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DEATH--We Die Daily by Laying Down Our Lives.
QUESTION (1912-Z)--1--What is the Apostle's thought in the statement, "So, then, death worketh in us, but life in you"?--2 Cor. 4:12.
ANSWER.--We understand St. Paul to refer to the tribulations which he and his companions were experiencing as they journeyed about in the interests of the Truth. These persecutions, difficulties, trials by the way, were evidences that God was accepting their sacrifice. Thus their death was going on, as elsewhere he says, "We die daily." In this statement he expressed the object, or motive, that prompted him and his companions to act. What they did was done, not in a perfunctory manner, because they had a general mission, but from a heart motive and in harmony with the Divine will, that they might bring spiritual blessings to the Church.
The early Church perceived that the Apostles were very active in the service of the Truth; and St. Paul explained that their motive was an unselfish one. He exhorted the Church not to please themselves, but to lay down their lives for one another, as he and his companions were doing, as ensamples to the flock. All who are members of the Royal Priesthood are laying down their lives in the service. We are thus "building one another up in the most holy faith," until we are come to the New Jerusalem!--the glorious Kingdom of the great Anointed One, the great Prophet, Priest and King, of whose profession Jesus is the great High Priest!
Our Lord declared, "I come to do Thy will, O God"; "I delight to do Thy will." (Heb. 10:9; Psa. 40:8.) This was a part of the Divine will, that He should lay down His life, finish His sacrifice, that He might ultimately give it on behalf of Adam and all of his race.
DEATH--Adamic or Sacrificial.
QUESTION (1913-Z)--2--Suppose that one of God's consecrated saints should die by some convulsion of nature--flood, fire, etc.--would such a death be sacrificial, or would it be Adamic?
ANSWER.--A consecrated child of God could not die the Adamic death. His death would either be the sacrificial death or the Second Death. If when he died he were a consecrated child of God, his death would be merely a completion of the consecration which he had previously made. Our lives are made holy and acceptable by the great High Priest, in whatever form death may come. But if in the meantime this consecrated child of God should turn away from Him, then it would be the Second Death. If he sin wilfully, deliberately, he commits the "sin unto death."-- 1 John 5:16.
DEATH--Fear of Dead.
QUESTION (1913)--3--Will the fear of the second death be apparent to the human family when perfected in the ages to come, or will it be possible for sin to be practiced?
ANSWER.--Our understanding is that the Lord intends that there will be no sin practiced after the destruction of Satan at the close of the Millennial Age. It will mean absolutely the end of sin and absolutely the end of death--at least so far as humanity and the earth are concerned. But God, before bringing things to that climax and deciding who [Q213] may have everlasting life, intends to have such a searching investigation that He will have demonstrated whether or no they will have any love for sin whatever: any who have any love for sin may have all the sin they want and all the penalty they want and God does not want them. He wants those who love righteousness and hate iniquity; the blessings are only for that class. All those whose sins are discovered will be punished with the second death, so that this guarantees that no one will live beyond that time except those in full accord with God, and therefore, without fear of second death.
DEATH--Adamic, After Establishment of Kingdom.
QUESTION (1913)--1--Will there be any further dying of the Adamic death after Messiah's Kingdom shall be established in the earth?
ANSWER.--I think something is dependent upon the weight of meaning we give to the expression "established in the earth." To my understanding the Kingdom will be a little time in being established. It will take time for its establishment, because, as I understand the matter, He intends to establish the Kingdom as people are ready to receive it. There will be plenty of people when the moment shall come when Messiah shall dominate the world and establish His Kingdom; there will be thousands and tens of thousands who will have no knowledge of the fact at all, and it will probably take some little while for the knowledge to reach them, weeks, months, perhaps years--I do not know that I should say years, but a considerable length of time--and apparently, as I read the Scriptures, this will be done in an orderly way. There will he a certain class ready to receive the Master and the Kingdom; there will be, for instance, the Ancient Worthies for one class and certain other persons who have come to a knowledge of the Lord who are in sympathy with the Kingdom and with these there will be the Jews, the willing Jews, and many of them will just be in a condition of readiness to fall in line, saying, Here are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets and they tell us the Kingdom is established and we will fall in line; if Messiah's kingdom is come, we will seek to be in harmony with it. As the blessing will come upon them, the restriction making them better and better, and a blessing upon their harvest, and all the good things upon them, the other will say, Why, these Jews have got it all and they will say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and He will teach us of His ways," as well as the Jews; for, "the Law shall go forth from Mount Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" and it shall go to the ends of the earth. But the blessings of Harvest, and so forth, that the Scriptures indicate, may take some time to convince them; one bad harvest may not convince them. Perhaps when they have had two or three, they will say, These Jews say that the reason of their prosperity is that they have back some of their prophets, resurrected from the dead, but it is foolishness. But as the time passes and the blessings still continue they will say, Foolishness or not, they are getting on first rate anyway. Later on people will reason more clearly when it affects their lives, and will come into harmony and he represented as Israelites; they will all come to be Israelites, the seed of Abraham, for Abraham's seed is to fill all the earth, and everybody that does not become of Abraham's seed will he one of those who suffer [Q214] the second death. And so I think it will be a gradual work; I do not know whether it will take ten years or more, but I should be inclined to think that five years will be a long time. And we believe that during that time death will be working in the world; people will be dying just the same as now, from weakness and disease, and that only with those who will come into harmony will the dying process and weakness begin to pass away, and that others will still be dying Adamic death; there will be no difference between the death they die and that which their grandfathers died. All death that comes as a result of sin is Adamic death when ever it comes, so if it came centuries apart it is still Adamic death. The Lord's promise is to any of those who get away from sin; then they may live; but if they like sin best they will die, it would signify second death for them because it would mean that they would fall out of line with the Kingdom, and yet, even, these are given a hundred years, you remember, in which they may be trespassers and yet not acknowledged worthy of the second death.
