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KINGDOM--Least In, Greater Than John the Baptist
QUESTION--What did Jesus mean when He declared, "There hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding, he that is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he?"--Matt. 11:11. (I.B.S.)
ANSWER--To understand this statement of the Master it is necessary to remember the clearly marked distinction between the different "Ages." John was the last of the Prophets and belonged to the dispensation which was closing. The Apostles and other followers of Jesus, on the contrary, belonged to the New Dispensation, which Jesus was inaugurating. The Gospel call is a call to participate in the Kingdom of God--Messiah's Kingdom. Our Lord Jesus is to be the Great King of the World during that Millennial Age; and the Heavenly Father purposes to select from among men a "little flock" to be our Lord's associates in the work of uplifting and blessing the world of mankind. The first to be accepted into this Kingdom condition received the holy spirit at Pentecost. Since then, all who similarly consecrate and are similarly begotten of the holy spirit are accepted as of the same class, namely, as members of the Kingdom class. If faithful through the trials and testings of the present life, these shall be "kings and priests unto God" and unto Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years for the uplifting and blessing of mankind. (Rev. 1:6;Rev. 20:4.) The least one in this class will have a higher station than John the Baptist or any of the Prophets of the preceding dispensation; for all these will be spirit beings on the spirit plane. On the contrary, while John, with all the faithful of the past, will have great blessings, yet, since they will be on the earthly plane, their blessings will be restitution blessings to human perfection, etc.
QUESTION--Can you explain the Savior's words to Nicodemus--"Except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God?" John 3:5. (Pharisee.)
ANSWER--The Jewish nation was a consecrated nation, a covenant people. They were all baptized into Moses in the sea and in the cloud when they left Egypt. God accepted them in Moses, the mediator of their covenant at Mt. Sinai but, at the time Jesus was speaking, they had forgotten their covenant, some were openly living as publicans and sinners, and many others were self-righteous hypocrites. John's ministry, therefore, was repentance and baptism for the remission of sins--a return to God and to a recognition of the repentance and reformation of heart and life. Nicodemus was a Jew, and no Jew could become a follower of the Lord Jesus and enter into the kingdom, until first of all he had experienced this reformation and had been baptized, "born of water," in addition to this there must be the begetting of the spirit, and then in the resurrection, the birth to the spirit nature--"born of the spirit." Only those who experience this complete reformation of heart and mind, and who are "changed" in the resurrection, will ever enter into the kingdom of God. [Q797]
KINGDOM--See Son of Man Coming In
QUESTION--"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom." Matt. 26:28. Does this idea that some living at that time would continue to live on until the Lord's second advent? (C.W.)
ANSWER--The word "Kingdom" properly rendered is royal majesty. Continuing the narrative on down into the next chapter, it is stated that six days afterwards, the Lord took Peter, James and John and went apart from the rest of the disciples, up into a high mountain, and was there transfigured before them. His face was gloriously illuminated and became as resplendent as the sun, while His raiment was white as the light. The royal majesty of the Lord's appearance, together with the "vision" of Moses and Elijah, and the bright cloud over-shadowing all, formed an overwhelming arrangement of light and glory. The Apostle Peter afterwards, in writing of this glorious scene, declared that they were eyewitnesses of the majesty (royal majesty) of the Lord Jesus, and that they also heard the voice of the Heavenly Father coming from the excellent glory. (2 Peter 1:16-18.) In this way Matt. 16:28, was fulfilled.
QUESTION--Will you please explain Matt. 11:12 -- "And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force?" (T.C.W.)
ANSWER--This is a prophecy relating to the Church, the Kingdom class, the Kingdom of Heaven in its embryotic state. It has been remarkably fulfilled in the history of the true Church of Christ from the days of John to the present. The "violent," those of the Ishmael and Esau disposition, have always bitterly opposed and persecuted the Lord's true people, and apparently, have triumphed over the Kingdom of Heaven. Many Scriptures teach that this would be the condition of affairs in the world until the time would come when the Lord Jesus, at His second coming, would take unto Himself His great power and authority and establish His own righteous rule in the earth, overthrowing Satan's Empire and setting up the Kingdom of Heaven. The Apostle admonishes the Lord's people to be subject to the powers that be (Rom. 13:1-7) the worldly governments and dominions, but the time would come when these would be turned over to the Lord Jesus and His joint-heirs, and on the ruins of the old, selfish, evil, kingdoms and governments, God's Kingdom would be established, never to be removed.
KINGDOM--What Will Entitle Entrance?
QUESTION--I am trying to do the best I know how; will not this entitle me to an entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven? (M.E.W)
ANSWER--If you do to the very best of your ability you will get a great lesson as to your inability to do perfectly. Then, realizing that God, cannot approve that which is imperfect and self-condemned, you will he ready to pray, [Q798] "God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13) Then the Lord will reveal to you the fact that there is only one door of salvation--Christ. Then, still desiring peace with God, you will seek Christ and be found in Him. The most God asks of anybody is that he do the best he can. We all need a Savior, for the reason, as St. Paul declares, "Ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Gal. 5:17) We cannot do perfectly because we are imperfect; we are imperfect because we were born in sin and "shapen in iniquity." (Psa. 51:5) The Jews, who were under the Law Covenant, tried to justify themselves before God by what they did, but wholly failed. In discussing this question the Apostle points out that the only hope for deliverance is through Christ Jesus, who as the great Deliverer will come and turn away ungodliness from them. (Rom. 7:18-25)
KNOWLEDGE--What is the "Key" Jesus Referred to?
QUESTION--What is the "key of knowledge" referred to in Luke 11:52, where the Lord Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees "Ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered?" (Y.E.K.)
ANSWER--Some one has said "The summary want of the age is that last philosophy into which shall have been sifted all other philosophy, which shall be at once catholic and eclectic, which shall be the joint growth and fruit of reason and faith, and which shall shed forth through every walk of research the blended light of discovery and revelation." The Bible is just such a revelation and contains that true philosophy which is the basis for all philosophies. It is the "key of knowledge," the Standard of Truth, and all lines of investigative thought which ignore this Standard and are contrary thereto, are "vain philosophies and science falsely so-called." (1 Tim. 6:20.) The "lawyers," Doctors of the Law, the Doctors of Divinity of our Lord's time, had made void the Word of the Lord through their traditions and speculations. (Mark 7:13.) The people, looking to these "lawyers" for true instruction regarding the Lord's Word, were deceived and confused by their false teachings.
