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QUESTION (1908)--1--Should not Christians, when they pray to God, do so on their knees whenever possible? Should not this form usually be adhered to?
ANSWER--The Lord gives a great deal of liberty. There is not a word stated in the Scriptures as to how we shall come to God in prayer, and those who prefer and think they do better to stand when they pray have nothing in the Scriptures to tell them to the contrary; and those who prefer to kneel and feel that in that manner they can come nearer to the Lord, and pour out their hearts most reverently, have nothing in the Scriptures to hinder them; and those who prefer to bow the head have nothing in the Scriptures to hinder them. I agree that kneeling is a very reverential posture, but I am not sure that in every case it is the better one. Suppose we say now, Let us all kneel down in prayer. You would find that as you kneel down you would make a great deal of noise, for one thing, and it would inconvenience your neighbor for another, and you would all get your clothes soiled with the mire off your shoes, and there would be many disadvantages about kneeling. Now, if the Lord had said to kneel, you and I would want to kneel, no matter how much trouble we got into. But when the Lord has not said to kneel, but left it to our option, I think we should use our common sense. My common sense would say that God is no respecter of form in the matter; it is the heart; if the heart kneels down before God, He is pleased with it. If the heart does not kneel down, then it does not count for anything anyway, so what we want is to kneel in our hearts, or get into the most humble attitude we know so far as our hearts are concerned, and then let each one, and the circumstances of the matter, determine what shall be the form. So far as my own private prayers are concerned, I nearly always kneel in the morning and in the evening devotion, but I pray to the Lord a great many times when not kneeling. Usually the last thing in bed before I go to sleep, and the first thing in the morning before I get out, I pray. So I pray in bed, and after I get up, and before I go to bed. I presume you do the same. Now there is no hindrance. You see it gives us full liberty. And you see the Apostle says. "Praying. always and giving thanks." Well you could not be on your knees always that is evident; it must give us liberty at other times, and not restrict the matter to praying only on our knees.
PREACHING--To all Nations.
QUESTION (1910)--2--"Go ye therefore and preach to all nations, baptizing then in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." If the salvation of the world is future, what would there be gained by teaching the nations and baptizing them?
ANSWER--Well, the questioner seems to get the impression that our Lord in using these words made a mistake, because if Jesus meant that his disciples should disciple all nations (that is a Greek word, disciple all, not teach), the questioner seems to get the thought that all nations should be disciples, and these disciples be baptized. What do we find? Only a mere handful are disciples, and only a mere handful [Q547] have been baptized, and so according to the questioner's account, the Lord made a great mistake. Well, now, that is not the way to look at it. The Lord Jesus did not make any mistake; let us read this question and scrutinize it from a different standpoint. Go ye, therefore, and disciple all nations; that is, make disciples of every nation. Not merely amongst the Jews. At first he said, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any of the cities of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and find disciples. But now he is giving a broader, wider application for the Gospel Age and in due time, when led of the spirit, they did go to all nations, not making any discriminations--go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them. Who, the nations or the disciples? The disciples. Whoever you can make into a disciple, baptize him. Did he say they would be successful in making disciples of all nations? It is still true that he is not calling all. Many are called, but not all, only those who have the ear to hear. The Apostle said, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of those who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine into them and they should be converted." Who is the god of this world? Satan. He has blinded the minds of all. Some with Pantheism, some with fatalism, some with one error and some with another, and even amongst Christians he has brought in all kinds of blindness and error--along the lines of eternal torment, purgatory and other lines. He blinds them to the love of God, to the real character of God, and to the call of this Gospel Age. All those who have not believed. Why should he want to blind them? Lest the glorious light of the goodness of God should shine into their hearts. He does not want God's goodness to shine into their hearts.
PRE-EXISTENCE--Could Jesus Remember His?
QUESTION (1912)--1--When our Lord was a human being (previous to His begetting) could He remember His pre-existence?
ANSWER--We do not know enough on this subject to permit us to give a very full, clear and satisfactory answer. So far as we could reason on the subject, our Lord could not know of His pre-existence, before He was begotten of the Holy Spirit, except by natural means. His mother, Mary, would tell Him about His miraculous birth, about the angel that appeared to her, etc. At all events, the Bible says, He grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Thus He was developing until He was thirty years of age.
Our supposition is that He knew that He was miraculously born, for a purpose. He knew as a child that He must be about His Father's business as soon as the divine arrangement would permit--that much we know. It is just as well that we do not speculate too much on features not Scripturally revealed.
When thirty years of age we read that the Holy Spirit came upon Him and He was illuminated. "The heavens opened unto Him." His mind was made clear as to the Divine Plan and arrangement. We are justified in supposing, then, that it was not thus clear, illuminated before. He knew that He came into the world and was there for a special mission. He knew what that mission was, but did [Q548] not have the matter in clear form until the Holy Spirit came upon Him. He knew that He proceeded and came forth from God, and knew that He was to return to the Father. He spoke of the glory He had with the Father before the world was, and He would not refer to it without having a knowledge of it; but this was after His anointing by the Spirit.
PRESENT TRUTH--Result If One Leaves it.
QUESTION (1909)--1--If a brother who is begotten of the Spirit and has been prominent in teaching Present Truth, as presented through the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, but afterwards teaches what he thinks is the Gospel, but contrary to Present Truth, and continues in that condition unto death, what would be the result, whether he would have a chance on any plane or not?
ANSWER--Too deep for me, dear friends. I do not know; we are not appointed to judge one another. We will wish him very well if he is dead. If the Lord has anything good for him, we are willing that he should have it. We would have reason to fear, however, for if he was once in the Truth and lost it, that it was a bad sign, for we would think that one who has had Present Truth would appreciate it more and more. We are not to judge, but will leave the matter in the Lord's hands.
QUESTION (1911)--2--What is "present truth" and what is it to be in the truth?