DEATH--Was Our Lord's Sacrificial?
QUESTION (1913)--1--Was our Lord's death a sacrificial one solely or did God need to impute sin to Him that He might die?
ANSWER.--We understand that our Lord's death was purely a sacrificial one. We find no Scriptures that say the Father imputed sin to Him; we can see no reason why such an imputation of sin should be made. It was not the Father who killed Him; it was not the Father who said He was a sinner. It was the Roman governor who said He was a sinner; it was the Jews who declared against Him first and urged the governor to fulfill their demands; all this condemnation came from the Jews, no condemnation from God. In God's sight He was then and always holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and the Scriptures show that if He had been anything else He would not have been acceptable for God's altar; to suppose that God would have imputed sin to Him would show that He would have no place on God's altar, for nothing defiled was permitted to come to God's altar. We sometimes say that our sins were imputed to Him and His righteousness is imputed to us, and there is a measure of truth in such a statement and a measure of correctness in such a thought. That is to say, we see how His righteousness was imputed to us; that is very plain; He imputes or grants the Church His merit or righteousness in view of the sacrifice He has made, and we can see also that what is meant by the thought that our sins were imputed to Him; by His own consent He took the place of the sinner, He offered Himself up to God "a sacrifice well pleasing." He offered Himself a sacrifice as typified by Aaron offering the bullock; the bullock was not blemished, but a perfect one. As the Priest, He slayed the bullock, and as the Priest He offered it afterwards to God. As a matter of fact, He has not yet offered it to God for the world, not yet. More than 1800 years have passed. The priest merely took the blood of the bullock and went into the Holy and then the Most Holy and there sprinkled the blood only on behalf of himself and his house, his body and the household of faith; the little flock class, the priestly class represented in his body, the under priests and household of faith representing the [Q215] Great Company class; only for these did he sprinkle the blood. The sins of the world were not imputed to Him in any sense, nor have they yet been. When He has finished the sacrificing of the Church which is His body, He will present us to the Father; that will be at the end of the age when the Church have been offered with Him and then He will present the full merit of His sacrifice in behalf of the sins of all the people, all the world of mankind. That will be the time when the world's sins will be canceled, but at the present time He is giving us His righteousness and our sins are being put upon Him. He never did any sin, but has merely so far imputed His righteousness to the Church, and will, by and by, to the world.
DEATH--Seeking and not Finding it.
QUESTION (1913)--1--In those days men shall seek death and shall not find it; and shall desire to die and death shall flee from them. (Rev. 9:6.) Please explain.
ANSWER.--The book of Revelation is a symbolic book, and I believe it cannot be rightly understood except as a whole. We would not be prepared this evening to explain it as a whole; therefore we believe it will be best to leave this little portion for future explanation.
DEATH--Re New Covenant.
QUESTION (1913)--2--If the new Age is soon to begin, as stated by you this afternoon, will it be necessary for every man to die in order to gain that new life; or will it be possible to receive the benefits of the new covenant and not die at all?
ANSWER.--We understand the Scriptures to teach that when the Kingdom of Messiah is inaugurated it will be in the midst of a time of trouble. Undoubtedly if it is to be the greatest trouble the world has ever had, as the Scriptures declare, it will be a serious time. We imagine many people will lose their lives. If they lose their lives they will need to have a resurrection from the dead. A great many will pass over from the present to the New Age, and the kingdom being established, they will not need to die. They may raise up more and more to perfection and finally get everlasting life without ever going into the tomb.
But I think of another part. Someone may say, "Has not the sentence of death passed upon the whole human family, and would that not mean that they must go down to death?" They are all in death; you are in death. Every one is born under the sentence of death. It is not necessary that those whose reprieve comes in should go the whole length in order to be awakened. Let us illustrate the matter. Suppose all in this audience had been brought under the sentence of imprisonment for life; instead of the prison of death it is the prison of Springfield. Suppose the patrol wagon came and took away a load to prison, and came after another, and another, but there are some still remaining here. Suppose the Governor, or Mayor, or someone having authority, granted a reprieve and set aside this sentence. Would it be necessary for us to go to prison and come out again? The reprieve would cover that. So some have already gone down into the prison of death, others are on their sick beds and on the way, while some of us still have a measure of health and strength. When the new covenant is established it will not [Q216] be necessary for such as are living to go down into the prison.
DEATH--Must all Humanity Enter the Tomb?
QUESTION (1915)--1--Please give Scripture for, the thought that some of the human family now living may not have to go down into death.
