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CHILDREN--Supervision of Children During Time of Trouble.
QUESTION (1906)--1--Are there any special words of instruction and comfort in God's Word to the children of consecrated parents, who must most likely go through the time of trouble, and who will not have reached the years of accountability?
ANSWER.--I would say that while we do not know of any words that are directly addressed to such children, we do know this: That from the Lord's standpoint all of His people are precious, and all of their interests are precious--not only themselves, but their little ones and everything that would be theirs would be certainly precious in the sight of the Lord. It is a self-evident fact and does not really need any statement in the Scriptures. I would say that all children of believers are under the Lord's special protection and care up to the time of their personal accountability, when they have responsibility for themselves; and we may certainly conclude that all such will be under the special supervision of the angel of the Lord.
CHILDREN--Training in the Way They Should Go.
QUESTION (1907)--2--"Train up a child in the way in which he ought to go, and when he is old he will not do part from it." Why do they so many times depart from the right way?
ANSWER.--I think the principal reason is that they are not properly trained in the way in which they should go. I think people in the truth need a little lesson along the line of training children. Perhaps we have something that works to our disadvantage in the matter. The more your heart becomes large, and forgiving, and generous, the more you will forgive your friends, and your children, but you must remember that when dealing with your children, you are not dealing with them as with another man or woman; you must look at the character that is being formed, and you must, in line with the Lord's arrangements, bring discipline to bear so as to fashion that character in the way in which the Lord would have it go. If it is a crooked little twig, you must put on splints where it is crooked and help straighten it up, because if you allow it to grow up to be a big tree with those crooks, you can never put on splints that will straighten it out. I think some of the friends are inclined to spare the rod, and do not notice what the Scriptures say. We are not to spare the rod when it is necessary. We are to take God's way in the matter. Does God spare the rod on you when it is necessary? By no means. "Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me." I am glad God has a rod and a staff for His people; glad that He does not let us go without correction, if we need it. But when we have the right spirit in the matter, we will feel more of a regret that we have need of the chastisement than the getting of the chastisement itself. The worst thing of the rod should be, "I am so sorry that I need to be chastised, and that I did not correct myself, or hold myself in the proper restraint." And that is what you want to cultivate in the child--not that the child shall get a certain number of whippings, but that as children of God, it is your duty and responsibility, and you must whip it. I can count the whippings I got in my life on my fingers; I got just five, and I remember all about every one of them, and all the circumstances connected with them. I got three from [Q55] my mother. I want to tell you about one of them. I was about five, as near as I can remember. Of course, I may have gotten some spankings when I was so small I did not know about it, but when I was about five, I remember I got one. My mother taught me to the best of her knowledge. She had a pair of leather tawers that would bite at the end, but do no real harm. There were about six or eight tails to them--"Their hurt was in their tails." "Charles, bring the tawers and come up stairs." So I carried the tawers up stairs. She said, now, sit down here and I will read to you out of the Bible. She thought I had prevaricated, or had twisted the truth; not that I had told a point-blank lie, but twisted the truth a little, as most children are inclined to do, especially if some older folks laugh at them and think they are smart; but I did not have anyone to laugh at me and think it was smart if I should do anything of that kind. I learned that that was not the way to do. So she read to me from Revelations all about those without, all the liars shall have their place with those who burn with fire and brimstone, etc., and she said, "Charles, I do not want you to have your portion with those in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, and it is my duty, as your mother, to give you chastisement, and I must do it. I do not want to whip you, but I must do it for your good. This is the teaching of the Lord's Word, and this is what will happen if you should grow up to be a liar, and if you should grow up to become a bad man." You see how much impression that made on my mind, that little suggestion from the Scriptures. Of course, if she had understood the matter, she never would have made that application of the Scripture, but she could have found some other Scripture that would have been equally forcible, and perhaps more so. The fact that God has no use for liars can be very easily impressed on the mind of a child.
CHILDREN--Re Millennial Blessings.
QUESTION (1909)--1--What position will children occupy and what blessings will they get in the Millennial Age?
ANSWER.--Well, I presume they will occupy a position in laps if they are small enough. I may suppose that you mean that if any of the consecrated have had children, how will they fare? Undoubtedly there will be many kind hearted people living then, and when they know that these children are the children of the glorified, they will be very glad to take care of them. We may also be quite sure that the parents who will be on the other side the vail will be more able to care for their children than when here.
What blessings will they receive? They will receive the same as the rest of the families of the earth, for whom Christ has died, and for whom God has made an abundant provision for a knowledge of Himself.
CHILDREN--Extent of Education Re Shortness of Time.