ANSWER--We answer that present truth would be that truth which at any time would be the particular message or fact that God would have his people take notice of. For instance, if we were today to preach about a flood of water coming, it would not be present truth; but for Noah to preach about a flood of waters coming was present truth; it was present truth in his day. He preached that thing that was due at that time; so today present truth is that truth that pertains to our time, the harvest time of the Gospel Age, the glorious morning of the new dispensation--everything pertaining to this is in that sense present truth. There are other truths that are always proper, of course, such as the fact of our heavenly Father's greatness, and love, and wisdom, and justice, and power; and such as the fact that our Lord Jesus came into the world and died for sinners. These truths are always present; but what is meant by present truth particularly is those features of truth which apply to the present time, and more particularly than to any other time. So I understand, then, in answer to the question, that the present truth of this time is the harvest message; that we are living in the harvest time of this Gospel Age, when the Lord is about to make up his jewels, and that the Gospel Age is to close and the new dispensation of Messiah's Kingdom is about to be inaugurated. To be in the truth would mean, therefore, in that sense of the word, to have a knowledge of those things, and be a loyal one in supporting those things, and in promulgating the message that is now due.
PRESENT TRUTH--Result to Those Failing to Believe.
QUESTION (1911)--3--Is it possible for anyone to have the present truth at this time, and come into the great company [Q549] class, or will they be obliged to make their calling and election, or go into the second death.?
ANSWER--I know of no limitation of the kind that is implied in this question. My understanding is that there are persons at the present time, who have a knowledge of present truth, who may fail to make good; they may come short of the standard and not be acceptable as members of the body of Christ. I would not think that they would necessarily go into the second death. No one will go into the second death, we may be sure, unless that person willfully, intentionally, repudiates the Lord and his grace. God is not anxious to put anyone into the second death, and there are doubtless many people who will come short of the high ideal that the Lord will require, but who are far too good for the second death. But our suggestion is that we should all strive to make our calling and election; and it will require that we strive.
PRESENT TRUTH--Many Christians Not Yet Enlightened.
QUESTION (1915-Z)--1--Is there anyone at the present time outside of Present Truth who has the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER--There are various degrees of the Spirit of holiness which may be possessed by the child of God at various times in his experience. We may ourselves have more of the Holy Spirit now than we have ever had before implying that there was a time when we did not have so much. Or there may be some who have less, implying that they have not been growing spiritually, and are grieving the Holy Spirit with which they were sealed.
We are not to think that all who are begotten of the Holy Spirit are exactly on the same plane, in either their spiritual appetites, or their development, or their knowledge of God's Plan. We grow in grace as we grow in knowledge. If our measure of grace lessens, the knowledge begins to fade. As a matter of fact, the whole world has been laboring under such delusions that we are surprised, when we "wake up," to see how little we did know--to see how ignorant we were of some of the precious messages God has given us.
And as we were children of God before we received full knowledge, so we believe it is possible for others to be children of God without having the full knowledge. We are living in the end of the Harvest time, when, we believe, the Lord is causing the knowledge of the Truth to encircle the world. And yet the Adversary is raising "dust," calumny, to hinder the people from appreciating it.
It is in very rare cases that God does as He did with Saul of Tarsus--strike him down with a great light, brighter than the sun at noonday. And it is because we believe that there are still children of God attempting to live on husks and skimmed milk--that there are such brethren in Christ who need the assistance we are able to give them--that we are trying to help them. Otherwise we would abandon all special effort at propaganda, knowing that there will be favorable conditions for all as soon as the Kingdom shall be established.
The Bible speaks of the Great Company class as the "great multitude," as though the foolish virgin class were larger than the wise virgin class. And the Scriptures indicate that the Great Company class will not all have fled from Babylon before its overthrow. "Come out of her, My [Q550] people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." This call has been going out for now thirty-seven years. It is God's call.
The Scriptures show us that some will come out, and others will not come out, will not be released from Babylonish fetters. These foolish virgins will see that their lack of love and zeal has lost them a place in the Bride class. But they are virgins, nevertheless, and will have a place, or portion, as the companions of the Bride. They will follow her into the King's Palace. They will be bridesmaids, if you please--a position of lesser honor; but they will attain everlasting life. So we have reason to believe that the numbers of God's people begotten of the Holy Spirit and still in Babylon are considerable. If we were in their place and they in our place, we feel sure that they would make heroic efforts to help us out of Babylon; so we are doing likewise.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Have you any suggestions for a tendency toward too much head, and not enough heart?
ANSWER--I would think it a very dangerous disease, and I think the Great Physician has put the proper medicine in the medicine chest that he has given us; that he has given us the proper remedies in his Word; he is instructing us to cultivate meekness, and to cultivate love; the meekness will reduce the size of the head, and the love will increase the size of the heart.
PRIESTHOOD--Beginning of Melchisedec Priesthood.
QUESTION (1910-Z)--2--When did our Lord become a Priest after the order of Melchisedec?
ANSWER--Our Lord entered upon his Melchisedec priesthood individually, personally, at the time of his resurrection, when, as the Apostle declares, God announced, "Let all the angels of God worship him." In this individual sense he became the Melchisedec Priest, although only the "Head" was yet formed. Since the intelligence is in the head, we can see how the head might stand for the body, as could no other member of the body. A hand stretched forth might represent the body, but it could not have the intelligence of the head, and we could not say that the presence was there, but as soon as the Head was born from the dead, as soon as the Head was accepted as the Melchisedec Priest, that soon the whole matter would have a standing with God, the intelligence residing in the Head. We agree, however, that we shall not exercise our full office as a Melchisedec Priest until the whole Church shall be with their Head in glory, members of his Body. A Melchisedec Priest is a blessing Priest, a Priest who has the power to bless. Melchisedec was able to bless Abraham. Far superior, therefore, to the Aaronic priesthood is the Melchisedec priesthood.
Our Lord could not have been this Melchisedec Priest until his resurrection, evidently, because he had nothing with which to bless. Before he could do any blessing he must himself lay down his life, and by laying down his human life in obedience to the Father, he would thus receive or have to his credit the merit which he could draw upon in the blessing of us, and ultimately all the families of the earth.
PRIESTHOOD--Length of the Melchisedec.
