!" This was St. Stephen's climax of victory--faithfulness unto death, and, withal, the loving spirit in which he received death through his enemies--the spirit of the Master, the same spirit which we should cultivate and manifest.

HEROISM IN THE TRENCHES

St. Stephen has set us an example. Indeed, examples are not difficult to find, showing what manner of persons we ought to be. The difficulty seems to be that none but those of fervent spirit and well instructed of the Lord profit by the examples. For instance, the world is today giving the Church a wonderful lesson in respect to faithfulness unto death. When the followers of Jesus look across the water and behold millions of men leaving home, family, business, pleasure and every consideration to obey the rulers of their lands--to go into the trenches and suffer the hardships and exposure and wounds and death, it seems truly marvelous.

We say to ourselves, "What manner of persons ought we Christians to be!" We have not been called to kill our fellowmen, but to do them good. We have not been called for a few cents per day of wage or possibly an iron cross or a name on some roll of honor, but have been promised glory, honor, immortality, joint-heirship with our Lord in His Kingdom. Moreover, ours is not only the privilege of helping men now instead of destroying them, but the blessed privilege also of helping them in the coming Age, from imperfections up to the image and likeness of God. Oh, what manner of persons ought we Christians to be! How faithful, how loyal!

Our Golden Text is impressive. Our enlistment is not for a few days, but undertaken with a full understanding that in order to gain the great prize we must lay down our lives in the Lord's service--faithfully, loyally. How many Christians have rightly understood what was signified by consecration of their heart to the Lord and by taking up their cross to be His followers through evil report or through good report? It is not too late yet to learn our lessons more thoroughly and to determine that by the grace of God we will be faithful unto death to Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.



[R5859 : page 60]

TWO BANDS OF GOD'S HEROES
--MARCH 12.--HEBREWS 11:1--12:2.--

FAITH HEROES OF THE JEWISH AGE--FAITH HEROES OF THE GOSPEL AGE--THE HOUSE OF SERVANTS--THE HOUSE OF SONS--EARTHLY PROMISES--HEAVENLY PROMISES-- RESURRECTION TO PERFECT HUMAN NATURE--RESURRECTION TO DIVINE NATURE--THE CHRISTIAN RACE COURSE.

"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith."--Hebrews 12:2.
THE Bible puts faith before works, because no works can be acceptable to God unless inspired by faith. Thus it is written, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." The Bible brings to our attention two distinct classes of Faith Heroes, both pleasing to God and both to be highly rewarded by Him. One of these classes preceded Jesus' day; the other class follows His day. The first class of Faith Heroes are therefore known as the Ancient Worthies; the latter class, with Jesus as their Head, are styled the sons of God. This distinction or division of God's servants, although clearly marked in the Scriptures, has been overlooked by the Lord's people until recent years.

No matter how faithful or loyal Enoch, Abraham, David, Jeremiah and others were, they could not be recognized by God as members of the House of Sons, because they lived before Jesus' day--before Jesus tasted death for every man. The Bible points out that the first man Adam was recognized as a son of God. (Luke 3:38.) From the time that sin entered the world through Adam's disobedience, God recognized none of the human family as His sons--all were sinners--until Jesus came and died, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us back to God and open to us the door of sonship. It is in harmony with this that St. Paul declares, "Moses verily was faithful as a servant over all his House [the House of Servants], but Christ as a Son over His own House [the House of Sons]."--Hebrews 3:5,6.

Thus the distinction is clearly marked between the noble brethren before the Cross, the last one of whom was John the Baptist, and the noble brethren since the Cross, the first of whom were the Apostles. That John the Baptist was the last of the Ancient Worthies is attested by the Master's words, "There hath not arisen a greater Prophet than John the Baptist; and yet I say unto you, that he that is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he."--Luke 7:28.

St. Paul makes this distinction between the Ancient Worthies and the Christian Worthies in today's lesson. He first of all recites the names of the prominent ones of the past--Enoch, Abraham, David, Jeremiah, etc. He declares their faith, and says that they were pleasing to God, noble, praiseworthy. Then he calls attention to the fact that they never received the promises which God made to them.

It should be remembered that God did not promise Heavenly things prior to Jesus' day. The promises to the Ancient Worthies, which inspired their zeal and devotion, were all earthly promises; for instance, the one made to Abraham--"Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever."--Genesis 13:14,15; 17:8.

St. Stephen calls our attention to the fact that this promise to Abraham is still secure and still unfulfilled. He declares that Abraham never received enough of that land to set his foot upon. On this promise he predicates the resurrection of Abraham, that in God's due time he may inherit the land, and that his faithful seed, or posterity, will inherit it after him.

