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QUESTION (1909)--l--(Rom. 11:12), "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles: How much more their fullness?" When was or will be their "fullness" and what is it?
Now, if God's dealings in the past were made contingent one upon another, what shall we expect of God's blessings which shall go out to all the world in the times of restitution? We can expect a blessing of all the families of the earth, as God intimated to Abraham, through both the heavenly and earthly seed.
QUESTION (1909)--2--Please explain the words of Jesus, "But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to smite his fellow~servants." (Mat. 23:48,49.)
ANSWER.--We understand that a certain servant which the Lord would use at the end of this age, whether you like to call it a class or an individual, whatever it is, if the servant shall prove wicked and shall lose his relationship to the Lord, then we should expect that that servant would be cut off from his relationship to the Lord. One evidence of his being displaced and put out of commission is this: He would begin to smite his fellow-servants and to deny the presence of the Lord. He would lose the spirit of Christ and the truth respecting the presence of the Lord. It does not say that it will be so, but "And if he should." It implies that when the Lord selects a servant, it is upon condition that he remain in the Lord's favor and in harmony with Him, and if he does not, then thus and so shall follow. ISRAEL AND JUDAH--Re Covenant Relationship ::Q355:3:: Question (1911)--1--When will the house of Israel and the house of Judah be in covenant relationship with God?
ANSWER.--The house of Israel and the house of Judah will come into this covenant relationship through the new covenant just as soon as Messiah in his glory shall establish his kingdom, and that covenant shall be ushered in. He is already preparing the better sacrifices; he must accomplish this; soon he will be taking the blood and sprinkling the mercy seat. Then the next order of things will be the sprinkling, or blessing, of the people, and Israel and Judah will be the first then to come in under that arrangement; they will have the first share in that great blessing which will not be for Israel only, nor for Judah only, nor for these together only, but for all the families of the earth. From them these blessings will go forth.
ISRAEL--"Seven Times" of Chastisement a Blessing.
QUESTION (1915)--4--If the punishment for the righteous blood shed from Abel's day to our Lord's day came upon the Jews in the year 70 A.D., how can we explain the chastisements through which they have been passing all down the Gospel Age? [Q356]
ANSWER.--We certainly know that the Jews said at the time of our Lord's death at their hands, "His blood be upon us and upon our children." They not only were willing to bear personally the responsibility for Jesus' death, but expressed the desire that their posterity also should bear it. Doubtless God, with His foreknowledge in respect to what this people would do, as well as in respect to their general heart condition, had from the beginning planned their "Seven Times" of disfavor. This He had caused to be recorded by Moses in the book of (Lev. 26:18-45). God had there declared that if the Israelites did not repent of their transgressions against their Covenant, and if His repeated chastisements failed to reform them, He would bring upon them "Seven Times" of punishment and discipline.
In Bible chronology a "Time" is a symbolic year. According to Jewish reckoning each year was composed of 360 days; hence when used symbolically each year would mean 360 years, and seven such symbolic years would be a period of 2520 literal years. These Seven Times, or seven symbolic years, began in 606 B.C. at the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away of the entire nation into Babylon, at the time when the foretold 70 years of desolation of the land began (Jer. 25:8-12; 2 Chron. 36:14-22), and has continued ever since, we understand, or until about September 21st last
During this long period of affliction upon Israel, the Lord has given the Gentile nations an opportunity of showing what they could do in the way of world-government. God had declared that during these "Times" He would deal very differently with His Covenant people from His previous dealings. He would walk contrary to them and would scatter them among the heathen (Gentiles); and they should be under the domination of their enemies, etc. It is a matter of history that the Jews have indeed ever since been oppressed by the other nations, "without a king," in full harmony with what was foretold by the Lord. This experience has been favorable to Israel as well as unfavorable. It has not been merely a chastisement for their sins. It has been an experience which the Lord has given them for their good. "BEFORE I WAS AFFLICTED I WENT ASTRAY."
During the "Seven Times," then, the Jews have had severe tribulation and discipline. All of God's people, of every Age, have needed chastisements for their correction and development, some more and some less. God says to Spiritual Israel, "For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? If ye be without chastisement, then are ye bastards (spurious) and not sons." (Heb. 12:8.) And so it has been with the House of Servants, Natural Israel. Because they were God's Covenant people, therefore He dealt with them; and He has really given them, during these 2,520 years, experiences which will prove favorable to such of them as will incline to do right. Those bitter experiences proved so favorable that when Jesus came they, as a people, were the holiest in the world; and at that time they had suffered only a small portion of these "Seven Times."
So we find that the preaching of the Gospel by our Lord and His Apostles found about five hundred of the Jews ready to believe and accept Jesus as Messiah. And soon afterwards, just after Pentecost, there were quite a number of [Q357] thousands who believed. These, we are told, were Israelites indeed in whom there was no guile. It is very remarkable that there was so large a number in Israel ready to receive the Messiah. This would not have been the case had they not been passing through disciplinary experiences. These experiences were all such as would tend to keep them separate from the Gentiles, keep them from mixing with any of the peoples of the earth.
