this is txt file this is txt file Z1915 October
page 289
October 15th
ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

VOL. XXXVIOCTOBER 1No. 19

A. D. 1915--A.M. 6044


CONTENTS

"As Deceivers and Yet True"291
Concessions for the Sake of Others291
Justification--Reckoned and Actual292
Present Object of Consecration293
All the World are Yet Heathen294
"The Saints Shall Judge the World"294
The Two Great Intercessions295
Overcoming Desires for Earthly Things296
Primary Battle is With Self296
Victory or Death!297
The Christ Perfected by Suffering297
God's Purpose in Testing Us297
The Fire to Burn Among Us297
Tortures of Today More Refined298
Elisha's Restitution Ministry299
Pure Water--Pure Truth299
Other Restitution Types301
Awakening the Shunammite's Son301
Interesting Letters302
News from French Bible Students302

I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me. Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. -- Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 290

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed."--Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken;--according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time."--Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir.--1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age.--Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church.--Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
 
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.


Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:--All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.



ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.


ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE. ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.

"CREATION" SCENARIO IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

In the Lord's providence the SCENARIO of THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION has been translated into several foreign languages, and we now have it in stock in goodly quantity, as follows:

IN SPANISH, ITALIAN, GREEK, POLISH, ARMENIAN:
    Cloth bound, complete.......................$0.25 postpaid
    Paper   "      "     .......................  .15    "
    Newspaper edition, 3 Parts, 2c ea.; per set.  .05    "
IN GERMAN AND FINNISH (glossed paper, embossed,
      like English Ed.):
    De Luxe, gold edge (Finnish only)........... 1.00    "
    Cloth, red edge (German and Finnish)........  .50    "
    Paper, 3 Parts (German and Finnish) per set.  .25    "
    Newspaper edition, 4 Parts, 2c ea.; per set.  .05    "
IN SWEDISH: Newspaper ed. only, 2c ea.; per set   .05    "
   Colporteurs and Class Secretaries may deduct one-half
from above prices if shipment is ordered charges collect.



BETHEL HYMNS FOR NOVEMBER

After the close of the hymn the Bethel family listens to the reading of "My Vow Unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered. Hymns for November follow:

(1) 154; (2) 7; (3) 321; (4) 281; (5) 333; (6) 265; (7) 102; (8) 98; (9) 155; (10) 106; (11) 129; (12) 165; (13) 45; (14) 303; (15) 144; (16) 62; (17) 60; (18) 325; (19) 299; (20) 258; (21) 87; (22) 261; (23) 107; (24) 267; (25) 38; (26) 14; (27) 193; (28) 145; (29) Vow; (30) 227.



PRICE OF DIAGLOTT REDUCED

Hereafter we will have the Diaglott only in leather binding, and at the reduced price of $2. We have filled all back orders. If you have ordered the Diaglott and have not received it, please notify us at once. If you paid the former price of $2.50 within the last two months, please take a credit of 50 cents on your next remittance for THE WATCH TOWER. We still offer THE WATCH TOWER for a year, as a premium, to any one not a TOWER subscriber, who orders the Diaglott; this introduces to him THE WATCH TOWER literature.



[R5773 : page 291]

"AS DECEIVERS AND YET TRUE"

"Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed; ...by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true."--2 Corinthians 6:3,8.
HOW varied are the experiences of an active Christian--experiences of honor and of dishonor, of being well reported and evil reported, of suffering for righteousness' sake, of being called deceivers, etc.! Some may have a greater amount of publicity than do others and thus attract more attention. Some may have a wider field of service and greater opportunities than do others. But every faithful disciple of Christ will have more or less of these experiences enumerated in our text and in its context. Some will speak well of us and others will speak ill. Throughout the entire Gospel Age it has ever been true that "all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12.) Especially has this been true of these last days.

Amongst the brethren of Christ all of the Lord's saints should have honor. While none should seek for honor of the brethren, nevertheless a great deal of esteem should attach to every one who has taken the great step of full consecration to God--no matter how ignoble the person may be according to the flesh. The fact that God has begotten any one of His Holy Spirit should make us wish to respect those whom the Lord has thus honored. Each of the saints, however humble, is greatly loved of our Lord Jesus; and therefore all of the children of God should take heed how they treat even the least of His little ones--their brethren.

"As deceivers, and yet true." On many occasions the great Apostle Paul was dishonored; at other times he was honored. He had evil reports spread abroad concerning [R5774 : page 291] him, as well as good reports. He was considered a deceiver by many who professed to be the people of God. Yet all the while he was true to the Lord and to His people. He was considered a renegade Jew, because he was not teaching obedience to the Law Covenant as the only hope of everlasting life. He was teaching what was far superior--salvation through faith in the merit of the sacrifice of Christ; and this doctrine made the Law look inferior. Therefore his fellow Jews accused him of being unfaithful to the Law of their fathers. To a Jew this was considered a great dishonor.

As a result, very evil reports of St. Paul went broadcast among the unbelieving Jews everywhere. He was branded as one of the greatest deceivers ever known. Everybody was warned against him--"Watch out for that man Paul; he is coming! Whoever will kill that fellow will do God a service and glorify His name!" "Why?" might be asked by some. "Because he is deceiving the people by telling them that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah--telling them that when they die to the Law they become alive through this man Jesus-- telling them that the Law which we have had for sixteen hundred years is of no account! He is trying to draw people after that Nazarene!"

Then St. Paul was also accused of trying to draw followers after himself. Yet he was true to God in every sense of the word. He was true to the nation of Israel, to the Law, and to the Prophets. He was true to God and to the Lord Jesus Christ. He was no deceiver in any sense; he was merely called a deceiver by those who were blinded by the god of this world. He seemed "as a deceiver" to his blinded Jewish brethren and to those who served false gods.

CONCESSIONS FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS

The Apostle's earnest desire and endeavor was to give "no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed." The word ministry is frequently used today in reference to the clergy as a whole. The ministers, or preachers, of the churches are spoken of as the ministry; such as the Presbyterian ministry, the Methodist ministry, etc. But we think St. Paul had a broader thought; namely, that of proclaiming the true Gospel of Christ or of serving the Lord in whatever manner. He used the word in the sense of service. A minister is a servant. All who serve the Lord, whether publicly or privately, are ministers, and should endeavor to live so true a life, so honorable a life, that even though they may be called deceivers, nevertheless others will take note of their exemplary walk. Each should try to live in so inoffensive a manner that the world will call it good, proper living. Live above reproach. Give no just cause for offense. This is the Apostle's thought, that we should not give any one just reason to be offended at us.

Among the Jews, for any one to eat pork would be an offense. He would be looked down upon and not considered properly religious. In our day, the eating of pork is not condemned by many. But failure to observe Sunday as the Sabbath would be considered a violation of a Divine command. We might, so far as our own consciences are concerned, do certain things; yet the ministry, the service of the Truth, might be blamed for our so doing. Many are very scrupulous as to Sunday observance as the Sabbath. So, as the Apostle enjoins, [R5774 : page 292] we should, as children of God, be so careful in our conduct as to go to the extreme of faithfulness, wherever possible. The conscientious scruples of an individual are not to be treated lightly.

In some parts of the world it is the custom to remove the shoes before entering the house. If we were in such a locality we should conform ourselves to the general custom. We should ever be willing to adapt ourselves to the custom of those around us where we can do so without violating our conscience, if by conforming to their ways we would avoid offense or increase our influence for good. To fail to do this would be a lack of love and consideration, and hence in some manner, an injury to the Lord's Cause.



[R5774 : page 292]

JUSTIFICATION--RECKONED AND ACTUAL

TO GET the right focus upon the word "justification," our minds should go back to ascertain what is the difficulty with man, and why there is any need of justification by faith or any other way. We find that the necessity for justification before any man could be in accord with God lies in the fact that man had become a sinner, and that a death sentence had been pronounced upon him by God, the great Judge of the Universe. Before his fall, Adam was called the son of God; but no man since Adam had been called by that name, until Jesus came. Jesus was called the Son of God because He was so born, and because He was such in His pre-human condition, before He came into the world.

Adam and his children were condemned to death because they were unworthy of life, under the sentence, "Dying, thou shalt die." Not only so, but sickness and mental imperfection accompanied the fulfilment of the sentence. A further part of the sentence was separation from God, alienation from God. In order for man to come back into God's favor and blessing, a sacrifice for sins was required. Until that sacrifice would be made there could be no justification, in the full sense.

The Apostle Paul pointed out that under the terms of the Mosaic Law given to Israel, the people were promised harmony with God, forgiveness of past sins, justification, if they would keep the Law. But after trying for fifteen hundred years and more, they found that they were unable to keep it; "for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified" in God's sight. (Gal. 2:16.) But meantime, while none were justified under the Law, because unable to keep that Law, there were some who commended themselves to God by the manifestation of a proper spirit, a spirit of faith and obedience. These we speak of as belonging to the Ancient Worthy class. This class includes Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Job, Moses and all the Prophets, besides others not so notable. See Hebrews 11.

But the justification which came to the Ancient Worthies was not a justification to life. No real justification to life could come until the Redeemer had laid down the Redemption-price for sin--until Christ had died, "the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." (1 Peter 3:18.) Since Christ died for this purpose, it follows that none were brought to God until after Christ had died; for if, according to God's arrangement of "like for like," it had been possible to justify mankind by any other means, then Christ had not died. If these Ancient Worthies could have been justified to life by some other method, so could other people have been; and the death of Christ would not have been necessary.

JUSTIFICATION TO LIFE

What then was the particular difference between the relationship to God which was granted to Abraham and all the other Worthies of olden time and that which comes to us who in this Age exercise faith? For the word "justification" is used of both classes; Abraham was justified by faith, and so are we--"Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." But Abraham and others of previous ages, could not in a legal sense, have peace with God; for Christ had not yet come to earth and died for the sins of the world. And so the record is that Abraham was justified to friendship with God. Friendship with the Creator was one of the things which were lost when Adam sinned. Therefore man was a stranger to God, an "alien through wicked works." But God counted Abraham as His friend.

Abraham's faith was manifested by his works. His was not an empty profession of loyalty to God; he demonstrated his faith in a practical way--by his works of obedience. After his faith had been tested, he received certain promises from God. He was no longer dealt with as an enemy. But being justified to friendship with God is a different thing from being justified to life. If Abraham had been justified to life, without Christ, then neither he nor the remainder of the world would have needed a Savior at all. All could have been alike justified.

But the Scriptures assure us that there is no other name given under Heaven by which we must be saved except the name of Jesus. Therefore if we cannot be saved except through faith in Jesus' name and in His blood, by being brought into relationship with God through Him, neither could Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Prophets and other Worthies have been otherwise justified. As they could not exercise faith in a Savior who had not yet come, and whose work had not been accomplished, it follows that they were never legally justified; i.e., justified to life. However, their obedience to God was tested and demonstrated, and they were treated as God's friends and made acquainted to some extent with certain features of the Divine Program. God said that He would not hide these things from Abraham, because he was His friend.

But there has been a curse resting upon the human race ever since the fall of Adam. There could not be a blessing of God and a curse of God upon the world at the same time; and the blessing has not yet come. Only those who are in Christ Jesus have as yet come legally from under this curse. These alone have been justified to life. Abraham was informed by the Lord that this blessing would come to mankind through his posterity, because of his great faith and implicit obedience. But Abraham was never invited to present his body a living sacrifice, as believers of this Gospel Age have been invited to do. There was none prior to Jesus' time, manifestly, who could have been granted the opportunity to "follow in His steps."--1 Peter 2:21. [R5775 : page 292]

Jesus referred to this when He said, "there hath not arisen a greater Prophet than John the Baptist; nevertheless, I say unto you that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he."--Luke 7:28.

GOD'S SERVANTS AND HIS SONS

If all in the Kingdom of Heaven are greater than John the Baptist, they are greater also than Enoch, Abraham, etc. Why is this? The answer is that it is not that the [R5775 : page 293] followers of Jesus are more worthy than John the Baptist or these others, but that the opportunity of becoming members of the House of Sons has been granted only since Pentecost, and is granted to those alone who take up their cross and follow Jesus. Since He was the Forerunner of this class, none could precede Him. Those who may become sons are pointed out in the Gospel of St. John: "To as many as received Him [Jesus], to them gave He power [liberty, privilege] to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, who are begotten, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." This class are the favored ones, they have lived in the appointed time, "The acceptable time"; and the Message of the Gospel has gone to these.

The Gospel did not go to Abraham in the same sense, although St. Paul says that the Gospel was preached beforehand to Abraham. We see that God first proclaimed His purpose to him. But that feature of the Gospel which is preeminently the preferential feature, Abraham did not know; for the Sacrifice for sins had not yet been given. God could not justify any to life and make of them sons until after Jesus had come and prepared the way. The privilege of becoming sons of God was, then, given first in Jesus' day, to those who received Him. All who had previously exercised faith were friends or servants. Israel was called a "House of Servants." "Moses verily was faithful as a servant over his House, but Christ as a Son over His own House, whose House are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."--Heb. 3:1-6.

So we see the contrast between the House of Servants and the House of Sons, and the reason why. We are not to think of the Church as being better intentioned or as being less sinful by nature than were Abraham, Isaac, Moses and the Prophets; but this opportunity of sonship has come to us, and it did not come to the others, because their day was not God's "due time." It is for us, then, to avail ourselves of the great opportunity of entering the House of Sons and thus become heirs of God.

JUSTIFICATION TO LIFE FOLLOWS CONSECRATION

So, then, the Church were justified to life, through the merit of Christ's sacrifice. Hence they had something which God could accept. And day by day they offer themselves to God. Abraham had no merit by which he could be an acceptable offering to God; for, being a member of the fallen Adamic race, he was a sinner, and the Divine arrangement was that nothing blemished could come to God's altar. But now since Christ has died, has risen again, has ascended up on High, has entered into the presence of God and made satisfaction for the Church, He imputes His righteousness to us at our consecration, and our justification is made complete--we are freely justified from all things--made alive from the dead. It is ours then to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, and receive the begetting to the new nature--the Divine.

Not having this full justification, neither Abraham nor any one else, up to the time of our Lord, could present his body to God as a sacrifice. So we find no preaching of this message prior to Jesus' day. We read that Christ "brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel." These were not brought to light before He came. The way to life had not been opened up. To Abraham there was a dim, shadowy promise that there would some time be a blessing for all mankind; but neither life everlasting nor immortality, the highest form of life, was made clear to him. He knew simply that a blessing was coming; and he had the faith to seek to walk in harmony with God.

Seeing how wonderful are the opportunities afforded the Gospel Church, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him?" (Hebrews 2:3.) Here the Apostle is distinctly declaring where this "great salvation" began to be proclaimed. It was never made clear before. The Apostles of our Lord could proclaim a salvation from death, a salvation unto life, then offered; but those who lived prior to their time could not have proclaimed it. Jesus was the first who brought the Message of Salvation to us, and His words on the subject were corroborated by His Apostles, who heard Him.

Justification to life follows, never precedes, consecration. Consecration is the devotion of one's being to the Lord, the surrender of one's will and all to God. In connection with the Church, it signifies not only the giving of one's self to God, but also His acceptance of the one thus offering himself. As it is written, "Sanctify [consecrate] yourselves, and I will sanctify [consecrate] you." During the Gospel Age it has been our privilege to offer ourselves to God through Christ, who, as the great High Priest, accepts these offerings until the predestinated number is complete. Whoever is thus justified and accepted by Him is acceptable to the Father; and to such a one comes the Holy Spirit of the Father, begetting him to the Divine nature.

During the three and a half years of our Lord's ministry, He declared to His disciples that if they would abide in Him, the blessing of life should be their portion. But they had no legal standing before the Father until first Jesus had finished His sacrifice, had been raised from the dead and had ascended up to Heaven, there to appear in the presence of the Father for them. Then they received the Holy Spirit in begetting power, with outward demonstration. This came to them at Pentecost. They had consecrated themselves before, and Jesus had accepted them. Everything was done that could be done at that time; but everything was not up to the standard required after Jesus had appeared before God and made satisfaction for those who were to constitute His Church. At Pentecost, and not until then, they were anointed of the Spirit and recognized as sons of God. This was the completion of their consecration--its result.

THE PRESENT OBJECT OF CONSECRATION

So the Scriptures inform us that God is pleased to accept in the same way all who come unto Him through Christ, until the time when the last member of the foreordained number of the Elect has been chosen. After that the door will be shut--not the door of mercy, but the door to the High Calling to joint-heirship with Christ, offered only during the Gospel Age. This is what consecration is for during the Gospel Dispensation. The Father has ordained that before He will impute the merit of Christ to us, we must do our part by the dedication of ourselves to God. Only those who do this will be justified to life through Christ's imputed merit.

"If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." This is the condition. In no other way will Jesus become our Advocate. "We [the Spirit-begotten] have an Advocate with the Father." He is not the world's Advocate in any sense. He is our Advocate, the Advocate of all who come unto the Father by Him. The great Divine Court may not be approached except by those who are authorized.

Jesus became the great High Priest by the offering up of Himself. And having become the great High Priest over the House of God, He is the Advocate of all those [R5775 : page 294] who come into harmony with the Father. He is their Surety. As such, He has a right to make His own terms; and the terms that He has made are that He will accept as disciples only those who renounce self, and take up their cross and follow Him.

We see the great mass of professed Christian people-- four hundred millions of them--some of them in jail, some of them in the army, on one side or the other. The most of them are striving for wealth or for the pleasures of sense. Few are justified to life. Some may be justified partially as was Abraham. In proportion as any are trying to do right, they are justified. But in order to have life, it is necessary to have this full justification, which can come to us only after we have made a complete consecration to the Lord.--Romans 12:1.

ALL THE WORLD ARE YET HEATHEN

The heathen were not justified in Abraham's day, nor in Jesus' day; in fact, the heathen are not justified yet; and all the world are heathen, except those who have come into covenant relationship with God. The Israelites spoke of the remainder of the world sometimes as heathen, sometimes as Gentiles, sometimes as people--three different terms meaning all who were not children of Israel.

Since Christ has come among us and inaugurated the way to life through His blood, we are privileged to enter into a special Covenant with God. The New Covenant is reserved for Israel and the world by and by. The special Covenant which God has for the Church is shown in His command, "Gather My saints together unto Me, those who have made a Covenant with Me by sacrifice." (Psalm 50:5.) Only by sacrifice--only by the giving up of our will, our all--can we come into this Covenant, and none can come except through the great Advocate. It is a Covenant of Sacrifice. The heathen, the world, have entered into no such Covenant of Sacrifice; therefore they cannot come into the position of sons of God. None can enter into this position without a definite knowledge of its terms and conditions.