QUESTION (1910)--2--To what extent should the Truth people, Bible Students, educate their children, knowing the shortness of the time between now and the time of trouble, for instance, and also in view of the fact that in any higher education there is a tendency toward infidelity, higher criticism and agnosticism? Would you advise a common education in music? [Q56]
ANSWER.--My thought, dear friends, would be that the majority of children would be better off if they would not go beyond, or much beyond, a common school education. I do not know of a college anywhere that would really do them any good. I remind you of a young man who came from India. His father was a native of India and had embraced Christianity, and, according to this son, his father was a genuine Christian, and so this young man was very anxious to come to America and get his education. Apparently his father was connected with the Methodist Church Mission in India. At all events, the young man sought out a Methodist college here. Not having great means, he worked his way through college, and in the four years that he spent in getting his education he lost every bit of his Christianity, and every bit of his faith in the Bible, and was turned out, graduated from a Methodist college, a higher critic, a total unbeliever. That young man subsequently was met by one of the Bible students, and it was suggested he attend one of the conventions. He said he did not have the money to spare. The party gave him the money for his expenses. He attended and was considerably interested, but not convinced, because he had lost his faith to such a degree. It was suggested that he should study further, and that he should study the six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES. He went through the six volumes, and at the completion said that he rejoiced that he had found God and the Bible again, and the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior. He is back again in India, preaching Christ there, and preaching him from the true standpoint. Now I would not run the risk with any child I loved--and I would love any child of mine, I am sure; every parent ought to love his children--I would not want to do for that child anything that would result in the loss of the best thing he has--his faith. It would not be with my consent that my child would go even through the high school, because you will find the same higher criticism now even in the ordinary high schools, and not merely in the colleges. They have these so-called scientific text books, about man having been a monkey and dropping his tail, etc.
As for music, I would think something would depend on the circumstances of the parent and the aptitude of the child. If a child has no aptitude for music, I think it would be a waste of time trying to get music into it; but if the child had quite a talent for music, that might be a proper excuse for at least teaching the rudiments of music, whether you would think proper to go further or not. But if the child has real talent for music and you give it the rudiments, I think the talent will take care of the rest. The trouble with most people is, they have not any talent, and it is all an effort to manufacture talent--and most of it is very annoying to their neighbors.
QUESTION (1910)--Part 1:--Is it not stated in your writings that male and female were made for the purpose of filling the earth and that the six thousand year day (epoch) was the limit of time for that work, and the seventh thousand year day was for restoring them to the image of Adam before he was divided and made sex?
ANSWER.--I would answer that that is partially true, but not exactly as stated. We do not understand that God made [Q57] man male and female for the purpose of filling the earth. He made man because he wished to make man, then divided man into two separate parts that the earth might be filled.
Part 2:--Why, then, does a Pilgrim teach that children will be born all during the Millennium, thus leading away many, and say you teach it, also that God has to have the children born of the Blessed, to take the places of the 144,000?
ANSWER.--I do not know what Pilgrim is referred to. The Society cannot be responsible for every word that is uttered by every Pilgrim. It tries to leave as much liberty of thought and expression as possible and as seems reasonable to each one, and tries to have only those in the service of the Society who are pure and honorable in their intentions, and clear in their understanding and presentation of the Truth. The Society cannot guarantee that every Pilgrim shall speak exactly as the President of the Society believes to be the Truth.
Unfortunately, an article appeared in the Watch Tower some time ago, which I think is in line with this question. At the time it was handed to me, I recognized that it was from a brother quite clear in the truth, and I did not scan the letter quite as carefully as I should otherwise have done, and I overlooked this little feature. It is not my thought that children will be born during the Millennial Age to take the place of the 144,000. I would advise that none of you trouble your heads with any such questions. We have plenty to think of that bears upon our interests in the making our calling and election sure, without bothering with such details of the next age. Had I noticed that particular feature of this letter it would not have been published. I admit that I was not as careful as I should have been. I suppose I will continue to learn as long as I live. We try to be careful about every word that goes into the Watch Tower, but we do not claim to be infallible; we are doing the best we can.
It was a mistake to publish that article, but it should not worry anyone, for it is not very important, anyway. What difference to you and me? It is not of sufficient importance to say that such a brother, having that view, does not belong to the Lord; it is not a part of the Truth. My suggestion to any Pilgrim brother along the line of this question, or any other such question, is that it would be better to leave them alone. There is nothing to be gained by the agitation of such questions.
QUESTION (1910)--1--Should the saints go right on and educate their children in this day for earthly positions, knowing they will not get into those positions in this age? Will such an education (college or university) be of value in the Millennium?
ANSWER.--I answer that education is a very excellent thing, and undoubtedly, during the time of Messiah's kingdom there will be wonderful educational facilities granted to the whole world, but those educational arrangements will be under a different supervision, and they will be very different in many respects from the education now given.
My advice is, as stated through the Watch Tower, that I advise all Christians not to send their children to colleges [Q58] or universities; for if they do, they will risk a great deal through infidelity and unbelief, and they will be doing their children a positive injury.
