The National Labor Tribune April 15, 1915


Q' Harmonize Luke 16:9 with Jas. 4:4.

Answer' The first of these references is from the parable of the unjust steward, and is in no way in conflict with St. James' exhortation to the disciples to "love not the world." While the parable was addressed to the disciples, it is apparent from the following verses that its lesson was especially intended for the Pharisees. They were the interpreters of the Mosaic Law and held responsible positions in the nation both on this account and because of their wealth. The suggestion of this text to them would be that they make light the burdens of the people that when the Jewish Law dispensation would shortly come to an end and all the Jewish polity be wiped out in the time of trouble, they might find themselves still provided for through the kindness of the friends thus made. The same principle was applied by the disciples when they, instead of loving the things of this world and desiring them for themselves, followed in the Master's footsteps of sacrifice, giving up all earthly hopes and prospects for the privileges of the eternal, heavenly habitations. There are no other terms of discipleship except those stated by our Master: "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:27, 33). Only by forgetting those things which are behind and pressing toward the things which are before can we have God's friendship.

Q' What became of Adam when he died did he go to heaven or hell?

Answer' We may be sure Adam did not go to heaven at death, because 3,000 years later Jesus said, "No man hath ascended up to heaven" (John 3:13). The judgment, or [HGL707] sentence of death was passed upon Adam by the Lord, who said, "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:19). This judgment of death was gradually enforced during a period of 930 years by access being denied to the life giving food in Eden (see Gen. 3:23, 24), at the end of which time Adam was completely dead. He therefore went into the death condition. He went to Hell not the hell of the Dark Ages, which has been represented as a lake of fire and brimstone but to the hell of the Bible, which word is translated from the Hebrew word sheol and the Greek word hades, and properly translated into the English word grave, tomb, or state of death. Likewise all of Adam's children, inheriting this death sentence, have followed him, at death, to the tomb. The entire race would have been exterminated had it not been that God provided for the redemption and resurrection of the race through Christ Jesus, who gave his life that we might have life.

Q' Is there some feature of the Atonement yet to be accomplished seeing Christ gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time?

Answer' Not until all the works of the devil have been destroyed will every feature of the atonement have been accomplished, and then all the inhabitants of the earth will be in harmony with God. Jesus Christ has given himself a ransom for all. "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). Apparently as yet the ransom has only been applied on behalf of the Church class, because only those have received a blessing. The feature of the atonement now in operation is "taking out of the Gentiles a people for his name," who are to be joint-heirs with our Lord to sit with him in his throne of judgment and take part in his future work of blessing all the families of the earth. After the people for his name are taken out he is to return and "build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down. . . that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord who doeth all these things" (Acts 15:14-17). At present the great majority are unable to exercise faith in God because of the clashing creeds, and Satan blinding the minds of them that believe not; but when the kingdom is established the Lord will "destroy the covering cast over all the people and the veil that is spread over all nations. . . . It shall be said in that day, 'Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us. . . we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation'" (Isa. 25:6-9). That will be the due time for the testimony to the mass of mankind, "When the spirit and the Bride shall say come, and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Rev. 22:17).

Q' What do you think would be the cause of Mary Magdalene's failure to recognize the Lord after his resurrection? John 20:15.

Answer' Christ was put to death in flesh, but quickened (made alive) in spirit (1 Pet. 3:18). He gave his flesh for the life of the world, so could not take back his human body and give the world the benefit as well. When our Lord rose from the dead, he was no longer the man Christ Jesus. Since then he is Lord of the dead and the living. Each time he manifested himself to his disciples, he materialized, appearing instantaneously in their midst. When he appeared to Mary in the garden she mistook him for the gardener, and it was only when he mentioned her name, that she realized who he was recognizing his voice and address rather than his outward appearance. It was just as easy for Jesus to appear as a gardener, or as a stranger on the way to Emmaus, as it was for him to appear like the Jesus they had known in the flesh. No doubt these different manifestations were given the disciples for the very purpose of protecting them from the mistaken thought that he still had with him the flesh which would have made impossible his entrance into the heavenly kingdom (1 Cor. 15:50).

Q' Is the world growing worse? If not what does the Apostle Paul mean by the words, "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived?" 2 Tim. 3:13.

Answer' In some respects the world was never better than it is to-day. We know of no time in history when the public press so fearlessly and boldly exposed wrong-doing as now. Education has helped to bring about a better moral condition. Of course a great deal of this morality is on the surface, as it was in the closing days of the Jewish Age, when Jesus told the chief religionists that they were whited walls, outwardly beautiful, but inwardly corrupt. The Apostle, in the Scripture to which you refer, evidently had in mind the deceivers and leaders astray in the Church. These, in the end of the Age, will become more bold; as foretold, their deceptions will become strong delusions, following which many will believe a lie (2 Thess. 2:2). "They shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (1 Tim. 4:1). Many theological teachers today are denying the Bible and advancing strong arguments in favor of Higher Criticism, Evolution, etc., thus growing worse and worse in repudiating the "faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3, 4), "deceiving and being themselves deceived."

Prev   Next