If the Jews had prospered under the various governments-- Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome--they might have intermingled with these other peoples and have ceased to be Jews altogether. And the same is true of their prosperity since their national overthrow under Titus, A.D. 70.
In God's providence the Jews have continued to have such tribulations throughout this Gospel Age as to have kept them separate from the rest of the world; and thus their minds have been kept in that condition of humility in which they will be best prepared for the Lord's service when the time of their complete restoration to favor shall come.
Our thought is that when the proper time arrives the Israelites will be more ready for the Kingdom than any other nation. The afflictions through which they have passed, their obedience to the Law, etc., will have prepared them for the Kingdom. We are not, therefore, to consider this long period of their suffering and affliction merely as tribulation, as punishment. For their ultimate good the Jews were to be trodden down of the Gentiles until the full Gentile domination. ISRAEL'S GREAT REGATHERING.
St. Paul tells us that just as soon as the Gospel Church shall be completed, God's favor will return to the Jews--return in the full sense. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles (the full predestined number of the Church to be gathered from the Gentile nations) be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved. As it is written, There shall come out of Zion (the glorified Gospel Church, spiritual Zion) the Deliverer (The Christ, Head and Body, Jesus and His Bride), and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Natural Israel) for this is My Covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins."--Rom. 11:1-33.
The Lord purposed to take away all sins--the sins of Israel, the sins of those who were to constitute the Gospel Church, and the sins of the whole world. For this cause Christ was manifested, for this cause He died. This cancellation, or doing away with the sins of the whole world, will progress as each shall recognize the Heavenly gift of forgiveness and obey the Government.
The orthodox Jews, those who still hold to the teachings of the Law and the Prophets, and have faith in God, will be the first to receive the blessings of the New Age. "As concerning the Gospel they are enemies for your (the Church's) sakes; but as touching the election (the natural election), they are beloved for the fathers' sakes." So, then, this condition of affliction in which the Jews have been throughout the Gospel Age, in addition to the overthrow of their nation in the year 70 A. D., has really been a favor from God. All the tribulation through which this people have passed during the entire "Seven Times" of chastisement [Q358] will be finally found to have been to their advantage, preparing them for the blessings of Messiah's Kingdom. The Church will be the first in the Kingdom, Natural Israel with the Ancient Worthies at their head will be the second. Subsequently all nations will come into Divine favor and blessing, becoming members of Israel. All will be blessed through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
JEHOVAH--Alpha and Omega.
QUESTION (1908)--1--"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." What does this text teach?
ANSWER.--We have entered into this text more fully than we will be able to do now in the Fifth Volume of the Millennial Dawn studies, and there we refer you for a more particular answer to the question. We would suggest, however, that the "first and the last" does not necessarily signify that the person who is the last is going to end, or cease to be. We might say of our heavenly Father, in one sense of the word, that He is the first and the last, that the whole matter begins with Him and ends with Him; or, as we would otherwise express it, He is the all in all. Everything is comprehended in the divine, Almighty power. For instance, we might apply this text to our Lord Jesus and say that he was the beginning and the ending of the creation of God, as He is referred to in one place; that He is the first one God created and the last one God created, and that God never directly created any but Him, and that all of the creation of God was through Him and by Him as the divine agent.
JEHOVAH--His Spirit Will Not Always Strive.
QUESTION (1909)--2--In Gen. 6:3, we read: "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh, yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." When will the Lord's spirit cease to strive with man?
ANSWER.--I have a thought in my mind respecting this verse which is a little different from what I once had, and the two are still struggling, and I don't know yet just what I think.
QUESTION (1909)--3--Kindly explain the passage of Scripture contained in Eph. 1:18 (Diaglott), "The eyes of your heart having been enlightened that you may know what is the hope of this invitation, what the glorious wealth of his inheritance among the Saints." How could God have an inheritance, He being the Possessor and dispenser of all? This is the point, dear brother, we wish to have explained, as various opinions are entertained by the Truth people.
ANSWER.--The word "inheritance" seems to be the point in question. In what way is the Church the Lord's inheritance? I would presume that the word used here would be in the sense of that which He possesses, that which He has come to possess; because, remember that the Lord does not possess us in the sense that He takes hold of us and says, "I have the authority, and you must submit, because you are mine." No, He possesses us by giving us certain promises, allowing us to accept the promises, and if we take hold of them He will own and possess us, and we shall be His. We [Q359] need to have the eyes of our understanding or hearts open, as the Apostle says, so that we may comprehend, and so that then the Lord can have us in His inheritance, or special treasure, as He puts it in another place.
He owns the whole world in one sense, yet He has given it up and He has allowed Jesus to purchase the world and to give it back at the end of the Millennial Age. During this Gospel Age He is sending out a special invitation to find those whose hearts are in the proper attitude to give them special favors to receive them to Himself, and then He will have a new inheritance on a new plane, or on a plane not formerly recognized.
JEHOVAH--Questioning His Methods.