When the Jewish Epoch had terminated and the Gospel Call was extended to the Gentiles, Cornelius the Roman centurion was the first to enter. We read that [R5776 : page 294] before Cornelius had received this Call he was a just man, who feared God, who prayed always, and who gave much alms to the people. We would say that he was a very fine character. But he was a Gentile, and so had not been able to come in under the Call. But now the time had come for the Gospel Message to go to the Gentiles. Did the Father receive Cornelius at once? No. The Lord sent an angel to him, who said, "Thy prayers and alms have come up before Jehovah." They had been noted before, but God could not receive them until now.

And did this message to Cornelius bring him into covenant relationship to God? Oh, no! The angel of the Lord merely directed him what to do. He said, "Send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter. He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner. He shall tell thee words to the saving of thyself and thy house." These words were necessary; the knowledge was indispensable. There can be no justification in ignorance. Such is not God's Plan. Cornelius and his family were ready; for he had previously been a consecrated man to the best of his knowledge. St. Peter would not have known how to deal with the Gentiles; therefore God gave him a vision, a special manifestation of His will.

The case of Cornelius gives us the clue to the fact that God does not justify any Gentiles except those who come into Covenant relationship with Him, and that there is no way of coming into such relationship except that way which He has appointed. The one special way for the Jew was through Moses and the Law Covenant, and thence into Christ. The method by which the Gentile may come into covenant relationship with God is by being engrafted into the "good olive tree," whose root is the Abrahamic Covenant. (Romans 11:16-22.) Whoever would belong to Christ must become an Israelite, a member of the true Seed of Abraham. This we do by faith in Christ, the Seed, and baptism into His death. Hence we are no longer of the world. The whole world are heathen; for they are not in covenant relationship with God. They are Gentiles; and Gentiles are heathen, from the standpoint of the Scriptures.

"THE SAINTS SHALL JUDGE THE WORLD"

All the families of the earth shall yet be blessed and enlightened, through Abraham's Seed, which Seed is Christ. "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the Promise." We have not yet blessed the world; we have not yet judged the world; for we are not yet instructed to do so. But the Apostle Paul said, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" (1 Corinthians 6:2,3.) It is not while we are in the flesh, but after our glorification in the First Resurrection, that we are to be judges.

So, then, God has appointed a great Day of Judgment for the world (Acts 17:31; Psalm 96:9-13; 98:1-9; Acts 15:13-18); and the saints are to be the judges with Christ. The world are still condemned in Adam. They are yet to have justification--"whosoever will"--and the groundwork of that justification is to be laid, first of all, in that New Covenant which Christ will make with Israel as the result of His sacrifice on Calvary. It will be exactly like the old Law Covenant, except that it will have a better Mediator--The Christ, Head and Body. As the old Law Covenant was established on the basis of the typical sacrifices, so the New Covenant is to be established on the basis of the "better sacrifices." The work of the Gospel Age has been the offering of the better sacrifices than bulls and goats--Jesus, the Head, and the Church, His Body members, associated with Him as parts of these "better sacrifices." He will have completed all the sacrificing when the last member of His Body shall have passed "within the Veil." Then the opportunity to follow in Jesus' steps will no longer be given; for there is only a definite number to become the Priesthood. These will have part in His resurrection, the Chief Resurrection. Speaking of these the Apostle says, "We must all be changed"; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 15:50-54.) When this class shall have inherited the Kingdom, they will be prepared to do the work of judging the world.

THE WORK OF THE NEXT AGE

Immediately after satisfaction is made to Justice for the sins of the world, all mankind will be turned over to the One who bought them. Then Justice will have no more to do with them; for they will be in the hands of Christ. He will then be the Life-giver, the Judge, the King. During His Millennial Reign His work will be the awakening and the uplifting of all for whom He died. The opportunity will be given to all to come into harmony with the Lord, of devoting themselves to His service. The reward for their so doing will be everlasting life and full perfection of being on the human plane. Those who thus devote themselves will rise out of degradation to full perfection. Their perfecting will be their justification; for this means to be made right.

The difference between the justification to which the world will attain and that of the Church now, is that with [R5776 : page 295] the Church it is a justification by faith, a reckoned justification, attained instantly, by the imputation of the merit of Christ; while the justification of the world will be by works--it will be a making right actually, an actual perfection. But there will be no justification without faith and heart loyalty, either now or then. Under the Lord's present arrangement also it is important that there shall be perfect works. The New Creature is actually just, perfect; and the Father imputes to our imperfect bodies the merit of Jesus and counts us dead according to the imperfect flesh. Thus our imperfect works are counted, through Christ, as perfect. The perfect New Creature, from its small beginning, is gradually to grow and develop to maturity, using the fleshly body as its servant.

With the world it will be different. Theirs will be a work of gradually coming to a condition of justification, of perfection of mind and body, under the cover of the New Covenant, sealed with the blood of Christ. They will be coming nearer to this perfection day by day and year by year, rising toward perfection. When they shall have reached that pinnacle, they will be fully justified, or fully made just; and if they pass faithfully their final test, after the close of the Millennial Age, the reward of everlasting life will be given them. But the dead of the world will not live, from God's standpoint, until the close of that Age, when Christ shall have finished His Mediatorial work. Meantime, those who will not come into accord with God's arrangement will die the Second Death; they will be destroyed as "natural brute beasts."--2 Peter 2:12.

The Second Death is like the first death, only that it will be instantaneous; it will not be for the father's sin, but for the individual's own sin; and it will be eternal. There will be no redemption from it, as from the first death. "Christ dieth no more." The reward of the righteous will be everlasting life; none will be granted it until they have been fully tested and proven. Therefore God can guarantee that thenceforth there will be no more crying or sighing or dying forever; for all will be fully in accord with Him.

We believe that the time for the world's trial will soon come; but we do not think that the door of the Kingdom is yet closed. Of course we have no special information on the subject; for the Lord does not say that the door to the High Calling will close as soon as the Times of the Gentiles are ended. The door will be closed when the last member of the Body of Christ shall have been gathered, shall have been found faithful, shall have finished his course and passed beyond the Veil. "Those who were ready went in with Him to the marriage, and the door was shut." It will be closed then; for none thereafter can be added to that elect number. We believe that this time is not far distant.



[R5776 : page 295]

THE TWO GREAT INTERCESSIONS

"Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them."--Hebrews 7:25.
ST. PAUL is here contrasting the great Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ with that of the Aaronic Order--the typical priesthood under the Mosaic Law. He is pointing out to the believing Hebrews the difference between these two priesthoods; for the Jews had difficulty in understanding how there could be a change of priesthood. Their priesthood had stood for sixteen hundred years. It seemed neither right nor reasonable that any should say that God's institution of the Law arrangement was not designed to be lasting. It was necessary, therefore, that St. Paul should deal with the matter extensively. Throughout the entire book of Hebrews he is seeking to point out that the Aaronic priesthood was merely typical, merely a one-sided priesthood. The great antitypical Priest was to be not only a sacrificing, but also a reigning Priest. He was to have a great work beyond the time of sacrificing. He was the antitype of Aaron, but His Priesthood was of an Order entirely different--much superior every way.

This great Priest, when enthroned in glory, was designed to be after the Order of Melchizedek. He was not to be after the Order of Aaron. The Apostle pointed out that of this glorious Priest it was prophesied (Psalm 110:4), "Jehovah hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek"--a Priest upon His Throne. [R5777 : page 295]

Those various sacrifices which the Aaronic Order offered year by year were only types of the "better sacrifices." (Hebrews 9:23.) The typical priest offered first for his own sins, then for the sins of all the people. (Leviticus 9:7,8,15; 16:11,14,15.) So the great antitypical Priest offers first a sacrifice for Himself (the members of His Body), then for the sins of the whole world. The blood which was offered in the typical sacrifices was the blood of bulls and goats; the blood of the "better sacrifices" is the blood of The Christ, Head and Body, which has been in process of shedding all down through the Gospel Age. But it is the merit of the blood of Jesus, the Head of the Body, which gives virtue to the sacrifices of the Body.

"ABLE TO SAVE TO THE UTTERMOST"

The Apostle shows that the sacrifices of the typical priests were efficacious for only a year; that they needed to be offered every year; and that the priests of the Aaronic Order were not suffered to continue in their office, by reason of their death. But the great antitypical Priest is to continue always. He will never have a successor; for He "ever liveth." He is to accomplish all His great work and then sit down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. He will never again need to sacrifice, to die for sin; for He will have done this effectually, once for all.

Furthermore, the Apostle, in considering the work accomplished by this great Priest for all the people, shows how much more efficient His work is than that of the earthly priest. The priests of the Aaronic Order, the Levitical priesthood, could not properly sympathize with the people, nor were their sacrifices able to really take away sin. (Hebrews 2:17,18; 4:15; 10:4.) But this great antitypical Priest, whose Priesthood is continual, is not only able to take away sin, but is able to sympathize fully with those for whom His "better sacrifices" have been made. "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." He is able to save fully, completely, eternally.

This text may be understood to apply to the Church now, that the Lord not only saves us from the sins that are past--when first we accepted Christ, had our sins forgiven and were accepted by Him--but throughout our course He also covers with the Robe of His merit those blemishes and weaknesses which result from the imperfection of our human body. Whatever could be shown to be unintentional would be canceled by the merit of His sacrifice, stripes being administered for the expiation of any measure of wilfulness. So He is able to save, not only from sins past and present, but from sins future--save to [R5777 : page 296] the uttermost, and bring us to the Divine favor which God has promised to the faithful footstep followers of Jesus.

INTERCESSION FOR THE WORLD OF MANKIND

But this work for the Church is not all that was meant, we think, by the Apostle. If the intercession of Jesus, the great High Priest, were all in the past, and if only the Church of the First-borns were to be benefited by this intercession, all the remainder of the world would be left out. We are not to think of Jesus as interceding for His people over and over every day; but there are two general intercessions. The first He made when He presented the merit of His sacrifice in the Most Holy (Heaven itself) for those who would become His during the Gospel Age, and its effects have been applicable throughout the entire Age. All who become of the Church class come in under the efficacy of this intercession which was provided for at the beginning of the Age. His merit ever avails for them before the Father. He ever lives as our great Advocate, because of the work done for us when atonement was made in the presence of God.--Hebrews 9:24.

But Jesus is to make another intercession. This is pointed out in the 2d Psalm: "Ask of Me [Jehovah], and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession." Jesus is to intercede for the heathen, the Gentiles, all who are not now members of the Household of Faith. See also Romans 11:17-24.

The same merit which has all through the present Age been efficacious for the Church class is to be efficacious for the whole world, those in their graves as well as those now having a measure of life. It will be a final or complete intercession, an intercession to the uttermost. It will not leave out even one human being.

During the Millennium our Lord Jesus will not be making intercession for the world; for He will do this at its beginning, when He applies His merit for "all the people," when the New Covenant is sealed. The Father will have no direct dealings with mankind until the close of the thousand years, but will deal with them only through the Son. During the Messianic Reign, Christ and the Church will do a Restitution work for all mankind. Because of the presentation of our Lord's merit on their behalf, the whole world will be in Christ's hands to be dealt with to a completion, to the uttermost, to leave nothing undone that can be done. At the close of that Age, all the incorrigible will have been destroyed, and those brought to perfection will be turned over to the Father for a thorough testing. All who then fail, who prove not to be fully loyal at heart, will likewise be destroyed, "cut off from amongst the people."



[R5777 : page 296]

OVERCOMING DESIRES FOR EARTHLY THINGS

"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."--1 Cor. 9:27.
THE Apostle Paul is here using the illustration of a race-course. In certain races there are what are called handicaps; that is, one who is weaker is given a certain allowance of time in starting, and is granted a victory if he gets in on time. That would be an accommodation for only a few. It is called a handicap from the standpoint of the others. But in the Christian race there is accommodation granted to all; for there is none perfect--all come short of the glory of God, and we could never gain any reward that God has offered, had it not been for the satisfaction which the Redeemer has made.

Yet it is also true in this race that some have more allowance than others. Those who have many weaknesses have a corresponding allowance of grace made for them; and those who have fewer weaknesses have a less allowance. "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly," said St. Paul. He was fully determined. He had a definite goal in view, and meant to win. This is the only attitude, if we would gain the prize that God has offered us; and the whole matter is dependent upon our zeal, our faithfulness and our earnestness.

The Greek games had other exhibitions of strength and agility besides racing. There were contests with wild animals, in which a man would attempt to slay an animal. Then there were others between men, in which a man would attempt to deal his antagonist a vital blow, if possible, with his brass knuckles. In preparation for this contest, the contestants had a wind bag to practise on. But this was not the real battle, it was merely the preparation.

So the Apostle says that he was not using his strength merely in practise. He was trying to do something. He was fighting a real battle. What battle was it? The answer of the Bible is that a great battle began away back in the days when Satan became the Adversary of God. Our first parents came into slavery to Satan, and later some of the angels fell. Now many are fighting, and some are thoroughly ignorant of whose side they are fighting for. Those who are fighting for unrighteousness are on Satan's side. Whoever is fighting for moral reforms, etc., is on God's side, rather than the side of the Enemy of mankind.

The world are fighting more or less--some more intelligently, some less intelligently. There are in every army some who could not tell you what the fight is about. So now, many do not know that a battle is being waged between Righteousness and Sin. The millionaires have their own battles and contentions; and the little store-keepers have their battles, in competition with the larger merchants. The attorney has his battles. He may sometimes take a case that is on the side of justice, and defend it with zeal; and again he may take a case that is on the side of injustice, and prosecute it with equal zeal. But the world do not recognize the real battle. The same man may be on the right side one day, and on the wrong side the next day.

The Apostle had enlisted under the true banner. Christ lifted up a standard in opposition to Satan, and He will yet win a glorious victory on the very field where Sin has reigned for six thousand years. He had a personal conflict with the powers of darkness, in which He was Victor. And His victory was gained by His overcoming His own natural desires, and fully submitting Himself to the will of God. This was the only condition on which He could be exalted from the earthly state, to the glories of the Divine nature. He has met the required condition, of dying the Just for the unjust, and has gotten the great victory over Satan.

The Heavenly Father, in harmony with His own arrangement, has empowered the Lord Jesus to take out from the world a company to lay down their lives with Himself, during a time when everything seems contrary, when evil seems to triumph more frequently than do righteousness and justice. These, walking by faith, and not by sight, are to lay down their lives for the sake of righteousness, to carry out the purposes of God.

OUR PRIMARY BATTLE IS WITH SELF

Do we ask, Whom, or what, shall we fight? The answer is that one would not enter the real conflict at all, [R5778 : page 297] if he should follow the impulses of his own mind. In such case he would not have any part in this fight. He might engage in the ordinary battling of the world-- sometimes in the right, sometimes in the wrong. But if he would get into this company which is being guided by Jesus, he must come unto God by Him, and must sacrifice earthly hopes, aims and ambitions, and walk in Jesus' footsteps--steps of suffering unto death. "For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Heb. 2:10.) Thus the battle begins in our mind, our will. We submit our mind to the mind of Christ.

In the typical Day of Atonement sacrifices, the Body of Christ is represented by the Lord's goat. And as the high priest killed the goat in the type, so in the antitype the animal nature is to be killed, slaughtered, sacrificed. It is not to be yielded up to sin, but to be overcome. The New Creature is in mortal combat with entrenched sin, and the cravings of the human nature. He has made a consecration of himself to God. And as a result, the Advocate has placed His own merit upon the consecrated one. When this is done, the battle immediately begins, that the New Creature may keep down the old creature, the old will.--Galatians 5:17.

The Apostle says, "I keep my body under,...lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway." It must be a real battle, a real conflict; for the victory is only to those who overcome. "To him that overcometh...will I give power over the nations"; "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne."--Rev. 2:26,27; 3:21.

VICTORY OR DEATH!

This battle, then, that begins at the time of our consecration, continues until the end--our death. It will be the death either of the New Creature or of the old creature. So far as our earthly interests are concerned, we sacrifice them fully--we exchange them for the opportunity of gaining glory, honor, immortality, joint-heirship with the Lord, participation in the Divine nature. So, as the Apostle suggests, we are not to be expending our strength merely on a bag of wind, but we are to fight to some purpose.

"For me to live is Christ," says the Apostle; and for me to lose in this battle is for me to perish as a New Creature, and this means that the Second Death would be mine. We should realize that in our position as Christians our eternal interests are at stake. We fear of losing the eternal life, which we shall surely lose if we fail to be overcomers.

The Apostle Peter writes, "Seeing, then, that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness;...that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless!" (2 Peter 3:11,14.) With this anticipation, how serious life should be!

The Christian who knows about these things of the future, and who lives in anticipation of them, has a joy and a peace of which the world knows nothing. One week of such living is worth more than an entire lifetime with only such things as the world has to offer. And if now we enjoy living the new life, and entering by faith into the things that the Lord has in reservation for us, what will be the realization! If we would lose much in the present time by losing our hope and faith, what would it be to lose these things eternally!

As we realize this, we see that we cannot afford one moment of carelessness. The man engaged in combat with the animal knows that the bruised and wounded animal seeks to kill him. So the Apostle tells us, the old nature strives to kill the New Nature. Therefore the New Nature must see to it that it uses all its strength to gain the victory. The Lord has promised us grace sufficient for every time of need. If we are overcome by the old nature, it will not be because we have not strength sufficient for the victory; for if we call upon the Lord, He will sustain us. But the Lord will test our loyalty, our faith, our strength of character, our alertness of mind. And the victory is sure, so long as our trust is in Him!



[R5778 : page 297]

THE CHRIST PERFECTED BY SUFFERING

"Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are made partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."--1 Pet. 4:13.
IT MIGHT at first seem strange to God's people that they should suffer special trials and difficulties as a result of becoming children of God and doers of that which is good. The natural expectation would be that he who sins shall suffer, and he who seeks to avoid sin shall be blessed. This is a natural law, and it will operate in due time--during the Millennial reign of our Lord. Evil-doers shall suffer stripes, and if found persistent, shall be cut off in the Second Death. But all well-doers shall be rewarded with everlasting life and blessing forever.

This is not true now, however, for the reign of the Prince of Righteousness has not yet begun. We are under the reign of the Prince of Darkness. And the evil-doers often have great success, while the right-doers suffer. David says of the wicked, "Their eyes stand out with fatness; they have more than heart could wish." (Psa. 73:7.) Nevertheless he took his stand with those who would please God--and so also do we.

GOD'S PURPOSE IN TESTING US

St. Paul, speaking concerning the Church of the Gospel Age, says, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12.) There is no exception to this rule; and the knowledge and expectation of this should make us stand fast, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and having our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace.

God allows His people to have these experiences and to suffer for right-doing. In the present time He is calling out a saintly company. This company will be the Royal Priesthood of the future, to bless all the world during Messiah's Reign. And the Bible explains to us that these need trials to prove and test their characters.