ANSWER.--I would say that the question is put in the wrong way. If the questioner thinks that all the l,600,000,000 now living should give some proof that they will all die, it isn't necessary. Properly, it seems that they would not all die; for the natural conclusion would be that as the Prince of Darkness has the power of death, and he is to be brought under control very soon, is to be bound, and as the Life-Giver who has died on behalf of the world is to set up His Kingdom, and that Kingdom is all-powerful, and its King opposed to death, death will cease when the Kingdom has taken control. The new King will not only be opposed to people who have already died remaining dead, but will be opposed to the death of any who will then have been legally redeemed. This will include every member of the race of Adam.
We have given an illustration in Studies in the Scriptures which covers this point. But you know we need to study those Studies in the Scriptures over and over. There the illustration is like this: Suppose that we as a whole company gathered together were placed under arrest, that some officer of the Government would come to the door and say, "I have an unpleasant announcement: You are all under arrest." And then suppose that they would have a wagon outside and would begin to take us to the lockup. After taking the first load, they would return and take another wagon-load, and then another and another. Then suppose that while the wagon was on the way to the station and while others were standing here awaiting their turn, some one went to see the authorities, and they would say, "There is some mistake about this, but there is so much of a payment to be made." "Very well, I will give you the check." Then the chief officer would say, "Stop this matter of arrest at once." So the proper officers go out and execute the command. They meet the wagon and say, "You need not take these people any further they are not under arrest. Let them go!" Then he come up to the building where the remainder are awaiting their incarceration and says, "You are all now free." Then he hastens to the jail and liberates those who had been imprisoned, giving them the message of freedom.
Now those who had been taken to prison and those who had not been taken had all been under sentence. But when the claim was adjusted no more need enter the prison. So it is with the results of our Lord's death. It will not only set free those who have gone down into the great prison-house of death, but will stop the proceedings against those waiting to go into this prison-house. This is implied in the Scriptures. For example, see Zeph. 3:8,9; Rev. 14:6,7.
DEATH--Will All Go into Death.
QUESTION (1908)--2--Will the restitution class living when the Church is sealed go into death, or will restitution commence with them at once? [Q217]
ANSWER.--I understand that with the closing of this age, --or rather I wish to say that the Church will be completed with the close of this age, and at that time a great time of trouble will come in upon the world in which a great many people will lose their lives--a time of trouble which is pictured in the Scriptures by the trouble that came on the Jews at the end of their age when so many thousand people of Israel perished at the siege of Jerusalem. That is given as a type in the Scriptures as the end of this age and the perishing of a great many here. Likewise the French Revolution is held up in the book of Revelation as a picture of the time that is coming in the end of this age. So what we expect will be a little short period of anarchy, and the Church will be taken before that anarchy begins. It will be completed, as our Lord said. The world will fear looking for those things that are coming on the earth, but, he said, "Watch that ye may be accounted worthy to escape those things coming on the world." The Church will have certain things coming on it, and it will include a great many trials and persecutions, and perhaps a great deal of suffering in various ways, in the end of this age; but they will all have passed beyond the vail before this anarchistic trouble will have come on the world. And in the coming of this trouble on the world a great many lives will be lost; but still there will be a great many people left out of the sixteen hundred millions of the world's population. We would not expect that nearly half would die. By no means, but without attempting to guess as to the proportionate number, there will be a good many of them undoubtedly left at that time, and it will be to those that the Lord's first message will come, and the establishment of his kingdom. The Scriptures teach us it will begin with the Jews. They will be the first to be favored in that restitution time. God's favor will come first to them through the Ancient Worthies, and then through them afterwards to all the nations, kindreds and tongues. And thus all living nations will have a blessing from the Lord, and their blessing would come in the very beginning of the dawn of the Millennial age; they will have this first, or primary, blessing, and as they fall in line with the kingdom order of things, righteousness will begin to be established in the earth; and as mankind comes into harmony all of this will be established to some extent before any are awakened from the tomb. Now I imagine part of this question would be, Do they not all have to go down into the tomb? Must not every member of Adam's race, since the penalty was death, go down into the tomb? No, I answer; it is not necessary to the divine will. From God's standpoint the whole world is a dead world, as Jesus said, you remember. There was a certain young man who said, Lord, after my father's death I will come and be one of your disciples. While the old gentleman lives I think I had better stay with him, but after he is dead I will become one of your disciples. Jesus answered and said unto him, Let the dead bury the dead, but go thou and preach the gospel. Which is to say, that the whole world is dead from God's standpoint.