QUESTION --3--How long will this Priesthood of the order of Melchisedec last? [Q551]
ANSWER--"Thou art a Priest for the age," or rather, a Priest ever, an ever-Priest, a lasting Priest; not one who would pass away by death; not one who would drop his office in some unsatisfactory manner, but one who would fully accomplish all the purposes for which he was appointed as a Priest. Our Lord was appointed a Priest because there was necessity for a Priest. It is not an office that would be necessary amongst the angels, who are perfect, but it is an office necessary amongst men, because of their imperfection. To be a Priest, therefore, to the end or completion, would mean that he would be a Priest, Mediator, Reconciler, Harmonizer in this matter of estrangement between God and man. Therefore, this office will end with the Millennial Age, when he shall have accomplished all this work and will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father. Then he will be a Priest no more. There will be no need of a Priest of any kind, sacrificing or reigning. The very significance of the office is that of intercessor or mediator, or assister in some manner of those who are in some difficulty.
PRIESTHOOD--Significance of the Under-Priests.
QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--In the appointment of the Aaronic priesthood, Aaron was the High Priest and his sons were associate priests. Is the fact that his sons were associated with him specially typical?
ANSWER--Evidently the type was intended to teach that these under-priests were the members, or body, of the High Priest, because that was the form in which the matter was expressed. He was to "make atonement for himself and his house." Now, what is the thought in this word "himself?" How would we most clearly express it? What relationship except that of a wife would more nearly represent one's self? The sons of Aaron, then, would represent him in a special manner, as though they were his body. A father is represented in his son in a particular sense. The type of the High Priest in his office would thus be maintained through successive generations. The sons were not, as sons, typical, but sons were in type the best representation of the body of the priest that could be made, and hence were representative of us, who are the Body of Christ.
PRIESTHOOD--Present Work of Antitypical Priest.
QUESTION --2--Are there any antitypical priests doing a priestly work at this time?
ANSWER--To our understanding the picture of the "priest" is an individual picture. It is not a work which priests are in a collective sense to do, but here the one priest is to do the work. In other words, the under-priests are merely recognized as representatives of the priest, the same as we are representatives of Christ. In that sense of the word it might be said that there is only one priest, the officiating priest, the one who does the particular work; but in another sense there is an under-priesthood--in the sense that we have a separate personality, as individuals, yet acting in conjunction with our Lord as his members.
While recognizing the Scripture, "ye are a royal priesthood," let us lay stress on the Apostle's words which declare of our Lord, "if he were on earth he could not be a priest, seeing that there are priests who offer according to the Law." The Apostle then proceeds to prove that our Lord was a Priest after the order of Melchisedec, and that this [Q552] Melchisedec priesthood was acknowledged of God with an oath, and that Aaron and his priesthood were never acknowledged thus. But respecting this man the Lord said, "I have sworn with an oath, thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec."
Melchisedec was, of course, only the one priest, and that one priest, therefore, represented all our Lord's members, and since the great work of the antitypical Priest is in the future, and is not the present work, we see that this is the reason why Aaron is not so particularly referred to in the type of the Great Priest. The Great Priest will really do his great work during the Millennial Age, and what is done in the present time is merely a preparatory work, preparing himself for work.
First, the Lord Jesus, in the three and one-half years of his ministry, proved himself worthy to be the Priest, and during the 1800 years since he is proving us worthy to be his members, and by the time he shall have completed his work of proving us all worthy, with himself, for this great and honorable position of Prophet, Priest, Mediator, King, Judge of the world, he will at the same time have to his credit certain merit which he can apply for the world and on account of which he can perform a priestly office for mankind. The priestly office, as before stated, is more that of the future than of the present. The present time is the sacrificing time, the time for making a covenant with the Lord by sacrifice.
We agree, of course, that none of us is doing the sacrificing. The high priest smote the bullock and killed it, and the high priest, likewise, smote the goat and killed it. Then came the presentation; as, for instance, when the Apostle Says, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God," etc., he is not here saying, Perform the work of a priest upon your body, but offer yourself as a sacrifice to the Lord; he may accept you; he may sacrifice you, and he may perform a service upon you which will prepare you for a share with himself, as a member of his Body, in the glorious work of the future, in the work of blessing all the families of the earth, in the work of ushering in the Times of Restoration which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.--Acts 3:19-21.
PRIESTHOOD--Why Were Not Job and Others Priests?
QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Since it was the priests who were to offer the sacrifices and since no one could be a priest except he was called of God, how was it that some of the Ancient Worthies, Job and others, who were not priests, offered up sacrifices?
ANSWER--The sacrifices which these offered were not sin offerings. They did not offer up sacrifices according to the types of the Law, as the Day of Atonement sacrifices, for instance. This whole arrangement of the Jewish Law, by which the sacrificing was taken out of the individual's hands and put into the hands of the priests, was a new departure in God's dealings.
Abraham, we know, presented offerings before the establishment of the Priesthood. The exact time in which Job lived we do not know. We merely know that he was Job of Uz, and walked before God with a perfect heart; but we think we are justified in supposing that he did not live during [Q553] the Law dispensation, with its typical sacrifices. If this be true, his course was in full line with Abraham's course when he offered up sacrifices. When Abraham was stayed from offering his son, he offered up the ram caught in the thicket, as the Lord directed.
What these patriarchs did in the matter of offering up sacrifices was evidently a token on their part of appreciation of God and of the fact that a sacrifice for sins was necessary, just as Abel brought the firstlings of his flock and offered them to God, though he was not called to be a priest; but none of these sacrifices was accepted in the same sense that the sacrifices were accepted under the Law. None of these sacrifices ever made the offerers themselves perfect, nor did they atone for anyone else; they were merely the same as a prayer would be, a manifestation of a good desire of heart and of appreciation of God and a desire to reverence him, and a recognition of the fact that sin required some atonement. So when the Lord showed how this sin-atonement was to be made he pictured the work of this Gospel Age. He appointed a priest to represent the Lord Jesus, and under-priests to represent the Church. A work of sacrifice was done on a particular day of the year--the Atonement Day--representing the work of this Gospel Age in which these "better sacrifices" for sin are offered; and under this larger arrangement no one is permitted to offer the sacrifice except a priest, God thus indicating that the work is entirely under his supervision and direction.
PRIESTS--Under Priests in the Holy.
QUESTION (1915)--1--In the type, did the under priests have access to the Holy of the Tabernacle on the Day of Atonement?