QUESTION (1911)--l--Why did God, who is all loving, permit his Son to be crucified? As a perfect God, why did he not make some other plan by which his Son would not have needed to be crucified?
ANSWER.--Well, my dear friends, this would be a large question to go into; it would involve the permission of evil in a general way, and that alone would take us at least an hour. And those of you who are following our weekly sermons will find that will he a topic for a weekly sermon sometime in September next--and in that sermon you will find the answer to this question--why evil is permitted. Or, if you wish, you will find a chapter in the first volume of the Studies in the Scripture on the subject, "Why God permitted evil." That covers why he permitted his Son to suffer evil, to suffer death, to suffer pain, to suffer sorrow. Why did he permit you to suffer sorrow? Why did he permit any of his people to suffer pain, sorrow or death? And the reason of it all lies in the same direction? The proper attitude of mind from which to approach this subject would be, not to find fault with God, and to tell him we know he should have done something else, but rather say we believe there is a great God, who made our earth, and made us, and who made all things, and we believe him to be the very personification of justice, wisdom, love and power, and then, from this standpoint, let us look into the Bible to see just what he says, and just why he does this; and if we should never be able to see just why, let us give the credit to our own small reasoning capacity rather than to God's insufficiency of wisdom, because we are not great enough to judge our Creator. If our minds were large enough we would undoubtedly understand his ways to be altogether right, and just, and true, and good.
JEHOVAH--Re Author of Everything.
QUESTION (1911)--2--If God is the very personification of all good and perfection, he must be the author of absolutely everything from the earliest conception of creation, attributes and elements. But God, being all good, the author of everything, God must be the author of sin.
ANSWER.--What a wonderful logician this is! There is not a word of Scripture in it. I was asking for Scriptural questions. The Scriptures say, "All his work is perfect." There is no suggestion that God is the author of sin, or that he is the author of anything that is imperfect. He is not the author of sin; he condemned sin. Do you suppose he would make sin, and then provide his Son to redeem us from [Q360] sin? How ridiculous that we should think Almighty God is the author of sin, and then working against his own works. Dear friends, let us have reason.
JEHOVAH--Re Seeing God.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Please explain Exodus where it says they saw God; as compared with Timothy, where it says, No man hath seen God.
ANSWER.--The apostle in Timothy is saying that no man has seen God at any time, the only begotten of the Father, he hath revealed him. Now, Saint Paul means that no man ever saw the person of God. And in the Old Testament, it speaks how that at various times he was seen and how He showed himself; that he was seen through his representatives just as Jesus was the most precise representative of the Father; for instance, on the Mount, when the law was given. Moses saw the Lord; that is, the Lord's special messenger, the angel of the Lord. In one place it says, the angel, and in another place it says, the Lord. The thought is the same, namely, that no man could see a Spirit being, but the angel of the Lord could appear as a man and could confer with human beings.
JEHOVAH--God's Occupation Previous to Creation of Earth.
QUESTION (1911)--2--What was God doing during the eternity of creation, prior to the creation of the earth?
ANSWER.--Now, John Calvin would have been the man to answer this question. It is beyond me, except this: I can tell you some things beyond that. The Scriptures say in John 1:1, that in the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos--the Word--was with the God, and the Logos was a God; the same was in the beginning with the God; and by him were all things made that were made, and without him was not one thing made. Here is a description of the Lord Jesus in his prehuman condition, before He became man, when he was with the Father, before the world was, and the Scriptures tell us that he was the beginning of God's creation, and then that through him angels and all things were made. Now what was before the Logos, I do not know. The Scriptures merely tell us that our heavenly Father had no beginning. I accept that. My head is not big enough to fathom it. There are some things that you and I do well to recognize as limitations to our thought. If you want another illustration that you can easily grasp, it is this: Suppose I should throw a stone and it should keep going on forever and forever--where would it land? It would not land at all if it kept on going, would it? Well, could that stone, if it went on forever, ever reach the end of space? No, you cannot reach the end of space, for there is no end of space. You see you cannot imagine unlimited space, neither limited space. What is the matter? Why, our heads are not large enough, we have not the information necessary for us to judge on some of these things. When it comes to anything connected with our Almighty Creator, we have to admit that we are lowly. We know just as much as he has revealed. What he has not revealed we are not able to know.
JEHOVAH--First and Last.
ANSWER.--Well, I suppose it means that God is the only one that should be recognized. All others go into forgetfulness. I will be the God eventually, in the end. So this primacy of the heavenly Father is recognized by the Lord Jesus when He said He would deliver up the Kingdom to the heavenly Father that He might be all in all.
JEHOVAH--Meaning of Voice of.
QUESTION (1913-Z)--l--It is said of Adam and Eve, "And they heard the voice of Jehovah." What is meant by the "Voice" of Jehovah?
ANSWER.--We suppose that it refers to our Lord Jesus in His pre-human condition. The Logos was a god. The Logos, Word, Voice, of God, communicated with man, as the Representative of God.
JEHOVAH-Determining Our Standing Before.