Sickness, death, has passed upon all mankind, and from God's standpoint none of them have life nor a right to life. Again, you remember that the Lord Jesus said, "He [Q218] that hath the Son bath life and he that hath not the Son bath not life." The whole world, then, that have not Christ have not life. Christ is the Life giver and whoever has Christ gets life. So then, the whole world is a dead world already. Now, then, with the beginning of the Millennial age, the Lord who has bought the whole world with his precious blood will begin the work of restoring things and blessing the world, uplifting it, and as the world gets this uplift it will help them out of their dying condition. For instance, when the world of mankind that have gone down into death shall all come forth, they will not come forth to life. You remember the Scriptures say that only the first resurrection class come forth to life. So our Lord says, "They that have done good." Those that have pleased the Father, those who have his approval, shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, the others come forth to a resurrection by judgments--a gradual raising up out of death, a thousand-year day in which, under the judgments of the Millennial kingdom, they will be lifted up, up, up, out of their degradation and sin, out of dying, and brought to the full perfection of life. You see Adam had life when God formed him, but when be committed sin he came under the sentence of death, "Dying thou shalt die." The dying began right away. He was thrust out of the garden of Eden. He began to be a dying man; he could not be a living man, and a dying man both. Perfection of life began to go the moment he was thrust out of the garden. After the sentence of death it took 930 years before he was absolutely dead. So with the world in the matter of restitution; the awakening from the tomb will not be giving them life; life is the perfection; it will be bringing them forth in the still imperfect condition, without life. But they will be lifted up higher and higher out of degradation, mental, moral and physical, into which they have been plunged through sin. So not until the end of the Millennial age will the world of mankind be free from death. And that is what the Scriptures say again, The last enemy death, shall he destroyed. And that is speaking of Christ's Millennial kingdom, because it is right in that connection. In 1 Cor. 15th chapter the Apostle shows that He must reign until he shall have put down all authority, and all insubordination, and the last enemy, the last foe to God, and to righteousness, and to man, will he death. And so it will take the whole thousand years to put down death, because it will take the whole thousand years to bring man out of death. So long as death has any hold on mankind, death is not destroyed. It will take all of that thousand years to destroy death and release mankind.
Someone may say, "Brother Russell, You have not said anything about anyone dying the second death." No, but it is true. The Scriptures tell that there will be some who, with all the favor of God, will reject the counsel of God and fail to attain that life, fail to be raised out of it; not fail because there is any limitation of God's plan, not because God had not made any provision for them, not because the precious blood of Christ was not sufficient for them, not because the opportunities of the Millennial age were insufficient. No, but merely because of their refusal to accept God's favor under these blessed and favorable conditions of the Millennium. God has given to every human being a will [Q219] for himself, and he does not propose to coerce any man's will, but on the contrary he seeketh such to worship him as worship in spirit and truth. And if any will not worship him in spirit and in truth, let him die the death. God does not propose to give eternal life to any except those who desire eternal life and who love the terms upon which be offers it,--the terms of obedience and loyalty to God,--and we all say, Amen. We are glad God has determined that not a rebel soul shall live. So when the end of the Millennial age shall have come, and Jesus shall turn over the world to the Father, he will be able to turn it over perfect, because in the meantime he will destroy all those in the second death who refuse to go forward and refuse to be obedient to the laws of his kingdom. You remember the prophecy how that a sinner shall die a hundred years old. He shall be cut off because of his refusal to fall in line with the rules of the kingdom. You remember the Apostle Peter's statement in the 3rd chapter of Acts when he says, pointing down to Christ's Millennial kingdom: Verily Moses said unto the fathers, a prophet, a great teacher, prophet, priest and king, shall God raise up from amongst your brethren, like unto me. As Moses was the great leader of Israel so here is to be a greater than Moses, the antitype; and it says that the soul that shall not obey that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people. Thank God he will not be tormented! No, God will destroy all the wicked,-- "All the wicked will he destroy." That is a righteous, just penalty for those who refuse God's favor and his righteous, reasonable, loving terms.
Brother Harrison: Will you please give us a word or two additional on a few points on that subject? I understood you to say that they who would come forth to a resurrection of life would include those only who have part in the first resurrection. Does it not also include the Ancient Worthies, who died in faith, and, second, may we expect the resurrection of the Ancient Worthies during the time of anarchy, or immediately at the close of that period?
ANSWER.--I agree. This statement of our Lord in John 5:29, "They that have done good [shall come forth] unto the resurrection of life," includes more than the first resurrection. You see the word "first" in one sense is used in order of time-- first in order of time. Now that will be first in order of time there specified, but the word in the original strictly means first in order of quality--first-class resurrection. The Lord does not say that all of those shall come forth to the first-class resurrection. Another Scripture says, "Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first [that is in the first-class] resurrection; they shall be priests unto God and to Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." That is the little flock, you see. Now when our Lord mentions the matter, he does not divide this first resurrection, or this resurrection of those that have done good; he does not tell us about the different parts but he lumps together all who belong to the resurrection of those who have done good. They shall all come forth to life, resurrection. Now it includes, therefore, not merely the little flock which constitutes the church, the bride of Christ, but it includes also the great company, because they have done good. They made their consecration, and though they were not loyal enough [Q220] according to the Scriptures, to be counted worthy of a share in the throne with the Lord, and be priests of that royal priestly class, and he joint heirs with him, yet the testings brought upon them eventually proves that they are loyal to God, even at the cost of their lives, so that they did good; they come off conquerors, as is shown in Revelation where that class is pictured. We read about the little flock of a hundred and forty-four thousand, and then we read of a great company whose number no man knows, out of every people, and kindred, and nation and tongue. Who are these? These are they who come up out of great tribulation. The