LAW--"Eye for an Eye"
QUESTION--What is mean by the expression, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth"? (Exo. 21:24.)
ANSWER--The Law given to the Israelites by the Lord, through Moses as the Mediator for that nation, was designed to emphasize and impress the lesson of the Divine principle of JUSTICE on the minds of the people. All through that wonderful system of laws this principle is boldly prominent. Justice is inexorable, demanding an exact equivalent for the thing that is lost or injured by a violation of the principles of righteousness. The scales must balance perfectly. Just as the laws of the material or natural realm are fixed and absolute --and any violation of these laws of nature must exact the penalty--so also in the moral realm. As surely as cause and effect are related, so any violation of the principles of righteousness demands a recompense and the penalty is exacted. There is no escape. Let no one deceive himself on this point. If one wilfully injures [Q799] another, he has to the same extent injured himself. The law of action and reaction operates in the moral realm just as positively as in the arrangements of the material universe. He is happiest who observes the principles of righteousness most fully, and he is unhappiest who violates them most. It follows, therefore, that love is the fulfilling of the Law. Love for the Lord would prompt one to be obedient to His just commands, and love for the neighbor would induce one to do good unto all men as the opportunities were presented. This great truth was beautifully set forth by the Master and His Apostles. See Matt. 22:37-40, and Rom. 13:10. And yet how few are observing this rule! Consequently, how much unhappiness there is in the world!
QUESTION--Did Ananias tell the first lie, and is that the reason why we often speak of an "Ananias Club" whose members are reported to be notorious liars?
ANSWER--The Lord Jesus declared that Satan told the fist lie, saying, "He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it." (John 8:44.) The first lie told was by Satan in Eden when he said to Mother Eve, "Ye shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4.) This was false because a contradiction to God's plain statement, "Thou shalt surely die." (Gen. 2:17.) It may truly be said that all the false doctrines of "Heathendom" and "Christendom" have had their foundation in this falsehood told by Satan. Satan's falsehood was the cause of the disobedience of the first man which resulted in the sentence of Adam to death, and which death sentence by inheritance has passed upon all of his offspring. (Rom. 5:12.) Ananias was an offspring of Adam. He was born under the condemnation of death, shapen in sin and brought forth in iniquity. (Psa. 51:5) Therefore, the natural tendency was downward, hence all who would be honest and upright must fight against evil.
QUESTION--What is life?
ANSWER--To live is to possess sentient being; to be capable of consciousness, joy or sorrow, pleasure or pain. Life, in its highest sense, is known as immortality. Immortality signifies inherent life, a life not sustained by outside supplies, conditions or influence, but life possessed in one's self. Life possessed in this sense belonged originally to God alone, but it has been given by the Father to the Lord Jesus Christ; and He promises this life to His faithful Church, His Bride, His companions in Kingdom glory. However, life in an inferior sense is the possession of the angels through the grace of the Creator, who is pleased that they shall enjoy it everlastingly in harmony with His will. Eternal life is preferred to mankind in general; it will be granted to so many of Adam's race as shall ultimately, under the blessings of the Messianic Kingdom, be recovered completely from the imperfections of sin and death, and who shall maintain that perfection by continued obedience [Q800] to the Divine requirements. All who sin after receiving full light, shall not live.
QUESTION--Would not the teaching of a future probation tend to make the people careless and sinful in this life, and knowing that they were to have a second chance in the life to come? (Dubious)
ANSWER--Not nearly as much as to teach that a hardened wretch by a deathbed confession would immediately be ushered into Heaven! Besides, a future probation would not signify a "second chance," save for a limited few, the Church of Christ, now being selected out of the world (Acts 15:14) to be the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. Most of the criminals inhabiting the jails and prisons of our land are, or were, members of some religious system that taught the sinner-hardening doctrine of eternal torment. Did the false teaching defer them from committing crime? Those who believe that the Creator is a God of love, and mercy, and justice, and that He has arranged seasons of blessings for the world in the coming age, when mankind is to have its only chance of salvation, are invariably ennobled, and elevated to a higher plane of morality, with greater reverence for their Creator, a God, whom to know, is to love. The truth sanctifies, while the error debases.
LYING--Is It Ever Justifiable?
QUESTION--Is a lie ever justifiable? (H.V.D.)
ANSWER--The development of character is the main purpose of our present existence. The importance of this work is manifest when we reflect that our interests throughout eternity depend entirely upon the kind of character we develop in this life. It is by contending against adverse influences that character is formed. Nearly all of the influences of the conditions of this life are opposed to the principles of righteousness. Those who are willing to fight the good fight of faith, struggling to rise against the downward tendencies of this present evil world, are assured of a high and heavenly reward in the life to come, as well as receiving the reward in this present time of a clear conscience and the glorious satisfaction of having lived a noble, honest life! Those who follow the lines of least resistance, drifting with the tide, may think theirs is the easiest way, but this is only a vain delusion for, after all, they have travelled the hardest way. "The way of the transgressor is hard." (Pro. 13:15.) A lie is never justifiable; and not only so, it is unprofitable. It weakens one's character in proportion to the enormity of the offense involved in the relating of the lie. Every step away from truth will have to be retraced either in this life or in the life to come. Throughout the Scriptures lying is condemned. Satan is called "a liar from the beginning." The character of the Lord Jesus is the standard of righteousness set before us, and in all His earthly experiences He set forth the truth and condemned the error. He spoke the truth at all times, and when it was not expedient to tell the truth, He was silent. [Q801]
MAN--God Repenting Creation
QUESTION--"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man of the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart; and the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of 'the earth.'" If God is omniscient, knowing the end from the beginning, how could he REPENT of His course in creating man?