QUESTION (1913-Z)--2--Is there any way of determining our standing before GOD?
ANSWER.--The Apostle John says that "If our hearts condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God." (1 John 3:21.) In order that we may begin to measure ourselves and our progress, to know whether or not we are pleasing God in the affairs of life, we must know first of all whether we have taken steps to come into His family. Have we made a full consecration of ourselves to do the Divine will? If we know that we have made a full consecration of ourselves, the next question should he, To what extent do I know God's will, and to what extent am I seeking to do it? Do I use my time, strength, influence and all that I have, sacrificially, to the best of my ability, not counting my life dear unto myself? If we find that in a general way this is the course we are following, then there is every reason for us to have great satisfaction.
Then we find that the thing to be expected is that all those who will "live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12.) If we find that we have not the witness of the Spirit, if we have no persecution, then we have not been letting our light shine out. This should not lead us into anything foolish, but we should examine ourselves to see whether we are laying down our lives in His service. If we find no suffering in the present time, it should be a cause of perplexity to us.
If we find persecutions, then we should make sure that our persecutions are not from any wrong which we have done ourselves, nor from busy bodying in other men's matters, but that we are suffering for the Truth's sake, for the brethren's sake. If we have these evidences that we have come into God's family, if we are studying to know and to do His will, if we are having trials and difficulties in the pathway and are being rightly exercised thereby, we may count ourselves as His faithful people.
JERUSALEM--How the Mother of Us All?
QUESTION (1912)--3--Gal. 4:26, "Jerusalem, which is above, is the mother of us all." Who is the us? How is the Spiritual Jerusalem the mother of us all?
ANSWER.--The Scriptures frequently use this figure, and refer to a city as a mother of her inhabitants--"Jerusalem and her daughters, Sodom and her daughters," etc. So, God declares, "Jerusalem, which is the mother of us all." The citizenship of the Saints is in Heaven, in the Heavenly [Q362] Jerusalem, which will not be built until the First Resurrection. But we look forward and by faith speak of that promised condition and of our citizenship therein. The New Jerusalem was symbolized by Sarah, the wife of Abraham. The New Jerusalem is our Covenant, under which we become New Creatures in Christ, members of the Spiritual Isaac.
The Church is developed under the same Covenant-Mother as Christ--for we are His members. His was a Covenant of Sacrifice, "Gather unto Me My Saints, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) The man Christ Jesus entered into a covenant with the Father, which meant the sacrifice of His flesh, His earthly nature, as a reward for which sacrifice the Father made Him a new creature of the divine nature, "far above angels," constituting Him the great Messiah which should bless the world. And Jesus, carrying out the Father's plan, imputes His merit to such as now follow His example, walk in His steps, performing the same Covenant of sacrifice and if we are faithful, we will share in the great work of Messiah in blessing the world, and will be that New Jerusalem, that Millennial Kingdom--we are by faith its children. Even now our citizenship is in heaven.
JERUSALEM--Mother of Us All.
QUESTION (1913-Z)--1--In the text, "Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Gal. 4:26), who are meant by "us," and how is the spiritual Jerusalem the "mother of us all"?
ANSWER.--The Apostle here uses a figure of speech which is common in the Scriptures, and in which a city is referred to as the mother of its inhabitants; for instance, "daughters of Jerusalem," "daughters of Zion," "Sodom and her daughters," etc. The "us" class means the saints of God. The citizenship of the saints is in Heaven -- in the Heavenly Jerusalem, which will not he built until the First Resurrection. By faith we look forward and speak of that promised condition and of our citizenship therein. The Church is developed under the same Covenant-Mother as was Christ; for we are His members. His was a covenant of sacrifice. "Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) The Man Christ Jesus entered into a covenant with the Father, which meant the sacrifice of His flesh, His earthly nature. As a reward for this sacrifice, the Father made Him a New Creature of the Divine nature--"far above the angels," constituting Him the Great Messiah who shall bless the world.
Carrying out the Father's Plan, our Lord imputes His merit to such as now follow His example, and walk in His footsteps, performing the same covenant of sacrifice. If these are faithful, they will share in the great work of Messiah in blessing the world, and will constitute the New Jerusalem, the Millennial Kingdom. By faith we are its children. Even now, our citizenship is in Heaven.
JESUS--Not the Son of Joseph.