little flock came through great tribulation. Without tribulation ye shall not enter the kingdom. Then who are these? This is a special tribulation class for a special reason, and so we read that eventually they will be granted palm branches. They are not granted crowns. Crowns belong to the little flock, but palm branches belong to the great company, because they represent victory. The great company gain a victory because the Scriptures say they are conquerors. But the little flock are what? More than conquerors. The great company will all be conquerors; they must all conquer or they will die the second death. Everyone who comes under the Spirit's power during this gospel age is bound to come off a conqueror, or else die the second death; there is nothing else to it. There are two classes, then, that have done good; the little flock, more than conquerors, and the great company, conquerors. And then there are the Ancient Worthies, who are those mentioned in Paul's letter to the Hebrews, where he explains how some of them were found faithful, and endured hardness, and he goes on to tell about them, saying that they had this testimony that they pleased God. You see that shows they will be of that class our Lord mentioned. He there says that they have done good. On what basis? Faith and obedience. They are, then, in the resurrection class. It includes really three classes, but our Lord mentions them as one, "They that have done good [shall come forth] unto a resurrection of life." These three classes will come forth unto life on three different planes-- three different resurrections in that sense of the word. First will be the Saints who will come forth to the plane of the divine nature; secondly, will be the Great Company who will come forth on the plane of the spirit nature, like unto that of the angels; and, thirdly, the Ancient Worthies who will come forth on the human plane as men. Why should all of those come forth unto life and perfection? They stood their trial and in their trial they had the testimony that they came off conquerors, pleased God, therefore God is going to give them life. The gift of God is eternal life. The gift of God is eternal life in a special application to the Church; this eternal life is the divine nature. The eternal life to the Great Company is as spirit beings on the angelic plane. The gift of God, eternal life, will be restitution for the Ancient Worthies--perfection of human nature. They were never called to anything more. Then you remember the Apostle says, God having provided some better thing for us than for them, that they without us should not be made perfect. How wonderful the Scriptures fit together! But what about the rest of mankind? They will come forth to be tried. You remember this word "judgment" signifies "trial." The [Q221] world will not be on trial until the due time comes. Some of you perhaps have been in court and know that one case is on for trial, and all the cases were not on at once, were they? No. Here is one case that is on trial, and the other cases could not come on until that one was tried. Now, God is putting on trial first of all the Church; the Church is on trial during this Gospel age. After the Church's trial is over those who get the mark of pleasing God will be ushered into the glories of the Lord's blessing through the resurrection change, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Their trial is then past, as our Lord pictures in the parable of the nobleman who went into a far country to receive a kingdom for himself, etc.
DEATH--Sacrificial Or Real.
QUESTION (1916)--1--"Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints", Psa 16:15. Does this mean daily dying the sacrificial death, or the real death of a saint?
ANSWER.--We need not quarrel over that text at all. Everything pertaining to the saint is precious to the Lord. At the time of consecration, that is precious in His sight. It was precious in His sight when Jesus, the first Saint, did this. The Father caused the Holy Spirit to come upon Jesus at that time, and the Voice declared Him to be the Son of God. At every other step we may have the divine favor and blessing, because everything pertaining to the saint is precious in the sight of the Lord. Consecration, dying daily and finally actual death-- they are all precious to the Father. He is going to give all such that great reward. Precious therefore must they be in his sight.
QUESTION (1910)--2--Please explain, "Owe no man anything but love."
QUESTION (1909)--3--Will earthly records to deeds to property be recognized at all in the Millennial Age after the time of trouble?
ANSWER.--It is very difficult for us to determine to what extent a title-deed to property will have value after the time of trouble, because we do not know to what extent the records will be destroyed. It is very difficult to speak about a matter which is so obscure, and of which there is no record in the Scriptures. Our supposition is that after the introduction of the Millennial Age matters will go in much the same way as before, but the world will be in a paralyzed condition, all beaten and sore, because of the great trouble. Our Lord spoke of this through the Prophet, saying, "Be still and know that I am God." That will be the first lesson for the world to learn. It will be a severe but a very valuable lesson for the outside nations. We understand that death will continue to reign in a measure and that the only place that life and restitution will be manifest in the world will be in the lives of the nation of Israel under the New Covenant. It will still be true and always be true that, "He that hath the Son hath life, but he that hath not the Son hath not life." The heathen nations that do not fall in line with the Heavenly Kingdom will be barred to the special [Q222] blessings that are coming under the New Covenant to the Covenanted people of Israel.
As the other nations see the blessings that are coming to the nation of Israel, they will all want to have a share and this is what will lead them to say, "Let us go up to the house of the Lord and he will lead us in his paths."
As to the value then of a title-deed, after the time of trouble, I think it is too indefinite a question to discuss. I would say this, however, that the man who owned the property would have as much right as any one else.
DEMONS--Time for Judging.
QUESTION (1911)--1--"And behold they cried out, saying, 'what have w to do with thee Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come to torment us before the time?'" What time?
ANSWER.--This, dear friends, you remember was the language of the demons. When the Lord was casting out some of these demons at the first advent, and he commanded them to come out of the man and they objected; they seemed to think they were still within the limits of their time. Haven't we got a right to continue under these conditions? Haven't you come too soon? Are you going to torment us before the time? Well, I would suggest this: The word torment there does not have exactly the same thought that our word torment would have. It would mean, "do us distress;" just the same as in a landlord's warranty, a landlord is said to put a tenant in distress for his rent. That is to say, he will put him out of the premises for failure to pay his rent, and that is the thought that is here. Have you come to distress us, or put us out before the time? But, anyway, whatever the fallen spirits might say would not be good theology with any good Christian. We are not building our theology on what the demons say. We want what Jesus, and the apostles, and prophets, say. What the demons say would not count anything with me.