God wishes to see how loyal we are to the principles of righteousness. How much are we willing to suffer? It is a saying with the world, "Every man has his price." And so in the Church there are some who would endure a certain amount, and then back down. Others will endure a little more, and others still a little more. The Lord declares that He is seeking those who will give up everything in order to prove faithful to their Covenant with Him. This faithfulness means entire loyalty to God, to His laws, which are the laws of righteousness.

THE FIRE TO BURN AMONGST YOU

The intimation that these fiery trials will try the Church, will burn amongst God's people, does not necessarily [R5778 : page 298] mean that all the fiery trials will come from the Church; but that these trials constitute a fire that is to do a purifying work amongst them, burning in their midst. It is an experience that must be endured by each one individually. It will be a general experience, because each one must have a share in this matter. It is not merely that the company as a whole will have opposition against them, but that each individual will be personally exposed to the fiery trials. Therefore this fire burns in our midst and will burn to the end.

It is a different kind of trial from what could come to any other body of people. The explanation of this difference is in our text--"inasmuch as we are made partakers of Christ's sufferings." When we know that each member of the Body of Christ must be tried, we can rejoice when some of this fire touches us. We say, "I am having a share in the sufferings of Christ. I am glad that in God's providence I have a share in these trials; for if I had no share in them, how could I know that I am one of the Body members?"

THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF TROUBLE

So we all rejoice, knowing that these fiery trials are of the Lord. Not that the Lord is the cause of these fiery trials; for usually it is the Adversary. But we have put ourselves into the Lord's hands, and He has promised to supervise all that concerns us. Therefore, whatever comes to us, we may be sure that it is of the Father's purpose, or permission for our good. If, therefore, we recognize that this is something that the Lord's providence has arranged for us, it is all right, no matter how frequently we have to go to the Throne of Grace for help in time of need.

God has revealed to us that He purposes to give to The Christ very great exaltation, great glory, honor and immortality. Therefore we are looking forward to the time when this Body shall be perfected, and we shall share in the glory of our Head. When the glory shall be revealed, we shall be glad with a great joy! These trials that come to us are from a variety of sources. In our context they are spoken of as the one trial of the Church, but that one trial is made up of a variety of experiences. If these difficulties and trials came all at once, they might be too severe for us. Therefore the Lord permits us to be taken out of the fire for a little while. "He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust."--Psa. 103:14. [R5779 : page 298]

TORTURES OF TODAY MORE REFINED

And so the Father has arranged that we shall have little seasons of refreshment between times, so that when the next trying experience comes, it will find us a little stronger and more ready to profit by it. Some of these trials come from the Adversary himself. Apparently the things that have been done to the Church could come from none other. Think of the devilish disposition manifested toward our Lord, and reflect upon His sufferings. We cannot think that mankind under any ordinary conditions could ever have had so malicious a spirit as that manifested against Him. The Devil had to do with all the wicked persecutions of the saints--the cutting out of tongues, the racking of their poor bodies, and the shooting out of bitter words from the tongue.

We are more used to this latter form of persecution today than in olden times; for the world--the average man--would not permit the things done in the Dark Ages. But the wicked feelings are still there--the animosity, the gall. As the Apostle James says, the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, and it sets on fire the course of nature. (James 3:6.) And so in our day the tongue and the pen are often used as weapons of evil.

We have all noticed, perhaps, how willing the world is to speak evil and to believe evil--how willing to say that which they do not know. This is all because they are obsessed, besieged by the Adversary. But we are living in a more civilized day than were our brethren of the past. We think the individual who does these wicked things today--who slanders and vilifies God's people--is under some malevolent influence. And then the temptation comes to us to speak evil of them in return--to do all the harm we can against them. If we find this disposition to speak evil arising within us, we are to resist it, to allow the fire of this time to burn up these elements of our old nature. And the fire will have this purifying effect upon us, if we receive it aright, making us meet for the Heavenly Kingdom.

SECONDARY SOURCE OF TRIAL

Not only from the Adversary do these trials come, but they come from the weaknesses and the imperfections of others. And perhaps those that come from the brethren are the most difficult to bear. We know that "the god of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that believe not." But when it comes to those who have made a profession of loyalty to God, and who have named the name of Christ, whether they be Presbyterians or Episcopalians, Baptists or Congregationalists, or those who are Bible Students--if in any of these we find the persecuting spirit, we are more discouraged and less likely to have the proper sympathy for them.

We are to remember, however, that nothing can happen to us unless the Father permits it. If we did not get the trials from Methodists or Presbyterians or Bible Students, we would get them from somewhere else, in order to burn up our dross and strengthen the elements of our character which need development. We are to take all of these things patiently, knowing that they are working out for us a "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." We are to look away from these things and to recognize the grand purpose of God. We are to reflect that this is the way in which God is chiseling us and polishing us to make us ready for the grand Temple of Glory. And when we think of this, we can look with fortitude and patience on these fiery trials, recognizing that we shall get a blessing out of them.

"Through many a thorny path He leads
My tired feet;
Through many a path of tears I go,
But it is sweet
To know that He is close to me--
My God, my Guide;
He leadeth me, and so I walk
Quite satisfied."

Thus we learn as people of God to glory. We may glory in all the things which He has done for us and in us. The things that naturally would be least likely to be gloried in are tribulations, persecutions. But we may glory also in these. We may rejoice in them--not that we enjoy the tribulations, the persecutions, but we realize that these are working for us characters pleasing to God. The Lord will see to it that we get enough, and not too much, tribulation.

The word tribulation has the thought of serious trouble--a combination of troubles that makes the experiences serious. It would not mean that we would fall into some difficulty and soon get out of it again, but it would mean severe and continued trouble. Sometimes we cannot see why we have the troubles that come to us. They may come in the form of sickness, or death, or financial trouble, or humiliation of our unrecognized pride and self-love; or we may have a combination [R5779 : page 299] of trouble. There is no difference whether it is one kind or another kind--they are tribulations. But it is for us to recognize that in all these trials the Lord supervises and makes them work for our good.

The world has persecutions of a certain sort. People in business will sometimes persecute one another. Sometimes persecutions are in a political way. The Lord indicates to the Church that we may rejoice in any persecution, especially if we are in no way blame-worthy. "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed [feel disgraced]," said the Apostle. (1 Pet. 4:14-16.) He is suffering because the "darkness hateth the light," and slanders the Truth. This has been so from Jesus' time all the way down.

BLESSING RESULTING FROM PERSECUTION

Shall we say that we will not be reconciled to any certain experience? No; we have committed all to the Lord, and it is for us to bow in full submission, knowing by faith and from the assurance of God's Word that all things are working together for good to us. No matter what the trouble may be, it will bring patience if we are rightly exercised. Some of the Lord's people may have patience well developed, and thus not need so many of these experiences. But whatever we need, we should desire.

We remind you again of the story of a certain brother who took account of his qualities, and decided that he was most lacking in patience. Then he prayed most earnestly to the Lord to give him more patience. He kept on praying; and the more he prayed, the more difficulties he seemed to have, the greater trials of patience. Then it occurred to him that this was the answer to his prayer; for that was the way to get patience. And when he began to see the matter aright, it encouraged him and made a great change. He saw that the Lord was answering his prayer by giving him the very experiences he needed to develop in his character this grace of the Spirit.

"Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope." This does not mean that we get all of our patience first, then all of our experience, and then all of our hope; but that they are all developing together. We have a good courage and are desirous of pleasing the Lord; we are not ashamed to be His children. And the reason why we are not ashamed is that with this hope, we have the realization of God's love; and we are able to say, "If I had tribulation, I now have more hope and more patience. I am getting the results in these tribulations, in the fruits of the Spirit." Whoever escapes experiences that would develop the fruits of the Holy Spirit will never gain a place in the Kingdom.

Patience can be gained only by trials. Faith can be developed only by necessities. We have need of preparation for our future work. This can be gained only by those experiences which will touch us with a feeling of the infirmities and difficulties and trials of the groaning creation to whom we shall be ministers and representatives when we reach the Throne. For us, then, the lesson of present experiences is to resist evil; not with evil, but with good. "Be not overcome of evil; but resist evil with good."--Romans 12:21.



[R5779 : page 299]

ELISHA'S RESTITUTION MINISTRY
--OCTOBER 17.--2 KINGS 4, 5.--

ELISHA SUCCEEDS ELIJAH--THE TYPICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS --HEALS THE SPRING OF WATER--ENCOUNTERS YOUNG HOODLUMS--PRONOUNCES SENTENCE AGAINST THEM--THEIR PENALTY--REWARDS FAITH OF A WIDOW--HEALS GENERAL NAAMAN'S LEPROSY--IS CONSULTED RESPECTING NAAMAN'S FUTURE.

"I am Jehovah that healeth thee."--Exodus 15:26.
FOR more than six thousand years our earth has been under a Divine condemnation because of Father Adam's sin and its propagation through his posterity, and because of God's sentence against sin. For these reasons, as the Apostle declares, our world has been under a "reign of Sin and Death." (Romans 5:14-19.) And it still is; for the curse, or penalty, has not yet been lifted. Thank God, the Bible abounds with precious promises that a better Day is soon to dawn! That glorious Epoch is to be inaugurated by Messiah's Kingdom, for which Jesus taught His people to pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, even as it is done in Heaven." Then will come a glorious change to the world. Satan shall be bound for a thousand years. [R5780 : page 299] The reign of Sin and Death will cease, and a Reign of Righteousness and Life will begin.

That Reign is to last a thousand years. We have the words of Jesus Himself that its result will be the entire removal of the curse--the freeing of mankind from every difficulty and ailment which came upon the world as a penalty for Father Adam's sin, etc. From the very beginning of Messiah's Reign God's blessing will begin to come to the world through Him, and correspondingly the curse will begin to fade away; but the full blessing will not be here, and the curse will not be entirely removed, until about the close of the Millennium. It will be a grand work. The promise of Jesus is that eventually there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying; for the former things of sin and death will have passed away and He will have made all things new, as the great King of kings and Lord of lords.--Revelation 21:4,5; 19:16; 1 Corinthians 15:26,54.

ELISHA'S WORK A TYPE OF RESTITUTION BLESSINGS

In a previous lesson we pointed out that Bible students understand Elijah's career to have been typical of the experiences of the Church in the flesh, ending with glorification. Appropriately we might expect that Elisha, the companion of Elijah, upon whom fell Elijah's mantle of power and authority as the Lord's representative, prefigured a class. Our thought is that he typified two classes: first, that he typified those who now are associated with the Elijah class; and that, after the taking of Elijah and his recrossing Jordan, he became a type of those in whose charge will be the dispensing of Restitution blessings during the Millennium. Let us notice a few of his figurative doings.

PURE WATER--PURE TRUTH

(1) A certain stream carried brackish water through an otherwise favored district. Elisha took a handful of salt, went to the head of the brook and poured it in there, commanding in the name of the Lord that it should henceforth be pure water. Looking for a typical significance of this in the Millennium, we remember that a stream of water represents a stream of Truth, and that brackish water would represent impure doctrines. A purification of the stream at its fountain would well represent what the Lord has promised through the Prophet respecting Messiah's Day: "Then will I turn unto the people a [R5780 : page 300] pure Message, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent."--Zeph. 3:9.

The salt cast into the spring reminds us of the Master's words respecting His true followers, "Ye are the salt of the earth." (Matthew 5:13.) It will be in and through the glorified Salt of the Earth that the blessing will come, the streams of Truth for human refreshment for a thousand years. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God will be made to fill the whole earth, as the waters cover the great deep.--Isaiah 11:9; Hab. 2:14.

HURT FIGHTING BEARS

(2) As Elisha proceeded on his journey, some young hoodlums accosted him, saying, "Go up, thou bald head!" These were youths--not children, not babies. Elisha turned and pronounced upon them a punishment, translated in our text a curse. He denounced their conduct as wrong and declared that it would have a punishment. The punishment came speedily. Two she-bears came upon them and tore them, wounded them. There is no suggestion that the bears ate them or killed them; but the forty-two young ruffians all experienced wounds from their conflict with the bears, and this apparently was the punishment for their wrong-doing.

After some such manner there will be judgments in the world during the Millennium--punishments for every wrong course, rewards for every right deed. Thus, through chastisements, called in the Bible judgments, the world will be taught right and wrong for a thousand years. As it is written, "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." (Isaiah 26:9.) It is for this reason that the Millennial Age is called the world's Day of Judgment. St. Peter explains that a Day with the Lord is as a thousand years. (2 Peter 3:8.) St. Paul tells us that "God hath appointed a Day [a thousand years], in the which He will judge the world in righteousness." (Acts 17:31.) The judgment will be in the nature of rewards and punishments wisely administered, that the people may learn righteousness and abhor sin.

OIL ACCORDING TO HER FAITH

(3) A poor widow in distress because of debt appealed to the Prophet Elisha for aid. She found that her resources were exhausted, except that she had some olive oil. He directed her to take all the vessels that she had and to borrow from her neighbors and to pour the oil into these until they were filled, then to sell the oil for money wherewith to pay her debts and to use the remainder for the wherewithal to live.

This story may illustrate for us the blessed rewards of faith that the Lord will grant during the Millennium. Indeed, it illustrates the general principle on which the Lord operates. The debt was to be paid. Justice was not to be violated, and any miracle to be performed would be preferably by the blessing of something already possessed. Thus doubtless it will be during the Millennium. The Lord will bless what people may have according to their faith in using it in harmony with His will; and it will increase with that for the full supply of all their needs.

Our Lord Jesus illustrated this in some of His miracles; and we should not forget that He made it plain that His miracles typified, or foreshadowed, His coming in the glory and the majesty of His Kingdom work. (John 2:11.) One of these was the feeding of the five thousand people from the small quantity of fish already at hand. Every person has something of a talent, or possession. The lesson to us would be: Use what you have, asking God's blessing, and seek to use it in harmony with His Word, nothing doubting. The Lord always rewards faith. In the case of this widow the oil was quite sufficient to fill all the vessels she had borrowed, as well as all of her own vessels. Then it stopped.

SYRIAN GENERAL CURED OF LEPROSY

(4) In the Far East leprosy is one of the most dreaded diseases and is generally accepted as incurable. The Bible seems to refer to leprosy as a figure, or type, of sin because it is incurable, except by Divine miracle. Naaman, the chief commander of the Syrian king's forces, was a leper. In his family was a little Hebrew housemaid, who had been captured in one of the battles between the Syrians and the Israelites. She noted her master's plight, and remarked to her mistress about the great Prophet in Israel, Elisha, who could do anything, she believed. She suggested that he be applied to.

What seemed like idle talk was seized upon by General Naaman as a last and only hope. From his king he obtained a letter of introduction to the King of Israel, which in substance said: "I am sending this letter by the hand of my chief general, Naaman, who is a leper; and I desire you to see that he is healed." The king of Israel was appalled. He knew that he had no power over such a disease, and that it was ranked as incurable. He concluded that the Syrian king was trying to pick a quarrel with him, and that this meant war, great trouble. He rent his outer garment, as was the custom of the time, in indication of his great distress. The matter was told to the Prophet Elisha, who immediately sent the king word not to be disturbed, but to send the general to him. This was done.

When the general arrived at the Prophet's home with quite a caravan of servants, costly presents, etc., he sent word to the Prophet respecting his errand and that he had been sent by the king to him. Elisha curtly sent him word to go to the River Jordan and wash seven times. Naaman was angry. He said, "This man does not even treat me civilly. Why did he not come down to see me and make some kind of recognition of my rank and of the nation which I represent?" He then declared that there were rivers in Syria of much better water than the Jordan, and that Elisha was trifling with him.

While Elisha's conduct undoubtedly was proper and directed of God and turned out well, nevertheless it would not be a wise course for the Lord's people generally to follow. In the New Testament the Apostles urge that the servants of God should be courteous toward all and render honor to whom honor is due. However, the matter worked out well. The servants of the general suggested to him that he had to go by Jordan any way on his return home, and why not try, as the Prophet of Israel had said. It could do no harm and might do some good. Any way the Prophet evidently had not been trying to make money out of him, nor to get the costly presents which he had brought, and which he knew he would gladly give for such a cure. The anger of the general cooled. He bathed seven times in Jordan, as directed. The result was a miraculous cure.

Naaman was not thankless. He returned to the home of the Prophet to thank him and to urge him to accept the presents he had brought; but the Prophet would accept nothing. He was merely acting as a Divine representative. His powers were not for sale. They were Divine blessings. Let the General acknowledge them to God! And this General Naaman did. He confessed that no other God than Jehovah could perform such a miracle. He was apparently ready to do the will of God heartily, and asked respecting his future course. The Prophet did not tell him to become a Jew and to renounce the heathen [R5781 : page 301] religion of his own land, but encouraged him to return to his home and to continue in his office.

General Naaman inquired as to his responsibility. If he worshiped the true God, what must he do when in the company of his king and the latter wished to go to the house of a false god? Elisha's answer in substance was that if the general made full profession of his faith in the true God, it would not be improper for him to accompany his master to the house of the false god; for his own adherence to Jehovah God would be recognized.



[R5781 : page 301]

OTHER RESTITUTION TYPES
--OCTOBER 24.--2 KINGS 6:8-23.--

ELISHA AWAKENS THE SHUNAMMITE'S SON--PUNISHES HIS SERVANT GEHAZI--ENTRAPS THE SYRIAN ARMY AND RENDERS THEM GOOD FOR EVIL--IMPORTANT LESSONS IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.

"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them."--Psalm 34:7.
IN TODAY'S Study we note Elisha's awakening of the Shunammite's son, his punishment of his servant Gehazi with leprosy, and his entrapping of the Syrian army. (2 Kings 4:8-37; 5:20-27.) While these things may not find exact counterpart in the events of the coming Kingdom, they nevertheless represent principles which will be in operation then--the principles of reward for right doing, of punishment for intentional wrong-doing, and of sympathetic restraint and instruction. All these principles will operate during Messiah's Kingdom; and under these the world will gradually make progress. "When the judgments of the Lord are abroad in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." --Isaiah 26:9.

AWAKENING THE SHUNAMMITE'S SON

Millions of people will long remember a most touching scene in the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, representing the death of the Shunammite's son, and showing how Elisha awakened the lad from the sleep of death and restored him to his parents. Perhaps no more touching film was ever produced. Few saw it without tears. It pictured the coming Restitution work of the Millennium, when all the sleeping dead will be awakened, to resume their lives and to complete their education in the school of experience under more happy and more favorable conditions than any enjoy at the present time, except the Church--those who during this Age are blessed of the Lord with hearing ears, eyes of faith and obedient hearts.