ANSWER--The account might be read in different ways, but my reading of it leads me to understand that the under priests did have access to the Holy on the Atonement Day. Some others might think differently. I think this is in full accord with what we know to be the experience of the Church--that we all have access to the holy from the time we are spirit-begotten. We are now in the antitypical Atonement Day. To say that the under priests in the antitypical Priesthood are in the Holy, and then to say that the type did not teach that we should be there, I think would be a contradiction between type and antitype. I think they did have access to the Holy during the entire Day of Atonement.
PRIZE--How to Gain the Great.
QUESTION (1910-Z)--2--Is it the spirit of obedience to the Lord's commands that will gain the great prize?
ANSWER--What the Lord is looking for at the present time is the spirit of sacrifice or self-denial--not merely the spirit of obedience to commands. Few, of course, would resist a Divine command, if thundered from heaven. Our test is more crucial than that. It is a test of obedience to what we understand to be the will of God or the privilege of service in his cause. Those who delight to do his will, those who delight to serve his cause, even at the cost of sacrifice to earthly interests, are the very ones he is now seeking. "He seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in Truth!" "Now is the acceptable time;" now is the time for those to come forward who desire to offer themselves unreservedly, and who desire that the Lord shall accept [Q554] their offering, which they know is not of great value. The more the sacrifice costs you, the more we may be sure it will be appreciated of the Lord. For any to give the Lord a thing which has no value in their own estimation would be in the nature of an insult, instead of sacrifice.
Our experiences in life should draw us closer to the Lord, not only in the form of prayer; but moment by moment, in every little emergency of life, we should learn to expect heavenly guidance.
Every accepted sacrificer who fails to carry out his sacrifice will surely miss the "high calling," and, if our expectations are correct, will share with the "great company" in the "destruction of the flesh," which, after consecration, they were unwilling to devote day by day.
PRIZE--Re Philosophy of Covenants and Ransom.
QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Is it possible to be both justified and sanctified without knowing the philosophy respecting the Covenants and the Ransom?
ANSWER--It is true that one might be both justified and sanctified through faith in the blood before learning anything about the Covenants or the philosophy of the Ransom. And one might retain equally justification and sanctification through faith in that blood, irrespective of philosophies respecting the Divine methods of the applications of Christ's merit. This was true in our own case. Subsequently, having obtained grace from the Lord and some knowledge of his Plan--the philosophies of the Atonement, etc.--we served it out to others in his name. He advised us through his Word that these things were "meat in due season," and that the path of the just would shine more and more. In harmony with these promises, we have clearer light. increasingly, which is ours to dispense to whomsoever has "an ear to hear."
The Old Law Covenant was for the natural seed of Abraham, and similarly the New Law Covenant will be instituted with them, as taking the place of the old one and bringing them a blessing, which they failed to get under the one of which Moses was the mediator. Ours is the faith Covenant, the original Covenant, to which the old one was added, and to which the new one will be added in due time.
PRODIGAL SON--Whom Did He Represent.
QUESTION (1910)--2--What company or people are represented by the prodigal son of the parable?
ANSWER--I answer that it was a class that was living in our Lord's day. The scribes and Pharisees were seeking to be at harmony with God, and outwardly at least were in harmony with him, whom he recognized as sitting in the seat of Moses, as being representatives of the Lord and of the Father also. The younger son represents those Jews who became profligate and who wasted their privileges as Jews, and became publicans and sinners, outlaws, and lived as Gentiles instead of living in harmony with God, as represented in the parable. Now the Pharisees were very bitter against these publicans and sinners, and because Jesus talked with them and sat with them, they said, This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them, we are the holy ones. Jesus was seeking to correct that error of Pharisaical pride. That is not God's way, as they were doing. If you have found these people hungering for my word, you should have been [Q555] glad to see them come out to me. They should have said, There is a man, and the publicans and sinners are attracted to him, praise God, that some of those brethren who have gone off into sin are coming back, we are glad of it. But now, said the Lord, that is not your attitude. When you see them coming back and being properly received and blessed, that God is feeding them, etc., putting a new robe on them, etc., you say, we will stay out if you are going to let them come in. Jesus said, if you stay out, then you will stay out, for God is receiving them. You are the elder brother, these privileges are yours, you did not go out, you should have been ready to receive them, you should have said, we are glad to have you back, there is plenty for us all--that should have been your attitude. This parable is given as a reproof to that Pharisaical class.
QUESTION (1909)--1--How can you say that the punishment of the wicked will not be everlasting?
ANSWER--I did not say anything of the kind--it will be everlasting.
PURCHASE--What the Lord Bought?
QUESTION (1910)--2--We understand that the Lord has not yet bought the world. Has the Lord purchased the Church? If not, how shall we understand the Scripture which says, "Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price?"
ANSWER--I understand it to say, ye and not they. Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price." Our Lord Jesus is represented as having paid the price to justice as far as the Church is concerned, and the Church is bought, and all of this class who become part of the Church are therefore included and dealt with under this gracious promise in advance of the world. But the world is not yet bought.
QUESTION (1911)--3--Do you believe in physical regeneration, or the living of a continent, chaste life?
ANSWER--I think this is a question upon which, as the apostle says, everyone should be fully persuaded in his own mind; it is not a subject that is laid down as a law in the Word of God. It is, therefore, not a Scriptural question. The Scriptures in general exhort toward all purity, but the Scriptures also say that marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled. It is not in the authority of anybody to supersede the words of Jesus and the apostles. The apostle, nevertheless, does give the exhortation that for those to whom it may be possible to live a life of chastity, it would be a very desirable one, saying, "He that marries does well, and he that marries not does better."
QUESTION (1910)--4--What importance do you attach to the date October, 1910, in view of the suggestion in the Pyramid?