QUESTION (1907)--2--Does the first chapter in the New Testament lead us to conclude that God may have miraculously used Joseph as well as Mary in naturally bringing forth the perfect man Jesus from perfect, purified origin and nature? [Q363]
ANSWER.--I answer, no. It could not teach anything of the kind, and does not teach anything of the kind to my mind. The fact is, that if Jesus was a son of Joseph and Mary, He was just as much a son of Adam as you are and as I am, and He was just as much an inheritor of Adam's sin as you and I are, and if He was an inheritor of Adam's sin, He was just as much under the death sentence as you and I are, and if under the death sentence, He could not have redeemed Himself, let alone the world. So the Scriptures clearly teach that the Redeemer should be one whose life was not from the condemned source. But, as the Scriptures say, Jesus' life did come from the Father, and as He Himself said, He was with the Father before the world was, and as the first chapter of John says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was a God. The same was in the beginning with the God. Without Him was nothing made that was made!" Here the prehuman existence of our Lord is affirmed, and how He left the glory He had with the Father, humbling Himself and did not stop, as says the Apostle Paul, with the angelic nature, but stooped to the human nature and was born of the woman, not of the man. He was horn under the Law that He might redeem the world. So the whole thing, according to the Scriptures, sticks together. If we bring Joseph into it, we spoil the whole matter. Jesus could not be your Saviour and mine, if Joseph had anything to do with His birth in any sense. I suggest that the one who made this question read in the fifth volume of Scripture Studies, the chapter, "The Undefiled One."
JESUS--Human or Divine Since Resurrection.
QUESTION (1908)--1--If our Lord was not a man after his resurrection, and will not be a man at His second coming, how are we to understand Acts 17:31: "He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained"?
ANSWER.--I answer, the word "man" is used in a variety of senses in the Scriptures, as, for instance, the Apostle says God is to make of twain one new man. What twain? Well, there were the Jews, for instance, who had been God's favored people, and He took of them all that were ready, all that were in a condition of heart to receive Him as the Bridegroom, and He received them to Himself. "He came to His own, and His own received Him not; but to as many as received Him, gave He liberty to become the sons of God." Then He took from the Gentiles, all through this age, a little flock, and of this twain will make one new man, of which He is the head,--Jesus Christ the Head of the Church which is His Body; so that this is the new man through whom God will judge the world in righteousness.
QUESTION (1909)--2--When did Jesus become the Christ, and when do we become actual members of His Body? Is it at our begetting or at the resurrection?
ANSWER.--Jesus was at the time of consecration begotten of the Holy Spirit, and God so recognized Him, saying, "This is my well beloved Son, hear ye, Him," but it was on probation. You remember how that in the garden, He offered up strong cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He realized that if He failed, it [Q364] would mean eternal death. He did not fully come to the place of being the Christ, the anointed of God, in the full sense of the term until He rose from the dead. He was declared to be the Son of God with power by His resurrection from the dead.
Just so with us. We receive the Holy Spirit because of the covenant we have made, and if faithful we will have all that, but if unfaithful, we will lose all. We will also be the sons of God by the power or share in His resurrection.
JESUS-Re Prehuman Existence.
QUESTION (1909)--1--When did Jesus know of His prehuman existence?
ANSWER.--I do not know; He did not tell us. We merely read that He proceeded forth and came from God. We know also that He said, "Father, glorify me with the glory I had with Thee before the world was." Again, He said to Nicodemus, "If I have told you of earthly things and you believe not, how would you believe if I told you of heavenly things?" How did God give Him this knowledge? That is not revealed, but I can give you a suggestion that is helpful to my own mind. When our time shall come to have a resurrection change, and we shall be new creatures, that new spiritual body will not be this old earthly body. No. Well, how will we ever remember the things of this present life? You cannot imagine now, except that God has the power to give that new body, also has the power to impress upon the convolutions of that brain whatever is now stored in this brain, and then we would have all the thoughts of this present time vividly before us in the new state. And so, we might suppose similarly, in bringing our Lord Jesus into this earthly condition, God stamped or impressed upon His brain the knowledge or recollection of his prehuman condition. To allow the one would be to allow the other.
JESUS-The Man as Ransom and Mediator.
QUESTION (1909)--2--We tell people that the man Christ Jesus was the ransom price, because Paul says so in 1 Tim. 2:6, and that no other being could be a ransom, or corresponding price for Father Adam. Should we not also and for the same reason tell them that the man Christ Jesus is the Mediator between God and man, because Paul says so in 1 Tim. 2:5?
ANSWER.--Certainly, I always say that the man Christ Jesus is the Mediator between God and men. What, then, do we say further? We say that by God's arrangement the man Christ Jesus is counted the Head of the Church which is His Body, and the Christ is Jesus the Head and the Church His Body; so, both are the Mediator, both are the Priest, both are the Judge, both are the King, for we are all one in Christ Jesus, for God gave Him to be the Head over the Church which is His Body, and we are members in particular of the Body of Christ. Therefore, if, as the Body of Christ, we suffer with Him, we also, the Body of Christ, shall reign with Him; and, we also, as members of the Body of Christ, if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him. So Christ in the flesh was Jesus up to the time He died and rose again. Then at Pentecost and since, Christ in the flesh has been all those who are recognized as Members of Him, and it is because Christ is in the flesh that you and I are met here today. It is one body, one Lord, one faith, [Q365] one baptism, one God and Father of all. The body is in the world, but as Jesus said, "Ye are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world." You were before, but you had certain peculiarities which led the Father to draw, and Jesus said, "Whosoever the Father draws, I will in no wise cast out."
JESUS--Perfect Human Life Aside from Law.