On the other hand, the promises in the New Testament [R5859 : page 61] are only spiritual--Heavenly promises, "things above." The Christian Worthies are promised a share with Jesus in the Heavenly Kingdom which He is to establish at His Second Coming. They are to be His joint-heirs, "if so be that they suffer with Him that they may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:17.) The promise to these is that they shall be a Kingdom of Priests, or a Royal Priesthood; while the promise to the Ancient Worthies is that they shall be made "princes in all the earth."--1 Peter 2:9; Rev. 20:6; Psalm 45:16.

The Christian heroes are to have a change of nature from human to Divine, the beginning of this change being the begetting of the Holy Spirit in the present time, and the completing of the change being that of the resurrection-- "changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"--"sown in weakness, raised in power; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown an animal body, raised a spiritual body." But the Ancient Worthies, not having the begetting of the Holy Spirit to a new nature, will have a different resurrection; namely, to human perfection.

Contrasting these two classes of Faith Heroes, the Apostle in verses 39 and 40 declares that the Ancient Worthies, "having obtained a good report through faith, received not the Promise [the things promised to them]. God having promised some better thing for us [Christian heroes, followers in the footsteps of Jesus], that they without us should not be made perfect." In other words, God from the beginning arranged that Christ should be first--Jesus the Head, then the Church, His Body; and after the perfecting of these, styled the First Resurrection, the Divine promises will begin to fulfil to the Ancient Worthies, and extend ultimately to "all the families of the earth."--Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:29.

THE CHRISTIAN RACE COURSE

God has great blessings in store for every member of the human family willing to accept the same on the Divine terms. But the chiefest of all the blessings brought to our attention in the Bible are those found to be provided for the Church class--the Little Flock, to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom, and the glory and the honor of association with Jesus in the work of blessing the world during His Millennial Reign.

The Apostle addresses this class in the two closing verses of today's Study. He urges us, saying, "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God."

The Apostle is a forceful reasoner; for in these words he exhorts to look backwards at the list of Ancient Worthies and to consider what they endured and how faithful and loyal to God they were. Then he would have us consider them as though they were a cloud of witnesses watching us, to whom has been given this still greater blessing and privilege of becoming sons of God on the Divine plane, of attaining "the Divine nature."-- John 1:12; 2 Peter 1:4.

He pictures before our minds a great race-course, in which we are runners. He pictures Jesus as the Leader gone before, the One who has become the Author of our faith, the One through whom we are privileged to enter this race, and the One who has promised us grace sufficient for every time of need. He pictures to us how Jesus ran in this race and by faith looked forward to the joy that was set before Him by the Father. He pictures to us how loyal Jesus was, and what He endured--the cross and its shame. He pictures the Father's faithfulness in highly rewarding Jesus, seating Him at His own right hand of Divine Majesty. Then comes the exhortation, "Let us lay aside every weight," every hindrance, everything that would prevent our running grandly and successfully the race for this great prize which Jesus has obtained, and to which we are invited through the merit of His sacrifice.

The Apostle reminds us also that one of the greatest hindrances to our running this race is sin; that we are beset by inherited sin in our members; and that we need to run in the race not only perseveringly, but also patiently; for whoever would obtain so great a prize will need patience, will need to be proven and tested in all points as respects his loyalty and devotion to the Heavenly Father, to the Truth, and to the brethren. Only such as attain the character-likeness of their Leader in this narrow way may hope to be with Him and like Him, and share His glory; for God has predestinated that these shall all be conformed to the image of His Son. --Romans 8:29.



[R5860 : page 61]

"LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE"

"Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in purity."--1 Timothy 4:12.
WE RECALL that St. Paul was the writer of these words, that they constitute a part of his first Epistle to Timothy, a promising young Elder in the Church, one who had labored much with the Apostle in his work of the ministry. On one occasion Timothy was referred to by the Apostle as "my son Timothy." This was due no doubt to the fact that it was through St. Paul's instrumentality that the Truth had reached Timothy. On account of his youth he may not have realized his responsibility. He might have felt that many others in the Church were older than himself and would therefore be better examples to the brethren and better representatives of the Lord before men.

But the Apostle here exhorts Timothy to be an example of what a true believer should be. He urged him to "flee youthful lusts," to "stir up the gift of God" which was in him. Timothy was to make a special use of the talents and opportunities which were his. And in so doing he would be a worthy example--not only to believers, but of believers, so that not only might the Church see his life and general course, but others, those of the world, might also see this, and thus have greater interest in the Lord's Cause.