ANSWER--In the chapter on the Pyramid, in the third volume of Scripture Studies, we made mention of the fact that a measurement might be taken up the front of that large step, you remember, that is at the top of the Grand Gallery; that it could be measured up that step and along that step to about the junction line. We did not have the [Q556] exact measurement of that, but we took what is termed a paper measurement. That is to say, if anything is drawn to a scale, you can, by measuring very carefully with a piece of paper, estimate pretty closely, and our estimate of that, as I remember it, and as recorded there in the third volume, was that the point of time in inches would seem to represent October, 1910; but we did not give that as anything positive, nor as anything we know. I do not know anything about October, 1910. It is merely a suggestion. When it comes to October, 1910, I think it will be very well for you to have both eyes open and look around and see if you see anything. But the dates that are given to us prophetically are the ones I think we ought to especially give heed to. Now these prophetic dates seem to be, 1874, October; 1878, in the spring; and then 1881, in October; and then October, 1914. Now these, as far as we can tell, are the dates marked in prophecy, and to these we do well that we take heed as unto a light shining in a dark place, as St. Peter says. That does not mean that we know now, or that we ever knew, nor that we say now, nor that we ever said, that the suggestions made respecting these dates which are based upon prophecies are indisputable; nor that we have ever claimed infallibility in the interpretation of the prophecies in connection with them. What do we say, in the Scripture Studies, you will remember, is this: That to our understanding, this teaches this, and that teaches that, and the other teaches the other. We do not see any other way they could be held together, or any other conclusion that could be reached; and for my own part, therefore, I believe that those dates signify such and such things. That is all we have ever said; we never said we were infallible in these things. We believe them. We have believed them from the first; we are acting upon that belief. But, my dear friends, if October, 1915, came, or October, 1920, came, and no great time of trouble, and no change of all the Church came, it would not overthrow my faith in the divine plan of the ages for a moment. God is selecting a Church as the Seed of Abraham, and that Church as the Seed of Abraham is predestinated to do the work of blessing all the families of the earth; whether 1915 is the exact time for that to begin, or the trouble that will introduce that time of blessing, is another matter. I believe October, 1914, is the time when we may expect that great time of trouble, because it seems to our judgment, as far as we can understand the Scriptures, that is the time when the Gentile period of lease, or tenure, will expire, and when, therefore, we may expect that the time of trouble shall be ushered in; and that time of trouble we understand is the one the Scriptures tell about--a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, a time of trouble which shall overwhelm all sorts of government, and every institution of the present time; and a time of trouble which thus will make ready and prepare mankind for the glorious reign of Christ and his Church, for the blessing and uplifting of all the families of the earth.
QUICKENING--And the Mark.
QUESTION (1907)--l--In a recent issue of a Tower, you say we are not quickened until we reach the mark, and that some are never quickened. Do you mean that only those of [Q557] the consecrated who do reach the mark are quickened to any degree or in any sense?
ANSWER--I would not like to take the position that no quickening would commence until after the mark had been reached. The Apostle uses as an illustration the natural birth: "First, begetting, then quickening, then the birth." We are first begotten by the Word of Truth; then if we continue to be related to the Lord, the time of quickening, the energizing, will come; and then if this energizing continues, and we continue to grow in grace and knowledge, we eventually in the first resurrection will be born. But I would not like to say that no one would manifest any signs of energy or quickening in the Lord's service until first he had reached the mark of perfect love, but I would think it fair to say that nobody would reach the mark of perfect love, without being quickened. That just as surely as he would get to the place where he loved the Lord with all his heart, and where he would love his neighbor, and his enemies even, he would be at the place where he would be sure to be quickened or energized in the service of the Lord and in the service of his neighbor. That is what we wished to say in the Tower.
RAM--Slain in Isaac's Stead--Its Antitype.
QUESTION (1911)--l--If Abraham is a type of Jehovah, and if Isaac is a type of Christ, what does the ram slain in Isaac's stead typify?
ANSWER--I think the ram slain in Isaac's stead typified Isaac--in his stead, his representative, and in that sense, of course, it typified Christ. If Isaac typifies Christ, then the ram typifies Christ.
RANSOM--Distinction Between it and Sin Offering.
QUESTION (1908)--2--What is the distinction between the ransom and the sin offering of the Atonement Day?
ANSWER--We might answer that by saying, What is the distinction between the parable of the ten virgins and the parable of the wheat and the tares? There is a great deal of distinction. They are viewed entirely from different standpoints, and each parable must be viewed from its own standpoint. And so with the various statements respecting our Lord and the work that he did. Some of them view Him from the one standpoint and some from the other. From the standpoint of the ransom, our Lord is viewed as being the one who corresponded to Father Adam. As by one man's disobedience, sin entered the world, even so by the righteousness of one, free grace has come. In other words, what Adam brought upon our race of sin, degradation, and death penalty, our Lord Jesus has set aside by reason of having paid the penalty on our behalf. This is the concrete view of the subject, you might say a condensed view of it.
Now, the sin offering of the day of Atonement is a different view altogether--not contradictory but thoroughly in harmony, but a different view nevertheless. It pictures how our Lord accepts the atonement of Christ on our behalf. Now the fact that Christ meets the whole penalty is one thing, you see, and the fact that God accepted it in certain ways is another thing. The sin offering shows us how God appropriates this sacrifice of Christ. First of all, the sacrifice [Q558] Christ is appropriated on behalf of the household of faith including the members of the body of Christ. That is shown in the type; the first sin offering of the Day of Atonement, the bullock, representing our Lord Jesus, was appropriated to the household of faith and the members of His body, and was not appropriated to anything else. And this was done before any other work was done, and this in the type is shown as a separate and distinct sacrifice and a separate and distinct application of the sacrifice. Then came in the second sin offering of the Day of Atonement, namely, the Lord's goat, the Lord's goat representing, we understand, the Church, His Body--the members of His Body. It shows a separate and distinct work done by the Church--not by the Church as individuals, but by the Church as members of His Body, no value attaching to the individual, for the individual by that time is lost sight of. It is the member of Christ's Body that is sacrificed.