GEHAZI SMITTEN WITH LEPROSY

Gehazi had in many respects been a faithful servant to Elisha. As a result, he had blessings of knowledge which the majority of people did not possess. With the knowledge came responsibility; hence the severe punishment inflicted upon the man for hypocrisy and deception. We are reminded of the text which declares that if a good man depart from his well-doing and sin wilfully, his past good deeds shall not be remembered, even as it is with the evil-doer who, coming to God with full repentance and change of heart, is forgiven and received into God's family. His past evil is entirely ignored, except as it may bear its fruit in certain weaknesses of mind or body.-- Ezekiel 3:17-21; 18:20-24; 33:10-16.

When General Naaman perceived the great miracle accomplished in his cleansing from leprosy, he returned to Elisha, offering thanks to God and desiring the Prophet to receive the presents which he had brought. But Elisha would receive none of them. In this he manifested what we believe is always the Lord's Spirit--never to sell spiritual things for money. It is for this reason that some ministers now object to taking up collections, holding fairs or soliciting money in any manner. Their contention is that whatever is given to the Lord's service should be given with a free hand and a ready heart. "The Father seeketh such to worship Him as worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23.) It is a privilege to give to the Lord and His Cause; for the Almighty is not poor, that He should need our gifts. All the gold and silver are His, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.-- Haggai 2:8; Psalm 50:10.

Under such a noble example Gehazi should have profited, but did not. He allowed covetousness to come into his mind. He had seen the rich Babylonish garments, and thought how fine it would be if he could have some of these and plenty of changes of linen garments. He would be like a prince. He had perceived that General Naaman regretted that his presents were not accepted. He pursued, and told the general that the Prophet had said that while he did not desire any of the garments or other things for himself, he had concluded that he might use some of these for his servants, and that he would accept gifts for them. The ruse was successful. The servant was recognized as the one seen at Elisha's place. The goods were joyfully given to him. He hid them away secretly, until the Prophet called him, told him all about the matter and pronounced his punishment--leprosy.

So will it be in the coming Age. Any disobedience will meet with swift punishment. Of the judges of that time it is written that they will not judge with the hearing of the ear nor with the sight of the eye; they will judge righteously.--Isaiah 11:3,4.

ELISHA'S CAPTURE ATTEMPTED

It was probably after the death of General Naaman that the king of Syria declared war against the Israelites. To his surprise he found that every move he made was checkmated. If he planned to capture a certain city, it seemed as though the Israelitish king knew every detail. Thus his endeavors came to naught. He looked for a traitor amongst his own people in his own household, or for some explanation. Then it was told him by one of his servants, "Behold, the Prophet Elisha is in Israel and makes known to their king all thy counsels, even those of thy bed-chamber." Apparently the knowledge of Jehovah and Elisha had spread from General Naaman to some of the household of the king.

Intent upon his conquest, the king sought to capture Elisha. If he could not get some profit out of the man for himself and his side, he could at least keep him from communicating with the king of Israel. He sent spies to find where Elisha dwelt, and located him at the little city of Dothan. Thereupon he sent a good-sized force, quite sufficient to surround the city and make it impossible for Elisha to escape--horses, chariots, etc. He would do two things--not only capture a city, but capture the Prophet.

In the morning early, Elisha's servant looked forth and beheld the companies of the enemy on every side, barring every way of escape. He was terrified and said, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" Promptly came the answer, "Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." The servant did not appreciate this; for he had not come to realize fully what Divine [R5781 : page 302] powers were with his master. Then Elisha prayed that the eyes of the young man might be opened; and he beheld angelic hosts, horses and chariots of fire around about Elisha. This was sufficient to give the young man the needed courage and to assure him of God's Power.

Just what kind of vision this was makes no particular difference. Undoubtedly it was merely a vision, without any reality; but it served its purpose. God's Power surrounds all of His consecrated people in an unlimited measure. These powers are exercised by spirit beings, entirely invisible to men. The important thing is to get the right thought--that under all conditions Omnipotent Power stands behind and completely surrounds those who are His. Nothing can befall this special class except in accord with the Divine program. Whatever may occur in their experience will be of Divine foreknowledge and permission; hence the promise to this class is that all things shall work together for their good.--Romans 8:28.

THE SYRIAN HOST CAPTURED

The Prophet exercised a supernatural power of blinding the Syrian host; but just what the power was or how it was accomplished we can only conjecture. Doubtless their eyes were wide open; and doubtless they saw the hills, valleys, roads, etc.; but the eyes of their understanding were closed, apparently, in some hypnotic manner. Elisha gave them to understand that he would lead them to the proper city; and he did so, guiding them straight to the city of Samaria, in through its gates. There, surrounded by the hosts of the capital, he broke the hypnotic spell. Their eyes opened; and they perceived that they were in the hands of their enemies, who, with drawn swords and leveled spears, offered no opportunity of escape. They had been entrapped, but not to their injury --for their good, for their instruction.

The king of Israel inquired of the Prophet whether or not he should smite these and destroy them, or what. The answer was, "No; feed them and let them return peaceably to their own home." The king caught the spirit of the proposition, and not merely gave them bread and water, such as might be given prisoners, but made them a bountiful feast--treated them royally, treated them as friends. Then they were set free to go to their own land, there to tell the strange experience that had occurred and to demonstrate to their king the impossibility of successfully fighting against the kingdom of Israel under such circumstances.



[R5782 : page 302]

INTERESTING LETTERS

NEWS FROM FRENCH BIBLE STUDENTS

I would be very grateful if you would kindly send me some tracts for distribution among sorrowing hearts, as the poor world is getting disheartened, and this is the right time for presenting to them the Gospel Message. I have already made several such distributions, for which the people were very glad, several of them saying they wished they were already living in that glorious Day. God's Word alone can bring them comfort.--JULES ROY.

Soon an era of righteousness shall be established by Christ and His Bride, of whom we are invited to become a part. What a comfort this thought is to me through all the dangers of this hour! Here new opportunities are afforded me to bring this precious message to the friends--soldiers of my regiment. Now, as soon as I receive the TOWER, some of them want to read it ahead of me. They read also Vol. 1 of the STUDIES from time to time.--ELIE MALINGRAT.

I wish to inform you of the departure of Brother Louis Durieu for the Orient (Dardanelles). Being told to start without delay for Marseilles (where he probably still is), he was unable to write to you himself of his going, and thus to present you his brotherly regards. I was much delighted at the real comfort I derived from reading in the last TOWER that marvelous page about Love. May the Lord bless it for all the Divine Israel!--ELISEE TRULEUX

I am glad to be able to write to you these lines to express my great joy at receiving THE WATCH TOWER (French), which is so interesting and comforting in the troublous times now upon us! What a peace fills our hearts when everything is crashing about us! By the grace of God strengthening us, we are enabled to endure with patience and perseverance the greatest trials permitted of Him for our spiritual welfare. Yes, we can love and praise our good Heavenly Father for His many blessings.--M. NONGAILLARD.

We are very happy here at C__________ (near Dunkirk), being able to devote ourselves freely to holy study during the short time permitted us here below, and we pray the Lord to strengthen our faith upon the solid foundation of Present Truth, so as to better resist the tumultuous current beating about.--H. ROUSSEL.

Here in Liege (Belgium) everything is well in a temporal way, but God has blessed us still more spiritually. As you know, our meetings have never been interrupted. They still take place every Sunday in our hall at the Hawirs, and every Thursday at home. During the first three months of the war we had four meetings a week. Now, work is going on again in all the coal mines and we have been abundantly blessed.--F. PETRIE.

We thank the Lord more and more for having raised Pastor Russell and his valiant fellow-servants, through whom He has so generously and mercifully blessed us. We remember daily before the Throne of Heavenly Grace the great help you lend to the good "grain" already garnered, as well as pray God to strengthen and sustain you by His all-powerful arm in the good fight you have undertaken; also for the cause of Truth for which you have vowed to be faithful unto death, on behalf of all the brethren and sisters.--VICTOR RANDOUR. The following letters from brethren who are prisoners in Germany:

I have had the opportunity to preside at a meeting participated in by more than one hundred people. Helping me were some friends who had also studied the first and second volumes of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, as well as some tracts. With God's assistance, I have been enabled to give my experience before all the Protestants in the camp. The aforesaid friends left in March, I being sick at the time. Since then I have worked to spread the good tidings of the Kingdom. "Do as occasion serve thee, for God is with thee." (1 Samuel 10:7.) I want to work for the Lord, and may His grace be with me!--FREDERIC POLLARD.

With much joy I have received the books you forwarded me. I have read and studied them without ceasing, having asked of our brother J. H. his help to that extent. I have understood and I am following. What is necessary is to win the final victory. The contents of the books, where followed, cause a lasting effect. It is a meat that does not decay.--L. FLAMME (newly interested).

I have received news of my wife and relatives in Rouboix (invaded territory); they are in good health, and so are the dear brethren and sisters there. I see that the Lord knows how to keep His own through all their difficulties, and I pray Him to give each of His beloved children the needed strength to bear every other trial that may still be in store in this evil day. Kindly send me some tracts and booklets, and also, if possible, some English and German tracts for distribution. I thank you for the tracts received and the card, "My Morning Resolve."--JEAN HER.


SCRIPTURE PRECEDENTS FOLLOWED

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

Some time ago I read in THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY of a suit you had entered against Rev. J. J. Ross in Canada.

Now, I am only a humble seeker after truth, and I cannot criticize you, because I have not sufficient knowledge of the Scriptures to do so. There is, however, one point I would like to have cleared up; and if you would be so good as to take up a few lines in THE WATCH TOWER to answer me, I am sure it would do not only me a lot of good, but others also who may have given the matter serious thought.

The question is, dear Pastor, how could you as a follower of Jesus bring suit against a fellow creature, no matter how vilely he talked about you or your work?

You know how our Savior was talked about, and aside from a rebuke He did nothing. At least, He never sought redress through any legal agency. [R5782 : page 303]

I despise the clerical profession, because I know them to be liars and parasites, who suck a fat living from the parish; that is, a good part of them. Of course, there are many noble, misled men amongst them; and I am sure they will be rewarded for whatever good they may have done.

Please, dear Pastor, will you not answer one who is sorely troubled--one who believes your work the grandest ever undertaken, and who loves God and His people, although he feels himself an unworthy sinner--one who hates to think of one who is doing so grand and noble a work for Jesus, as not walking in His footsteps in every respect?

Yours sincerely.
A. WOODS.--New York.

REPLY BY EDITOR

We are not certain that we did the wisest and best thing --the thing most pleasing to the Lord in the matter mentioned. However, the suit against Rev. Ross was not undertaken without consideration of the Lord's will and of the precedents of the Bible.

Amongst Bible students, informed respecting the Divine Word and its requirements, Matthew 18:15-17 is the accepted standard of action:--

(1) Private conference;

(2) If necessary, taking a couple of brethren in a further endeavor to get at the right and to stop what is believed to be the wrong;

(3) In the event of the concurrence of the brethren that the wrong is being done, and of the refusal on the part of the wrong-doer to desist, the third step is to bring the matter before the Church. If the Church agrees, then the wrong-doer, if he still refuses to desist from the wrong course, is to be disfellowshiped--to be barred from any office or service of the Church--treated as an outsider--"like a publican."

We could not see how this rule could be applied to Rev. Ross; for so far as we have knowledge he would have no regard whatever for such proceedings and could not be debarred finally from fellowship, because he recognizes no such fellowship. We felt, therefore, that any proceedings against Rev. Ross must be along the lines which he himself would recognize. He, like other ministers, recognizes the governments of this world as being parts of Christ's Kingdom; and their courts, therefore, as being parts of the Divine Institution. For this reason we felt that we were approaching the subject from a just and Golden Rule standpoint in appealing to the courts of justice, which Rev. Ross recognizes as being The Divine Institution. In other words, we attempted to meet him on his own grounds.

As for Scriptural precedents: Jesus did not need to take His case before the courts, because His enemies did that --taking Him before the chief priests and the Sanhedrin. They condemned Him in the Jewish courts. When before His judges, Jesus offered no resistance, in the sense of using His power, either of eloquence or of Divine energy, to resist their unjust decisions. He merely submitted Himself with the complaint, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou Me?"--John 18:23.

The Apostles, Peter and John, brought before the Sanhedrin court, made their defense. So also did St. Paul. On one occasion, because he thought he was not getting justice, he appealed to Caesar's court for whatever the Roman law might provide. Similarly I appealed to the court having jurisdiction of Rev. Ross, having in mind to stop him from doing evil and from opposing the Message of the Lord, which I am seeking to bear to all people. My attorneys, of course, were obliged to bring their action in harmony with the laws of the land. While the case was still pending, I wrote Rev. Ross, assuring him that I had no unkind intention, and proposing that I would discontinue the suit if he would promise to discontinue his injurious, slanderous course.


[R5783 : page 303]

ENJOYING THE SPIRITUAL FOOD

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

I am reading about ten pages in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES daily. Several times I have tried this plan, but did not continue. This time I am keeping to my lesson as outlined in the Berean Questions.

I have read the volumes several times, but by this method I am surprised at the results. Every day I have a definite study before me, and have more desire for the spiritual food than for the natural. I find it the best way to cultivate love in thought, word and deed. Daily I ask the Father to help me, and daily I render my account. I come far short, but can see progress. Praise His name!

I am speeding along in the race, trusting in every promise and "looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith." I am content, and am watching THE WATCH TOWER for the "light that shineth more and more unto the perfect Day." How it rejoices my heart to know that the time is near when the faithful will partake of the best wine and earth's festivities begin! Much Christian love to yourself and all the family, in which my husband joins.

Your sister in Christ,
MRS. W. W. GOODWIN.--Rhode Island.

EDITOR'S REPLY TO ABOVE

I rejoice with you, dear Sister, in the blessing you are now having from systematic study of the Bible through the daily reading of the volumes, STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, and the Scripture references which they bring to your attention. With the multitudinous affairs of life pressing us, we need to order our lives intelligently in the interest of our new natures. Otherwise, the cares of this life and the deceitful lure of earthly riches would hinder us from obtaining our spiritual food, rest, refreshment and strength--thus incapacitating us for our spiritual blessings and development, and leaving us unfit for a share in the Kingdom.

I think the plan you have adopted of taking the Berean Questions and the portion which they represent as your daily lesson is a good one. As you know, some five years ago many of THE WATCH TOWER readers began systematically to read twelve pages or more every day. Such as have been following this course report splendid success, and show it in their spiritual development. However, I think that your plan of using the Question Books and taking a special lesson for each day is still better. Often the lesson, however, would run over only one page or two; and in such event you, of course, can readily take in several lessons for one day.

The advantage of the Question Books is that they promote study. One of the most important things for people in every walk of life is to learn to think. We have all done very little of this in respect to religion in the past. One of the mistakes which some of the Brethren make in leading Berean Study classes is that they talk too much. The successful Bible Class leader is the one who does comparatively little talking, except in an emergency, but who stimulates thought in the Class through the Questions and through the interrogative form of suggesting answers when necessary rather than giving the answers directly. Bible classes are specially profitable because of the thinking on Bible topics which they arouse.

You do not mention it, dear Sister, but doubtless yourself and husband are getting great blessings from the use of the MANNA Book every morning. It surely has brought a great deal of blessing to many. The text and the comment are quite brief, requiring only a few minutes; then, where there is a considerable number at the table, a further discussion of the text is often very illuminating. Thus the day is well started with helpful thoughts.

I am glad to know that the Morning Resolve and the evening self-examination at the Throne of Grace are also comforting, strengthening to you. You do not mention the Vow. I remember that you and your husband informed me long ago that you had taken it. Nothing that we ever had, I think, has accomplished more of blessing for the readers of THE WATCH TOWER. We have heard from about fifteen thousand that they have taken the Vow, but we doubt not that the number is much larger than this, as continually the dear friends remark to us that they took the Vow years ago, but did not think to mention the fact in writing to us. We are always glad to know of your welfare, and believe the Vow is a special feature of blessing the Lord has ordained for our day. Besides this, it constitutes the most wonderful prayer-circle that was ever known in the world--fifteen thousand or more pledged to each other and to the Lord that they will remember each other and the Harvest work every day in prayer.


FROM BATTLE-TORN RUSSIA

DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--

This is to inform you that I fell into Russian captivity, and after a long journey was brought here to Jelabuga, Russia. I could not bring any religious tracts with me, and now I feel their lack very much. Therefore I earnestly request you to send me your complete works in the German language free of charge. Of course, I will thankfully reimburse you for their expense when we, with God's help, return. At the same time I would request you to send me some Hungarian literature and include with the others.

Please write me a few lines of comfort, and also something regarding conditions existing in the United States. With loving greetings,

Your brother in the Lord,
FALUVEGI DEUES.



page 304

International Bible Students Association Classes

STUDIES AND LECTURES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION



page 305
October 1st

ZION'S
WATCH TOWER
and
Herald of Christ's Presence

ROCK OF AGES
Other foundation can
no man lay
A RANSOM FOR ALL

"Watchman, What of the Night?"
"The Morning Cometh, and a Night also!" Isaiah 21:11

VOL. XXXVIOCTOBER 15No. 20

A. D. 1915--A.M. 6044


CONTENTS

Views From The Watch Tower307
The Millennium of Peace307
Decline to Promote War307
Revolution and Anarchy Coming308
"God Manifest in the Flesh"309
God Manifest in Perfect Humanity309
Our Lord's Beauty of Holiness310
Incarnation Theory Not Scriptural311
Meditations in the Night311
To Serve, Not to Be Served312
Profitless and Profitable Service313
Murders Her Grandchildren314
Too Much Money315
Scriptural Method of Giving315
Eureka Drama--Class Extension316
No National Prejudices317
Interesting Letters318
"Blessed Are They That Trust in Him"318
"Beware of Wolves"319
As Moments Pass, the Kingdom Nears (poem)319

I will stand upon my watch, and set my foot upon the Tower, and will watch to see what He shall say unto me, and what answer I shall make to them that oppose me. Hab. 2:1

Upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity: the sea and the waves (the restless, discontented) roaring: men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking forward to the things coming upon the earth (society): for the powers of the heavens (ecclestiasticism) shall be shaken. . . .When ye see these things come to pass, then know that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Look up, lift up your heads, rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh. -- Luke 21:25-28, 32.

page 306

THIS JOURNAL AND ITS SACRED MISSION

THIS Journal is one of the prime factors or instruments in the system of Bible Instruction, or "Seminary Extension," now being presented in all parts of the civilized world by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, chartered A.D. 1881, "For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge." It not only serves as a class room where Bible Students may meet in the study of the divine Word, but also as a channel of communication through which they may be reached with announcements of the Society's Conventions and of the coming of its traveling representatives styled "Pilgrims," and refreshed with reports of its Conventions.