ANSWER--The word "repent" means "to change the mind, or course or conduct, on account of regret or dissatisfaction with what has occurred." The question then is, Did God change His mind (plan) or His course of conduct? We claim that, knowing the end from the beginning, God's mind could not be changed; hence "repent" in this text must signify change of conduct. That is, God did change His course of dealing with man because of man's wickedness, which grieved Him, but He did not change His mind or plans, because these plans had from the very first recognized the corrupting and degrading tendency of sin, and provided (in purpose of mind) the Lamb of God --"slain from the foundation of the world"--as the redemption price. (Rev. 13:8; Rev. 17:8.)
MAN--His Age: Stated in Years or Lunar Months
QUESTION What proof have we that the ages of the antediluvians were stated in years and not in lunar months, as taught by some scientists?
ANSWER--Many have endeavored to account for the remarkable longevity of the antediluvians, some of whom lived to the ripe old age of 800 and 900 years. Regarding Methuselah, the oldest man mentioned in the Bible being an elderly gentleman of 969 years of age, various theories are offered, one of which is referred to in the question before us. However, we can readily see by consulting the Sacred Narrative, that this theory would not fit the situation. The 5th Chapter of Genesis, in setting forth the genealogy of different ones, states the ages when these had children. If we were to estimate on the basis of a year as being in reality only a lunar month of time, we become involved in difficulties, for according to this method of reckoning Cainan was but five years and ten months of age when he had a son; also Mahalaleel was five years and five months old when his son Jared was born. The real cause of advanced ages of those who lived prior to the deluge is presented in the Bible. The human race had deteriorated but slightly from that condition of perfection which Adam had enjoyed preceding his disobedience. Consequently, with splendid organisms and very slightly impaired vitality, the spark of life would be maintained for centuries. How different the conditions now, when the average length of life is about thirty-five years! Malignant diseases, caused by germs and bacteria, are infesting the race fearfully, and even with all the aid of science and hygienic precautions, how hard to preserve the dim spark of life! [Q802]
MAN--How Long Living?
QUESTION--Does the Bible teach how long man has been living on the earth?
ANSWER--The Bible does give a satisfactory answer to this question. Scientists have indulged in much speculation as to the length of time man has been on the earth. Their guesses have ranged over a wide field. One celebrated geologist claims it has been fifty thousand years since the first man was in Egypt, while another names 250,000 years since the first man was on European soil. In contrast with these speculative theories we have the clear and connected chain of Bible chronology, which shows that less than seven thousand years have elapsed since the creation of the first man. The Bible is the oldest and most authentic history concerning man. It indulges in no guesses, but clearly teaches that Adam was the first man. It gives its own chronology, which is subdivided as follows: From Adam to the flood, 1,656 years; from the flood to Abraham, 427 years; from thence to the exodus and the giving of the Law, 40 years; from thence to the division of Canaan, 46 years; next the period of the Judges, 450 years; and the period of the Kings, 513 years; from thence to A.D. 1911 makes a total of 6,039 years since Adam's creation. This is the result shown by the best Bible chronologists who have written on the subject.
MAN--In What Sense "Image of God"?
QUESTION--The Scripture reads: "And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness." (Gen. 1:26). Does this mean physically, with all facial and bodily variations we see in people today, or is the "soul" "the image of God" and uniform in all people? Or what is the meaning of this Scripture?
ANSWER--This "image of God" does not mean physical shape because "God is a spirit" and man is human. Nor does it mean the "soul." "Soul" is the synonymous term for man- -man is a soul. "In His image" means that man was made with reasoning power and moral intelligence. God made man a free moral agent, and fashioned him appropriately to earthly conditions and nature. God endowed him with the sense of justice, reason, love and righteousness, and thus he was an image of the great Jehovah in these qualities of character. "After Our likeness," we understand to mean that as God made man to be in the likeness of God, He made man to be the king of the earth and gave him dominion over all the things of the earth. The first man being created in the image and likeness of God was, in every respect, perfect. Some modern scientists hold that man is a creature of evolution. If evolution be true the Bible is false from Genesis to Revelation. If the Bible statement of man's creation is true, and all Christian people hold that it is true, then the evolution theory is utterly false as respects man.
MAN--Relationship to God and Woman
ANSWER--In the Genesis account of the creation of man, it is stated that he was in the "image and likeness of God." The words in the text would more properly be: "Man . . . is the glorious image of God." These words of the Apostle apply, of course, to the first perfect man, and not to man as he is today in his fallen depraved and degenerated state. The woman was created to be his "help-meet" (Gen. 2:18) and in the proper relationship that should exist between the two, would be to his honor and glory. In the third verse of this chapter, (1 Cor. 11:3) the Apostle explains that the "head of the woman is the man." (Eph. 5:22-32.) The Heavenly Father has arranged that His Son, the Anointed Jesus, who is in the "express image of the Father's person," (Heb. 1:3) is to have a Bride. (Rev. 21:9) This Bride is to be made up of a class, the elect overcomers of the Gospel Age. When completed and glorified, the Bride, the Church, will be the "Helpmeet" of Christ, and will be to His honor and glory.
MAN--What is He?
QUESTION--What is man? Is he half spiritual and half fleshly, or is he entirely a human or earthly being?
ANSWER--There is not a single expression to be found in the Scriptures in which it is stated that man was created in any sense a spirit being. On the contrary, the Bible distinctly asserts that man is of "the earth earthy," that he was formed of the dust of the ground and that the breath of life was breathed into his nostrils and he became a living soul. (1 Cor. 15:45-47; Gen. 2:7.) The Scriptural expression, "And the spirit returns to God who gave it," has reference to the life principle or spark of life which the Lord imparted to Adam when he was created from the dust of the ground. This breath of life is the active principle that makes the living being and when removed from the body it returns to the Creator who is the source or fountain of all life. The Psalmist declares that man was created a little lower than the angels, the lowest of the spirit beings. Man is the highest of the animals or earthly beings, and in the divine arrangements was to be the ruler or the monarch over the earthly realm having dominion over the beast of the field and the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air. In view of this plain teaching of the Bible on this matter, we can understand the words of our Lord and His Apostles that one must be begotten of the holy spirit in order to have a spiritual existence in any sense. The Lord Jesus was the first one to be developed as a spiritual new creature, from the fleshly or earthly condition. Although He was a perfect man, we read that He was made perfect through sufferings (Heb. 2:10) as a spiritual "new creature," "being, indeed, put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in spirit." (1 Pet.3:18 --Diaglott.)