You see the difference, dear friends. You and I present our bodies living sacrifices. That is as far as we can go. That sacrifice we present to the Lord is presented at the beginning of our consecration, and when he accepts it, our part is done. Now, when he accepted of our sacrifice, he counted us thenceforth as new creatures, and as members of the Body of Christ, and it is as members of the High Priest's Body that we have been putting to death the old nature ever since. So you see the difference between our standing in the matter as individuals and our standing as members of the Body of Christ. Our standing as individuals ceases entirely when we have presented our bodies; we are reckoned dead and, therefore, we who are dead are not suffering anything. It is the new creature that is doing the offering, and the new creature is a member of the Body of Christ, and therefore, it is the Great Priest whose members we are that is offering this secondary sin offering, represented in the type by the goat. And this offering of the sin offering, of the goat, continues throughout a period of time, and at its completion the work effected by it is shown to be that a propitiation is made for the sin of all the people. Now, all the people, you see, in the type, meant all the other tribes outside of the tribe of Levi, and all the other people in the world outside of the Levites. The believers represented by the tribe of Levi, and the priests of that tribe, represent the Royal Priesthood. All the other people are represented in the other eleven tribes--all the other people who will ever come into harmony with God, either in this age or in the next age. They are all represented by this other type, and atonement is made for them all with a view to bringing them all back into relationship with God. So that work will be finished by the end of the Gospel Age, and you and I as members of the Body of Christ are participating; He is putting us to death; He is putting our flesh to death; He it is who is offering the sacrifice; He does the whole thing, and all the merit is in Him, and none of the merit is in you and I.
So, then, you see that this type is in perfect accord with the doctrine of the ransom, because all of the merit you have in your sacrifice and that I have in my sacrifice, came to us through Christ and through our relationship to Him. Therefore it is the Christ that is doing the whole work, though [Q559] he does it in this piece-meal manner. We might just as well say that Jesus could not be the Redeemer and ransomer of Adam, unless He would die in an instant, unless He had given His life at the very moment, because, you remember, He consecrated His life to death at Jordan, when He offered Himself, as the Apostle tells us. That is where He gave up His life, that is where He surrendered His life; but now it took three and a half years before that life was fully given up. That is to say, the three and a half years from His baptism at Jordan until the time on the cross He said, "It is finished." Now likewise, we can just as well see a still larger fulfillment, for while it began at His baptism, and while one feature was completed at His cross, in another sense He has not yet completed it, because He is still offering, the Great High Priest is still carrying out this great work of sin atonement, and during all of this age He is working in you and me, and in all who are accepted as members of the body, that He may present us ultimately as members of His glorious bride.
RANSOM--Re Sufferings of Jesus.
QUESTION (1910-Z)--1--Were the physical sufferings of our Lord Jesus requisite to the ransoming of humanity?
ANSWER--The Ransom, or corresponding price which our Lord Jesus gave, consisted in his being the Perfect Man with all the rights of Adam and in these being surrendered or given up to death regardless of whether his death would be an easy or a painful one. The Scriptures say that "it pleased the Father to bruise him," not indicating by this, however, that our Heavenly Father took pleasure in the sufferings of his Son, but that this was his pleasure so far as his Plan of Salvation, etc., was concerned. He put severe tests upon this One who would be the Redeemer of mankind, not only to develop him as the beginning of a new creation (Heb. 2:10) and to prove his character, but also to manifest to us and to angels and to all creatures the wonderful obedience of the Lord Jesus and his worthiness of the high exaltation to the divine nature and all the glorious offices to be accorded him. Hence the Father provided that he must be "led as a lamb to the slaughter," and he also provided, in the Jewish Law, that the extreme curse of that Law should be a death penalty on the tree. "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
These provisions, we understand, were not of Divine necessity, but of Divine wisdom and expediency. It was necessary that Christ should suffer that he might enter into his glory--before he could be the qualified High Priest, and ultimately accomplish the work of Mediator between God and the world of mankind; hence his sufferings were permitted for the testing, the proving of himself. And so with the sufferings that come to the Body of Christ, the Church. They are for our own development. The Father deals with us as with sons. He lovingly chastises and corrects us that he may thereby fit and prepare us and demonstrate our worthiness of the glorious reward which he has arranged for us with our Lord, and under him.
We get the right view of the entire matter, we believe, when we see that the death of Jesus was not the ransom;that it did not accomplish the ransom-work, but simply furnished the ransom-price; and that the ransoming with that [Q560] price is a matter that is done in the "Most Holy"--in heaven. To explain: He ascended up on high, having to his credit the price or value sufficient to ransom the whole world, but none of it yet applied for any one. He has appropriated the merit of that ransom-price to the Church, imputing this merit to them during this Gospel Age, to cover their Adamic sins and to make good, to compensate for, the imperfection of their mortal bodies, thus enabling them to present sacrifices which God can and will accept through the merit of their Advocate.
But that ransom-price, so far as the world is concerned, is still in reservation and will be given on behalf of them, as represented by the "sprinkling of the blood" at the end of the Day of Atonement, shortly now, in the beginning of the Millennial Age, to seal the New Covenant and to put into operation all the glorious provisions which God has made for the world.
We believe it to be a very important matter to keep distinctly separate the work which Jesus did and the value of that in God's sight as an asset, something to his credit on the heavenly account and something which he now applies to us, and by and by will give in perpetuity to mankind as their ransom-price.
RANSOM--Man Christ Jesus.
QUESTION (1911-Z)--1--Kindly explain the following text, especially the forepart of it: "The Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all."--1 Tim. 2:5,6.
ANSWER--Our Lord gave himself a corresponding price for all--a ransom. The application of this price will be made in due time. It has been, at the present time, appropriated to the Church, imputatively, on account of their turning from sin and walking in the footsteps of Jesus. The next step in its application will be, not the imputation, but the actual giving of this to the world, bringing them up out of their imperfection, during the thousand years of the Mediatorial reign; bringing them back into that condition in which they shall be in harmony with God, even as Adam was in harmony with him before the fall.
Regarding the expression, "The Man Christ Jesus," we would say that the Man who gave himself seems to be the particular point. That Man who gave himself, the anointed Jesus, who finished the giving of himself at Calvary, is the "Mediator between God and men," between God and the world of mankind. In harmony with the Divine Plan, during this Age, before his work of uplifting mankind is due to begin, he is doing another work that the Father has ordained; namely, the selection of brethren over whom he is placed as the "Captain of their salvation." These are counted in as members of the Body of the Messiah, he being Head over them--"the Church which is his Body."
So, then, the Man Christ Jesus is the Redeemer of the world. But in the interim--as noted above--before the application of his merit shall be made for the world, the testimony is given to a few--as many as have ears to hear and are joint-sacrificers with him. These will be associated with him as Prophet, Priest, Mediator, King and Judge between God and men during the Millennial Kingdom.
RANSOM--How Merit of is Applied.