Our "Berean Lessons" are topical rehearsals or reviews of our Society's published "Studies," most entertainingly arranged, and very helpful to all who would merit the only honorary degree which the Society accords, viz., Verbi Dei Minister (V.D.M.), which translated into English is, Minister of the Divine Word. Our treatment of the International S.S. Lessons is specially for the older Bible Students and Teachers. By some this feature is considered indispensable.

This Journal stands firmly for the defence of the only true foundation of the Christian's hope now being so generally repudiated,--Redemption through the precious blood of "the man Christ Jesus who gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price, a substitute] for all." (I Pet. 1:19; I Tim. 2:6.) Building up on this sure foundation the gold, silver and precious stones (I Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) of the Word of God, its further mission is to--"Make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which...has been hid in God,...to the intent that now might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God"--"which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed."--Eph. 3:5-9,10.

It stands free from all parties, sects and creeds of men, while it seeks more and more to bring its every utterance into fullest subjection to the will of God in Christ, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. It is thus free to declare boldly whatsoever the Lord hath spoken;--according to the divine wisdom granted unto us, to understand. Its attitude is not dogmatical, but confident; for we know whereof we affirm, treading with implicit faith upon the sure promises of God. It is held as a trust, to be used only in his service; hence our decisions relative to what may and what may not appear in its columns must be according to our judgment of his good pleasure, the teaching of his Word, for the upbuilding of his people in grace and knowledge. And we not only invite but urge our readers to prove all its utterances by the infallible Word to which reference is constantly made, to facilitate such testing.

TO US THE SCRIPTURES CLEARLY TEACH

That the Church is "the Temple of the Living God"--peculiarly "His
workmanship;" that its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel age--ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and the chief corner stone of this Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessings shall come "to all people," and they find access to him.--1 Cor. 3:16,17; Eph. 2:20-22; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.
That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing, of consecrated believers
in Christ's atonement for sin, progresses; and when the last of these "living stones," "elect and precious," shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with his glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium.--Rev. 15:5-8.
That the Basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that
"Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man," "a ransom for all," and will be "the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," "in due time."--Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5,6.
That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, "see him
as he is," be "partaker of the divine nature," and share his glory as his joint-heir.--1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.
That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for
the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be the kings and priests of the next age.--Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.
That the hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity
to be brought to by Christ's Millennial Kingdom--the restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and his glorified Church.--Acts 3:19-21; Isa. 35.
 
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Editor.




PUBLISHED BY
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
CHARLES T. RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
"BROOKLYN TABERNACLE," 13-17 HICKS ST.,
BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

Foreign Agencies:--British Branch: LONDON TABERNACLE, Lancaster Gate, London, W. German Branch: Unterdorner Str., 76, Barmen. Australasian Branch: Flinders Building, Flinders St., Melbourne. Please address the SOCIETY in every case.


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE, $1.00 (4s.) IN ADVANCE.
SEND MONEY BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED.
FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY.


Terms to the Lord's Poor as Follows:--All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied Free if they send a Postal Card each May stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the STUDIES, etc.



ALSO FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH AND DANISH EDITIONS.
SAMPLE COPIES FREE.


ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER AT BROOKLYN, N.Y., POSTOFFICE. ENTERED AS SECOND-CLASS MATTER AT THE POSTOFFICE DEPT., OTTAWA, CANADA.

LOCAL CONVENTIONS

The friends at various places where Brother Russell will be addressing the public are arranging for little, quiet, local conventions. Places intending such gatherings have sent us the particulars named below.

For information respecting board and lodging at economical rates address the class secretaries.

     DETROIT, Mich., October 16, 17.
          Dr. E. A. McCosh, Sec'y, 309 Broadway, Market Bldg.
     ADRIAN, Mich., October 17.
          H. Sillaway, Sec'y, 134-1/2 E. Beecher St.
     BAY CITY, Mich., October 18.
          A. E. Hendricks, Sec'y, 512 Ketchum St.
     ERIE, Pa., October 19.
          O. R. Frederick, Sec'y, R.F.D., No. 5.
     CHICAGO, Ill., October 23.
          A. L. Seeley, Sec'y, 7150 Langley Ave.
     DES MOINES, Ia., October 23, 24.
          J. A. Irving, Sec'y, 1548 11th St.
     DUBUQUE, Ia., October 24, 25, 26.
          E. C. Mahon, Sec'y, P.O. Box 155.
     DAVENPORT, Ia., October 24, 25, 26, 27.
          Miss L. M. Albertson, Sec'y, The St. James.
     ROCKFORD, Ill., October 26.
          E. A. Gleasman, Sec'y, 413 N. Winnebago St.
     PARSONS, Kans., October 28.
          R. R. Wilson, Sec'y, 2521 Grand Ave.
     JOPLIN, Mo., October 29.
          J. P. Hemphill, Sec'y, 527 N. Wall St.
     WEBB CITY, Mo., October 30.
          Mrs. W. A. Van Sickle, 1018 W. Aylor St.
     ST. LOUIS, Mo., October 31.
          J. H. Hoeveler, Sec'y, 6126 Waterman Ave.



[R5783 : page 307]

VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER

THE MILLENNIUM OF PEACE
--A PROMINENT NEW YORK BANKER'S OPINION--

THE cost of the war is now around $50,000,000 per day, and the amount spent thus far for a year of war is estimated to have been about $15,500,000,000. The wealth of the United States has been computed to be something in the neighborhood of $189,000,000,000. The first year of war has cost about one twelfth of this vast amount. At this rate of destruction a sum equal to the total wealth of the United States would be wiped out in twelve years.

"But to this money cost of a year's war must be added the value of manufacturing and other buildings in villages, towns and cities, all or a large part of which have been destroyed, of crops devastated, of goods and household properties ruined, and of vast further losses sustained in the communities, which are being fire-and-shot-swept in the path of the contending armies. Nothing is included here of the industrial value of human lives which have been destroyed by the millions. Not taking into account the agony and grief which engulfs all Europe, the contemplation of the economic waste of war is appalling. And it is no wonder that the minds of many millions turn to the problem of how peace can be brought about. It is a fact, however, that these problems occupy the thoughts of people in this and other neutral countries more than they do those of the belligerent nations. The National City Bank, in its August circular, says that the appalling destructive results of the year of war signify practically nothing as to when the conflict will end; that there are no signs that either side is running out of men or money or that the people of any of the warring countries are weakening in resolution or confidence.

"For many people on this side it is impossible to understand this, but when it is thoroughly appreciated that a patched-up-peace would mean merely a deferring of further fighting until recuperation could be effected and that then the whole bloody conflict would have to be fought out over again to an even bitterer end, the determination of the belligerents will be better understood. There is only one result which can now be accepted as an outcome of this world war, and that is a result which will mean disarmament of the nations and a peace of a thousand years. With every country stripped of its fighting organizations, and safety in the keeping of an international police force, the vast sums wrung by taxation from the various people for keeping up prodigious armies and navies would be turned to the arts of peace and commerce and relieved from the terrible burden and anxiety which has increasingly oppressed Europe for years, the countries of the world would devote themselves individually to the winning of prosperity and happiness.

"The national debts of the warring countries have nearly doubled since the war began, and carrying these will entail added taxation in the years to come. If a peace were now concluded which did not make later conflict impossible, this added taxation for paying interest on an enormously increased National debt besides the immense sums for which the countries would be taxed to establish new and larger military organizations, would make the life of individuals unbearable. Repudiation of National debts might, and would, be very likely to follow.

"The war must be fought to a conclusion which will positively prevent a recurrence of conditions that will [R5784 : page 307] make it possible for any nation to attack another. Death of militarism is the only hope of peace. And this country is as much interested in such a conclusion as are any of the combatants.

"If we look at our own position selfishly, it will be seen that any other result would place us in the ring of nations which must defend its rights by preponderating military and naval power. By the course of events we are already placed in that position and must now take up at once the task and enormous expense of placing ourselves in readiness to meet with powerful equipment of men and munitions, near or remote contingencies on land or sea.

"In the meantime the influence of the United States must be used in whatever way may be most efficient to bring about world disarmament as the only means of preserving civilization, the very existence of which is now threatened."--Bache Review.


DECLINE TO PROMOTE WAR

Editorially the New York American says: "Very soon after the war broke out it became evident that each of the belligerents would be short of money before many months had elapsed. It was also evident that sooner or later loans would be sought in America. The prevailing opinion was that Germany and Austria would be first to seek loans, since England, France and Russia had piled up nearly twice as much gold in preparation for war as had the Teutonic empires.

"In no long time it turned out that a German loan was sought to be floated in this country. Under these circumstances [R5784 : page 308] --the Germans actually seeking a loan and England and France being probable loan seekers--certain American bankers inquired of the Administration whether the Government would look with tolerance upon the making of war-loans by Americans to foreign belligerent powers. The answer was an emphatic negative. In the exact words of Mr. Wilson these bankers were told that any effort to finance loans for belligerents during the war 'WOULD BE INCONSISTENT WITH THE SPIRIT OF NEUTRALITY.'


***

"The Administration no longer deems it the 'best practise of nations in the matter of neutrality' to discourage the exportation of arms and munitions to foreign belligerents. It believes in encouraging not only the ordinary manufacture and sale of weapons and ammunition, but the most EXTRAORDINARY efforts to supply belligerents with these means of murder in IMMENSE QUANTITIES. It no longer believes that floating foreign war loans in the United States is 'inconsistent with the spirit of neutrality.'

"The Administration has just let it be known through the Secretary of State that the Government looks with favor upon the efforts of the British Commission to negotiate in this country the unprecedented war-loan of a thousand million dollars.

"That the Administration is no longer in favor of praying for peace we will not affirm. But we do affirm that a prayer for peace is an insult to the ear of God when the Administration employs its power to promote the shipments of arms and the loans of millions which alone make the prolongation of war possible and which alone prevent the early making of peace.

"These statements are not partisan political declamation. They are plain statements of 'INDISPUTABLE AND UNDISPUTED FACTS.' If the people of the United States want the European war prolonged, they can prolong it for months, possibly for years. All they need to do is to supply the European Governments with ammunition and money. The European Governments will supply the men to be butchered. They will supply the victims of wholesale murder, if we will make the weapons of wholesale murder and lend the money to continue the murderous use of those weapons in the full force of their destructiveness over a sufficiently protracted period.

"What else can be said of the attempt to borrow one thousand millions in this country save that it is an attempt to prolong the war, and to make the war even more hideously murderous and destructive than it is?

"The exact truth is that Mr. Morgan and his foreign allies ask the neutral people of the United States to supply four civilized nations of Europe with the money and weapons to destroy two other civilized nations.

"The people of the United States are asked to do for England, France, Italy and Russia exactly what the Japanese are doing. The Japanese Premier told the Japanese Diet last week that at the peace conference Japan would certainly insist on her share of the spoils if the allies were victorious, BECAUSE JAPAN HAD RENDERED MORE EFFICIENT AID TO HER ALLIES BY MANUFACTURING WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION THAN SHE COULD HAVE DONE BY SENDING HER ARMY AND NAVY TO THEIR HELP. And what Japan, a confessed ally and declared belligerent, is doing is exactly what we are told it is our neutral duty to do.

"A plain-thinking, honest man is hard put to it to distinguish the difference between hostility and neutrality, WHEN BOTH RENDER EXACTLY THE SAME SERVICE TO THE SAME BELLIGERENTS, THOUGH ONE IS A DECLARED ALLY AND THE OTHER A PROFESSED NEUTRAL.

"As things are going, and with no guilt of blood on our hands, the financial domination of the world is surely within our grasp. The British pound, the French franc, the German mark are all falling in value compared with the American dollar. Thus a great and favorable exchange profit comes to the legitimate manufacturer and producer of the United States.

"Wall Street financiers propose that we shall actually strip ourselves of the one huge innocent advantage of the war, in order to secure the payment of blood-money to the makers of the weapons of murder and to prolong indefinitely the grief and guilt of the war.

"Against this unpatriotic, this unprofitable, this unneutral, this inhuman course of proposed conduct we protest in the name of neutrality, in the name of patriotism, in the name of humanity, and, finally, in the name of civilization itself, thus menaced and imperilled and rapidly being brought face to face with the destruction of all its gains through so many wonderful centuries of the white man's struggles and achievements."


REVOLUTION AND ANARCHY COMING

In some of the statements following, the Editor of the New York American, probably without the slightest knowledge of the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER and his presentations, has used language that is almost identical in respect to the outlook--that, after the present war will come the greatest revolution ever known and that it will be followed by anarchy. What the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER discerns from the teaching of the Bible and has expressed for the last forty years the Editor of the American now sees without the aid of prophetic information. Doubtless before long the entire world will begin to see the same thing with the eyes of their understanding and, later on, with their natural sight. THE WATCH TOWER is not to be understood as endorsing the New York American or its presentations, past, present or future, on all subjects. We have quoted from it, and are quoting again in this issue, matters which show that its Editor is awake and approximating facts and experiences that soon will be manifest to all. We quote as follows:--

FROM THE NEW YORK AMERICAN SEPTEMBER 28TH:

"The Wall Street promoters of the European war loan have told the English and French Commissioners that they are unwilling to murder the manhood of Europe, to make widows of the women, orphans of the children and mourners of the mothers for five per cent, BUT THEY WILL DO IT FOR FIVE AND ONE-HALF PER CENT.

"They have said they would not be responsible for the protraction of this wicked war, the further destruction of inestimable treasures in Europe, the inevitable and possibly disastrous complications in our own financial and political and diplomatic situation here in America for five per cent, BUT THEY WILL FOR ONE-HALF OF ONE PER CENT MORE.

"They have sternly declared that they will not repudiate America's high political principles and abandon America's lofty humanitarian ideas and imperil America's material progress and prosperity for anything less than that additional ONE-HALF OF ONE PER CENT.

"The measure of the conscience, the humanity and patriotism of Wall Street is now clearly defined and mathematically expressed.

"The probabilities now are that the loan will be made, the additional pound of flesh, or half pound of flesh, having been guaranteed, but the punishment for America's evil participation in Europe's wicked war will duly and deservedly come through the revolution and repudiation which are very likely to follow this war. [R5784 : page 309]

"The first rumblings of revolution are already discernible in Russia, and discontent among the working classes is beginning to spread to a considerable extent in Great Britain.

"If the war is sufficiently prolonged there will undoubtedly be revolution and probably red anarchy in most of the nations involved in the war.

"In the wake of revolution will follow repudiation of public obligations or depreciation so great that it will amount to repudiation. [R5785 : page 309]

"If any reader, accustomed to the security of peace, imagines that such depreciation is impossible, let him recall the fact that in French Revolutionary times assignats depreciated to less than three per cent of their value, and assignats, too, were better than treasury notes, for they at least had the value of the land behind them.

"Perhaps even FIVE AND ONE-HALF per cent. interest is insufficient inducement for a loan which in the eventualities of war and revolution may become worth less than three cents on the dollar.

"If any reader, accustomed to the sound and stable government of this country, believes that revolution is not now possible in any European State, let him ask himself frankly how long he believes the strong-bodied, stern-minded, plain people of Europe are going to endure the immeasurable misery of this unnatural war into the hellish depths of which they have been precipitated by the vanities and inanities, the enmities and jealousies of their arrogant and ambitious rulers.

"Revolutions are not respectful of royalty, nor of constituted authority, nor of the established order. Revolutions are not regardful of the financial obligations of a deposed and discarded system. Revolutions exhibit no such soft and suave consideration for money and the money power as calm and conservative governments do.


***

"To evade their humanitarian obligations, and avoid heavy and harrowing responsibilities, the loan promoters of Wall Street say that the particular marked dollars of this loan shall not be used for the purchase of arms and ammunition. Such a statement, however, is insincere and inconclusive.

"We are increasing the financial resources of the countries to which we make this loan by the exact amount of the loan, and their additional financial resources enable them to buy additional arms and ammunition."



[R5785 : page 309]

"GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH"

"Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels."--1 Timothy 3:16.
GOD, the great Origin, or Fountain of Life, is pleased to manifest Himself in various creations. And all of His intelligent creations which He recognized as sons, were of His likeness. The Logos, the beginning of God's creation, was in the Divine likeness. Not only was He a spirit Being (and God is a Spirit), but more than this, He was a spirit Being in the character-likeness of His Father, His Creator.

Moreover, when the Logos became the active Agent of the Father in creating the various orders--angels, cherubim, seraphim--they were all created in the image of the Father. The angel sons of God sang together and shouted for joy as they saw the different creations. When it came time to make a still different order of creatures, an order that had never before existed; namely, human beings, God carried out through the Logos, His purpose of creating man in His own image, His own likeness. And God declared Himself well pleased with man.

A description of the first man is given us in the Eighth Psalm: "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou has put all things under his feet; all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea." Adam was the master, or king, of all these. He represented something that the angels did not represent; for none of them were ever set over anything. God Himself is Ruler of all things, and Adam and the Logos were the only ones who were in any sense of the word set over anything.

When God made man, He made him like Himself in this particular--that he had a dominion. When the angels were created, they were God manifest in different orders of beings--cherubim, seraphim and the lower orders of angels. When it came to the creation of man, he also was made in God's image. God was manifest in flesh. But we cannot say that God is manifest in the flesh now. The original likeness to God has been obliterated by sin. The reign of Sin and Death has to a considerable extent erased these traces of God's image. And the Scriptures plainly show us that we have lost this image and likeness of the Creator.

Adam was called a son of God because he was in covenant relationship with God; but when he became a sinner, he lost this relationship. None of the Jews were sons of God. Abraham was styled a friend of God. Although God had approved of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Prophets and others in Israel, and indicated that a great blessing would be theirs, they could not be treated as sons. God said, in substance, when speaking to Abraham, My friend, I will show to you My Covenant. "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

GOD MANIFEST IN PERFECT HUMANITY

Everything must wait until that great antitypical Seed of Abraham should come. We have the record of how this One would come who was to be the Deliverer, the Antitypical Seed of Abraham. After reasoning about the Logos--how He was made flesh and dwelt amongst men --St. John declares that Jesus had the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, full of truth. This was the way above all others in which God was manifest in the flesh.

When the lower animals saw Adam, they saw the very best representation of God possible to them. Nothing could be made in the flesh that would be more like God. And when the time came for God to send His Son into the world, He set before Him the great privilege of being man's Redeemer. And when He was made flesh, all those who beheld Him saw the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father. When any looked upon Him, they saw the Father in the most absolute sense in which it would be possible for them to see Him.

God said to Moses, "No man shall see My face and live." Saul of Tarsus merely had a glimpse of Jesus glorified, and yet the glory was so great that if he had had a full look he would not have lived. Jesus was the express image of the Father. Jesus is the express image of the Father. And if no man can see God and live, then he cannot see Jesus and live.

