National Labor Tribune November 22, 1914


Q' Do the Scriptures show that Satan will always exercise his wicked power, or will he eventually be overcome? Will the loosing spoken of in Rev. 20:3 be for the testing of restored mankind, and will this take place before or after the Son is subject to the Father?

Answer' In 1 Cor. 15 the Apostle's argument relative to the reign of our Lord Jesus and the object to be accomplished by that reign is so clear and convincing that there is but one Answer to the question, "Will Satan eventually be overcome?" and that in the affirmative. It is apparent to all thinking people that Christ's reign has not yet begun, for the Scriptures declare that during that reign the great adversary of the race, Satan, will be bound. A single glance over the conditions existing in the world will serve to convince anyone that he is still a very active personality. However, conditions in the next age, the period of Christ's reign, will be radically changed as, gradually, the evil, selfish elements are eliminated. "He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet." Then mankind will be in the condition experienced by Adam before his fall, with the exception that they will have a knowledge of the consequences of sin which he lacked; and then mankind will be tested as Adam was, by the adversary who will be loosed for a season. But Satan's time will be short, for not only death but he "that hath the power of death" is to be destroyed. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (1 Cor. 15:26).

Q' A friend has asked me to look up all the Scriptures on "immortality" but I have no books to help me. Can you tell me where to find the texts?

Answer' There are five texts in which the words "immortal" and "immortality" will be found. We quote them. "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life" (Rom. 2:7). "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory'" (1 Cor. 15:53, 54). "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever" (1 Tim. 1:17). "That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality" (1 Tim. 6:15, 16). "Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:9, 10). You will note from the reading of these texts that immortality was originally the possession of Jehovah only. It was later bestowed upon Jesus (John 5:27) and will be, eventually, the portion of all who finally attain the Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). No one will ever have immortality except he seek for it, and not even all those who seek for it will attain it. "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able" (Luke 13:24).

Q' I have read the Bible and it seems that the Bible contradicts itself, and many people say the same thing. Please give me some instruction about this matter.

Answer' It is surely quite apparent to all that if the Bible does contradict itself it is not the Word of God, for God cannot lie. We are aware that many people suppose that they find contradictions in the Bible, but on investigating any of these claims we invariably find that they fail to "rightly divide the Word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). Evidently this is because they have not given sufficient systematic study to the Word. A reading of the Bible will not suffice. It is the greatest of books and must be given proportionately careful study. We could not hope to assist you much in the small space at our disposal here and cannot render you other assistance, as you have failed to give your address. In the study of your Bible bear in mind that its history and prophecies together cover several dispensations. To the time of the flood the world was under the angels' control. From then until the giving of the Law, God dealt with favored individuals such as Noah and Abraham. Following the Law dispensation, [HGL627] in which only the Jews were dealt with, we have the spiritual dispensation in which the spiritual promises have all been given. The kingdom of God is to follow this. If you will determine the dispensation to which each passage belongs, you will find the Bible harmonious. A few mistranslations must be taken into account, however. It should be quite apparent that the Scriptures which apply to the time of the Flood would not be applicable in the present time, and that the texts which refer to the "present evil world" are not at all proper to the time of Christ's reign when Satan will be bound "that he may deceive the Nations no more." The promises that are made to the Church should not be applied to this world, nor should the Church take to themselves the promises made regarding world restoration.

Q' Was not Jesus Christ merely a great teacher like Plato and other philosophers; and his life just a noble example and nothing more?

Answer' Christ's own claims respecting His being and mission were so exalted and absolute that either these were true or He was the greatest impostor that ever lived. If true, then He was the Son of God and not Jehovah God Himself who was made flesh that He might not only reveal by precept and example the Truth, but additionally enable man by faith, to attain that standard, by giving His life a ransom for all. The doctrine of a vicarious Atonement may not be popular in some quarters, but it is the only one that meets the facts. Others have made similar claims, but the verdict of history, based on their life and teaching, has been that they were false claims. Plato himself declared the necessity of a Divine revelation of the Absolute Truth, and certainly all impartial students admit that the standard set forth in Christ's teaching is the highest yet given, and for an impostor to have formulated such precepts is preposterous. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

Q' Did Christ die for every man, or only for the Church? If we say he died for the world, does that mean every individual member of the race?

Answer' There is no doubt that Jesus did "taste death for every man" (Heb. 2:9), and that "God is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe" (1 Tim. 4:9). "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2). The secret is that God will deal with the world "in due time" (1 Tim. 2:6), and that the due time is indicated by many different Scriptures to be during the Messianic reign of Christ, when all who are in their tombs will be raised "to their former estate" (Eze. 16:55) for that purpose. It would have been impossible for Jesus to have thus "tasted death for every man" had it not been that God made His wonderful plan by which all Adam's children were included in his sin. "As in Adam all die even so in Christ shall all be made alive" because the race was in Adam when he sinned and therefore partakers of his penalty, and likewise shares in the ransom work of Jesus. Death is the wage of sin. Jesus purchased Adam and his family by taking the sinner's place.

Q' Does the Bible teach apostolic succession? and where in the Bible can we find the names of twenty or more whom the Lord recognizes as apostles? I know it speaks of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; but I am told that there were more than twenty apostles, and it is claimed their names are in the Bible; how is it?

Answer' There have never at any time been more than twelve apostles. Our Lord selected twelve and we have their names given us in Matt. 10:2-4. The Apostle Paul was selected as one of the apostles (Rom. 1:1; 1 Tim. 2:7) but this did not increase the number to thirteen, for he was selected to take the place of the traitor Judas. The disciples felt the responsibility of selecting one to take the place of Judas, but their selection of Matthias, as recorded in the first chapter of Acts, was set aside by Jehovah. He was never recognized by Jehovah. When our Lord gave His revelation to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos, about sixty years later, instead of there being fourteen apostles the number is given as twelve (Rev. 21:14). However, at that early date in the history of the Church it was found that there were those which said they were apostles and were not (Rev. 2:2).

Q What is the real meaning of Psa. 9:17: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God?"

Answer' The ninth Psalm is a song of praise because God has entered into judgment with the nations. That is most clearly seen when we read the Revised Version. The Psalm therefore applies to the future when the judgments of God are in the earth, and when the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness (Isa. 24:9). We read: "The wicked shall return to sheol, even all the nations that forget God." It is now hardly necessary to repeat that "sheol" is not a place of torment. It describes the condition of all the dead good and bad alike. "They know not anything" (Eccl. 9:5), being totally unconscious. When the judgment takes place, there is to be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. All the dead will stand before God, and all will know the Lord from the least to the greatest. This verse therefore gives us the thought that even then some will continue to be wicked, and as a consequence will "return" into sheol, or state of death. They will go into death the second time, being punished with everlasting destruction, graphically described in the Book of Revelation as the "lake of fire." But it is manifest that before they can "return" into sheol they must have been raised out of sheol; and before they can forget God, they must know God. The great mass of earth's population has gone into death, into sheol, with no knowledge of God whatever.

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