It reminds me of a gentleman who was once arguing a point with me, and he quoted a Scripture, and it was quite to his side, and I said, "Where is that?" And we turned to the place, and I found then why it was peculiar. It was in Job. It was what the devil said. "Now," I said, "Brother, you are quoting me what the devil said." And he had no more to say. So here, what these demons said is worthy of no further consideration.
DEPOSIT--Where Shown in Old Testament.
QUESTION (1916)--2--Is the deposit of the ransom price shown anywhere in the types and shadows or teachings of the Old Testament?
ANSWER.--I do not think of anything in the Old Testament that teaches the deposit of the ransom. The ransom in this particular sense of the word is not a word used in the Old Testament. Only one case, "No man can give to God a ransom for his brother." It is a New Testament thought brought to our attention under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and representing a very deep teaching of God's Word,
DEPOSIT--In Whose Name and Credit.
QUESTION (1916)--3--In whose name and to whose credit is this deposit? [Q223]
ANSWER.--In the name and credit of the one human man I deposit it. Same as if you put $1,000 in the bank, it is in your name. Jesus did not give this to any one else. He deposited it in the hands of the Father. "I commit." No change, no transfer. Not that I commit this in your care for Father Adam or the world. I simply deposit it in your care and keeping. My spirit--that is shown there by the word"my."
QUESTION (1916)--1--Give the meaning of the word deposit, please.
ANSWER.--The word deposit signifies the word deposit. Put $1,000 in a bank, a deposit; you would get a little book and it would show a credit there. Your deposit does not show that you gave it to the banker. It was in his keeping for you had placed it in his care and it was yours to check out, when you pleased. Jesus deposits the ransom when he said in his dying moments, Father, in thy hands I commend, commit, I give over my spirit. The spirit of human life. Give it over to the Father's hands, not to the devil. The devil has nothing to do with mankind. Jesus had a right to his life. He had kept the Divine Law, being holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners and fully doing the Father's will. He had a life right unforfeited in any sense of the word, and this he deposited. "Father into thy hands I commit my spirit of life." And it is still in the Father's hands; Jesus never took it away. But did he not take it away when he was resurrected from the dead? No, the Father gave him a reward of a still higher form of life. "Put to death in the flesh, but quickened or made alive in the Spirit" on the Divine plane. This spirit life which he had in the resurrection was a reward for obedience; no bearing on his other life at all. He still has right to the earthly, but he has no use for it. He has a higher and better life, but the other is at his disposal.
QUESTION (1916)--2--Did Jesus make his deposit at the time of his death, or at the river Jordan?
ANSWER.--I would say he did not make his deposit at the time of his consecration at Jordan. My view of it would be that Jesus made a covenant with the Father that he would keep the Divine law and do everything he found written in the book, all the things represented in the types and shadows, and this was the arrangement of the Father, and that by doing all these things fully, by keeping the Law he had a right to life and by sacrificing his right to that, he had become heir to the promises of glory, honor and immortality, and it was when he was giving up his life entirely: "Father into thy hands I commit my spirit."
QUESTION (1916)--3--What is the real merit, or credit, or price, on deposit?
ANSWER.--The thing that is on deposit is merely the value of a perfect man's life. No more, no less. That was the ransom on deposit. The corresponding price, that which Adam had forfeited. Of course that life includes the right to fellowship with God, earthly home and all the things [Q224] that God had given to man originally. Psalm 8. What is man? "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels--thou hast put all things under his feet." And it includes all those rights, and when Jesus laid down his life right he was laying down as much as any man ever had or could have. A right to everything Adam had as a perfect man. All this was placed in the Father's hands, in the hands of the Divine justice.
DEPOSIT--Value Through Jesus.
QUESTION (1916)--1--Why is the value of the deposit through the glorified Jesus?
ANSWER.--In that it is the basis of the great work. The first part of the work is the bringing many sons to glory, and that same ransom sacrifice in the hands of justice will be the price which will make the ransom of the whole world from death, and give the glorified mediator, head and body the right to step in, and for 1,000 years exercise mercy toward mankind, helping them up from their fallen position, to all that was lost in Eden.
DEPOSIT--New Testament Teaching On.
QUESTION (1916)--2--What New Testament Scriptures clearly teach the acceptance of the deposit of the ransom price?
ANSWER.--The general teaching of the New Testament is that Jesus has something in the hands of Divine justice which is the basis of all reconciliation with the Father. The one that directly tells us, he not only gave himself a ransom, but when he died he said "Into thy hands I commit my spirit. I leave it with you." Many scriptures show how this is made applicable. We read of the application of the merit. It implies there is some merit there. Figuratively referred to, how could we receive the robe of righteousness unless there was a merit?
DESTRUCTION--As Natural Brute Beasts.
QUESTION (1907)--3--Please explain the text that speaks of some persons as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed.