This example was not to be the wearing of a particular shape of coat or a particular cut of collar, nor was it in manifesting to the world eccentricities of life and manner-- not so. His example was to be in his Christlike character. He was to glorify the Lord in his words--in what he would say, in how he would say it--in wisdom of speech. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Whoever would be careless in his language would reveal a careless heart. If Timothy had been careless in his words, others might have said, "You see that he thinks that he knows everything. See how he is always intruding himself." This would be especially unbecoming in one who was young. Thus he would have [R5860 : page 62] been despised as an example of believers, and others would be offended rather than helped.

Not only in word, but in his entire conversation was he to be an example. The word conversation, at the time our common version was translated, had the significance of conduct, manner of life. This advice is the counsel of wisdom in reference to us all as children of the Lord! The Apostle admonished Timothy with regard to his intercourse with the Church and with the world--Whether you eat or drink, whether you buy or sell, whatever you do, be a worthy exponent of the doctrine of Christ and of the effect of His Spirit in the heart.

In his charity, his love, Timothy was to be an example. This would include the ordinary thought of the word as now generally used, in the sense of dispensing largess. We do not know that Timothy had very much of this world's goods to distribute; but he could have charity in the sense of love, which is the comprehensive sense, the Bible sense, of the word. Love would not wish any harm to his neighbor, but would manifest interest in everybody, and even in the brute creation--wishing to do right, to be kind.

Love would serve the interests of others in spirit; it would come from the heart, from the inward disposition, not be merely in word or in outward conduct. Kindness and good-will would not be feigned from a sense of duty or to appear polite and thoughtful. It would be genuine. The spirit in which a thing is said or done has a great deal to do with its effect upon others. One who had wounded another might say, "There was not a word in what I said to which you could object." Ah, well! but it was the spirit in which it was said or done--the animus of it. This is an important matter to all the Lord's people. We are to remember the spirit of the Master--the spirit of consideration, of self-sacrifice, of righteousness, of love.

In faith, also, Timothy was to be an example to all with whom he came in contact. Of course the Apostle would mean here his manifestation of faith. One must have faith before he can manifest it. We have known Christians who, if they have a doubt about a certain feature of Truth or a weakness of faith, would discuss their doubts in the presence of those who were weak in the faith or who were of the world. This is a great mistake and productive of much harm. One never knows when a weak one may be present who might be greatly injured by words of doubt or distrust. Whoever is troubled by such doubts should go promptly to the Lord for help, that his faith may be firmly established; he should not discuss his doubts and fears with others unless as mentioned above, with the One who alone can help him. The Lord's people should not boast of how much faith they have--not so--but we should manifest our faith to others, our confidence in the Lord, by our peace under trial and difficulty. We should not merely say that we have faith, but should manifest it in our lives.

Timothy was counseled to be an example in purity. "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." (Isaiah 52:11.) As the typical priests and Levites were instructed to wash and keep themselves continually clean, so the people of the Lord today, the spiritual Priests, the spiritual Levites, should be pure, clean, in word, in action, in thought. Whoever is not pure in his thoughts is very apt to be impure, unclean, in his actions, his words. Out of the heart proceeds the impurity. One person of impure mind might poison the minds of many.

Impurity may be given a broad or a narrow view, as circumstances may indicate. In the broad sense, it would be uncleanness, dishonesty, insincerity, in general. But in every sense St. Paul would have Timothy be a worthy example, so that all who took note of him would see how they ought to deport themselves. The Apostle expressed the same desire concerning Timothy that he expressed concerning all the Church--that he walk as the Apostle himself walked, that he be as self-sacrificing as he saw St. Paul to be. This was not a Pharisaical attitude--"I am holier than thou." But the Apostle demonstrated those principles of righteousness in the life that he lived, and he wished that Timothy should do the same.

Those qualities of character here enumerated by the Apostle should be shown forth--not merely by the Elders and the teachers of the Ecclesia, but by all who have made the same profession of being disciples of Christ. So far as our standing with God is concerned, we are all brethren one of another; and each of these brethren should seek to copy the Elder Brother, our Lord Jesus. Each one should seek to be a pattern to the whole flock of God.



[R5860 : page 62]

MILITIA LAWS OF CANADA

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

With reference to letter in THE WATCH TOWER of November 15th last, giving excerpt from the Canada Militia Act, in connection with classes of persons entitled to exemption from military service under same, no mention was made of clause reading as follows:

"No person shall be entitled to exemption unless he has, at least one month before he claims such exemption, filed with the Commanding Officer within the limits whereof he resides, his affidavit, made before some Justice of the Peace, of the facts on which he rests his claim."