QUESTION (1911-Z)--2--Is there anything connected with [Q561] the Atonement Day sacrifices which corresponds to the Ransom? If so, what?
ANSWER--The word Ransom would more properly be rendered Ransom-Price, corresponding price. On the Day of Atonement no type of the ransom-price is given us, but rather a type of the Sin-Offering, showing particularly how that ransom-price will be made applicable. If we scrutinize this Atonement Day type, however, we shall find that which points to the Ransom, in the killing of the bullock; for the whole matter depended upon the killing of the bullock. The goat could not be killed first. The bullock must first be killed and the blood applied in the Most Holy before anything could be done with the goat. Hence, all that was done, not only with the Lord's goat, but also with the scapegoat, was based on the death of the bullock. So if we look for anything that might correspond to the ransom-price in the Day of Atonement sacrifices, we shall see that the death of the goat was not necessary, but all depended on the bullock.
RANSOM--Emphasized by I.B.S.A.
QUESTION (1915)--1--"A Ransom for All." Why does the I.B.S.A. place such emphasis on this point?
ANSWER--We understand, dear friends, that the Ransom is the very center, we might say the hub, of the Divine Plan; that everything in God's Plan circles around the Ransom. Every feature of His Plan is vitally connected with it. Just as every spoke of a wheel is connected with the hub, so all the various features of Divine Truth radiate from this doctrine. For this reason we make it very prominent.
We believe that every one out of harmony with the Ransom is out of harmony with the Plan of God, and that any one truly in accord with the Ransom is necessarily in harmony with the whole Plan of God. The Bible gives this doctrine great prominence. The Bible declares that "by one man's disobedience sin entered into the world," and that by the obedience of another man, Jesus Christ, the ransoming of the race is achieved (Rom. 5:12-21). The satisfaction of Divine Justice is thus affected. Hence God can be just and yet be the Justifier of all who believe in Jesus (Rom. 3:26). This is our reason for placing such emphasis on the Ransom, for making it so prominent--because the Bible makes it prominent. Every doctrine must be in accord with the Bible or be wrong. If you square your views with the Bible, you can readily see that many doctrines accepted by people generally are entirely erroneous.
QUESTION (1916)--2--About April 1st the Tower said the ransom is not fully paid till the Church is glorified. It is hard for me to understand this.
ANSWER--The thought here seems to be--when it was finished--the ransom work finished--the corresponding price paid. We cannot help what we thought was wrong. We thought once that a great many things were not correct. We are finding out more clearly day by day what the Bible does teach. What difference whether we saw God's plan was finished 1,000 years ago, or 1,000 years future? It is going to be finished and His plan is all working out for good. If the ransom price had been paid then from that moment Jesus would have had charge of the whole world of mankind, but [Q562] he did not take charge; he has not yet taken charge, and God's time for him to take charge has not yet come. Jesus came before the time to take charge of the world, in order that the church might come in, and the great work of blessing the world itself will not begin till the church is completed. Now it is merely a difference in the form of expression. So far as the sacrifice of Jesus is concerned, the ransom price was laid down at Calvary, or more particularly, laid down at Jordan when Jesus gave himself to the Father. That is the particular time which corresponds to the killing of the bullock--the bullock representing the flesh of Jesus. The moment it was killed, that moment the High Priest began as the New Creature--went into the Holy; so Jesus, when be offered himself up at Jordan, immediately, as the antitypical High Priest, enters the Holy, burns incense at the golden altar and later enters beyond the second veil, appearing there for us. After that we were privileged to come in, but so far as the laying down of the price was concerned, it was laid down, put in the bands of the Father when Jesus consecrated himself to do the Father's will, put his life in the Father's hands. All his destiny was in the Father's hands, and this destiny as the Father marked out for him, was completed at Calvary. The work the Father gave him to do, he did. One work, the work of sacrificing, and another, making application of the sacrifice, first for the Church, when he ascended up on high. It had not yet been applied to the Church; they had not received the holy Spirit, not until Jesus appeared in the presence of God for us and made imputation in a special way. Not till then did the Church get any benefit. At the appropriate time the world will get its benefit.
RANSOM--Not Shown in Old Testament.
QUESTION (1916)--1--Was the ransom work shown as types or shadows in the O.T.?
ANSWER--I do not think of any types or shadows representing the ransom, and for the very reason I do not think it would be shown. A bullock would not be found to represent the ransom price and there was no perfect man. The only illustration which we have is this one which God has given us--Jesus the ransomer of father Adam.
RANSOM--Illustrated in Work of Jesus.
QUESTION (1916)--2--Please explain the meaning and illustration of the word ransom, as to the work of Jesus.
ANSWER--We have already done this. The work of Jesus was the giving of himself, the corresponding price on behalf of Adam, and as all the race was included in Adam so all the race of Adam was included in the ransoming work; so we read "As by one man came death, by one man also comes the resurrection of the dead, for as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive, every man in his own order."
QUESTION (1916)--3--Please give a good illustration, of the meaning of the word "ransom."
ANSWER--I do not think we could have a better illustration than the Bible gives. The perfect man Adam is the one who sinned and was sentenced to death and in order to be his redeemer it was necessary that one should be like him, a perfect man, and thus that he became man--not a [Q563] sinful man like the race, but holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners as Adam was at the time that he sinned. This is the best illustration of the ransom that I know of; the Bible's own illustration. Something we do not carry out in our affairs of life--it was under the law; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. If some one knocked out two teeth, you had a right to knock out two teeth for him. That was Justice. No merit in it.
QUESTION (1916)--l--Please define the meaning of the word "Ransom."
ANSWER--The word ransom signifies a price that corresponds. The literal meaning of the word as you find given in Young's Concordance, "A price corresponding." Thus we see there was no price corresponding to Adam; there was no perfect man that could give himself as ransom. No angel could be a corresponding price. No perfect man anywhere in the Universe of God. A spirit being could not be a ransom for they were on a higher plane than Adam. Not a creature in all the universe of God could be a ransom for Adam. Therefore God arranged that the Logos might become the suitable one to be the ransom price for Adam and thus he became the ransom.
RANSOM--Denying Re Second Death.
QUESTION (1916)--2--Will all the people who deny the ransom go into second death?