ANSWER.--The Apostle is speaking of some who are to suffer destruction at the hands of the Lord, and he says as wild beasts they are taken and destroyed. You do not think it any harm to destroy a lion. Why? Because he is ferocious and apt to do some harm. If it were a dove flying about and harmless, I would say, do not touch it, but let it go. Or if it were some bird of beautiful plumage flying about and doing no harm, but only uttering some beautiful trill of voice, I would say, do not touch the bird. Why should we destroy the life of any such innocent and beautiful creature? But if it were a lion or a tiger, and the whole village or city was in distress because of it, and it was going to do some harm, we would say that we had better destroy it. Every policeman, under such circumstances, is authorized to draw his revolver and to shoot immediately. It is only fit for destruction; and is not a proper thing to let go at liberty. So, the Lord has this view with respecting a certain class He is going to destroy in the second death. They are not fit for life; that is the reason they will be destroyed. They are no more fit for life than the brute beasts are fit to live. Just as it is proper to destroy a corrupt person who has injured others, and to cut off his [Q225] opportunity of perpetuating evil, so it would be to destroy a brute beast. And God purposes that all the wicked will He destroy--those who have had full knowledge, and have been helped in every way that God, Christ and the Ancient Worthies will be able to help them--after they have had all of that, if they are still, at heart, antagonistic to righteousness, and if they still love iniquity, let them die as brute beasts. But it would not be right to torment them. It is not right to torment brute beasts. Who would say that God or man had a right to torment even brute beasts, or human creatures? But it is right to destroy beasts and it is right for God to destroy those who will ultimately be like brute beasts, in that they would be injurious to others.
QUESTION (1911)--1--What will be the final abode and end of the devil and his angels?
ANSWER.--I do not think they will have any final abode. They belong to the wicked, and all the wicked will God destroy; not only the wicked human, but also the wicked spirit beings. Eternal life is the gift of God, and he will not allow that to go to those who will not use it in harmony with himself. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.
DEVIL--Re Symbols of Revelation.
QUESTION (1911)--2--"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever." "And the smoke of their torment ascended up forever and ever, and they have no rest day and night which worship the beast and his image."
ANSWER.--These passages are taken from Revelation, and the book of Revelation is a symbolical book; that is exactly what it purports to be. We read that Jesus sent his angel and signified or made signs of certain things, and those signs, or symbols, have been with us and have been examined for 1,800 years. Now we will not undertake at this time to investigate the entire book of Revelation, but content ourselves briefly by saying, first, that all teachers will admit that no doctrine should be based wholly on a text of Scripture found in Revelation, if it does not have some foundation in other parts of the Word of God; no one may build a doctrine merely upon a passage of Scripture which has only Revelation for its basis, because that being a symbolical book, nearly all the statements in it are symbolical. Now in this case you will notice the reference to the beast and false prophet--one beast and one false prophet. Who is that beast? Have you seen that beast? Do you know anything about that beast? Do you know anything about that false prophet? Now, you see, unless I would take time to go into the matter and discuss what the beast symbolizes, and what the false prophet symbolizes, it would not be proper to discuss what is meant by this, and what happened to them. The beast is a symbol of a great system, but time will not permit us to go into a discussion of the subject. I believe it represents a great system of religion that is now in the world. And the false prophet I understand represents another system of religion--not a man, not men, but a system; and that system. [Q226] is to be destroyed; and that system is to have torment, and it is to collapse--not the people. You will find something on this subject in the little pamphlet we gave away last night.
QUESTION (1905)--1--What does the word "Dives" come from?
QUESTION (1913)--2--Do you deny the divinity of Christ?
ANSWER.--By no means, dear friends. It is a very remarkable thing that there are some who seem to greatly misunderstand what we have to say. You will find in this city and in every great city I suppose scores who will deny that Jesus ever had a virgin mother; scores who will deny that He had any prior existence. No one says anything about their denying the divinity of Jesus. I do not accuse them. Do we not claim that Jehovah was His Father? Do we not deny that Joseph was His Father? We certainly do claim the divinity of Christ; that the divine Father was His Father; that He was begotten and specially born of a virgin, and therefore, was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." Do we claim he was the Heavenly Father when a man? No, we do not claim He was His own father. That would not be Scriptural. If anyone thinks He was His own father, and His own son, he does not know what he is talking about.
As to what He is now. We believe He is divine now. The Bible says so. "Him hath God exalted and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth." Already the angels are bowing to Him, and by and by every knee on earth will bow. Moreover, Saint Peter says the church is begotten to the divine nature. While it does not say Jesus is a partaker of the divine nature, we understand him to teach that thought.
DIVISIONS--The Unruly and Confused.
QUESTION (1910)--3--In Rom. 16:17, we are told to mark those which cause divisions and avoid them. What rules will enable us to distinguish between such and those who are simply confused, or who are unable to quickly see some further point of truth.? What shall our course with those of the latter class be if unusually earnest about expressing themselves regarding their differences?
ANSWER.--I would say that would he a matter of judgment, that you should use your own judgment, asking the Lord for guidance, that you might deal wisely with all the brethren, and always kindly and lovingly.
