The National Labor Tribune November 29, 1914


Q' If the world is to be converted before the second coming of Christ, as some people believe, what is meant by Luke 18:8: "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"

Answer' Those who believe that the world is to be converted before our Lord's return are looking for something which, according to the Scriptures, would be impossible, for to the careful Bible student it is quite clear that the Lord's return is for the very purpose of enlightenment and knowledge and conversion of the world. The obvious Answer to Luke 18:8 is that the faith will be small in the earth at our Lord's second coming almost an unappreciable quantity; but insincerity, infidelity, distrust, violence, etc., will be rampant perilous times the Apostle calls them. But "when the judgments of the Lord are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." So speaks the prophet Isaiah. In fact, Acts 3:19-21 expressly says that all the prophets spoke of the "times of restitution," and those "times" will follow the coming of our Lord. Our prayer is, "Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus."

Q' Would you kindly explain Matt. 23:15: "Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."

Answer' Jesus acknowledged the Pharisees as those who sat in Moses' seat (verse 2) God's representatives and the teachers of the people. Instead of exhibiting a becoming humility these men loved the chief seats, and to be called "Rabbi," etc. Jesus called them blind guides, whited sepulchres, hypocrites, who made void God's Word by their traditions. He suggests that they would go to any length in order to make converts to the Jewish faith (a work not commanded by the Lord). Making proselytes meant bringing Gentiles under the Jewish Law Covenant, which was intended to be a schoolmaster to bring Israel to Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven. Their pride and false teaching led the Pharisees to prompt their disciples to crucify Jesus. If such conduct had been willfully opposed to clear light it would involve their destruction (Heb. 10:27) the "second death" from which there would be no resurrection, and which was therefore symbolized by the Greek word Gehenna (mistranslated "hell" in this text), the Hebrew form of which is "Valley of Hinnom" the name of the valley in which Jerusalem's refuse was destroyed by fire.

Q' Would you kindly explain Heb. 9:27? "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Are we to understand that ALL must die, or can it be proved from the Scripture that many may not die?

Answer' This passage does not refer to men in the ordinary meaning of the word, but has reference to those who in the Mosaic dispensation acted as priests to Israel. It was appointed that they should typically die as represented in the slaying of the animal, when they laid their hands on its head. The whole connection of this passage goes to prove this, for Paul is contrasting the two priesthoods, the typical and antitypical. God speaks of those things that are not as though they were; and from his standpoint the race is already dead. For example, the Lord said, "Let the dead bury their dead." We are all born in a dying condition with the inherited disease of death in each one of us. We read, however, that our Lord has now the keys of death (the present dying condition in which we all find ourselves) and of hell (hades), the actual death condition. We understand that because of his death he now has the power to stop the dying process in the race and gradually raise it back again to perfection. This he will do during his second advent and Kingdom reign.

Q' We read in Col. 1:16 that Christ created "principalities and powers"; in Tit. 3:1, "Let them be subject to principalities and powers," and in Eph. 6:12 , "We wrestle against principalities and powers." If Christ created them, why are we to wrestle against them?

Answer' Christ created all things perfect originally angels in Heaven, man on earth, each placed in position of power, one invisible to human eyes, and the other visible. Some of the angels fell from their perfection, and man also, consequently the earthly and some of the heavenly principalities and powers existing at the present time are imperfect, yet they are ordained or permitted by God, and therefore we should submit to them even if we suffer under their abuse of power, as Jesus did (John 19:11). We should obey laws, and respect those in authority because of their position even if personally they are unworthy of esteem, and only offer resistance where they conflict with God's Law (Acts 4:19; 5:29). We should wrestle against principalities and powers in the sense that we must resist any evil or pernicious principle which endeavors to keep the world in darkness as to God's plan. The devil and his agents are very busy along this line, and our only safety lies in putting on the whole armor of God so that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11).