GOD MANIFEST IN THE PRINCES

But God has made a provision that when Christ's Kingdom shall be established amongst men, there will be [R5785 : page 310] earthly representatives through whom Messiah will govern and uplift mankind during the thousand years. God has just such a class prepared and ready for this work-- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the other Ancient Worthies. These are to be counted worthy of an instantaneous change to human perfection. These experience no change of nature in their resurrection, because they were not begotten of the Spirit. There was no one begotten of the Spirit until Pentecost, except our Lord at Jordan. "The Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." Therefore those Ancient Worthies had merely the testimony that they pleased God. Because of their loyalty to God and the principles of righteousness, some of these Ancient Worthies were stoned; some were sawn asunder; some were tempted; some were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy." --Hebrews 11:37-40.

These, although they had received God's Promise, received not the things promised them. For instance, God had promised Abraham, "All the land which thou seest will I give unto thee." Abraham must have a resurrection in order for God's Word to come true. He must get that land. But there was no suggestion to Abraham of glory, honor, and immortality--no suggestion to him of becoming a partaker of the Divine nature and a joint-heir with Jesus. See Acts 7:5; Hebrews 11:17-19.

This change of nature began with Jesus. Christ has brought to men not only the knowledge of life and immortality, but also that there is a privilege of gaining this life with Him: "Which salvation began to be spoken by our Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him." (Hebrews 2:3.) But the Ancient Worthies had the faith to believe God, to trust His Promise and to wait for the fulfilment of that Promise. They merely had the intimation that God would roll away the curse. And Abraham's Seed was to be the glorious channel of God's blessing--"In thee and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." So St. Paul tells us that they received not the things promised them, "God having provided some better thing for us [the Gospel Church], that they without us should not be made perfect."--Heb. 11:40.

The Ancient Worthies cannot get their blessing before we get ours. The Bride must be glorified before any of the faithful of the past can come in and get their blessing. Then forthwith the Kingdom will be established. And then Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the other Worthies will be the first children of Christ. Instead of being the fathers, they will be the children, and He will make them princes, rulers, in all the earth. (Psalm 45:16.) Being resurrected perfect men, they will be the perfect images of God. In each one of these Ancient Worthies God will be manifest in the flesh. They will be princes at that time and rule the earth, under Christ's Kingdom.

Jesus corroborated this thought when He said, "Ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the Prophets, in the Kingdom of God." (Luke 13:28.) Of Himself He said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more." (John 14:19.) If we should not be changed to spirit-conditions by the power of our resurrection, we would not see Him any more than will others who will continue on the human plane. The dead in Christ rise first (1 Thessa. 4:16,17), and those "who are alive and remain," will, at His manifestation, be made like Him, be "changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." At the moment of our change we shall see not only our Lord, but all the holy angels, all on the spirit plane, who are now invisible to us. They can see humanity, but humanity cannot see them.

God was manifest in the flesh; first, in the case of Adam; second, in the case of Jesus; and third, He will be manifest in the flesh of those Ancient Worthies, who will be reckoned deserving of a better resurrection than the rest of the world.

OUR LORD'S BEAUTY OF HOLINESS

When in derision the soldiers placed upon the head of our Lord a crown of thorns and arrayed Him in a purple robe, and led Him into the judgment hall, Pilate looked upon Him in admiration, and exclaimed, "Behold the Man!" or (see Strong's Concordance) "Behold the countenance!" I am a Gentile and not of your race. But here you have sent to me for sentence the most glorious Jew on earth! None can have a really beautiful character without the inner beauty being reflected in the face. If a man be a vicious character, he cannot hide it from his features. If he be of a loving disposition, it will show in his face. What then, shall we think of our Lord! His face must have been one of marvelous beauty! No wonder the people flocked to see Him because of His graciousness of speech and His wonderful beauty--the image of God!

The Psalmist has asked, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that Thou visitest [carest for] him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor." (Psalm 8:4,5.) But man has fallen into sin, alienation, darkness! The Satanic influence works sin and has brought about man's fall from the image of his Creator. It is God's great purpose to bring humanity back from sin and imperfection. He will uplift all those who desire to be righteous.

"We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor [the perfection of human nature]; that He by the grace [favor] of God should taste death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9.) We see the broad basis of God's Plan laid in the redemptive work at Calvary. We see that it must be the Redeemer's life that would be the price of human redemption. "For since by man came death, by man comes also the resurrection of the dead. For as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ [The Anointed, The Messiah], the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at His Coming [Greek, during His presence]." (1 Corinthians 15:21-23.) Jesus says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection." Such shall be kings and priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

So, then, "God manifest in the flesh" was clearly exhibited in the Man Christ Jesus in His perfection. But God was specially and more particularly manifest in the flesh of Jesus when He presented Himself to John at Jordan as He reached the period of thirty years of age, and there gave Himself sacrificially. "Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God." There He offered Himself without spot, in harmony with God's will. And the Divine acceptance was indicated in the form of a dove coming upon Him-- not that the Holy Spirit is like a dove, but that God gave the outward manifestation so that John would have some means of identification of the Messiah, so that he could say, "I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him."

From the time of Jesus' baptism God dwelt in Him in a peculiar manner. As the Apostle John says of the [R5785 : page 311] Church, God dwelleth in us and we in God. (1 John 4:16.) The Father took up His abode in Jesus, and qualified Him to make known the Divine Plan. Our Lord said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."--Luke 4:16-21.

OUR LORD'S TEMPTATION IN THE WILDERNESS

From the time Jesus received the Holy Spirit, we read that the Heavenly things were made known unto Him. For as the Apostle says, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God...neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." When Jesus, therefore, received the begetting of the Holy Spirit, He received spiritual discernment. He came to see how the types of the Old Testament fitted to Himself. He saw that the serpent in the wilderness represented Himself.

When He saw these things, we remember that He was in the wilderness. He had the entire Scriptures in His mind. From childhood He had been in the habit of attending the synagogue; and with His perfect mind, the Scriptures would be thoroughly engraved there. He could quote Scripture ad libitum. And when Satan quoted the Scriptures, Jesus understood them.

At the end of the forty days, when Jesus was weak from fasting, was the most favorable time for the Adversary to tempt Him. When He had before Him the thought of all the shame and ignominy connected with His sacrificial death, it would be enough to make any one's heart quail! The moment when he realized that He was to be counted as a blasphemer, and contrary to God, was the most opportune moment for Satan. And the Father permitted Him to be tempted--permitted the Adversary to tempt Him at this particular time.

Then Satan addressed himself to the mind of our Lord: I know you very well. We had a long acquaintance in the past, and I know the mission on which you have come. You do not realize, I know, the power that came upon You when You were baptized. I beheld how the power of God came upon You. You have need only to command these stones to be turned into bread. I realize that You can do a great work, and I would like to join with You in the matter. But first of all, You should have something to eat.

Jesus knew Satan--He knew that Satan was Lucifer, who had rebelled against the Divine Government, and who was imprisoned on this planet. When Satan appeared to Jesus, we may be sure that he tried to appear as an angel of light, and to pretend that he wished to be on God's side, and that he now wished to cooperate with God. But Jesus knew that His power was not given Him for the purpose of sustaining His life, and He would not yield to the temptation.

Therefore Satan next took Him to a high mountain-- this was in the spirit of their minds--and showed Him how he--Satan--was "the prince of this world" and all the kingdoms thereof. And he said, You see, then, that I have the power to help You. Can You afford to be without such assistance? I am in sympathy with You. You will save mankind and deliver them all from death. Instead of Your having to suffer, as God's Plan is, we will work together, and You shall not have to suffer. But first, You must acknowledge me. That was the way I started out. I wanted to show what kind of a kingdom I could set up. I said, "I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High," I will have an empire of my own. I advise You to come in and share with me. I will give You all the glory You could ask. I intend to be the prince of this world. Do You not see that everything is in my hands?

But in these temptations Jesus conquered. And the victory was so complete that Satan thought it not worth while to tempt Him again! He thought that if he could not move Jesus when He was on the verge of starvation, it was of no use to try any further. So he never made another attempt, so far as the record goes.

THE INCARNATION THEORY NOT SCRIPTURAL

After this, as Jesus went about doing good, healing the sick, and preaching to the people, everything was in perfect conformity to the Father's will. If the Father had been there incarnated in a fleshly body, He could not have done His own will more perfectly. But Jesus was not incarnated. The incarnation of our Lord is only a theory invented during the Dark Ages. For He humbled Himself to become a man, and "He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow [both in Heaven and in the earth],...and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."-- Philippians 2:8-11.



[R5785 : page 311]

MEDITATIONS IN THE NIGHT

"My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips, when I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches."--Psalm 63:5,6.
BY THE expression as to satisfying his soul with marrow and fatness, the Prophet David evidently referred to the abundance of God's favor and blessing which had come to him. He had a large portion, a fat portion, and appreciated God's goodness, God's favor toward him, taking him as a shepherd boy from among the flocks, and privileging him to engage in His service and finally bringing him to the throne as the king of Israel. For all this he was very grateful to the Lord. He appreciated all of God's blessings. It was appropriate that his mouth should give praise, that he should be joyful, that he should speak of the Lord's loving-kindness. So we find in the Psalms of David many beautiful expressions in which he gives great praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty. He speaks also of God's majesty, of His wondrous power and might, and refers to the heavens as His handiwork.

The Prophet certainly used his tongue to praise the Lord. When we consider that he lived in a time when schooling was limited and that he got very little of it, we realize that he certainly made good use of what he obtained. The fruit of his labor has come down to bless the world all through the centuries. He intimates that he did this singing or praising God to some extent in the night--"when I remember Thee upon my bed and meditate upon Thee in the night watches." In ancient [R5785 : page 312] times the people were more dependent upon the moon and stars for light at night, not having as we have today full provision for illumination by means of refined oil, gas, electricity, etc. Mr. Rockefeller had not yet been born, nor modern inventions dreamed of. They were dependent for artificial light upon olive oil, and that was not very plentiful. As a consequence, the people went to bed early. So King David was thinking upon the Almighty as he lay upon his bed, meditating upon God-- he was not thinking foolish thoughts, not planning foolish doings. When we think of this, we are not surprised that his mind was full of beautiful thoughts.

NOBLEST SUBJECT FOR MEDITATION

Whoever has time for meditation, will receive a great blessing if his thoughts shall turn toward the Almighty, acknowledging His goodness, seeking to give praise to God for all His manifold mercies, meditating upon God in the night watches. As far as this verse is concerned, we see no reason for thinking it prophetic; yet it represents any who are seeking to be in harmony with God. There are millions of people in the world who have never heard of God's wonderful Plan; therefore our mouths should be used in praising God. We should be continually remembering the Lord in all of our moments of rest, whether upon a bed, or wherever it may be. We should cultivate the habit of meditating upon Him. We think very few people meditate upon the Lord; and it is to their disadvantage that they do not.

The great and holy Laws of God find expression in Him. We should think of God as the personification of all that is just, loving, kind, wise, in character and principle. This should stimulate us to be like Him. The more we appreciate a noble character the more we desire to emulate it. The more we see of God's mighty works in nature and His mercies toward us, in that same proportion our hearts and lips will praise Him. If there is a prophetic thought connected with this passage, it is that all through the Dark Ages, all through the night time of this Age, God's faithful people have been praising Him. All of His true people have been praising Him and have done so with joyful lips. Those who have not been doing this are not of this class. We should, therefore, render praise to our God. We should meditate more and more upon His Holy will and ways, and strive to conform ourselves thereto. Thus shall we become more and more like unto our Father in Heaven.



[R5785 : page 312]

TO SERVE, NOT TO BE SERVED

"The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."-- Matthew 20:28.
THE Master was impressing upon His hearers the difference between Himself and other great kings. He had come to be King of Israel, in fulfilment of Scripture prophecy. Unlike earthly rulers He was not seeking to learn how much He could get out of the people, but how much He could do for the people. He was not selfish. He was not trying to see how little He could serve and how much others could serve Him; but on the contrary, how little others might do for Him and how much He could do for others. And this is His expectation in respect to His followers. He and His disciples, called with a Heavenly Calling, called to a Heavenly Kingdom, are not called to be selfish or to appropriate honors to themselves for their own gratification; but they are called to service--especially to the service of the people of God. This is the true meaning of the word minister; namely, one who serves.

It is especially appropriate that all who are followers of the Lord Jesus should remember that we have each been called to service; and that those who are ministering in spiritual things, those who are especially known by the name of "minister," should bear in mind that theirs is an office which calls for service, not to themselves, but to others; and that they have consecrated their lives thus to serve. Our Lord entered upon His ministry at His consecration. Of His life previous to His baptism at Jordan, the Scriptures say very little, so that the more attention may be attracted to His three and a half years of ministry in the Truth, when He was laying down His life for others--for His friends and also for His foes.

The same is true of all His followers. Our ministry begins at the time of our consecration. We are not authorized to minister, or serve, in holy things until we have entered upon the way which the Lord has pointed out to us. We are not today, however, obliged to wait until we have reached the age of thirty before we begin our ministry; but at as early an age as we can comprehend what we are engaging to perform, we may give our lives to the Lord and to the service of the Truth and of the brethren. This is because we are not under the Law covenant.--Romans 3:19. [R5786 : page 312]

ONLY A SON OF MAN COULD SERVE AS RANSOMER OF MAN

Our Lord speaks of Himself as the Son of Man, who came to "minister, and to give His life a Ransom for many." He was indeed the Son of God, even while He was the Son of Man. The perfect man Adam, before his fall into sin, was a son of God. Our Lord in calling Himself the Son of Man was emphasizing the fact that He was no longer on the spirit plane, but on the human plane. He came to earth for a specific purpose--as He explained, to minister, to serve. He could not have done the necessary service for man as a spirit being. The requirement was that He should become a man in order to ransom mankind. He could ransom man only by becoming man. He could purchase life for the perfect Adam and the race who lost life in him only by becoming a perfect man.

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a man's life for a man's life," was the demand of the Divine Law. Adam had sinned, and must be redeemed before he could be restored, either physically, mentally, or morally, or could be returned to God's favor. Jesus had come to make possible this full restoration. His life was devoted to the service of others, and He completed this great service in His death on the cross. Throughout His earthly sojourn He gave us a noble example of the proper life of those who would be followers in His footsteps.

OUR SERVICE PARTICULARLY FOR THE NEW CREATION

Many misunderstand the Bible and think that now is the time to save the world. Hence they are spending all their time and energies to comfort and uplift humanity. They are indeed engaged in laudable efforts; for every good work or effort is to be commended. But to those who are rightly informed respecting the Divine Plan there is another, a far higher work, to be done now. The work of God in the present Age has not been the reformation of the world, but the development of the New Creation. This work is not yet fully completed. If we would work the work of God, our works must relate to the New [R5786 : page 313] Creation preeminently. We may do good unto all men as we have opportunity, as the Apostle says, but especially are we to serve the Household of Faith.

Jesus was in line for this work of ministry. Although there were no New Creatures as yet, while He was here in the flesh, His work was to prepare for these New Creatures. His work was the gathering out of some who would be faithful footstep followers of Himself, and the laying down of His life on their behalf and on behalf of the whole world.

In the context we note the fact that two of Jesus' disciples were especially desirous at this time of sitting upon the Throne with the Master in His Kingdom, one upon His right and the other upon His left. Jesus did not condemn them for this desire, but pointed out to them how difficult were the conditions, and asked them whether they were able to comply with these conditions. They replied, "We are able." They were willing, at least. That their answer was pleasing to Jesus was manifested by His words, "Ye shall indeed drink of My cup, and be baptized with My baptism." They asked for places in the Kingdom very near to Him. Jesus informed them that He was not Himself able to give them such places--that the places would not be given according to favor, but according to justice; and that the Father would dispense these.

ARE WE MEETING THE NECESSARY CONDITIONS?

The place that we occupy in the Kingdom will depend much upon the extent to which we become ministers, or servants. And if we simply try to get as much as possible out of others and to give as little as possible, we shall not be such characters as the Lord is seeking for rulership in the Kingdom; in fact, we would not gain the Kingdom at all. He is seeking a very choice class. This class will all be servants, willing and glad to serve, esteeming it a great privilege to lay down their lives in the service of the brethren, to the extent of their ability and opportunity; for the service of the brethren is the service of God, to whom they have rendered themselves in consecration, to whom they have professed to devote their lives.



[R5786 : page 313]

PROFITLESS AND PROFITABLE SERVICE

"Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing."--1 Corinthians 13:3.
THE Apostle has been discussing the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In chapter 12 he has shown that the Lord gave one or more miraculous gifts to each one of the early Church who accepted the Gospel Message and became a follower of Christ. These gifts were for two purposes; for the benefit of the person himself, and also for a testimony to outsiders. The Gospel Message was new, and some effective and convincing methods were necessary to the starting of the infant Church. After pointing out these various gifts and intimating that the gift of public teaching, oratory, was the most valuable, St. Paul says, "And yet I show unto you a more excellent way." He then assures them that the fruits of the Spirit are far more important; and that Love is the most valuable fruit, without which all gifts, all zeal, would be valueless.

There are Christian people today who greatly lament that the Church of our time does not have the gifts possessed by the early Church. They feel sure that the absence of these gifts of the Spirit at present denotes a great lack of faith and faithfulness among God's people. But these seem not to have noticed that the Apostle Paul assured the Church of his day that these gifts would pass away. Hear him: "Love never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge [miraculous knowledge or ability to understand], it shall vanish away....And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." (Vs. 8,13.) We see that these miraculous gifts passed away gradually. They were conferred only by the Apostles, and hence after the death of the Apostles and of those upon whom the Apostles had laid their hands in conferring the gifts, no others could receive them. The possession of one or more of these gifts, however, did not signify acceptance in the Kingdom of Heaven. A man might have some of those miraculous gifts at that time, and still be a castaway.

To whatever extent the Christian cultivates faith, hope, and love, to that extent he is cultivating that which will be eternal. Among these three Love stands first. There is an important sense in which Faith will fail; for when Faith shall be swallowed up in sight, there will not be the need of its exercise that now exists. There is also an important sense in which Hope will cease. For when that which is perfect shall have come, when Hope is lost in full fruition, we shall not need to hope as now. As St. Paul says, "For what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" We shall continue to have hope in that we shall always be looking forward to glories to come; and we shall exercise Faith in that we shall never lose confidence in the Lord and His goodness and faithfulness or in one another; but Faith and Hope will not be necessary in the same sense as now. Love, however, will never fail in any sense or degree, but will only enlarge and deepen. "Love never faileth"; it is a characteristic of God Himself, and every perfect being will be an embodiment of this glorious quality. Those possessing the Divine nature will have it to the fullest degree, in its highest attainment.