The marking of those who cause divisions, I would understand the Apostle to mean, that if any spoke differently from us, that we should not take issue with him and put him out. That would be a harsh interpretation. The Apostle means that if they are those who are of a contentious disposition after having an opportunity to be heard, and then continually knocking and work to make a split, then they should be avoided. When he says, avoid them, I do not understand that we should avoid them as wild [Q227] beasts, nor as those who necessarily are in opposition, but as those to whom we would not wish to express ourselves so fully and freely as to those who are in closer harmony. For instance, we are not permitted to avoid anyone and to denounce him as being a brother because of some difference of opinion over some passage of Scripture. There is the one procedure for disfellowshipping one who has been considered a member of the body of Christ, only one method, namely; go to him alone. If unable to have the right understanding of the matter take two or three others. If still unable to get into harmony, etc., it may then be told to the church, through its proper channels. It would be wise, in taking two or three others, that you take two or three elders of the church, for they would be very suitable ones to take along. If he refuses to hear these, then it may be brought to the attention of the church, and only in that way and by the voice of the whole company of God's people who might be meeting together, only by their vote in the matter could anyone be disfellowshipped as a brother. From amongst those whom you recognize as brethren there are some with whom you have more intimate fellowship than others, and to whom you show special attention, not on account of education, or social standing, or wealth, but because of their relationship to the Lord; and if you find then one who is causing division, do not give him so much of your fellowship; just be a little more cool toward him than if he were fully in fellowship and not causing divisions. The Apostle does not say to have nothing to do with him, and to brand him as a heretic. Avoid helping such a person to an office, or anything that would specially help him along, if you see him in an unsafe position. Don't push him away, but be ready to help him, and not injure him, I think is the Apostle's thought.
DOGS--Dogs in Your Neighborhood.
QUESTION (1905)--1--Please explain the three clauses of Phil. 3:2. "Beware of dogs, beware of evil doers, beware of the concision."
ANSWER.--Who are the dogs? Well, let each look around in his own neighborhood and see if he can find any that have the characteristics of dogs, snapping and barking at you. It does not mean literal dogs, but figurative dogs. If you find any, don't rub them the wrong way.
The evil doers mean, any evil doers; we have neither part nor lot with darkness. Do not have your fellowship with those who are injuring others, for if the time came they would do you an injury. Seek the company and fellowship of those that love righteousness. Put a premium upon that which is good, just and noble.
The concision in the apostle's day signified those who were in opposition to circumcision. Circumcision was a certain sign. Ours is the heart, the cutting away from our affections that which would be injurious. We are not Jews according to the flesh, but we have a circumcision of the heart.
DOMINION OF EARTH--Whose Right.
QUESTION (1908)--2--Did Jesus have the right to the dominion of the earth before He made his consecration, as Adam had before he sinned, and did Jesus sacrifice this right in order to give it back to man?
ANSWER.--In one sense of the word that might be true. [Q228] That is to say, because He was perfect, and because He was the only man in the world who was perfect, He therefore would have certain rights that other men would not have; but remember, He had to be tried first to see whether He was perfect before it would he delivered to Him. Adam had it delivered to him, and then he was tried to see whether he might keep it or not; he failed under the trial, and therefore lost the dominion of life as well as everything else. But in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ, His trial came first and He was tried before the dominion was given to Him, and in the trial He proved faithful, and His faithfulness was demonstrated by His entire life, and finishing His life at Calvary. So that by that time, by the sacrifice of Himself, He proved His loyalty to God and the right to be the representative of God, the Man Christ Jesus, who now had in this general way the right to be the heir of all things; this He had the right to, by reason of this demonstration of His loyalty to God, as we read in the prophecy, "Unto thee shall it come, O, thou prince of the flock, even the first dominion." The original dominion in Adam came to Jesus, the Prince of the flock, by reason of His faithfulness and obedience to the Father unto death. By consecration of Himself He gave up this. He was both winning and laying down at the same time; He was winning by obedience to the Law of Israel the right to the dominion of earth, and by the sacrifice of Himself He was laying it down so that He would have the right to give it to Adam and His race. He was doing two things at the same time. It was both an obedience to the Law and the sacrifice of Himself. These two things were simultaneous, and these two things were finished at Calvary. So He has dominion, and as soon as He shall have gathered out the Church, His Bride, He proposes to give that dominion to mankind, to the race of Adam, of whom He is to be the Father, the life-giver, and all who will accept life from Him may have it. All through the Millennial Age they will know that life is obtainable by obedience to Him, that He is the only one who has the right to give it, and that is the reason He is called the Everlasting Father, or the Father of Everlasting Life. He will give everlasting life to those who will be His children. In other words, having bought Adam and his race He is going to adopt as His children all who were children of Adam.
Brother Russell: I would not think so. I think that is another line of thought altogether. The Apostle is there speaking to the Jews, and the reason why a Jew could not have any privileges as a child of God was because they were under tutors, etc. Although God favored them, they were treated the same as the rest of the world in other respects; they were not set free from the Law, but as soon as the House of Sons began then Christ made us free from that Law that we should no longer be of the House of Servants, but now might come into the House of Sons. You could apply it, of course, to Christ; that so long as He was a member of the House of Servants He was under the Law. Then Christ as a Son, though He were a Son, so long as He had not reached this demonstration He was treated the same as the House of Servants. He was under the Law the same as all Jews were under the Law.