I think of a dear Christian brother who inquired of me about five years ago in regard to sending his daughter to a female college. I advised to the contrary, stating that she would probably lose her faith in the Bible. He thought he would pick out a good one, and so he selected the best, and it probably is. It was a religious institution, having a denominational foundation. He talked with me a short time ago and said, My daughter has her education, but the poor girl has no Christian religion, or faith in the Bible, or in Jesus Christ left, and I really doubt if she has any faith in God.
Another case mentioned recently in the Watch Tower was that of a young man who came to this country from India. He studied at one of the leading universities and came out an infidel and unbeliever. He is now in India, because he got over his infidelity through reading the six volumes of Scripture Studies, and he is now a thorough believer in the Bible. My advice is, then, give your children an education up to the public school limit, not even attempting to take them through high school, for they get plenty of Higher Criticism in the high schools, and it will not be long before they have it in the common schools also.
CHILDREN--Place in the Resurrection.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Will the children of consecrated parents who die before the age of accountability come up on the same plane as the ancient worthies; that is, to instantaneous perfection?
ANSWER.--No, not at all. The ancient worthies passed through quite an experience to get to the plane on which they will be. Think what it was for Abraham, the trial of his faith, the demonstration of his loyalty! Think what it was to the prophets, what it cost them! Your child has not passed through anything that would count it worthy to share with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in human perfection, and the earthly representatives of the kingdom. The fact that the child was innocent is very good, but that does not give it a place of reward. Before it has any reward, it will be necessary for it to develop character. Those who get into the little flock will get there as a result of the development of character. Those of the ancient worthy class will be in that class because of the development of character. What, then, does come to the children of believers? I answer, the Scriptures clearly indicate that the children of believers are under a special, divine, providential care. I cannot tell you how. I merely believe it because God's word says so. Let me quote you from the Apostle Paul, "The believing husband sanctifieth the unbelieving wife"--that is to say, it is not necessary that the child should have both parents in the Lord in order to be under divine supervision. If one of the parents is consecrated to the Lord, the child is counted as belonging to that parent, and God's blessing will follow. Likewise the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife, otherwise were your children unholy. That does not mean that he will take them to heaven. It does not mean that he will see that they will belong to the little flock if they grow up. It means that they will be [Q59] favored, that their affairs of life will be overruled for good to them, but the will of the child remains. God never encroaches on the will of any of his creatures. That child, so long as it is without a will, so long as it is immature in judgment, will be under divine supervision. So I would say to the parents who view with some apprehension the coming of the time of trouble that the Bible tells us about, such as never was since there was a nation. Commit those children to the Lord with full confidence that he is able to care for them better than you could even if you remained with them.
CHILDREN--Re Spirit Nature for Those of Consecrated Parents.
QUESTION (1911)--1--Is it your thought that the children of consecrated people will attain to the spirit nature eventually?
ANSWER.--No; when the Apostle speaks of the believing wife sanctifying the unbelieving husband, and likewise the unbelieving husband sanctifying the unbelieving wife, lest their children be unholy, but now are they holy, he is not referring to the spirit nature, but merely referring to that which the parent could give to his child, namely: a relation to God as tentatively justified until the child would be of age to think and act for itself. So we understand all the children of believing parents are subject to divine care and supervision in the sense that children who are not children of the consecrated would not have special supervision and divine care. But this does not extend to their becoming Spirit--begotten. No one can attain Spirit-begetting except by the divinely appointed steps, and those are the steps of sacrifice, presenting your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. All children that present themselves thus sacrificially in Jesus' name or merit before the acceptable time ceases, if they are old enough to make such a presentation of themselves, would be begotten of the spirit. We have no thought that God would have an objection to the child if the child were of a sufficient age to know thoroughly what it was doing.
CHILDREN--Re Ancient Worthies and Materialized Demons.
QUESTION (1911)--2--When will our children be sure that the ancient worthies have been resurrected, and that they are not materialized demons?
ANSWER.--It is a long head that made that question. I guess I cannot answer that. I will say something along this line, however, not exactly in answer to the question. To my understanding, the manifestation of divine power through the class mentioned, the ancient worthies resurrected as perfect men, will be so complete, so wonderful a manifestation of divine power, that it will give a sufficiency of proof to all those who are in harmony with the Lord; the Jews, in particular, will recognize them. That is as well as I can answer the question.
CHILDREN--Of the First, or the Second Adam?
QUESTION (1914-Z)--3--Whose children will the world be when they awake in the Morning of the New Dispensation--the children of Adam, or the Children of Christ, the Second Adam? [Q60]
ANSWER.--We understand that they will still be the children of Adam. When we think of our Lord as the Life-giver of the world, we should remember that He is the Life-giver only to those who come unto the Father through Him. When the masses of mankind awaken in the next Age, they will not have undergone any change which would lift them out of Adam and condemnation to death, into Christ and justification of life.