QUESTION (1909)--1--Did not Jesus possess perfect human life and accompanying rights and privileges, aside from the keeping of the Law, which He gave us as a ransom for that which was lost?
ANSWER.--A person would not have a right to a double life. No one could do any more than keep the Law. The Law, you remember, called for this : "Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy soul, mind, and strength,'' and you cannot do more than that, except as Jesus did, by laying down that life. As a perfect man He did have a perfect life, but He had to be tested and His testing during the three and one-half years was a proof or test of His consecration vow unto death. He was keeping the Law and sacrificing His life at the same time. Father Adam was perfect and had a right to live, but he needed to be tested. The keeping of the Law merely proved that Jesus was a perfect man and it gave Him no additional rights than those of a perfect man.
JESUS--Then Jesus Turned Questioner
QUESTION (1910-Z)--2--Whose Son was Jesus?
ANSWER.--The Great Teacher asked the Pharisees "What think ye of the Messiah? Whose son is he?" They answered, "The Son of David." The teacher then queried, "How then doth David in spirit (prophetically) call him Lord saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then calleth him Lord, how is he his Son?"
Of course the question was too deep for the Pharisees. The Great Teacher could answer all of their questions, but they could not answer his. How beautifully clear we see it to be that the Messiah, according to the flesh, was born of the lineage of David, but that God's purposes were not fully accomplished in Messiah of the flesh--that he lay down his flesh, sacrificially, and was raised from the dead to the plane of glory, honor and immortality, "far above angels, principalities and powers." We perceive that in the days of his flesh he was the Son of David but that in His glorification He is David's Lord in that David will receive through him in due time, not only resurrection from the dead but also the blessings of participation in the Messianic Kingdom. The father of Messiah in the flesh will thus become the son of the Messiah of glory, whose earthly life is to be the restitution price for the whole world, including David. Thus it is written, "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes (rulers) in all the earth." -- Psa. 45:16. AN ILLUSTRATION IN AN EARTHLY PRINCE.
At a German function in Berlin the story goes that a Colonel met a young officer unknown to him whose only decoration was a large medallion set in brilliants. The Colonel inquired, "Lieutenant, what is that you have on?" The young man replied modestly, "An order, Colonel." The Colonel replied, "Not a Prussian Order I know of none [Q366] such." "An English Order, Colonel," said the young man. "And who in the world gave it to you?" asked the Colonel. The reply was, "My grandmother." The old Colonel began to think that the young man was making game of him and inquired, "And who may your grandmother be?" To his utter astonishment and dismay the answer was, "Queen Victoria, of England." Here was a Prince in disguise. And so Jesus was the great King of Glory in disguise. "He was in the world and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."-- John 1:10.
JESUS--Resting in Grave on Sabbath.
QUESTION (1910)--1--Was there any significance in our Redeemer's resting in the grave all the Sabbath day?
ANSWER.--I have never thought of any significance. There may be, but it has never occurred to my mind. He was to rest on the third day, and he was to rest on the first day of the week, because that first day of the week would properly symbolize or picture a new beginning, a new dispensation; as the seventh would be the completion of an old dispensation or order of things--the earthly order of things to him--so the resting on the first day of the week would properly represent him as rising a New Creature--the beginning of a new order of things. But I have never had any thought respecting the Sabbath day, and why that one day more than another was spent by the Lord in the tomb.
JESUS--Re Adam and Eve Before Separated.
QUESTION (1910)--2--Was the man Christ Jesus like unto Adam before Eve was taken from his side, or after Eve was taken from his side, and before sin entered?
ANSWER.--I do not know, and nobody else knows, and I do not think it makes any difference to us about the matter. There is certainly nothing in the Scriptures that would tell us which way our Lord was perfect--whether he was like unto Adam in his perfection before Eve was taken from his side, or like the perfect Adam after Eve was taken from his side. I know of nothing in the Scriptures that would enable one to answer that. I feel there is no difference whichever way it was, the sufficiency for the ransom-price was in Christ because he was the Head anyway. If he was merely as Adam was after Eve was taken from his side, he was then the responsible one; and if he was like Adam before she was taken from his side, he was the responsible one also.
JESUS--Our Lord the Express Image of the Father.
QUESTION (1910-Z)--3--When did Christ become the express image of God, as recorded ?--Heb. 1:3.
ANSWER.--Surely our Lord Jesus was an express likeness of the Father's person before he came into the world; he left that glory, however; he became a man--"He humbled himself." It was from this standpoint that he prayed, "Glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." There is a glory of human nature which our Lord possessed while He was a man, "the man Christ Jesus"--a perfect man in the likeness of God. However, the Apostle's reference in the above text was not to his prehuman existence nor to his earthly glory as a perfect man, but to the glory which he attained in his resurrection, as the Apostle declares, saying, "Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name that is above every [Q367] name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things on earth and things under the earth" (Phil. 2:9,10.) This, we believe, was the particular time to which the Apostle referred.