MARRIAGE--Unbeliever Sanctified By Believer
QUESTION--Can you explain the words of the Apostle Paul (1 Cor.7:14): "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the (believing) wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the (believing) husband; else were your children unclean (sinners under condemnation, unjustified, [Q804] unrelated to God, aliens from His care and blessing, but now are they holy")?
ANSWER--As the disobedience and alienation of Adam and Eve from the Heavenly Father brought alienation to all their offspring, so the reconciliation of the Lord's people through the merits of the great atonement, not only brings them back to harmony with God, but their children as well are counted as justified through their parents, up to such a time as the child shall have an intelligence and will of its own. The question is more complex, however, when one parent is the Lord's and the other is a stranger and an alien from Him; but the Apostle assures us that in such a case God counts the child as His, through whichever one of its parents is the Lord's disciple. The standing of the believing parent is counted as offsetting and overruling the standing of the unconsecrated parent, so far as the child is concerned.
MATERIALIZATION--Appearance of the Dead: Fallen Angels
QUESTION--What are we to think of the amazing occurrences, accounts of which are appearing in the daily press and in the monthly publications, to the effect that messages have been received from the noted English publicist, Wm. T. Stead, who was drowned when the Titanic sank mid-ocean; and that he has appeared and conversed with several well-known people on different occasions? Does this not prove that the dead are not dead but more alive than ever? (Aviator.)
ANSWER--It is true that many remarkable manifestations of an unseen, supernatural power have been reported through the daily press of late. There is no doubt as to the authenticity of these demonstrations. They are vouched for by the very best of human testimony. As the Scriptures unmistakably teach that the dead are unconscious in the tomb and will not be awakened until the resurrection morning, we are forced to the conclusion that these supernatural phenomena are not created by those who have gone down into death. The Bible explains the mystery to those who are willing to accept its testimony. It tells about the fallen angels, demons, who left their former habitation, their spiritual estate, in the antediluvian times, and went contrary to the Divine will, for which they have been restrained in chains of darkness (the darkness of the night) until the judgment time. These have manifested their power all down through the ages, obsessing people, impersonating the dead, and otherwise deceiving mankind. Note carefully the following Scriptures: Exo. 22:18; Deut. 17:9-12; Lev. 19:31; Lev. 20:6; 2 Kings 21:2,6,11; 1 Chron. 10:13,14; Acts 16:16-18; Gal. 5:10-21; Isa. 8:19,20; Isa. 19:3.
MILLENNIUM--Before or After Christ's Coming?
QUESTION--According to Rev. 20:6; 1 Thes. 4:16, will the Millennium be before or after the coming of Christ? It is claimed by some that the Millennium began in the year 799 and ended in the year 1799 A.D.-- Millennium meaning one thousand years--and is known [Q805] as the Papal Millennium. Is that the Millennium mentioned in the Bible?
ANSWER--The Scriptures above referred to, together with many others, show that Christ will reign during the Millennium, and we all know that Christ has not reigned yet. If Christ was reigning now we would not have the great systems of evil in the earth, for the Scriptures declare that when "His judgments are in the earth then the people shall learn righteousness." (Isa. 26:9.) The Scriptures in your question declare that "the dead in Christ shall rise first" at His coming. In harmony with this we see that then He will take unto Himself His great power and reign, as set forth in Rev. 11:17,18. Jesus Himself declared (Mat. 25:31), that His reign would follow His second coming.
MILLENNIUM--No Infant There
QUESTION--Please explain Isa. 65:20, which reads: "There shall no more come thence an infant of days, nor an old man that shall not have the full length of his days; for as a lad shall one die a hundred years old; and as a sinner shall be accursed he who dieth at a hundred years old." (G.A.N.)
ANSWER--The verses connecting, particularly the 25th, show that it is during the Age in which divine favor and blessings are to be disseminated over the world, and when the terms of salvation are much more favorable to humanity than now, that an incorrigible sinner dying at an hundred years of age will be but as a child. The apparent teaching of the Scriptures is, that a thousand years have been set apart in the Creator's plan of salvation, and that this period of time, constituting the judgment or trial day of the world, will immediately follow the Christian Era. In the meantime, those who are to be the judges and rulers over the world in that day are now being prepared and qualified for that future work. (Acts 17:31; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3.) In that Age of joy and blessing (Psa. 92:4-9), when a wayfaring man though a fool shall not err concerning the way of salvation (Isa. 35:8-10), all will have at least an hundred years to make some progress in the way of righteousness. Failing to do this they will die as an infant, for one an hundred years of age, comparatively speaking, is but an infant to one a thousand years old, for all who will comply with the terms of righteousness will live to the end of the thousand years, and may make their existence eternal if they successfully endure the final trial or test at the end of that Age, when Satan is loosed for a little season. (Rev. 20:7.)
MIRACLES--What Were "Greater Works Than These"?
QUESTION--Please explain John 14:12: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (J.A.B.)
ANSWER--Whatever may be the meaning of the Master's words, it is obvious that not any of His followers have ever been able to do "greater works" than He accomplished [Q806] as regards the miraculous works of opening the blind eyes, unstopping the deaf ears, raising the dead, stilling the tempest, etc. The "works," therefore, must be of a different nature, or upon a larger scale. Both of these are true. The last expression of the verse should be noted in this connection- -"because I go unto my Father." Our Lord, when he ascended on high, and had presented the merits of His sacrifice in behalf of His followers, could then bestow the holy Spirit of sonship upon those who, through faith and obedience, would become members of His Church. These receiving the holy Spirit, or power of God, would be enabled to accomplish the "greater works" of opening the spiritually blind eyes, unstopping the spiritually deaf ears, raising to spiritual life those who were dead in trespasses and sins, and stilling the tempests of the soul; all of which, from the Divine viewpoint, is a far greater work than the merely physical healing, etc. Then again, when the Church of Christ has been glorified in the Heavenly state, the work of raising the dead, and healing, blessing and restoring to full life and health and joy and happiness, will be executed on a world-wide scale, for the promise is that all the families of the earth will be blessed through "The Seed of Abraham"--Jesus and the members of His Body, the Church. (Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:27-29.)