The New Covenant which God will seal with the precious blood of Christ is to be a Covenant primarily with Israel--to those Jews who are His people, to those who will accept Christ. The faithful Israelites who will accept the Lord and the Covenant relationship through the Mediator which is thus inaugurated for their benefit, will, as soon as they do this, come under the blessings of this Covenant. But mankind in general, who will not yet have come to a position of acceptance of the Mediator, will still be in the same attitude of today--aliens, strangers, foreigners. The work of the Church during that time is described in (Rev. 22:17), "And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come." But none will begin to live until they partake of the Water of life.
The world of mankind now go down into death as strangers, aliens from God, and it will be for them after their awakening to avail themselves of the privileges of that time. The Apostle John declares, "He that hath the Son hath life." Those who are awakened will not have this life, not having come into relationship with Christ. His relationship to them during the next Age will evidently be that of a benevolent Ruler, who is willing to enlighten them, to adopt them, if they will, as children, and who is willing to bring them up to the condition where they may have life everlasting. It will take the entire thousand years to fully perfect the race--to bring them up to perfection.
The Lord Jesus will become the Father of all, just as soon as they comply with the required terms. He will give them, first, enlightenment and knowledge. Then if they use this knowledge, light and opportunity, and desire to come into harmony with Him, He will receive them as His children, and grant them the blessings under the New Covenant.
We recall the Scripture which says that the Law shall go forth from Mt. Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. "And many people shall go any say, Come ye, and let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths."
These people represent the world in general outside of those who have accepted the terms of the Covenant. It represents them as learning a lesson and desiring to come into harmony with God. They say one to another, Let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord's House, and let us walk in His paths. Not until they do this will the Mediator recognize them in any sense of the word, nor will they be on probation for everlasting life. As soon as they are ready to walk in the way of holiness, they will be counted as His children. [Q61]
CHRIST--Actually a New Creature.
QUESTION (1910)--1--In (2 Cor. 5:16) we read, "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature." Does it mean that one in Christ is actually a new creature, or merely reckoned so in God's sight, and does he become this new creature when begotten of the Holy Spirit, or wait for a quickening of the Spirit?
ANSWER.--I answer that, to my understanding, we become new creatures in Christ Jesus actually, not reckonedly. The reckoning feature is done when Christ gives you his merit. There you stand just as you are, the best you can make yourself, and you present yourself to God a living sacrifice; but he says, it is not worthy of sacrifice. So Jesus imputes his merit to it. Then you are reckoned to be perfect. That is the only reckoning. God reckons it so. Under that he accepts the sacrifice as though it were a perfect sacrifice. God makes you a new creature, and from that moment old things have passed away. Of course, if you owe a man a debt you are bound to discharge it if you can, but if you are unable to pay it, it is not charged up against the new creature. The new creature has no right to contract debts in a general way. "Owe no man anything." Each should be very careful how he goes into debt. If obliged to borrow he should give some security, otherwise you had better wait until the Lord arranges it some other way.
CHRIST--Re Members of Nominal Churches Being Part of Christ's Body.
QUESTION (1911)--2--(Rev. 14:4): "These are they which were not defiled with women for they are virgins." If the word "women" here signifies the church, can anyone having a denominational connection have an opportunity of being a part of the one hundred and forty-four thousand of the third verse?
ANSWER.--I understand that this question was sent me specially by a Methodist minister on the ground. We understand that the suggestion is a correct one, "Those that were not defiled by women" having no reference to the female sex, but that it refers to these ecclesiastical women mentioned in Revelation. All Bible exponents of the Protestant kind recognize there are two women especially mentioned in Revelation; the one the true women, the bride class, the other the false woman, and Protestants in general understand that false woman to represent the papacy. Then again other Protestants understand that the Scriptures which refer to the mother and daughters refer to the papacy and these denominational daughters, or systems, which sprang from her, and have more or less of her nature, disposition and characteristics. The Bible proposition is that the church is a virgin church, viz.: not united to the world at all, and that this is the error that was made by the early church in leaving Christ as the prospective bridegroom and becoming united with the nation of Rome. This constituted an illicit union; for as the bride of Christ she had no right whatever to be associated with any earthly dominion, and that in becoming associated with the Roman emperor she lost her standing. We have not time now to go into this matter in detail, as it would require more than this morning to do so, but we are merely giving some brief outlines in answer to this question. A very general confusion of mind sprang up after the long [Q62] period of darkness which we call the dark ages; various reformations were started, and amongst those was the German reformation in which Luther was one of the principal figures, and Zwingli and Melancthon were others. These good men were striving after more truth and a better under standing of God's word. We believe they were to some extent successful, but only partially so; it was not then due time for God to show the full, clear light of his Word, but he intended to allow people to remain in a considerable degree of darkness until the due time. Some of those of that time remained very loyal to God, and stood free and separate from the things of this world, so that they thus maintained a virgin character. Others of them became enamored of worldly government, and as a result we see that amongst the various Protestant denominations there sprang up very similar conditions to those which had prevailed between the church of Rome and the government of Rome. And as that condition of union between the church state constituted figuratively the Roman Catholic church, a harlot system, one living not in pure conformity with her vow to the Lord, so the same rule of application would make the German church equally a harlot system, and the Russian church equally a harlot system, and the church of England equally a harlot system, and the churches of Sweden and Norway and Denmark equally harlot systems. We are to remember that this word "harlotry" as used in Revelation is merely a symbolical term; there is nothing more than that to be understood, nor that the church of England people were harlots, nor anything of that kind, but merely it is a figure representing the wrong attitude of that system towards God and towards his plan.