We are not to understand that he began to purge our sins when he left the heavenly glory nor when he made his consecration, nor when he died on the cross. In all these sufferings our Lord was demonstrating his worthiness of the high exaltation. Having fulfilled the Law and laid down his life, our Lord had the human life, the earthly nature and earthly rights, to dispose of. He had not forfeited these by sin. They were his, therefore, to give away. When "he ascended up on high" he presented this merit of his as the satisfaction for our sins, the sins of his followers, to purge or cleanse, not only those who were waiting in the upper room at Pentecost, but also all others of the same class down through this Gospel Age, till the full number of the "elect" should be found.
JESUS--Following in His Footsteps.
QUESTION (1911)--l--In what sense do we follow in His footsteps before we reach the mark?
ANSWER.--There are different parables, you remember, representing different thoughts, different phases of the Kingdom. One parable says the Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto this, in another it is likened unto that, and in another it is likened unto something else; just the same as you might get one view of this tabernacle from one quarter, and another view from another quarter, and still another view from another quarter, and they would all be somewhat different, but all would be pictures of the same building. So these different pictures of the Kingdom represent God's Kingdom that is to be, that is to rule the world, that is to put down sin and to lift up humanity, represented from different standpoints. It is the Church now, or it is the Church in glory, etc., different phases of the Kingdom experiences. And so with this question: one of the pictorial experiences of our Lord is walking in his footsteps. He says, "Unless you take up your cross and follow me you cannot be my Disciple." We are to walk in his footsteps. That is one picture. In no sense while we are sinners are we walking in his footsteps. No sinner is invited to walk in his footsteps. He must first be forgiven of his sins, first come under the blood of atonement before he can become a Disciple at all.
JESUS--Responsibility for His Death.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Who killed Jesus Christ, the Jews or the Gentile's?
ANSWER.--We answer, it was the Jews that killed Jesus. The fact that Pilate and his soldiers, the soldiers being Roman soldiers, did the crucifying, amounts to nothing. Suppose a man were hanged. What was it that killed the man? Was it the man who pulled the rope? Why, of course it was the rope in one sense, and it was the man who pulled the rope in another sense, and it was the court that gave the order for the execution that was behind that. Now, who was it that caused Jesus to be crucified? St. Peter tells us most emphatically. He charged it up to some of those who were present with him on the day of Pentecost. He said, "You Jews have taken, and with wicked hands crucified the Prince of Life." And they were cut to the heart, and said, [Q368] "Men and brethren, what can we do about it?" And St. Peter said, "Repent and you shall be forgiven, for I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers." St. Peter did not mention the Roman soldiers at all. Pilate was merely the representative of law and order, and when it was demanded by the high priest, and scribes, and Pharisees, that he must keep order, and this is what they insisted on as being necessary, he could make no report to the Emperor, except he would obey the conditions. You will not understand me as holding that against the Jews. In God's providence, and God's intention, Jesus was to be crucified; there would not be any other way out of it; that is the way it must be. The Jews did not know whom they were crucifying, and they were not a bit more to be blamed than was Paul for assisting in the killing of Stephen. If I had been a Jew under the same circumstances, I might have done the same; I could not say.
JESUS--Called Son of Man.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Why is Jesus called the Son of Man?
ANSWER.--We answer that this is one of his titles by which he is called. There are a great many titles, and this is one of them, and a very proper one. You remember when God arranged to give mankind the earth, he did give it to Father Adam, and Adam was looking forward to a son who might become an inheritor, and amongst all the sons of Adam, there was no one that could claim the inheritance. He himself had lost his right to it by virtue of his own disobedience, and all of his children are imperfect--none of them could claim the inheritance. If any man at any time could have come forward, able to keep the divine law perfectly, he would have had the right to claim all the inheritance Father Adam had prior to his disobedience; but in due time, our Lord came to earth, having left the glory be had with the Father, and was made flesh--not that he got into the flesh, but that he was made flesh, for the time being he was a man; and so the Scriptures say he was the man Christ Jesus. He divested himself of the glory and honor of the spiritual nature which he previously had and was made flesh. He humbled himself to this degree, and he was the son of man; the one, who, by obedience to the divine law, claimed the inheritance of the earth; it was his; and after he thus established his right to the inheritance as the son of man, he gave up that inheritance that it might go as the purchase price for Adam and his race.
JESUS--Re Man and Mediator.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Since the man Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all, how can we say that this same Jesus is to be the mediator of the New Covenant?
ANSWER.--I am not sure if I get the point of this question. The questioner may mean, "How could Jesus be the ransom price and the mediator both?" If that be the thought, the answer is, that he is to be a king, and he is to be a priest, and he is to be a judge, and he is to be a mediator, and at the present time, also, he is our advocate; He fills many offices. So, also, in the type of the atonement day, he was typically represented by the bullock and at the same time he was typically represented as a priest [Q369] who slew the bullock. So, you see, dear friends, that this would not be any argument against the fact that he would be both the ransom price and the mediator
Again, the questioner may mean, "How could the same Jesus be one who would be the ransom price, and be the one who would be the mediator?" And I answer that the name Jesus is one of our Lord's names; it particularly referred to His fleshly, or earthly, condition. As a man, he was Jesus, and yet the Scriptures identify our Lord in glory with this name; as, for instance, the angel who spoke to the disciples, said, "This same Jesus shall also come in like manner as he went away." And Jesus also identified the church as being members of Jesus, when he said to Saul of Tarsus, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest."