MIRACLES--Why Not In Our Day?
QUESTION--Are we to accept the Bible account of the miracles that were performed in olden times? Why are not miracles performed in our day? (Doubtful.)
ANSWER--This is an age of miracles, with messages being flashed thousands of miles through space, and under the seas, and around the globe. Marvelous discoveries and wonderful inventions are being made almost daily. Some of the achievements of our times almost eclipse those of former days, even the miracles of which we read in the Scriptures. As a matter of fact, miracles are transpiring all about us continually. The reproduction of living organism, either animal or vegetable, is beyond our comprehension, as well as beyond our power--hence miraculous. We can see the exercise of life principle, but can neither understand it nor produce it. Two seeds are planted side by side; the conditions, air, water, and soil are alike; they grow we cannot tell how, nor can the wisest philosopher explain this miracle. These seeds develop characteristics that are exactly opposite, though the conditions were the same. The Creator who formed all of the marvels that we see about us in the material world, would surely be able to perform the miracles narrated in the Bible, and therefore, we need have no doubts as to their authenticity.
MOSES--Michael and Devil Dispute Over Body
QUESTION--In Jude 9, is described a contention and dispute between Michael, the Archangel, and the Devil over the body of Moses. Why this dispute? (C.W.W.)
ANSWER--We quote from an eminent authority an explanation as to the reason for the contention between Michael and the Devil: "The Lord Himself buried Moses, hiding the place of the sepulchre. The primary reason for [Q807] this probably was to hinder the Israelites from carrying his corpse as a mummy, which in after time might have become a temptation to idolatry. The passage in Jude 9, which mentions Michael contending with Satan concerning the body of Moses, is a hint along this line that Satan desired to have the corpse to use it for the further misleading of the people, but that the Lord through Michael the Archangel hindered, prevented this, and kept the burial place a secret from the Israelites. But there is another view of this matter which is interesting because it relates to spiritual Israelites. Jesus and the Church unitedly constitute the antitypical, or greater Moses--the Spiritual. Their inheritance is not to be earthly but heavenly, and a grave is a symbol of hope as respects an earthly resurrection. Hence it was appropriate that the type should not show an earthly grave since the antitype has no hope in that connection."
MOSES and ELIJAH--How Recognized on Mount
QUESTION--At the transfiguration of Jesus, Matt. 17:3, states that Elias and Moses appeared and talked with Him. Will you please explain how it was possible for the Apostles to recognize that these two who were with the Lord were Moses and Elias? (W.C.C.)
ANSWER--As the Scriptural narrative does not contain the information as to the modus operandi by which the Apostles recognized the Patriarchs, we are forced to rely upon our own resources, and to accept that which would appeal to us as the most reasonable solution of the matter, without forming a too positive conclusion. There are two ways by which it would be reasonable to suppose the Apostles were made aware of the identity of the two who appeared with the Lord. In the account it says, "There appeared unto them Moses and Elias, talking with Him." During this conversation it would be the most natural thing in the world for the Lord to address them by their names. Then again, as they were coming down from the mountain with the Lord, He may have informed them as to the identity of the two they saw in the "vision." They did not actually see Moses and Elias but merely a "vision," as stated by the Savior when He said, "Tell the vision to no man until the Son of man be risen from the dead." (Mat. 27:9.)
QUESTION--Was Christ human and Divine at the same time?
ANSWER--The word "Divine" signifies "the nature of God." The Creator, God, is a Spirit Being glorious and immortal, dwelling in light that is inaccessible to mortal man. One possessing the Divine, immortal nature could never die. The human nature is the highest form of the earthly or fleshly nature. The Divine nature is the highest form of the spirit nature. The spiritual nature is one thing and the fleshly nature is another thing. (1 Cor. 15:44-46.) The blending of the two natures would produce a hybrid nature or being. As to which nature Christ possessed while in the flesh, let the scriptures speak: "The [Q808] Word (Logos, Jesus) was made flesh." (John 1:14.) "Christ. . . being indeed put to death (A Divine being could not die) in the flesh, but made alive in spirit." (1 Pet. 3:18.) "Since then the children have one common nature of flesh and blood. He also in like manner partook of these; in order that by means of His death He might vanquish him that hath the power of death." (Heb. 2:14; see also Heb. 2:6,7,9.) From the Scriptures it is apparent that the Lord Jesus left His spiritual nature and condition when He became the "Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all." At His resurrection He received the Divine nature and honor and glory as a reward for His obedience to the Father's will even unto death. Nature is simply organism, and varies according to the form or quality of the organism. The element of life is always the same.
QUESTION--One of the commandments of the Bible reads, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." How may I know who is my neighbor?
ANSWER--Our Lord gives a clear answer to this question in Luke 10:29-37. He describes a man in distress and need. A priest came along and seeing the man passed by on the other side as if he were afraid he would be contaminated by even paying attention to the sufferer. A Levite did likewise. Then came a Samaritan (Samaritans were a mixed people, common and despised by the priestly class of Jews), and ministered unto the wants of the sufferer. The principle here taught is, that every man is your neighbor and should be treated kindly, generously, according to the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." "Love your neighbors as yourself" and show that you do love them by dealing with all honestly, fairly and exactly as you would like others to deal with you. The Apostle Paul announces the proper principle saying, "Do good unto all men as you have opportunity." (Gal. 6:10.)
NEW CREATURE--And Sin
QUESTION--Please explain this Scripture found in 1 John 3:8: "Whosoever is born of God doth not sin; for His seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin because he is born of God."