ANSWER--We are not supposed to answer a question like that. The answer we have is "The Lord will judge His people" and it is not for you or me to decide whether that one will be of the little flock or the great company or second death class. We are not here to judge one another. If you see any one going blind, give them the eye salve. Do not tell them where you think they are going to be. We had better not tell what we do not know.
RANSOM--Scriptures Teaching this Doctrine.
QUESTION (1916)--3--Please quote the Scriptures that clearly teach the doctrine of the ransom.
ANSWER--There are a great many scriptures that might be seen to clearly teach the doctrine of the ransom. "The man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time." That is a very distinct statement. Another would be "As by a man came death by a man also comes the resurrection of the dead." "As all in Adam die even so all in Christ shall be made alive." Many of these texts show the correspondency. So we read "Even the precious blood of Christ." "The precious blood of Christ" would mean all that the word "ransom" means, and the word blood, giving of life in exchange for life and the only one person who had life in the full sense was father Adam, and the next person to have full life on the human plane was Jesus. He has a transferred life.
RANSOM--Re Adversary and Fallen Angels.
QUESTION (1916)--4--When the Logos left the heavenly glory and became flesh did he ransom the adversary and the fallen angels?
ANSWER--The Scriptures tell that Jesus came to taste death for every man, not for devils at all. Not a word. Besides we have no record that the devils were ever [Q564] sentenced to death, and how could they be ransomed from death. They were separated, alienated from God and confined for a time in Tartarus in our earth's atmosphere. If this is their condition, I think they had a pretty bad time--a very severe punishment. Some one has told about infidels. He represented his thoughts by saying he had a dream. I suppose a waking dream. There he saw a town called Infidel and only infidels entered there and they locked it up so no one could get out. He walked past there a year later and heard the wails. "Let us out--let us out, we can't stand it here any longer." I was not sure he had the right thought about the infidels, but I thought the word picture represented the condition of the fallen angels pretty well. I think they would like to get away from each other--not very good company. From what we have illustrated in the Bible, they have a great deal of wickedness and if they have wickedness toward humanity, they may have evil tendencies toward each other and I think they have been having a terrible time for 4,000 years. The Bible does state that there will be something for those angels without telling distinctly what it will be. The Apostle says, "know ye not we shall judge angels?" Not the holy angels. It would only be those fallen angels. We may not see clearly enough to say how we could judge the angels, but that there is to be some kind of a judgment of angels is plainly stated by the Apostle. They are confined in chains of darkness until the judgment day, inferring there will be a judgment or trial come to them. Testified to by three Apostles. What would that mean? That there would be some opportunity for them to clear themselves. Whoever is put on trial, means they are going to have a trial, an opportunity, and the world's judgment day means the world will have an opportunity, and our opportunity comes through the merit of Christ's sacrifice releasing us from the sentence upon us as sinners, but the judgment and trial of angels could not come from that, for they were not sentenced to death but to this earth's atmosphere, this confinement, shutting them up as the apostle puts it, setting them aside from communication with the Lord. Angels shut up for a long time would see no hope whatever. They have insulted the Almighty. They were inexcusable knowing they were doing wrong, and they fell under the Divine hand. The mercy of God was not manifested to anybody. The Holy Angels will not need mercy--no one was needing mercy. They never had an illustration of God's mercy, but they had of God's justice, in their case of condemning in darkness. The first illustration they got was the same that came to mankind--what the Bible tells about Jesus "Herein was manifest (give the full weight to that word manifest) the love of God in that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life." Do you suppose they were wondering what next He would do? I think they looked on in astonishment when they saw Jesus consecrating his life; his temptation in the wilderness; loyalty to the Father and full devotion in every way, noting the three and one-half years in ministry in which he was faithfully walking the narrow way, saw him crucified; then thought they had finally done him up and that would be the end of the matter? They thought he had come to an end. They had never known any one to be resurrected from the dead. [Q565] But when on the third day Jesus rose from the dead, a spirit being of the highest order, of the Divine nature, don't you think those fallen angels were looking then? I think so. God said He highly exalted him, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. Don't you think those angels saw how glorious he was and how grand his nature? Then those angels faithful to him learned a great lesson there. How do you know? Peter says so. In his resurrection Jesus preached to the spirits in prison--the imprisoned evil spirits--the fallen angels. How do you know? Because Peter went on to say, those evil spirits which were disobedient in the days of Noah, while the Ark was preparing--he limited the matter, points out just which he meant. They were the very ones. Did he go off alive and speak to them? No, he was dead. He died on Calvary. By this whole procedure, his death and resurrection, he preached the greatest sermon those fallen angels ever heard. Obedience on the part of the Savior and pleasing in the sight of the Father, and the great blessing coming on every one who would be faithful to him and loyal to God. I am going to speak and give my guess so you will not make any mistake and think I am inspired. I guess from that time some of those fallen angels had a new thought on the subject and said, now we see more than ever before how greatly we sinned and how wrong was our course and one after another said, I am determined to take a right stand hereafter, but I could not even give guess whether it would be many or a few that would take that stand, that henceforth they would be loyal to God and wait and hope God would give them some blessing. I am going to suppose that some did that, and what do you think would be the consequence? I think they have had a terrible time--a devilish time. I think the fallen angels that did not turn to God would give them plenty of persecution as they would try to be loyal to God and His principles of righteousness and they would have to suffer for righteousness sake. They perhaps have had to suffer a good deal in all this time if they took a proper stand. My thought is we are coming down to the close of the age, and that these that manifest their repentance toward God, and have taken their stand on the side of God, of righteousness and truth, and in opposition to the fallen ones and the wrong course--my thought is they are about to be vindicated and get a blessing and a release from their difficulties and they will be more or less under judgment by the experience of the Church during this Gospel Age, and in God's due time they are to have a release from the fallen ones, and the fallen ones eventually will be destroyed in second death with Satan. He has not repented. He is still the same adversary--He is our great adversary. "Your adversary the devil." No mistake about it, and if he has not had trial enough for 6,000 years to demonstrate what his real character is, I wonder how long it would take to find out? I wonder if God would want to test any one more than 6,000 years?
QUESTION (1916-Z)--1--Give a brief definition of the word Ransom.