JESUS--This Same Jesus.
QUESTION (1911)--1--When we read "This same Jesus which you see go up into heaven shall also come in like manner,"etc., does it not have reference to the new creature begotten at Jordan and not to the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for Adam--what does it mean?
ANSWER.--The expression "This same Jesus" was made to the apostles when they were still men, when they had not been begotten of the Holy Spirit, when, therefore, they were not able to understand the spiritual things. They had a great lesson in the fact that Jesus had arisen from the dead, and that he was changed somehow from what he was before-- that was demonstrated to them by his coming and going as the wind, appearing and disappearing, etc., but still they were not able to understand the matter. They were still children in the primary grade, trying to learn something, and when telling them about the coming of the Lord the messenger did not include any particulars respecting the manner of the Lord's second coming, but simply the plain fact. This same Jesus,-- is it the same Jesus, the new creature Jesus, or is it the old creature Jesus? Well, I answer that Jesus was the name of the man, and Jesus was the name of the new creature, and Jesus is still his name, and he will still be Jesus when he comes. So when he would express himself on the subject in Revelation, you remember he says, "I am he who was dead, and behold, I am alive forever more," the same one. It was not the new creature that was dead, it was the old creature. But he preserved his own identity. He holds himself to be the same Jesus all the way down; the change is in the nature, but he is the same Jesus. It was this changed Jesus, the Jesus of the resurrection: it was the Jesus born of the Spirit, the Jesus who could go and come like the wind--this is the Jesus who would so come in like manner as they saw him go. He went away in a manner unknown to the world, a manner that was very quiet, nobody knew about it, the world did not see him go, therefore when he comes in like manner the world would not see him come.
JESUS--Same Today, Yesterday, Forever.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Please explain this text: Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever?
ANSWER.--We are not to understand this text to be in conflict with any other text in the Scriptures; we are not to interpret all Scriptures so as to harmonize all. The Lord Jesus Christ did experience his changes. That is made plain [Q370] to us. He was merely the man Jesus at the beginning of his ministry; he was the Spirit-begotten Jesus at Jordan, and was the one born of the Spirit in his resurrection, but he is the same Jesus, the anointed one and the significance of this term "yesterday, today and forever" means that he has the same office, authority, and relationship to mankind, and the same character, and the same sympathy and the same love, all the way down. The changes of nature--this progression in the divine plan--has not altered his character in any manner or in any degree.
JESUS--Live Forever as a Man.
QUESTION (1911)--l--Could the man Jesus, by obeying the law in every Particular, live forever in an imperfect earth?
ANSWER.--If Jesus as the man had not consecrated his life, had not made this full surrender symbolized by his baptism, he would have had all the human rights that belonged to the first Adam, because he was the only one to take the place of the first Adam. Whatever, therefore, the first Adam had a right to and could have claimed of divine justice, Jesus could have claimed because he had taken the place of the first perfect man. What would that mean? He could have said, "Now, Father, here I am; I am perfect and I intend to keep your law, and I do keep your law, and now, according to your law, I am entitled to everlasting life. And it means I am entitled also to have things pretty nice. You gave Adam a perfect Eden and everything nice there, and now I am looking around for what you have for me, because I keep your law and in nothing do I transgress," And then it would have been part of the Father's duty--shall I say it that way, duty ?-- according to his own law, his own arrangement--it would have been part of the heavenly Father's duty to have provided some good suitable place, some Paradise, for Jesus where he would not have had any inconvenience of any kind, because being perfect he would not necessarily be subjected to the imperfections that belonged to the sinful race. But nothing of this kind could come in, because just as soon as Jesus was a perfect man, at thirty years of age, he immediately presented his body a living sacrifice. There he gave up all his earthly rights, everything he could have asked for, he there voluntarily laid at the Father's feet--"Lo, I come to do thy will, O God; everything that is written in the Book, everything in the Holy Scriptures I am prepared to do"--all the Scriptures there prefigured in the Lamb and the Bullock, all the various sacrifices that pertained to him in the Father's plan--"Here I am, ready to do thy will, even unto death." He therefore, in that one instance, gave over every earthly right, and hence could not have claimed anything the next instant; it was all gone.
JESUS--As Perfect Man and Live in Imperfect Earth.
QUESTION (1911)--2--Could Jesus as a perfect man live in an imperfect earth forever?
ANSWER.--That is the same question we had before. Had he maintained his right to human nature, without making his consecration to death, our Lord would have been fully entitled to have a Paradise and the heavenly Father would undoubtedly have provided it; that was the promise of the law--"he that doeth these things shall live by them" --not live in a sinful or in an unsatisfactory condition, but under proper conditions.