God has proposed to take out of the world a people for his name, and Saint Paul tells us that this church of the living God now is espoused as a chaste virgin unto one husband, which is Christ, and she is not to marry nor to expect to marry until the bridegroom comes and the marriage shall take place. On the contrary, the church of Rome claims that it was proper to marry. She claims that she is married, and she claims that she has children. In other words, the church of Rome in particular is based on hierarchy. By hierarchy is meant the official church as in separation and distinction from the ordinary members of the Catholic church. That is, the ordinary Catholic is not a member of the Catholic church at all. You will notice that in their conversation they speak of all the priests as father, and all the people as children they; are children of the church. The church therefore professes to have brought forth children. The Roman Catholic church claims to have brought forth these children, and she numbers her children by the hundreds of millions. And Protestants, falling into something of the same error, have been trying to bring forth millions of children, too; each denomination is trying to bring forth children. This is the wrong thought. There is to be no bringing forth of children until after the marriage. The bride of Christ is to be a virgin church, united only to him. It will be after the marriage that the children will come forth in God's order. All through the thousand years of Christ's reign, Christ will be the father, or lifegiver, to the world of mankind, and the church will be the mother, or the life-sustainer, for the world of mankind, and the whole world of mankind coming back to [Q63] restitution privileges and blessings and everlasting life if they will, and will thus become the children of Christ and the children of the church. Therefore in the Scriptures our Lord is represented symbolically as being the everlasting Father. This does not mean that he becomes the heavenly Father, but he becomes the father of everlasting life to the human family. He is not a father to the church; he is our elder brother. He is our bridegroom but never referred to as the father of the church. And so the apostle says you remember, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ hath begotten us." The same one that begat him has begotten us, and he is to be the Father of the restitution class of the future, and the church now being developed is still to maintain her virginity and is to be the mother of that restitution class. So then you see, my dear friends, how the Bible uses this word harlotry, and what is the exact meaning of it.
Now coming to our question more particularly, what is the significance of being defiled with women? This might be a matter of more or less conjecture; there might be room for some differences as to what this would mean. Our thought would be this, not that one is necessarily defiled by having become a member of the Methodist church, or the church of England, or the church of Rome; I believe there have been saintly and pure people in all of these churches, and in all of these systems, but those saintly ones were not defiled. They were in her, but not of her. You see there is a difference. God speaks of some of his children as being in Babylon. This whole system of things according to the Bible, according to Jesus' words, is Babylon. Babylon is the name for the mother, the papal system, and the daughters also have the same name, Babylon. And what does Babylon mean? It means confusion, mixture and improper relationship. That is what is included in the word Babylon. Now then some are in Babylon and not of Babylon, just the same as the children of Israel were carried captive into Babylon, but they were not Babylonians. There was a difference. And in due time God sent forth the message to all of natural Israel that if those who had been carried in captivity into Babylon desired to return to the Lord their God, and to the land of promise, they might do so, and Cyrus gave that decree you remember, and many of them did return. And so God has given an invitation to all of his people that are in Babylon that if they are truly his people they should come out of Babylon. No one is called out of Babylon until he hears the Lord's voice. People are not responsible for anything that is said which they do not hear. So you and I may have been in Babylon for years and not have had any responsibility or any impurity, we were not defiled, because we did not know any better. Our own attitude of heart toward God and toward the things of God's Word was a pure virgin attitude. So then the Lord speaks of these as some of his people in Babylon. They were not his people unless they were pure, unless they were virgins. The moment they became impure he would not class them as his people. But he says, "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins." That implies that you are not yet partakers of her sins; you are my people, in her, but not yet partakers. How is that? Because you did not know any better; you did not see anything [Q64] better; you had no responsibility for what you did not see and did not understand. Well, when shall we have the responsibility, then? When do we come to responsibility? What constitutes responsibility? This, my dear brother: I was not responsible for what I was born to, and what was in my head from childhood; and God did not hold me responsible; nor you, nor anyone else; but after we come to see these errors into which these great systems of men have gotten, after we begin to see the truth, after we begin to see that God's holy name is blasphemed, that his holy character is misrepresented, that we have said things about our heavenly Father that