ANSWER--A better translation from the original Greek manuscripts renders the passage thus: "No one who has been begotten by God practices sin; because His Seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been begotten by God." This begetting takes place at the time of the receiving of the Holy Spirit. In other words, it is the beginning of the new spiritual life, the living of the Christlike life. This "new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17) is in an embryotic state or condition while in the flesh and will be born of the spirit in the resurrection. The spirit of the Lord God is the power or influence exerted upon the minds and hearts of those who have surrendered their own wills and are obedient to the Divine will. This holy power of the Lord gradually transforms the mind of the Christian, shaping [Q809] the mental faculties so that earthly hopes, desires and ambitions die, while heavenly spiritual ones are developed. The spirit-begotten New Creature becomes spiritually minded, develops a new mind; his mind is renewed for so states the Apostle: "Be not conformed to the things of this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds." (Rom. 12:2.) Because of the weakness and the imperfections of the flesh we sin almost constantly, not willfully; the new mind, the mind of Christ cannot sin. All who are honest with themselves will acknowledge that they are imperfect and cannot do the things that they would, perfectly. (See 1 John 1:8; 1 John 2:1.) The embryotic New Creature (the mind of Christ dominated by the Holy Spirit) cannot sin (willfully) as long as "His Seed (the spirit) remaineth in him."
QUESTION--If Noah was a just and respectable old gentleman of some six hundred years of age, how is it that we find him getting intoxicated--becoming drunk--as recorded in Gen.9:21?
ANSWER--How true are the words of the poet:
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.
But one instance of straying from the path of rectitude and sobriety in a long life of fidelity to the principles of righteousness will stand out with startling distinctness and will be the subject of more consideration than all of the individual's noble acts and traits combined. However, we shall not leave Noah defenseless, but will call attention to the fact that his intoxication was after the flood and was wholly unintentional. The flood wrought great changes in the atmospheric conditions of our earth. To our understanding the deluge was produced by the precipitation to the earth of an immense quantity of water which previously had surrounded the earth at a distance as a cloudy canopy. The dissolution of this canopy or envelope of water not only produced the flood, but altered the conditions of nature so that storms, rains, etc., resulted--things which had never been before. (Gen. 2:5,6.) Another result, we believe, was the development of an acidulous condition of the atmosphere tending to produce ferment, which directly affected human longevity, so that according to the Scriptures the average of human life decreased from eight and nine hundred years to one hundred. This ferment from the changed atmosphere, affecting the grape, generated "mold," and hence the alcoholic condition which produces drunkenness. According to the record, Noah's drunkenness was the result of the first vintage of grapes after the flood, and it evidently was contrary to all of his experiences preceding the flood. We are justified, therefore, in supposing that this one instance of Noah's having been intoxicated was the result of ignorance respecting the changed character of the grape product fermented.
NOMINAL CHURCH--Recognizing True Christians
QUESTION--I am a young married man and my wife and I desire to be good Christian people. We think we ought to go [Q810] to church and worship God, but as there are ten different churches in our neighborhood, I am at a loss to know which to make our church home. I have attended each one several times, and none of them seems to satisfy our minds and hearts. In one church it is all formality and dress; in another it is a continual plea for money; in another the Bible is seldom referred to, but it is all Higher Criticism and Evolution. I am almost disgusted and would like to know if my wife and I cannot remain at home and read our Bible and be good Christians without supporting with our time and money what appears to me as being "clubs" instead of churches. (Candid.)
ANSWER--It is true that we can worship the Lord at home, and unless we do worship the Lord at home, our church worship would be of little benefit. Worship is not a mere form but devotion of the heart. However, we are admonished of the Lord to "forsake not the assembling of ourselves together" (Heb. 10:25), and we should look carefully for a gathering of the Lord's people, however small in number. True Christians may be readily recognized by the test which the Master Himself instituted, "by their fruits ye shall know them."
NOMINAL CHURCHES--Parable of Vine and Branches
QUESTION--In the parable of the vine and the branches given by the Lord Jesus (John 15:1-8), are we to understand that the branches would represent the different churches and denominations? (S. S. Scholar.)
ANSWER--A critical examination of the parable should thoroughly convince any Bible student that the "branches" could in no way represent the five-or six-hundred different religious denominations of Christendom. At the time the parable was given, there were no denominations, and none were organized until several centuries afterward. The Lord never authorized the formation of these denominational systems, and furthermore, He has never recognized them as His representatives. If anything, they are of the "vine of the earth" (Rev. 14:18) for they are of an earthly or human origin. It is very evident that this fact is coming more and more to be recognized even by the representatives of the various religious bodies as, in general, they are advocating a federation of all the churches, and the eradication of denominational lines. See what the Apostle has to say about denominationalism, 1 Cor. 3:3,4. The Master was addressing His disciples and telling them that they were the branches. His language is, "I am the true vine, ye are the branches." It becomes more apparent that He was referring to the individual when in the fifth verse, He says, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch." This same intimate relationship existing between the Lord and His faithful followers is pictured by the Apostle when he uses the illustration of the natural body to show how the brethren in Christ are members in particular of the body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:14-27.
QUESTION--What is the Scriptural method of ordination? It seems to me that the laymen should have something to say as to who shall be their representatives. Have the clergy [Q811] arrogated to themselves privileges in this connection to which they are not entitled? (American)
ANSWER--Priestcraft, and not the teachings of our Lord and His Apostles, is responsible for the division of the church into two classes, called "clergy" and "laity." It is still the spirit of priestcraft that seeks to lord it over God's heritage in every way possible--proportionately to the density of the ignorance prevailing in any congregation. The word "ordain," in respect to elders--those who preside over the church- -occurs in Titus 1:5. It is from the Greek which signifies "to place down." "Set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I gave thee charge." (R.V.) On the fact of it, this text seems to imply that Titus was empowered to appoint these elders, regardless of the wishes of the congregations (churches, ecclesias); and it is on this view that the whole clerical system rests. The leading churches all claim for their bishops an apostolic authority to set, to place or appoint, elders for the congregations--without the stretching forth of the hand, or vote of the church. This text is the bulwark of this idea; but it appears to be rather a weak support when we notice the last clause, "As I gave thee charge," and reflect that the Apostle would surely not give Titus "charge" or instruction to do differently from what he (the Apostle) did in this matter. The account of the Apostle's own procedure, rightly translated, is very explicit: "And when they had elected them elders by a show of hands in every ecclesia, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord." (Acts 14:23)
QUESTION--Considering Paul's positive claim to be an Apostle, specially called of God, who saw Jesus, and that the choice of Matthias to be the successor of Judas, by the Eleven, was before the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, are we to consider him (Paul) as the successor of Judas, remembering that there were to be but twelve Apostles, and that Matthias was not afterward heard of?