It is in connection with this contrast between the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that the Apostle uses the language of the text under consideration. Who would give all his goods to feed the poor but from love? We reply, There might be less worthy motives for so doing, as the Apostle intimates. If there be no love, it profiteth nothing. If there be much love, it profiteth much. If there be a little love, it profiteth a little. We believe that the most of those who give to the poor have some love. We believe that many of the benefactions of today are prompted by love. To whatever extent an act of benevolence is thus prompted it will bring a blessing. To whatever extent it is prompted by selfishness and a desire for vainglory it will bring no blessing. This is true either of the Church or of the world.

The giving of the goods to feed the poor might be done with a view to popularity or to selfish advancement. The Pharisees made a great show of their holiness; but love was not the mainspring of their actions. Our Lord said that they had their reward--which was the praise of men. If a politician running for an office were to give his goods to feed the poor and those poor voted for him at the polls, he would have his reward. Why should he have two rewards? He got his votes, and that was his [R5786 : page 314] object in his distributions. But the reward which the Lord gives is both a present and a future one.

As to private charities, there are public provisions made today which to a large extent make private donations to the poor unnecessary and often unwise. But there is another way to feed the poor which is still more important. We may feed the spiritually hungry, and may assist in clothing the spiritually naked. So we may spend our money and give our goods to feed the poor in the very best way possible, though the feeding and the [R5787 : page 314] clothing of the body may not be ignored when necessary. But even this spiritual feeding and clothing would not be acceptable to the Lord unless we do it from genuine love for Him and His and all men. To whatever extent any Christian gives to the Lord's Cause for outward show or because he thinks it may be expected of him, or from any motive save that of love for the Lord, to that extent he would receive no reward. If it is done from love it will be rewarded in Heaven; and it "profiteth" also in his character development for the Kingdom.



[R5787 : page 314]

MURDERS HER GRANDCHILDREN
--OCTOBER 31.--2 KINGS 11:1-20.--

JEZEBEL'S DAUGHTER BECAME QUEEN OF JUDAH--HER BANEFUL INFLUENCE AS QUEEN DOWAGER--SERIOUS RESULTS OF DEVIATION FROM THE DIVINE LAW--POWER OF PRIDE --SELFISHNESS LEADING TO MURDER--THE BOY JOASH CROWNED KING AT THE AGE OF SEVEN YEARS--THE WICKED ATHALIAH SLAIN.

"The house of the wicked shall be overthrown; but the tent of the upright shall flourish."--Proverbs 14:11.
JEZEBEL'S DAUGHTER, Queen Athaliah, on the death of her husband became queen dowager of the kingdom of Judah, her son Ahaziah becoming king. In oriental lands the king's mother is still the highest authority in the kingdom; as, for instance, in China. This was the custom with the Jews. As queen dowager, Athaliah exercised a powerful and baneful influence against the true God and His worship and in favor of Baal worship. This is not the only instance in which the intermarriage of the kings of Israel with the daughters of foreign royal houses brought great injury. Athaliah's mother Jezebel was another notable illustration. We remember also that it was King Solomon's foreign wives who ensnared him.

In line with all this we remember that the Divine command to all Israelites was that they should not intermarry with other nationalities. Every deviation from the Divine Law seems to have brought with it serious penalties. This is strictly in harmony with God's arrangement with that one nation alone, that they should be His people in a peculiar sense; that other nations were not His people; and that obedience to His Law would bring them blessings; but that disobedience would bring them adversities. (Deuteronomy 7:6-11.) That Law is still binding upon the Jews, but it is not upon others.

A proper recognition of the antitype, or spiritual significance of that item of Jewish Law, should be observed by all. It is applicable to Christians, who constitute, from the Divine standpoint, "a holy nation, a peculiar people." (1 Peter 2:9.) Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 6:14.) Christians are to come out from the world and be separate. This, however, does not apply to nominal Christians, but only to the spirit-begotten class, who have made a full consecration of themselves to the Lord. These are counselled to marry "only in the Lord"--only the consecrated. Those who disregard this Divine injunction endanger their own spiritual development, as well as their own happiness and that of the worldly person with whom they become yoked.

MURDERING FOR POWER

When King Ahaziah was slain by Jehu (2 Kings 9:27,28), his mother, the queen dowager, realized instantly that this meant her loss of rank and power--the power, the honor and the riches which her selfish, proud heart so loved. She realized that the moment her grandson ascended the throne she must vacate her position in favor of her daughter-in-law. Her selfish, proud heart resolved that on no account should this be. Rather, she would be a murderess. Forthwith she caused her grandchildren to be slain, except one, an infant, who was hidden by his aunt in a room used for the storage of sleeping mats, and styled in our lesson a bed-chamber. Subsequently he was nursed until his seventh year, in one of the rooms connected with the old Temple, which was in disuse during Queen Athaliah's reign, as she favored and upheld the worship of Baal.

One lesson for us here is the power of pride. We may well hope that not many could be influenced to become murderers, even with such inducements. But not many of us will ever have such a temptation either to grasp a throne or retain hold upon one already possessed. Other illustrations of the power of pride leading to murder in the interest of a throne are mentioned in history. For instance, King Herod's murder of all the infants of Bethlehem of two years old and under was to preserve to himself and his heirs the throne of Israel. History tells us that Laodice poisoned her six sons, one by one, that she might be Empress of Constantinople. Another mother named Irene, which name signifies peace, gouged out the eyes of her own son that he might be incapable of ruling the empire over which she sought to reign.

No wonder the Bible declares that the heart of man in his fallen condition is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked! (Jeremiah 17:9.) No wonder the Bible tells us that the blessing of the New Covenant which God will establish with the world through Israel, during Messiah's Reign, will operate to the taking away of the stoniness of the human heart and to the return to mankind of a heart of flesh--a proper human sympathy, such as the perfect man had when he was created in the image and likeness of God! (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26; Jeremiah 31:31-34.) How glad we are that Messiah's Kingdom will not merely restrain sin and sinners, but by restitution processes will take away the stoniness of heart and bring as many as are willing of mankind back to tender-heartedness and to harmony with the Divine Law of love for God and for the neighbor!

Since we are not kings and queens and do not have their temptations, let us note that the same principle of hard-heartedness operates in the business world, in the social world and in the family. In the business world it operates to the destruction of a rival concern. In the social world it cuts rivals, prompts to misrepresentations, slander, etc. In the home, as between parents and children, brothers and sisters, it frequently means injustice. The correction for all this is a love of righteousness which will lead each to love and to obey the Golden Rule, [R5787 : page 315] and to comply as nearly as possible with the Divine will --"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy mind and with all thy being and with all thy strength; and thy neighbor as thyself."

CROWNING THE BOY KING

The young king's name was Joash. He was kept in hiding for six years, and in his seventh year was crowned. Jehoiada, the high priest, whose daughter had rescued Joash, superintended the coronation ceremonies. With great wisdom he called together the chiefs of the nation at a time of festival, when their assembling would not be thought strange. Likewise the guards were so disposed as to give every protection to the young king and to leave the palace without protection.

The ceremony passed off successfully. The queen dowager heard the shouts, "Long live the king!" and came forth from the palace to the Temple to investigate. Realizing the situation, she cried, "Treason! treason!" So it is that sometimes injustice becomes so intrenched and fortified in human minds that an attempt to establish righteousness is considered treason, rebellion, outrage. To all the Lord's consecrated children the lesson is, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."--Proverbs 4:23.

When the crown was placed upon the young king's head, on top of it was laid the parchment scroll of the Ten Commandments. Thus was indicated the fact that the Divine Law was superior to the crown. Such should be the estimation of the matter in every well-balanced mind. Divine Law comes first; human laws second. And human laws are usually up to as high standards as the people who make them are worthy.

Judah must have been considerably sunken in the qualities of patriotism and manhood to allow the queen dowager to usurp the throne by murder for six years. Similarly, states and cities that permit and recognize the domination of frauds and combines against the public interests are usually getting as good treatment as they deserve. It is the heart, the intellect, the mind, that is to be educated up to the higher standards. Then those higher standards will be attained by the body politic.



[R5789 : page 315]

TOO MUCH MONEY--FURTHER OFFERINGS REFUSED
--NOVEMBER 7.--2 KINGS 11:21-12:16.--

A LESSON FROM THE FAR PAST ON GIVING FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES--TREASURERS WITHOUT BONDSMEN--THE TEMPLE REPAIRED--TYPICAL APPLICATION OF THIS EVENT--NECESSITY FOR A RETURN TO BIBLE STUDY--DOING OUR PART IN THE REBUILDING OF THE WALLS OF SPIRITUAL ZION.

"God loveth a cheerful giver."--2 Corinthians 9:7.
SIXTEEN years passed after the incidents of our previous Study and found King Joash in his twenty-third year. Already he had made suggestions to the priests respecting the repairs of the Temple, which was considerably dilapidated; for the people were still half-hearted in the worship of Jehovah. The influence of the idolatry of the surrounding nations was yet upon them. Some of them continued to burn incense upon the altars for Baal worship.

PRIESTS POOR BUSINESS MEN

King Joash found that allowing the priests to collect the money wherewith to repair the Temple showed no results. Not every good-hearted man has executive ability. The record does not tell that the priests were dishonest in the use of the money collected for their affairs; nor does it say that they spent the money unwisely. Possibly the people did not have confidence in the priests, and did not give so freely on that account.

However, the king noted the fact that the Temple continued to be dilapidated. He called for the priests and said to them, "Why repair ye not the breaches of the Temple?" The answer of the priests is not given. But the king's mandate was, "Now, therefore, take no more money from your acquaintances." The king passed over the matter as lightly and courteously as possible, without charging the priests with embezzlement or neglect.

A new procedure was to have an especially prepared money-chest inside the Temple Court, convenient to the worshipers who passed in and out, and under the care of the priest who served as doorkeeper. This method proved successful. The money speedily accumulated. Ere long there was a sufficiency to make the repairs and more. Further donations for this purpose were refused. The Temple was put into good order, and a general blessing followed the experience.

There is a lesson in this matter for us. People like to see results. They wish to know that moneys donated for benevolent purposes are not all absorbed for office expenses. Volunteer offerings have the approval of both God and man, rather than offerings that are importuned, coaxed, begged, wheedled from saints and sinners. Whoever gives to the Lord's Cause is advantaged thereby. He not only forwards a benevolent Cause, but cultivates generosity in his own heart. Our Lord said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive"--where the giving is willing and voluntary.

Church begging is undoubtedly doing great harm. Some one has remarked that in some churches the chief item of religion is begging for money--private solicitation, and also public solicitation, by the passing around of the collection box. Church fairs, church suppers, grab-bags, etc., are still more reprehensible than the collection box and private solicitation. Some one has called such efforts "the milking of the goats." The Lord's people are supposed to be sheep; the world's people, goats.

SCRIPTURAL METHOD OF GIVING

The proper thought seems to be what the Scriptures inculcate; namely, that each Christian should give according to his ability and his interest in the work; and that non-worshipers should not be expected to give nor requested to do so. But who does not know that a large proportion of the money collected for church purposes is unwillingly given by people who are not only often uninterested in the projects, but sometimes even opposed thereto! Thus Protestant business men often give to Catholic charities, rather than offend good customers. Likewise Catholic business men donate to Protestant enterprises with which they have no sympathy.

It is a good time to return to the Gospel admonition. (1 Corinthians 16:2.) Let each one of you lay by in reserve on the first day of the week according as God has prospered you--for religious and charitable objects. Only such voluntary giving has any merit whatever in the sight of God or in the sight of good men. Only such will receive the Divine blessing upon it, whether it be the widow's mite or the rich man's munificence. [R5789 : page 316]

BREAKS IN THE TEMPLE WALL

Viewing the spiritual Temple, we perceive that outwardly, as represented by the magnificent churches of metropolitan cities, nothing more could be desired than what is now enjoyed. Describing the church conditions of our day, the Scriptures portray these conditions under the figure of the Laodicean Church, saying, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."--Revelation 3:15-18.

It is from the spiritual standpoint, therefore, that the Temple of today needs to have repairs. Outwardly, the Church is rich; spiritually, she is poor. The majority of her educated, including ministers, have abandoned all faith in the Bible as the Word of God. Yet they are not known as infidels, but by the less harsh terms, Higher Critics, Evolutionists. With many even the faith in a personal God is shaking; and they incline to wonder whether, somehow or other, we have not an unintelligent god-- Nature--and whether mankind and all other intelligences are not merely evolutionary products.

The cause and foundation of this disastrous condition is not far off. The absurdities of the creeds formulated during the Dark Ages are so great that intelligent people can no longer accept them. We have made the mistake of supposing that these absurdities are based upon the Scriptures and well supported thereby. The truth is that the creeds of the past not only contradict each other, but contradict the Bible. To learn this, to believe it, signifies a return to Bible study with the colored spectacles of our fathers removed and with our hearts uplifted to God that He may give us the light promised to His faithful people in the end of this Age. Of this we read, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the Day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts."--2 Peter 1:19.

THE DUTY OF THE HOUR

Noting the spiritual impairment of the House of God, the Church, all who love the Lord and who worship Him should do their part, should make their contribution, toward the improvement of these spiritual conditions. The work is not to be left wholly in the hands of the clerical or priestly class. The people in general are to appreciate the situation; and each is to delight to do his part in the rebuilding of the spiritual walls of Zion. Those spiritual walls consist of "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."--Jude 3.

Each Christian should ask himself, "What am I doing toward these repairs? How am I manifesting to the Lord my zeal for Truth and righteousness and my hatred for sin and untruth?" And as an answer to these questions, each should redouble his efforts to understand the Truth and to help others to an understanding of it, whatever the cost to the creeds and systems of the Dark Ages.



[R5787 : page 316]

EUREKA DRAMA--CLASS EXTENSION

THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION was greatly blessed of the Lord and, we believe, accomplished a great work. Many new Classes and many enlarged Classes are amongst the fruits. While we know much of the fruitage of this service in the Lord, a wide-spread, general impression, favorable to the Truth, was made; and what good this has accomplished only eternity will show. The majority of our DRAMAS, both here and in Europe, are idle because the funds necessary to their free presentation have been exhausted. We are not soliciting money, but merely stating facts.

Meantime, the EUREKA DRAMA, described in our issues of August 1st and 15th, 1914, has been accomplishing great success under the Lord's blessing. Not only have thousands been permitted to hear the Good Tidings, but the brethren who have given the exhibitions and have conducted the follow-up work, have received great blessings in their own hearts as a part of their reward for faithfulness to their opportunities. Exhibitions have been given in many small cities and towns in competition with moving pictures, and with good success. However, we recommend, brethren, that the EUREKA outfit be used in places where there are no moving picture theatres. We have the most complete combination of slides of a religious kind to be found anywhere in the world, and we have the finest phonograph presentations of the human voice to be found anywhere. Everybody is astonished at the clearness, at the distinctness of tone with which the lectures and hymns are rendered.

RECORDS IN MANY LANGUAGES

Besides the English, we have the DRAMA records in German, Swedish, Danish and Finnish; and we have in prospect Italian, Spanish and Polish. The latter three, however, we may not be able to supply this year. The foreign records are double price. The hymns can be furnished only in English.

We know of no better way in which to serve the Truth and to interest the public than by the use of the EUREKA DRAMA. After the giving of the three DRAMA exhibitions there comes an opportunity for follow-up work --Class Extension work. We urge nothing; we are merely mentioning the facts so that those who desire and have the opportunity may avail themselves of these privileges. For new readers we will here repeat, briefly,

A DESCRIPTION OF OUTFITS, PRICES, ETC.
"EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFIT NO. X
   Any of our readers desiring to purchase for
his own use the full set of 96 DRAMA lectures
(three PARTS, two hours each) with nine choice
introductory, intermission and closing hymns
and a portable phonograph, with a carrying
case, can have the entire outfit for........... $38.50
   The full set of records without phonograph..  29.00
   Carrying case for records...................   1.25 extra.

"EUREKA DRAMA" OUTFIT NO. Y
   This outfit is the one especially intended for the CLASS-EXTENSION
work.  Its three PARTS require only the same
number of lecture and music records as foregoing; but, to
use to full capacity--the THREE PARTS showing three places
at once--each PART should have its own Phonograph, each
PART its own Stereopticon, etc.  We therefore show each
PART complete in itself, as follows:
One PART includes one Primo Stereopticon for electric
   current--Oneida Lens (three for varying distances);
   special price....................................... $20.00
Variable Rheostat (five amp., ten amp., or fifteen amp.)
   may be effective for house current or for heavy
   current arc lights..................................   6.00
Attachment for Acetylene Gas or Presto Light (useful
   in places where there is no electric current, but
   where gas can be taken from an automobile tank).....   4.00
[R5787 : page 317]
DRAMA stereopticon slides, beautifully tinted, with
    special carrying box and carrying case.............  38.00
One portable Phonograph, one Operator's Book, Lecture
    and Hymn Records for one PART, and carrying
    case...............................................  19.50
                                                        ------
Total cost per PART, "EUREKA DRAMA," No. Y............. $87.50
   Additional would be the expressage from Brooklyn.
   The Society would furnish posters, window-cards and free
SCENARIO, and would supply the bound SCENARIO for sale in
any quantity at one-half retail prices.

PARTS II. and III. would cost exactly the same
   as the above, the entire THREE PARTS amounting
   to......................................... $262.50
With only one Stereopticon, one Rheostat, one
   Acetylene burner and one Phonograph........  185.00
Expressage extra.  Foreign records............   25.00 extra.

Any Class of Bible Students desiring it may obtain the Y DRAMA by paying $100.00 down and agreeing to pay the remainder in monthly instalments.

BIBLE STUDENTS' FAMILY OUTFIT

This consists of a phonograph and a choice selection of records from the DRAMA and some musical records. A few of these records might be said to be a little shop-worn, but none of them are bad--most of them are strictly new. They are priced so as to bring them within reach of many of our readers who could not afford to purchase the regular DRAMA, but who would like to have some of the records for their own family use and for such of the public as might choose to hear our most wonderful records.

The entire outfit represents a choice selection of twenty of the short lectures of the SCENARIO, four beautiful hymns and a disc-phonograph (concealed horn)--all for $12, or if all new, $15. Expressage extra.

   Carrying case for phonograph..................$1.50 extra.
       "      "   "  records..................... 1.25   "

DRAMA MUSIC RECORDS

The musical records used with the moving pictures of CREATION DRAMA were greatly admired. We have some on hand that were slightly used and some quite new. We will supply these, while they last, at half price.