we would be ashamed to say about ourselves or of our earthly parents, yet we admit they are all imperfect and fallen--we have said things about our heavenly Father that were scandalous, we have charged him with the most diabolical acts, and the most diabolical intentions, we have said that he created our world of mankind and knew what he was doing, had full power and full wisdom, and intended from the beginning to damn nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand, and to have them roast through all eternity, and that he made fireproof devils to handle them; that he created a great place called hell in which all of this diabolical work was going on--we slandered our heavenly Father. If anyone would say that about you or me, would not we be angry? We would indeed. If they would say that you had so treated a rat, you would be angry, and you would deserve to he angry. The man that would do such things to a rat is not an honorable man. No honorable man would treat a poor rat that way--predestinate the rat before it was born, foreordain it to eternal torture. And that is what we have been charging to our heavenly Father. It is awful, it is terrible, God forgive us ! I am sure he does; we are ashamed of it. But now just take that one point of false doctrine--and there are other points too; and there are other points of good doctrine. I am not claiming for a moment that all we have believed, and all our forefathers believed, was wrong--not at all. We were saints when we were in Babylon, and we want to maintain our saintship; but now coming down to the close of the age God is lifting the vail, and he is in this day showing us more clearly respecting his plans, his purposes, his arrangement, and the real teaching of his Word. And now then after we once see that this doctrine is blasphemy against God, after we once see that it was concocted in the human mind, evidently instigated by our great adversary, the devil--after we once see what an awful thing it is, if then we wish to uphold earthly systems and give our lives and strength and talents and means, to up-holding these diabolical teachings, then we are worse than any others there; we are the worst of the whole lot. The man who does this fully knowing and intentionally, is the only man to blame at all. You and I, if we would stay in and uphold these things, would be more blameworthy than some who are in and who are not so conscious of what is the trouble.
So then, this Scripture tells us that there are some that will be defiled by these women--by these earthly systems. Why do you call them earthly systems? Why do you show them in contrast to the heavenly system. God has only one church; there is not a man in the world who will deny that. [Q65] No one of any good sense who has any faith in his Bible at all will deny that the Bible teaches there is only one church, the church of the living God, the church of the first--borns, whose names are written in heaven. Whence, then come all these different denominations, Catholics and Protestants numbering up into the hundreds? Well, they come from men. They come from error. They come from ignorance. They come from superstition. They are the results of endeavors to get to the light, and wrong conceptions of how to get to the light. Do you blame these people? Not at all. We are not blaming anybody. The blame comes to the person who, after seeing the real facts of the case, stands in and indorses these systems and upholds them. Now then he will be defiled. And how would he be defiled? Why his whole conscience must be defiled, for he knows that the system is wrong; he is defiled immediately by having a contact with that which he recognizes to be wrong, and feels to be untrue to God, to be untrue to the principles of righteousness; he defiles not only his conscience, but he does dishonor to God, and dishonor to the denomination, and everything else. What right has any man to stay inside of a denomination and deny the teachings of that denomination? He is stultifying himself to do so, is he not? He is branding himself as a fraud, professing to believe what he knows he does not believe, claiming to teach what he knows he does not teach; or, on the other band, teaching that which he knows is wrong and professing that which he does not believe at all. The whole matter is wrong; such are defiled by the women. But those who come out when they see the right and the wrong on the question, who take their stand for right, they are delivering their souls from Babylon. "Flee out of Babylon, saith the Lord; deliver every man his soul." Now no one is responsible to flee out unless he sees that it is Babylon, but the very suggestion that it is Babylon to every honest person means that he should make an investigation, and a thorough one, to know whether or not he is in Babylon. If he says, "Well, God's voice says, 'flee out of Babylon,' and I believe that the system is Babylon, but I do not wish to look into it for fear I find it true," that means he is dishonest with himself; he is defiling himself. There is only one way of being thoroughly honest, and that is to be honest.
CHRIST--All in All.
QUESTION (1912-Z)--l--In what way was our Lord made unto us wisdom, righteousness [justification], sanctification and redemption?--(1 Cor. 1:30).
ANSWER.--In a great variety of ways our Lord was made unto us wisdom. He is the Head of the Church which is His Body. And as the head is the center of knowledge, so the Lord Jesus is the Head of His Church. But the particular thought of the text seems to be that of a progressive order. Looking, then, to see how Jesus was our wisdom before He became our Justifier and Sanctifier, we perceive that the Scriptural declaration is that "no man cometh to the Father but by" our Lord.