We have procured an authorized copy of said Act, further copies of which may be obtained from the King's Printer, Ottawa, Ont., or possibly from any stationer, and enclose same for your information.

From the clause quoted above it would appear that no claim for exemption will be considered unless affidavits have been filed in accordance therewith, and you will notice from a perusal of the Act that all males, between the ages of eighteen and sixty are liable to be called out for military service, at home or abroad, at any time under same, no further Act or amendment being necessary.

In view of the fact that every effort is now being made to obtain recruits here, we being approached on the streets and in every conceivable manner, with a view to having us enlist, and, as the authorities propose to raise 70,000 additional men in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan during the next few months, they may deem it advisable to put this Act in force at any date. We would, therefore, be glad if you will kindly advise as to our methods of procedure in this respect, and, if you deem it advisable for us to file affidavits immediately (it being our opinion at present that we should do this as soon as possible), we would appreciate advice as to suitable wording of same, so as to give the necessary facts upon which to base our claims for exemption.

Perhaps you may also think it advisable to acquaint other Canadian brethren of the terms under which exemptions may be obtained, if desired, as it does not appear to be very generally known what has to be done in such cases.

Praying the Lord's richest blessing upon you, and trusting you will be able to visit us here ere long, I am,

Your brother by His Grace,
W. T. HOOPER.

WHAT BIBLE STUDENTS SHOULD DO

The above letter is of great importance to members of the International Bible Students' Association residing in Canada. The full text of the law respecting militia and defense of Canada--Chapter 41 R.S. 1916--is published by S. E. Dawson, Ottawa. It could be ordered direct for, probably, five cents, or possibly could be obtained from any Canadian stationer. Its Eleventh Article enumerates exemption from service and includes "persons who, from the doctrines of their religion, are averse to bearing arms and rendering personal military service, under such conditions as are prescribed." 4 E. VII. c. 23, s. 12.

Paragraph twelve declares, as is pointed out in the foregoing letter, that "No person shall be entitled to exemption unless he has, at least one month before he claims such exemption, filed with the commanding officer within the limits whereof he resides his affidavit made before some Justice of [R5861 : page 63] the Peace of the facts on which he rests his claim. When exemption is claimed on any ground the burden of proof shall always rest on the person claiming it."

In harmony with the above requirement we advise that all Canadian members of the I. B. S. A., between the ages of 17 1/2 and 60 years, at once write out the following statement, drawn up by the Hon. J. F. Rutherford, make affidavit to it before a Justice of the Peace, and forward it, as directed, to "the commanding officer within the limits whereof he resides":
Dated at __________1916.

To the Honorable __________ Commanding Officer of __________ Honorable Sir:--

In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 41 of "AN ACT RESPECTING THE MILITIA AND DEFENSE OF CANADA," and known as "MILITIA ACT 4 E VII.," and particularly sections 11 and 12 thereof, I herewith hand you, to be filed as required by said Act, my affidavit setting forth the facts on which I rest my claim for exemption from liability to service in the Militia, and respectfully request that you cause the same to be filed as provided by said law.
Respectfully, (Signed) __________
AFFIDAVIT.

Province of __________}ss. Dominion of Canada }

I, __________(name of affiant), being duly sworn, upon my oath state: That I am a male citizen of Canada, and am __________years of age; that I reside at __________; that I am averse to bearing arms or rendering personal military service under the conditions as prescribed by "Militia Act 4 E VII.," and I make this affidavit, as provided by section 12, subdivision 2 of said Act and of Chapter 41 of "AN ACT RESPECTING THE MILITIA AND DEFENSE OF CANADA," for the purpose of obtaining exemption from liability to service in the Militia, and the facts upon which I rest my claim for such exemption are as follows, to wit:

I am a Christian and the religious doctrines which I believe and hold preclude me from bearing arms or rendering personal military service; I am a member of the International Bible Students Association, a religious Association organized under the laws of Great Britain, with its chief office at No. 34 Craven Terrace, Paddington, London, England, and also with offices at No. 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, N. Y., U. S. A., and which has classes or congregations throughout the Dominion of Canada; I subscribe to and am in harmony with the religious doctrines taught by said International Bible Students Association, which are, to wit, that all members thereof avow a full consecration of will, heart and life to God's service--as footstep followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and the doctrines and teachings concerning His Kingdom of Peace and good will; I am obligated by my conscience and by engagements with said Bible Students Association to "follow peace with all men," and to do violence or injury to none; that such is in harmony with the teachings of the Master, Christ Jesus, that His followers practise non-resistance; that the requirements of the International Bible Students Association are that its members be obedient to the "powers that be" in so far as their laws and requirements do not conflict with the teachings of Jesus Christ; that the provisions of said "Militia Act 4 E VII." are in conflict with the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, as I understand and believe the same.