[R5787 : page 317]

NO NATIONAL PREJUDICES

MY DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--

It is after several months of considering and praying over the matter, that I have decided to write these lines: In advance I wish to say that I am writing as a Christian brother, and that there is no malice or ill-will in my action. I would surely not add to your burden. I am going to write of what appears to me unfairness and injustice in your articles in THE WATCH TOWER about the war. It is incomprehensible why I should find this in a man who is not merely a Christian, but, as I believe, that "faithful servant," of whom Christ spoke.

In many articles since the beginning of the war, now 14 months ago, you have referred to this event, which I consider not only proper, but necessary, as it again shows the accuracy of the Word of the Lord. You have shown that human civilization is a hollow boast. So it is. You have drawn attention to the horrible perversion of Bible texts. To all this a Christian can only most emphatically agree. You have adduced, in showing this, the offenses of Great Britain, the hypocrisy of British and Canadian ministers. This is right. I have read of other perversions by the Bishop of London and other chaplains at the front, which have made me sick to the heart. The more fearlessly you do this, the better.

But even before the war you were in the habit of citing British sins as illustrations of evil. The oppressing of Israel by the Philistines and other Gentile nations is constantly made clear by references to British rule in India, for instance. [R5788 : page 317] The Lord probably does not approve of that rule as it is carried out. Does He approve of American rule in the Philippines or in the Indian reservation in the States? And what about the oppression of the natives in German S. W. Africa and East Africa? The methods in German S. W. Africa, which finally drove the Herreoos into rebellion, were so atrocious, as was the war of extermination that followed, that even so patient a body of slaves as the German Reichstag could not swallow it. Were these matters not equally illustrated or were they perhaps too fiendish?

Although Count von Bulow has publicly declared that war is one of the fundamental principles of the scheme of God, it is not so according to the Bible. It is purely a human affair, and as such I would waste no time to discuss it. But it is not wrong to mention its various features, as you do, in connection with the Word of God. And here, month after month, you continue as before the war. Poor old England has to supply the proof; noble Germany is persistently not mentioned. Could you not possibly draw occasionally upon German crimes and German perversions of the Bible to illustrate points? Is there any doubt in your mind that Germany not only started this war, but even engineered it? Did she really create such a war machine and glorify war, merely for parades at Potsdam? You dwell on the "frightfulness and destructiveness" of this war; but you never mention the demon who started it. Why not? With love in Christ,

Your fellow servant,
W. M. HAHNNEMANN.--Canada.

REPLY OF EDITOR

We appreciate the above letter, and promptly explain that any apparent unfairness was quite unintentional. We are far from thinking of Great Britain as the worst nation in the world. On the contrary, we esteem the British and the North American peoples at the head of the list for human progress and civilization. American by birth, British by ancestry, it is only natural that the Editor should appreciate highly the standards of his own race. But this does not, and should not, blind him to injustice and perfidy. If he has sought more to correct these than the evils of other nations, it is because THE WATCH TOWER, published in the English, has less opportunity of reaching or of assisting people of other tongues.

It is far from our thought that the German Kaiser and the Russian Czar are the Lord's mouth-pieces and agents, and their warriors soldiers of Christ. We know that this is their claim. We have already pointed out the fallacy of such claims, and have shown that the delusion came from the Dark Ages. First the clergy separated themselves from the people, whom they styled laity. Having thus exalted themselves, they claimed that the Kingdom of God had been set up and that the Church was reigning. First through the Popes, and afterwards through the Protestant denominations, the kingdoms of earth were told that they were God's Kingdoms, whose duty it was to defend the Church and to oppose heresy. For centuries the domination of the Church has been growing less; but the kingdoms have maintained their power; and doubtless many of the rulers believe that they are God's appointees in His Kingdom.

Each nation in this war seems to believe itself God's favored people, whose ultimate mission is to rule the world. They are all in error. They are all on the verge of collapse. They are all to go down speedily, as soon as Messiah shall take to Himself His great power and begin His reign. As the Bible declares, they shall be broken into shivers as the potter's vessel, ground to powder, as pictured in Daniel's vision, and no place ever afterwards will be theirs; they shall be as though they had not been.

We are not without sympathy for all these peoples; for we perceive that they are all blinded by the Adversary, as are also their rulers. We have no sympathy with their atrocities, however; and we recognize war in general as devilish anywhere, everywhere, and as having a brutalizing effect upon all engaged in it.

We are glad that in this war personal atrocities (aside from the legalized atrocity of war) have not been proven against the British and the French, although substantiated against the Russians, who, besides devastating everything, deliberately shot non-combatants, gouged out the eyes of German soldiers, and put buttons into the sockets, etc., etc. Quite possibly those barbarous Russians were incensed by something that the Germans had done against them. For instance, it is well authenticated that the Germans decoyed a Russian army of thirty thousand into a swamp, from which they could not extricate themselves. The narrative declares that nearly three hundred of the German soldiers went insane that night from the hearing of the cries and curses of the poor Russians floundering and dying in that swamp.

We have no apology to make for the semi-barbarous Turks either, and think quite probable that atrocities reported against them are true. At the beginning of the war, the Germans were charged with atrocities in connection with the Belgians--with destroying an entire town and many of its non-combatant inhabitants. But the answer came, showing that there was a measure of excuse; that the people of that [R5788 : page 318] town had in the night in various ways sought to poison, to stab and to maim the Germans, who were in full possession. The Germans, in self-defense and by way of teaching a lesson, retaliated.

We sympathize, too, with the Belgians, for they realized that their little kingdom was suffering from an unlawful invasion on the part of a stronger neighbor. They did not understand the rules of war, and felt justified in doing anything for the protection of their national liberties. They were unwise in this, and suffered.

We do not defend Germany's invasion of Belgium. It was no more right than all the land-grabbing practised by other nations previously. What European nation has thoroughly clean hands in Africa, India, China? Each nation, in stealing the government and the liberties of other peoples, has been violating the Golden Rule of Justice; but each has claimed that in so doing it not only advanced its own welfare, but really brought greater blessings to the conquered people. And we presume that Germany would make a similar claim. In reality, it is pride and selfishness which is behind all the land-grabbing of the great nations, and not a benevolent influence and a benevolent attempt to bless the families of the earth. It will be Messiah's Kingdom that will really bless all people unselfishly and for their highest welfare.

THE REAL CAUSE OF THE WAR

The present war, as all well-informed people know, has been brewing for forty years. Ever since Germany defended herself successfully against the French and took two French Provinces as part of her indemnity, the French have been bent on reprisal--revenge. With but half the population of Germany a French army has been maintained for forty years on a war footing, sometimes in greater numbers than the German army, which also has been kept in a state of high military efficiency necessary to its defense. Meantime, Russia, as the friend of France, organized an immense army. Well-informed people have known for years that these two nations were intent upon crushing Germany at the first favorable opportunity.

The Germans felt that their very existence depended upon maintaining a strong military organization, capable of combating foes on both sides. Meantime economy, and efficiency and wisdom controlling wonderfully, has cemented the German people and made them a rich and powerful nation. The once rude, clumsy, stupid German youth not only served his term drilling as a soldier, but at the same time, got his schooling. This has lifted the German people out of the rut of centuries and made them one of the brightest peoples of the world. The eyes of the world are only opening to these things which the war is demonstrating.

Meantime, as German thrift and management brought prosperity, German commerce increased, German merchant vessels and steamship lines all over the world were practically the only rivals of the British, who, for centuries, have been masters of the sea. With a growing commerce, Germany not unnaturally craved a proportionate navy. Her ambition for commerce and for a navy have brought on this war. France and Russia feared to undertake a war, and have procrastinated for years. Great Britain feared to lose her proud place as mistress of the sea, and considered it necessary that Germany be not allowed to become a greater rival. British diplomacy encouraged Russia and France, and led them to believe that they would have British support in the war.

Germany recognized that the mobilization of the Russian army in defense of Serbia was the beginning of the national plot of forty years' standing for the destruction of Germany. She realized that if she waited until the French armies had mobilized on her western border, and the Russian army on her eastern border, she would be at a disadvantage. Her predetermined plan in self-defense was that she would smite one of her foes first and then the other. Her railways, etc., had all been arranged with this in view. She hoped in British assurances, yet, nevertheless, was fearful of what came--British declaration of war, ostensibly in defense of Belgium, but really in fear of Germany's growing greatness --in fear that Britain might some day lose her boasted rule of the seas.

While we deprecate the German method of submarine warfare and its exposure of neutrals and non-combatants, we should not forget that the Germans in turn are in desperate [R5789 : page 318] straits--surrounded by nations three times their size and these nations seeking, additionally, to cut off Germany's food supplies and thus to starve the German non-combatants. What is there commendable about war anyway, even if it could be staged as a prize-fight with the usual prize-ring rules and regulations!

SEEN FROM THE BIBLICAL STANDPOINT

So, dear Brother, understand us as sympathizing with the purblind peoples engaged in this terrible war--each fearful, each jealous, each envious of the other, and none of them knowing, understanding, the Gospel of the Kingdom--of Messiah's Millennial Reign, now at the door. Understand us also to be fully out of sympathy with submarines, dreadnoughts, armored biplanes and Zeppelins, mines, rapid fire guns, great and small. It is time, however, that the whole world recognized that much of our boasted civilization is not Christianity, nor built upon the foundations of Christianity; and that, therefore, it is giving way to the better conditions of Messiah's Kingdom. Soon the resurrection "change" will perfect the elect Church of Christ, and qualify them as kings and priests and judges of the world. Soon Messiah's Empire will begin its sway. Soon all these Gentile kingdoms will pass away forever. And this is what we mean --the passing of earthly empires--when we pray, "Thy Kingdom come!"

There is nothing kind, loving or Godlike about war. It is fiendish, devilish. The men now at the front are being hardened, brutalized and prepared for the revolution and anarchy which the Bible points out will follow the war. Whoever thinks of war as a kid-glove affair, and expects great politeness from the belligerents, is unwise and will continually be disappointed. Moreover, it is to be remembered that all officers and great men will, publicly at least, throw their influence against all forms of barbarism; but in the rank and file of every army are to be found individuals who continually need watching, that they should not bring their comrades to disgrace. And even such discipline cannot always be enforced when men of the dare-devil kind are needed, and when entire regiments need to be plied with intoxicating liquors in order to make them sufficiently reckless to undertake a charge in the face of almost certain death.



[R5789 : page 318]

INTERESTING LETTERS

"BLESSED ARE THEY THAT TRUST IN HIM"

OUR BELOVED PASTOR RUSSELL:--

The September 1st WATCH TOWER has just arrived and I do not know how to express the encouragement I feel in the reading of the first article on the "Christian's Duty and the War." As you know, no doubt, there has been a form of Census taken here in England, and many of the dear friends have been very much exercised as to what they ought to do if Conscription should come.

In reference to those of military age, my dear husband (who with myself has had the glorious knowledge of the Truth of God's Word for nine years) is of military age, and I have assured him that I should be proud of him (if he were compelled to go) to know he had been shot as a traitor (according to this world's opinion) rather than feel he had taken human life, because I should know he had been faithful to "His King"--the King of Glory. The knowledge that he had finished his course and entered into the joys of his Lord would be just another link to draw me closer to the Lord, although the extent of the loss of his companionship only the Lord would know.

So strong do I feel, dear Brother, about having no part or lot if I can help it with this war, that when our son, a lad of 16, kept pressing the matter to us of going to sea on a passenger liner, I gave way very willingly, whereas not long ago I had been very much opposed to the thought on account of the great risks they are running; for I feel I would rather know he had gone down by a torpedo, etc., than know he had taken human life, for although so young he was continually being badgered to join the army and told he could say he was 19, and when the news came that there was to be a registration and that he might be taken for making ammunition, I looked away from the present things and thought of the glorious beyond, when all should hear His voice and come forth from Sheol.

When I tell you, dear Brother, that he is our only son, and very, very dear to us both (our other one, a dear little lad of 5-1/2 years, the Father has graciously hidden--"until the wrath be overpast"--for four years now), you may know that we needed the Lord's strength to let him go; but if we never meet again we are assured that "All things are working together for good."

I feel so glad you have made it clearer as regards the actually going into the trenches and firing, because I felt all along that if I were a brother I could not agree to the thought of accepting the uniform, taking the oath, etc., and [R5789 : page 319] then, if one was refused a place at the base or hospital and compelled to go into the trenches, to refuse to fire. To my mind it would not be rendering to Caesar the things that are his. I felt it would be more honest to say, "No, I refuse to take human life"; and then if they said I should be shot-- well I would take it that it was the Lord's will.

The present happenings in England are calculated to unnerve many, for one never knows when he goes to bed at night whether a bomb will strike the house. But we that have put our trust in the Lord can rest peacefully, knowing that He is in charge. One dear sister who rents a room and lives alone had the awful experience of a bomb striking the house she was in, and the whole of the room, except where her bed stood, was utterly destroyed, and she herself came through without a scratch. On the following day (Sunday) she gave a splendid testimony to the friends, and told them that the same God who had cared for her would also take care of them, and if it was His will they should finish their course that way, what matter; they were only going Home to see their dear Father and elder Brother. Poor dear! Her face showed the strain of her ordeal; but she had not a bitter feeling towards the Germans; she just said she had dropped them over into the Millennium for Judgment.

Now, dear Brother, I am afraid this is a very lengthy letter, but I felt I wanted you to know how the Lord is blessing your labor of love in ministering to His people. May He give you grace and strength to press on until you see Him face to face. With our united love,

I am your sister by His grace,
NELLIE BUCKNER.--England.


"BEWARE OF WOLVES"

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

For some time it has been on my mind to write you respecting a matter which I believe properly claims your attention, but other interests of the work have delayed the matter.

Just before crossing the State line of Illinois, heading westward, I learned that a man representing himself to be a brother in the Truth had visited some of the classes in the country, stating that he was formerly an attache of the Headquarters in Brooklyn, but had been "sent forth with the seventy." I do not remember the name, but undoubtedly it was fictitious. He wanted assistance to get further westward, where he had friends and where he could find work, etc. The "loan" was made, but that was the last seen or heard of this individual in the form of a man.

In western Kansas I learned of an almost identical case, save that there were somewhat more details given, which enabled me at once to detect the fraud. In each case it was the isolated who were "worked." In the Kansas incident the individual stated that he had put all the money that he had into the work; but that everything was closing down at Brooklyn, so he had been "sent forth," and without money. The story he told did not correspond with the facts as I knew them to be at Headquarters, so I quickly detected that it was a confidence game that was being systematically worked. Among other misstatements was one to the effect that he had worked in the "bindery" at Brooklyn, but the Society was no longer publishing the STUDIES, so the "bindery" had closed down, and he among others had to be set adrift, etc. Like the Illinois case he too wanted to get further west, where he had friends and where he expected to find work. He made the "touch" and got away.

Now none of the friends who assisted these individuals were in a position to do so; but out of their goodness of heart they denied themselves to help, as they supposed, a Truth brother. Besides, what they have is consecrated to the Lord. So it was really the Lord's money that these frauds [R5790 : page 319] obtained. It occurred to me that you might consider this of sufficient importance to sound a warning through THE WATCH TOWER.

Again I wish to report that I find the general conditions in the field most encouraging. While the friends are restful, they are not sleepy, but rather are "waiting on the Lord," with "full assurance of faith" that He who has begun the good work is still at the helm and will finish the same in His own "due time." I find the friends growing in grace, zeal and love, and in joyous expectancy of a glorious change soon --very soon. The class conditions, as I have noted them, are an inspiration to me, spurring me on to renewed zeal and more determined efforts to have my sacrifice consumed, while it is called Day.

I cannot close without again assuring you of my ever increasing love and abiding confidence in you as the Lord's specially chosen servant to bring forth meat in due season for such as have partaken sufficiently of the "bitter herbs" to have their appetites sharpened so they can relish the "table prepared by the Lord."

By His kind favor, your brother and fellow servant, with warmest love in the Lord,
W. M. WISDOM.


ABOUT DIVIDING CLASSES

DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--

In June 1 WATCH TOWER, 1915, page 2, you speak of the division of the Berean Classes, when they number more than twenty, and say that this same rule, you believe, would be found advantageous for the Prayer meeting. A few of our Class want the Wednesday meeting divided, but have said nothing as to the other classes being divided. I am sure that we all want to do the will of our dear Lord. Was it your thought that the classes should be divided regardless of the will of the majority?

REPLY BY THE EDITOR

Everything in THE WATCH TOWER and in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, etc., should be understood as advice--nothing as commanded. We hold that only the Lord and the Twelve Apostles (St. Paul taking the place of Judas) have the right to command the people of God. Others, including the Editor, have merely the right to advise. And such advice should always be accompanied by either a Scriptural citation or an explanatory reason.

In recommending to the classes of Bible Students throughout the world that classes be divided when they number over twenty, we were following this rule--merely giving advice. There being no Scripture for this, we submitted our reasons: That large classes cannot so efficiently participate in the lessons and, therefore, cannot be expected to reap as large a blessing from them. We hold that in every Wednesday evening Testimony meeting a special blessing comes to all who participate; and very similarly, that in the Berean classes participation sharpens interest and deepens the impressions, and thus enlarges the blessings to be derived.

However, in every case it is for the class itself to decide, and that by a majority vote, whether in their case the class shall be divided or not. There might be reasons why a general rule might not apply in some particular cases because offset by other conditions. Be it always understood that according to the Divine arrangement as given us in the Bible, the class itself decides every question. And only the consecrated ones constitute the class proper, although the pleasure of the unconsecrated who may attend might well be considered by the consecrated when voting.

While each class might be considered an Ecclesia, or Church, by itself and entirely independent of every other class, nevertheless unity and fellowship are very desirable, and the various classes in one city may very appropriately be united in one Ecclesia, or Church, thus deriving the benefits of occasional joint meetings, joint fellowship and participation in the joint arrangement in the selection of servants-- Elders and Deacons. In thus uniting, each class, as well as each individual, sacrifices independence for the benefits of cooperation.


AS MOMENTS PASS THE KINGDOM NEARS
Men may sorrow in distress,
Sin-cursed, blind and weary,
Death may rule supreme today--
All things may look dreary:
Make haste, O time; speed on, ye years!
As moments pass, the Kingdom nears.

Saints may "groan within" and suffer
Outward shame, distress, defeat;
Trouble may test faith and patience--
Fiery trials, "furnace heat":
But stop your sighing, dry your tears;
As moments pass, the Kingdom nears.

Men for earth and saints for Heaven;
God's decree will surely stand.
Shout for joy, give God the glory!
Safe deliverance is at hand.
Ah, no more doubtings, no more fears,
As moments pass, the Kingdom nears.
J. G. KUEHN.



page 320

International Bible Students Association Classes

STUDIES AND LECTURES UNDER THE AUSPICES OF PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION

Prev Top of Page Next