Previous to justification the Father draws, for none can come to Christ except through the Father. After the Father has drawn, the wisdom comes from Christ, who instructs us how to come to the Father. Just as the disciples were instructed [Q66] by our Lord, so it is all the way down throughout the Age. There is no other way by which men may be saved--"None other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Sinners could not be acceptable to the Father except by the way of justification such as the Father has provided. This justification means their blessing. "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Mat. 11:28.) We need to be instructed. The light was not prior to Jesus Christ for we read that He is the Light. He makes that statement Himself: "I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."-- John 1:9; 8:12.
This wisdom was first promulgated by our Lord. So the same wisdom which instructed His disciples guides men back to the Father, instructs them as to what discipleship means, makes them wise in order that they may take the steps by which that discipleship is to be gained. Whoever will be His disciples must take up their cross and follow Him. No matter in what way one may get the wisdom, it comes to him from our Lord Jesus Christ; and without this wisdom we could not know how to come to God. No one can ever come to God without this wisdom. And so His wisdom instructs what will be the reward of discipleship,
Our Lord appeared in the presence of God for us--on our behalf. Thus, according to the Father's plan and arrangement, He became the Justifier of those who come to the Father by Him, and none can get the justification except by a consecration of life. Then He becomes their sanctification by assisting them in everything necessary to their sanctification. They have the will to do, and as they have this will, so now He works in them a sanctified character in life.
This course being followed, the one who has the wisdom of the narrow way first obtains justification through our Lord's blood and then sanctification through following in the Lord's footsteps. Finally comes the deliverance [redemption] by the First Resurrection. The One who led us all the way is the One who leads us still and who will finally lead us into the New Jerusalem, the glorious condition beyond the veil.
ANSWER.--The body which God prepared for sacrifice may properly be viewed from two standpoints: First, the Father prepared the body of Jesus, in that He was born holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, and of the human family through His mother. This is the foundation of the whole matter. But the Apostle Peter and also the Apostle Paul inform us that God foreknew the Church, "the Body of Christ," and, therefore, foreknew the sufferings of the Head--foreknew our share in the sufferings and also in His glory.
In speaking therefore of the body which God prepared we should properly enough think how the Father prepared a body for Jesus which was actually, physically perfect and corresponding to the body of Adam, who was afterward condemned, and also prepared the way by which the "Body [Q67] of Christ" should be justified from the sinfulness of the flesh, that thus He might offer not only Himself, the Head, but also "the Church, His Body," a "living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God." TYPICAL AND ANTITYPICAL ATONEMENT DAY SACRIFICES FOR SIN CONTRASTED
In (Heb. 10:10) the Apostle is contrasting the atonement day sacrifice of the typical high priest with the antitypical atonement day sacrifice of the antitypical High Priest, Jesus. The typical high priest needed once every year, repeatedly (not daily), to offer up sacrifices. The first part of the sacrifice was for his own sin, and the second part of the sacrifice was for the sins of the people. The first part was the bullock, and the second part the offering of the goat. These two offerings constituted the one sacrifice for sin on the day of atonement! And so, in the antitype, the offering of our Lord Jesus, when He offered up Himself, was for "himself," that is, for His Body, those who are to be His Church, the household of faith. And then, a further part of His sacrifice has been the offering up of these members of His Body, in harmony with their wills and in harmony with the Divine provision.
Thus the antitypical atonement day sacrifices for sin have been in progress for eighteen hundred years. The special merit of the sacrifice was that which our Lord Himself offered, through which our offerings are made acceptable. It is one sacrifice in the sense that it is all one Body of one Priest that is offered, for the Apostle said, "We are partakers of the sufferings of the Anointed," and, "if we suffer with Him we shall reign with Him"; "if one member suffer all members suffer." ALL OFFERING MUST BE DONE BY THE PRIEST
In (Heb. 7:27) the Apostle said, "This He did once when he offered up Himself." The question arises, To whom does this refer? Does it mean Jesus, and the members of His Body offering up Himself? We answer, No. The members of the Body do not offer up themselves; they present themselves; but the offering, so far as God is concerned, must be done by the Priest, Jesus, the "High Priest of our profession." The Apostle says that this He did once, and we answer, Here the thought is one fulfilment of the one type. In the type there were two sacrifices offered, and it is here called His sacrifice.
Our Lord offered up Himself at Jordan, and He offered up all the members of His Body, the Church, at Pentecost. The offering of Himself personally at Jordan was accepted of the Father, and the remainder of Christ's sacrifice was merely the fulfilling of the terms of the sacrifice. So the presentation of the Church before the Father was accomplished at Pentecost, though it has required the entire Gospel Age to complete the sacrifice.
This, too, was shown in the atonement day type: The high priest, after offering up the bullock, took the blood into the Holy and later into the Most Holy and sprinkled it on behalf of himself and his household--the members of his body and the household of faith--the underpriests and the Levites.
