The National Labor Tribune November 15, 1914


Q' What did our Lord mean when He said: "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30)?

Answer' Oneness in mind and purpose is meant and not oneness in person, power or equality. The Lord said that His Father who gave the sheep to Him was greater than all, and that no one could pluck them out of His hand (power), or out of His Father's hand (verses 28, 29). The Jews falsely accused Jesus of making Himself God, and of being equal with God, because He said that God (Jehovah) was His Father. Jesus denied this accusation (John 10:33-36; John 5:18, 19). The Scriptures show clearly that Jesus and His Father were two separate and distinct persons, and that the Father was greater than Jesus (John 14:28). Jesus prays to His Father that the believers of this age may be one as He and His Father are one (John 17:11, 21) surely not unity of person but of purpose.

Q' Can you explain the cryptic remark in Luke 17:37: "Wheresoever the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together?"

Answer' Our Lord was asked when the kingdom of God would come (verse 20); and His Answer was that it would be with His Second Advent, which should be so unobserved by the world that they would be going about their every-day affairs, even as it was in the days of Noah, and in the days of Lot, when the people were unaware of what was occurring until they were overtaken by the trouble. This, therefore, has special reference to the Harvest in the end of the Age the separating time. Our Lord explains that from all conditions of life one will be taken, another left. The disciples ask: "Where, Lord!" And this was His reply: "Wheresoever the body is there will the eagles be gathered together." The explanation is that "in that day," when the Lord is gathering His "elect" from the four winds of heaven from every quarter of the earth he will attract them as eagles are attracted, by food, for which they have a keenness of vision and appetite. To the faithful watching ones in due time the Lord would provide the proper food, meat in due season, and His true people would recognize [HGL625] it and be gathered to it the ready and worthy ones attracted and the others left. See Luke 12:37.

Q' Would you kindly explain John 20:17? - "Jesus said unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." Where could Jesus have been, if not with the Father?

Answer' We take your question to be, "Where could Jesus have been between his death and resurrection, if not with the Father?" Jesus had been with the Father in his pre-human state (John 17:5). He came down from heaven (John 6:51), became a human being (John 1:14) so that He might be a Ransom (a corresponding price) for Adam and all in him (1 Tim. 2:5-6), He died and remained in death for three days, and it was after His awakening that John 20:17 applied, when Jesus declared to Mary that He had not yet ascended to His Father. This would prove that Jesus was not in heaven while He was dead. Some have imagined that the soul or spirit of Jesus at death continued to live on, but there is no Scripture to support this view. On the contrary, the Bible shows that the soul dies, therefore it was necessary (if Jesus should accomplish the deliverance for man) that his soul should be made a sin-offering. "He poured out his soul unto death" (Isa. 53:10-12), and remained in this condition until his resurrection therefrom three days afterwards (Acts 2:31-32).

Q' Would the Editor of the Bible Question Box give us his thought on Election and Free Grace, as there seems something wrong with the Calvinistic view of the former?

Answer' It is impossible to reconcile the doctrines of election and free grace unless by "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). We must study to apply the various Scriptures to the ages and dispensations to which they properly belong. Election, which prevails during the Gospel Age, is not an arbitrary choosing by God of a few individuals for salvation and consigning the remainder of mankind to doom. It is the selection of a special class from among men to reign with Christ as His bride in the next, the Kingdom Age, to then bless the great non-elect class all the families of the earth. God has predetermined the conditions on which anyone may be accepted as a member of this elect class, and each must make his calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:10) by obedience and sacrifice (Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:11, 12). In this age, only those drawn by the Father, by learning of Him, can come to Christ (John 6:44, 45). The meek shall He teach His way (Psa. 25:9). After this elect class is complete, then free grace will be offered to the mass of the world. The Lamb's wife will have made herself ready. The Bride will say, "Come*** whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." For then will the Son of Man be lifted up (exalted) and will draw all men unto Himself to receive the restitution blessings which He died to win for all the sons of Adam (John 12:32; 1 Cor. 15:21, 22).

Q' Do you think there will be some who have consecrated during this Age, but remain in the justified condition, and will come up on the human plane in the resurrection?