ANSWER--It is evident from the Scriptural account that the Eleven were acting without due warrant and authority in selecting Matthias to be the successor of Judas. They had been instructed to tarry at Jerusalem and wait for enduement from on high by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and it was during this waiting period and before they were endued with power, that they mistakenly cast lots and chose Matthias. The Lord did not reprove them for this undesigned meddling with His arrangement, but simply ignored their choice, and in His own time brought forward the Apostle Paul, declaring, "He is a chosen vessel unto Me." There can be no question but that the Lord arranged that there should be but twelve Apostles, and in evidence of this note how the Lord particularly chose those twelve, calling to mind the prominence of the number twelve in sacred things pertaining to this election. And we cap the climax by pointing to the symbolical picture of the glorified Church furnished in Rev. 21:1. In the picture the statement is most distinctly made that the twelve foundations [Q812] of the City are precious, and in them were written the names of the "twelve Apostles of the Lamb . . ."--no more, no less.
PEACE--Vs. Vast Preparations for War
QUESTION-- How shall we understand the Prophet's words: "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isa. 2:4) in view of the fact that all of the nations are learning war and making vast preparations for a great international conflict? Think of the armies and navies and munitions of war! Have in mind also the frightful instruments of destruction that are being devised, such as submarines, airplanes, murderous machine guns and terrific explosives, etc. Will peace never be established in the earth?
ANSWER--The Prophet Joel foretold just the conditions that we see about us in the world today (see Joel 3:9-11). The Lord Jesus also informed His followers that "wars and rumors of wars as well as dreadful calamities would continue all down through the centuries until the time of His second advent (Mat. 24:6,7), and then in the very end of the Age, "the last days," would be the great tribulation, a time of war and trouble involving all nations, the preparations for which are fulfilled in the conditions of the present. When the final great cataclysm, the overwhelming flood of trouble, has drawn to its close, then Messiah's reign of peace begins. A universal government will be established in the earth, the Kingdom of God, and "the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called . . . The Prince of Peace; of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end." (Isa. 9:6,7) The connecting verses to the one quoted in your question, show that the conditions of peace referred to will not be established until after the "mountain" (Kingdom) of the Lord is set up in the earth. (See verses 2 and 3)
PHYSICAL EXERCISE--IS It Sin?
QUESTION--Is it proper for a Christian to engage in physical exercises, or physical culture? I would like to have your thought on this matter and, if possible, any Scriptures bearing on the subject, as I know of some people who seemingly think it a sin to devote any thought to the care of the body. (J.E.M.)
ANSWER--The mind or will is the master of the body. The condition of the mind is largely affected by the condition of the body. A sound mind in a sound body is the ideal condition. To keep the body and the mind in proper condition, it is essential that they be exercised, for it is a law of nature that inaction produces decay and disease. Any stagnant pond is a good illustration of this law. The Christian, whose desire is to serve his God and his fellow-man, and who wills to do so, should recognize that he can work out his will and desires more effectively with a sound mind and a sound body than with those that are disabled or injured through neglect or disuse. Considering the body from this standpoint, as an instrument or a machine to be utilized by [Q813] the will in accomplishing good works, it would be the part of wisdom to have it in excellent condition in order to achieve the best results. The orderly, systematic care of the body tends to develop those very traits of character that are essential to the Christian development. Temperance, self-control, determination, patience, self-denial, etc., are naturally acquired by those who pursue a regular course of training with the object of devoting their time and energies to the service of their Lord. The Apostle says, "Bodily training is profitable for a little; but piety is profitable for all things, having a promise of the present life, and of that which is future." (1 Tim. 4:8)
PLEIADES--Binding Sweet Influences of
QUESTION--What is the explanation of Job 38:31, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?"
ANSWER--This passage of Scripture, as with all the inspired statements from the Lord, is profound in its depth of meaning. In Job's day, men did not possess the wonderful astronomical instruments which have been devised in modern times and by which marvelous discoveries have been made. With the primitive means at their disposal, it was beyond the bounds of reasonable possibilities for the ancients to attain to the degree of astronomical knowledge and information at present enjoyed. It is only by inspiration (imparted knowledge from the Creator), that we can account for the fact that they possessed a more accurate knowledge of science and astronomy than we possess today. In the mightiest structure ever erected by man and also the oldest building on the earth, a monument over four thousand years old, the Great Pyramid in Egypt, are contained in its measurements and outlined in its chambers and passageways, scientific facts such as the number of days in the solar year down to the exact fraction thereof, the mean distance to the sun from the earth, and also the number of years in the precessional cycle. But the crowning feature of all its scientific presentations is that some years ago, that the Pleiades, the most renowned of all the heavenly groups of stars, from the center of the Universe, around which revolve all the celestial bodies in space, just as the earth and planets revolve around the sun, forming our solar system. What a depth of meaning therefore is breathed into that wonderful expression of Job, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades?"
POOR--Will Earth Always Have Them?
QUESTION-- Please explain the Scripture, "The poor ye have always with you." (John 12:8.) Does this mean that there will always be poor on the earth?
ANSWER--Jesus was addressing His disciples, and through them all consecrated Christians. At Jesus' second coming all of His faithful followers, then remaining on the earth, will be taken away to heavenly conditions, as He stated that He would go away to prepare a place for these, and He would come again for them, and when Christ's Kingdom is fully established and the blessings flow out therefrom to the people, there will be neither rich nor poor, [Q814] but all shall be brought to one common level (Isa. 11:4,5). Messiah's reign will result in peace, joy, happiness, health and plenty to all the righteous. Then "they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Jer. 31:34; Jer. 33:6; Micah 4:3,4.)
PRAYER--Elders Praying for Healing
QUESTION--Are we to understand from James 5:14-16, that it is possible for the "Elders of the Church," at the present day, to heal the sick by prayer and anointing with oil?