Q' It has been my understanding that Zech. 14:7 refers to the evening of Christ's thousand year Kingdom. But now I am in perplexity as to how that verse can refer to the close of the Kingdom day when verse 18, coming later in the chapter, seems to refer to the beginning. Can you help me?

Answer' It would be a mistake to suppose that every chapter of the Bible is arranged in chronological order. We do not find it so. The 7th verse gives a broad statement regarding the work accomplished by Christ's Kingdom, indicating that as the thousand year day progresses it will get brighter and brighter under the illumination of the teaching which will be given the world of mankind by Christ and his Church, until, at the very close of that thousand year day, there shall be none in darkness. At its beginning "darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people" (Isa. 60:2) but the "Son of righteousness shall arise with healing in his beams" (Mal. 4:2). The mists of superstition and fear which now hide Jehovah from the eyes of men will soon be scattered by the rays of the Sun of Righteousness and then "all shall know him from the least" [HGL631] "to the greatest" (Heb. 8:11). Some, however, of the families of the earth will refuse to give him allegiance and from these God's favor will be withdrawn. This seems to be the teaching of the 18th verse, for Egypt is a Scriptural representation of the whole earth.

Q' Kindly give me an explanation of Isa. 26:19 , "Thy dead shall live, my dead bodies shall arise." I have used Mr. Leeser's translation.

Answer' The italicized words in the King James version were supplied by the translators with the intention of giving what they thought was the true meaning of each passage. In the vast majority of cases they seem to have supplied words very much in harmony with the general teaching of the Scriptures. It is but natural to suppose, however, that there would be times in which their addition of words would give a different thought instead of merely elucidating the text, as was their claimed intention. Leeser has supplied no words in this case and the translation is much preferable. We have learned that the Church is, according to the Scriptures, the body of Christ. Jesus is the head of this great body in the sense that it is his will that is done by the members, it is he that plans and directs. The Apostle Paul and all of those who died during the centuries past have slept in death waiting for the awakening which would take place in the morning of Christ's Kingdom. They are here referred to as the body. The first work of Christ's dominion is the awakening of the sleeping members of his body. From that time on any faithful ones of the Church who die need not wait in sleep but are instantly changed. "We shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed" (1 Cor. 15:51, 52). The resurrected Church is to have as part of her work the raising of the rest of mankind and that task shall be persisted in until "all that are in their graves shall come forth." All of the dead will then be Christ's for the promise has been made to him, "Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance" (Psa. 2:8); "Like sheep they are laid in the grave and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning" (Psa. 49:14).

Q' In Rom. 8:15 Paul declares of some that have received the spirit of adoption, and in the 23rd verse he speaks of waiting for the adoption. Please harmonize.

Answer' The same Apostle informs us that, "by nature we are all children of wrath" (Eph. 2:1-3). As was the Psalmist so are all of us "born in sin and shapen in iniquity" (Psa. 51:5). Life, as originally given to our race, came from Jehovah and was perfect. None of us can now be said to have life from him in the sense that we receive it through Father Adam. That life was lost when the death sentence passed upon him. Only those who have "escaped the condemnation that is on the world" can be said to have life, and they are merely "begotten to the hope of life" (1 Pet. 1:3). Jesus told of some of his day that their father was the Devil (John 8:44). If they would come to him to receive release from this bondage it would not be to come into another bondage of fear but to receive a hope of life, a hope or spirit of adoption. None can receive life until he has proven himself worthy of it. The actual adoption is therefore to come when this period of groaning and suffering is ended and our worthiness of continued and increased favor has been fully demonstrated. We note that this is the Apostle's argument in the succeeding verses. "We are saved by hope." To receive the fullness of that hope would be to receive this salvation, to be actually released from the limitations of the flesh and its infirmities, to be delivered from the unsatisfactory conditions of the present and to be ushered into the desirable spiritual realms. The terms on which we may become actual children of God, and therefore his heirs, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, are that we shall suffer with Jesus. The suffering covers the time of our earthly pilgrimage. The glory will follow (Rom. 8:17).

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