Dated at__________
  __________1916.    (Sign here) __________
   Subscribed and sworn to before
me, a Justice of the Peace within
and for __________, this __________day of
__________A. D. 1916.
__________Justice of the Peace.

Every WATCH TOWER subscriber is recognized as a member of the International Bible Students' Association. The WATCH TOWER being the official organ of the Association its yearly subscription price includes annual membership fee of all Associated Bible Students.



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INTERESTING LETTERS

WELCOME BACK, DEAR BRETHREN!

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

You are the first person I have acquainted with the fact of my return home to fellowship with the brethren here at Victoria, B. C. I find myself, through my Heavenly Father's grace, brought back into the most blessed fellowship on earth, after being severed from that same fellowship for now six years.

You will doubtless remember me at Manchester, England, and how I, with some others there, saw cause to secede from the brethren on the subject of the Sin Offering. Well, I am happy to state that I now see that that action of mine was not justifiable and that I did wrong. I now wish to express my heartfelt shame for all the sorrow and pain such action caused to so many of my brothers and sisters in the Truth in England and Scotland, and most especially to yourself, for I am so much indebted to you for the Truth, on which I stand and in which I rejoice.

By God's grace, and abiding in Him, I will re-devote myself to Him and His Cause, show Him my love, live up more and more to Jesus and "toe the mark" for the Prize. Meditating on the thirteenth of 1 Corinthians brought me to see the error of my way--together with God's providential dealings with me. Oh, that all, like myself, would or could see their mistake and come back again; what rejoicing there would be in many hearts and what gladness to the heart of our Heavenly Father and our dear Lord and Savior and to all of like precious faith!

May the grace of Him who called you, dear Brother, and of our most precious Lord, abundantly sustain you to the end! Sorrowfully and gratefully,

Your brother in Christ,
J. T. HODGE.--B. C.

CALLED AGAIN TO TENT-MAKING

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

In terminating my services with the Society, I wish to express my thankfulness to the dear Lord, and to you His servant, for the blessed privilege which has been mine during the past two years, of engaging in the Pilgrim work.

In this period I have had many blessings, and learned many lessons, not the least important of which is to more humbly value my few talents. The responsibilities of a "teacher" have frequently weighed very heavily upon my heart, lest by careless word or thoughtless act I stumble one of the Lord's little ones. I feel that I have not at all times acted or counseled as wisely as, under the circumstances, I might have done. But He whose eye sleepeth not will overrule.

Knowing of your care for all the churches, and how heavily their spiritual interest weighs upon your heart, I am prompted to call your attention once more to the flood of literature and "sermonizing" now being forced upon the attention of the brethren. Some of this literature is advancing very subtle error; much of it is of doubtful value and considerable calculated to confuse or discourage the friends. The SCRIPTURE STUDIES and WATCH TOWER articles, in my judgment, could serve far better the issues in question.

While some slackness respecting faithfulness to their Vows and the systematic reading of the SCRIPTURE STUDIES can be noted since October, 1914, yet on the whole, I am glad to say that the general spiritual condition of the brethren is much improved.

The WATCH TOWER for Jan. 1st is very encouraging. May the Lord continue to bless you His servant, as you faithfully sacrifice of your time and comfort in ministering to our spiritual needs. With sincere Christian love to yourself and the Bethel family, I am

Your servant in the best of bonds,
WM. A. BAKER.

THE MINISTRY OF SORROW

BELOVED PASTOR RUSSELL:--

In THE WATCH TOWER of November 15 there appeared that most beautiful setting forth of "The Ministry of Sorrow." I want to impose on your most valuable time to tell how much I appreciated and do appreciate the article. Not that each TOWER does not contain most helpful and precious food, but as contrasted with the many things I have read along this line, the "Ministry of Sorrow," referred to above, is incomparably sweet. It has opened my eyes to a field of service I had not heretofore seen.

One Class that I visited have what they call their "Up-to-Date Meeting," which is given to careful study and analysis of such WATCH TOWER articles. Thus the application of doctrine to personal experience is more thoroughly impressed. I am sure from my own experience that many of the good things appearing in THE TOWER can be reread and studied with much profit.

We are sure, beloved Brother, that none could minister such things except he had the experience of such a ministry.

Thanking you for your ministry of love, and praying the Father's continued blessing upon you in such a ministry, I remain with much love,

Your Brother by His grace,
W. M. BATTERSON.



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International Bible Students Association Classes
STUDIES AND LECTURES BY MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION



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