ANSWER--The following is a more literal translation of the verses cited than that in the Authorized Version: "Is any weak among you (weak in the faith, morally and spiritually weak or ailing) let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the wearied one (weary in well doing; the one who is in a "backslidden" condition. The prayers and the words of exhortation and encouragement to righteousness on the part of the "elder" brothers in the church will have the effect of raising up, stimulating and reviving the spiritually weary and fainting one). And the Lord shall raise him up, and though he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him. Therefore confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Evidently the weakness and faintness are spiritual, and the restoration and healing also spiritual. There is no instance mentioned in the Scriptures of where the Apostles or their associates healed each other of their physical maladies or ailments. When Timothy was afflicted with indigestion, the elders were not called in to pray over him; but the Apostle counseled the use of a little wine for his infirmity. The Apostle Paul himself was afflicted with painfully weak eyes (a "thorn in the flesh") and prayed for relief, but his prayer was not granted. From the foregoing, we conclude that Christians are nowhere authorized to practice "faith healing" amongst themselves.
QUESTION--Is it proper for Christians to pray for health?
ANSWER--A babe in Christ might pray for physical health in all good conscience and might be granted an answer as a reward for the faith and prayer. But an advanced Christian, who had proceeded from justification to sanctification--one who had consecrated life and health and all to God, and who, in return, had been begotten of the holy Spirit to a new nature--such a Christian should not pray for health. He should discern that his consecration includes his setting aside of all claim to earthly blessing, as an exchange for spiritual life, spiritual health, spiritual clothing, spiritual food, and by and by, in the resurrection--the spiritual body. His prayer should be, Thy will be done in me; give me today my daily portion, according to Thy Divine wisdom, of what would be for my best interests as a New Creature in Christ, a member of the Body of Christ, the [Q815] Church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven. He should remember the Lord's words to the effect that after all these things--food and raiment--the Gentiles seek and are solicitous and inclined to pray; whereas those who have become New Creatures have higher interests and can fully trust the Lord to give what is best.
PRAYER--For "Sinners": Asking Amiss
QUESTION--I have heard good devout Christian brethren praying to the Lord and pleading, during revival services, that sinners might be saved and that the sinners might not have rest day or night until they gave their hearts to the Lord. Also they prayed that God would stir up a great revival amongst the people and that sinners wold be saved from an awful hell. But I find that these brethren's prayers have not been answered as only a few are converted and of these the most of them go back into the world again. Were these brethren praying right or wrong? You know it says, "Ask and I will give." (G.C.)
ANSWER--The Lord Jesus and His Apostles never prayed for the conversion of sinners and they never authorized any one to do so. In that notable prayer of the Lord Jesus to the Heavenly Father as given in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of St. John, the Lord said, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world (sinners), but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." Here our Lord was praying for His Apostles, and in the 20th verse of this chapter, He prayed for those who would believe on Him through their word, and ignored "sinners" completely. The reason why some good Christian brethren have not had their prayers answered is because they have asked amiss. (See James 4:3.)
PURGATORY--Not Taught in Scripture
QUESTION--Is there such a place as purgatory, and if so, where is it taught in the Scriptures?
ANSWER--The word "purgatory" is from the Latin tongue and signifies primarily a place of purification or making clean. The thought usually involved in the consideration of the term is that an intermediate state of condition exists for those who die and who at the time of death--while professing Christianity-- were not sufficiently cleansed from their sins to justify an immediate entrance into heaven, the abode of the pure and saintly ones. Hence, they must expiate their sins by enduring intense suffering in flames and sorrow for a period of time in proportion to the amount of sin to be eradicated. We are not aware that this view is set forth in the Bible. There is, however, a condition of purgatory presented in the teachings of the Scriptures. It is becoming very clear to all enlightened Bible scholars that the period of Christ's reign on earth for the space of a thousand years--when Satan is bound and the knowledge of the Lord is filling the whole earth as the waters cover the great deep--that then the nations of earth will learn righteousness and gradually be purged of all iniquity and unrighteousness and in this way be prepared to enter into the conditions of eternal life. This, of course, will be after the second advent. The world is not to be scorched [Q816] and blistered in a vain attempt to make it pure and upright, but the Lord will rule in righteousness and love and win the race by His kindness and tender mercies.
RACE--Were Both Adam and Jesus Representatives?
QUESTION--Were Adam and Jesus in any sense representatives of the race?
ANSWER--Adam, as the federal head of his family, was its representative in Eden. This is demonstrated by the fact that all of his posterity are involved in everything affecting him. Thus the sentence of death which directly passed upon Adam affected and impaired every one of his offspring. Jesus was not a representative in this sense; He was made a man, a "little lower than the angels, that He might, by the grace of God, taste death for every man." (Heb. 2:9) He becomes Adam's substitute, his Redeemer. He pays for Adam the penalty demanded by divine Justice. He gave His life "a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. 2:6) Since Adam was the representative of the whole human family, therefore, all of the human race must share with him in the benefits to accrue through the redemption provided by Jesus, his substitute. Thus the death of Jesus is made efficacious to all who will accept the benefit thereof, by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, as we read: "As in Adam all die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22)
REFORMS--What Does Religions Wave Indicate?
QUESTION--Does the religious wave over the country indicate anything, or is it a "flash in the pan?" (Reader)
ANSWER--We believe that it is indicative of much that is important to the welfare of the entire race of mankind. Not that we anticipate that it will result in converting the race to Christianity, or "save the world for Jesus," but that it indicates that mankind in general is longing after the higher and holier things. All honor to the noble men and women who are striving to better human conditions, and who are sacrificing much in their efforts! However, the Lord in His Word, the Bible, has pointed out a more excellent way than all of the religious and reformation movements combined. In the first place, the Scriptures foretell that the world will never be converted to Christianity until after the Lord Jesus' second coming. (See the following Scriptures and note carefully as they relate to the "last days," or "the time of the end." Mat. 24:37-39; 2 Tim. 3:1-5,13; Jam. 5:1-5) From these statements of the Sacred Writers, we see that the world will be far from being converted to Christ at His coming and will have very little regard for the teachings of the Master. Are not the facts in harmony with the Scripture prophecies? In spite of all the missionary efforts put forth, there are more than double the number of heathen in the world today than there were a century ago, according to the latest compiled missionary statistics! What are the conditions in Christendom so-called? There are far more bloodshed, wars, crimes, greed and graft than in all the heathen lands combined! Christians may well pray, "Thy Kingdom come," for that is the only hope for the world.