Next the high priest came to the door of the Tabernacle and slew the goat, representing the acceptance of [Q68] justified believers as His Body and their consecration to death. In the type this did not represent the second coming of Christ, but merely His manifestation in connection with the sacrifice of the Body which is the Church. In the antitype our Lord as the High Priest manifested His power in the Church at Pentecost by sending the Holy Spirit upon them and thus giving the intimation that their sacrifice was made and acceptable in the Father's sight. All of the Church who have since come in were counted in there--just as in our Lord's prayer He said, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word." Similarly the acceptance of the Church at Pentecost as joint-sacrificers, as part of Christ's sacrifice, has continued ever since and we are members of His Body, each in his turn being sacrificed until the entire sacrifice of the Great High Priest once for all shall have been accomplished, and that accomplishment, we believe, is near.
The expression, "If one member of the Body of Christ suffer, all the members suffer with it" (1 Cor. 12:26) does not, of course, signify that the dead members of the Church would suffer with the living members, nor that those not yet begotten of the Spirit would suffer with the Apostles, nor that members in different parts of the world would suffer with the other members of whom they were ignorant. It merely means that there is such a sympathy and union and fellowship in the Body of Christ that each is intimately and deeply interested in every other member, so that the interests of one are the interests of all. As, for instance, where there are two or three of the Lord's people in fellowship, as a little ecclesia or class, they are, in this sense of the word, a Body of Christ and are interested in each other, and suffer with each other in the tribulations, persecutions and difficulties of life. And, in a larger sense of the word, any of the members of the Body of Christ, in any part of the world, learning of the sufferings of other members of the Body would correspondingly feel an interest, a sympathy and fellowship in their sufferings, or in their joys. NOT A PART OF THE RANSOM.
In the statement, "A body hast thou prepared me," we must be careful not to read in what is not stated. It Is not stated, "A body hast thou prepared me as a ransom price," but, "A body hast thou prepared me" (Heb. 10:5), "for the suffering of death." (Heb. 2:9.) The suffering of death on the part of our Lord Jesus constituted the ransom price for the sin of the whole world. But the Body, which is the Church, the Father prepares through justification for association with Jesus in the "suffering of death," but this does not constitute the Church partakers in the ransom-price. Only one ransom-price was necessary, and that was one perfect man's death, and that had already been arranged for before the Church was invited to become joint-sufferers and joint-heirs with the Redeemer as His members.
The word "sacrifice" seems to be confusing to some. We are exhorted to present our bodies living sacrifices, but our presentation of our bodies to the Lord should not be confounded with the Lord's presentation of us. Going back to the type we find that two goats were presented to the Lord at the door of the Tabernacle. They were presented [Q69] to be sacrificed, and so, when speaking of them, one might properly say, Those are the sacrificial goats; and whoever presented the goats might in one sense of the word be said to be the sacrificer.
But the word sacrifice, when used in the sense of devotion, or setting apart for sacrifice, should not be confounded with the sacrificing work by the high priest. The goats were not sacrificed merely because they were presented or devoted. God dealt not with the people, but with the priest, and only when the priest had slain the animal was it sacrificed, from the Divine standpoint. Then, and only then, was it really acceptable to God as a sacrifice.
Applying this, then, we may desire to come to God and learn that now is the acceptable day, now is the time when the Body of Christ may be devoted, or presented to the Lord. But something more is necessary than our presentation, and that further thing is the work which is accomplished for us by the High Priest, Jesus; namely, His acceptance, or His endorsement of our consecration, and the presentation of our offering as a part of His sacrifice. When the High Priest presents us with His merit imputed, then, and not until then, does our offer become a "sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God."
CHRIST--Full Authority When He Will Have Completed His Work.
QUESTION (1912-Z)--1--In (1 Cor. 15:28) we read that when Christ shall have accomplished the work appointed for Him--the work of His Millennial Kingdom and reign--and shall have put down all enemies (the last enemy to be destroyed being death), the Son also will be subject unto the Father, who put all things under Him. In what sense will He be "subject" then more than during the Millennium?
ANSWER.--The special thought very evidently is that during Messiah's reign the Lord Jesus will be given full power and authority to control the world. That is the particular business appointed to Him. You will remember that the Father, speaking of that time, says, "Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance"; and He declares that they shall be ruled with a rod of iron.--(Psa. 2:8,9).
This thousand-year period, known as the Millennium, is set apart for this work. Suppose that you were given a position by the Government, or the State, with commission to do a certain thing for a certain period of time, with the understanding that when it is accomplished you will be given a reward for doing it. You are instructed: "Everything is in your hands. Do the work, and you may have all of 1912 in which to do it. Attend to the matter." Then what? After having completed the work, you resign this special commission, this special office conferred upon you for the year. You will no longer hold it.
So at the end of the Millennium our Lord Jesus will no longer hold office as Mediator between God and men, as He will have done for the one thousand years. Why not? There will be nothing more to be accomplished. During the thousand years He will have done His work as Mediator so thoroughly that there will be nothing more to do. That special work will have been fully accomplished.