Answer' We cannot realize that any who have consecrated themselves to God and His service, and whose offering of themselves has been accepted by the Heavenly Father can possibly be resurrected on the human plane in the coming Age, because they relinquished all right to human life in their consecration. Each consecrated and accepted one, as a result, becomes a prospective member of a new creation, i. e., such an one is begotten of the Holy Spirit, and experiences the start of a new life on the spirit plane-( the human having been sacrificed forever) which will culminate, if faithful, in the Divine nature. No gift that we can offer can possibly balance the great gift of God in Christ Jesus to us, so that if we offer ourselves entirely to God's service after knowing the greatness of His love for us, then the Apostle says it is only our "reasonable service" so to do.

Q' Will you please explain what is the night and day the Apostle Paul is speaking of in Rom. 13:12: "The night is far spent, the day is at hand."

Answer' The night to which the Apostle refers is that dark period which, more than 4000 years previously, had settled down upon humanity after the Divine sentence had been pronounced, "Dying thou shalt die." Sin, sorrow, sickness, and death have fastened upon our race, and even now their chains are not removed; but when Jesus brought to light "life and immortality through the gospel" the "night" was far spent, the "day" was at hand. Our Lord was the "light of the world," and left His followers the legacy and privilege of keeping the light burning during the past 1,800 years. Thus the "day" which was at hand in the Apostle's time has been gradually dawning, and now at the very threshold of the Millennial Age of blessing we are prepared to see the "Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His beams," and so usher in the full daylight and dispel the darkness.

Lift up your heads, desponding pilgrims;
Give to the winds your needless fears;
He who hath died on Calvary's mountain,
Soon is to reign a thousand years.

A thousand years, earth's coming glory!
'Tis the glad day so long foretold.
'Tis the bright morn of Zion's glory,
Prophets foresaw in times of old.

Tell the whole world these blessed tidings;
Speak of the time of rest that nears;
Tell the oppressed of every nation,
Jubilee lasts a thousand years.

Q' What is meant by Justification, and the purpose of it in this Gospel Age? Also explain the meaning of Sanctification and its object.

Answer-(1) Justification is bringing into accord with justice that which has fallen from the state of perfection. Adam was created righteous and able to keep God's perfect law, but he sinned, was condemned by God, and all his posterity have been "born in sin and shapen in iniquity." "There is none righteous, no, not one." Justification is the restoration of man to perfection, making him acceptable in God's sight. Man never could do this for himself. Therefore it is "God that justifies." The purpose of God during this Gospel Age is to call "many sons to glory," who shall become "joint-heirs with Jesus Christ." "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24), the [HGL626] chosen ones must appreciate their privilege and follow in His steps, making a full and willing surrender of all their earthly hopes and prospects. These never reach actual perfection in this life, but are regarded as just, legally righteous, because of the righteousness of Christ imputed to them by faith. The gathering of this company of joint-heirs being the purpose for which justification by faith has been offered, it follows that those who fail to make the necessary consecration unto death have "received the grace of God in vain." Theirs is a dead faith, not being accompanied by the appropriate works. "Faith without works is dead," therefore such cannot claim the offered justification. (2) Sanctification is setting apart to holy services. The original word is the same as for "holiness." To sanctify is to make holy. While in due time all will become holy and set apart to the service of God, His object in this age is to prepare for himself a peculiar saintly class for the blessing of all others. Sanctification has two parts: (1) "Sanctify yourselves ** be ye holy;" ( 2) "I am the Lord which doth sanctify you" (Leviticus 21:7, 8). The believer must first set himself apart in full consecration to God. God signifies His acceptance by imparting the Holy Spirit. Whoever has thus surrendered his heart to the Lord, and has received the evidence of acceptance, has become a holy one a saint. The Bible also speaks of those who are being sanctified. Sanctification is therefore a process. As knowledge and experience increase, the character is developed, the heart is enlarged, and the saint is fitted and prepared for the service which God has for him. This is accomplished through the Scriptures and the discipline to which all the children of God must be subjected. (See John 17:17 and Heb. 12:6-10.)

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